Monaghan 2-16 Mayo 0-13: a border beating

We came into this game at Clones this afternoon with plenty of positive hopes about getting the kind of result that could kick-start this League campaign for us. We’re coming out of it, however, with the most profound doubts about how we stand and what direction we’re heading in.

Well matched throughout the first half, Monaghan were starting to get the upper hand on us after the break but, with ten minutes left to play, we were still in it. Then, once Jordan Flynn picked up a second yellow and we were reduced to fourteen men, the roof fell in on us. We ended up shipping a bad nine-point trimming at the finish.

We made two changes before throw-in at St Tiernach’s Park today. Neither putative debutant Eoghan MacLaughlin nor James Carr togged at all, with James Durcan and Jordan Flynn lining out instead. We made changes to the bench too, with Keith Higgins, Conor Loftus and Paul Towey all added to our list of replacements.

We drew first blood right at the start. Padraig O’Hora found himself in an advanced position and got swung around as he settled himself for a shot. The ref played advantage and the Ballina man landed a peach off his left to get us going.

We had chances to add to our lead but Fergal Boland and Ryan O’Donoghue both missed the target. Then Rory Beggan got pinged for taking too long on his restart, Aidan O’Shea won the hop ball and fed Ryan who blasted it over.

Monaghan opened their account a few minutes later. McCarthy showed Michael Plunkett a clean pair of heels down the right wing as he sped clear and fisted over.

Monaghan saw plenty of the ball in this period – they did for much of the half – as we retreated when they were in possession and invited them onto us. On our next break-out, however, Lee Keegan sped forward and off-loaded to Darren Coen who bagged a fine score.

When Malone was fouled fifty or so yards out Beggan trotted up for his first look at the posts. He didn’t fancy it, though, and instead played the pass which was quickly transferred to McManus. You can guess the rest.

Their equaliser soon after saw them carve open our backline, O’Connell eventually blasting over when maybe a goal chance was on. We responded well, though, with Jordan Flynn and James Durcan, from a mark, edging us back in front.

Jordan saw yellow after his score. He’s a marked man nowadays and the neck-high challenge was always going to see him in the book.  This card was to have huge consequences for us later on in the game.

But, with a bit over ten minutes to go to the break, we had no warning about what was going to strike us. We pushed our lead back out to two when Oisin Mullin raided forward and shot confidently through the posts.

Then Monaghan hit back with effect. Aidan was all over McCarthy as he claimed the ball and Anthony Nolan signalled the advantage but our backline appeared to be in two minds as to whether or not the free had been given. The Monaghan player had no such doubts as he kept going and planted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Soon after, Diarmuid O’Connor followed Jordan into the book for a stupid, around-the-neck foul. Now we had two men walking on eggshells.

A Beggan free boomed over from distance put them two up. But we pulled level by half-time, Darren Coen ending a flowing downfield move by firing over and then then Diarmuid O’Connor converting off the ground the first and only scorable free we’d been awarded up until then.

We had a let-off just before the break when Oisin slipped allowing McManus to burst clear but the Farney talisman fired wide. The furious Monaghan fans thought we’d got another break when Diarmuid was involved in an incident down in front of the stand which they felt merited a second yellow. It didn’t, of course, but it underlined the issue we faced with two players now in last chance saloon territory.

It was this issue that dominated our half-time chat where the consensus was that if both Jordan or Diarmuid were left on in the second second then one or other of them wouldn’t see out the seventy minutes. It gives no pleasure to say we told you so, in light of what happened in the second half.

We made one change ahead of the resumption, Tommy Conroy replacing Fergal Boland. Kearns posted the opening score after the break but, when Aidan was fouled twenty yards out at the other end, Kevin McLoughlin got our first point of the half from the resultant free to level it up.

But it was the home side who looked sharper in this half. Points from McCarron and McManus (free) pushed them two ahead. Darren Coen hit back with a score for us but then, with Wylie swinging out of him, saw his next effort go wide off the post. Wylie was booked a few minutes later – when the ref’s attention was called to what he’d been up to – but his foul on Darren wasn’t punished on the scoreboard as it surely would have been had the foul been caught when it had occurred.

Frustration with the ref mounted and when we were penalised harshly fifty yards out Aidan appeared to let Nolan know what he thought of the decision. The ball was moved up and McManus tapped it over.

The lively McCarthy then pointed to put them three up. Kevin McLoughlin, his marker holding onto him as he tried to steady himself, shot over a riposte for us but McCarthy again, this time from the fist, pushed the gap back out to three.

Another free by Kevin cut the gap once more but then Stephen Coen missed a chance to narrow the margin still further when he was off target with an effort from a mark.

The game hadn’t gone away from us then, with ten minutes of normal time to go, but it soon did. Jordan Flynn picked up a second yellow and, with it, a red and he had hardly finished trudging from the field when Duffy bundled in their second goal of the match.

We were done for now. McManus belted over a point soon after and, with our backline now in utter disarray, full-back Boyle waltzed forward and pointed. Another McManus point, this one after claiming the mark, pushed them eight clear.

Paul Towey, a League debutant off the bench in the second half, hit a beauty off the outside of his boot as the game went into injury time. But it was Monaghan who had the final say, with two injury time scores to close out an emphatic nine-point win. A dismal day for us was capped by Padraig O’Hora getting the line on a second yellow in the dying seconds.

It’s bordering on impossible to take any crumbs of comfort from this loss. We were, once again, toothless in attack today and, combined with this, the way we were repeatedly carved open at the back was alarming in the extreme. We played like a team that’s headed for relegation and that’s our fate unless we start to get points on the board and fast.

Nothing comes easy in the top division, however, and with Kerry coming to Castlebar next weekend and a tough trip to Salthill to face high-flying Galway in the round after that, it could well be that final round heroics won’t be enough to save us this year. We need to find some form because, if we perform again like we did today, then there’s only one direction we’re heading in this spring.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Padraig O’Hora (0-1), Oisin Mullin (0-1), Lee Keegan; Stephen Coen, Michael Plunkett, Paddy Durcan; Jordan Flynn (0-1), Aidan O’Shea; Fergal Boland, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1, free); Kevin McLoughlin (0-3, one free), Darren Coen (0-3), James Durcan (0-1, mark). Subs: Tommy Conroy for Boland, Keith Higgins for James Durcan, Paul Towey (0-1) for Darren Coen, Eoin O’Donoghue for Plunkett, Conor Loftus for Ryan O’Donoghue.

Who was our MOTM against Monaghan? Pick your top three performers

  • Oisin Mullin (19%, 230 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (15%, 176 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (15%, 175 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (11%, 131 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (10%, 117 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (8%, 99 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (4%, 44 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (3%, 39 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (3%, 36 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (3%, 35 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (2%, 21 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (1%, 10 Votes)
  • James Durcan (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 665

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81 thoughts on “Monaghan 2-16 Mayo 0-13: a border beating

  1. Be under no illusions we have serious problems up front in terms of emerging talent James Carr apart. It’s telling that our best forward by far today was Darren Coen. Other than that we were rudderless up front…and is no a major issue. Missed too many opportunities in the first half and no real link up play up front.

    Remember we’re reasonably lucky to have any points on the board at all.

    I’m terrified of being relegated…but it’s a dog fight now.

  2. By the way are Galway on the up? It strikes me that they have much better options in forwards than we have.

  3. Galway could nick an All Ireland this year.
    They will get further than us anyway.

    We are in transition at the moment and sadly, I do not believe the current crop are on the same level as those who came before. Galway at the moment remind me of us back in 2012/13. They will come very good in summer.

  4. Far too much pessimism on here. We are blooding new players and are missing our free taker. The young lads are getting great experience and look at the point Towey took so confidently. Heads up everyone

  5. No great surprise that we lost but 9 points in the end was huge. Donegal have a much better score difference but the hiding Galway gave to Tyrone today means that the red hand have score difference issues as well. Thought we were ok in the first half but felt it was getting away from us after Monaghan first goal. Being relatively toothless in attack is not anything new but I am seriously worried about our defence Boyler is and will be a huge loss and if Harrison’s injury is serious we are in big trouble. Jason Doc is proving a huge loss for us and of course Cillian s absence is major. The younger lads are getting a deserved chance and we should give them their opportunity without being over critical. We have been in this situation many times before as we usually struggle early in the league with so many of our players based away. We have pulled off some Houdini acts before and we may again this year but we have 3 difficult games left. If we can beat Tyrone we have an excellent chance of staying up as the head to head will be crucial Next week v Kerry looks tough and I doubt we will get much charity from our high flying neighbours whom I am sure wouldn’t shed too many years to see us depart to Div 2.

  6. Important to keep heads up. We’ve been here many times and always come good in the end.
    Meath nearly got the better of Kerry today, and theres every chance we’ll beat them at home next week.
    Let’s not write off the young players just yet.
    They showing well and it’s all great experience for them. Never say we’re down until we’re down.

  7. Sending off was poor from both players, on yellows and silly challenges from players on yellow. DOC very lucky to stay on the pitch as well. We had a kick from a mark to get within a point from Stephen Coen, very poor miss and Jordan Flynn sent off as ball came out. Once he was sent off we were completely overrun. Could be a long evening in Castlebar next Saturday night. We need to get a couple of players back or we look in trouble!

  8. Conor mccarthy gave first plunkett and later stephen coen 2 ummerciful roastings
    I fear there is going to be a huge Boyle shaped hole up the center of our defence for rest of year.
    Meath waltzed up the middle for goal chances too.
    The first monaghan goal was a shocker to concede, mccarthy running away from goal managed to drop a shoulder and wriggle through weak, half assed tackles from o’hora, aos and leeroy

    The gulf in quality between kickouts was galling

  9. …. As WJ mentions in review management must take some blame for the red cards. Refs will only be too happy to show flynn red after the u20 final, after he was booked he committed 3 more fouls. Horan should have anticipated this and replaced him. Doc very fortunate not to walk also

    By contrast as soon as drew wylie got a yellow banty whipped him immediately

    I still think we will beat Tyrone and stay up. They hammering they took today will be hard to recover from….but there are definite worries going forward. At both ends of the pitch

  10. Our kickouts were fine. Beggan had a few poor ones when it was 15 v 15, can’t really judge him after that. Hennelly was one of our better performers.

    Conor McCarthy was roasting Plunkett so it was correct to change him but Stephen Coen was never going to be a good match up on him! Surely Coen should have been put on Kieran Hughes and move Leeroy onto McCarthy.

    Discipline not good enough. Don’t think I’d trust Flynn starting again for a while. Maybe bring him on last 10 minutes when he’s less time to get in bother… That’s 2 games where we’ve been in strong positions and he’s got sent off. Didn’t affect the result but so stupid what O’Hora did when on a yellow. Diarmuid was blessed to stay on the field too.

    Positives were Oisín Mullin, need to keep him away from the Aussies if we’re going to be competitive in future. Darren Coen was very sharp for his 1st game back. Kevin Mc and Aidan also good. Nice point from Towey at the end.

  11. _ Walking past the scaffolding and rebuilding Ireland signs in Clones this afternoon I could not help wondering if rebuilding Ireland will be easier than rebuilding Mayo.
    – Monaghan had their full team and were just off championship pitch. We are missing at least 6 key players and we not near the sharpness of Monaghan.
    – Flynns second yellow was very harsh but we got lucky as Diarmuid should have been gone on a second yellow before Flynn.
    – I would have subbed Flynn at halftime purely because he was on a yellow in a tight match. I would also have taken off James D who did not have much impact same with Fergal B.
    – Until the sending off we were keeping in touch but would have needed a goal to win and we never looked like scoring a goal.
    – We are really missing Andy as he could mix it, Conroy and Towey do not YET have the power to match the likes of Wylie or Colin Walshe.
    – Remenber we are NOT relegated yet we need 3 points from next 3 games.
    – Need to get some resemblance of shape in defence and attack as we were shapeless today..
    – Need to keep 15 men on the field against Kerry Sat night and treat it like a do or die match. We are running out of road and out of excuses but we are not finished yet.
    – Note Galway are not 2020 Connacht/All Ireland champions despite what Pauric Joyce says and an increasingly fawning media may believe.

  12. I think there’s a difference between ‘its only the league/take the positives/we’ve been here’s before’ argument and realising that from a long term structural perspective there are serious concerns that we are not producing the forward talent required to compete with Kerry, Dublin……and Galway!

    Sean Bugler made his debut for Dublin last night and looks a real player.

    We mustn’t ignore the warning signs and expect that everything will simply come good.

    There is now also some leakage in defence but I reckon that can be fixed.

    Ruane is a big loss as well….but that aside, the red lights are flashing up front and we need to be careful not to dismiss it as simply the time of the year.

  13. It was very obvious that either Doc or Flynn once they were booked were going to get sent off. Indeed the ref gave Doc a break just before ht when he backed off giving him the 2nd yellow. Both should have been taken off at ht. Fresh legs were needed with about 20 mins to go. But Hoean reverted to old tactic of putting on players with less than 5 mins to go. Too many light forwards playing again and not able to win ball or take on defenders. We all want new players tried – but there has to be balance.

  14. I asked this last year and I’ll ask again
    What is Horans defensive game plan ?
    Opened up every game down the middle

    So the same as 2014

  15. Dont write off Flynn just yet–i would prefer to be trying to curb a mean streak in a player rather then trying to put it in to him. While Galway & Kerry have great forwards they are very open in the back.I would like us to decide on our FB & CHB & build a defence around them.

  16. I have to agree with you Spotlight. If this was 3/4 years ago, I’d say the league is just the league and we will come good. But I have serious concerns about where we are now. I don’t think the problems we have at present are easily fixed and won’t be fixed in the next few weeks. We simply don’t have a dynamic forward line that is creative enough to make things happen when we are on the ropes and that isn’t going to change between now and summer. You could argue that we have always been a little short up front, but we had a roving half back line and a robust half forward line that made up the difference many a time in the past. Unfortunately I think we are seeing cracks in both of those lines now too. Boyle is a huge loss and it was clear today as it was against Meath too. His absence will be felt as the year goes on and it just goes to show how irreplaceable this crop is. We don’t have like for like replacements for these players. Problems at underage rearing their head at senior level now that we are coming to the end of a cycle. Unlike Dublin, we don’t have a conveyor belt of talent as the underage structures haven’t been properly taken care of. This actually WAS our once off, golden generation.

    There has been a serious dip in the standard of our tackling too. Trouble of some kind happening in nearly every game now due to late, sloppy tackles or just pure indiscipline. Something we were a lot more mindful of in the past, but that seems to have gone out the window too. Donie Buckley is missed, I’m afraid.

    And on top of that all the injuries we are experiencing over the last year or so…

    I wish I could be more optimistic, and usually I would be, but I really just feel we have a lot of problems at present and I don’t see how many of them are going to be fixed before summer. I think this is going to be a long and arduous project, unfortunately.

  17. A lot of negativity on here.
    Monaghan are probably the fittest team in the country and are playing great stuff at the moment. We stuck with them and did well in the 1st half.OHora ,Mullin ,ROD did well,with Mattie,sheamie,Barrett,Cillian and hopefully Doc back in the summer id be confident playing a team like Monaghan.

  18. The more I see the Dubs play the more I want them beaten. From looking at the game last night I’m baffled to decisions that went against Donegal, in 1st half John Small obstructs a Donegal player, the ref sees it as an accidental collision, and for some strange reason the Dubs were awarded a free, took me back to our All Ireland final of 2017. The Dubs antics in injury time was disgraceful, Murphy gets a 2nd yellow for very little, Small again the instigator. In a nutshell I’m looking to see what teams are best placed to match the Dubs, sadly Mayo not one of those just yet, Galway appear to be the team of 2020, will be a match for Kerry later in the year.
    Mayo need to try and stay in Div 1 at any cost. The fresh approach, level of performance required from all the Galway players is there for all to see, Padraig Joyce has himself delivered on the big day, he has set the bar.
    Mayo management need to do something drastic, I must admit I fear Galway after today’s game, but also delighted that finally there is a team ready to topple the Dubs.

  19. It’s the league Mayo88. Calm down! We will be closer to the Dubs than Galway when it matters.

  20. I’m more concerned about our defence, in particular our full backline, than our forwards. Whille full back play has changed enormously in recent years when you are paying Monaghan with a Hughes playing No 14 it reverts to old style. You need a good fielding bullocking style man in there.Today we fielded three men who would be more at home in the half back line. As in the Meath game it cost us two goals – and two league points. Do we have natural full backs coming on?
    Up front I thought that Darren Coen spent too much time away from the goal area where he is most effective. Cillian O’Connor had in my opinion the same fault so I am wondering is it a management tactic. If so it is wrong. Ryan O’Donoghue worked very hard but held on the the ball too much trying to work his way into goal scoring range. It was unlikely to work against that experienced Monaghan defence and a few good point scoring opportunities were missed as a result.
    My last point is that Mayo had five comparative newbies to day as against Monaghan’s two. [O’Hora, Mullins, O’Donoghue, Flynn and Jas Durcan for Mayo, Bannigan and Ward for Monaghan. That has to make a difference. In addition we were very light in experience on the named bench too with only Parsons and O’Donoghue. Agreed Higgins was added but even so it was light on experience

  21. i’d rather we go down trying players out than stay up constantly playing the same 15.

    Paddy Durcan should be tried as 3rd midfielder in the next match given licence to roam similar to Brian Howard role for Dublin

  22. The performance was poor, but In fairness to Horan, I presume there are limited joint training sessions happening at this time of year with the Dublin and Mayo based squad split. There are also a lot of inexperienced lads on the field now and sometime it really shows. Monaghan looked fitter and more more cohesive.
    In additon you cant compare the type of forward talent Galway and Kerry have with what we have at the moment.Some of the scores Galway got today on a soft pitch were top notch. We dont have a Shane Walsh or anything even close. That’s not Horan’s fault. Hopefully we will be a lot tighter as a unit come summer.

    Game against Kerry is now crucial becuase there is zero chance that we will beat Galway away. In fact we could get a real trimming unless the defence tightened up considerably.

    Positives D Coen is back and will get better with games. Towey looks like a prospect and needs game time at this level.

  23. Btw,staying on the positives D Coen looks like hes got lighter but put on a stone of muscle at the same time?
    Just what I was hoping he would do!

  24. Flynn should have been substituted at half time he was on borrowed time with some of his tackles. We ended the game with a very weak and light full forward line we haven’t replaced Andy for winning ball and distribution Boyle too is a big loss around the middle for winning dirty ball. We have two games coming up and we will be very lucky to get anything out of them other than heavy beatings it could come down to the Tyrone game for survival hopefully Killian might be back at that stage.

  25. Diarmuid o Connor was very lucky not to be sent off before half time.
    What is the story with Tom Parsons?

  26. Contrast ourselves with Donegal currently. Donegal have had a similar level of underage talent 2012-2018. The main difference is Donegal have defensive and attacking patterns learned. From what I seen today, our main issue is that we are not playing to any pattern.
    Tell me today when a forward received within 20 yards of goal and had a runner coming off of him?
    I noticed is getting plenty bodies around the middle, then Monaghan would switch to the other wing and have kickpassers into 1 v 1 matchups in plenty space. Monaghan were able to put kickpasses out ahead of forwards so that they could take the ball on the bounce running straigh towards the Mayo goal in plenty space. That type of pass should never be on at Division one level. They did it twice on the same wing in the first half. It all feels very out of date 2014 football.

  27. Chickens came home to roost today. No discernable improvement in our play from the previous games. Woeful shooting especially in the first half. Pot shots. We have got to start attacking down the middle some of the time and not running into the corner. Players too often taking possession running away from the goal. Where has our off the shoulder running game disappeared to? Small Mayo support there today. A long way to go to see a poor display. Flynn needs to cop himself on and get closer to his man as out ot position for a lot of their kick outs. All in all another very poor day out.

  28. Looking at the fixtures. Tyrone have Dublin at home and Donegal away. Quite possible they will get nothing there and arrive at the last game V Mayo still on 4. Even if we lost our next 2 as well we will be on 3. Simply, we would have to beat Tyrone at “fortress Mchale” in front of 25,000 on the last day to stay up. We can do that.

  29. Watched TG4, as already mentioned, our forward play is poor, unsure if this is due to problems out the field or that we don’t have an effective system. We are also lacking physicality, never a good thing playing Monaghan.
    Our tackling has disimproved, too many over the shoulder which are now being booked if in contact with the head. Some positives include Oisin Mullen and Darren Coen, and some (if infrequent) running game, need to decide on a team structure as difficulty getting fluency when so many changes week to week.
    Two home games are key, will need to get something next Saturday under lights, have given up our league title but hopefully can still retain our division 1 status.

  30. I’d drop Flynn completely for the rest of the league give him a chance to cool down and think about his game and come back a better player the last thing we need is guys getting sent off he has form now and refs will watch him. I’m in the it’s only the league camp whilst I don’t expect us to win the all Ireland I’m long enough watching Mayo to know that we’ll be better but the likes of Boyler will be a huge loss I’d rather go down trying out young guys than flogging The likes of Keith Higgins and Seamus O Shea and Vaughan trying to stay up. It would be nice to see some semblance of a forward and defensive plan mind be time to say a novena to St. Anthony to find one

  31. Did anyone see ciaran mc on the line today, for the life of me I can’t understand why we didn’t use 5 subs a lot earlier today, it was obvious the legs were gone in a number of players, Flynn and j durcan should have been substituted at half time

  32. Think our Strength and conditioning and tackling has dropped off massively since the loss of the All Ireland Final in 2017 the 2 big things that made us competetive against Dublin .The major losses been Barry Solan ,Donie Buckley and Tony McEntee.

  33. Think we shouldn’t press the panic button yet with 3 games to go though not easy 3 more points are attainable. Injuries are killing team could survive against championshiplike teams with so many rookies. Only 7 or 8 from today Will make championship team. 2 newcomers is enough with 13 experience heads around them. We have 7 or 8 trying to find their feet at the same time. .stay with the lads- they deserve our respect

  34. Ciaran Mc was on the line today.

    Watched the game back there. Mullin was actually better than I thought at the time. Also Darren Coen very impressive. I think there’s a bit much being made of our bad forward play. Add Carr, Cillian and hopefully Jason Doc to that team and we’ll cause anyone problems. Conroy struggled physically today but he has the frame to fill out over the next year or 2.

    Not a good day at the office for Stephen Coen and Michael Plunkett. Flynn doesn’t help himself complaining to the ref about every foul, even ones he’s not involved in.

  35. I didn’t expect us to win today. Losing by two or three with a decent display and some signs of improvement would have satisfied me. And we did ok in the first half despite some ridiculous attempts at scores. However, we rarely move the ball forward at speed allowing a very fit and energetic Monaghan to get back in numbers and shut off our options. Passing the ball over and back was just what suited monaghan. We seem obsessed with this type of play and it’s not delivering scoring chances. We created no goal chance today or against Dublin and the two goals we scored so far in the league were slightly odd events and not the result of a good build up.
    OK we can justifiably claim that we had a lot of inexperienced players on the field, that we are not as fit as Monaghan this time of year, that losing Jordan Flynn was costly and a lot of other issues. Some believe it will all come good later. I’m not so sure.

  36. Wide ball only for Donegal kicked so many wides on a wet day we got that result.How good was our S and C down in Killarney in the Super 8s and against Dublin in the 2nd half of last years All Ireland Semi Final. we were way off our 2013 to 2017 levels, Mike Comer Corofins S and C coach already making a huge impact with Galway Seniors, thought some of there players looked in serious shape today and won a large majority of the 50/50 challenges against Tyrone who you never get anything easy off. I expect Galway to really challenge Dublin later in the Summer.They have a great backroom team in place.

  37. Yew Tree – I’m sorry but I’ve had to delete that comment. I don’t want any discussion about that individual happening here.

    BazHam – same goes for you. I’ve no desire to get the blog dragged into that particular soap opera so I’m going to have to insist that this is a topic that’s off-limits here.

  38. Well said WJ. Leave that talk to the twitter brigade.

    Some over reaction on here. We were in that match up to the sending off.

  39. Reading comments on here a few months ago. One was led to believe that C Mc was our saviour. Forwards would be scoring with their eyes shut. But as the man said ” You can only dance with the girls in the hall.”

  40. Chris Kelly – we also had our share of wides vs Donegal. There were mitigating factors in that Killarney game as it was our 4th weekend on the bounce playing (our own fault of course) and it was searing heat that day. Our S and C was also fine in the league final last year vs Kerry. I just think the whole fitness thing will be fine come summer as long as our injuries clear up.

    The most pressing concern is how many goal chances Monaghan created today. We need more pace in the half back line for one thing. Horan also needs to stop chopping and changing the team so much every week. We’ll never develop any attacking or defensive cohesion otherwise.

  41. Have to agree with Chris Kelly – our S and C looks way off what it was 2-3 years ago. Even lads in the panel for 6-8 years now seem to have gone backwards.
    We lost a lot of expertise in Solan, Buckley and Mc Entee.
    It looks like Tyrone could struggle to get anything out of Dublin and Donegal games. That means it could be winner stays up in our last game home to Tyrone. Keep the faith. Up we have a right go at Ky next weekend.

  42. Mayo are trying out a lot of physically still developing players. So, it was no surprise Monaghan were fitter and stronger than us today.
    Mayo never go well without at least having parity in the physicality aspect. To that extent missing our strongest forward (Cillian), most athletic midfielder (Matthew Ruane) and the muscular and flinty Chris Barrett is 3 of the stronger outfield 14 players.

  43. If we get everyone back fit for the championship we will be up there competing on a par with the rest of them. As for the league division two is very competitive and might not be such a disaster.

  44. I think Mayo will be fine actually I’d fancy them getting a result next Sat v Kerry ( which is live on Rte 2).
    Was in Tuam today, even before the sending off Tyrone were poor, very open at the back and even with 14 they got it back to 3 points, They gave up completely after the Injury and second sending off.
    Trust me Galway have lots of work to do.
    Lots of twists and turns yet..

  45. Jaysus lads making calls about how good S&C is in February. In fairness it’s one area Horans teams have never been found wanting in.Also people on about Shane Walsh should remember that Durcan destroyed him last year believe Keegan did so aswell in a previous year. i’ll believe all the hype about him when he delivers in championship in croke park against a top class defender he tends to disappear when things are ratcheted up

  46. @Wideball, exactly…those aussies are sniffing around our lads bigtime. Its well known. Just gotta hope Oisin and Mattie opt to stick with their home and the Mayo cause. Two absolutely key figures for Mayo football for the next 8-10 years. It’s crucial that we hold onto our best if we are to have any chance.

  47. Hope Jordan Flynn is not on every refs radar or he will have to consider changing code. It was a poor performance. Even when we were in a good scoring position players preferred to recycle.

  48. Well beaten and lucky it wasn’t a 15 plus point beating. Could be as good as relegated already but for robbing a point off Donegal in Ballybofey and the win v Meath.

    Best hope for Mayo now is that Tyrone are as bad as that hammering to Galway and that 5 points will be enough to stay up. Mayo with this amount of issues on and off the field won’t be beating Kerry or Galway.

  49. Mayonaze, if the 2 lads are good enough they’ll be in oz and they’d be mad not to. If it doesn’t work out they can always come back.

  50. I’m not going to judge the lads too harshly right now as I think we have to remind ourselves that we’ve been here before – down to the bare bones squad wise, the squad not training together, front loading our S&C to peak for later in the Summer yadda yadda yadda. This really is nothing new and there are any number of excuses that can be doled out to explain it. The reality is We’ve been blessed to stay up in the past, but in other years, big players have stepped up when needed. Kev’s late point in Donegal and Aidan’s introduction against the same opposition in Castlebar as a sub, being prime examples of both scenarios. The only other scenario that could possibly play out is a meek surrender by failing to register any points in our remaining games. History tells us the 3rd scenario is the least likely, with ourselves & Tyrone slugging it out for that final spot in all likelihood. By deduction, I’d back us given our pedigree for avoiding the drop, against their relative yo-yo status in comparison. I’d also expect us to come out with all guns blazing against Kerry next weekend, though the lack of any real attacking strategy continues to be a huge concern. On we go…

  51. Players from 2019 not available yesterday.


  52. I just want to offset all my negative posts yesterday with a positive…
    Oisin Mullin is a serious player, our motm by a country mile yesterday, serious athleticism and he never hid. An hour marking the cleverest corner forward in the country will stand to him too.

    Could see him being a number 3 or a number 6 for us for the next dozen years

  53. Didn’t expect to win yesterday – it was obvious from long before throw-in that Monaghan were pumped for this game and had no intention of letting those two points leave Clones. They were almost in championship mode (a bit like our noisy neighbours) and have been unlucky thus fa, so I felt all week we would reap the punishment there. I just didn’t expect it to be by nine points. Chatting to a few of the Monaghan supporters at half time though they were worried and felt we were the better team – I couldn’t quite fathom that one out!

    I really don’t feel that this loss is the endgame that so many people think it is; why on earth would we be at our best in February, especially with so many inexperienced players on the field and key players missing/not at their fittest? Why would our S&C be at championship levels in what is essentially still the middle of winter? Granted, it is hard to see us getting a result from either of the next two games; but I wouldn’t write us off yet either. The Tyrone game will be the next target for a win, and hopefully we will have enough to get us over the line. We have flown by the seat of our pants here before and I agree with Exiled in Dublin’s prognosis.

    We also had a similar conversation about half time about Flynn and O’Connor being left on the pitch and it was, if not surprising, frustrating that no switch was made there, particularly given the fact that Diarmuid was not exactly having his best game. Still, will refrain from the ridiculous rhetoric that appears to be doing the rounds elsewhere on social media, given that it’s only February. (I can understand why the topic might be off limits!)

    Great to see Paul Towey take the game by the scruff of the neck when he came on – he has a bright future. I thought Oisin Mullen did very well again yesterday. And despite the second yellow I thought Pádraig O’Hora did well too. Kevin McLoughlin seems to be in the form of his life, I hope that stays with him for the year!

    I’d be disappointed to see either him or Mattie go to Oz but would also wish them well – we have no entitlement or claim to either of them and no right to muscle in on their personal career choices.

    Congratulations too to Aidan O’Shea on his captaincy. Despite the idiots elsewhere who clearly know very little about football, I think it’s a great development for the team; and even so far this season despite not being fully fit he has stood out for his consistency.

  54. Never nice when mayo lose a match and particularly now when galway are going so well etc. But long enough we have been looking for new blood to be injected into the team. With the addition of the new, younger lads the team now finds itself lacking in physical strength, shooting experience and tackling experience. But it is to be expected and will eventually pay dividends. As they say…you cant make an omelette without smashing a few eggs. Hopefully we’ll do enough to avoid the drop..

  55. TeamI I would like to see for Kerry
    12.Fionn McDonagh

  56. @Just a thought

    Barrett – final year of inter county football
    Harrison – will be addition but hasn’t reached the heights of his debut season.

    Boyle – unfortunately his season is over by the looks of it.

    Vaughan – impact sub role?
    O’Shea – impact sub role?
    Ruane – will be a big addition but picking up a lot of injuries

    McDonagh -???

    Doherty – ACL in August will do well to see any action in 2020.

    Moran – Andy has retired
    O’Connor – need him back ASAP
    Carr – played in other games needs to be more consistent.

  57. Photo of top of blog of the 26 players named in league final last year. 13 of the 26 were not named on panel yesterday.

  58. Just a Thought……re your list of 2019 absentees from yesterday, I think it’s fair to say that about 4 of that list won’t feature at all this year, or are very unlikely to.

    This year’s league was always going to be a balancing act for us, because the need was there to try out new and younger players..We can’t keep going with the older players all the time, so this is medicine we have to take…The downside of course is that , in the short term, performance level and results can be affected..
    Having said that, it would be very sad, to see our long estaished Division 1 status lost..

    I actually think there are points there for us in this year’s league..I’m expecting a big Mayo performance against Kerry next weekend, and let’s not lose the run of ourselves in assessing Galway yet..I definitely believe we can beat Tyrone..

  59. i believe we will stay up, Tyrone and Meath will go down after we beat Tyrone on the final day.
    Tyrone will have it tough to recover from that hammering yesterday and their 2 best players now being ruled out for the season.

    That still shouldnt deflect from a series of poor performances and worrying problems at both end of the pitch, as Oisin McConville pointed out last night its very hard to identify a flow or any joined up thinking in their attacking system, seems to just be a series of moments from individuals with no real rhyme or reason to it

  60. Done Deal not to negate your point but 5 of those 13 not named are no longer involved in the Panel –
    Micheál Schlingerman
    Evan Regan
    David Drake
    Andy Moran
    Conor O’Shea

    from Just a Thought’s list, only one is no longer involved (Andy) and you wouldn’t be critical of those other 10 being named to start in a championship game.

    I had to make do with Mid West and given the result I had no great inclination to watch the deferred coverage. From what I could gather we were still in it up until the sending off. I wasn’t expecting a win or a draw truth be told but the 9 point defeat was perhaps a bit more than I had expected as a margin. Another one to write off to experience. Hoping me might nick a point or 3 before meeting Tyrone – by all accounts they aren’t in great fettle themselves but having looked through the archive it was 2009 when we last managed to get a point from a league fixture against Tyrone in Castlebar. The converse of that is we’ve won in Healy Park each time we’ve played them there in that time also.

  61. Hennelly
    Harrison (Mark Paul Geaney)
    Mullin (Clifford)
    E O’Donoghue
    Durcan (Stephen O’Brien)
    Keegan (Sean O’Shea)
    A O’Shea
    R O’Donoghue
    D O’Connor

    That side would give Kerry their fill of it although not sure if Harrison and Carr will be back. What’s the story with Mikey Murray’s injury? It’s probably cost him a good run in midfield. Thought he did well in the FBD game vs Galway.

  62. @Nephin20
    Fair enough call on the team given current absentees – Not sure we will see McDonagh or Cillian yet though
    More likely Forward line IMO would be K McL, Ro’D Boland, Towey, Coen, Carr (if fit). (small forwards I know) Could also see EMcL at 5 and maybe Keegan at 6 (unless he plays 3 to pick up Clifford). Diarmuid in MF.
    Interesting that Higgins cameo’s are in HF line now so would guess that Eoin O’D may come in to FB line for O’Hora.
    Byrne deserves a chance in goal not sure he wll get it. Not sure if Plunkett is be retained for Kerry game.
    My guess for team vs Kerry is
    Hennelly, Eo’D, Harrison, Mullin, EMcL,Keegan, Durcan, AoS, Do’C,K McL, Ro’D, Boland, Towey, Coen, Carr

  63. The Good

    * Oisín Mullin had a great game and looks quite a prospect
    * Kevin Mac’s freetaking – great to be able to say that
    * Ryan O’Donoghue’s ability to take on and beat a man – harder grounds will help further
    * the continuing supply line of new faces. This time Coyne of Ballyhaunis in the subs – had never heard of him (that says more about me of course)
    * Some good points in the first half particularly and Towey’s late on – again a new face.
    * Clones of course – great to be there

    * No possession around the middle in the second half
    * Monaghan seemed to win every breaking ball, again in the second half
    * Dreadful wides in first half – we should have been at least 5 up, because Monaghan were quite tentative then
    * Even worse – the balls dropped into the keeper’s hands
    * A noticeable tendency when going forward in space and with Monaghan on the defensive, to double back and pass to a man worse placed. More work for Mac

    * Two sendings off and a third could have occurred
    * Our tackling seems way off

  64. This is what transition looks like I’m afraid and it’s a necessary evil. If we had been incrementally adding players over the last 4-5 years it’s wouldn’t be such an onerous task. But we didn’t for various reasons well talked about on this blog. We’ve only 3 points but I don’t think we’ve been as bad as people are making out. We’ve had worse starts to the league performance wise. I think we’ll do enough to stay up but it’s more important that the new lads get game time. I genuinely don’t believe that relegation would be the end of the world disaster some people think, donegal went down Under bonners first year with a young new team and it hasn’t done them
    Much harm. Meanwhile teams like Monaghan have had flying starts the year and done nothing in championship.

  65. In all the about debate and comment, No one can say Why cilian is missing and same said for Ruane

  66. Team I would go with v Kerry


    E O’Donoghue






  67. Cillian and Ruane are missing through injury. Clarke is just missing…

    Interesting that Horan said all 3 keepers will get game time at some stage in the league. We could see Byrne start on Saturday so.

  68. I think we will stay up.Nothing like maroon jerseys to get a Mayomans gander up.Beter to be relegated trying new players then getting to final & beaten in Connaught–people talking about Galway & forgetting about Ross_ nothing learned from 2019..

  69. People forgetting that Tyrone were in a worst position last year in the league and won there final
    3 matches beating Dublin and Galway (who looked odd on for league final after beating us)we really need something out of Kerry or Galway match .For what it’s worth I think Monaghan could make the league final
    They have no fear of the so
    Called big teams and unlike the past there not relying as much on McManus.

  70. Very disappointing result up in Clones, there seems to be very little rhyme or reason to either our attacking play or defensive work at the moment.

    I guess this rough spell was inevitable given the age profile of our most influential players and some of the injuries we have; hopefully the less experienced players will learn fast from life in division one.

    Any word on Tom Parsons? I presume Jordan Flynn won’t be suspended given that he picked up two yellow cards, but it’s concerning that he keeps seeing the line. Personally I think this one was harsh, but he seems to be a marked man in the eyes of officialdom following his moment of madness in the U-20.

    It’s not impossible to get a win or two to see us out of trouble, but we need some big performances from our key men in the coming weeks. K Mac is in sparkling form at the moment but we need to see a bit more from Aido, Diarmuid, Lee, Darren Coen etc.

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