Monday match reports

Mayo Ros final score

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

That’s a cold one, isn’t it? Cold as death itself, just like our hopes for the year after that abject performance yesterday, one that showed our trajectory is now firmly spiralling ever downwards … oh yeah, sorry, it was just the FBD wasn’t it? Seriously, though, it WAS just an FBD match yesterday and, in the many years I’ve spent following the football, I’ve never seen a match in January count for much by the time the real stuff has to be played.

The neighbours are gearing up for life in Division II of the League this spring and I’d say they’re planning on doing better than just surviving at that level so they need to be coming into February with the motor running. Yesterday perhaps showed that they’re well on the way in this respect and sure maybe a smack in the puss for our lads is no harm either to jolt us back into life before our own League campaign gets going.

Thanks, by the way, to Mike Kelly for the match report filed here on the site (which would have gone online earlier on yesterday evening only I was in the cinema with two of the kids and their buddies watching the truly awful Penguins of Madagascar when Mike mailed his report through to me) and, as always, to Mayo Mick and his photos. Not for the first time, this made it a fully-fledged Swinford production on the match reporting side of things.

So, then, onto the match reports from the papers and elsewhere. Here they are: Mayo Advertiser, Mayo News, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Hogan Stand. Photos: Mayo Mick, Sportsfile.

The Mayo Advertiser also has post-match quotes with Pat Holmes, who says he was happy enough with how the FBD panned out for us, stressing that its main benefit was the number of players they’d tried out over the three matches.

Sticking with the Mayo Advertiser, there’s also a match report on the U21s Hastings Cup win over Wicklow on Saturday and some post-match quotes from manager Niall Heffernan.  It’s those uppity Rossies the U21s have to face next in this tournament, by the way, in the semis next Saturday at a Longford venue, precise details TBC.

That’s your lot for now – back to the icy cold and the brooding about yesterday and all that. Have a good one and don’t forget – it was just the FBD!

45 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. That U21 clash with the Rossies will tell an awful lot. I know MayoMark said elsewhere that the lads didn’t get out of second gear on Saturday but to be honest I think they did, and Wicklow were a decent team who put us under a bit of pressure. I would hope we’ll show better than we did against them last year though.

  2. I remember last year when Kildare beat us in the first round of the League that everyone was talking them up. They had also just won the O’Byrne cup and looked like the Real Deal…..
    Come championship they were beaten by Dublin by over 10 points I believe.

    On the other hand you had Kerry who last year were beaten in the Munster (whatever it is) pre-League tournament. And they were humiliated in several early league matches culminating in a walloping by the Dubs in Kerry.

    But they preserved their divisional league status and we all remember the rest of the championship…

  3. Now that the fbd is over for us, where do they try Gavin Duffy? Killarney? Against the dubs? No easy games in division 1 so he ll have to really be on his toes for this chance. Fbd was pedestrian compared to division 1

  4. With cafferkey and Aos not available, keith higgins captain is available so I’d go with following for kerry
    cillian suspended

    Clarke
    Barrett keane higgins
    Keegan Boyle coen
    Gibbons B Gallagher
    McLoughlin A Gallagher Vaughan
    Regan B Moran doherty

    Omalley, cunnife, corduff, Douglas, diarmuid oconnor

  5. Things I think we learned or should have learned from the FBD:
    1. 2015 football requires athleticism as a starting point, can no longer be ignored. If you’re small you better have pace. No team can afford to carry a guy who has a good football brain but lacks a bit of speed or strength. The only slower player can be a tall full forward as a target man.
    2. Seamus O’Shea needs a reliable partner at midfield. SOS is never a dominant force in the air but we know the defensive work he can do in the summer time. Barry Moran/Jason Gibbons you couldn’t say one of them owns that place yet. Hence will be interesting to see if Tom Parsons or Gavin Duffy will make an impact if tried there.
    3. We might have a new full back in Donal Vaughan.It would be good for him to play a few games with corner back specialists in both corners and a settled goalkeeper. A good full backline is like a well practiced band with people in sync for different situations.
    4. Adam Gallagher/Evan Regan were the two new forwards to make an impact. They deserve some league games to gain confidence.
    5. The backs it still remains uncertain over several players. But the idea of a taller, bigger centre back who can boss that area remains a valid option. Teams will look at our half backline and figure they can run hard at us down the middle drawing frees in scoreable positions. Maybe if Shane McHale returns as he has that hard Knockmore edge to him?
    6. The forwards we know we can rely on are Cillian, Freeman, McGloughlin and Jason Doherty.
    7. Physical, crowded defences will likely require AOS to be up there roaming around. Coming off the shoulder onto handpasses. He’s also good at winning turnovers in the opposition half.

  6. I would like to see Jason Gibbons tried at centre forward for a few games with Aiden O’Shea going back to midfield. From the little I have seen of Gibbons on the 40 he seems to be a better ball distributor and scorer. I have long advocated Barry Moran as a full forward and I would like to see Alan Freeman in the corner. A forward line of McLoughlin, Gibbons, Doherty, Freeman, Moran and Cillian O’Connor looks formidable to me. Andy Moran and Alan Dillon as first option subs. In defence continuing with Vaughan at full back seems a good option while Ger Cafferty and Tom Cunniffe look like good centre back options. In goal David Clarke would be my first choice. I would allow the lies of Evan Regan, Adam Gallagher & Co concentrate on U21 until the the Connacht Championship at least is over and we would have a better idea then who merits a senior call up.

  7. In regards to the U21s Mayo started with their weakest 15 on paper against Wicklow while against Westmeath,Monaghan 11/12 championship starters lined out IMO.

    From what I hear the rossies will be missing a number of starters for this semi final D Murtagh,E Smith are more likely to play for the seniors in FBD final and another 3 or 4 starters out injured. With a full pick It’s a good opportunity for Mayo to lay down a marker before the U21 championship.

  8. C O Connor is suspended for the opening game against Kerry. Better to be suspended for opening NFL game than for the championship v Galway away I suppose.

  9. Barry Moran has played many games at full forward for Castlebar n been only okay. Cunniffe is a good centre back option.

  10. Caff is still our best option at full back. The fat arsed kerry full forward wont get the better of him again,especially if you put Clark in behind him. I am convinced 100% of this. He is not confident and hesidant manning the box in front of Hennely.

  11. We should think back to the last round of games in the National league last year. Cork beat Kerry in Tralee by 10 points. A few months later Kerry beat Cork in Cork in the Munster final by 12 points. That’s a 22 point swing in a few months. It proves that even the last set of league games are no indication of what will happen in the championship.

    Look at the schedule the Ulster teams have. Tyrone and Armagh meet for the second time in two weeks this Wednesday night in the semi-final of the Dr. McKenna Cup, the final is then on at the week-end with the first round of the National league the week after. The Ulster championship then starts pretty much straight away when the league finishes. These teams will have to be pretty much going full tilt until Sept to win an All-Ireland title and survive in their Division in the league. Remember Derry were flying early in the league last year, then they lost at home to Longford in the championship.

    We have next week-end off. The U21 players can concentrate on the Hastings Cup. The senior players can concentrate on Kerry. Survival in Division 1 is our first priority. Being fit and ready for the summer is our main priority. We have to start looking at the bigger picture.

  12. Sorry for going off topic, but is there any bus been organised to the game in Killarney from anywhere in the county?

  13. Still off topic, is the Croke Park season ticket still transferable. Just found out I can’t make the Kerry match.

  14. Just on Caff as our best option at F.B. In my opinion he may be our overall best option but it’s horses for courses as is our goalie option with him. Against Kerry with fat arse at F.F. and Hennelly in goal this would spell disaster most times. A more physical F.B. and Clarke in goal would nullify Kerry’s one dimensional tactic. We have to be more tactically astute ie. match ups,strategies, in game switches towards the latter part of the championship. We should use the league to try some new players in these key central positions which have been our achillies heal for a number of years. Survival in the league will do me fine and plan for August, September.

  15. @Nephin, the season ticket is of course transferable. You will need to give the card to someone that’s going to the match (unless they issue allocated seating in which case you’ll be able to e-mail your ticket from your season ticket account)

  16. I always look forward to the FBD games around Christmas. Once we get to mid January I turn my thoughts to the first league game. Some of our new players will get a run in the 7 games against proper opposition. You can talk up this man or that man depending on what club you support but all the available talent or lack of it will be reveled when we line out with the big guns. I believe JH tried many players and a few were chosen. I would like to believe that this trend will continue with Noel and Pat.

  17. Thanks for that mayo.mick.
    Just remember hearing some rumblings about it being stopped. See you the following week in Castlebar.

  18. @Neiphen, yeah, there was some change in the T&C’s this year, but Croke Park have said that they are still transferrable. Anyone trying to scan multiple tickets, the stewards are instructed to confiscate all tickets as is breaking the T&C’s. Whether that happens or not I don’t know.

  19. Totally agree Mayo forever.. its horses for courses, we need to be adaptable. 90% of the time Caf will be fine at full back but with a shite ref and a fat arse trying to stomp all over him, we need to be able change tack and put in a replacement to knock the living tar out of Donaghy or whoever. Equally if we are coasting with 15 minutes to go we need to be able go all defensive and close a game out. Put on physically strong players to disposes, foul, pull down and get black cards if necessary.. but no soft goals with 5 min to go.. It won’t be pretty but I’m sick of pretty.. and we need to start practicing this now

  20. They do say the best form of defence is attack ???? I’d certainly like to see us being a bit less silly when we have games in the bag. The league game last year v Dublin where we conceded possession – and the win – when we were trying to hold onto the ball and our lead, was a prime example of such daftness and naivety. So I hope he trend we showed last year towards street smartness continues. The Rossies had it in spades on Sunday – we could learn a thing or two.

  21. I believe that Cafferkey is a good full back, but the players around him make him a great full back. Starting with a confident, big strong goalie (David Clarke), playing behind him, organising his defence(keeping everyone on their toes), and commanding the square, taking man and ball, when dealing with any high ball, in the square..Two solid speedy, corner backs complete the full back line, as a unit. All along the full back line, should be strong fielders of a high ball and strong tacklers . Keith Higgins is the best in the country and should be left at corner back.
    I agree with previous comments , that county players need pace and size as well as skill, preferabley all three, where any of these is missing , he will be found wanting, and will be pushed around.
    Some , last sunday fell short and I hope it was as obvious on the sideline as it was from the stand.
    I was very impressed with Peter Dravins at 12, v IT.Sligo, he has all three, pace, skill and a physical presence, 6ft. 4ins.
    Hope Gavin Duffy gets a run out before the championship.

  22. Don’t think it would do Caff’s confidence any good at all to line him up against Donaghy again so soon. It was agony watching Ger so hesitant all match in Limerick last August. Let Vaughan – or Keane, or someone much more physical – have a cut off Donaghy.

    Yes, Ger is a much better FB than he showed that day, but in general he’s maybe not the best match for a rampaging physical FF like Donaghy or Michael Murphy. Plus, if Ger gets injured, we need to know who’s the plan B for the FB position.

  23. I hate the whole idea of ‘closing out a game’ by attempting to defend a lead no matter how big it is! The best way to defend a seven point lead is to go eight points up and so on. Whatever style of play or tactics got you into a seven point lead – why change it – keep doing it is what I say. Unless I’m missing something which of course I frequently am.

  24. I don’t think either Ger or Donaghy will feature in Killarney. Pat Holmes said after Sunday’s game that Ger is an injury concern at the minute (a back problem, he said) which could mean he’s not available for the Kerry game and Donaghy most likely won’t play in it either as Stacks are in the All-Ireland club semi two weeks after that.

  25. diehard, thats our achilles heel, a plan b to shut up shop and counter attack, where would we be if had implemented this against kerry in croker this year having gone 7 points up.

    Our tactics leave alot to be desired sometimes, I hope to God that we will have a plan B if plan A isnt going to plan with the new management otherwise its the same old thing, another hardluck story. Another year without Sam.

  26. I see James Horan has joined Setanta Sports for the Allianz League, along with Declan O’Sullivan and Rory Kavanagh. They are only covering one of our matches (against the Dubs in March).

  27. fair enough, he has bills to pay. lets hope Connelly and holmes are able to improve on whatever weak areas james may have had, if they are then they’ll get their own show in 2016 on RTE , ” How to finish a job”.

  28. Managers are only as good as the players…2013 a clear example.It wasnt Horan who kicked scorable balls wide and Holmes and Connelly wont be playing!
    We need leadership on the field!

  29. Anne Marie, your point about learning…how many bloody times have the players to learn? From high balls pumped in (2012), closing out leads (all of last year) and getting down and dirty when necessary (for as long as I remember), is it engrained into them that they ‘don’t learn’ I wonder?? I know I’m probably over-reacting, but as one poster above said it’ll be another year without Sam if we don’t.

  30. Weel be on the road again now in a few weeks against them lot. Its time to get stuck in again. Shape the team during the league and be ready for the summer. Up mayo

  31. Agreed Anne Marie, the Rossies did have it in spades the last day.. They had it to a certain extent last year also and nearly caught us but 4 the brilliance of Andy Moran. Ros have brought it 2 another level this year & as I said in another thread I was surprised they showed it in the fbd. I believe James Horan was bringing the team along last year with the intention of peaking in September.. It was a risky strategy that nearly imploded against Roscommon & Cork and which did fail against Kerry. When we are at our very best and able to play the highest quality of football for 75 minutes then I personally believe we can beat anyone in the Country.. but we only seem to be able to do this for one game in the year and James was trying to get that for the final which I feel we did not do under his tenure. All the best teams that play brilliant foot ball for 30 and suddenly get tired and loose there mojo, firstly recognise the fact and secondly are able revert to plan b and revert to whatever measures are necessary rapid quick time.. We have proven we cannot do this and we need learn quick..

  32. toetohand, I agree with you. Too often we have lost due to cynical tactics, which are looked upon as “acceptable”. I have not seen the fbd, but it seems that we were taken to task, judging by other posts, against Roscommon. I cannot conceive that it will happen this summer. I don’t know what is going on with the Duffy story, but either he is in or he is not. I have said before that an Irish international full back, who played at under 21 for Mayo, should be more than capable of taking care of Donaghy.,

  33. Not sure about Caff to be honest at this stage. I think he has lost a yard or two of pace as well. I thought he struggled in all the games last year(Derry in Allianz semi, against Cork full forward and Conroy for Galway), not just Kerry. I think someone else is needed there.

  34. Caff actually had a good game against cork last year if i remember right. Kept his man Scoreless in first half and only concede from a free or two in second. Other backs had bad day and it appeared he was having trouble. Hurley was flying that day until Caff was put on him.

  35. I think something similar happened in last years league game against cork, Hurley was skinning one of our fellas and caff was put on him, game over for him after that.

  36. Dave,

    As I recall it early last year Caff was being delegated to mark whoever seemed the most dangerous player in the opposition full forward line even if that player was playing corner forward. This was the case v Cork where Caff started marking, I think, Colm O’Neill but the real damage was being done by Hurley at full forward. When Caff was switched back into full back it closed down Hurley and stabilised our defence. Something similar happened v Kildare. [I missed the Tyrone game so I cannot say what happened there]. I argued at the time that Caff should have been left to play full back and only full back.

  37. The Chamoionship game versus Cork unfortunately was not a great game for Caff. As a full back there is more than just your direct opponent. He was misjudging the flight of catchable ball which is hesitancy.

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