Monday match reports

We had two similar enough match outcomes in the two contests we were involved in yesterday, in which we trailed Northern opposition by nine points at one stage, then fought back strongly but ultimately lost out in both.

The women did better, losing only by a single point. On that basis, let’s start with their match against Armagh yesterday, in which Liam McHale’s team were defeated by a solitary point at James Stephens Park.

There are reports on the match available at Mayo News, Midwest Radio, Ladies Gaelic Football, RTÉ, Belfast Telegraph, BBC, Belfast Live, Irish News, Sideline Eye.

The lads didn’t do as well in terms of the margin of defeat but, of course, they fare better in coverage. Here’s what’s online about their five-point loss to Derry at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park yesterday.

Locals: Mayo News, Western People, Midwest Radio, Belfast Live, Derry Now.

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

Others: GAA, RTÉ, The 42, BBC.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile.

Video: GAA (highlights, extended highlights).

Stats: Gaelic Statsman.

Tables: GAA League Tables.

We also gave the Derry game a good going over in our Final Whistle podcast show, which went online yesterday evening. Mike and I are on it, so is Edwin McGreal and there’s post-match reaction from both Kevin McStay and Mickey Harte. This pod is available on Patreon – details here.

Let’s not forget about the hurlers, whose win over Sligo on Saturday sealed their place in the NHL Division 3A final. There are brief reports of that game at Irish Independent, Midwest Radio, Ocean FM.

Finally, the MOTM poll from the Derry game is still open here on the blog so make sure you have your say and bear in mind that you can vote for three players in the poll. I’ll be back later on with the result, in the meantime enjoy the Bank Holiday.

30 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Fair play to the lads for never giving up yesterday but I found the match fairly sobering to watch from a Mayo perspective. Even with some lads injured, the talent we have now is light years behind 2011-2017 era. Our tactics don’t look hectic especially when you see how often we pass the ball side to side.
    I also find the chat about us wanting to avoid a national final very arrogant. Look at the lack of national titles we have and if we can’t go out and beat New York a week later then forget about it.
    Why don’t we celebrate things with more vigour. Look at other sports the way they embrace title wins and even seen to have a sup on the pitch or in the dressing rooms. Up Mayo.

  2. For next few games we have to play O Donaghue at chf and Tommy in half forward line also, Tommy needs space to run at defences and Ryan is needed as playmaked at chf. Yesterday Ryan was always looking up and kicking the ball forward to inside line, which must have Towey and Carr in there to get scores . The defence has to tighten up and mark a lot tighter this should happen when all players are back fit.

    A must going forward is stop the side and back passing of the ball, two games coming up with whatever challenge games and inhouse games to get things right, we are not that far away.

  3. I think we have fantastic footballers in that team,
    Something is wrong with tacticians , management need more work,

  4. Travelling Wilbury, management put out what thought was our strongest team to try and win and make final. Most of that team will be playing championship.
    Durcan, McBrien, O’Connor and possibly Carr if fit being additions.

  5. Keeper and full back line cost us the game yesterday, some terrible play and sloppiness for some of those scores. Goals win games and we gave away bad ones. But there were some positives the form of Tommy, Mattie, Carney, Jordon, Aiden looked much better and a nice display from Towey when brought in (for me not a starter but definetly a player to bring on for the last 15-20mins).

    Maybe a defence for mgmt on this one (not defending some of the individual player mistakes mind) – did they decide to go man to man with Derry just to see how good they were ? Derry is/was an unknown quantity to them as we hadnt played them competitively in years. By letting Derry play you get to see where they are good and can then take the learnings from that into the next game we meet them. Might be overthinking it…

    On another note any official updates on injuries ? DOC was supposed to be the only medium term one, Carr Cillian not listed yesterday

  6. We had plenty of poor league and championship performances between 2011 and 2017 in case people have forgotten.

    Majority of our current squad have won Connacht and D1 league titles, beaten Kerry and Dublin in championship, knocked Galway out last year in salthill.

    It’s up to management to get us playing better than we are. Semi final this year should be the bare minimum.

  7. @wideball I know what you mean and agree to a point about semi final being bare minimum but I’m still believer (I know many aren’t) in always targeting finishing 1st place. I just don’t like the mentality of being content with 4th. If a team reach a semi final
    and the overarching mindset of its support base is one of satisfaction reaching that point then psychologically it’s a very weak position to be in in quest to finish as champions. It’s why I can never understand people who say they’d be happy with a Connacht title or getting to the last 4. I think if you describe your feeling as ‘happy’ or even ‘mildly contented’ for not winning then there’s a problem. One can argue that you need to be realistic and conscious of seeing progression etc, but I’m just not comfortable at all with the mentality of of settling for anything other than that outright success.

  8. The Darkyfinn are we not always man toan with no sweeper etc. isn’t that how in past year and half O’Hora, Brickenden and in recent games Callinan have been left so exposed.

  9. Mayonaze – I think we’re on the same page. We’ve been in 10 semi finals in the last 13 years, so I certainly wouldn’t consider it a great achievement. Winning Connacht would be nice, but again how many times have we seen that?

    I still believe we can take out anyone on our day. Didn’t see anything from Derry yesterday to suggest they’re a level above us tbh. Even Dublin, who are the top team around, we’ve beaten them in 3 of the last 4 games.

    The aim is always to be the best, and this year is no different.

  10. Gizmobobs – yes very valid point but we got our defensive setup right for 4 games (Ros, Galway, Dublin, Kerry) with little or no goal chances given up. Yesterday was different we looked wide open because it was stay with your man and not stay with the system (defensive shape around the D)

  11. on the expectations front there is only really one goal – sometimes your just the best team in a given year and others the stars align and things just go your way. If we have a fully fit squad I would fancy us in any game. The Mayo focus should only and ever be about the next game and that’s New York. All Ireland talk if at all can only start when your in the final. Looking to far ahead is not good for your head…so lets keep it to just the next game..

  12. Any info on when the u20 squad or team for Wednesdays championship game vs Roscommon will be available ?
    Also is game being live streamed ?


  13. Mayo for Sam. Connacht GAA streamed them last couple of years so I assume they’ll do them again.

  14. Our defensive lapses last Sunday are a concern.Excuses of missing players don’t add up.
    It was a systems failure.
    Mind you I don’t think Derry will be happy with their own defence.

  15. @Jr: Go through the scores conceded (especially goals) and it was individual errors rather than tactical/system failure (e.g. the McCluskey goal looks like system failure given the space he found, where in reality a single defender switched off and made a poor decision on the job he should have been doing at the time, at a time we were in a relatively strong defensive position).

    You can potentially try and say it’s a coaching failure if lads are making poor decisions and not correctly executing the same system that had us as the tightest defence in Division 1 prior to the game (still 3rd best with only Derry conceding 3 points less than us and Roscommon conceding 1 point less), but at a certain point lads need to hold their hands up and own mistakes. It’ll be a pretty rough video session for lots of them (probably ending up one of the best of the year in terms of improving us as a defensive unit), Lee will be glad he isn’t in there.

    ‘Excuses’ on missing players fix the far too many speed advantages Derry had at the weekend. If we didn’t have Paddy/David/Eoghan/Jack/Diarmuid to come back in there we’d always have it tougher tackling Derry in a man v man system and probably need to look at alternatives given the natural advantages they’d be bringing to the table. Bringing back even just 2 or 3 of those shifts matchups so they go from 10 or 11 significant speed advantages on matchups across the pitch to 3 or 4. Not an excuse, doesn’t in any way reduce the frequent decision errors made at the weekend, but does give a far more positive position to potentially be in if/when we meet later in the year.

  16. Some damning stats from yesterday:

    Mayo 15 scores from 29 shots in total (51%)
    Mayo 11 scores from 22 from play (50%)
    Derry 18 scores from 26 shots in total (69%)
    Derry 15 scores from 20 from play (75%)

    A lots of the other stats were more even such as turnovers/kick outs won and lost etc.

    It didn’t feel like we we missed as many shots as we evidently did and maybe if we had been a bit more clinical and Minded the House better then we’d have beaten them.

  17. One thing yesterday, I thought the pitch in Castlebar was in great condition. It was a credit to all ground staff. Especially with all the rain we have had in the last few months. Fair Play.

  18. Chick79, I thought so too. It looked brilliant on the TV. Well done to the ground staff.

  19. If we go back and look at the stats on all the league games for 2024/ look at the return from the forwards is not good. People on today about Conroy, Donoghue, O Sea, Boland, all they scored yesterday was ONE POINT each from
    play. When we kicked in ball to forward line and we got it into our hands we were not able to score from10 mtrs out.
    Our Full forward scored ONE POINT. Derry full forward scored ONE GOAL and SIX POINTS. Our backs were like a bunch of lads who never played before. I don’t blame them. We have Buckley in this County along with Rochford and we are not any worry for any county we play this year. At what I witnessed yesterday WJ you will be writing until 2051 and we wont have Sam in that time.

  20. @Mind the house: Yeah, was surprised seeing the shot numbers in our favour like that. Even in terms of shot locations, some of them were very much inside the scoring zone (3 on or inside the D and 3 more from close enough to it to be ~80% zone, along with the 3 saved chances inside the large square). I guess the difference in a few too many relatively pressure free kicks for Derry versus our lads shooting off high pressure and multiple blocking hands made them feel very different on the day, I’ve not watched it back yet, despite how the numbers look.

    I’ll be interested to see a slightly more granular breakdown on how/where the scores came from (The Squared D, @somearagaa on Twitter, on Tuesday evening should give it). The kickouts won/lost look relatively even in numbers but glancing at locations ( you can see a big difference there. Derry winning 3 inside our 45 leading to a couple of soft scores versus our wins all much deeper and under way more pressure. Anecdotally, it felt like we offered up a lot more soft scores from unforced errors/turnovers than they did, despite those numbers & locations looking relatively comparable too.

    Always fascinated looking at those things. Often gives you things to watch out for at the next match/second half you might otherwise have missed going on around you.

  21. Would agree the pitch looked pristene yesterday. Fair play to those involved, especially when you see the state of Tyrones pitch up in Omagh.

    Haven’t read all the posts here so this could already be mentioned. But one major aspect missing from our game yesterday, was the sheer raw speed Durcan and and McLaughlin would have brought to our attack. Them boys would have punched far more holes in Derry’s defence if played. All going well, they will be back for championship, along with another speedster McBrien and Doc. We definetely have more scope for improvement if we meet them again.

    I think we just have to back to an out and out sweeper. Any big games we’ve won over the years we kept a clean sheet. We just have to suck it up now and sacrifice a forward imo. Hession the best option for the role, sniffs danger well and excellent carrying ball out of defence.

  22. Mayo45 – only missing their wing back Conor Doherty I believe.

    Margie – how would you propose playing a sweeper against a team like Derry.. They attack with all 15 players pretty much. Which 2 Derry players would be left free when we’re defending, considering their corner back is such a goal threat…

  23. @Mayo45: They were missing Conor Doherty (another huge runner for them – fairly key member of their attack), you’d expect Paul Cassidy to start rather than coming off the bench and a strong case to be made for Declan Cassidy being in there too.

    Odhran Lynch and Gareth McKinless both making their first appearances since picking up injuries in Round 2, so potential for both of those to come on a bit too from what we saw at the weekend.

    Otherwise yeah, that’ll be the Championship side give or take. Relatively small panel(s) used in recent years, though the newer lads they are bringing in (younger lads like Cormac Murphy or more experienced ones like Emmet Bradley) are coming from highly competitive club/underage sides and well able to compete at this level.

  24. @Wide Ball: Woops, sure enough. Somehow had his minutes against Dublin rather than us.

    Must be actively trying to block the memories of Paddy’s Day already.

  25. @Wideball, whether its Derry or any other team, we seem unable to defend the D area and are prone to let teams waltz straight down the middle. This was going on last year aswell. Our quality of 1 v 1 defending has declined big time. Brickenden caught in no mans land for the 3rd goal, and that isn’t all down to management either. He should have advanced rather than standing there. Reape had the best view, he should tell him to go for him? or maybe he did. Could be lack of communication or just poor anticipation but we need as much bodies back there at all times.

    Hession for me seems a good option, start him half foward. Let him push up to the middle on opposition kickouts, if ball nowhere near him he races back inside the 45. He has seirious gas to carry out of defence, and more reliable than McLaughlin in the basic skills. Something needs to change defensively. The one on one stuff killed us against Dublin, same will happen again without a major restructure.

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