Monday match reports

Keegan Cadogan

Photo: Inpho

Right, can’t avoid those blasted match reports any longer. I have to nip into town soon, though, so it’ll be a quick sweep. Maybe that’s just as well.

The best place to start, as usual, is the Mayo Advertiser where Colm Gannon has his match report (here) and post-match reaction from Stephen Rochford (here). The manager talks about Lee Keegan, why we got thumped and what the injury situation is looking like ahead of the Dublin game (i.e. not hectic, with no new faces back before then).

The nationals all, as you’d expect, also place plenty of focus on the Lee Keegan incident, not least in light of the County Board’s decision – which was, in my view, both correct and admirable – to come out with a statement from the team management yesterday evening admitting that they’d got it wrong in leaving Lee on after the clash with Eoin Cadogan.

Here’s what the nationals have: Irish Independent, Irish Examiner (match report, quotes), Irish Times (match report, piece on Lee Keegan incident). Here are the others: RTÉ (match report, piece on Lee Keegan incidentquotes), The 42 (match report, piece on Lee Keegan incident, quotes), Hogan Stand (match report, quotes), Breaking News (match report, piece on Lee Keegan incident).

And that, I think, is enough pain to be doling out in a single measure. Have to finish on a high, though – the ladies, unlike the gents, got the better of the Rebels yesterday and, appearing for a 22nd consecutive season in the Green and Red it was, once more, the great Cora Staunton who did most of the damage for us in Mallow yesterday. Take it away, Cora:

Video by Jerome Quinn Media on behalf of the LGFA (via Hogan Stand)

52 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Importantly, both of the owl relegation fodder (Ross and Down) lost at home in “must win” fixtures for them against mid table opposition. In one case by 17 pints. Cant see either of these getting to 6 pints in the owl table. As long as Ross dont do something stupid like go to Kerry this weekend and win or Down dont win away to Monaghan, i think we will be okay. We should be flying by the time we face these two at the end of the league and hoover up 4 owl pints from them.

    Also, great that we are already written off v the Dubs this Saturday in many quarters. I’ve heard margins of 20 and even 30 pint drubbings floating about. Music to my ears. Some of our best performances over the years have come when we hadn’t a chance in hell of winning. So let me jump on the owl bandwagon and predict Dublin by 25.

  2. Hmmm. Have to wonder at a few things so far, management for one.

    Have they got a grip? Players all over the media in the last week of January: sorting out the weaker counties, giving American football a spin, shooting the breeze with Keith Duggan, Sunday Indo, Mayo News, The Paper and whoever else is around.

    The overall approach yesterday? Timidity was what struck me. Rabbits in the headlights, not a glove laid on Cork players by anyone bar Keegan, Boyle and perhaps Conor O’Shea. With Holmes & Connelly last year, a more aggressive approach was immediately noticeable, and JH wasn’t exactly a softie. This timidity was especially true of most of the newbies, though it was satisfying to notice a tigerishness about O’Hora, when he came on late.

    The transition to a kicking game? Management have flagged this and it has been a hallmark of Corofin. On yesterday’s evidence there’s an awful lot of work to be done here. The question must be asked – can it be done with the established players who have been working with a running game for 5 years? Kicked passes were ponderous, and inaccurate and time after time helped set up Cork for forward thrusts from defence. This gave them ample time to kick points.

    Over management? Again, I may be reading too much into one game, but it felt like players were afraid to express themselves. This may also explain Robbie’s kick out strategy – he can vary them when he wants to, but was he allowed yesterday? Similarly, you had Aidan O’Shea hitting a free in with Mikey Sweeney and Evan Regan as the target men surrounded by giants!

    And the players?

    Newbies & Fringe Players? posters have been quick to point out that we were playing with a lot of our ‘thirds’. Yet posters have, over the past few months, given cyberspace a run for its money with demands for newbies to come forward, stand up and stake a claim. Some of these were the very players, who had the opportunity of a lifetime yesterday with so many established players out. Conor O’Shea alone was that player; and good to see that he seems to shine in adversity: the county final, the NUIG match and now Cork.

    Apart, from all that, Flower Lodge has a good pitch, but have the Cork CB done anything with it since they bought it?

  3. I feel there are going to be a few rather hairy games for us in the league. I think this new management team were never going to come on board and just make a few tweaks and then business as usual. My feeling is that they envisage making some fundamental change(s). This is not going to be painless, but I actually think we will be better in the long run.

  4. Well done to the Mayo Ladies – beating Cork is no mean achievement and the Dublin women are also coming to town this weekend.

    The Mayo-Dublin ladies game is scheduled for Sunday at 2pm (again, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a double-header, if only the ground would permit it?) and it would be great to give them some support.

    The venue for that game has not yet been confirmed, once again highlighting the difficulty that the women have in securing venues for games.

  5. I wouldnt worry so much about the result , we wer every heavy legged and got overrun by a fitter and sharper team.

    I would like to see a few changes for the Dubs game but crucially would like to see more of a game plan for the fullforward and fullback lines.

    Conor O shea warrants another start as does more of the new faces but I would think a few things need addressing and we would give Dubs a game

    1 We need our kickouts to be better thought out and usage of short kick out into the wind. for that reason I was very dissapointed in hennelly but its early in year and everyone has an off day but should be thinking on his feet.
    I always revert to Clarke as I think he is a top class keeper, but the speed with which he takes his kick outs gives our flying halfback a chance of getting into the game.

    2 We need to get speed into the fullback line and for that I see Boyler at no.4 .
    Opposition will always have a fast inside player which Boyler can pick up and will always have a tall player of which Boyler acquites himself well in the air.

    3 Half Backs need to hold positions more oftern, and we need a no.6 to sit at no.6.
    For this I would give Crowe or Nally a gameplan of sitting, protecting Caff and hitting hard. Kilkenny will start at 11 and play there so hold your position.

    4 Vaughan is a Wingabck and that suits him best.

    5 need more mobility in midfiled to complement Parsons

    6 Need a Kevin Mc replacment in Halforwards

    7 Inside line need gameplan and movement off C O shea.

    8 Need free taker

    For that I would like to see the below lineup

    ____________Hennelly
    ___Hall________Caff____Boyle
    _____________McHale/Crowe
    ___Vaughan___Gibbons___Nally/Drake
    _________Parsons__AOS

    Carolan____________Diarmuid

    ___Regan____COS___Loftus

    – Hall to pickup Mannion – will keep pace with him
    – Boyle on Andrews
    – Vaughan on Connelly
    – Need big game from Gibbons, but hold the middle,(almost play CHB) let AOS and Parsons go forward but keep things tight and mark Bastick
    – Aos to play as an extra midfielder
    – Parsons on O Sullivan
    – Carolan to pick up McCaffrey
    – Loftus and Regan inside will give pace and pull their cornerbacks out into corners
    – Conor O Shea will hold his own against Fitzsimmons and should dominate aerilly but also give him a good foot race.
    – If he plays smart with pace either side of him, he could knock ball down well to them but also play in AOS for scores.

    We are short alot of players and probably trying to be extra positive today but I feel thats as good as we can put out/trial given additional injuries to Leeroy and Kevin Mc.

  6. If you want to make an omelette you have to break some eggs.

    I actually think that there will be one or two big name casualties from the starting 15 by the time the championship comes around. We are still at a very early stage of management seeing what they have, players trying to both impress and adjust to the new management and, also, management seeing if their preferred tactics can be successful with these players. Either the players will have to be changed, or the tactics will have to be changed and that process takes time. Added to this we have a good few injuries, which is part of the game, and those that are not injured are not long back training. Survival in the division is the only aim and we will probably have to suffer another defeat or two along the way before things settle out.

    If we like to call ourselves the best supporters in the country then now is the time to stand by the team.

  7. I would far sooner the lads had a good xmas and break and came back refreshed rather than be super fit now and mentally tired come August. The fittness will fall into place, the young lads need a chance and all in all stay in Div 1 and job done.

    Rochford is renowned for being tactically astute and McEntee as the motivator and extremely proud so those will become all the more evident in March April .

    Also Hall and Coen have matured no end and are there or there abouts for starting as is Durkan so that should free up Boyler to go in the corner and maybe even release Keegan into a different role.

    Forwardwise C O Shea, Loftus and Regan have began to show well and with Kirby, D Coen to return and Cathal Carolan back to fitness there are alot of new options.

    Someone said “ohh its same aul shite again, same players just a different manager” but I dont think that is the case and can see a few big changes as the youth/returning injured players will give a new push and a much deeper squad

  8. Plenty of cobwebs to be blown off there, but that’s fine, it’s a January game.

    I do wish they would make up their mind about AOS, pick a position and play him there.

  9. If I was SR I would be focusing on defence and very little else this week (and I mean a 15 man defence) before the dubs come to town. If we manage to keep them from putting up a big score then it will have been a good weeks work. And anything good we do in attack will be a bonus!
    The players don’t need a morale shattering defeat and neither do the management who are only finding their feet. So it has to be a tough, physical and ugly approach I’m afraid!

  10. Disappointed as we were after yesterday still I think there is more positives than negatives.
    Saddened to see all that left early after travelling such a long distance too. Win lose or draw we owe it to these guys to keep good support there right to the last minute. Some cork fans yesterday commenting on those that waited to the final whistle too is a nice acknowledgement despite the loss . Bring on the Dubs.

  11. I agree with Pebblesmeller above and he made the very valid point elsewhere yesterday that a lack of playing time together is a big part of the problem.

    We are currently operating with a bare minimum of players, remember, and regardless of the fact that there were 10 of our stalwarts on the pitch yesterday you have also got to factor in the delay in training which has obviously impacted fitness. Some of those ‘older’ guys – Keegan, Vaugan, O’Shea etc. have only been back in the fold for literally, a few days. No-one in their right minds would begrudge them that time out after the committment they have shown for the past number of year, but simply saying that most of our core team was there or that we started a strong 10 is simply not a fair assessment in relative terms.

    Cork had been training together since well before Christmas and we started on 29th December. That difference showed in spades yesterday and not just in fitness, but in communication on the pitch whereas we looked disjointed, uncoordinated and not at all intuitive. Again, when you combine this with a new management, new players and a change in regime, it is hardly surprising – it’d be a lot to take in on a normal basis, let alone when you’re hampered by injury and absenteeism.

    Time of course is not really doing us any favours from a League perspective. We are facing potentially another six weeks without our Castlebar Mitchels players, should everything go to plan in Cavan versus Crossmaglen next weekend (and here’s hoping it does – more power to them). That doesn’t leave us very much time to integrate those players into the setup to give the league a good run, particularly given the fact that they could be key players for 2016 (even the ones that haven’t featured prominently to date, e.g. Durkan, Kirby and Douglas – no pressure lads). Same with our injured players, none of whom are expected to be back in operation by Saturday.

    On the bright side, I would hope we would have a couple of our Holly-Carra soldiers back in the fold in due course, hopefully with All-Ireland medals in their pockets. I feel we will survive in Div 1 (we may well be thanking Roscommon for that) but it hasn’t been pretty for the past couple of years and I would expect it to be downright dirty this year.

    So genuinely, we should really be taking the finger off the panic button and having patience, as Rochford has already suggested, even if we do lose badly to Dublin on Saturday. While it’s not ideal, this is not championship football, and in the circumstances, something has to give. I’d echo Pebblesmeller’s sentiment above, if we are really “the best supporters”, now is the time to show it. Keep the faith.

  12. I though Flower Lodge was lovely. Very easy to see what was going on. Trip home as a disater. Over 40 minutes to get out of Cork City and hold ups in Buttevant and Charleville. Long trip. I thought that Mayo were very naive in the backs. Did Crowe play as a sweeper? I did not see any cover between the two back lines. Crazy to play against the wind and not drop back any cover. Management needs to sharpen up. I believe they tried to work the ball quick into the forwards but then did not have midfield, half backs or half forwards following up to take lay offs. Cork did when they attacked. Also the balls pumped into forwards were received too far out on the sidelines. I believe that we are not as bad as seemed yesterday but the change in style of play is going to cause problems for us against the bigger teams

  13. Agree, the fact the management is only in the door a wet week coupled with so many players unavailable will make for slow progress.
    But I do think for next Saturday experimentation should be kept to a min and a more defensive mindset used. If Mayo go toe to toe with Dublin it will result in a hammering and even though it’s only the league these type of defeats aren’t good.
    So a big challenge for Roch this week to put out a more competitive, focused team against the dubs. Every time we played them last year they set the tempo and pace to suit them, will be interesting to see what happens on sat!

  14. I thought the penalty that Cork actually scored was a bit of a dive.

    Mayo lost the game in the second quarter…
    Watching on TV, the wind seemed to have a big influence on the game. Cork obviously used it to their advantage.

    Too many long aimless kick-outs from Hennelly, particularly in the second quarter cost us the game.

    Cork took short kickouts, kept the ball in hand, moved it across the pitch, lobbed it behind the defense into the breeze, took shots with low trajectory into the wind and kicked scores from distance when the wind was at their backs.

    We did have goal chances too. Hennelly did well, particularly with the legitimate penalty, the rest would have been poor if he hadn’t saved. But, its the kickouts and retention of possession which could be looked at.

    We need someone with a “playmaker” attitude (or to develop it) in goal and somewhere around the middle.

  15. Looks like I’m a lone voice in the wilderness with my pleading for Freeman to be installed full time as our No 1 free taker in the absence of Cillian, I’ll still stick to my guns. Yesterday it was no wonder that Jason Doc and DOC were both taken off, their tounges were out trying to cover Cork backs other Mayo forwards made no effort to pick up conceding so much possession to Cork. Dublin are the hardest working team in the country not to mention the pace and talent. On Sat night to have any chance we need to cut our cloth according to our measure Where Dublin struggle is with massed defence. That’s what we should do to avoid a massacre!

  16. Ya I agree with you Keepmoving forward that we need a playmaker and for that reason I would actually play Kevin Mc at no.6 . He could provide a Karl LAcey effect there and he distribution is superb.
    The issue with him at half-forward is he win the ball with his back to Goal but at no.6 he would be moving onto the ball at pace and already facing goals.
    We all know he is accurate, tough and wins alot of breaks so for me its worth a go , later in the league of course.

  17. Re C O’Sea at full forward you must bare in mind he will probably be up against P McMahon rather than Fitzsimmons.This being the case I think it has to be Aido at full forward [and he has to lay down a marker early on]

  18. Lads, if I look at the list of players that were not available yesterday, it’s fairly extensive:

    Of those that played against Dublin in either of the Semi’s last year:

    Cillian
    Andy
    Ronaldson
    Freeman
    Seamie
    Barry
    Keith
    Chris Barrett
    Durcan
    Coen

    Those unavailable (or that I don’t recall them playing) that didn’t get a game against Dublin last year:
    Alan Dillon
    Kevin Keane
    Conor Loftus
    Tom Cunniffe

    I’m no doubt missing one or 2 others (Douglas and Kirby?) if not more.

    Now if you started the 14 outfield players I mentioned against any team in the country that would be fairly serious stuff. While Andy and Alan Dillon probably don’t have a full 70 minutes in them, they offer a lot of experience and create and convert a lot of chances.

    To throw out a cliche – this was a bit of a perfect storm against us – loads of players injured or Unavailable, Cork with a new manager, away from home, first game in the league and we were clearly off the pace. There was only ever going to be one winner and that wasn’t going to be us.

    We can probably write off the next 2 games, maybe we could sneak a draw against Donegal but that would be a tall order in Ballybofey, particularly if we are missing the Mitchells’ players.

    Not getting too down beat just yet. If we don’t get 3 points from the games against Monaghan and Kerry, then that’s the point to start getting worried. The last 2 games will be against Roscommon and Down, both of whom will probably be fighting relegation from Division 1 or already relegated at that point.
    Key to our survival will be making sure that we’ve put up decent scores where we win, or not losing by margins like we had yesterday.

    My tuppence worth. Probably not stating anything others don’t already know mind.

  19. One thing about the new Mayo set up is the media are getting bang for their buck. Last week we had in depth interviews with SOS, COC, AOS, the manager, uncle Tom Cobbley etc but the one that caught my eye was Hennellys. He left a pile of hostages to fortune for anyone wanting to see the psyche of the Mayo set up.

    Firstly he took on Darragh O Se over the Kerry man having the cheek to finger the Mayo keeper for the cock up that led to us conceding a vital goal v Dublin. Adding that journalists wouldn’t have done business that way, Hennelly confirmed what I already knew, most sports writers keep it comfortable with their subject, not saying out what we the punters witness.

    He then had a cut at Colm O Rourke and I hold no candle for the bold O Rourke but Hennellys diatribe completely flummoxed me there, apparently from what I gathered is that O Rourke correctly pointed the finger at the GPA and told them man up. Any union or representative body that is quartered in your employers building is neither independent or actually able to represent their members. I’m not interested in Mayo being used as a trojan horse for activities that are out side the followers pale.

    This keeper has had glorious moments and this keeper has had inglorious moments. It comes with the territory and a leaf taken from 3 times All Ireland winner Cluxton here wouldn’t go amiss. he says nothing, preferring his on field activities to speak for themselves. I am surprised at the access the media have had up to now. Early days yet and a dry sod and sun on the back may make many of our comments look daft in high summer. However a pattern no matter how indiscernible is taking place. We talk a lot to the press, we spoke about a kicking pattern. Lets be real here, kick passing is not and never will be a Mayo forte. Pretty soon we need to set out some format.

    I read about missing guys. To me the only ones sure of a start and that are missing are COC and Barrett. Barry Moran is a squad player, SOS will come under severe pressure this season and more than likely from Aiden. The longer this goes on the better the prospects will be for Andy Moran and Dillon. And that aint the future. Funnily enough our perceived contenders Dublin, Donegal, Cork, Donegal and Tyrone dont seem afflicted by winter bugs. We had nine of the Mayo team V Dubs last September on the pitch on Sunday but we haven’t addressed the glaring issues in the central axis.

    A band called Moving Hearts burned a trail circa 1981 to ’85. They were brilliant. But they had one flaw, they ran the project as a co-op. The sound man, the bus driver, the door man got the same pay as Christy, Donal, Keth and Declan. It didn’t last, not because of the band but because of the structure. Sometimes we need less democracy a la Fergie, Loughnane, Cody and McGuinness. No talk, no promises and glad handling the media from those guys, ask Cassidy for one. Sooner rather than later we need a Uno Voce and that voice to used sparsely.

    For a county board whom getting information out of was difficult up to now, I was taken aback at the speed the Mayo medical team got the reins tightened in Sunday night via a public statement issued via the media. Not too sure that it was necessary. I ask one question, is the rest of the season in Mayo going to be aired to us daily via the media and can everybody join in?

  20. Personally I wouldn’t blame people for being upset as I don’t see Cork doing much this year ( I have been wrong before!) .

    positives
    Conor O’shea – great to see another ready-made player
    The acknowledgement by management of a mistake with Lee – lesson learned.

    negatives
    We were utter muck
    I hope Lee is ok

  21. Based on yesterday’s performance Cork could well win the league or at least play Dublin in the final. So while it’s far from the ideal start for us, we will probably have our two toughest games out of the way and we may be pointless but at least the games ahead shouldn’t be as daunting after the break with our fitness levels improving and players coming back from injury.

    We were well off the pace yesterday and will be again on Saturday and with Keegan and McLoughlin out, damage limitation may be the best we can hope for against the Dubs.

    We should switch the match against Dublin from the wide open spaces of McHale park to some tight little pitch and go toe to toe with them !

  22. – Cork were fitter, more physical and more focused
    – They played with a strong wind in the first half and used it by firing over shots from all angles and from all distances
    – The first half of the match was really good FOOTball for January, much more kick passing from both teams and a lot less of the lateral rubbish that tends to pass for football nowadays.
    – We were winning plenty of possession in the first 20 minutes with Tom P in particular winning a lot of ball BUT we wasted almost all of it. Granted we had to bring the ball closer to goal because of the strong wind but some of the kicks were nothing short of terrible. Timid little shots into the goal keeper that would put a 90 year old one legged Nun to shame. For peat’s sake if you kick the ball then kick it and at least drive it off the upright, post or keeper but stop this nervous timid kicking of the ball.
    – We are starting to concede physicality in the full forward line which is all well in good if forwards can make up for lack of physicality with football. I was hoping Evan R would do well and while he tried hard he did not impress, lost too many 50/50 balls and missed one free with a terrible poor kick. He did seem nervous to me so definitely deserves a few more starts in the league. Conor O’Shea has a bit of go in him and reminds me of Ciaran McManus from Offaly, so many of the same attributes. He is the type of athletic, strong freewheeler that we do need and yes he has his faults running into cul-de-sacs and maybe not always looking up BUT we need physicality in our forward line. He also scored some fantastic points yesterday.
    – I think we outnumbered the Cork supporters even more this year than last year, it is now the biggest traveling support I can remember from my many years on the road and it is great to see.
    – I also attended the Dubs V Kerry match on Saturday night and really the Dubs made Croke Park look twice as big as it is such was the space Kerry give them and Kerry were trying despite what Eamon Fitzmaurice said afterwards.
    – High ball into Tommy Walsh did work in that he gained possession so that is maybe something we try next Sat, plant AOS in at FF and leave him there no running anywhere else and our two half forwards should be lobbing high ball in with corner forwards working from AOS. Our other half forward will of course have to go back as a sweeper.
    – Sterner challenges and lessons lay ahead BUT Mayo in particular the newbies need to really take this game to Dublin and start making a case for their inclusion in the first 15.

  23. John the concussion protocols concern player safety, I am with you on interviews and doing your talking on the pitch but in this case Lee was a danger to himself and the management did not act. this statement was needed in this case imo.

  24. I don’t think, John, that you’ve correctly represented the Colm O’Rourke issue that Robbie had a cut at. It wasn’t the GPA that O’Rourke (article here) said should man up (which wasn’t, in any event, the way he put it) – what he took aim at was young people experiencing difficulties and he said that “it is plain that there is a small percentage of cases which need serious professional intervention. There are also a lot more of the ‘get over it’ type which every young person must deal with.” Robbie (article here) took issue with this attitude and, for my money, he had every right to do so.

  25. Enjoyed the day out yesterday although result not what we would want. Preparation is the key to success and it was clear Cork were way ahead on that front. Do ye all remember last year when we went to Killarney and beat a Kerry team just off the plane from foreign climes? We were all delighted. Then against Tyrone we were brought down to earth with a thump one week later. Early league form can bring anything and even if we loose on saturday to the dubs its no case for despondency. We must give time to the new players and management to get up to speed with div 1 football and that is that. If the management are as shrude as people say then they know there are changes to be made and it wont happen over night. The panel that is on the road for 5 or 6 years needs shaking up. Thats what rocky and co. are looking at as it has not been good enough to win the all ireland. They came close but will now be in decline as thats the nature of the game. New blood is being introduced and we need to give it time.

    Cork have been good outfit over last few years and i believe management has not been up to the job of getting the best out of them. They are difficult to beat anytime let alone there own back yard. They have some great players and very dangerous forwards and coupled with them being further down the road in terms of development it was always going to be tough. They will be challenging for sam mayb not this year but certainly next.

    It will be packed house next saturday when the dubs come to town. Another tough game awaits but thats a good thing for all concerned because thats how one gains experience. Dont worry people we will do enough to stay in div 1. Blow out the dirty diesel early on and hopefully we should be running smooth very soon ……

  26. I think we have to play to our strengths next Sat night. We will have a weakened team against the best team in the country. SR has already confirmed that he doesn’t expect any of the absentees form last week to be available in the 6 days after. Add to the missing probably Lee and KMac and we are down to the bare bones.

    From that perspective we should adopt some sort of strategy that gives us a chance to compete be that defensive or offensive. I would advocate a more defensive one given the likelihood of the Dubs attacking strength and our lack of.

    If the game ends up 0:07 – 0:06 I am not concerned. In fact I would be happy as I think points difference may have a lot to say in the standings at the end of the campaign.

  27. Next Saturday just bring in the sidelines to the minimum. Pack the defence with six footers. Drop back Tom Parsons to break up all on our own 45. Pack our forward line with at least three hefty players like COS/AOS /Freeman. Its a night to just be competitive. Another trimming could stall early belief in direction.

  28. Actually it was based on head to head result last year. But still points difference is important to be lets say operating well going into summer.

  29. Jeez I don’t know lads , a team should never accept defeat and before the ball is thrown in ffs. It doesn’t matter how much the odds are against us , you still have to believe . Dubs are 1/3 to beat us , so be it , it’s in castlebar , give it a lash like . This thrown in the friggin towel Sums up the bs modern day attitude of over analysis , anything can happen on the night sure . All joking aside some of Ye need to get yourselves over to ballstown and purchase a set.

  30. Sean do you not think it is how we should be setting up anyways?
    – Big physical defence
    – Three big forwards who stay up as targets
    – The most athletic midfielder in the country as a protector of the 45 breaking up counter attacks. Parsons had no assists or scores in championship last year. He did however have some great defensive games.

  31. For me, the biggest disappointment is that I lost a bet that there’d be at least one “Rochford out” post on the blog!

  32. I have np in tightening up with big men in defence and a more defensive approach to the game sat night , we were far too open to one on ones v Cork . I’d hope it was more of a fitness issue than an actual flaw in tactics .

    I’m not so sure about how the big forwards would work though , I’d just go with AOS on the square with Regan left up there to gather the breaking ball ,yes breaking ball is what I said ,seems an old fashioned term to use but numerous times I watched yesterday when there was obvious breaking ball coming and nobody to collect .

    Apart from that , there should be no talk of accepting defeat as if it were a shoe in . I’m not being stupid , I know a Mayo win on sat would be a shock but we have to live in hope . I don’t usually be vocal at league games in terms of ” Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo ” type stuff but by crikey I will do it sat night even if alone. This is when they need us .

  33. We were so clearly off the pace yesterday it’s impossible to know how to reflect on what happened during the game. So obvious that so many of our players were unfit and Cork were clearly miles ahead in terms of preparation.

    I came away with the impression that because it was obvious that we were going to lose the game fairly early on yesterday, the management didn’t make any major effort to improve the scoreline. We had, at that point, nothing to lose and allowing the more inexperienced players to try and improve on their play was probably no bad plan.

  34. Olive.. I am wondering about this “90 years old, one legged nun”. Who did she play for, Mayo ladies?? She had to have great difficulty in scoring, with the one leg. Her balance had to be ‘out of this world’… 😉 🙂

  35. I often think that without Cillian O’Connor in our team, we are at least a five points worse team. His confidence seems to rub off on the other players as well. He a leader of men. Right from the first Connacht final that he played for us, in 2011 against Roscommon, he has been a match winner for us. Even in that game yesterday, when we were still some way competitive, he would have knocked over a few points to keep us some way in the game. Again in the second half, he would have knocked over some of the frees that we missed with a lot more assurance. Like Cora Staunton, he just wants to score and does not have the fear of missing in his head. A couple of years ago we probably would have been relegated only for the two sideline balls that he kicked over against Cork. We will have to soldier on without him for the moment. Our worst performances usually happen when he is not in our team. He wasn’t even fully fit last year but he still gave some outstanding displays.

  36. Proof if ever that most Mayo fans don’t do neutral outlooks….it’s either a disaster or Mayo 4 Sam!

    I would hope to see a vastly improved performance sat night….I want to see fight in our lads. Fellas on the sidelines and shadows should be busting a gut to lay down a marker and impress. If we go down fighting that will be good enough for now heading into the break (3 weeks!) after the Dublin game.

  37. Also Dublin only started 9 against Kerry at the weekend that started the All Ireland final.

  38. Hello, Not for the first time do i find comparisons between some distant past and the presenr to be totally illogical and inappropriate in the context of Mayo football and the players in particular. If he had mentioned the ” UNO Voce’ of Mussollini the author of the War Cry i would know who he is referring to rather than some obscure band from 1981.
    Young Hennelly seems to me a very articulate young man in contrast.
    I would not dare question what Aidan O:Shea does. I dare say he has his faults but certainly not when playing for Mayo (now he has brought Conor along). What an exsmple.
    For the first time in my life i csn be proud of all the mentioned names serving Mayo football and as Ambassadors for the County.
    Also i might add that i would like to see Andy Moran and Alan Dillon involved for this year. They may not get much game.
    Hope all the players are okay as they are the ones who will be training this week in atrocious weather.
    All good wishes to you all. Ciaran 2. Hh

  39. John Cuffe,

    I fundamentally disagree with you suggestion that we were missing only two “regulars” in Chris Barrett and Cillian yesterday. Fact is its no longer about a 15 man team anymore. Rather it is a 20 – 25 man squad. Dublin regularly finish with a stronger team than the starting 15. McManamon’s introduction alone can and usually does change the balance. Barry Moran is a fundamental part of the Mayo squad and is, I believe, improving all the time as he seems to have overcome the injury issues which plagued him for so long. To suggest that Keith Higgins is not a regular leads me to wonder what team you have been watching. Similarly Patrick Durcan last year. Tom Cunniffe and Kevin Keane are also essential members of the squad who if missing will always be missed. Alan Freeman if available yesterday would have made a huge difference for his freetaking alone.
    Similarly I disagree with those who make excuses listing unproven players like Danny Kirby and Neil Douglas as “missing players”. Like the new players on view yesterday they are unproven at county level and only a certain number of unproven players can be played on any team.

  40. I was disappointed with the manner of the loss…we were very disorganized. Maybe this is down to the new management and them trying to get their system in place with player who for the most part have been used to a different system.

    A few other observations on the weekend

    -Lee should have been removed immediately
    -We still have major problems with our FB line
    -Cork looked very good but they wont be cracking the champagne just yet.
    -Dublin didn’t skip a beat since September, Mannion and Andrews were outstanding I thought, they will punish us next weekend in Castlebar, hopefully we can keep it under 10 pts.

    Still, this is why they play and we watch, always hoping for improvement.

  41. The thing is we had players playing yesterday who pretty much only came into the panel a few short weeks ago, making the step up from club football into county football, away from home against a strong team is no easy thing to do. At least players who maybe have one year of county training done might have some chance, its very hard to expect players to step up to the mark after a few weeks of training in the county set-up who would be pretty much classed as our third or fourth choice players against a first choice strong county player. You could see that a player like Conor O’Shea has been involved in tough hard county training for the past few years which meant his chances of doing well in that game were much greater than a player only in the county panel a few weeks. Dublin were missing six players but if you look at some of the replacements that they had, they were established squad players or subs who would have got plenty of game time over the past few years. We had players like Nally, Crowe and O’Hora who were total novices to that level of competition and fair play to them, they got stuck in and tried their hardest.

  42. A question for you john cuffe and Willie Joe ??

    Based on your comments above and audio yday Willie Joe who would you like to see it goal ?

  43. I’d be more focused on how we need to get a more coherent approach to restarting play implemented – which I think we should be able to do regardless of who is in goal – rather than saying who should be playing in goal. I’ve a lot of time for Robbie and he does lots right – he executed one lovely disguised kickout to perfection in the first half yesterday but far too many of his restarts were boomed down the middle to no-one in particular. He did the same last year against the Dubs and we all know the result from then. David Clarke used to bang them out the same way too but in latter years had far more variation, though he has struggled for fitness more recently. That’s a long way of not answering your question directly but I’d repeat that our approach to kickouts is something we need to sort urgently, regardless of who is in goal, as it’s a real weakness in our play right now.

  44. Cork protected there full back line well on sunday. I think it was there number 6 who picked up a power of ball that was aimed at our forwards. Cork are a good side and were prepared well. Seamus o shea would be a big addition if he was fit. He has no fear and his power would be big asset. Put him on a centre half back roll protect the centre.

    The reality is that the new guys on show are what we need to strengthen the squad. Conor o shea played very well. Showed for alot of ball and got some nice scores. Big tall guy that is mobile and can kick scores off both feet.

    Who is our best man marker available?

    Connolly is class act and runs the show for dublin. I would put a fast tigerish defender on him. Make life as difficult for him as possible. That might stem some of the tide and give us a chance of WINNING.

    Can anyone pick the man im looking for?

  45. Hard to know. Lee Keegan got a lot of credit for quietening Connolly. Then I noticed that for the first game actually Ger Cafferkey picked him up a lot. Cafferkey completely ignored play and was just around Connolly non-stop. So you know, to really see how man marking is going you have to look away from the ball.

  46. sound jp. lets assume Dublin start with the same full forward line. Id love to see O hora on
    to see how he would fair out. He seems to be doing alright. We could also drop Aiden into a more defensive position. Its like a game that could suit rockys style. Make life awkward for them and hit them fast on the break. Fast ball into the forwards. I wont go wit Aiden in ff. To ponderous. Plus we may not be able to supply him. Regan.Conor o shea and Doherty( though he needs to sharpen up) in the ff line. Nice blend of speed and power as the dublin backs have both

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