Minors make strong start

Photo: GAA

As Nigel Reape put it so aptly on the Mayo Football Podcast Final Whistle show after Mayo’s 2-17 to 0-11 win over Roscommon in this evening’s Connacht MFC Round 1 meeting at Hyde Park, the Minors tonight provided us with a good end to what’s been a bad footballing week for the county.

They certainly did that, with a forceful, confident display in this evening’s opening round-robin match in the provincial Minor championship. Playing with the wind in the first half, the Mayo lads opened up a clear lead with some fine shooting. They led by 0-13 to 0-6 at the break and were well on the way to victory by then.

A goal by Gavin Forry at the start of the second half snuffed out at source any hopes the home side might have had of a revival and the same player added a second major ten minutes from the end. Mayo had a full twelve points to spare over their opponents at the finish.

Seán Deane’s charges have a bye next Friday and they then face Galway the following Friday, a match that’ll be played at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.

Mike Finnerty’s match report for the Mayo News is here. Mike was also at the wheel for our Final Whistle pod from Hyde Park, where he was joined by Nigel Reape to reflect on the Minors’ win, as well as the recent defeats for the Seniors and U20s. There’s also post-match reaction from Seán Deane. The pod is on Patreon – here.

Congrats to the Minors on this evening’s win and the best of luck to them in their next outing.

153 thoughts on “Minors make strong start

  1. Sean Deane seems to be a fantastic manager for this age – comes from a great part of the world I guess! I really enjoy the spread of clubs represented by the team. Football was apparently dead in Mayo there for a few days but good to see it’s back!

  2. I really needed not so much the result but the style of that match as a tonic. I honestly could not have taken another factory blanket tyranny.
    When Galway come blankety in two weeks and they surely will, I’d luv it, I’d luv it if they don’t get the result.

  3. This new trend of gaelic which was once described as puke football has sure taken hold big time and whether we in mayo like it or not we have to live with it.
    Can’t wait for the galway roscommon game, which at this stage is very hard to call.
    Congratulations to our under minors on their great win…

  4. Really impressive team performance last night.

    Neary, Coghill, Clarke, Beirne, Lydon and Lynch showed moments of brilliance at times to warrant name checks but that’s harsh on the rest of the 15 who all put in a great shift (you could see in the two moments he managed to wriggle free Rio’s man had the potential to win the game on his own so Rio keeping him as quite as he did looked vital to the win). Some of the long range shooting from Neary and Lydon in particular would grace any football pitch at any level.

    Plenty left to work on for 2 weeks time, especially on the back of a bye week.

    Three or four more potential goal opportunities either rejected for a tap over or not converted and a few moments of chaos at the back. Roscommon’s size, physicality and power running through the middle looks like it could cause havoc on their day. Every time a high ball came in towards the 6’4″ or so full forward you’d have palpitations as a Mayo fan with years of pain under high balls. Fair play to McGreal, Coghill, Lavelle and Meaney working their socks off back there to keep the danger to a minimum.

    All in all for a first day out at this level it was a fantastic performance. Hard not to love the way Deane sets up his teams and allows the lads play ball, take calculated risks and encourages the head up play we all tend to love.

  5. Great analysis there @TsuDhoNim,. If Willie Joe or the young lad ever need a week or two of warm weather training, you would be well able to deputise imo!
    Delighted with that excellent showing by our minors last night – great skill, attitude and the ability to take on and get scores. Kudos to our young lads and Sean Deane and co. Onwards and upwards.
    Last night’s result was a badly needed lift, on what has been for me a depressing week particularly with the U20 result.
    Things look a little more encouraging overall today. Thanks lads, Up Mayo!

  6. It was a weird match. I think Roscommon are a lot better than the scoreline or how the match went.

  7. Rd robin game last year , Galway 0-4 Mayo 1-15

    All Ireland final a couple of months later Galway 0-15 Mayo 0-9 .

    Wouldn’t rule ros out at all .Fair size lads for minors

  8. Still can’t understand what Deane and Mgt were at in the AI final last year. We had put our best man marker on Galway’s danger man (Eanna Monaghan I think was the young lads name from memory) in the two previous meetings and he totally subdued him and then we decide to change it for the final, and their Monaghan makes rack in no time, game over effectively!! unfathomable..

  9. Listening to Sean Quigley interview. Sobering, saddening and then him dropped this weekend.
    It’s in very few insiders interest to say the game is totally broken.
    We urgently need to look at 13 a side and goalkeepers not a pass option.
    Quigley saying goalies have more football now than him inside. Sad state of affairs.

  10. The game has been totally broken since 2005 JP when Tyrone’s swarm tactics of the Kerry players got them to an All Ireland. To keep 15 players on the field as a nod to tradition the only solution in my view is that the full back line can’t be involved in an attack and the full forward line can’t be involved in defending for both teams. They stay behind the 25 yard line when the ball is kicked out by the goal keeper to the remaining outfield players. The goal keeper can go out the field wherever they want with the option of a full back or a full forward at the other end stepping into the goal defending duties. That would leave 13 outfield players with attacking and defensive capabilities. If the goal keeper goes outfield then there is either no one in goal or you have a 3 on 2 scenario in favour of the forwards. The full forwards or the full backs can engage the play once the ball is brought into the opposition half by the attacking team. Sound confusing.. it would play out a lot easier than it’s written.. it would worth a trial.. anything is better than this over and back crap

  11. Wouldn’t it just be a lot easier to go to 13 a side and it’s more realistic for modern birthrates for most underage teams in lots of clubs.

  12. 13 aside would just mean 13 defending instead of 15.ok the area wouldn’t be as crowded but would still expect mostly the same shite

  13. @no doubt, I’ve seen lots of 13 a side at club level and it didn’t turn out like you described. It does make a big difference.

  14. The problem with foot ball is tinkering with the rules with little thought going int it, eg kicking the ball 20 yrds from the kickouts,it is jus allowing keepers to kick it lately.
    The rule should state that you kick out should pass the 45 metre line.
    Also some daft rules, player can be in the small square once the ball is kicked in from play, but can only enter after the ball from a set kick,free,mark, sideline etc
    It must very frustrating for players the way the refs implement the rules, this year it seems that the defenders seem to get all the frees when they swarm an attacker.

  15. @jr,
    – no quality games
    – nothing interesting or funny in interviews
    – the style of play like that awful Olympic handball the 5 a side where you throw it in the goals
    But there’s so few will call it all out.
    Mayo club football, almost every single team is blanket football.
    Tyrone play Monaghan, I already know it will be a very patterned defensive game.
    It’s the patterns is the worst part for me.
    Yer just so aware of what the next phase of play or pass is.
    If there is a suprise turnover the other team tries to foul straight away.

  16. @jp the most annoying thing is to see the ref. Bringing the ball forward only to see it being kicked back to where the original free was from

  17. You are right of course JP.. that would be the logical approach but I could never see the GAA top brass taking such a big step and changing the history of the game going from 15 to 13 players.. but we live in hope

  18. The constant tinkering with the rules means that all you can really coach is defensive structures. Defending in numbers, defensive positioning and tactical fouling are absolutes that hold up irrespective of what silly rule change the powers that be might throw up next.

    Stop introducing new rules to attempt to enforce your idealistic vision of the game, and let the game evolve by itself. Tactics come and go, some such as “puke football” become part of the normal, it’s now simply good defending. Some, such as the big man at the edge of the square, remain situational. And some, the possession based football, are still in flux.

    All of these are recent, and happened when there was a revolution in sports science behind the scenes.

    The rules of football have enough issues as is. We’d be a lot better served spending the next ten years tidying up those little finicky rules such as the square ball and the tackle, letting the game develop and actually remembering, coming back to and reassessing the things we said now.

    The other elephant in the room is competition structures. All this recent talk of u17s and U20s, and biggest difference between the two is the competition structure. U20s had one game, lose and that was it, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the focus was on not getting beat. U17s have a four game league, win lose or draw at least there’s a few games there for them to develop, and enjoy

  19. @Frosthammer, The game is completely stuck in this predictable patterned defensive style. Doing nothing is not a solution.

  20. @frostthrhammer.. I think if I had 10 year to solve the tackle in the current structure I wouldn’t be able too.. different refs have different interpretation of the rules which is stretched to its limits and beyond by lack of space. A foul on AOS would cut Tommy Conroy in two but Aiden won’t get the foul and Tommy will. The rules will work in the right environment but the environment is all wrong. The rules aren’t the problem in isolation its the fact that there are too many players are able to all congregate in one part of the field which makes the game we would like to see almost unplayable at this point.Over and back over and back kick it back to the goal keeper and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat.. yawn

  21. Have been pondering our seeding and other likely bedfellows.

    My (educated?) hunch for lower seedings

    Seeds 3: Westmeath (unless Leinster finalists), Mayo, Roscommon (just an assumption that Galway win, nothing more), Monaghan (or Tyrone). So we won’t be playing any of these in the pool games. However, If Galway win Connacht, nothing to stop us being in the Galway pool.

    Seeds 4: (All assuming non-provincial finalists): Donegal, Derry, Louth, Cork

    I don’t think we should assume any of those fourth seeds as a pushover.

  22. @catcol

    Westmeath are a 4 seed if they don’t make a Leinster final.

    The 3 seeds will be Mayo, one of Galway and Roscommon, and 2 of Monaghan Tyrone and Derry, assuming Dublin and Kerry make finals.

    The provincial draws in Connacht and Ulster put all the potential 3 seeds on the same side, making it one of the easier conundrums to figure out this year

  23. @toe to hand

    I’d agree wrt the tackle. It’s a tough one to sort and will take years but imo we’d be better served by taking the time to do it and letting the game evolve in the meantime.

    Ten years addressing the current rules and the structures will serve the game better in the long run, rather than introducing silly rules like forward marks and 20 metre kick outs.

    Put a ten year plan in place and a team to monitor it. Take a year or two to review and then look at making those big changes such as 13 side

  24. On the Senior Championship, there seems to be something not right that many here think it’s ok that Mayo are knocked out of the Connacht Champion, did nobody mention to Joe Biden that Roscommon have beaten Mayo already ?
    Expecting / hoping that everything will come good in the group stages of the All Ireland Series, we have seen this before.

  25. Mayo88, I’m sure most wouldn’t think that way. If do it’s irrelevant anyways, it’s management that counts.
    McStay has targeted Connacht from the off, so it’s a set back from their point of view, but hopefully it’s a wake-up call that they need to change things up.

    The week off will have done lads good, hopefully they can hit ground running from Wednesday. when they back training

  26. How often have we seen the closed fist to the abdomen used as part of the tackle with referees completely taken by surprise when the player goes down in a heap. Not to single him out because he was definitely not alone in this tactic but as high profile players go Michael Murphy was notorious for the closed fist to the stomach. In my view closed fist tackles to the body are a red card offence but it would never be applied and as such we are going no where with applying the rules

  27. Cracking game in Ulster championship and Monaghan played great second half. Very entertaining and Tyrone join us as third seeds.

  28. Savage second half . What a gutsy buckeen that debut goal scorer for Monaghan o toole I think his name

  29. @toe to hand

    It’s not a solution, but for something like that, say a “closed fist tackle” introduce a new color card say “blue”. Even if the card doesn’t mean anything special, it would make awful easy to tote up at the end of the game/season how often it occurred.

    Actually as I was typing, it occurred to me that a few different color cards could help communication between the referee and the bench/supporters. Say “green” for a technical foul, “pink” for a physical one etc. Might be worth trying could help make referees life a little easier

  30. @On the ditch,..if everyone keeps knocking McHale Park easily the finest facility in Connacht, its giving the CCCC licence to ignore McHale Park.. just like they ignore Dr Hyde park with a bigger playing area than Croke Park.. McHale Park has a bigger playing area than Healy Park in Omagh,… and what a magnificent game has just been played there between Tyrone and Monaghan.. great games of football can be played on McHale pristine playing surface, but no other Stadium within 100 miles can possibly hold 36K+ .all seated . but McHale Park can. Congratulations to Monaghan, magnificent win in Ulster. Hard luck to Tyrone, they still have an awful to offer.. and well done to both teams for serving up one the best match’s played in Ulster in years!

  31. Fantastic game in Healy Park, best game I’ve seen in a long time, Tyrone tackling in first half was superb, great running by forwards + brilliant scores.
    Second half Monaghan were absolutely brilliant, that’s the way gaelic football should be played, great stuff.
    I would love to see an effort like that from Mayo, here’s hoping they can raise their game to that level sooner rather than later.

  32. JP – the easiest way to improve Gaelic football as a spectacle is ban all back passes to the goalkeeper. Attacking teams won’t flute around with the ball in their own half when they can’t go back to the goalkeeper. Defending teams will push up man to man trying to turn the ball over. The way things are, it’s too easy to retain possession in Gaelic football.

    We’d lose the ‘spectacle’ of goalkeepers joining in attacks but the game would improve no end.

  33. @ Leantimes. Check your figures. Healy is 4m wider, giving 560 sq m more playing area than McHale
    Might not have mattered in the past but the way the modern game is played with 29, dare I say 30, players crowding into one half of the pitch, it is a significant factor, imo.
    When the dust settles, Tyrone will get over their loss. Bit of strength in no 3 seeds will liven up the group games

  34. If pitch sizes were standardised it would likely make them to the smaller dimension given constraints in grounds like MacHale park, and cost of works that would be needed to get them to the larger standard. So can’t see that happening.
    Lads have played on these pitches from the dawning of the day, while a factor it’s not the biggest issue. It’s style of play and the rules of play.
    U13 is likely to become more common due to declining rural populations, that to doesn’t solve the problem asike others I have seen them all back at that as well, albeit it does give more space for obvious reasons.

  35. 13 a side, not U13.

    It’s hard know a solution, it’s a hard game to ref and there is already a shortage of them so changes made will have to be extremely easy for refs to manage and incorporate into their game. E.g.
    – no back pass to goalkeeper
    – stop clock like the ladies
    – automatic HIA off field for any suspected head injury.

  36. On the Ditch..I never in my life head any opposition player or official ever complain about the size of the pitch in Castlebar. The size of the playing area dosent control the quality of football played on the playing surface..Mayo played fantastic open free flowing football versus both Kerry and Tyrone in the league on the more than adequate playing surface of McHale Park a few weeks ago..We won the league versus Galway in Croke Park where both teams got men behind the ball in the wide open spaces of Croke Park on a perfect warm Spring day. .. Dublin v Derry was hardly a free flowing game just before hand in Croke Park the same day.. McHale is a fantastic pitch, pristine playing surface, more than adequate playing area and by miles the best place to hold a big crowd within a 100 miles.

  37. I’m glad Tyrone Monaghan was a good game. We needed that. Couldn’t watch live, so looking forward to watching tonight.

  38. I would not write Tyrone off yet
    To my eyes they still not fully fit a tired in the second half.

  39. Canavan is a serious talent , he probably scored more from play today than mayo in the league final and ros game combined lol .

  40. Imagine if we conceded 2-17 though. Poor Conor Loftus wouldn’t be let out of the ground!

  41. I’m thinking you could have games like . Kerry v Tyrone in Killarney , Derry v Galway (if they lost to ros ) , Dublin v Mayo in croker .

    Possibility of Great ties for the opening week like

  42. @ Sean Bourke. Yes as the strength of no 3 seeds are revealed. Does anybody know home away neutral for a three seed

  43. You gotta laugh.. I’m whinging away all morning about puke northern defensive football.. and they up and serve the game of the year so far. Well done Monaghan.. they never give up

  44. Amazing game in ulster.
    Weirdly enough I seen plenty from tyrone to tell me they will be in the mix come all Ireland series time.
    Monaghan have to be the grittiest team in the country though, they are a defiant bunch.

    Stephen o hanlon made reference to David drake dogging them at training, is that David Drake off this parish?

  45. Was really skeptical about the group format but The first round of group games in the round robin is going to be brilliant with 2 AI contenders in tyrone and mayo going up against provincial winners. The GAA will be seeing dollar signs

  46. @on the ditch

    For 3rd seeds
    Week 1: away to 1st seed
    Week 2: home to 2nd seed
    Week 3: neutral with 4th seed

  47. Ryan OToole who scored the last minute winning goal, it was his championship debut. He could have fist pointed a point to draw but interviewed afterwards he said how you have to live in the moment and said he “was going to go for it”.
    I luv it, I luv it, I bloody luv it.

  48. Thanks Frost THammer. Tough group to top but second is doable.
    Sorry to bother you but if we come second are we home v a third team

  49. @Ontheditch

    Yes, finishing 2nd gives you home advantage in the snappily titled preliminary quarter final

  50. Am I right in saying the 4 third seed teams will be:
    Roscommon or Galway
    Monaghan or Derry

    That’s assuming of course the almost certainty that Kerry and Dublin make their provincial finals such is the absurdity of the Leinster and Munster championships

  51. @Our time has come

    Yes exactly as you said.

    If Kerry fail to make the Munster Final, they would push Monaghan and Derry down to 4th seed.

    If Dublin fail to make the Leinster final, then they would need Derry to beat Monaghan to be a 3rd seed

  52. Was it not O’Toole who scored a similar type goal against us in the league game? Really good technique plus the element of surprise. I still think that Tyrone could end up going further but time will tell.

  53. Thanks FrostT – I can see these groups shaping up nicely or not so nicely depending on your perspective. Armagh should make an ulster final but if not they’ll be 4th seeds, likewise Donegal. Can see a “group of death” developing but then that becomes less exciting when 3 of the 4 teams get out of each group!

    What the GAA need to do next IMO:
    -Play the sigerson in December
    -Scrap the January prelim competitions
    -Play The provincial championships in January
    -League timetable stays as is but scrap the finals
    -Continue Using the league seeding system
    -Championship structure – like the World Cup – 8 groups of 4 all teams play each other once (home/away/neutral). In each group = One team from each of the 4 seedings based on final league standings across the 4 divisions.
    -Top 2 teams go into last 16 knockout (AI series)
    -third placed teams (8) play off for tailteann cup and throw in New York here too
    -4th placed teams knocked out completely

    I think such a structure to the season would be good for player welfare, county towns, clubs and fans – I for one would love it and the variety of different groups each year. It would also allow all teams to compete for Sam at the start and expose division 3 or 4 teams to playing division 1 & 2 teams which is the only way they will improve long term. But the tailteann will be a valued trophy also.

  54. I’m watching Tyrone Monaghan and it was important and correct that the ref didn’t allow Tyrone to get away with the half fouls like hand on the shoulder that stop up a defender.
    Some refs cow tow down to the multiple defenders and ref the forward as desperate and isolated.

  55. Anyway…….. Well done to the Mayo U17s on your strong start. It was indeed a good performance and hopefully a sign of what’s to come. Some serious talent both in players and management. You thoroughly deserve a mayogaablog thread in your honour.

  56. Tyrone score 1-14 from play. All action game, End to end stuff. Very little lateral or time wasting play. Ros v Galway up next…. Today’s game a template of what we’d like to see

  57. Thanks Frost and Our Time has come, for correcting my post. Had assumed Wmeath would be a third seed.

    Yeah, great match in Omagh, but I thought both defences were wide open in the last quarter.

  58. 100% JP , it’s a head wrecker re defenders hand on the shoulder , once the defenders swarm a forward it’s like they can drag out of him anyway they want and it will be automatically looked on as the forward over carrying . It’s so frustrating watching it unfold, think it was Kerry v Cork last year where Kerry got away with this shit numerous times

  59. It was beautiful to see Stephen O’Halloran taking on defenders with like an Allen Iverson crossover. He’s a former International basketballer I think.

  60. Have I this right , the first rd games of the group stage are to be held over two weekends , 20th may and 27th may ?

  61. @Sean Burke I believe so as the provincials finish at different dates. Checked that last week.

  62. Both Galway and Kerry had a week training camp in Portugal , do our bucks have anything similar planned over this period ?

  63. Good question Sean, though training this week should qualify as ‘warm weather’.

    I would have thought management would be anxious to play other defeated teams: Tyrone now, Cork, Galway if they were beaten next week? Even Tailteann cup teams might be of interest, Roscommon, probably not.

  64. Is it the top 2 in each group that goes through to a qtr final ? someone mentioned above its the top 3 but that doesnt sound right ?

  65. @thedarkfinn.it’s top 3 leaving 12 teams. Top in each group through to quarterfinal and 2nd and 3rds play off leaving 8 for quarterfinals

  66. @Thedarkyfinn – My understanding is that. Top team goes through to 1/4 final with a weekend off.

    2nd place gets a home game against 3rd place in a preliminary 1/4 final. Then the 4 winners of the preliminary 1/4 final play the 4 teams that top their groups.

  67. On the o toole goal i think if I was manager i would have given him a huge hug and then a kick in the arse as he walking away telling him to fist over bar next time. Maybe I’m wrong with that attitude but especially in a high stakes game 8 times out of 10 that’s not a goal and monaghan go out Interested in hearing others opinions.

  68. Not sure if Mayo need to be going flat out with training camps or challenge games or whatever for the moment.

    They will still qualify from the group, so its still a long summer ahead yet, and it might be a case of carefully picking your battles like with the Super 8s in 2019 where Mayo rightly identified the 3rd group game with Donegal as the key one. I don’t know how much going full pelt in Killarney/Croke Park/Celtic Park/Pearse Stadium in the next match (to perhaps lose anyway) will actually benefit things in the long run tbh.

    Once Mayo finish 2nd then there’s still plenty to play for. An extra preliminary game might end up being no harm at all, and it should be a handy enough home game

    On yesterday’s game, well we will do very well to top that throughout the summer! Monaghan beating Tyrone by 7 points in a half of football is no mean feat at all, while a lot of Tyrone’s stats were very impressive for a losing side. They’re always a good momentum team and once they build up a few handy wins in the round robin will not be easily stopped at all. I suspect Monaghan have a ceiling and they usually tend to reach that in a one-off Ulster game or two but full credit to them, and massive credit to O’Toole who did the right thing by burying the goal rather than fisting it over!

  69. Thanks No Doubt / JKEL88. I didnt relaize that I thought the top 2 then straight into qtr’s but the GAA have squeezed another game in there to up the coffers ! so it looks like 1 win and your out of the group so there could be a lot of dead rubbers in there. Makes the group stage not as competitive as it could have been, plus I’d assume some tactical avoidance will come into play also

  70. 3 teams qualifying from a group is ridiculous. We’re told the reason is to avoid dead rubbers in the last round, but this takes all jeopardy out of the first two rounds!

    For the likes of Mayo coming off a 6 week break, the first round can now just be used to blow away the cobwebs.

  71. @Wide Ball

    The advantages of finishing first is no preliminary 1/4 final, second you get a home preliminary 1/4 final and 3rd preliminary 1/4 final.

    All 4 teams should have something to play for on the last day unless 1st plays 4th and both are mathematically safe.

    Does anyone know if games are to be finished out on the day (extra time and penalties) or will results stand after 70 minutes meaning teams can end up on a draw ?

  72. That’s a good job there by RTE, Frost.

    I think I’m on top of it, so it didn’t tell me anything really new, but ranking the league finishers is good as it makes the whole thing understandable at a glance. Also, the tantalising prospects for Meath in particular are something I’m enjoying week by week.

  73. The European Championships were initially much maligned for moving to 3 qualifying from the groups but in fairness it served up some excellent drama in 2016 and 2021 on the final round of matches, I think this new format could surprise a lot of us yet

    The first two weekends of the championship alone have gone a very long way to prolonging the provincial championships another while yet also

    Also with the new format Cavan and Armagh now takes on much more significance this weekend than just a run of the mill Ulster game

  74. “Also, the tantalising prospects for Meath in particular are something I’m enjoying week by week”

    You see this alone is a huge plus for the new structure

    I’ll bet there’ll be much more across the country keeping an eye on Clare v Limerick this Saturday than usual, for example

  75. Have to agree with Wide Ball, if we lose the first game for example then in all likelihood the provincial winner will win our group so whether we want to finish 2nd or 3rd then becomes tactical in terms of our likely opponent in the pre-lim qtr. The same will apply in all groups I’d say as the provincial winner is home to seed 3 first up. Seed 3 is probably the 2nd tuffest team in each group so whoever wins the first game will most likely top the group..

  76. Games can end in a draw and then the usual league type rules determine first, second, third and fourth.
    The championship will start proper in the last round of the group games.
    From that weekend on, proper championship knockout fare.

  77. If Derry lose to Monaghan they will be 4th seeds guaranteed.

    Then – if that happens – to make a right job of it if Cavan beat both Donegal and Armagh, Donegal also become 4th seeds. Very likely then you could have 2 “groups of death” (obviously 2nd seeds will be very weak in that case) but I do think finishing 3rd is not far off a disaster, given all the knock-on effects

  78. @Ciaran

    “If Derry lose to Monaghan they will be 4th seeds guaranteed”

    – No, Derry will only be 4th seeds if either Dublin or Kerry fail to make a provincial final.

    Donegal and Armagh cannot be 3rd seeds under any circumstances.

    The strongest possible set of 4 seeds, is Monaghan/Derry, Dublin, Armagh and Donegal. (I couldn’t decide between Monaghan and Derry).

    The other side of the above is that there would only be 2 of the top 10 ranked teams seeded 1 and 2.

  79. If new york manage to beat sligo this weekend and are then in the sam group what will happen regarding home /away fixtures? Would imagine it be hard for them financially to come back for what would be 4 games minimum probably maximum also come to think of it.Regarding the group of death kerry monaghan mayo and Derry would be a tough draw probably for all in the group.

  80. No doubt – assuming Kerry win Munster they’ll be in a group with the connacht runner up (Sligo more than likely).

    The group of death will probably be Dublin (Leinster champ), the ulster runner up, plus a 3rd and 4th seed.

  81. What are the rules around repeat games after the group stages? Say Mayo are in a group with Kerry or Dublin – surely we couldn’t play them again until at least a semi final?

    If that’s the case, it’s almost an advantage to be in a hard group.

  82. Well I often think it’s good to find out things about yourself at a high level in such a group format against good teams.

  83. @wideball

    “assuming Kerry win Munster they’ll be in a group with the connacht runner up (Sligo more than likely).”

    – I’m not entirely sure if that’s correct or not. I thought Malachy Clerkin did a video piece for the Indo where he said it’s an open draw.

    I’m not entirely sure how that works given the provincial finalists are supposed to get a two week break.

    Afaik Provincial final repeats and group stage repeats are to be avoided where possible until the final. So you wouldn’t be guaranteed not to meet until a semi, but without running the computations, I’d say it’s extremely unlikely to meet again before a semi. I wouldn’t think it’s impossible though, as the wording suggests that avoiding provincial final repeats gets priority over group stage repeats

  84. “No, Derry will only be 4th seeds if either Dublin or Kerry fail to make a provincial final”.

    No – Mayo, Tyrone, Galway/Roscommon, Donegal/Amagh are all seeded higher

  85. No the D2 promoted teams are ranked higher than the D1 relegated teams, and the same all the way down.

    Dublin 7th Derry 8th Armagh 9th Donegal 10th

  86. Mayo should learn fromTyrone Monaghan game, real championship football going for your scores in straigth lines and no messing of passing back and over and going nowhere. Players have too much talent and trained too hard to just pass the ball aroung and back when they meet an opposation player. Any fool can play pass the ball. Let them play Gaelic Football.

  87. Surely, though I haven’t seen anything on this, group/pool winners will be kept apart for quarter finals? I’m leaving Mayo out of this, and assuming Galway, Kerry, Dublin and Derry are provincial winners, first seeds, and finish first in their group. In that case would these teams not be on one side of the draw; certainly not drawn against each other? In other words Galway could play Mayo who might finish second or third, and be picked out of a bowl as Galway’s opponents.

  88. Yea catcool I’m near certain that’s the case and the reward for winning your group . The only part that f all this I’m not sure of is if say we were for example to win the group Derry were in as ulster champions do we replace them as ulster champs and go on to play Leinster champs in semi final if both progressed to semi ?

  89. It’s open draw all the way Sean. I believe that the old provincial pairings are gone entirely

  90. Yes, Sean, I was wondering about that too. Knowing the GAA and their dedication to provincial champions, I suspect that would be the case. And what if we won the group and Derry were second (Ulster champs, but second place in the pool behind us)?

  91. 2nd place teams will play a third place team at home in the preliminary quarter final. No repeats of provincial finals and group stage

    The four group stage winners then each play a preliminary quarter final final winner, presumably at Croke park. Again no repeats

    Then afaik it’s an open draw for the semi finals, excepting the same repeats.

  92. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it was Galileo who put together the format and structure for the current championship.

    You can start the championship campaign with 3 losses now and still win Sam.

    Six weeks with not as much as a ball of fluff to kick around in front of us, and then, after, been lulled in to this tranquil existence, we will be expected to squeeze 7 games in to the following 6 weeks (almost).

    There has to be a better way than starting a competition and then suspending it for a month and a half and then starting off again.

  93. I don’t know about anybody else but I find this new All Ireland structure very complicated, from the four groups of 4 teams each I assume only first and second places will qualify for the quarter finals or are three teams to qualify from each of the four groups, this leaves 12 teams left in the race, what games follow?

  94. See some saying they wouldn’t fear mayo at all now after loosing to the rossies ha I am glad in a way as mayo always come back firing after hearing that stuff.

    The break gets our guys rested and no injuries hopefully none from training we are in actually in a good position .

    Much better then if we were to be meeting Galway in salthill this week who knows what would have happened there with us always knocking lumps out of each other in games !

    Know it’s a bit of a stretch till we get going again but I for one am glad of the break as I am sure the guys are to .

    Wouldn’t fear kerry or dubs this year unless they come bouncing back.
    I’d fear Galway hate to say it (haha) more then anyone Tyrone also look good they won’t be to upset over loosing to monaghan.

    Just need to try and hold my breath till we get on the winning streak (again ) ha still getting a fair amount of slagging from the mates ha !

  95. Sean Bourke, no the team is not away. They had a week off training. Think back training Wednesday.

  96. Clare, I think it’s best for us now if Galway win Connaught, and we are drawn in their group. Our away match is then in Galway, and I would relish playing them at that stage, (I didn’t fancy the thought of a CSF, against them). If Galway win Connaught, the Rossies will have been a tough match for them, but then, they’ll walk through the final, having played one game more than us.

    In other words, we should be fresh, our first away game will be down the road, possible second seeds would likely be Clare, weakish Leinster finalists, or Derry/Mon/Armagh. Any of the last three could be a fourth seed, but overall that would be the group for me.

  97. @Catcol totally agree and I think Galway will win connaught now at this stage can’t see the Rossies beating Galway in salthill I think Galway have an edge over them to .
    Yes wouldn’t have fancied playing them in CSF against them either !

    Rossies are a great team but I still think they caught us on a very bad day at the office ha we will be a different animal altogether when we come back in 5 weeks !

    Yes agree that would be the group I would want to..still find the whole new structure confusing haha

  98. I don’t want to go near the awful Pearce stadium venue ever. Big pitches with good surfaces if we can.

  99. Its on in the Hyde which should be a bit of a leveler, but I think this one is beyond Roscommon, people tend to lose sight of the fact (as people tend to do on the back of an “upset) that Roscommon were no more than mediocre against Mayo – that was arguably in the top 3 Mayo poorest performances since 2011 and yet the game was still there to be won. I’m still not fully convinced Roscommon are a top 8 championship side if I’m honest (certainly not top 6), both Ulster teams sunday would have beaten them. Its not a year since they were eliminated by Clare

    Ros came in to the game with a right chip on their shoulder and siege mentality, it was like a final for them, very hard to call on those reserves again a second day out. They do have a feel good factor again though and will be buzzing in training, so they’ll give Galway plenty of it, but Galway will be well primed themselves, even if they were subconsciously preparing for Mayo no doubt

  100. Kieran Molloy and Sean Mulkerrin named in Galway championship squad

    Would be shocked if Mulkerrin saw action, but by all accounts Molloy is flying it in his recovery and should play a big role yet

  101. Ciaran, it could be like seeing Harrison or someone who was injured last year named in squads. For insurance purposes if getting bills covered.

  102. @Gizmobibs, You sometimes have real skin in the game wisdom. That makes a lot of sense actually. Tis right, players deserve that backing and support.

  103. Kieran Molloy was doing maor uisce in front of me at the league final. One of the Galway supporters shouted over ‘when will you be back playing?’ He said in another month!

  104. “Kieran Molloy was doing maor uisce in front of me at the league final. One of the Galway supporters shouted over ‘when will you be back playing?’ He said in another month!”

    Yeah I heard he’s well on course for the Round Robin

    Had surgery late September, June would be around 8-9 months on so that would make sense

  105. @Mayo88: Top 3 teams in the 4 team groups go through.

    The top team goes through to the Quarter Final.

    2nd and 3rd placed teams play off in a provisional Quarter Final to get down to the 8 for the Quarters.

  106. I see the leinster q/finals on this weekend and semifinals a week later don’t know why they didn’t play the q/finals last weekend seeing as there were so few games on compared to this weekend. A week between games especially championship doesn’t give much time to recover from small knocks as we well know.

  107. Fair play to Molloy and he will add some good depth to the Galway backs if he is back before the end of the season but who is and isnt in the Galway squad at the moment has no relevance to our season now that we are out of Connaught.

    Hopefully Hession, Plunkett, McBrien, Brickiden and Carr are back for selection for us by then, with the likes of O`Hora, Tommy, Hennelly and Cillian having no setbacks and more time in the legs. Squad depth will be very important come the Business end of the season. .

  108. Mulkerrin surely must be close,he got injured in same sigerson comp as Conroy which is about 14 month’s ago now

    In all likelihood it appears 3rd seed is a better place to be than 2nd seed.

    2nd seeds will be provincial losers right?
    So with all due respect Sligo/clare/westmeath wouldn’t be anything to fear. The toughest group will be whichever one has the ulster runner up in it

    Whereas in pot 3 we will be avoiding the likely very tricky tie with Tyrone/roscommon/armagh (I think cavan will surprise armagh in breffni which will turn everything on its head).

  109. When Mayo and Galway have everyone available it’s impressive depth.
    One interesting point, Monaghan often get looked upon as a non runner.
    They came very close to beating Tyrone in Croke Park in 2021.
    When you go through the lines Monaghan have a really strong 17/18 players.
    In terms of starting forwards, really up there.

  110. I would put Roscommon and monaghan on a similar level, ie both very good teams who could beat anyone in the provincial series but you wouldn’t fear if you met in croker.
    They are definitely top 8 sides but wouldn’t have them as AI contenders.

    If you had to choose between playing monaghan and Tyrone in croker in a AI semi you would take monaghan every day of the week

  111. Currently I think Monaghan in Croke Park are ahead of Roscommon.
    They’ve got more options to get the scores on the board.
    It feels like they put in real strength and power training throughout the league.
    Look at how extra powerful Stephen OHanlon looks.
    Look at their older players and how really still on it they are. Also, their brilliant keeper Beggan is a surprising % of performance when he’s in current form.

  112. Galway provide a different test for Roscommon than Mayo. Conditions will be way better for one thing and the additional space will ensure a more open game. Galway forwards will relish this and central defence has a robust look about it. A bridge too far for the Rossies imo.

  113. I wonder how will Roscommon approach the greatly anticipated Galway challenge in Dr Hyde Park next Sunday?. .. Hopefully the weather will be much better than for the recent Mayo/Roscommon clash. My own feeling is that as Galway headed off to Portugal after their defeat to Mayo in the league final in Croke Park, Mayo in Salthill was very much more in their minds than Roscommon. In a strange anomaly the 3 big guns in Connacht all have a better record in the home of their opponents in recent decades. I have a sneaking feeling that anomaly might be about to change very soon. Roscommon will need to be more offensive as I think Galway might be prepared for their excellent executed plans in McHale Park. .. For the sake of football I hope both teams just go for it like Tyrone and Monaghan did ..One of the two is going to be out of the Connacht championship on Sunday evening regardless but still in the big competition.. Should be a good one!

  114. Talking to some of the real hurling people here in Meath, they were very impressed with Mayo and felt we were unlucky to loose.

  115. @JR its great to see us coming up a bit in hurling! Hopefully Toreen get far again this year to .

  116. I saw also recejtlu that the 2 or 3 Dubs gaa banter pages couldn’t wait to put it up that we lost to the Rossies and didn’t say anything at all when we won the league how sad are they ha!

    We will see how far they get against division 1 teams haha now not all dubs are like that I’ve loads of great dubs mates but that was pretty immature ha!

  117. Clare – if you don’t want to be offended and get cross – stay away from sites like Dublin GAA banter, Hoganstand Forum etc.
    I stopped looking into these sites a while ago – and feel much better as a result!!
    You will get all you need to know on the site here – no need to look any further!!

  118. There is no reason why both Roscommon and Galway shouldn’t go for it. What have they got to lose? The ultimate target for both of them, like ourselves is AI semi finals and que sera sera..
    Sunday’s game will throw light on how good the Rossies are. We know Galway are all star material. But nothing more. Nobody dies. Both will still be in the hunt.
    I don’t think either of them will want to pick up injuries. The only downside. God knows, we have enough injuries, we are spared the risks….

  119. And if you stumble on that bunya even accidentally the best thing to do is ignore it because of course what they want is for it to turn up & be talked about on forums such as this.

  120. @southmayo exile yes your def totally right ! I won’t be looking again anyway ha yes @2hops agree also that’s why they want!

    @ontheditch yes we can sit back and relax well the guys should be back at training soon but we are a lot less likely to pick injuries then I we were to be playing in salt Hill at the weekend !

  121. Just a thought provoker for the day.
    Which is better.
    Producing solid steady eddy teams at u20.
    Every second year a real excellent midfielder or scoring forward.
    My own view I prefer the latter.
    I know they are not mutually exclusive.
    I just think what you really need at senior level are game changers jerseys 8-15.

  122. JP what we need is defenders that can defend man to man.
    In the finals we lost we scored enough to win but leaked too many goals.

  123. @jr, I love Ryan Wylie type defenders, size, speed, no brake pedal, hardy farmer tough.
    Peak McGee brothers. Rory OCarroll. Lee Keegan. Padraig Hampsey, Ronan McNamee.
    John Small.

  124. @JP

    “Every second year a real excellent midfielder or scoring forward.”

    – The reality is and should be, that if you are producing these kinds of players they will at that age be involved with the seniors, barely train with the U20s and depending on who’s the managers, basically show up an hour before your one, must win or your seasons over, provincial game.

  125. IMO the U20s is about building your senior team squad depth. It’s about giving as many lads as possible a development experience as close to Senior as possible, so they’re not overwhelmed should they be involved with the Seniors in future.

  126. I had a look at the panels and known schools /club players ages 17,18 and 19.
    There’s a few good forwards were not involved u20, I won’t name but they were doing well in schools A level and that is a good standard now with all the A schools having transition year and having u19.5 age players.
    Ya, we struggle in modern blanket games. But I dunno do I care too much for that besides simply having scoring forwards and athletic ball playing midfielders coming.

  127. @ JP the nearest player we have to John Small is Cillian
    Every winning team has a few blaghards on it.
    We are probably too nice, I would like to see O,Hora back in our backs, probably better players on the panel but he is the man I would like with me going to war.

  128. John Small is quite the footballer too. If you had a video of all the championship John Small scores there would actually be some difficult scores and some of them at key moments in big games.

  129. @JP yes and he also has given some awful tackles one against our guy in the semi in 21 and no card against him !

  130. My Mayo U20 pain has been eased a little after watching that Sligo v Galway Connacht final from Tuam there. A great game with Sligo edging the tribesmen 0.14 to 0.13. Sligo deserved it I think, but Galway had a couple of decent goal chances late on, so it could have swung either way. These are great days for the Yeats men, congrats to them.

  131. Ya congrats to Sligo , it really was a great game brilliant second half end to end and what a score at the end to clinch it , ya Sligo probably just about deserved it in the end , such a breath of fresh air to watch a game of open exciting football with players expressing themselves wonderful stuff fair play to Sligo that’s back to back u20 Connacht titles plenty to build on for the future going forward to senior for them great to see

  132. Delighted for Sligo, showed real bottle to fight back. Great achievement to win two in a row at U20.

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