Mitchels motor to back-to-back county titles


Photo: @MayoGAA

Under the bright lights at MacHale Park this evening it was the performance of Castlebar Mitchels that shone most intensely. Three second half goals saw them canter away from the challenge of Knockmore to land back-to-back Moclair Cup wins.

I wasn’t there to see it myself but I did keep half an eye on proceedings at MacHale Park via the superb Local Streaming service. Well done to them and well done to Mitchels who copper-fastened their top dog status within the county in no uncertain terms this evening.

Congrats too to Westport on their IFC final win over Kiltimagh this evening and congrats as well to the Mayo Masters who earlier on today qualified for the All-Ireland final by beating Tyrone.

114 thoughts on “Mitchels motor to back-to-back county titles

  1. Congrats to the Mitchels. Excellent team performance this evening and a well deserved victory. Also watched via the local streaming as away for the long weekend – absolutely brilliant initiative!!

  2. Ah sure, Castlebar and Westport were both far superior. Paddy Durcan was by a mile the best player on view, hardly new territory for Paddy! .. Lee Keegan was excellent as well but never seemed to put his foot on the excellator, looked to have a gear or two if needed, For me Kevin Keane was best for Westport, who should really have won by much more. Dougie deserves another look at,.. Don’t know if Aiden OShea was in attendance or not? , but the way the game is, and is reffed, rightly and sometimes wrongly, he could do better than take a look at the way Barry Moran lets ball off by hand or foot in a split second, much more effective than running into tackles. Best of luck to both teams in the Connacht championship. Comeserations to both Kilthmagh and Knockmore, both games were played in a sporting spirit, great to see a match under the lights, adds sence of drama, huge attendance the stand looked pretty full to me!

  3. Well done to Castlebar. The speed at which they moved the ball from one end to the other was excellent I thought. Our lads did their best but it simply wasn’t good enough. Hope the Mitchels can go all the way.

  4. Nailed it in one there Fdeelin, the speed of ball movement was really quiet incredible from every castlebar player, many county teams simply cannot replicate that. skill strength size speed and a supply chain of young lads, they have it all together with a smart sideline who have not just aped other current day teams but they seem to have developed their own system of building plays, a number of county contenders F Durkan at wing forward being one, but I went along to watch Douglas and he is for certain sure the real deal, an intelligent and skilful player who plays all his football within 30 yards of the goal, will only see his true worth when he has played 3 or 4 consecutive games for the county.

  5. 1-6 Douglas, wheather Mitchels go all the way to AI final or not, he must be in the county panel for next years championship.

  6. Keith Higgins made Hogan Stand team of the week in hurling. Well deserved.
    I’m lucky enough to be heading from co Kildare in a few mins to ballyhaunis to see him play in county final replay.
    Not a bad way to spend a lovely autumn morning.

  7. What Castlebar seem to do is to always have someone running at speed off the the shoulder. The move is constantly moving forward. They never have to hold the ball allowing teams to get set or worse go backward. They have not fallen into the trap of the never ending lateral hand passing transversely along the 40. It’s takes huge work rate. They also pick players on footballing ability as opposed to size. You will not final a smaller centre forward of full forward combination then cian Costello and Neil Douglas but these boys can play. The game is football not horse racing. The much talked about Danny Kirby can’t get into the starting team. I have to say they play a refreshing brand of football.

  8. Castlebar have lots of pace too niallmac. I like that. I felt last year Kirkby and feeney lacked it. As u say size don’t matter. Costello and Douglas can play football. That’s what wins games. But tougher tests lie ahead as I was disappointed with what u saw at club level last few weeks.

  9. Well done Mitchels, 3 titles in 4 years shows they are by far the top club team in the County. Suprising then that they have so few county players. Perhaps long runs in club AI is curtailing some players advancement into county setup which is not good for Mayo football. The GAA calendar really is an absolute mess.

    If Mitchels continue with this dominance of the county championship I wonder will other clubs start to grumble that they have unfair advantages, ie bigger population, better finance, better facilities, play all championship games at home. Just a thought.

  10. Maybe its the time of year or else some peoples brains running a little slower but there should be no surprise that Kirby is not in the starting 15 at the moment considering he has been abroad for the summer with very little work done. However, what he has to offer Mitchels is not in doubt once back to full fitness. Mayo need a combo of capabilities on the forward line – Kirby has the size and skill IMO. Agree that Douglas fully deserves a proper run with Mayo next year as was surprised as many to see him dropped back in the spring. I do believe Rochford will include him for the spring campaign assuming club commitments allow.

  11. 45, I fully agree with you about Douglas he needs to be in there with Mayo. For me he needs to be part of the championship panel, not just a few games in the spring. The real work for Mayo is done in April to June in preparation for Championship with a training camp away (like london this year). You can never know how good a player he can be unless he is involved in real serious training and preparation for championship.

  12. Mitchels dominance at senior level is a result of excellent underage teams for the last 15 years. They have loads of depth and are not as reliant on their county players compared to other teams in the county(didnt play their county lads in their game against Ballina). They have lost the two Feeneys, Tom King, Danny Kirby, Tom Cunniffe in recent years and still won all their games fairly easily. Yes, they have a big population but they have the structures that consistently turn out excellent teams year in year out and to keep investing in facilities. Interesting to see the young players being given the opportunity as they come straight out of minor

  13. Disappointing for the Knockmore lads as they really fell away in the second half. Kieran Langan at full forward did not work as well as it had up to now. We did not get to see their forwards as a consequence. Knockmore need more work on their defence. Naughton stood out. Paddy Durcan was superb, real pace with a great attitude. Very big crowd for a Saturday night did anyone think.

  14. Agree with all posters about Mitchel’s performance. Power, pace, intelligence all combined to break down a strong Knockmore defensive setup, and reduce it to tatters midway through the second half.

    I still have reservations about Duggie though. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but the critical question is: can he operate on the big day, the really big day? St. Patrick’s Day last didn’t reassure me.

  15. @leantimes agree 100% set up Douglas beautifully for his goal and bagged one himself. Can’t believe he’s not getting more game time for county but horan and Co preferred the rugby tactic of running and breaking the line so he’s been left out last few years…but you won’t outrun a ball moving. Paddy durcan is a fantastic player and that mitchells team are a serious outfit. Surely 2 or 3 deserve a call up to mayo. Douglas certainly. Hope Westport and castlebar do well…great for mayo football. Great to see keegan get a county medal

  16. Toughup, apart from castlebar I was also delighted disappointed with a lot of what I’ve seen the last few weeks but with the amount of all Irelands Mayo teams made it to this year, it’s been a very long year.

    I was speaking with Alan Dillon this morning, I did not realise that he broke a bone in his foot in the first all Ireland! Mores the pity as he is always good for a point or two from play. On a positive note I would not expect any retirements in the coming year.

  17. Lee keegan is top man. Real informer. Epitimy of what mayo teams of the past badly needed. He don’t give a fuck for no one and can also play football. Niallmac if dillon did have broken bone in foot I’m not impressed by management bringing on an injured player in replay. There were other switches that could have been made. Dillon. Andy both have been great servants but for me it’s time for few new ideas.

  18. Great to see Lee Keegan ranked number 1 in IRISH Independent’s top 50 players of 2016. Well deserved. Brendan Harrison at number 10 and 11 Mayo players in all.

  19. Catcol, who knows if Dougie can operate on the big day, but if you’re using the club final as the measure of that then we can write off the whole Mitchels team, bar Paddy Durcan. Personally I don’t think that would be right. It was a complete team collapse and if I was as a manager I wouldn’t base my future decisions about one player who was just one part of that.
    The really big day is of course the All Ireland final, be it Club or Intercounty. It could be said that prior to 2016 Cillian underperformed on this day. But I think it’s fair to say that most Mayo people believe that Cillian has what it takes at the highest level. I think his point in the drawn match proved that.
    A lot of our current forwards could still be charged with not having what is needed on the big day.
    Dougie has played excellently now in a number of matches on the trot in Senior Club. He has to be given a proper run for Mayo in the League next year, even if he has one or two quiet games which of course happens for all players. We’re looking for forwards. Desperately. He can score instinctively with both feet and he has a footballling brain. Those factors are the raw materials we as a county are missing. He will develop further if given the chance and if allowed to bed into a county panel….playing football at the highest level.
    I didn’t know Dillo had a broken foot from the drawn match, but that fact that he played in the replay makes me wonder what faith the manager had in the other subs. Sure, Dillo was playing a different role this year, but he’s still a forward, and is expected to score or create scores. We should’nt be in a situation where we’re aksing a 34 year old with an injury to save the day.

  20. Congrats to Castlebar and Westport on getting the wins!

    You’d have to say that Paddy Durcan and Lee Keegan are now two of the best defenders in the game. Add to this the progress that Brendan Harrison has made this year and the future looks bright. Then you’d hope that Stephen Coen will have a great opportunity to do well in the league as he has no club commitments to worry about next year. Ger Caff should be back chomping at the bit in the new year also. Add to this players like Boyler, Keith, Chris Barrett, Kevin Keane, Kevin Mc and Donnie. Then with the tigerish defender from this year’s U21 team Eoin O’Donoghue waiting in the wings and Michael Hall being a good prospect for the future, our defence is looking in good shape. Seamus Cunniffe looks like a solid future full-back as well.

    Unfortunately we don’t seem to have as many options up front. Conor Loftus looks like the obvious one in terms of him getting more game time in the league. It was great to see Paddy Durcan hit 1-3 from play against Knockmore but you’d still prefer to see some of the Castlebar forwards getting more scores from play as well, as scores from defenders and midfielders usually tend to dry up, the closer you get to the ultimate prize. Neil Douglas is doing really well and deserves another shot with Mayo. He probably lacks that extra yard of pace but he would definitely be worth a go in the league games. You’d like to see Liam Irwin given a chance as well and maybe someone like Darren Coen, who has never fulfilled his full potential. Fionan Duffy and Brian Reape are other players to be thinking about. Matthew Ruane should be pushing for a midfield spot in the coming years also. It’ll be interesting to see how these players will do in next year’s U21 Championship, as we will be the defending Champions.

    With Corofin, Castlebar and St. Brigids all involved in the Connacht Club championship, it should make for interesting viewing. May the best team win and hopefully that will be Castlebar!

  21. what would have happened if Barret and caff weren’t injured this year? Harrison would not have emerged. In fact, a fully fit squad this year could easily have seen Harrison and durcan benched who turned out to be 2 of our best players this year. My point is that players need serious game time is required to bring lads on. I really hope we stick with regan next year, I want to see him play every game. Would love to see the likes of loftus and Douglas too but of course we can’t play a whole new front 6. I assume we’ll play McLoughlin at sweeper that leaves 5 forwards with probably only one space up for grabs.

    Some interesting stats from don’t foul this week. Our most accurate players from play in the last 4 years has been Doherty followed by Dillon and Keegan. Our most accurate last year was Diarmuid followed by Doherty, Andy and Keegan.

  22. Tempus Fugit. A year ago we still hadn’t confirmed our new manager. Revolution was in the air. Now we have calm restored, who’d have believed it.

    Twelve months later we have a manager facing into year two of his , I assume, three year project. Now we will see his stamp fully on the team. I assume both manager and players met to debrief the All Ireland, plan for next season, issue training and gym programmes. Perhaps an arm around the shoulder of a few lads who won’t be going forward with the squad.

    After a long season and with the proceeds of the double All Ireland final in the Piggy bank, the Mayo panel must be smelling the sun tan lotion as they look forward to a deserved reward of a holiday. Thankfully unlike the old days, players no longer have to fundraiser or flog photos of the team to boost the holiday kitty. Nowadays the co board will suitably reward their shop window stalwarts with a suitable expenses paid trip .

    My fear and its selfish, I dread a long club run for Westport and Castlebar thus curtailing the advent of fresh blood into the squad. But that is selfish by me. As I said, a year later we have accord and harmony, no controversy in the media, a happy squad and manager. No issues going forward. Roll on the FBD when All will return sun kissed and ready to rock and roll again. The advent of our new commercial manager will unlock and tap previous riches beyond our grasp. Great days ahead.

  23. Niall, not sure id agree with ya Harrison, after DOC he was the best preformer in the league, for me he was always going to play championship.

    On the forward front, apart from the O’Connors all the other forward positions are up for grabs IMO. AOS isnt a forward and should be back in midfield. It was really worrying how Regan dropped off when we reached croke park, the manager didnt seem to trust him in the big games. I hope he can step up to another level. I agree KMc will be playing a similar role so possibly three forward positions are up for grabs.

  24. One thing to think about next year, I reckon it is 1996 since we last made the All-Ireland final when meeting the Munster Champions at the semi-final stage i.e. every third year.

    1996 – Mayo beat Kerry (the last time we made the final beating a Munster team)
    1999 – We lost to Cork with Cork getting to the final
    In 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 Kerry made it to the final in all of those years

    The eight times we have made the final since 1951 have been after wins as follows:

    1989, 2004, 2013, 2016 – 4 Ulster Opposition teams beaten
    1997, 2006, 2012 – 3 Leinster Opposition teams beaten
    1996 – 1 Munster Opposition team beaten

    It’s an interesting one to think about anyway. We really need to put that right next year.

  25. Yeah Niall, that would be great alright!

    That’s an interesting point that you made too, that some players might not have got a chance this year, if we had a fully fit panel to pick from. With black cards in vogue these days and injuries likely to happen at any time etc., you almost need two adequate players for each position. We should probably have that scenario in defence next year anyway.

    @ John Cuffe, tell us the truth, you have been given the position of the new commercial manager for Mayo GAA???

  26. Right . I’m the commercial manager and this is what I’d do. Firstly I would look for a five year contract. That secured I would spend whatever amount of time with a competent accountant establishing exactly the financial standing of Mayo Inc. How much owed, who to, for how long. Then I would look at the income streams, sponsors, goodwill, headquarters, Connacht GAA etc.

    Now having found exactly where the financial flooring in the county is I would then look for a three person overseeing group. I would answer directly to this group. Made up of one county board, one from playing squad and one from supporters group. They would have oversight of targets agreed between myself and county board.

    This triple stand alone group could concentrate on the commercial manager thus leaving the county board free to continue running the rest of the GAA related issues within the county. Having established a bottom line figure to raise and having this three person group as an overseeing body I would start the quest.

    Mayo the county, Mayo the people is probably one of the biggest untapped source of wealth and support in the sporting world. Focusing on the fact that currently many people who would support the county financially but won’t whilst this debt remains and not clearly defined, by now showing them the actual figures, by being transparent I would hope they would contribute to a fund that has the one single aim.

    That aim is to keep Mayo at the top of the GAA world. That aim is to ensure the county lacks for nothing in the quest to stay where Dublin and Kerry are. The funds raised would be used to match Dublins coaching resources across their county. The funds raised would be for the county’s representative teams across the grades. The funds raised would lift entirely the yoke of passed debt that’s currently piled on the hard pressed clubs.

    In agreement with the county board that current debt on MacHale would remain ringfenced as their “baby”. They either created or inherited it. The commercial manager going forward is moving in tandem with the county’s current status , one of the nations most successful**.

    The Mayo diaspora is the key to raising an ínitial tranche of investment. All across the globe but in the USA, Australia , Canada and the UK people of Mayo birth or heritage respond to the Green and Red colours with pride. By showing them a viable plan, by showing them actual fully audited accounts, by showing and guaranteeing to them exactly where their money would be going, I have no doubt that the bond and link, the pride and belief in their heritage would secure significant funding.

    I had the good fortune to sit around the table as a member of the Mayo GAA Strategic Review Financial section back in late 2010. I was a mere foot soldier but sat fascinated at the depth of talent from the financial world, high academia and political clout that wanted to do one thing. What they wanted to give was their expertise. They sought nothing in return other than Mayo sit at the highest throne that existed.

    Some of those people built the infrastructure for the London Olympics, some of them headed fund raising ventures that raised literally millions for our university’s. Some of them were politically connected to powerful people that would benefit this great county. All of them were a part of a structure that sees the commercial , infrastructural and banking world along with the scientific world flow smoothly.

    We had that under one ceiling and we blew it. We blew it because of many reasons , one being a lukewarm reception at the county board level. Dublin came along with a Blue Wave at the same time, 4 successive national leagues along with 4 All Ireland titles since 2011 proved the value of the Blue Wave. Amazingly our players, minors, U21s and seniors have kept us at that top table, one arm behind their backs.

    So unfortunately John Cuffe doesn’t have the credentials to be commercial manager but summed up he would suggest the following. A plan, a focus group, a target, and s steering oversight trio would ensure that the qualified candidate would unlock the undoubted goodwill and assets that are out there. That’s the easy bit, the key to all of this rests on the table of the county board.

    To Liam. No, the account wasn’t hacked . Tongue in cheek and wondering about nature abhoring a vacuum.

    ***. In 2016 Mayo contested the All Ireland senior final, won U21, QF Minor, Junior Finalists, Club finalists at Senior, Inter and Junior. Ladies SFs . What a record. What could we achieve if we really got serious about it all.

  27. Great post John Cuffe, so right about those willing to help but with lack of transparency will never do because they will not throw good money after bad.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  28. Great to see Mitchell’s on the march again and to read so many positive ideas for pushing Mayo onwards with improved financial structures etc. Those of us in exile from the County won’t be found wanting in lending our support to any fundraising ventures!

  29. So it’s all sweetness and light in the Mayo camp! Harmony and the lot! I hope you’re right John but I have my doubts. The goalkeeping selection fiasco is still there as is playing Alan Dillon (34 year old with a bad foot injury that has stopped him playing with Tubber since). I might be in a minority of one but I still have a bad feeling about those things. How four intelligent football men could make decisions like that has me baffled.

  30. Great post John. Your 3 man group made up of one from the COBO is interesting. Not sure how it would work in practice. I believe the debt on infrastructures should be included in your remit for the job if you are successful of course. It is much too important to exclude. There should be a channel of fund raising for past and future development, just my opinion. The venue could be hired out once a year for an entertainment gig or whatever and the proceeds channelled towards development. Wouldn’t you want to have control here as I believe your steering group might also.

  31. If a commercial director is hired and I have my doubts it will ever happen. But if it does happen he will most definitely not have the wide reaching powers and responsibility mentioned above. He will be an employee of Mayo GAA, reporting to the county board. The county board will never relinquish any power over finance or where money is allocated. A commercial director will be given a scope of work (a narrow one at that) and will report to the board, most likely the treasurer who will have the final say. The position of commercial director is badly needed but lets not kid ourselves, there will be no major restructuring of the County Board or how it does business. The commercial director will be an employee, nothing more.

  32. I have watched Aiden o sullivan from the neale a few times and he is good player. Fast and can score. Does anyone agree he may be prospect

  33. The goal keeping selection was the wrong call . Eammon Fitzmaurice made a wrong call in taking Geaney off in semi final but he admitted his mistake and Kerry move on. Maybe theres something to be learned in that. Either way though its well over now and 2017 is all that matters now.

    On the retirements , have me doubts there will be any but have to admit im not sure Dillon should continue. Will it benefit Mayo more to have an under 21 forward from last year added to the panel instead, hard as it is to say i think it would.

  34. @liberalroleinthetie – good post there on Duggie – I take a lot of your points and he should definitely get a run. The problem could be as John Cuffe has mentioned is that Castlebar have a long run in the club championship. This will lessen the chances of fringe players making a breakthrough.

    And the Dillon issue highlights the problem about new forwards emerging. The new management have continued the practice of their predecessors, and most managers of using the corner forward as the whipping boy. Let’s recap on those who have come and gone over the years since O’Mahony took over:


    Could you say that all of those got a fair crack of the whip when compared with others in other positions? Mort you may say left because he couldn’t work with Horan. But JH recalled others he had cast aside.

    Varley got some very good scores in critical games, but was usually substituted. Sweeney ditto; same applies to all of them really.

    This year Freezer got little game time. Regan? What did he do wrong? He got time in the early part of the campaign, but very little later on. You could add Loftus there too.

    So, Duggie may get game time, but unless he shoots the lights out, he’s likely to be fringe at best.

    Finally, there’s the remaining problem: the better a forward all year, the more he will be targeted as the business end progresses. If they can stop Aido, what hope has a light nippy guy, unless he’s another Gooch, and even he has been blunted in the last few years.

  35. I think in terms of selection in 2017 we need to be keeping one eye on 2018.
    Being realistic there isn’t a big selection gap between our U23’s and our over 30’s. But the over 30’s are unlikely to be involved or holding their fitness/form in 2018. It would be 12 years after the 2006 final.
    We shouldn’t be having to get gametime into lads in 2018 because we restricted young lads to unused bench roles.
    The only over 30 who was consistent this year was Andy. U23’s we had Patrick Durcan, Brendan Harrison and Diarmuid.

  36. Does anyone think that the people who got us into this mess are the same people who will now steady up the ship? The names of the vaious officers may have have changed but the same core of people who have presided over every wrong decision in the last 30 years are still intimately involved in the day to day running of the county board. We are to believe that the same people who rejected the Horan Plan 5 years ago and only 10 days ago said we couldn’t afford a commercial director are now going to appoint and SUPPORT a competent indivdual in this role. One of the following two things will happen with this;
    1. They appoint a clown in the position who will busily organise a few church gate collections, followed by the players washing cars in McHale carpark on a Saturday morning before training and topped off with a “guess the weight of a heifer” during the first home league game.
    2. Some how a competent candidate slips by their various firewalls designed to stop just such a person gaining entry to the inner sanctum and they will be blocked, stonewalled, undermined and basically driven out of the job.
    The appearence of progression will be given, the annoying critics quietened for another while and the good ship county board splutters on towards the next mess of their own making.

  37. Well done Mitchels on retaining their Mayo crown and fantastic that I got to view it via Localstream, enjoyed the commentry aswell and to hear mention of Sionhill, Snugboro and Greenfields brought back familiar place names and memories of my childhood past. It is really something to be away and to be able to view great games from home,thanks once again to all involved and WJ and this site for pointed me in the direction of Localstream.
    Enjoyed both matches, a deserved win for Westport, they just had too much on Kiltimagh.
    My main interest was the Senior final and my hometown Castlebar, how they banished the ghost of Croke Park on saturday night with a fantastic brand of football was a joy to watch.
    Knockmore came into this one after overcoming Breaffy in the semi and many thought that their solid defensive type of game would stifle Mitchels as it did Breaffy but Mitchels had other ideas and playing a lovely style of football proved how best to overcome the blanket.
    Like the great Kerry teams of the past and the present day Dubs, Mitchels are very much a second half team where the first half is a trial and the second an execution.
    Granted there was a lot of turnovers due to bad handling on both sides in the first half but the way Mitchels kept going forward with none of this lateral hand passing that is killing the game and some excellent footpassing and score taking it was only a matter of time before Knockmore would have to push on and that of course opened it up and there was only going to be one winner.
    Paddy Durcan was something else as always, as was neil Douglas. Ger McDonagh showed well again at fullback and has no problems with the high ball in.Big Barry was excellent at mid and moved the ball quickly (as seems to be the Mitchels mantra and one Id like Mayo to take note of), to a man the whole team gave great account of themselves and they seem to have quite a crop of new players on the fringe aswell, which is great news.
    Kevin Mc and Naughton were the standout players for Knockmore.
    I have the same problem as John Cuffe now, in that I want Mitchels go all the way but cant reconcile with the fact that the county needs some of these players to get as much game time in a Mayo jersey as possible in 2017.
    Caisleán an Bharraigh Abú

  38. Sean Burke, I would agree that there will be few if any retirements, Dillon possibly, Andy highly unlikely (andy will keep going into old age if given the chance). That said beacuse there will be few retirements doesnt mean there cant be changes. There are a number of players on the 2016 panel who didnt get games and didnt look like ever getting on the field. People like Nally, Drake, Freeman, Crowe for example never looked like getting on the field. Keanes position is vulnerable, the first choice fb injured all year and he still couldnt get on the field, with Caff hopefully back his prospects look grim. We had a panel of 34 this year but in reality only 21 players were considered good enough to play in the big games in Croke Park. Therefore as I see it there is scope to bring in a number of players from the U21s and other talent around the county like Dougie and still keep the team that was 1pt away.

  39. Castlebar definitely look bigger, leaner and faster. Physically they all have that strong and lean look of County players. Donie Newcombe and Aidan Walsh were interviewed after the game. Aidan Walsh I think was a returnee from injuries last year. But you could see how fit these guys are. A credit to their club. Only Corofin can prevent them winning Connaught.

  40. Are there any official Mayo supporters groups? Surely a site like this could spearhead an initiative where fans opinions based on the general consensus are fed to the county board though an official channel. It happens in plenty of other sports. At the end of the day it’s us who bankroll Mayo GAA and it’s us who the county board should answer. There’s plenty of good ideas on here on a daily basis and instead of complaining about the CB I’d like to see us be more proactive.

    On the team selection I see plenty of positions up for grabs next year 2 in the full back line. 1 midfield, possibly 2 in the half forward and 2 in the full forward line depending on if we play a sweeper or not. Of course it would be unlikely that new players fill all those positions but I expect there to be competition.

  41. The CB should answer to the supporters? The CB is answerable to the clubs who in turn are accountable to the members.(the majority of mayo supporters are not GAA members). People need to start realising that if they want to implement change (slow process), you need to get involved in your club and try get on these committees. There is no point going in with all these good ideas if they havent a chance in getting implememted. People who are successful in implementing big ideas tend to be good at the politics aspect while also being able to get people to buy into the idea. These plans dont happen overnight and take years to get through. At the end of the day, if the officers dont want something to happen, they will stop it

  42. Re John Cuffe. Thanks John for your proposals on minister of finance job. Your plan is grand, but you say(leave the McHale park to the people who made it a fine stadium). This problem too will have to be addressed as it too has to be paid for. You say you didn’t see a transparent set of finances from Co. Board. Perhaps you would enlighten us on same. The Mayo GAA has money problems and to give credit to where credit is due Mike Connolly and his team are getting to grips with problem. With the limited amount of capital we have we are a the 2nd best county in Ireland. Since 2010 we have several great team contesting for all titles in all grades and including the ladies. We owe nothing to anyone and we can be proud of what we have achieved. Would you say in hindsight if we had all this Blue Monies the Pale has would we have won an AI? Don’t think so. Anyway John I fully agree with your proposals and I would love to see them implemented. Another scribe says the county board should be excluded from this project. What a comment. Its like saying we should have a minister of finance, but without a government. I think our Co. Board is doing fine, and based on what we have achieved in this last 10 years (Great Teams and a Class Stadium) we have come along way. We don’t have the population of Dublin and by God we are just as proud. Remember money does not buy everything. I look forward to a great 2017. I know some people are still whinging about 2016. It reminds me of a game of cards. When the game is over everyone can play them. 2016 IS OVER. All we can do is learn from it, as we can do nothing else.

  43. While Castlebar did do very well against Knockmore, which was great to see, one thing that should be taken note of is that their starting forwards only scored 1-2 from play, one player Neil Douglas scored this. They scored 2-5 from play through their half-backs and midfield.

    This is a symptom of Mayo teams over the past few years, being too reliant on scores from play from players who are not forwards. Until Mayo teams get more scores from play from our forwards we’ll end up where we always end up at best, in second place.

    So please Mitchels and Mayo up the scoring rates from play from the forwards or there will be no major silverware coming West of the Shannon to Mayo. Scores from defenders and midfielders just dry up in finals surely we should have figured that out by now.

  44. P.S. Just to add to the above, when you come up against the best teams on All-Ireland finals day your defenders and midfielders have to do more defending, hence why they can’t get forward as much to get scores from play.

    So it would be great to see the forwards on our teams getting most of the scores from play, rather than the defenders or midfielders, as our minors did in 2013 and our U21 team did this year and both teams ended up as champions.

  45. At club and county Patrick Durcan has been very accurate this year. His left foot is getting stronger as well.

  46. Oh right John, thanks for that info. I wasn’t at the game or didn’t see the live streaming of the match either, I just followed the scoring updates on twitter etc. He is such a good player Paddy, he could probably nearly play in any position and still have a great game. It’ll be interesting to see if he plays in that role much in the future, as a half-forward. In saying that you’d still like to see the out and out forwards up their scoring rates from play as well.

  47. Diarmuid was on 69% success from shots for points in our TV games. Terrible strategy not lining him up more as a shooter. This hard working role how many points are we missing out on not to mention the general wear and tear on him.

  48. Yes John, he did play in half forwards. It could not have worked better on Saturday but I doubt we’ll see him play for Mayo in that position. Who knows though, might be exactly what we need. We’d need to see him in a few more matches playing from there. But he’s without a doubt one of the best defenders in the country so it’s hard to see him anywhere but there really. Best players in their natural postitions and all that…

    True, Catcol, forwards are the whipping boys for sure. Looking at the list I feel the physicality factor may have swayed managers minds on some of those. Ronaldson is a good example. Scoring freely in FBD then not even getting a look in during the league.
    Yeah, Regan did very little wrong. He can’t be judged on the couple of cameos during Championship. After the Galway match he was out of favour and down the pecking order and it was hard for him to make much of an impression after that. It’s all about confidence and the manager backing a player or not.
    While I think Freezer was treated unfairly in 2013 final, at least he got some chances in League and Championship. I saw him a few weeks ago in their defeat to Knockmore and he didn’t stand out.
    Same with Conroy, got some decent chances in League and Championship before. I know he was unlucky with injury during one league a couple of years ago when he was absolutely flying. Horrid timing.
    At the end to the day, our failings have been in finals when things are tight. We haven’t had the player to get a score out of nothing. We have the workhorses who will get us to finals, but when the game is in the mix, when we need that spark to push on, we don’t have the player with that special something to pop over a couple of scores or to help create scores.
    Is that special something an absolute to win an All Ireland Final? Not necessarily. We have come bloodly close with our attacking half backline and were unlucky this year with Lee and Donie, our most potent attacking duo, going off the the replay. That’s not excuse making, just pointing out facts.
    Overalll, I love our style of play, running at teams like that. It’s very hard to stop and we do it really, reallly well when in full flow. But it only seems to take us so far, that’s pretty clear now. We didn’t have the forward to pop over those couple of points, unfortunately. And these are the times, when the game is for the taking, when these players are needed most. We had chances to push on in both matches (even before Lee got black), but we didn’t capitalise.

    For sure, if Mitchels go far in the Club Championship it will hinder Mayo. I still think forwards should be prioritised though, even if that means the likes of Dougie coming late into the League/early Championship. As we have seen this year, Championship can be one long journey and we need to think this way. No matter what time of year it is, I want lads on the team who will maximise Mayo’s chances of putting the ball over the bar or into the net! Maximise our chances, that’s all. Nothing is a gimmie and there is no guarantee that any player will make it. But we have to go on what we see and nurture and have faith in the ability that is there.

    Have to mention Westport. I tip them to do really well in next year’s Club. A very athletic, well conditioned team, that play as a team. They’ll need to improve a bit with their shooting and composure. But the important thing from their couple of matches was the amount of scoring chances they created and the amount of general possession they had. The mistakes made were silly mistakes and they’ll improve this for sure. They’re a team to watch.

  49. Good post there LRITT.

    Yes Donie and Lee were big losses, and don’t forget Boyler was not present for the last 15 minutes or so; that was a massive hole at the back, no matter what kind of bench we had.

    Although Mitchels looked hugely impressive, the road in Connaught is a rocky one. Tourlestrane are at home and Mitchels prep won’t be great for this one. If they progress, they’ll have had a lot of mileage clocked against a fresher Corofin. And you can say the same for Brigids if they get to that stage.

  50. Mayo should go with half forward line of Durcan/AOS/Diarmaid O’C next year.

    There are a number options for the HB line to allow Paddy to move up

  51. Aiden o shea is not a forward. For me he needs a deeper role winning ball and turning over. He can try to control things deeper. A forwards job is to be instinctive and he don’t have that. He set up good few scores but for me we need faster number 11 who can kick scores from distance. The extra few percent we need a few pacey attackers. We lack that in attack. Kevin mac for me should get midfield trial. He would bring serious mobility and a left footed midfielder would bring sonething new as most of out big guys are right footed. But a lot of work was put into making him sweeper so that will be his role

  52. The main reason you would like to see Castlebar’s other forwards getting on the scoreboard is that if they came up against a team like St. Vincents, Paddy Durcan would probably end up marking Diarmuid Connolly. Then that 1-3 that Paddy can score would dry up in a final. Same with scores that Barry Moran would be getting in earlier round games. So you would prefer to see your corner forward getting 1-3 from play. Otherwise you end up in a situation like in the All-Ireland Club final last March where Castlebar only scored 7 points in total. That would be close to their average score, if you minus Paddy Durcan’s and Barry Moran’s scoring tallies from their normal overall scoring totals.

  53. Toughnup, I would agree totally, AOS is not a forward. IMO his best position is In midfield. He is a hugely important player but needs to be played in his best position and not expected to do everything in multiple positions, ff, hf midfield all in one game. He got a bit of a roasting v Dublin in 2013 for mobility and pace which was the primary reason Horan moved him to hf in 2014. If he isnt suited to playing midfield v a particular team then maybe a impact player from the bench is the best option, worked well with McAuley this year.

    Also some talk about durcan lining out at hf next year, I hope not. It was mentioned with Keegan also. We have the best hb line in the country who offer pace and a scoring threat from deep, lets keep that. Forward positions for forwards please. Diurmuid, loftus and KMc would be my preferred hf line, possibly Doherty if KMc drops to sweeper.

  54. @HopeSpringsEternal – I don’t know where you’re getting your 7 points average from.
    Mitchels have averaged over 20 points per game in their 6 championship games to date. I don’t think Barry & Paddy have average over 13 points per game but you might be able to correct me on this?

  55. Patrick Durcan might not be a career forward but he has a lot of good attributes that might prove effective. By contrast our career forwards have often not been effective on the big day.
    He is extremely quick and can break past defensive cover. This year he has proven accurate at club and county level. He’s also a goal threat on the burst.
    For Castlebar their defence is perfectly solid without him. Ger McDonagh, Donie Newcombe and Eoghan Reilly are all improved. Reilly used to look slow, I don’t see this now.
    Barry Moran could get a new lease of life next year. Now when he will land he can take his mark. He’s a decent kickpasser. Similar Aidan OShea. I think next year we should go long with our kickout and use it as an attacking threat. It will need physical forwards inside who can win and use the kickpass from midfield.

  56. HSE id urge you to watch last saturdays match and see if it alters your opinion, it’s still available on

  57. We can analysis and look forward all we want but I still can’t get over leaving Clarke out and bringing in a man with broken foot in second half to try get us over the line. If they were criminal offences our management would need good lawyer. I don’t accept any excuses for these decisions. Why do we continually seek to sabotage our chances.

  58. JP
    If a player as not produced the goods by the time they are 30 hard to see them improving??

  59. @Joe. I don’t believe we have such a player over thirty who has not produced the goods.
    If you’re referring to Barry Moran you are well wide of the mark.
    Anyways he only just turns thirty and is about to get protected after one of his best skills, catching long kickouts. A skill at which he is top level.

  60. @toughnup: Agree with you 100%. The fact that Alan Dillon declared himself fit to play in an All Ireland final with a broken foot beggars belief. He wasn’t fit to play with his club never mind in an All Ireland Final against one of the fittest teams of all time.
    Mgt picking him to play with a broken foot is even worse and really undermines the squad. Anyone who thinks we are making progress with our mgt are kidding themselves.

  61. Gone south I think management got a lot right. But those type calls make my blood Boyle. More instinctive shooting is order of the day. We need more strings to our bow. If dublin big names don’t produce some guy on bench will. So we’re kind of back to where we were last year.

    I’m so happy though we have lost our nice guy image. We’re no longer nice boys from the west. I have major admiration for keegan. I saw him on sat evening for westport and he was real inforcer. Hit everything and made some fantastic interceptions. That’s example I want to see. He had a tough a year as anyone but still played 3 games in a week. Other county stars that were on view last few weeks were shown up for what they really are. Average at best

  62. @Gonesouth, I didn’t mean what I said as a criticism or maybe I meant it as constructive criticism! I was in Croke Park that day supporting Castlebar against Ballyboden and was just as sickened as anyone else. I’d hate to see a day like that again.

    I’d just love to see more of our forwards getting scores from play, its as simple as that really. It always seems to be left to the likes of Paddy Durcan or Lee Keegan or Colm Boyle or Keith Higgins to get the crucial scores for our club or county teams. It shouldn’t be like that.

    Remember the All-Ireland semi-final last year against Crossmaglen, again Paddy got three points that evening and I think Barry Moran got two as far as I can remember. So in the big games when these two boys and Neil Douglas or Danny Kirby are not getting the scores then Mitchels can struggle up front, maybe it will be different this year, hopefully it will be. Castlebar have had some great wins the last few years and you’d just love to see them do themselves justice on the big day. I suppose that’s the point I was making really. As you said @JJ, maybe I should watch the game!

  63. JP, I agree Barry is our best fielder of the ball and prob one of the best in the country, but I can see this whole mark rule going in the complete opposite direction than intended.
    The rule markers are really out of touch with the way the game is gone. Its all about possession, keeping the ball. I really cant see managers telling their keepers to play it long down the middle. Kickouts will either go short or out to the wings to half forwards dropping back. Managers will not risk conceeding frees from kickouts, they will allow short kickouts rather than conceed a possible free further out the field. I fear that in an attempt to bring high fielding back into the game, the GAA has inadvertently killed off the practice, big lads like Barry just wont be used.

    Regarding Alan playing with broken foot. Im sure the physios and medical team assessed the injury in the week up to the game and deemed him fit to play some part. Lets not jump to conclusions and thus blame the management for potentially ricking the health of a player. For me he was deemed fit to play and was the type of player Mayo needed on the field in those closing stages.

  64. as much as we have aiden o’shea doing too much, surely we could cut back on diarmuid o’connor’s workload too? he does some good defensive work, but he is more than capable of kicking a nice score and is maybe more of a natural scorer than cillian. i’d like to see him focused more on an attacking role than having to track back all the time.

    the aiden o’shea as a full forward experiment has well over-stayed its welcome. time to put that to bed. he’s not a natural forward and no amount of forcing it is going to change that. his best position is midfield but he doesn’t seem to have the athleticism for a full 70 there anymore. an impact sub role should be seriously considered for him at this point.

  65. I believe we have a full medical team,I am sure management take advice from them,it is very easy to make judgement afterwards,but we have an excellent management set up,the day has long since gone when one man calls the shots,also re N Douglas,I think three management teams have looked at him,and must have reservations about him,I hope he is the man to step up but he needs to make it impossible to drop him,we really need two more fowards to come through,hopefully C Loftus,and perhaps one other would make us champions

  66. many good suggestions on who should be on the senior panel/team and justification
    on each.

    Whoever gets there must be encouraged to constantly practice shooting from 20 .25,30
    and 40 metres.I have a feeling many forwards from all counties are not confident to score
    and pass to a colleague. How many times do we see harmless shots go short ,wide or worse into the keepers chest.
    practice makes perfect!!


  67. There isn’t any maybe about it. Diarmuid is much more accurate from play than Cillian. In our TV games across league and Championship as detailed by the excellent Don’t foul. Mayo attempts for points for those who took > 10 shots:
    Diarmuid 9 of 13
    JDoc 8 of 13
    Andy 9 of 15.
    Lee Keegan 6 of 13
    Cillian 9 of 24
    Aidan 3 of 11
    Diarmuid and JDoc 17 of 26.
    Aidan and Cillian 12 of 35.
    Diarmuid should not be away from goals. He should be as much as possible an option for a point attempt. Diarmuid was second on the list for accuracy when position on the pitch of those shots is factored in.
    Neil Douglas only has to perform good enough, not ‘impossible to drop him’.
    Regarding Dillons injury wasn’t there the risk he would get re-injured. He is not like a Paul Geaney type player way out ahead of the rest of our forwards. For example I find his Tyrone performance was massively overblown. We really only took over the game to get out ahead when Parsons came on.

  68. Team I would start with next year






    AN Other

  69. Boyle and Higgins are dodgy for me. Great servants but get caught out now a days. Having the 2 of them on 1 line would be disaster. Stephen coen . Keegan. Durcan. That’s my half back line.

  70. Agree about Diarmuid as an attacking forward. Mayo have the greatest shortage of scoring forwards of any of the top teams and what do we do – turn McL into a sweeper and Diarmuid into a defender. Surely we could gain one forward by playing a defender instead in the same sweeper role. In any event we will never win if management make idiotic decisions in finals. Would the dubs have won if they they had to endure the same goalkeeper horror show. Of course the idea of playing someone with a broken bone in his foot in an all ireland final is bizarre.
    Strangely like last years replay where management also completely lost the plot. Have to say i have more a sense of anger after this years final rather than disappointment.

  71. Dillon’s injury was reported as not broken at the time, bruise on the bone I think is how it was described so possible the player only found out it was broken after replay.
    Centrefield has dropped Kevin Mc altogether in his team though I agree Donie could also be a very good sweeper as could Keith and no young gun apart from maybe An Other in the corner.
    My opinion is AOS as impact sub and use either Diarmaid or Cillian as CHF. Tom and Seamie have more mobility than Aido and Barry hasn’t been tried in a long time at FF. Worth seeing how he would work out as target man instead in the league if available.
    The emergence of Coen and Hall may make Durcan a real option for wing forward and not sure if Caff will be let back in as starting FB given how many teams now playing without orthodox FB. The mark could go either way but yes more likely short kickouts will prevail if teams let.

  72. I don’t think Keith Higgins has the 80 minute defensive concentration for sweeper. Far too often he has been drawn to the ball rather than doing the basic defensive cover needed.
    Would love to see a completely fresh Aidan brought on to give us a midfield lift. An obvious thing that needs to be tried.

  73. We had to endure so much rubbish last summer with rumours of discontent in the camp and in fighting, and people jumping to conclusions without and evidence. It was a sad state of affairs from people reporting to be fans of this group of players. Some how we now have a story about broken bones in an AI replay. An attempt to undermine a top notch medical team from the comfort of a anonymous blog page. Really shameful stuff if you ask me. Dillon got stuck in when he got the chance and fair play to him. It’s up to the others to man up to him if they have what it takes.

  74. @Pjmcmanus
    The decision to play Alan Dillon was wrong in my humble opinion. I don’t claim it was the losing of the All Ireland. He is and was a great servant of Mayo but he was injured and is still not fit to play for Ballintubber as far as I know. Someone got it wrong and the medical team probably should take some of the responsibility for this. Pointing this out can hardly be described as shameful, merely honest criticism from a loyal fan of many years.
    What did cost us the All Ireland in all probability was replacing the goalkeeper. This is a direct criticism of management and I make no apologies to anyone for that but it pains me to do so. I don’t know either Clarke or Hennelly and have great respect for the two of them but both of them were done a disservice by management. Management made a mistake like many other managements from many other counties. Unfortunately, this one cost us dearly. Would I write them off for that? No! But I hope they have the honesty to face up to it at least among themselves and learn from it.

  75. Keegan, Boyle, Durcan the best hb line in the country this year, lets keep it at that. Moving Durcan to hf is not going to happen and I really hope it doesnt. If he played hf all summer he would be moved back when playing Dublin which is too much disruption, lets keep our best players in their best positions

    Harrison is prob the best right corner this year and will remain there. However for me Caffs injury was a serious one, will he get back to previous standards, if not then Harry will move to fb.

    AOS is not a forward, midfield or the bench. We need to stop moving players around in an effort to get all our top players in the starting lineup. This only results in us having a weaker bench at the end of big games. I would like to see a team like this lining out.

    Harry,caff, higgins/crowe
    Keegan, Boyle/coen, Durcan
    KMc, DOC, Loftus
    Reape, Irwin, Cillian

    This would result in players like, Vaughan, SOS,Regan, Moran, Barry, Douglas, Barrett to come in from the bench.

  76. I think Harrison will stay at corner back as he doesn’t have the size for full back and if you move him you have to start again to get the right corner back position up to the level he had it at in 2016.
    I could see Ger McDonagh make a serious push for full back if he maintains his form. It will be an interesting one to follow. The Castlebar backs to my mind have gone up a level. I think they are a stronger unit than last year even with the loss of Tom Cunniffe.

  77. JP, I would have Harry at right corner, but I wouldnt have a problem with him at fb. I think the days of the big full back are gone as shown with Dublin and Cooper. Indeed the days of the tall 6’5″+ gaelic Footballer are gone, its all endurance, mobility and pace. Mayo played virtually all summer without a recognised full back. Harrison will be right corner next year but I can see him full back in 2018 with the emergence of ODonaghue who has serious potential.

  78. @PJMcManus
    The simple fact is that Alan D broke his foot in the drawn game. He wasn’t fit to play in the final and shouldn’t have been togged. Decisions like this undermine all the other members of the panel in my view.

  79. @Mayomad. It depends I suppose. If a team position a guy like Quinlivan or Donaghy at full forward you have to make an adjustment. But in general you are right in that it seems it is more about 80 min fitness rather than big men at the moment.

  80. I’d like to see Kevin mac at midfield. Great mobility and good left foot pass. Would be good asset and he finds space also. But I doubt that will happen as he has adopted sweeping brush

  81. JP, Quinlvan is a talent and can get around the field, Donaghy doesnt play much at ff anymore and is usually around the middle, Kerry prefering geaney who is alot more mobile than Donaghy ever was. As you said the game is gone full fitness for 80mins, with retaining possession a must. Playing a big ff means you have to kick long which reduces your percentage of winning and holding the ball. Ourselves put bigbird into ff in the final but not one ball went into him even though he had the height advantage, Mayo like every other top team is geared towards ball retention. The days of the tall guys are over and the mark will be the final nail in the coffin, no way are teams going to kick down the middle and risk conceeding a free, it will be short kickouts all day next year.

    Regarding Dillon, before the replay the injury was said to be a bruised foot and he was deemed fit to play and from what I remember he ran onto the field and put the work in, it wasnt like his foot was hanging off. You have to give the medical team a little credit for doing their job. No one here knows exactly the extent of the injury or were present in training leading up to the game. The medical team, management team and the player himself deemed him able to play, thats good enough for me. Lets not try to manufacture a controversy where there isnt one.

  82. There is nothing wrong with that team Mayomad Gavin made a similar move before the replay and had MDMA and Brogan to come in. It was the winning of the game and the AI. Coen should have started and one or two speedsters held back for the winning of the game.

  83. Pj, its a squad game and the players coming off the bench are just as important as the ones starting. Too much is made about who starts, you cant drop this player etc. You are right about McAuley and Brogan, I dont see them as players who were dropped, they were important players in how Gavin set his squad up to win, springing them from the bench at the right time. I wouldnt have a problem with OShea, Higgins,Boyle starting on the bench as I would be more confident of having a fresh strong team finishing the game.

  84. I personally think Higgins would be lethal brought on for the final 20 mins of games. In a role primarily to create overlaps and run forward from midfield.
    There was one league game against Kerry in 2015 where Aidan was brought on in the second half at midfield. The result was he did a lot of suprising interceptions where he closed down the ball or players with his fresh legs. He played very well in that game and was the prime reason we drove on to win comfortably. Aidan has a very good left foot for passing as well so you would have this part fresh to the field to finish out the game.

  85. It seems as if some people are determined to question everything about Mayo set up,A Dillion broken foot,I would much prefer to rely on the medical team,who I am sure are professional in their decisions,also starting without some of our best players to save them for the finish,can’t see that working very well if we are down ten points,the goalkeeper question I have watched the game several times and felt that if we kept up our kick outs to Tom Parsons on the left side of the field about our half back line,Dublin would push up and target it,so was not upset to see the changes,in hindsight it was a wrong decision but it is very easy to do everything right afterwards,whilst it was an easy catch,if the defender had stepped in front of the forward there would not have been any danger,our forwards did not score enough from play so we made mistakes in other areas,I hope that the panel sticks together,and finally get our hands on that little cup

  86. JP, I would agree, it would be for the benefit of the team for some big names to start from the bench and come on to finish the game out. But imagine the uproar if for example OShea started on the bench, automatically it would be Oshea dropped! Something is wrong, fell out with management etc etc.

  87. MDMA is considered a better midfielder than Paul Flynn and yet Jim Gavin chose to hold MDMA in reserve in the replay. When he came on we had much less resistance to MDMA’s powerful running than we would have had earlier in the game. He didn’t have that kind of impact early in the drawn game.
    He was involved in most of the final few scores which seen home the win for Dublin.

  88. @Corrickbridge
    I for one am not into questioning everything about the Mayo setup. I’m just pointing out two things that management got wrong – one of them calamitously so. You are right that hindsight is a mighty thing and we can all be wise after the event. However, I didn’t meet one person before the match who were happy about replacing Clarke. I think many might have assumed he had an injury of some kind.
    All that said, its late debating it now. The damage is done. The best we can hope for is that lessons have been learned.

  89. Well said crick bridge……..
    IMO we didn’t win the AI because of the drawn game, we came into that one with the Dubs not knowing what we were about and underestimated us whilst believing their own hype.
    For the replay they were ready and upped the physicality stakes to the point of marginal assault and to win by any means, we didn’t seem to anticipate this and kept the emphasis on defence ………………We got herded into the right top corner and they were aware that was our weak side and as we know we were utterly impotent in that part of the field.
    Dublin did their homework well and drawing the first game we gave them that chance.
    We have to rid ourselves that we are there to steal (nick,pinch) the cup and remember we are there on merit and intend to bury our opponents, it’a mindset we have to find and believe. Keegan,Boyle,Vaughan and Duran has this , Dublin knew this and got rid of 2 of them………..The first black card for them was predetermined as they had a better replacement thus leaving it wide open to get rid of Keegan at the earliest opportunity, while watching with my brother I predicted this when dublin got the first black. Vaughan was deliberately taken out as he was a thorn in the first game and continued his former for the first half of the replay. Duran took the game by the scruff of the neck and backed himself to take them on and score but he couldn’t do it alone.
    The draw cooked our goose and the goalkeeper and AD issue would not have occurred.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  90. The replayed game was close with 20 mins left. Dublin brought on MDMA and Costelloe. That’s more significant than anything else I believe. Unfortunate events happen, but which can team can get the game won in the final 20 mins. Them outscoring us in that time was predictable as they had a stronger bench. In wet weather with our solid defence we wouldn’t end up chasing a big deficit either by leaving strength in reserve.

  91. Wasn’t so wet the replayed game but it wasn’t warm dry conditions with the ball easy to kick for points over distance.

  92. The first game against dubs was the day to beat them. We had so much on our side. Plenty of hill support. We rattled them in the tunnel and a cork ref although he had some funny decisions. The second day I felt different vibe in the stadium. But still we could have won. Rocks free in second half was iffy. If it was not given maybe Cillian would have been kicking for a win and not a draw. These fine margins dud not go our way and that’s life I guess.

    I’m convinced that Kevin mac at midfield would be great asset.

  93. yes, too much is made of the replay and decisions made on the sideline for that match. we lost the match the first day. that was the chance to win it and it wasn’t any management mistake that caused us to end up drawing a match we could have easily won.
    that is why this loss is a bitter one for me. not because of any goalkeeper change or alan dillon’s foot. it’s because the dubs were there for the taking the very first day. they thought they only had to show up and they had no idea what we were going to bring to the table. we were in the brilliant position of being somewhat of an unknown quantity and we well and truly rattled them. we should have won the match comfortably on the first time of asking and we would have if not for some woeful mistakes on the pitch.

  94. The dubs are very beatable and I think next year they will get caught Mayo would have beaten them if Keegan was on.

  95. JP
    I think if your on panel for a number of years and never really established yourself you should move on and give someone else a chance. Think we have to many players happy just to be involved with Mayo. Look a turnover on Dublin panel

  96. JJ some good points but I think the conspiracy theory is overdone.

    I’ve looked back at the first half (steeling myself for the second) and felt Cooper was hard done by for the black – and he had got a right belt from Jason just before that. But perversely, I felt Dublin’s defence improved when he went off. Before that we were getting a lot of joy and hit some great scores on the bounce – Andy, and Lee especially. And, I felt we dished out plenty – look at Rock coming out from scoring frees and see how Keith gave him plenty; we had targeted him, but the frees were so easy i could have hit them over. This was down to some indiscipline on our part.

    Robbie’s kicking was creating huge problems. Donie took that ball at an impossible angle and of course McCarthy ploughed into him – accidentally on purpose. Similarly Lee had no option but to foul such was the hames of a kickout he had to deal with.

  97. Catcol it was my impression that Rock was the one giving plenty of it to Keith after he scored his frees,

    I agree about Cooper though. His black card was a joke. As was Lee’s. Had Small got one early on, it would have been harsh too in all fairness (though at least players would have known where they stood with the ref).

    The black card is a pure joke. While its intentions are honourable, it is so badly administered/refereed,

  98. Catcal
    I’m not saying it was a conspiracy on the refs part, I think it was more design on Gavins to get an early black to leave the way clear for the usual balancing act (sympathy response ,prevalent to too many ref decisions nowdays) and after all the crap in the press in the previous week, Keegan was a goner , watch closely and you will see Connolly lie into Keegan and both forced off balance, the pull Keegan put on him wasn’t enough alone for them both going to ground but looked at the time to be a definite black…………..Connolly knew what he was doing and it could all have been rehearsed.
    Gavin did all his homework well, remember it was Dublin that got lucky with the draw even if it was Cillian that kicked that point……………..The Dubs were rattled by a team as never before for most of that first game and we failed to press the huge advantage we had…………..We fought like hell as always to catch up and then laid off…….We need those like I mentioned earlier to grab hold and go for it, as I said earlier we’re not trying to steal it, if we want it we have to have the mindset to go and take it.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  99. There will always be changes to every football panel from year to year, some enforced some not. Mayo will be no different, i can see eight players being let go for 2017, some off them got little or no championship game time and some perhaps too much. Some lads are fine footballers but just not able to make the step up and just i think some are not mentally strong enough to play at the top level. Here”s the ins and outs IMO for 2017. OUT: R. Hennelly, K.Keane, D. Drake, C O Shea, A. Freeman, S. Nally, C Carolan, C. Crowe. IN: M.Flanagan, G. Cafferkey, S. Cunniffe, S. Akram, M. Ruane, M. Plunkett, N. Douglas, L.Irwin. The conveyor belt must keep turning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *