Monday match reports

Hould on hould on


It’s not the day after the game, it’s the day after that but as I explained yesterday I hadn’t the time then to be gathering up match reports so I decided to wait until this morning and do the lot now. Here they are:

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Sunday IndependentIrish Independent, Irish Times (online, print version), Irish Examiner, Irish Mirror.

Others: RTÉ (match report, quotes), GAA, The 42, Hogan Stand (match report, quotes), Breaking News, 98 FM.

Analysis: Newstalk, Sports If you’ve only got time to read two pieces, then I’d recommend that you read these two.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile, Mayo Mick.

Video: Rob Hennelly’s monstrous ’45 into the wind in the first half (courtesy of Sports

All-Ireland club finals: Mayo Advertiser (Ardnaree, Hollymount/Carramore), Connaught Telegraph (Ardnaree, Hollymount/Carramore).

Ladies’ win over Dublin (match round-ups): Irish IndependentRTÉThe 42. Well done, by the ladies, on another stirring League win yesterday.

That’s the lot, I reckon. I’ve no time at the minute to go kicking through the traces on all of the above but sure fire away yourselves.

62 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Spot on WJ, those two pieces of analysis gets the pulse racing on a cold Monday morning, hopeful signs for the months ahead!

  2. Jesus Willie Joe – how do you do it?

    I’m just getting around to a post now after my journey back yesterday. You have had an audio report, match report, man of the match competition done and dusted, and now created links to all the press coverage. What else do you do – sort out the Refugee Crisis, or the Middle East in your spare time?

    As for the match, wow! Exhilarating; I was suffering at the end: frozen solid and no voice. Haven’t done as much shouting and roaring since the Kerry draw of ’14. We matched Dubs all over the park, dipped a bit to let them take over, but then had them on the back foot, and could have won with a bit of guile up front when a goal was a real possibility.

    Great to be able to praise a defensive set up that snuffed out Dublin and kept their All Stars quiet. All over the field, I thought the newbies came of age. In fact you could argue that this was a new Mayo team led by Diarmaid O’Connor with the help of a few regulars. The rabbits in the headlights of last week (my own description) were salivating to get into it. Nally, Crowe, Hall, Conor O’Shea were outstanding, and again I liked the look of David Drake and the composure of Cathal Carolan when they came on.

    No goals conceded against Dublin. That’s the key achievement. True, it came at the expense of a cutting edge up front, but overall I think Regan did well on a difficult night for forwards (I came away from Cork very negative on him, but when I watched the replay on TV, i saw he did quite a lot of good stuff that I hadn’t noticed).

    Thought Hughes was terrible – we got nothing off him and the Aidan O’Shea free out was a joke. Talking of Aido, he really needs to be fully fit to shine, but he’s getting there.

  3. Very encouraging reading in the Newstalk and SportsJoe pieces. Didn’t have a great view of the pitch Saturday night and haven’t watched the game back but it was clear that defence was far more robust than what we’ve seen lately. Rochford and his team have a clear vision for Mayo football and let’s hope the players continue with the buy in. Can’t wait for Ballybofey and to see what a further three weeks coaching will bring!

  4. I thought the free out against Aidan was fair enough. Defenders are allowed stand their ground. On first slow motion replay I didn’t see any jersey holding or closed fist or Aidan attempting to solo. Given that ref sees it in real time free out barging/over carrying fair enough.
    He was pulling for steps which was good. Think we got the benefit of two/three frees out for steps/barging.
    Willie Joe you should release some task management seminar. Dont know how you fit all this in.

  5. Nice upbeat account Catcol. But you need nt be frozen with the cold on nights like that. Plenty of layers you need and wan of those Russian head pieces that comes down around the lugs and under the chin. There were many on view on sat night and so you have a wide choice. They are most effective in thermal terms but also it appears that they can provide great camouflage in case you might not want to be noticed! I’ve proved this myself on sat night because it took till half time for me to realize that a first cousin of mine was seated one place away. He was also attired in one of these wonder hats…….Dunnes Stores….€7 Gteat value.

  6. Interesting about the rotating sweeper, whoever has arrived back on a deep run stays. Will have to rewatch to check that.
    I guess its the first thing to get bedded in. Then build on the defensive aspect the passing.
    Then build on the passing the finishing.

  7. Ultair, I agree with you. But as for “let’s hope the players continue with the buy in”? If these lads don’t buy in to what this management want well then it’s time for them to go and get players in that will do what the management want.
    I don’t for one minute believe it to be the case, but, the players would have some neck to doubt the credentials of this management team. We’re talking about men that have got to Senior All Ireland finals and won them, for club and county. There’s is no one on the Mayo panel that can claim that. The old adage “show me your medals” will settle any argument there.
    I was delighted with what I saw on Saturday night, particularly given our situation with player availability and, more importantly, fitness levels. I know from an attacking point of view we were poor and Doherty in particular was at fault for missing two “gimme’s” (maybe the way he was targeted early had an effect on him) but the makings of a solid foundation were evident. We forced them wide down the wings where successful shot percentages are poor – hence the 5 bad wides in the first half. We formed a disciplined, cohesive, hard hitting semi-circle in front of our goal with a withdrawn sweeper siting in behind that blocked off the Dublin route to Hennelly, so any popped passes over our defense or any overlapping runs were not into space but into Nally or another covering Mayo defender. We turned them over a fair few times and crucially, we showed what are hopefully very early signs of a defensive system of play that will reduce the amount of goals we concede. If we can keep clean sheets we will always be in the game.
    Crowe and Nally really stood up and worked very hard and, for two lads making the grade from club to county, without the step-up of college football to bridge the gap in quality and intensity, they don’t look out of place. Cafferkey played as well as I can remember and his performance reminded us why he was an All Star a few years ago. Maybe an injury free winter and a bit more cover around him is helping his form. Paddy Andrews bet Kerry by himself last weekend but he didn’t get a sniff of Ger.
    Our transition from defense to attack sputtered and lacked fluency but we still created enough to have gotten a point out of the game. Conor O’Shea and Evan Regan coped well with the physicality and tackling intensity of their men – Cooper got away with a lot of off-the-ball stuff on Regan including one pull back, right in front of the stand side linesman in the first half. Regan gave him a fair bit back and, like Conor, that game will do them the world of good. They know they can play at that level and influence the game and we must persevere and be patient with them both. On drier days, and with a bit more game-time under his belt, Regan will be a real threat.
    We might still struggle in Donegal but if we see the same level of improvement the next day it will be further signs that we are on the right track.

  8. Thanks Inbetweene.r – I WAS wearing one of those hats. It prevented complete hypothermia!

    One or two further thoughts: We should have tried a few pops from further out; Carolan’s effort was a beauty and so unlucky, whereas Connolly’s hit the post and went in. Conor O’Shea should have been good for a few efforts after his success in Cork.

    Dublin’s defending is so bloody good. Borderline all the time and they just get away with it. Our defending often seems to irritate refs. Something for Rochy and co to ponder

  9. Was Ger Caff a bit physically stronger? Just seemed so the way he was able to strip away the ball in the tackle. Age might do him good, can pack on a bit of size easier.

  10. Ya its a good thing to see “the outside world” can see the managements tweeks and there isnt a hysteria “no points, oh were shite”

    Rochford is a shrewd man and on point himself tactically and aided by being there seen it all McEntee and Mauric Horan providing a different view, I think first and foremost we had to sort defence and have a strategic plan and we can see that being implemented now.

    Secondly we need to gain fitness which we should have in place by Donegal game and then we need to develop forward play .

    I have every faith in the lads in doing so but am worried about kick outs once more.

    If you take All Stars and Former International Players like Kevin Mc, Leeroy, Higgins ( starting) Cillian ,Andy out of if and then rock solid performers like Clarke, Seamie, Chris Barrett and Cunniffe who would make most county teams then you know there are brighter days ahead .

  11. JP says:
    February 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm
    Was Ger Caff a bit physically stronger? Just seemed so the way he was able to strip away the ball in the tackle. Age might do him good, can pack on a bit of size easier.

    I think it was a confidence thing, He knew Andrews,

    – Hadnt the space of Croker to run into
    – Caff is fast over 10 yards but not a long ranging sprinter, so kept tags with him initally
    – Had Nally to tidy knock down s and also to dictate where Andrews could run into.

    There is no doubting Caffs ability or he is a smart player but the lad has being left exposed time and time again in the past so if he has cover onfront of him and he dictates where the forward can run whilst keeping him within his grasp, he is a stcker defender and good tackler so will be hard beaten .

    I just hope this is a return to a confident Caff and he gets the sweeper support and then he will give as good as he gets against McBreatty or Murphy but does need help from the sweeper.

    For me the only fault I could find in Caff in the past, was he was too nice but he is at an age now where he knows his strengths and when he plays to them aided by some help he is as good as in the Country .

  12. Those two articles certainly cheer you up on a wet and miserable Monday. The sportsjoe one, while enjoyable and with plenty of feel good factor, was a bit tabloid…the kind of thing you’d slate if it was being negative about your team.

    Maybe I’m being a bit cynical but these ‘Mayo are different this year’ articles are becoming an annual script at this stage and bit tiresome. I mean, when has Boyler not been ‘wired to the moon’!? Every time he’s out there he’s zoned in to the max!

    ‘He doesn’t care, he doesn’t like Dublin. He doesn’t want to like Dublin and someone in the dressing room doesn’t want him to like Dublin’ – really???

    Sure, this kind of article is bit of fun and gives you hope. You want it to be true and it serves a purpose on a cold, wet February Monday, but that’s about it.

    The newstalk one was a good bit better but it’s very hard to read much out of Saturday’s game. The conditions were atrocious, the ball was like bar of soap. Perfect day for a defender. I think most decent defences would have kept Andrews & Co quieter than usual.

    Early days yet…

  13. I agree with Mayonaze.

    The pitch was a washout and add that to the wind and driving rain it made it a forwards nightmare. High balls in would swirl in the wind and drop awkwardly. Low balls in skid off the turf and if a forward goes down for it he’s not getting up inside of 5 or 10 seconds by which time 2 and 3 defenders are all over him. Also no sod for a fast forward to quickly turn on without ending up back on his backside.

    So while a lot of congratulations goes to the backs remember they had everything in their favour. Judge them for instance on how they perform against Donegal in what hopefully will be better conditions.

  14. I would be more critical of A O’Shea than others seem to be. Too often we buy into this big name mentality in mayo, where certain guys get away with murder while others have to pull up trees in every game to get recognised.
    Fair enough, he isn’t that fit. But regardless of that fact, he simply isn’t using his head when in at full forward. Nobody can run through 4 people with the ball from a standing start. He wins a ball and then wastes it by overcarrying and being too selfish. If that was donaghy, his first touch is a tap down to another forward. And instantly takes the 4 guys around him, out of the game and creates a goal chance. If O’Shea doesn’t learn this, we are wasting our time with him in there.

  15. – Diarmuid well deserved MOM, great work-rate and drive for the full game despite getting plenty of attention from the Dubs.
    – Dublin deserved to win simply because they took more of their chances, Mayo missed a couple of easy shots in particular a free 20 yards out in the first half which is the second week in a row we have an un-forgivable miss from a free right in front of the posts.
    – Much more aggressive performance but we are still losing too many 50/50 balls into our FF line, light forwards on heavy pitches never works.
    – It will be great if as the medical team stated that all of our injured players should be available for the Donegal game at the end of the month. We will need them as I have not seen anyone mention the pasting Donegal give to Cork, they owe us a few as well….
    – Is there any stand in Ireland that actually is less weatherproof than the one in McHale Park ??
    – Very best of luck to Mitchells on Saturday.

  16. Incredible amount of positivity on here since Saturday night….yes it was a bit more positive since the Cork match, but if we couldn’t get some sort of response after that, then we are going nowhere.
    But at the end of the day we lost a match we should have at least drawn! In our own back yard, against our biggest rivals (who we have not beaten now for the last 8 times). Yes the defending improved greatly, but we essentially played a blanket…and if you play a blanket you must make it count when you counter, we just didn’t have the natural attacking ability to turn counter attack into scores. You can talk all you want about tactics, but at the end of the day its all about putting the ball over the bar. I know its early days and we are missing a lot of personnel… who are we missing out of our attack that’s a natural forward? COC only. My worry is that the only natural born forwards we will really have to call on this year are COC, DOC, Freeman, Regan, Ronaldson and Loftus (and most of these have been tried before or haven’t played championship yet) – all others are manufactured forwards due to our persistent inefficiencies up front. Can hardly blame current management for that, but I think it has been a failing of successive management to look too much to athletes / workers rather than natural forwards, just have a feeling we just don’t have enough of them to reach the summit and are way to reliant on COC. There has been enough of them, but I think we have tended to try to fix square holes with round pegs too often rather that seek the natural forwards and allow them mature into the team. To that end, if we are to have any success this year we HAVE to play AOS at full forward, but we HAVE to come up with a proper game plan for his role there. He is the only player we have that the opposition really fear up front for us

  17. Neil Douglas, Evan Regan, Adam Gallagher, Darren Coen, Tommy Conroy, Conor Loftus, Darragh Doherty (RIP), Liam Irwin, Jack McDonnell, Cillian O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor were the top scoring forwards of their underage years, most of them have had some involvement in the senior set-up, however bar DOC and COC, no others have really been given a fair crack at establishing themselves – and to be straight up, COC got in early because we had no free taker (think we tried 5 different free takers v Sligo in 2011 which necessitated us taking dramatic action and bring a 19 year old in). there has to be some issue in this. They can’t all be deemed not good enough when reaching senior level

    Meanwhile we have tried Tom Parsons, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Seamus O’Shea, Jason Gibbons, Danny Kirby, Donal Vaughan, Barry Moran, Aidan O’Shea, Conor O’Shea, Richie Feeney, Kevin McLaughlin, Andy Moran and even Crowe last week v Cork! In attack.

    TBH it has always been an issue in Mayo, remember as far back as the late 1980’s when we were playing the Mahers, Willie Joe, McHale, etc in the forwards rather than nurturing proper forward talent. Indeed Mayo’s past is littered with cast-away forward talent for one reason or other….O’Neill, McDonald, Mortimer. There definitely is an issue here

  18. Better but still no points. If we loose against Donegal in three weeks we are in big trouble.
    Hopefully the three week rest and getting some key players back will help us pick up some points.
    Sad to see two Mayo clubs loose All Ireland’s on sat but proud of both teams none the less. Hopefully Mitchells can go one better.

  19. KL, some interesting observations there about the no. of defenders that we have tried up front compared to natural scoring forwards. Something to think about for the future.

    In relation to the game itself, it was great to see us really get stuck into the Dubs and fair play to some of the new lads for putting in a lot of hard graft.

    I’d still have to say that I was disappointed that we didn’t trouble the scoreboard much in the second half. You’d think with that wind behind us we should have been playing much more of the game in their half. I make it that it was the first time since the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final that we didn’t concede a goal against them, which was great to see. Then again the two players who have scored most of those goals, Bernard Brogan and Kevin McManamon weren’t playing.

    You’d just hope that at the end of the league campaign, we won’t be looking back to this game as a missed chance of getting some points on the board. We have scored 19 points so far and Donegal have scored 5-29. It’ll make for a very interesting game anyway. It would be great to have a few more players on board for this match.

  20. KL : Who have you in mind when you mention natural forwards? Are you saying there are some in the county who are not getting a chance? Or are you like me living in a state of constant wonder?

  21. Good posts KL.
    There is every reason to believe that Cillian and Aido will click together in full forward line. With practice this can and should work. Aido will probably be double marked no matter what, but if Cillian plays anywhere near his best and gets back to this level consistently then I think he just might take a bit of watching too! They can’t both be double-teamed.
    Then we could have Regan or Loftus in the mix also or indeed any other forwards who may show form…i.e. Kirby, Dougie for instance. I would still bring Keith Higgins to wing forward with Diarmuid. Big decision on who to play at 11.
    No doubt a few things will have to go right for us if our year is to be the success we all dream of, but the potential ingredients are there.

  22. Inbetweener – I’m saying of those I have listed that were out stand-out forwards at underage over the last 6-7 years, heve they been given sufficient game time / opportunity? Every year since time dot, everyone says Mayo need to introduce new forwards, point is that we seem to try to do a fix (ie try defenders / midfielders) to solve the issue rather than introduce (properly) forward talent, it happens time and time again. Forwards, by default, are the talented natural footballers (generally) and it does take time to blood them in, think we have failed to do that. To say that COC is the only free scoring forward (and he can be limited in this respect) that we have managed to produce in the last 7 years is saying something. The point I’m making is that we are ignoring this aspect of our game or we just happen to be cursed with no forwards. Dare I say all our near neighbors seem to me to be able to introduce forward talent consistently. Lets face it we adapt our game to make up for this deficiency, what I’m saying is that we need to look at the bigger picture, we are doing something wrong. Like over the last 5 years we have consistently had 6-7 nidfielders in the squad (possible this year that we will have AOS, SOS, Parsons, Kirby, Gibbons, COS, Moran in the squad), and this is the case consistently. And we try to fit them all in somewhere. Would we have not been better over the years to have given Darren Coen (one championship start and dropped before the throw-in, now dropped off the squad), Evan Reagan (dropped off the squad 2 years ago, still hasn’t played championship at 23), Adam Gallagher, (dropped off squad after putting big league scores up and 1-4 only last month v Mayo for NUIG), Neil Douglas (played one FBD game last year, scored 0-4, not seen since in Mayo shirt) a proper chance to establish themselves. These players may not ultimately be good enough, but point is I don’t think we give our forwards a fair whack. there are some defenders / midfielders on the squad the last 4-5 years consistently and given loads of opportunity, yet have not broken in, but yet are still there. Just think our emerging forwards have been the fall guys way too often when the cull arrives. Jays even Enda Varley – what did he do so wrong compared to others on the squad? Never mentioned anymore

  23. We scored one point from play with a massive gale behind us, something you’d have to be disappointed with and that point came early in the second half. We were level at that stage 4-4, yet we couldn’t kick another point from play for the rest of the game. In fairness based on the players we had out, we did great to be in that position early in the second half. I suppose losing Tom Parsons and Donal Vaughan didn’t help our cause and Conor O’Shea had played three games in six days so it was understandable that he tired in the second-half as well. I couldn’t understand why Robbie wasn’t just hitting the ball as far as possible into the Dublin half, with his kick-outs, to put them on the back foot and try to keep them there as much as possible.

  24. Disappointed that we didn’t get any points from that. In a close low scoring match, Mayo fluffed more scorable opportunties than the dubs and that’s the reason we lost. I thought overall we were an equal to the dubs and not much separates us. I agree that Diarmud was our man of the match and was impressed by Michael Halls contribution. Thought O Hora should have been given a run. There’s plenty of fight in that lad and is another one to watch. It’s early days and glad too see that the doom and gloom merchants are feeling abit more upbeat. Let’s go and get the two points from Donegal game and that should keep them at bay for awhile. Good to see that the only thing that got blown away were the supporters but still disappointed that we didn’t get the two points.

  25. Outside of the boot ? Why are you worried about kick outs ?

    Personally I feel that Robbie should concentrate on his kick outs rather than going up the pitch taking frees.

    Who would you have in goal ?

  26. Time management, Catcol, time management! I also did a quick piece for tomorrow’s Mayo News, by the way. Sadly, though, the Middle East will have to wait for again.

  27. I’m a bit intrigued by the fitness debate. Yes Mayo are unfit but why. They started training etc late because of time it took to put new management in place. But surely this is an experienced settled mayo squad and the players must now what level of fitness is required for the start of the league so why didn’t they start doing the work themselves especially since they orchastreted the management change. Answer perhaps they made a decision wisely to take an extra rest and forfeit some early rounds if the league to have a better tilt at the ultimate prize in the summer.
    I was very encouraged by the tatic on Saturday night and I am looking forward to what the approach will be to a seemingly rejuvinated Donegal in a few weeks. It should give us an idea of the management’s potential to deliver later in the year.
    I think we can forget about any notion of an easy path to the AL this year as both Donegal and Tyrone look much improved this year. Also either cork or kerry will be lurking at the back door. And of course Roscommon will be much more competitive this year also.
    Still I’ve seen enough on a miserable February night to be hopefull which will be reinforced by 3 league wins all be it it might on last four games I hope…

  28. Inbetweener Cheers for that tip. I was just like Catcol on Saturday night. I was wondering about the hat. Well done to Stephen and his team and not forgetting the great WJ for pulling it all together

  29. Kl: My query is well answered and you sure do whet the appetite for thought on this very important matter. I’ve for a long time believed that our lack of success was due to an adherence to an overall anaemic flowery style of football more than a lack of forwards.There was a saying around our place which was used v often to describe an awful lot of footballers back the years….’He wouldn’t kick a herring off a tongs’ I think it may have referred mostly to forwards as far as I recall.
    It is true that forwards as a species tend to be scarce.What they have to do demands special skills that are not so easy to come by….the player who has them you call a natural forward. But it comes to me as I write that many forwards that I was brought up with very often were not of the hard variety and many were small and nippy.
    Do you think that this is where the tendency to convert had come from when it came to selecting the county team….bringing forward the taller more rugged types to add some thump up front!
    Of course things have greatly changed in modern times when you could nearly swap the backs for the forwards and maybe not know the difference …well!!
    I don’t know. You have me thinking. Cheers!

  30. Inbetweener,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head when you speak of Mayo having a tendency to “an overall anaemic flowery style of football”. The small nippy forward may look good at club level but is often a waste of space when it comes to top level county football. He may look good for a year or two at county level until defenders come to know his style and how to counter it. Unless a forward can fight his corner, win a share of 50/50 ball he will not feature at top county level. Witness Conor Mortimer, our all time top scorer, but who failed to feature in All Ireland Finals.
    Many of those listed by KL as “natural forwards” are 2013 minors, most of whom apparently have had injury problems since but who are looking good at U21 this year. [I have seen all NW Cup games so far]. But none who have played in thiose games have stood out as the answer to our problems. They look good at that level so give them the U21 campaign to prove themselves and we will see.
    Others listed by KL, e.g. Douglas, Coen or Gallagher, have not stood out as outstanding at club level – good but not outsanding. Liam Irwin dropped out of the U21 panel llast spring. Danny Kirby and Conor O’Shea have played at least as much football as forwards as they have as midfielders so who is to describe or not describe them as “natural forwards”. They at least have the heft to fight their corner so to me they are better bets than Mikey Sweeney et al.

  31. Andy D – you are cementing my point – ‘stick the big brawny lad in, sure he will be better than the lighter forward in the long run’….my point is that he will not be. When it comes to the crux, the natural forward will
    Have you ever seen Coen or Gallagher play at club level??!! Jays Coen shot the lights out this year and you say he hasn’t been outstanding. Case in point……the two Coens at Hollymount-Carramore, word seems to be now that Darren didnt get much change the last day and his name seems to have gone down the list for a possible recall. However Stephen, it seems by default, will be in the Mayo squad. Not saying he doesn’t merit it, but the forward has to prove himself time and time again on the scoreboard. Yet we have players that line out as ‘forwards’ for Mayo who have never got near what Coen, Gallagher, etc. can score in a club game

  32. The problem with Darren Coen has been consistency of games and within even the same game. Versus The Neale he missed plenty. Whatever it is he can hit a mighty sideline or free followed by missing a simple 20 yarder. Looks pretty much like a lack of composure. If he often has issues with this at club level that is going to be amplified at county level.
    Then he will have a game where he gets all his frees and hits three from play finishes with 6/8 points. Followed by a game where missing simple chances. In the games he did feature for Mayo, bar one goal versus London from 7 yards he hasnt shown enough.
    I agree with your main point though. Defenders get an easier critique. Case in point when people were glowing about Keith Higgins v JOD. A forward would never get the same latitude of “ah he was best man for the job”.
    He did after all over two games pretty much get taken to the cleaners. Similar versus Paddy Andrews. Similar versus the small Galway corner forward whose name escapes me. A forward in similar circumstances would be nervous about being dropped.
    Keith Higgins just an extreme example to kind of show your main point is correct. Backs get an easier time of it in retaining their position.

  33. Willie Joe, upped my game a bit last night and watched it back on the recorder – didn’t get to do a piece for the Mayo News though! A few things from that viewing:

    * Watching it on TV I had no feel at all for what it was really like, or the supreme effort of the players. You really had to be at that one to appreciate the conditions, the commitment of the players, and a lot of the off-the-ball stuff for good measure.

    * Would have to query the management in one instance. Just as Regan was lining up to take a vital free midway through the second half, Keith Higgins is introduced, to loud cheers. Very off-putting; why didn’t they wait until the free was taken? He did very well to boot it over.

    * Hadn’t realised how near the sideline Rob’s 45 was in the first half. What a kick! But consistency is really needed for these and the second half misses cost us. Rock’s kicking was really good in the second half.

  34. Agree catcol it was a great kick … However I genuinely don’t think he is consistent enough to be our no 1

    We coughed up two scores in the second half due to poor kick outs

    On another note , any idea who will be back for the Donegal game ?

    Two points badly needed !!!!

  35. Now you’re just showing off, Catcol.

    I’d say you’re right about having to be there to appreciate the conditions. It was an absolutely shocking night for football. Mustn’t have been too much fun either for those eejits banging their bodhrans out in the open behind the Bacon Factory end goal.

    I was near enough in the stand to where Robbie took that ’45 in the first half. I didn’t, I must admit, think he’d get within an ass’s roar of the posts, with the wind howling in his face. As you said, what a kick.

  36. I was in the stand getting soaked then decided to move down behind the goal.
    At least behind the goal you can use your brolly which allowed me to dry out. 🙂

  37. Isnt it amazing how in a country that’s famous for rain that so few people have proper rain gear? Lots of people walking around in the rain with wool/nylon hats that soak in the rain and coats/jackets that do the same! And the jeans and runners or shoes are the same, useless and a path to misery if you are at a game.
    My old man used worked outside in the worst winter weather possible but the company supplied actual rainwear that kept him and his work mates dry, so it is actually possible! Even in Ireland, the raining champion.

  38. And don’t even mention that fecking bell. Must have been planked right beside the setanta microphone on the sideline, watching back on the replay.

  39. Maestro I have to agree with you there. The first 2 seconds after you get the ball is where you can shine. Aidan does not have that 2 second game. Gooch and Brogan have it. The ref made the only call he could,

  40. Yes that was a bit much. Okay maybe first ever trip West or something n stewards let him out.
    Mayo came back on the pitch to a five foot Dublin flag on the 45 yard line.
    Even the Dublin players were looking over coming out “What is this craic?”.
    Fact stewards let them wave that flag on the pitch in Mchale Pk without intervening was ridiculous.

  41. Particularly when they’re so quick to kick kids off the pitch at half time ….

    Dave our lack of ability to equip ourseves for the rain in this country is one of life’s eternal mysteries!

    I felt sorry for the poor Cumann na mBunscoil kids on Saturday evening standing in that cold and rain in their wee shorts, and some of them in short sleeves. I’d say there’s few missing from school this week!

    This shaggin weather is driving me absolutely demented. Can only imagine how landowners and homeowners with flood damage are feeling.

  42. How’s things lad and ladies,

    First post! Been reading the quality of the posts on this forum as opposed to another national forum and jumping ship across!

    I was actually very happy with the performance Saturday night. I felt for the first time we saw the outline of a defensive system which will work and with development could be excellent in the summer. The reason Ger Cafferkey looked so good, which he did, was as a previous poster said is because for the first time he wasn’t being completely isolated with a FF while the half forward line ran through leaving him in a virtual no mans land. Shane Nally played the sweeper role very well and will be hard to displace later in the summer. Caolan Crowe also did his part. We know what to expect from the half back line as always, solid!

    In midfield, Tom Parsons looked to be back up to speed until the injury and Gibbons is always a good option to have.

    The forwards struggled but that was on both sides! It was a horrible night to try and play, and unfortunately Mikey Sweeney is not built for winter football.. Thought Regans movement was good, and marking Cooper will be a great education as he now knows the time you get when you are marking a top class corner back! Diarmuid excellent once again, showing that he will be a leader this generation and the next. Conor O’Shea is developing gamy be game and we can thank JH for persisting with him even though he got a lot of stick for persisting with him on the panel.

    Agree totally with Maestro over Aido, I sometimes feel he does not put the needs of the team first and always goes for the glory of the man mountain when the simple pass or point is on. This is something the management need to address and as Maestro said, it would be no harm in sitting him down to watch Donaghy to learn when to go and when to pass. Jason Doc went missing, can be brilliant on his day, but the days don’t come often enough.

    JL, just to discuss your point with the forwards:
    Neil Douglas: Should have got a lot more opportunities and will this year in my opinion. He is a genuine option for championship in the corner and I would have him ahead of J.Doc, Sweeney etc.
    Evan Regan: Getting a chance this year and will grow in experience weekly. Confidence not an issue. Closer to summer, he should be coming into his own.
    Adam Gallagher: From watching him at club level, lacks the pace for inter county and it is known in club circles that if he gets a couple of rattles, tends to have quiet games. I remember him asking a Mayo defender to “go easy will ya” tackling him at a club game, he knew he had him after that.
    Darren Coen – Potential is there, but shot selection is poor. Hasn’t been given a fair shot at it, I think a tendency for the grandstand shots cost him.
    Tommy Conroy – Out for the year after hip operation – 2nd in two years, but has scored something like 1-6 in senior club football altogether. Commitment isn’t anywhere near what’s needed for inter county.
    Conor Loftus – Again, potential for this year.
    Liam Irwin – Not making club team for championship last year, was in America on J1.
    Jack McDonnell – Don’t know much about him.
    Cillian O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor – Both leaders on the current team.

    I would mark Brian Reape as a corner forward that deserves a chance, Mark Ronaldson another guy who I thought did very well in the league last year to be dropped. To see Mikey Sweeney at his best, it needs to be summer football where he can use his pace, but I always think size wise he isn’t big enough for senior intercounty!
    I would like to see Kirby get a run at full forward as he can play the Donaghy role and has been flying for Mitchels.

  43. As a county with our experience of pitch invaders I don’t think we should say much about the 3 individuals on Saturday night. Pretty harmless stuff really. Sat beside 3 young Dublin girls on Saturday night. Their knowledge of football amazed me. They knew every Dublin player and a lot of the Mayo players. All 3 applauded Hennelys first half point. Great to see such interest.

  44. Sinabhuil, when have you seen a Mayo supporter plant a large flag in croke park at half time? Pretty harmless! They wouldnt be allowed do it and dubs shouldnt have been allowed to do it in Mac Hale Park.

  45. Donegal (a)
    Kerry (h)
    Monaghan (a)
    Roscommon (a)
    Down (a)

    On paper the hardest of the remaining 5 games is the next one and even if Mayo are to lose I would still fancy points to picked up in the other four games to stay up and maybe even sneak into the semi finals.

  46. I often think with all forwards, they can be hit and miss type players, even the very best ones. The key is though, if you have four genuine scoring forwards it allows for one or even two to have quieter games but the other two or three will pick up the slack then. Diarmuid Connolly can often be brilliant in one game, then very quiet in the next one. When Kevin McManamon starts for the Dubs, he can often look ordinary but then he produces the goods when he is brought off the bench. Bernard Brogan is probably Dublin’s most consistent forward but even he had a bit of an off day in last year’s All-Ireland final. Paddy Andrews, a very underrated player might then shine when some of the other big guns are quiet.

    We seen against the Dubs last year when Aido was held we were in big trouble then. When Kerry were at their best, one day The Gooch would be the best forward on show, the next day it would be Declan O’Sullivan, Tommy Walsh or Donaghy. One player could be very tightly marked like O’Shea was against the Dubs. Its then up to the other players to shine.

    In an ideal situation, your forward line should probably be made up of three players who are a real threat to the opposition’s full-back line. Two players who can work hard but also chip in with the odd score. Along with a play-maker, again who can take his own score when presented with the opportunity like Ciarán Kilkenny. We probably got the balance wrong last year. We went with three worker type players in Jason Doc, Kevin Mc and Diarmuid. Then we only had two major scoring threats in the full-forward line, Cillian and Aido. If we could get someone like Evan Regan, Conor Loftus, Neil Douglas or even Darren Coen up to speed this year, along with those two, that would be a big addition for us. Filling the centre half forward role will be a key position for us this year as well.

  47. Mayomagic,
    yes, there is 4 wins in them remaining 5 matches if we want them. Plenty of relegation fodder in there for us chew on. After a tough start, the opposition gets weaker and weaker and we should be hoovering up plenty of owl pints towards the latter stages.

    That fella that planted the flag in McHale park must be pissed off that we took over large sections of “their precious Hill” at the 2013 final.

  48. In all our analysis we should remember that we could have beaten the dubs and only lost after a replay, so its not like anything dramatic is required. In the dublin replay we played a third midfielder but then failed to push up on the kickouts so cluxtn could kick short and avoid midfield. We neither dropped back and zonal defended or pushed up on an obviously nervy keeper. We left dub ff 2 or 2 with no defensive strategy unlike last Sat. No suppirt player for AOS. We played all our midfielders then had nobody to cover when dubs threw in MDMc and no sign of any plan for McManmn. On the player side we had a forward who did a disapearing act in croker that would have been a credit to a special forces operative. Despite all this we could have won. We need to plan now for Autumn. I think have two sets of midfielders and launch a new pair in second half to take the game to oposition defence. Hold higgins as a replacement wing forward to run at defence in second half. Have a replacement defender to target McMn if playing dubs. Idealy Regan to take right sided frees. Dictate the game plan. Its a small step further.

  49. Here’s a stats & analysis piece by Sideline Eye, which is interesting:

    Further points from viewing the recording:

    * the last Dublin ‘score’ by O’Conghaile was not a point. Replay clearly showed it going wide. James Horan confirmed it!

    * Horan very good as co-commentator/analyst by the way.

  50. Lots of people are upbeat about performance on Saturday evening. And so they should be, it was a much improved performance. Diarmuid was immense. But the result is what matters and that result, was another defeat. Two games, zero points. I’m not as upbeat about our prospects here as many others are. I know we’ve had rocky starts in previous seasons, but it seems to me, somethings is different about this one.

    In my mind, the Donegal match is now a must win, cause we certainly wont get anything easy from Monaghan playing at home.
    We are like the stock market in a way…so to me the outlook is neutral…if Mayo were a stock, it fell during trading on Saturday and the “futures” market is “negative”. A win against Donegal though and its happy days again….and so it goes.

  51. With all the mention of our forwards on this thread have people forgotten about Alan Freeman? There’s a man I’d like to see in the corner! I think if Rochford can get his confidence up that he’s our man along with Aido and Cillian up top.

  52. Hi everyone, well a great trip to castlebar, some town . Great welcome and plenty of craic.. First apologies for the clowns at half time, every county has eejits but with our larger following we just seem to have a few more. Believe me most Dubs around me were shouting to get off the pitch. Now the pitch seriously lads I know it’s rained for four months but that was a awful state . I think you are our nearest rivals by far this year (haven’t seen Donegal yet but hearing good things) . But give the new boss a chance, don’t buy into the shite in about been world beaters, I’m trying not to sound cocky but im going to see Dublin teams for 35 years and never seen them so focused, I believe if we beat Monaghan its a full calander year without losing…ye been the closest to doing it….see ya in the summer and castlebar we’ll be back…wouldn’t it be nice to see Mchale in the summer, cmon gaa .open Draw in my lifetime…please

  53. Outa the blue…agree, the open draw or a c’ship format like the league, however, add the home AND away ties, that way, we’d get yee in Castlebar again 🙂

  54. Catcol, thank you! I thought I was losing the plot because every time I saw the replay of that point it looked wide to me. Sure even if I’m wrong I’m in good company when JH agreed with me.

  55. Update to my comments on your workload Willie Joe – via your excellent piece in the Mayo News, which is now online:

    I see that, in addition to your blog contributions and management, you clocked up 600km over the weekend. In addition to the drive to the Dublin match, you were a roadie on Saturday for the GAA and on Sunday for the Soccer Leagues, with a 10:30am start in Portrane. This obviously included a departure at some unearthly hour from Mayo.


  56. It was early enough Catcol! We left the Mayo homestead a bit after seven on Sunday morning and squeezed in breakfast on the way. There wasn’t a soul around, though, so it was an easy drive back.

  57. Personally I would have a FF line of Freeman, O’Shea and Regan with A Moran as backup. And a half line of DOC, COC and Mcloughlin with JDoc as first backup among others.

    I would like to see Alan Freeman play alongside AOS in the FF line. I think maybe with 2 big men inside there and a accurate corner fw to play of them it would frighten a lot more defences including the Dubs. (Thinking back to Donaghy and Walsh together a couple of years ago)

    A lot depends though on the quality of the delivery into target guys like this which is why I would choose Cillian at centre-half FW to direct these attacks as he can win his own ball and generally makes the correct choice and a good pass.

  58. You could tog a forward line with a lot of size.
    Conor OShea Cillian Diarmuid
    Douglas AOS Freeman
    I like Douglas. He’s rugged and will be more mature than the u21s. He’d be a great guy to flash onto breaks and get goals, repeating what he does for Castlebar.
    Extra gym work would make Freeman some unit, probably well over 14 stone, run through smaller corner backs.
    Have some pace like Regan/U21s on the bench for last 20 minutes. Stretch tiring defences.
    Kevin Mc, Andy, JDoc. We really should have no excuses of depth in forward line this year if u21s n Castlebar crew can bring some form. Even if just two like Douglas n Loftus that is good numbers.

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