Monday match reports

We had three matches over the weekend, with two wins and a loss to show for our efforts. Here’s the online coverage I’ve unearthed about these games.

The obvious place to start is the win for the lads over the Dubs on Saturday night:

Locals: Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph, Western People, Midwest Radio, Dublin Live (live blog).

Nationals: Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Mirror (live blog, match report), Irish Sun.

Others: GAA, Dublin GAA, RTÉ (match report, quotes from Kevin McStay, Dessie Farrell), Breaking News, The 42.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho, Mayo GAA.

Video: GAA (highlights, extended highlights, Fergal Boland’s winner), Mayo GAA (Kevin McStay post-game with RTÉ, Paddy Durcan and Stephen Coen with RTÉ, Kevin McStay).

Stats: Stephen O’Meara (half-time, full-time).

League Standings: GAA League Tables.

There are reports on yesterday’s LGFA National League defeat to Dublin at Ballina available from the Mayo News, Connacht Telegraph, Midwest Radio, Ladies Gaelic Football, Irish Examiner, Irish Sun.

The wind was the big story of the game at James Stephens Park and to give you an idea just how strongly it was blowing, I took a short video afterwards – that’s here.

The county’s hurlers opened their NHL Division 3A campaign yesterday with an impressive win over Armagh at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. There are reports in that game available from the Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph, Western People and Sideline Eye.

We had two Final Whistle pods for club members over the weekend. On Saturday night, Rob, Mike and I were joined by Colm Boyle and Edwin McGreal to review the win over Dublin, with post-game reaction from Kevin McStay. Yesterday, Mike and I were at Ballina for the LGFA game and we were joined afterwards for post-match analysis from Sinéad Stagg, while we also heard post-game from Liam McHale and Mick Bohan. Those two shows are up on Patreon, details on how to access them here.

Right, that’s your lot. Enjoy the St. Bridget’s Day holiday all.

28 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. We are in a much better place than this time last eyear. A defensive structure emerging that is difficult to break down.
    On to Tralee and an extra 1582 sq meters of playing surface. It suits our style where we continuesly use overlapping wing half backs to infiltrate the extra pitch width.
    Great too that the Cliffords will most likely start.
    Every league game should be a learning experience, a step closer to our championship team. I feel Kerry would not mind winning the league and bouncing in to the championship on the strength of it

  2. Always a great night out in Tralee,I won’t make it myself this year for the first time in a while.

    I hope to see a good performance by Mayo and a continuation of keeping clean sheets.I think it’s a big ask to get a result down there and I don’t think we will.
    Last time I was there in League 2022 Fergie Boland scored 4 points from play in a low scoring game which we lost by a point.
    It would be nice to get to the 6 points and more or less guaranteed safety but a good performance and no injuries would be a decent outcome.

  3. Thanks for the match reports Willie Joe and just as an aside, I don’t know how I ever managed without St. Bridgets bank holiday before now.. really brings an end to the winter.. love it.
    On the game, I thought taking Macloughlin off and bringing on Coen really changed the game for us and brought stability to midfield. Fenton, of course was playing puck but he wasn’t quite as influential after that. I think the keeper debate is interesting too and you can see why they are doing it to mark or fill space to prevent the long kick outs. It’s certainly risky, but a lot of teams are doing it now and if we were ever to trial it, then the league is the place to do it. We may criticise, or is that giving constructive criticism, about the fortunes of our team but almost 15000 at a GAA match on a cold February nite says we are still hoping, if not believing, we might see something new.. and sure that’s all you can do. I enjoyed the win even if its only for a bit of banter with my Dublin friends this week. It’ll soon be forgotten

  4. Predicted finish;

    1. Derry
    2. Kerry
    3. Tyrone
    4. Mayo
    5. Monaghan
    6. Dublin
    7. Roscommon
    8. Galway

  5. After a long spin too the stoney grey soil of Monaghan we travelled home very satisfied.

    Kerrys main aim was to find 3 players midfield, half forward and an additional forward.

    Hugely encouraging to see that we have found them,
    Joe OConnor, Cillian Burke and Dylan Geaney have all the attributes needed.

    One other big change in Seanie OSheas correct positioning at 14.
    He is so lean that he looks a different player and yesterday was his best day in a Kerry shirt. [ 1.7 ]

    As for the Clifford’s,
    Kerry didn’t need them yesterday to win but they travelled and so they were always going to play and 1.2 between them.

    One Monaghan lady who was protesting a free he got proceeded to tell me that WE Kerry folk think he’s god and he’s not.
    I absolutely did tell her we thought he was god and frankly they best we have ever seen.

    I get the impression people might only appreciate him like they did Maurice Fitz once he’s gone.

    Really looking forward to Mayo coming to Tralee it’s always a full house and a good night.
    I won’t lie last years defeats where bad and I’ll expect a reaction to those results.

  6. Id expect a big response too West Kerry. I really like the look of Kerry’s new players. I think ye r favourites now for Sam, rightly. I think Derry will win the league.

  7. Derry will prob win the league at the pace they are going but they can they keep that pace up till the summer? Doubt it.

    Don’t think we will win in tralee but more so cause we are safe nearly in division 1 and think mcstay & Co should try out new players and rest others. And kerry will be hell bent on not loosing to us 3 times in a row.

    Still rather be no where near a league final probably be derry /kerry league final.

  8. Interesting report from our southern correspondent. Setting the scene nicely for the Mayo clash. The game will be a big indicator as to where both teams are at. Kerry with the edgein experience but young fellas are always capable of surprises. No hiding places so the stage is set. The two week break comes at just the right time

  9. I’ll get my team for Tralee out early:

    Reape
    Coyne Brickenden Callinan
    Durcan McBrien Coen
    Touhy Carney
    Flynn O’Shea MacLaughlin
    O’Donoghue Conroy Boland

    I’d drop Aidan, and maybe Eoghan in the hb line initially – just until we can get our matchups settled in the back six. Then Eoghan goes to White, and then Aidan to actual 11 and see how Morley copes with him.

    I’m sticking with Reape and Boland – I think Fergal is perfect for tracking the kind of runners from the fullback line Kerry like.

    And I’d be interested to see the Aidan and Tommy combo at 11 and 14. One really interesting approach to dealing with a sweeper like Morley is to flood the area he wants to play in – what’s Morley going to do if he has to decide whether to chase Tommy or cover Aidan?

  10. Mayo always play well in Tralee and have a decent record there aswell.

    Nobody in division 1 is safe yet.

    Infact 6 points may not be enough this year

    It looks to me like Monaghan and Roscommon may drop down.

  11. @West Kerry: As a young lad that had a terrifyingly perfect view of Fitz cutting over that ball from the sideline with his left boot in ’97 I’m not sure many could have missed that magic whenever he played. It was dazzling. Especially that day.

    And agreed. I’d have David above him. Absolute genius. If he was from Mayo he’d easily be credited with about 10 miracles by now and well on his way to official deity.

    Seanie looked a different beast alright. From slow and lethargic last year to bouncing on his toes and ready to run through walls this. He’ll be a handful for anyone in the country (excited to see how one of our lads – Brick I’d imagine – gets on with him).

    Burke looks a real find. Talented player but importantly offers something a bit different lots of the other options around 12 wouldn’t. Exactly the type you’d hope to unearth going into a league.

    Any word on how Stefan Okunbur is getting on or when he might be back? Another that gives you something a bit different. If he can finally put a run of games/fitness together he could be a vital piece of the puzzle too.

  12. @TsuDhoNim,

    Stefan is incredibly unlucky with injuries.
    The lad just can’t get a injury free run.

    He was good enough to go to Australia but we haven’t seen enough of him to see if he has enough to play for Kerry.

    Jack certainly thinks he has and he’d know a lot more than me.

    He is a big athletic lad ideally built for croke park and probably at 6 where we badly need cover.

    Both himself and Mike Breen are ear marked for that role but both have no luck with injuries.

  13. West Kerry your posts on here are very insightful.the totally daft comments about Kerry being not being anything without the Clifford’s are ridiculous.every county with ambitions havre one or two of theees sort of players from Maurice fitz to Peter cananvan to Padraig Joyce to David Clifford.hopefully for us Ryan o Donahue and Tommy conroy can giive us that cutting edge

  14. Well done Mayo.
    When Kevin McStay take over he stated that our home record need to improve.
    Last year we beat Kerry (first time since 2014) Tyrone (first time since 1992) we lost to Monaghan (effectively a dead rubber) then we lost to Roscommon (I always stated we should have had a week off so GAA to blame) Louth at home.

    This year we beat Dublin (first time since 2012).

    Brilliant improvement and we need to make Castlebar a fortress.

  15. @FrostT, what about Kerry’s runners from the halfback line, ie Tom O Sullivan was nr 5 yesterday, also Morley and White ?
    Serious athletes.

  16. 1985,

    The two things I took from Mayos game on Sat,

    I love Ryan ODonoghue,
    I love the edge he brings but more than that his football IQ.
    99% of forwards would have taken on that last shot but he had guts to take on a pass that could have gone badly wrong but it won the game.

    If I was a Mayo supporter a 2 man FF line with ODonoghue and Conroy is certainly something to be excited about.

    I’m afraid Aidan looks like a impact sub to me now and in truth that’s what winning teams needs.

    The other thing I took from Sat was what a good position McStay is in.
    Winning and playing below par.
    Nobody gets told high after that and there’s a message there for the team.

    Tralee will be a huge battle be in no doubt.

  17. @Bate the blanket

    I’ve MacLaughlin picked in the half forward specifically for White, and if Jordan can’t handle Tom O’Sullivan swap him out for Touhy.

  18. In fairness White is a wing back, either way McLaughlin has a hand injury, Also, IMO Flynn is abetter defensively than Bob.

  19. Really happy with where our defensive six is. We look solid and with a great spine, not to mention some solid options like Hession, Coen, Plunkett etc to bring in if needed.

    Can’t say the same about midfield and forward six though. Its up to us to use the rest of the league to find something that works.

  20. Personally I think we’ll need to have a non traditional team selection for championship focusing a lot on size power and legs. Possibly the only two short players we can accommodate are Jack Coyne and Ryan O’Donoghue.
    The idea is to just be very effective in middle third defence with that mobility and power.
    In the above type of team nobody slow can be accommodated anywhere.
    We’re not going to suddenly spring x factor forwards outstde of Ryan and Tommy come summer.

  21. @MARTIN DONNELLAN

    With the two week break, I’m not overly concerned with injuries.

    The main reason for doing my predicted team so early, is that I find it really helpful for moving my thinking on – Dublin is done if not entirely dusted. Tralee is next.

    I completely agree with you wrt Flynn and Bob. We’re lacking a dedicated pacey option in the Half Forward – Jordan has established himself as an All Star level half forward but the one question mark still there is if he handle an elite level pacy half back – a White, McCaffrey or Eoghan MacLaughlin type.

    Bob is unproven in that regard as well – but he’s just proving himself. White might too big an ask for Bob ATM, but he’s probably ready to be tried on someone a level below White – someone like a Paddy Durcan, who’s probably not as quick over the first few yards as they were in their early days, or one Kerry’s scoring fullbacks were they line out in the halfback line.

    But WTS two weeks is a long time in football – my predicted team is already being tweaked tbh and could look very different the Thursday before the game.

  22. One good thing about the Cliffords playing a part at the weekend is it takes the ” will they , won’t they ” feature against us out of the equasion for management (and us).They will,either in full or in part.So he has a bit of time to try come up with a plan. An unviable task.

  23. I think Kerry will win this one tbh. I remember the last time we went on a wee unbeaten run against them, circa 2017-2019, they blew us out the gate down in Killarney in the next championship meeting. They tend not to like losing to any one team more than once and I think they’ll be primed for this one.

    That said, I saw their game away to Monaghan and don’t think it was quite as one-sided as the scoreline suggests, Monaghan left a goal behind them in the first half and their keeper dropped the ball for Kerry’s third, which put a bit of a gloss on the final score, IMO.

    Would be content with a good showing from our lads and for the younger lads on the panel to get some more experience against top opposition under their belts.

    Is there any word on some of our missing men, the likes of Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor?

  24. @It Means Nothing to Me
    I didn’t really see the Kerry Monaghan but you have really captured my concern over Tralee.

    Kerry are a team who can just blitz you with a big score in a few short minutes, and you can see in that Monaghan game how quickly a competitive performance can turn into a devastating defeat on the scoreboard.

    A clean sheet in Tralee would imo be a massive achievement – we don’t often string three clean sheets in a row together – like it’s really only something we do if we get a soft draw in Connacht.

  25. @FrostTHammer: I would expect Jacko will be gunning for us the next day, can almost see him gurning away on the sideline as I type this.

    D. Clifford seems to be well and truly back now, so if we can confine him to minors rather than majors, then we have a chance.

    Mind you, we have to be a bit more clinical than usual down there in Tralee, we dominated the championship meeting against Kerry last year but did our usual thing of missing goal chances and going 15 minutes without a score in the second half, and almost got caught as a result.

    We also need serious pace against their back line, would like to see Tommy C get a run, if only from the bench.

  26. @It Means Nothing to Me

    Yeah I agree with you above.

    I’m really fascinating to see how it will go.

    I don’t think David Clifford will start, and it will be interesting to see if we hold a defender on the bench until he comes in.

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