Monaghan 1-12 Mayo 2-11: Robbie’s rockets fire us to first win

Doc goal v Monaghan

Photo: Inpho

We’d come close to opening our account in our last two League matches prior to today but came up short on both occasions. Today against Monaghan up in Clones, though, the lads held their nerve admirably down the closing stretch and two marvellous long-range pointed frees by goalkeeper Robbie Hennelly deservedly sealed our first points of this year’s Division One campaign.

I wasn’t at Clones today, the match wasn’t on TV and I was out and about this afternoon so I wasn’t able to follow it properly at all. Aside, that is, from those last, extremely tense five minutes. I had to make do with the Twitter machine for updates from St Tiernach’s Park but even through this medium I could see that what was unfolding was a compelling contest between two determined sides.

It wasn’t the biggest surprise ever to learn that we’d made three changes to our starting team before the action got underway. Michael Hall was named to start instead of Chris Barrett at corner back, Seamus O’Shea was preferred to Jason Gibbons at midfield, while Conor Loftus replaced Jason Doherty at full-forward.

We got the first score of the game, a long distance point from play by Conor O’Shea. Monaghan opened their account soon after with a point, also from play, by Fintan Kelly.

Then, with just six minutes played, came the day’s first major talking point. Aidan O’Shea was black-carded for a foul on Ryan Wylie, Jason Doherty replacing him in the forced substitution. Malachy Clerkin had this to say about Joe McQuillan’s decision to cut short the Breaffy man’s involvement in today’s match:

A Conor McManus free put Monaghan in front but a placed ball score from Evan Regan squared up the match again. Monaghan were then awarded a penalty (wasn’t there, no idea what it was for) and although Robbie saved McManus’s original effort he couldn’t prevent the Clontibret clubman from hitting the net with the rebound.

We hit back right away, though, with a goal from play by Conor Loftus. Stalemate again.

The home side got the upper hand for the next while, however, when they knocked over three points without reply. Kerr got the first of these from play, McManus the second from a free and Carey the third from play. It looked like we were in a bit of bother at that stage.

We rallied superbly from then till the break, though, and four unanswered points sent our lads in with their noses marginally in front. Diarmuid O’Connor off the outside of his right boot started the fightback, Conor O’Shea added to it with a point from way out on the left and two Evan Regan points, the first a free and the second from play, put us one ahead at the half-way mark.

The half-time scorers listed tweeted by @mayogaa had a nice Young Guns look to it, dominated as it was by Messrs. Loftus, Regan, O’Shea and O’Connor. They’d done really well in that opening half but it was clear we’d need plenty more after the break if we were to do the business.

We started the second half like an express train. A Jason Doherty point from play extended our lead and then Diarmuid O’Connor poked the ball through the legs of Monaghan ‘keeper Beggan to the net to fire us five clear.

The home side were far from finished, though, and two pointed frees by McManus cut our lead back to three. We made our second switch of the day at this point, with Mikey Sweeney coming on for Conor Loftus. Soon after Kevin McLoughlin pointed from play to nudge us back to four ahead.

We were forced into another substitution with twenty minutes to go. Lee Keegan became our second player ordered off on black, with Donal Vaughan pitched in to replace him. I’ve no idea what it was for, hopefully the highlights later on will shed some light on the issue.

Now shorn of our two current All-Stars, it was clear we were in a real battle. Could we hold out better today compared to last Sunday in Ballybofey?

The portents didn’t look good. Although McManus’s free was answered by Kevin McLoughlin’s second from play, they then proceeded to wipe out our four-point lead. Or rather Conor McManus did – four placed balls, one of them a ’45, brought the match all-square with five or so minutes to go. It seemed then that all the momentum was with them.

I was driving through town by now – clearly a hazard to the blissfully unaware populace of the city out for an afternoon’s perambulation – and I gripped the steering wheel like a maniac coming up the quays when I heard McManus had got the leveller.

Stopped at the lights at O’Connell Bridge, I snatched a quick look at the phone (the commentary had now shifted to Tralee) and saw with relief that Robbie had cracked over what @mayogaa said was a “monster” free. Back in front again – could we do it?

Jesus H Christ – four minutes of added time. Hang on, though, another free, Robbie ambling up again. The car was now idling at the lights at the Five Lamps as the commentary on RTÉ told of a glorious long-range effort that had both the distance and the accuracy. It sounded for all the world like a winning score and, as this video clip shows, it kinda looked that way too:

Blow it up to fuck, ref. Eventually he did, prompting a car horn to sound loudly, for no apparent reason, as it made its way out along the North Strand Road. All trace of tension immediately vanished from the loon behind the wheel.

It feels like this could be an important win for us. It was a match we simply had to win if we wanted to avoid getting sucked into the relegation vortex. While this win won’t in itself save us, it’s an overdue first step and could well prove to be the spark that propels us to Division One safety for another year.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (0-2, frees); Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Michael Hall; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Shane Nally; Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea; Diarmuid O’Connor (1-1), Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin (0-2); Evan Regan (0-3, two frees), Conor Loftus (1-0), Conor O’Shea (0-2). Subs: Jason Doherty (0-1) for Aidan O’Shea (black card), Mikey Sweeney for Loftus, Donal Vaughan for Keegan (black card), Chris Barrett for Nally, Jason Gibbons for Conor O’Shea, Andy Moran for Regan.

PS: Congrats too to the ladies who had a major fightback of their own today down in Killarney. They won out in their League Division One match against Kerry by 2-8 to 2-6, making it five from five for them in this campaign. And well done as well to the hurlers who made it three wins from three outings when they got the better of Down in the NHL Division 2B fixture.

Vote now for our Man of the Match in today’s game:

Who was our MOTM against Monaghan?

  • Diarmuid O'Connor (47%, 245 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (17%, 87 Votes)
  • Ger Cafferkey (11%, 59 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (9%, 47 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Shane Nally (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Michael Hall (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Mikey Sweeney (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Jason Gibbons (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 517

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94 thoughts on “Monaghan 1-12 Mayo 2-11: Robbie’s rockets fire us to first win

  1. Well done to all, it was great to get the wins! Roll on the next games…..

  2. The ladies, the gentlemen and the hurlers AND Donegal get whacked too………happy days!!!!!
    Also, there has to be more than one of those Diarmuid O’Connors. Serious ground covered today. People are still saying he’s one for the future. Well, the future is here, he is a magnificent footballer with an atitude to match.
    Awesome.

  3. A few positive,s to take from today,but a lot of old failing are still there. If we could get a few more lads to buy into Diarmuid, s mindset and attitude we d be a serious outfit. Can’t wait to see us at full strength.

  4. I thought Conor O Shea did not seem to fit into our forward plan for some reason. Also our goalie had a few very poor kick outs.

  5. Listened on mid-west,cafferky seems to have become one seriously good defender.maybe mc’ateer is RE organizing the defense to allow him to flourish,I love Vaughan but last week he lost a ball while open which cost us a goal today he foolishly got a 65 m free moved into35 m.the guy needs to concentrate he’s a much better player than that.we’re up and running

  6. Well done to the lads , mission accomplished for today. Would not be getting carried away at all though , it was far from a complete performance . DOC though wow , he is a machine.

    It’s all about Kerry game now , I’m hearing they won today too . Serious four pointer next week , we are in a dog fight now for the drop . Who do cork play next week ? ( must be down I’m thinking ?

  7. Great show from one and all,I think we’ve found ourselves a captain…countless shows of his usual ball winningA few lads seriously need to up their game or the Mitchels boys will claim their spots for years to come

  8. Sean, Cork are at home to Monaghan next week. Down are at home to Dublin and Donegal are at home to Roscommon.

  9. Great to see improvement with every match and it’s heartening to win a tight one, especially for the younger lads. Diarmuid O’Connor excellent, yet again, and Colm Boyle looking more and more like a team captain. He’s a great man for setting the tone and leading by example.

    On a side note, absolutely filthy stuff down in Kerry today. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Neil McGee getting a ban for what looked like an attempt to break Alan Fitzgerald’s fingers. Would have much preferred to see Mayo and Monaghan on TG4 than the disgraceful carry on between those two teams.

  10. I thought the younger lads did well today, really showed huge potential. Happy with Reagans performance. Onwards and upwards from here

  11. I thought we showed great fight for the first time this season today. Diarmuid O’Connor was immense again today as was Colm Boyle and Ger Caff. What I like so much about Colm Boyle today was his leadership. On a number of occasions he was the one to push the possession forward when others were moving the ball through the hands over and back horizontally across the pitch. He’d take possession, put on the after burners and power up the field. So much leading by example – great captain material!

    I’d love to know how many miles himself and O’Connor clocked up today.

  12. Great day for Mayo gaa today. Well done to all!
    Another great performance by Diarmuid. The amount of ground he covers is unreal! Got a brilliant catch towards the end and he had his back to the ball! Great game for Boyle and Caff as well. Roll on next Sunday 🙂

  13. It was nice to see that all of our forwards, apart from the back carded, Aidan O’Shea, got at least one score from play and Jason Doc, Aido’s replacement, got one as well. That’s what you want to see.

  14. Nice to get the 2 owl pints into the owl bag. Though we did our best to throw it away. At least 8 bad wides and a few dropped short. We could have been well clear by the end.
    Still the win is on the board and we can still end up with 8 pints.

    The loser of the Cork Monaghan game next week could well go down.

  15. Today marked the “arrival of Conor O’Shea” great days work. Caff looks back to his best. That meant a lot today for all. Could have won easily, could have lost, won the hard way.

    On another point. Anybody have issue with stewards stopping transferring of season tickets onsite??

  16. Won by Determine defending and creative attacking. I take that any day. Monaghan scored 3 points from play today none after the 22nd minute. All but 2 points today from forwards. This with a defense without Higgins and with Durcan and cunniffe to comeback looking stronger every week. Harrison and Nally getting great experience. A Young Forwardline getting it done without AOS. A huge win and a confident boost for young players like Conor o Shea, Diarmuid, Evan Regan and conor loftus

  17. Well done Mayo a massive 2 points today gained and a morale boosting victory to!
    A lot of positives and some negatives but on a day of victory I will focus on positives!
    Robbie in goal made a great save in ist min and kicked 2 massive points!
    Ger caff excellent as was boyle Keegan and Harrison n defence!
    Tom parsons is a very important player to us!
    My man of the match diarmuid o Connor what a performance .would love to know how much ground he covered in miles today!
    Conor Loftus took goal excellent and Conor o se kicked 2 great points!
    Onwards and upwards now bring on Kerry another important game.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  18. Well done today Really great result in a difficult venue. And a special well done to Robbie. Some here last week saying he shouldnt be brought up to take the frees and indeed some saying he shouldnt be playing. Well he hit 2 massive frees today for us to win the game and also by the way saved a penalty. Class act. Good to see the young lads do well. DOC fantastic again. Massive game v kerry next week. If we beat bthem we go level on points and ahead on head to head. Nasty game in kerry today Both teams engaged in foul behaviour and in my opinion kerry were biggest sinners. Donaghy trying to ref the game constantly in refs ear and lucky not to be sent off. Cork and ourselves on 2 now, kerry and monaghan on 4 and 2 home games and one in longford possibly yet to come. Well done to Ros and how Galway couldnt beat meath is amazing. Interesting spring and summer in prospect

  19. I did not see any issue with season tickets as I was in very early but Croke Park did issue a warning about this last week. I have no sympathy at all with people who buy season tickets simply to access an all Ireland ticket while not attending games or supporting the team.

  20. Great win today. That Donegal game really brought us on and without it I don’t think we would have won today. Fantastic experience for the young lads to be in games of these intensity .One negative is we are not closing games out big problem last few years.When we get on top we have to stay on top.

  21. Fantastic to have ground out a win while under pressure. No exaggeration though we could have won by at least 10 points more. We had wides and dropped balls galore. There could have been at least three more goals. Andy Moran, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty had goal chances that should have at least resulted in points. We made very hard work for ourselves. Monaghan pushed up on us near the end and with Keegan gone we started to panic. They crowded us out in our own back line and made it difficult to get the ball out to midfield. Our kickouts weren’t helping, poor decisions were made under pressure and often the ball went straight to a Monaghan player. The bigger teams will punish us for this. Our backs showed improvement on the last day, and while Keegan and Caff where successful in shutting down McManus they exposed us on numerous occasions in the first half. Only for a great save by Robbie they could have had another goal. So a good win but lets not get ahead of ourselves here, Monaghan weren’t totally at the races today.

    I thought Conor O’Shea put in a great shift in the first half. He played deep from the half backs and got his hands on plenty of ball. McLoughlin was excellent. Seamus and Parsons put in a good shift around the centre. O’Connor was sublime. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. I noticed him in plenty of space on the left wing on a few occasions, calling for the ball but not delivered to him. Hard to believe he only made his championship two years ago, we wouldn’t be without him now. Sadly I don’t think our younger forwards were up to it today but I guess it’s an experiment worth persisting with. Mikey Sweeney should start, I want to see what he can do when the game is really in the mix at the beginning.

    We still haven’t mastered the kick passing game, a lot of dud balls were sent into the forwards, we’re really missing Higgins in this regard. But it’s good the team on its way back to fitness, it’s been an upward curve since the Cork game. Kerry will be a tough proposition next week but we should be well ready for them.

  22. Really good performance.
    Caff, Boyle, O’Connor were outstanding, O’Connor is really such an asset to Mayo, is genuinely one of the best footballers in the country, and is still so young.

    Looking at today’s game, there were plenty of long balls driven out the field from kick outs, you’d wonder why they’re bringing in the mark.

  23. “dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze says:

    March 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    On a side note, absolutely filthy stuff down in Kerry today. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Neil McGee getting a ban for what looked like an attempt to break Alan Fitzgerald’s fingers.”

    Alan Fitzgerald went in to smash McGees face from the side so what game were you looking at??

  24. Just back from Clones. You don’t mind the drive really when you get the win!
    The league is funny. You could tell that Monaghan weren’t all that up for it, at least not in the way they were against Dublin last week. Still though, when McManus casually tapped home the rebound, I feared the worst, especially when Aidan had by this stage departed. His tackle was stupid and clumsy. But it was in no way cynical. I really do wish referees would implement this rule the way it is supposed to be implemented i.e. for cynical play. Anyway.
    But Mayo responded today. Boyle, Parsons, Seamie, stood up. Cafferkey was utterly superb against McManus. McLaughlin, though he faded towards the end was excellent for most of the match. However, the hat goes off to Diarmuid O’Connor who never stopped running and scored brilliant scores, incisive runs, won the free for Robbie’s late point, won breaking ball right at the end. He was outstanding. Long may he keep it up.
    It wasn’t all rosy in the garden. Monaghan were very poor today and should have been out of sight well into the second half. Our scores in the first half were all from individual plays and our forwards showed no signs of cohesiveness. We got some great scores but they were all off the cuff in many ways. Like Regan’s point that put us one up towards the break. Regan did well with that score but to my eye, he looks very light. Loftus did well for the goal but I think he also needs to bulk up before he can make a serious push for the fifteen. However, I do think he shows more potential than Evan. Just my opinion. Both need to hold onto the ball better. Though I wouldn’t be Doherty’s greatest fan, he did show the way in that regard when he came. Balls were sticking that bit more.
    Harrison and Nally look to be improving every time I see them. Nally made a few howlers in the first few mins and looked very shaky for a while but he grew into the match and did well overall. Granted, a half back line of Durcan, Boyle and Keegan seems a certainty for the championship, but it’s good to have back up. (though Keegan actually did well in the corner for the first half and some of the second).
    The way the one point lead was defended was heartening. 14 men back and Monaghan never really looked like scoring it. In the end a wild effort from the full back floated harmlessly wide.
    And finally, credit to Robbie. Some of his kick outs were top class and his frees were superb at the end. Ok, one or two kickouts still need more care, particularly one daft short one in the second half but he can be happy with his day’s work.
    I’m quite interested in what Rochford will bring to the table in terms of attack. Today wasn’t great and in the second half, when they went back to running at the defence, they had far greater joy than when they were trying to kick the ball through. Ok, losing Aidan didn’t help, but still it is a necessity to get this sorted. Often the player in possession doesn’t have an option to kick it in, as what happened a few times to Seamie today. I await a plan with interest!
    Onwards and upwards, as they day. Today was good. Let’s see what next week brings.

  25. I agree SoS carried a lot of balls into tackles and lost them. It was hard to understand some of the refs decisions today–especially the last free monaghan got–our back got a slap in the face.

  26. -Delighted with the two points, we really should have won that game by about 6 points. A couple of feeble shots into the goalie and our usual quota of crazy wides meant we just scraped through.

    -DOC and Boyler were superb, COS good first half. Nally mixed performance today one costly lapse of concentration. Loftus great composure for the goal and Regan great with the frees. However both fumbled and lost numerous balls that they should have held onto. I know the Wylies are teak tough but they are the type of backs our forwards have to be capable of winning balls from.

    – Indiscipline could have cost us dearly and something that needs sorting soon. Aidan deserved black card for a lazy tackle, Vaughan daft action in front of the ref and as for penalty….

    – Lets meet Kerry full on next Sunday and show them that we will stand up to any thuggery. That attack on McGee today was unreal , that Fitzgerald guy deserves one hell of a long ban for that. You are absolutely correct Martin the Dub.

    -I did see season tickets been swapped today and hope the culprits are detected.

  27. Just back from the game, a few points if note from me;
    1. We had a few guys out on their feet with 10 mins to go, Jason Gibbons jogging on the sideline for 15 minutes we nearly took to long to introduce him.
    2. Seamus O’Shea took a few balls into contact during that period and coughed up possession needs to learn to lay the ball off.
    3. Shane Nally cost 2 points in fist half, soloed a ball away, turned over a point, fumbled a kick out turned over a point, needs to focus on basic skill level.
    4. We dominated the first 20 mins of second half should have killed the game.
    5. Need to be more clinical with goal chances
    6. Plenty of guys stood up today,Tom Parsons, Diarmuid O ‘Connor, Colm Boyle, Robbie Hennelly to name a few, Conor Loftus took his goal really well but was well marshalled throughout. One thing to note was while the pitch looked really well from the stand it was a very heavy pitch underfoot that would certainly have sapped the energy levels.

    Citywest

  28. Congratulations to all,of course we wii keep improving a lot of new players and bad pitches,when the sun is high we will be better

  29. Monaghan are a hard working organised side but wsy way too dependent on McManus for scores. I think he has scored around 1-20 out of their total of 1-28 between Dublin match last week and today’s encounter. And 1-17 of that 1-20 was from frees and todays peno Very few scores from rest of the forwards or from play. Don’t think any of the other Div 1 teams have a scoring dependence like that. Could be a prob for Monaghan in this league yet
    Thankfully Mayo have a decent spread of scorers and from play even without our free taking talisman COC.

  30. Delighted with that, We dug out a win when we looked in real trouble with five minutes to go. Ger Caff is having a briliant league, he totally blotted out McManus. Boyler had an absolutely storming first half. Tom Parsons really has turned himself into a top class Midfielder. Diarmuid really stood up and is a leader on the team. Two super frees from Robbie

    The Newcomers

    Conor O Se was the pick of the new players today with two great points.

    Conor Loftus took the goal really well, but struggled at times with the physical exchanges.

    Evan Regan hit his frees well, but turned over the ball continuously.

    Brendan Harrisson got badly caught out in penalty incident, but settled well after that.

    Shane Nally tried a dummy solo 30yards from opposition goal and lost the ball, don’t know would I blame him for the score that ensued. He should have done better on the next play, but I thought he played well from that point.

    Michael Hall was a willing runner all day.

    Jason Gibbons made a big impact from the bench.

    Overall a great day out and a 7/2 Half-Time Full-Time Winner was a nice way to celebrate. Roll on the Kingdom

  31. At times today we moved the ball really well.. some quick kick passing out of defense carved Monaghan wide open and once we had the overlap in the forwards we ran through.. still need more composure and correct decision making.. while I’m all for taking a goal when the chance is there.. a ball punched over the bar when scores are hard get is as good as any. Enjoyed today, first time in Clones and its a fine facility

  32. McGee did his level best to separate Kevin McLoughlins fingers from their sockets in McHale park last year. Well deserved broken nose today.

  33. Today the Mayo lads played with great heart and determination. Yes they made mistakes overcarried into the Monaghan backs some misplaced passes bad wides and some indiscipline. Thats the negatives now for the positives Robbie was excellent Caff again turned in an admirable display. Our forwards dug in got scores against teak tough backs. Diarmuid again showed what an outstanding player he is. A special mention must be given to Colm Boyle he lead his men by example constantly putting his body on the line for the team with Captain Boyle a 2016 rising is definetly on the horizan. Believe.

  34. Don’t often condone violence on a field of play but I’m thrilled McGee got his nose broken for him. That was absolutely filthy by him. Disgusting and there’s no place for it in the GAA. If the GAA have any cop on, they will ban him for an age. Disgraceful stuff.

  35. Well done mayo. Poor uncle joe mac giving mayo two black cards, maybe with monaghans blue shirts he thought it was his team The dubs we were playing against, great work again by mayo and a Important win.

  36. Congrats to the lads on the win today. I like the sound of Captain Boyler!

  37. How fortunate we are that Diarmuid O’Connor came along when he did. He is simply an immense player. In my mind, and if he continues to blossom as he has done heretofore, he will shortly be regarded as one of the top fiveplayers on this island.
    Colm Boyle? Officer class.

  38. Dont worry about anyone else the ball is now in our court.2 out of the next 3 will be enough and on the plus side we’ve found new blood..

  39. Apologies dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze I just seen the whole incident on League Sunday and you are right. However I will make this observation that Donaghy started the whole thing and as usual he was out for hassle from the get go. He should have been sent off after 10 mins…..

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  40. No problem, Martin. I understand that not everyone may have seen the incident at the time. Fitzgerald deserved the red card for striking, but I haven’t much sympathy for McGee and his busted nose, I’m afraid. Fully agreed on Donaghy. Have absolutely no idea how he stayed on the pitch so long. It seemed like Michael Murphy was targeted too. I would imagine there’ll be a couple of players, from both Donegal and Kerry, that will be a bit worried this week.

    On Mayo, hopefully they can keep building on this performance for next week. There still seems to be a little bit of shakiness when they build up a lead and you always get the feeling that they might let it slip. They still need to learn how to go and kill off a game once they get ahead, but hopefully that will all come together as the year goes on.

  41. Great win.
    DOC is fast becoming our main man. Unbelievable engine on the man. And the thing is, every time you look at him he looks like he’s completely shagged out!

    Surprised at the defence for McGee. The man is a thug and deserved everything he got.
    Kerry are no angels, and they played their part in a filthy game. But McGee got what has been coming his way for a while now.

    I think it’ll come down to us and Monaghan for the drop with Down. A win over Kerry would be massive.

  42. Andy Moran tried going for glory again today instead of putting ball over ball. If monaghan had went down and scored his need for attention grabbing headlines could have cost us the match.

  43. Didn’t go to the match today. Listened to midwest radio, great to get the win. A very tense end to the match, sounds like we were much better than them but couldn’t put them away.
    I watched the Kerry Donegal match and they were both disgraceful. Kerry were very cynical right from the get go. Donaghy should have been sent off within the first five minutes. Not sure we will be able for that carry on the next day out

  44. Only saw the highlights but good to see the young lads get a few mores scores. Loftus looks like a serious goal poacher but maybe still a bit off a championship start in the corner. Of course that could change come the fast pitches of the summer but sounds like progress for all the rookies today. Also sounds like Seamus OS still repeating the same mistakes which undermines some of his great workrate.
    As regards efficiency, Donnacha Walsh who is often maligned in Kerry for not being a great player showed plenty of efficiency today. We need to add efficiency to our game. The most common mistake we make in attack is players dropping the ball short with Keegan and Parsons (and Durkan last year) the worst culprits in this regard. Players need to be coached to put the ball dead with a point awarded to opposition in training games for not putting it dead score or not. No doubt it’s difficult to do when running absolutely flat out but if we looked at the stastical implications of turnover from balls dropped short I think we would find the opposition more often than not gets the next score.

  45. That Kerry player was dead right to box McGee in the puss, you could see his punches were out of pure desperation and fear for his own safety, McGee has to get banned….imagine the uproar if it was Aidan O’Shea trying to pull fingers out of sockets!!.

    Well done again to the whole team, such a timely shot in the arm.

  46. Delighted for Ger Cafferkey he’s having a great league would love to see him put Donaghy in his pocket next Sunday

  47. Time for a visit to Specsavers, Rochford’s Brigade, if you thought Monaghan weren’t really up for it today.
    It wasn’t the perfect display from either Mayo or Monaghan but they could not be faulted for effort. Early on I thought we would be in trouble – only for Robbie’s save we would have been from the word “Go”. But for the middle 40 minutes we were well on top and I think it was a slight lack of fitness on Mayo’s part which let them back into it. But pure determination and a couple of judicious substitutions made the difference. Robbie must be putting a lot of work into his free taking judging by results but I wonder was he wise to leave his goal for the penalty. Suppose you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Conor O’Shea seems like he will provide something we have badly lacked in out attack – an ability to kick points from distance. In addition he has enough size and strength to win his share of possession, unlike some of our other forwards. Hopefully a drier, faster sod will help them although it will not handicap defenders either. I was a bit surprised to see Stephen Coen still absent from the panel, presuming he is not injured.

  48. On a separate note Fitzgerald would have been in so much pain with the attempted arm / ligament break the punches were his only recourse to avoid serious injury. McGee’s behaviour was an absolute disgrace. He was at it last week too wrestling Aidan OS to the ground before the ball came in and got away with it in AI QF last year too. I had previously thought he was hard but fair but this latest incident has changed my mind. Umpires really need to get more involved in this shite.
    I see Johnny Cooper now seeming to suffer from his own reputation with a soft enough second yellow today. Heard Dublin will probably be without McCaffrey for the championship and being without Cluxton today shows them up for being a lot more ordinary than everyone thought. Diarmaid Connolly though showed a lot of class when allowed to play with superb left footed goal.

  49. WJ , get yourself a smartphone and you’ll be able to throw on mid-west.

    Sounds like Sweeney won a lot of ball when he came on?

    DOC will be out next week, u21 duty beckons.

  50. Well done, Mayo! Overall good day for Connaught teams. Galway had to peg back a 9 point half time deficit to earn a draw with Meath. Rossies still powering ahead fair play. Bodes well for a more competitive provincial championship which is long overdue.

  51. Can DOC not play against Kerry ?

    Was at the match today he has everything … Pace , power , excellent ball handling skills , brave , honest , an immense work rate … Can take scores ….

    An all round class act …..

  52. I’ve had iPhones for years, highorlow, and I’ve often followed matches on Midwest this way. I was out with people today, though, when the match was on so that wasn’t a runner for me this time.

  53. No, I stand over what I said. Thought they could have been well beaten at one stage, Doherty and McLaughlin ran straight through only to both blaze the ball wide. They were let back into it and got up a head of steam through our own indiscipline but I thought all along we were more up for it. Just my opinion mind!

  54. Shuffly Deck, was it McGee who stamped on Enda Varley in the QF in 2013? Seems like he has a history with this carry on.

  55. That incident in 2013 involved a McGee alright but it was the other one. Lovely lads, the pair of them. Or, to paraphrase Dr Seuss, a case of Thug 1 and Thug 2.

  56. For me Caff was Man of the match. He kept McManus quiet all day. Now that for me was the key to winning today. Any mistakes or lapses of concentration and he would have punished severely. Delighted for Caff who was under pressure last year and being blamed a lot.
    Well done to everyone. We have a serious team – battle hardened and hungry for success and improving with every game.

  57. Firstly after just getting home after the long journey, fair play to the lads for digging out the win. So important for the players but more importantly for management team to get points on the board.
    A few observations:
    1. Backs played superbly all through
    2. Kickouts – terrible yet again. As highlighted by WJ in previous posts, no strategy in place. Needs to be addressed immediately.
    3. Regan and Loftus, while showing brief glimpses of quality are not ready for the cut and thrust of the highest level against the top teams due to lack of physicality and inability to win dirty ball.
    4. McLoughlin – how many balls did he turnover? Accepted he scored a couple of points but should have played a more pivotal role given the type of open game it turned out to be. Struggling to hit the heights of the Horan era.
    5. DOC – immense. Getting better.
    6. Continue to miss crucial scores at crucial times in games ie Doherty and McLoughlin goal chances, COS missed point with minutes remaining
    Anyways we move on and hopefully can build on today’s win against Kerry next week

  58. Captain for the day Colm Boyle turned at the final whistle & clapped the Mayo supporters on the terrace. A small gesture but shows the mans class.

  59. Mayoman8…… I thought McLoughlin was very good today. Like all good things in life he is most appreciated when he is missing!

  60. We felt yere pain today regarding Barry Cassidy last week, he gave us absolutely nothing and applied different rules to both teams, how hard is it to get a ref from a province that isn’t involved in the match.

    Outcome of yere match next week now with Kerry will be interesting.

  61. Great to get off the bottom today. Looking forward to Kerry next week.

    No sympathy for McGee. The other guy who seems to get away with murder is O Mahony of Kerry. Looked like he provoked the Donegal lad , McCloone I think, with a bellyflop, got a forearm over his head and then went bitching to the linesman like a cheating crying ronaldo. Pathetic

  62. Talk of being relegated is nonsense. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Dan and Everhopefull ye need to have more belief. I dont think Captain Boyler will spend his week fretting and worrying about Bryan Sheehan , Donnaghy Walsh Cooper or any of them. I would say its more likely he cant wait to get stuck into them bring them on. One thing is certain Boyler and his gallant band will have a warm welcome them. Believe.

  63. Ah, thanks for the clarification, Willie Joe! Totally forgot that there’s a second McGee!

    By the way, thanks for all the work here on the blog, Willie Joe. I’m a long-time lurker, but a first time poster. It’s a great little community you’ve got going here.

  64. Very good win. Any win away from home in Division 1 is a very good one as most teams target on getting those home points to keep their ambitions alive.

    Listened to Oisin McConville who commented that the team nearly played better without Aidan O’S (“they were forced to thin outside of the box” was how he put it).

    It was an interesting observation but one of which I have no personal insight on from the game. maybe others could give their thoughts?

  65. Whoooooo i honked my horn too driving in the streets of London and ended up getting the two fingers from a man on a bike in front of me . Midwest lads did a great job keeping me up to date . I voted for O ‘Connor on the basis of what mid West had to say about him . Roll on the kingdom . It’s great to get off the mark

  66. Cafferky immense today. DO’C brilliant also. Felt Mayo ran out of steam a bit in the last 10. Didn’t see the Leeroy black card incident. Was it deserved ?

    My first trip to clones since 1992 when we hitched there to see the Ulster final which Donegal won…. Different times

  67. That a very good point JPM and it almost feels that way but personally I think its a case of just not getting enough return from the big man himself.. we all know what he is capable off but while the rules are as they are I don’t think AOS is ever going to get more than 20% of decisions in his favour from any ref while he plays on the edge of the big square.. specially in later stages of the competiton. Others have said he dosn’t have the turn of pace to be tracking back either which I would agree with.. his strengths are in breaking the line but it is also a weakness as he can often run in to traffic. I just don’t think we utilise AOS to his potential, especially in the league.. why not play him around the centre of the park where he is usually most effective until he builds up match fitness and then come Championship rotate him in and out of the forwards.. but where ever he is, the guys around him need to play off the shoulder as soon as he gets possesion he will draw attention and make space. Higgins and AOS at half fordward would be good combo once fully match fit

  68. I expected Mayo to win as i didn’t think Monaghan were as good as the table suggested. Mayo showed enough against Dublin,Donegal that they would beat Monaghan and i think the win would have been more comfortable if AOS,Keegan had avoided their black cards.

    DOC the clear MOTM any need of even having a poll this week? Kerry next they are coming into form and that makes for very interesting game the winner will reach the league semi final IMO.

  69. Yes O Mahony though didn’t seem to play the linesman soccer style he did provoke McCloone by a very robust off the ball challenge and surely the likes of that should be punished. McCloone struck home with forearm in retaliation perhaps missing a punch but surely he couldn’t be expected to back down.
    The GAA really need to get a handle on this shite and have a citing commission like rugby. Unfair that the lads doing the provoking get away free. Kinda the same as sledging.

  70. G caff was brill also he gets so much stick it’s unfair maybe this is his year would love to see him turn the tables on a certain Donagh y.

  71. Caff is up there in the top 3 full backs in the countr, always has been. He has been cruelly exposed and left one on one for the last couple of seasons which no player would cope with, this was mostly due to half backs rampaging forward leaving defence exposed. New management team have put in place a new defensive system, Caff is benefiting and the soft goals conceeded have stopped.

  72. I am liking how few goal chances we have given up in the last three games. At the same time yesterday we created several goal chances. Dry day with a better surface and a lighter drier ball you’d be hoping we would take at least one more goal.
    I am thinking we nearly have to protect Diarmuid OConnor from himself. He really pumishes himself effort wise. He is getting blocks in every game. The block is in my view the last untapped player skill. Look at the impact Boyler and Diarmuids excellent blocking skills had on the game. It’s a great lift to team morale when you pull off a good block.
    Interesting would have been AOS coming off the bench yesterday for the last 20 mins.
    Not sure that high tempo game yesterday would have suited him. Wasnt till there was a 45 mid way through the first half that there was a proper stoppage. How much more successful would Monaghans counter attack have been with AOS on a yellow instead of Jason Doherty chasing them down.

  73. If any player on the Mayo team needs to be dropped for a game or two its Aidan oshea.
    Christ he frustrates me.extraordinary talent but won’t use his bloody head.the young forwards step up when he went off.
    Why can’t he just do the simple things like hold up the ball lay it off and stop trying to be a hero.
    He’s a good footballer just frustrates the shite out of me.was at the game and really enjoyed it delighted for caff.

  74. Ger Caff had a great game yesterday against arguably the top forward in the country.
    It would add further evidence to the theory that the problems of the past few years haven’t been down to Ger, but rather the system we were playing.
    He has more cover now, and is showing his class – just as long as he doesn’t try to kick the ball or run it out of defence! Know your limits 😉
    DOC is a class apart, he was a joy to watch yesterday. His blocking, his long-stride runs, his classy point, his opportunistic goal, his kick-passing, his 100% effort. Outstanding.

    We still can improve significantly, and need to. We conceded far too much breaking ball around the middle in the first 15/20 mins, although this improved greatly from then on.
    Loftus and Regan still have a way to go at this level. Both were guilty of failing to hold on to ball that they had won in decent positions, but both showed what they’re capable of with Loftus’ finish for the goal, and Regan’s free taking and spectacular point at the end of first half. Worth persisting with.
    We actually created a lot of goal chances, but failed to take most. McLoughlin and Doherty both hit narrowly wide, and Andy Moran took too much out of the ball when he probably should have put it over the bar as there was only a few mins left and a point or two in it.

  75. What will happen you would hope with the younger forwards is their composure on the ball will increase. They will also get used to things like not carrying into contact at this level. It was great to see that all the early scoring was done by the young lads. Those burst of scores before half time are what got us back into that game.

  76. Based on the stats so far Roscommon have the least scores conceded next is Donegal and then it’s almost the same for Dubs and Kerry. If we take our 1st game out of it our defense is as good as the rest. Also Ross, Kerry and Donegal have all played Down.

    I haven’t fully followed all our games but for the 3 goals we have conceded too date were 2 of those penalties? We need to brush up in this area.

    Looking forward to the next few games now, “every game is like a championship game” sounds like the mantra, onwards and upwards.

  77. AOS blackcard I think was a blessing in disguise. For me he isnt a ff and whould be better deployed further outfield. Having him in the square make it too easy to just float in aimless 50:50 balls in the hope he would finish them. Removing him forced the other forwards to step up, work the ball to create and take chances. It showed as all scores bar Robbies monsters came from the forwards.

    Next weeks game is a must win as the castlebar lads will be back and need game time in the last two games which might disrupt things a little to begin with.

    I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on the championship squad as I can see some big names missing out. The young guys like Regan, Loftus COC need to stay to develop. The Castlebar guys and the Coens need there shot so tough decisions will need too be made.

  78. Great Game to be at. Heart stopping in the last 5 mins. Brilliant display by the lads. Colm Boyle is everything you want in a player. The order he wears in that Mayo jersey is second to none. Clapped the crowd on the terrace side after final whistle too. Had a lump in my throat. Absolute warrior. Onwards and upwards from here. 2 points in the bag and hopefully can get 2 next weekend. Lots to work on still but we are slowly coming good with every game

  79. Great to get the two points yesterday. Left Clones very happy and very relieved. Think a lot of the comments have summed it up already so not much else to add.

    The single biggest frustrations were two things that have been a feature of our game for the past number of years – firstly sending long ball in to forwards that are simply not able to collect it, and secondly being afraid to shoot from distance during play. It’s like we panic when we have a clear shot at the posts outside the ’21’. We did in fairness perform better on the latter front yesterday with Diarmuid in particular really standing out. The man is a machine – how quickly he has become part of the heart of the team. Boyler even came up and took a pop himself and fair play to him for taking it on and leading by example. A serious leader and a serious contender for captain after that performance.

    I said it last week too however – there really is no excuse at this stage for forwards dropping balls short into the keeper’s hands at critical stages in the game – it is happening way too often.

    Overall, great determination shown but as Ultair said above Monaghan were just not at the races in terms of killing the game off and I felt we were lucky; that said, Joe Mc gave us absolutely nothing – it was like the reverse of Barry in Ballybofey. Even the Monaghan supporters were agreeing!

    Special mention for Ger Caff who as others have said above has taken some serious and unmerited criticism in the past – he is having a stormer of a campaign and he was magnificent yesterday.

    All in all, given where we are if someone told me this time a month ago we’d go to play Monaghan in Clones with no Aidan and no Keith and come away with a win I’d have been very pleasantly surprised.

    Roll on Kerry next week – this will be a dogfight and I really hope we assert ourselves on home ground.

  80. Also, just a quick note regarding season tickets being swapped. After the Dublin game we in Club 51 were contacted by a significant number of people complaining that their attendance records hadn’t been correctly updated and we are still in discussions with Croke Park trying to intervene on their behalf.

    Croke Park are (understandably) trying to crack down on abuse of the season ticket system – such as the practice of people trying to transfer tickets outside the grounds or falsely claiming attendance at games. Now we are all getting emails in big bold red text warning us not to transfer tickets which in turn puts pressure on the volunteers at the gates in Clones or MacHale Park or wherever to intervene and police this, which seems a bit unfair.

    I am no defender of Croke Park or the “Official GAA” machine as many of you well know, but I do think there are some who tend to forget that the actual purpose of the ticket is to reward loyalty and guarantee All Ireland tickets to those fans who actually do put in the time and effort to support the team all year round. Fair is fair. Understandably not everyone can do that; but ultimately, those who do are the ones who should benefit.

    Routinely transferring tickets in order to claim that benefit despite not having attended games undermines the system, and ultimately if something goes wrong, other supporters are then penalised because Croke Park then won’t entertain any genuine grievances. And yeah, of course it’s your money and your card to do with as you wish, but just so you know there is a knock-on effect for other people 🙂

  81. I agree and disagree with you Anne Marie on the ticket front.Obviously if somebody buys a season ticket and transfers it for a good number of games during the league then this is not right.However,not everybody can make 70% of the league games due to any number of circumstances,they may for example make half.Should that person who has contributed financially and has a decent record of attendance be discriminated against? Should they be in trouble for getting their friend to have their tickets scanned at a game that may put them over the 70% mark? I don’t think so.
    Yesterday I had my Cairde Maigheo ticket and a friends season ticket to scan.I went to the entrance and my CM ticket was scanned but the guy refused to scan the second ticket.He suggested i go to the ticket selling van and try to offload it.When i did this i found there was already a group of sheepish looking Mayo supporters having to do the same thing.There was also a jobsworth steward in the van roaring out the window rather dramatically that “thats illegal”.I decided to just go to a separate gate and get the second ticket scanned,no probs.
    I do agree the policing of this shouldnt be left up to stewards volunteering their time (although some seemed to revel in it up in Clones) Either the GAA leave a bit of wiggle room on this or implement a different system.

  82. FW – its 60% not 70% and its of all games not just league. 7 League Games and 5 Championship games is 12 games. If you only went to 2 league games and all championship games you would have enough to qualify.

  83. Well done to all yesterday,I just want to comment on the players,I have always thought GCaff was getting unfair criticism as the fowards he was facing were the best of their generation,now he is really showing how good he is,also on Loftus,and Regan,give them time,I remember J Horan starting C oS and DoC against Ros ,and getting criticism for it,they both are massive players for the team now,just keep the faith,we are very very close,and I have been waiting over sixty years

  84. Ok on the ticket thing, I do have a grudge against the GAA regarding the price hike this year as there is now no cash incentive for renewing your ticket (no savings really in the value as opposed to buying once off ticketsfor matches).

    However I do think its wrong to rock up to the entrance with multiple tickets and expect to get them scanned. There are plenty of people wanting mayo season tickets and cant get them. If you cant attend you should be able to give a ticket to a family member or friend who doesnt have one and wants too attend.

    70 percent attendence has been mentioned on here, im pretty sure its 60, in which case if Mayo win Connacht they will potentially play 11 games before AI final, you need to attend 7 to qualify for final tickets. This is not that difficult to achieve. If a ticket holder cant get to this many games in the season maybe they should think about giving up the ticket to someone who can.

  85. Apologies,I got my figures at bit off there.

    Mayomad,giving your ticket to a friend or family member is not allowed under the current rules as that is transferring a ticket.

    Also,if this was an total piss take and people were rocking up with 4-5 tickets to be scanned regularly that that would be one thing.But the odd person needing a ticket scanned for a friend who couldn’t make a particular game (or indeed giving the ticket to a family member/friend) is fine by me.If anybody asked me to offload or have a ticket scanned for the remaining league games I’d have no problem doing it.

  86. I both agree and disagree with you fw. I agree that a little wiggle room is needed hence you should get away with transfering a ticket to a friend or family member if you cant attend ( not a regular thing mind).

    There are however people going up to stewards with multiple tickets and trying to get them scanned which is wrong. I have witnessed people with 5+ tickets outside grounds. Others collecting several from total strangers inside the ground after being scanned.

    There is abuse of the system going on. Of course not everyone can make every game but at the start of the season before renewing the ticket if you think you cant attend the minimum amount of matches then you really should give it up.

  87. I do think they’re cool enough with transferring a ticket to a family member or friend in advance of a game to be honest. And so they should be – we have paid good money for it, and as MayoMad says there is no real financial value in the ticket now (sure, there is added value such as free games in Croker and the club finals for Croke Park tickets but ultimately, that’s not what you buy the season ticket for). Most of us have probably done that at some point and personally I’d have very few qualms about doing it again – in a genuine situation. And what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them, does it?

    What they are not cool with is the piss-ripping that is going on outside venues week in, week out – such as asking stewards to scan a ticket whose owner clearly isn’t present. It defeats the entire point of the system – if you are not there, you have no entitlement to have your attendance recorded. Jeez, at least make an effort and try to hide the fact that you’re pulling a fast one! 😉

    Apart from the convenience of the system the only real benefit is the access to the AI ticket if you need it and if Croke Park refuse to entertain any genuine complaints on this they are potentially hurting genuine supporters.

    Anyway, didn’t mean to derail the original discussion – back to the match!

  88. Mayomad, I actually agree with you re Aidan going off – not out of badness but it definitely forced a situation where the other forwards had to step up and it was very encouraging to see so many of them on the scoresheet. Something that is worth considering.

    Mind you we played for a while as if he was still there, sending in hail mary balls in the hope that one of our forwards would suddenly sprout muscles like Popeye and shoot up a few inches …

    Cliona the crowd was brilliant yesterday, they really got behind the team. I was on the terrace and I thought at one stage the roof was going to lift off the stand!

  89. Anne-Marie, I agree with ya, giving a ticket to a friend who is attending as you cant make it should be fine. But the abuse of the system that is so obvious is not on. The season ticket is much welcome as it finally allows real fans who regularly attend games a fair chance for final tickets and should how be abused. Rant over, back to the more important think, the match.

    Agree, totally not out of badness that it was good AOS not being at ff, he is an awsome footballer and vital too the team. There are times when putting a big man up front is needed. But the xfactor around AOS at ff is gone and teams have worked it out, its 1pt in five games now from that position which says it all.

    We actually do have good forwards, DOC is a player of the year in the making, Regan, Loftus, COC are coming on with you know who to come back, things are looking good. Not to mention Kirby Coen &Dougie to feature yet. Mayo have forwards to do real damage so lets not just rely on hail marys to the bigman and lets have the confidence to play ball in the forwards.

  90. Its good to see a performance like that this time of the year and also a result to boot.
    Wining up there waas never going to be easy but what it should also do is bring on the morale and confidence of the team and individuals.

    Same again aginst Kerry please.

    I firmly believe we will dominate midfield but Robbie must bring his A game for kick outs .

    Donagahy is going to roam out the field so I think Keegan should go with him . put him on the back foot and have him run after Leeroy.

    If he does go inside Ger Caff plus some help will coape with him .

    What we need to do on the fullforward line is box smart.

    If we start AOS fullforward he should go right into the end line and Regan and Loftus the same.
    The trio should stand on the end line and when DOC, COS/TP/SOS or Kevin Mc are in
    possesion then Loftus and Regan can play to their strengths and beat any player in a foot race .
    all they need is that yard whereby they are not currently as strong as more experienced interconty footballers but they have more talent than most.
    So give them that yard to work in and their skills will trump and corner back.

    As regards AOS on the end line, he needs a run and attack the ball coming in rather than jumping statically from long deliveries into the box.
    He too if he gets a run and jump at ball is unmarkable.
    WHEN he does win the ball he simply lays it off to the speed merchants either side of takes on his man.

    As Al Pacino said its a game of inches and we are nearing a game plan just need certain things refined.

  91. Congratulations to Stephen Rochford on his first win for Mayo and to all the team The best team won but they made a bit of hard work of it. Indiscipline certainly I feel was an issue conceding g so many frees to keep them in the game. Running into traffic with the ball still an issue and kickouts strategy needs to be sorted. Defense wise things look better but I would worry about the switching to man to man markong approach at times . When Monaghan threatened our goal seriously it wss at those times.
    The AOS on the 40 camp got more ammo yesterday. I’m in that camp by the way! I though Doherty did well at FF. The other star performers have been well documented already but I thought Mcloughlin was excellent very intelligent player.
    One thing I really like is Rochford I think he is an incredibly intelligent manager and candid analyst of the game. Whether or not he can deliver the ultimate only time will tell but we have renewed hope at least…..

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