Monday match reports

Mayo team v Kerry

Photo: Mayo Mick

Bit of a raw start to this March Monday but, hey, we won yesterday so there’s plenty of heartwarming stuff in the match reports. Here they are.

Irish Examiner (match report, quotes from James Horan, quotes from Eamonn Fitzmaurice), Irish Independent (match report, quotes), Irish Times, Mayo Advertiser (match report, post-match audio by Colm Gannon with James Horan), RTÉ (match report, post-match audio with James Horan and Alan Freeman), GAA, The Score, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho, Mayo Mick.

It looks as if Freezer has the MOTM gong in his pocket already but keep those votes rolling in if you haven’t already done so. I’ll make a formal declaration on this later on. Gotta dash, busy Monday and all that. Have a good one.

47 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Nice win for Mayo, all 3 goals were well taken. Will go for a 7 points plus win in Mullingar. Galway are going through a horrible phase, whatever the f”ck is wrong, its not as if the talent ain’t there.

  2. No surprise to see Freeman playing well, sure he was one of our best performers going into last years final and also in the first 20 minutes of the final.

    Then we took him off…………….

  3. Agreed. Westmeath have nothing to lose next weekend as if they don’t get some points on the board they are effectively relegated. they have to target this as one they can get something out of or else forget about the rest of the League and concentrate towards the championhip.

    Also as we’re away I would expect ref to be more lenient towards them and harsher on us (simply becasue we’re the big ame tam and they are going very poorly in Div1).

    And we also need to rest some guys. e.g. AOS, Gibbons, Higgins, Keegan, Hennelly, Cafferkey, Conroy. some of these guys have been playing now for 5 weeks on the trot (when you consider the Inter provincials there).

    Need to give game time to Coen, Sweeney, SOS, Vaughan, O’Connor, Drake.
    Must not forget that Cork are around the corner the following weekend as well which will be another real test.

  4. Yesterdays result was born out of determination and hard graft so was good to see as well as the exceptional displays from Freeman and Doherty.

    Westmeath will be strong and tough but we should have too much for them.

    One thing that keeps raising its head when I watch this team is the lack of mobility in midfield.
    The O ‘Sheas are beasts and fine players to boot but every team will try run them around the park after what Dublin did to us in this section.
    Gibbons is a fine player but not to the top player level just yet.
    Barry Moran is also fine player but again lack of mobility.

    I wonder about giving Lee Keegan more freedom and letting him be the legs of the team.
    If we had
    ———-5 Vaughan–6 Cunniffe–7 Boyle
    _—————-8 S O’Shea–9 A’Oshea
    —————————-10 Keegan
    –11 KMc Loughlin—-12 Gallagher—13 Carolan
    —————-14 Freeman —-15 O’Conor

    I know we tried it before but he did play an almost orthodox half forward role.
    With this line up we have pace to burn and inside boys would thrive on open spaces.
    I picked Gallagher at CF as he is a top player in the making but if Dillon or Moran return to top form then they will get the nod there.
    Carolan and McLoughlin complement each other and are great at winning breaks.
    Again if Doherty continues his form he is worth a start .

    The Transition from defence to attach is fine is having Keegan and Boyler soling out but what if Keegan was further forward creating overlaps and penetraing teams down the centre .
    He is a good man to take a score also.
    Placing Cunniffe/Richie Feeney at CHB would give stabilty and allow Vaughan to venture forward whilst minding the house.
    Were currently shipping to many score through middle.

  5. If you were to put anyone at that role for mobility surely Vaughan would be the first choice for number 10

  6. You applaud Doherty ‘OOboot’ but you don’t play him in your team?
    As to Keegan in 1/2 fw line it was tried and didn’t work. Keegan’s best work is done when he gets a chance to run from very deep (i.e. 1/2 back line).
    Also Richie Feeney is an out and out 1/2 fw. He can also drop back into midfield but is also a proven fw who can link play and get up and score. Great worker too and is having the season of his career with Castlebar. Hoping big time he will bring this back with him to Mayo squad.

  7. Outside of the boot – very good point on the midfield and it’s only in Croker that the lack of pace in midfield and forwards really shows up, hence the experiment with Higgins. But moving Keegan might be the same as moving Higgins – they both seem to score more when they’re not playing in the forwards!
    The problem is all the pace is in the backs.
    Cunniffe will get his place in the backs and hopefully Feeney in the HFL so maybe Vaughan could be pushed to midfield, COC at 11, Freeman at 14. I don’t think A Moran or Dillon have the required pace to start in the big games.

  8. Puckout, I agree re The two elder lads in Dillion and Moran not having the pace for Croker or indeed a good championship game.

    I though even yesterday and alot of the goals we have conceded this year have being from opposition midfielders attacking and creating overlaps . We can seem to cover the midfield runners so what I was saying is leave the two pillars of O Shea s in the center of the field and let Keegan/Vaughan do the running. Vaughan is a bit too raw for me, Keegan is far more accurate and can kick on the run too thats why I preferred him in the “third Midfielder role” .

    Yes JPM I said Doherty played really well but question is can he put it back to back, he has yet to do so and I think a two man full forward line of COC and Freeman is our best option so no space for Doc.

  9. Look, the key objectives of the league are twofold:

    1. Stay up
    2. Find new blood

    Regarding no 2, my friends (Non-Mayo) keep asking me this: Have you or are you discovering specialist forwards (sign of the times that we are using phrases like this), who will score when given the chance? They really mean corner forwards who show real promise and threaten established players.

    The answers I am giving are not impressing them. We have moved Andy out, we have tried Darren Coen, brought back Mickey C, put Kevin Mac in and yesterday put Adam Gallagher in there who is really a midfielder who can do middle third work and score, but is not a corner forward.

    Then I say that I believe Evan Regan is playing great stuff, but we’re not touching him – just yet anyway. Tom King, young Durcan, Mikey Sweeney? Well let’s see. But we do really need to address this one – big time. That’s not to take anything away from the lads yesterday, about whom I have written.

    Back to No. 1 – staying up.

    Next week will not be easy.

    Mullingar is a tight pitch, just the kind of field that’s not to Mayo’s liking.

    Westmeath are a very dangerous outfit in this position – desperate I should say, and that can spell trouble. Mayo coming with expectations of a handy couple of points could be very easily upended.

    I would go for the strongest team for this one and leave the experimentation to a later game.

  10. I think we’re mad to be breaking up a successful back-line in attempting to find would-be forwards.

    I say we should leave the foundation of our side alone with: 1. Hennelly (work on his kick-outs); 2. TC; 3. Caff. (more focused and harder/tighter in the tackling); 4. Higgins (or Barrett); 5. Boyler ; 6. Vaughan (or Higgins); 7. Keegan; 8&9 the O’Shea Bros; 10. Kevin Mac (work on final ball); 11. Andy (midfield breaks and link man); 12. Richie Feeney (or Adam Gallagher); 13. The Doc.; 14. Freezer; 15. Cillian.

    Then we have 3 or 4 more pushing for places that we hadn’t last year. Plus hopefully we will get to see Mikey Sweeney too next Sunday, to see how he goes.

  11. Yesterday’s game proved once again that when the Mayo defenders get forward, it opens gaps from which scores result. But what happens when, like last september, the backs are fully occupied against quality forwards, can the forwards win the ball on their own and get the match winning scores? yesterday proved we still do not have the forwards to do this.

  12. To be fair freeman is a quality ball winner, if given a half decent pass, andy can win ball but he has that annoying habit of falling and rolling around on the ground When he gets it. I think the forwards have what it takes to win the big games like they did in 2012 semi, they were unstoppable that day. I think its a case of consistency more than anything.

  13. True enough but we still have some quality forwards to return e.g. Feeney, Cillian O’Connor, Alan Dillon. And if both Tom Cunniffe and Chris Barrett are back fit and playing you can add Higgins there (if you think more pace is needed).

    Not to mention a few other Castlebar fellas who might make the panel still e.g. Tom King Eoghan Reilly. And Barry Moran (and hopefully Tom Parsons) still also have to come back. Moran operated well at FF against Eoin Brosnan (inter county standard player) and Parsons has pace and strength that could fit into either midfield or 1/2 fw line.

    Overall I still maintain if we got everyone fit in time that we will have a seriously good squad for the championship. The A versus B games will be tight then and with the new faces that James Horan is trying out (forwards e.g. Gallagher, Coen, Sweeney and more) there will be serious competition for places come the final cut before the championship.

  14. 2012 semi? Against Dublin. We were fortunate in the end that we had such a lead built up I thought. When McCauley went back into midfield he cleaned up in second half and if Brogan had scored that goal it probably would have been a totally different story.

    As to that annoying habit you speak of, I know the one but its actually part of training. I presume it’s an attempt to not get bottled up standing up and put pressure on defender becasue if ref sees a hand in 9 times out of 10 he awards a free.

    Its a sample of what Kerry do. The best I saw at it is the Gooch who did it super fast. (Way faster than Freeman it must be said). It always helped him get away from that initial defender tackle and gain space to make next step with the ball.

  15. Its very difficult for our forwards most of the time as we continue to feed them the same diet…i.e…they get the ball played into them, with their backs to the goal. Immediate advantage goes to the defender. This type of ball is 50/50 at best and it takes a superb ball winner to win that contest. Assuming he does, he still has a substantial amount of hard work to do to manufacture a score. We dont have many of those type of ball winners (Freeman yes) combined with the skill to make something out of nothing, yet we continue with this approach.
    Why are our HB’s so successful at coming through and taking their scores? Because they are moving at speed, facing the goal posts and have made a bee line for the posts. Our forwards dont get those same opportunities.
    This is not difficult to change. We need to get that ball in there fast AND over and behind the heads of those back lines so as to have our forwards facing the goal posts when they get the ball. It sounds simple but when executed to plan, its very effective for forwards and diffcicult to defend.

  16. Exactly, we need to work on that , just one more tactic like speeding up the forward play from time to time could make a massive difference.

    You need to mix speed with composure but a lot of the time we are focussing on too much of the composure and not enough speed. We might even find that it would suit some players better than we would think.

  17. Did ye notice how big and bulky the new, young Kerry lads are. They made some big hits.
    Kerry will be back!!

  18. Wonder how many of the castle bar lads. make the mayo panel for the
    Rematch with the dubs also not a big fan of the black cards but it gives corner forward s chance to attack what happened the kildares yesterday against tyrone I actually feel so sorry for them.

  19. Westmeath are way out of their depth in division one. If Mayo can’t take the two points well then it’s fair too say, that we’re in trouble. No disrespect to Westmeath intended, it’s just a brutal fact. The big litmus test for Mayo will be against Dublin. Based on what I see, I have a good feeling about that outcome. Time will tell, it always does.

  20. They done it to us so no harm lol. Seiriously tho a 5 point lead thrown away in a couple of minutes…shocking. That result could have a big effect on them now.

  21. It’s interesting too that despite the positive coverage Kildare are continuing to attract, they could just as easily be at the foot of the table now with no points and would have been if we had closed out our opening game against them in Newbridge with any degree of efficiency. That loss for them yesterday could end up costing them in a big way in the final league standings.

  22. True agree with you on that though sure the dubs will take them to th e cleaners ha ha

  23. Agreed WJ, iv always said most of the media have a love affair with Kildare, yet they meath have won a provincial title since they last did. I think they’re match against kerry could be a relegation decider, and i know who id have my few wuid on…

  24. Some interesting points there Outside of boot, in relation to Lee Keegan. I wonder would it be worth it, in some game to play him in mid-field as an out and out mid-fielder, to see how he would get on, like Dublin do with Cian O’Sullivan. Jim Gavin was very good, last year in terms of mixing and matching players at various stages during games. Cian O’Sullivan was moved around to great effect during games, between half-back, mid-field and he even ended up at corner-back in the All-Ireland final for part of the game when Dublin were struggling back there, the last 10 minutes of the game. He was one of their most important players last year. With the black card now being in operation as well, to be able to do this, will be a key element to getting over the winning line in games i.e. if one of our first choice mid-fielders got black-carded during a game and if we had no more subs to bring on etc.

  25. Decent team sheet, maybe barret for vaughan IMOP, a bit concerned with AOS, great when opposition are sending high ball into middle, but gets bypassed against more mobile teams. Maybe try Vaughan there instead -we need to have plans b,c d….and be able to change approach.

  26. Yeah catcol, some very good points there. I remember in last year’s league, Kildare were hammered by Dublin. Then we played them next, it looked like a handy two points for us but we ended up losing by a point. It was the same in the away game against Down, a game we thought we would win easy enough as well, again we lost it. So we need to be careful too but if we put in our best performance we should be too strong. We can’t be complacent though!

  27. Everyone seems happy with the result yesterday but to be brutally honest, we only played so so, and beat a very poor Kerry side. With Westmeath, Cork, Derry and Dublin to play yet, we need to be putting our strongest team available out in every match otherwise we will be the ones in the relagation playoffs. I dont want to be sounding negitive but imo this is what is going to be required if we are to be playing Division 1 football next year. I also think Westmeath are out of their deapth in Div. 1 but no team can be dismissed. Cork are emerging as the team to beat in the league and Derry are also going very well. Dublin are begining to show signs of fatigue but will be tough to beat in their back yard. A sour note for me yesterday was the appauling refereeing in the Kildare v Tyrone game. Having viewed it several times now, i have counted 13 steps being taken without playing the ball prior to Tyrones last injury time goal. Shame on all the referees that constantley allow over carrying week after week, and the non use of the black card in Omagh was a blatent disreguard for the rules of the game and for the Gaa rules comittee. Alan Freeman stood out yesterday as did Jason Doherty and had Alan gotten a few more passes he could well have rattled the net again. There was too much messing around with the ball yesterday and Mayo made Kerry’s defence look better than what they were. We kicked only one long range point from play thanks to Jason Doc, and this is something that also needs to be worked on. Dublin and Cork showed how it was done on saturday night, and finally, i totally agree with what Tonyk says, Alan Freeman didnt cost us an all Ireland last year, someone elses ego did.

  28. They are probably pumping plenty of iron under Cian O’Neill’s conditioning programme
    It will stand to them in a few months
    Though they did give away too many frees from poor tackling yesterday

  29. Jason Ryan made an interesting point after the match. He alluded that really one of his players should probably have taken a black card for the team and taken down that run going through. Time was up and it would have guaranteed them the points.

    Watched the match and overall Kildare were the better team and should have had the match out of sight except for poor finishing. Tomás O’Connor also is a real handful at FF. Serious strength and power. We criticised how Kevin Kene played on him. I thought Conor Clarke had at least as much bother if not more against him.

  30. I’m amazed we haven’t seen more of that so far JPM, but I imagine it’s something that will start rearing its head sooner rather than later. At that stage of a game with a scoreline like Kildare’s it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

  31. We’ve tried a few things moving backs forward and some haven’t worked that well but it doesn’t mean Management rule out doing it with the same players come Championship. Keith Higgins in Midfield vs Dublin (in hindsight) was suggested to me by a Galwayman – horses for courses. We have a surplus of big midfielders so why not try one of them at Full Forward. The most obvious choices are Barry Moran and Aidan O Shea and either of the O’ Shea brothers could be used as a Centre Forward with well targeted kickouts giving us more options. I think some contributors are also unfair on the O’ Sheas mobility – I think the heat combined with brilliant Cluxton kickouts was as much a factor. Bigger guys sweat buckets and struggle more in the heat. If last years final was played in 16 degrees could have been a different 2nd half. Some comments a bit unfair on Andy Moran – he has the ability to hit killer passes and do it as very high pace – good experience and I’d prefer him as a starter either Centre forward or on the wing. Our best forward in 2nd half of last years final. Doherty has to prove himself consistently – I’d prefer a big man tactic instead and have Freeman in the left corner. McLouglin did well in right corner although we might need him in the half. COC could fit anywhere if he returns in time. Could be given a free role in right corner on his weaker side. Of course all that leaves little room for the young pretenders so its up to them to show the star potential of a Darren O’ Sullivan or James O’ Donoghue to force their way on ahead of some seriously experienced players. A super fast half forward could unlock opposition defenses – a Kevin McMenamon or Eoghan O Gara style. Keith Higgins might still be the answer if we can fill the corner back slot – can take time to adjust no matter how good the player. Higgins would also do a huge ammount of tackling & turnover potential in the half forwards – remember Tyrone game. Or Carolan if he improves a bit has pace – like Dubs McCaffrey the occassion may have been a bit too big in last Sept. but players mature. K Keane seems the most physical of the defender subs if he gets more game time (recall Cafferkey was a bit raw & foul prone early in his career). We’re looking more like Dublin in 20 man game territory in the forwards but not in the backs, T Cunniffe a big boost in the backs but he’s proven but we’re short one or 2 subs in this dept. who need game time to mature so we can bring on really reliable subs in the big games – or K McLouglin can be brought into half backs in an emergency.

  32. Andy Moran didn’t do too bad in the All Ireland Final for all his supposed lack of pace. If I were picking the team with all current players on the panel available I would have him at corner forward with Freeman and Cillian O’C completing the line. Kevin Mc would be one wing forward with the other two places up for grabs at the moment

  33. the man , in an all ireland final , who takes down a goal bound opponent and gets a black card to ensure the winning of the game will be lauded as a hero , and rightly so !

  34. Agreed. I cannot understand people looking for a “big target man” when he is already there!!! Destroyed Galway in last years championship, out muscled the McGee brothers (Lord knows that in itself is an achievement) in Croker in the last years quarter final and was crucial in the win over Tyrone. Had the Dublin full back line in all sorts of bother in the Final before he was inexcusably sunstituted after 27mins!!!! It took 2 dubs to mark him, he created 2 scores and was free in front of goal but never received the pass.
    I have to admit that initially I was far from being his biggest fan and could not understand how he was getting picked, but now, in my opinion he is the focus of our attack and one of the first names down on the team sheet.

  35. He’s the obvious choice – though why he was not deemed so in the first two league games is beyond me. When you think of the goal chances that went a-begging v. Tyrone ….

  36. Id say the only reason he didnt start him in either of the first two games was maybe he was carrying a knock or not quite fit enough (although none of them looked fit in the first game). I cant help but wonder what position we’d be in now had freeman started. I think he is now our mvp, as correctly stated above, he dragged us back into the tyrone game and made the mcgee’s look like pussy cats in the quarters. Last year is done with no point looking back now. But, if we manage to keep Freeman fit and on form during the summer i think we will all be gearing up for another crack at samuel maguire. Im not losing the run of myself, i genuinely beileve we will be in the final again this year, provided we keep freeman and possibly 2-3 other key players fit.

  37. Kerry full back was very poor. I wouldn’t be getting too carried away with AF as of yet .

    He did have a good game v Tyrone SF last year, Galway game , no point even going there , they were completely useless yet in saying that freeman didn’t score much if my memory serves me right .

    If he continues to keep up his form like last Sunday against tighter more traditional hard hitting full back lines , it will be a fantastic positive for Mayo going forward this year but personally I will wait and see . I have always noticed a tint of shyness about his style , I study such like very closely , look at the AIF again and see if you can see anything that would suggest he backs out from time to time.

  38. “Freeman didn’t score much if my memory serves me right”. Your memory is correct but look at that game again and see how many scores he created. His physicality was too much for the Galway backs and his tackling turned over countless balls. He fielded a number of long balls and laid them off to incoming runners for scores and his movement and appetite for ball was too much for the Galway full back line.

  39. Yep he did well in that department but in all honesty that game against Galway the lack of physicality was unbelievable from Galway , the more we started to push up on them the more likely it looked like they were going to start to try and blend in with us (the crowd) to hide away from it all.

    Look all I’m saying is at the moment he’s doing his stuff but it’s the stiffer battles ahead that will show us more.

    Freeman was good last year and I sincerely hope he’s even better this year, I’m just not goin all ” here’s Mayo s bomber Liston” .

    On a sidenote a lad whom I’d often meet at the games down the years has always said the last couple of years , ” my dream always ends with freeman gettin the winner in the final” he’s an agahamore bolloix too though, lol.

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