Monday match reports


It’s Monday, there was a game yesterday so, yes folks, that can only mean one thing – the return of the Monday match reports. Because it’s only the FBD the pickings are a bit on the miserly side but here they are.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner.

Post-match quotes from Stephen Rochford: Mayo Advertiser (video), Irish Examiner, RTÉ.

Photos: Mayo Mick (includes the one above, which I found particularly helpful in matches faces to names), Sportsfile.

That’s the lot. Enjoy your Monday.

64 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. What was the story with Gareth O’Donnell in the end, i remember he got the call up. Ws he inured that he didn’t get game time, or simply a managerial decision.

  2. I was reading in western earlier that we will be without Ger caff and Harrison and Keegan and Keane for first few league games.
    A chance for a few new players so.ger mcdonagh will surely get a run at full back and there will be a corner back spot or two up for grabs.

  3. Thanks for the updates and glad the 2017 season has started. A special thank you to the lads who debuted the New Jersey! Ready for round 2! Maigh Eo Abú! #MayoProud

  4. Mayomen also playing yesturday in the FBD

    James Shaughnessy Claremorris 0-5 all frees and Colm Reape 0-3 two 45s turned out for Sligo IT

    Garrymores Jamie Oates and Alan Commins were corners backs for GMIT, Also playing for GMIT was James Kelly sent off first half and Jack Reilly Charlestown 1-0

    I wouldn’t hold out much hope of any of those two teams making any progress in the Sigerson Cup.

  5. Danny Kirkby might just taken the eye of Stephen Rochford, looked alllot fitter than he seemed in his last few outings with Mitchles. Worked very hard in defence, midfield and attack, and his long range kick passing was a joy to behold ,. Adam Gallagher might also have done the same, 9 points is hard to ignore. But to be honest, it’s hard to know how true a test this match was. Great to see such a big crowd, next week it’s Sligo IT in Ballina, expect to see some more debutantes in the Green and Red, even if with the new jerseys there seems to be allot less red. Could easily be mistaken for the Connaught Rugby jersey! Probably get to see a few players from the more northern clubs in Mayo next time out. I don’t know if our first 2 teams will be back from South Africa or not? But no harm to get a look at a few of the less familiar faces, you never know we might just unearth a Gem.. The introduction of the mark, didn’t seem to be a factor, the Ref blew the whistle when the kickout was cleanly fielded past the 45 meter line, neither side seemed to have any plan to use the mark yesterday. I’m sure we will get to see what the mark is really about in the coming weeks. When collective training resumes with our first choice 30+ players, hopefully one or two that weren’t there last year might have forced their way into the pack. Competition is good, you’d have to be optimistic. Hopefully another big crowd will turn up to support the Green and Red next Sunday.

  6. NUIG had good performers in Comer, Daly, Gallagher and Conroy. Mayo had very few good performances but Boland, Kirby, Newcomb, did ok. Douglas showed well but did not do much with the possession. Irwin did well when he got the ball but was not really switched on to fight for possession. Ditto Reape. Where was Conor O’shea? Problem? Goalie too slow in kicking the ball out.

  7. @Sinabhuil
    Conor OShea was with DIT.
    Think your overly harsh on the Mayo performers.
    James Durcans shot almost won the game at the very end. Sure NUIG were stronger and better on the day but Mayo were togging some lads who are really only becoming U21s and are not seniors yet. Similar some lads are strong club players and may not make it past being training panellists or an odd match day sub no. 26.
    Boland and Reape scored heavily from play for instance. For too long several of our forwards haven’t threatened the scoreboard much beyond 1-2 points a game.

  8. Sinabhuil – Conor O’Shea was involved with DIT as far as I know. Kirby took his place last Sunday and may well do so going forward.

  9. Why was he on the match programme listed at midfield if he was with DIT. Surely this would have been known earlier in the week. As regards my comments as regards Mayo players they either cut the mustard or they don’t. This was their opportunity to shine in front of management and a large crowd. In my opinion very few of them did. No point in sugar coating it with excuses of lack of practice or their age. No offence to some of these lads but at this point I didn’t see options other than Boland, Kirby, Newcombe and Gallagher (NUIG).

  10. If they want to shine and assuming their management wants to have a look at them there is an other two matches for them to step up their game. County chances can come and go. Don’t waste them!

  11. Anyone that every kicked the size 5 knows that you can go out some days and have a stinker, no matter what you do or how hard you try it just does not go your way, I think any lad that takes a senior county shirt for the first time needs at least 3 occasions to prove himself and not just one, the first to deal with the occasion, the second to become familiar to sharing the field with lads of greater reputation and then the third to finally cut the proverbial mustard!

  12. I really dont think you can read anything into FBD games particularly the first one. Playing in the first weekend of January on a heavy pitch with no training is far from ideal preparation to impress a manager. The only thing I would take from last sunday is that Adam Gallagher is not injured. A fit Gallagher definitely has sometimg to offer Mayo.

    The manager will learn far more being with the players in trainin, seeing their attitude and how they pick up on what the manager wants from them. Writing players off after a couple of FBD games is ridiculous. Players can only truly be judged after a sustained period within the squad, playing with and getting the same training as the established players. One practice game in January should not open or close any door to a player.

  13. What levels of scoring from play are you expecting Sinabhuil that would be classed as mustard cutting?
    Three points doesn’t cut it I understand?

  14. well said mayomad. theres plenty of time to have a large panel training and even those panel games or mini games will tell rochford a lot about potential players. If possible, 50 players should be kept in the panel and let them see whos the best 30 out of that, some players will have improved physically from last year and could surprise us all. Remember, john o mahony dropped a current Mayo great at one stage so even guys dropped last year or the year before may come roaring back with a chip on their shoulder and out to prove their worth. I hope they do.

  15. Dave, I agree. Way too early to be judging players, especially in one meaningless game. Some players take time to bed into a team for example DOC struggled in his first championship outing and was taken off at half time. Paddy Durcan really struggled in the early rounds of the championship before he got into his stride. Equally a player can shoot the lights out in one game and never reaches those heights again. Personally I have little time for the FBD and think it should be discontinued, however I am certain Mayo has lost talent over the years beacuse of poor showings in these games. Players really need to be integrated into a squad over a long period of time before you can really make an assessment on their value to the senior team.

  16. Hi folks.. Can anyone name the big guy, 2nd from right, in the above photo? He towers above everyone else..

  17. Look what happened to Tyrone at the weekend, Michael Cassidy, Rory Brennan and Ronan O’Neill all picked up knocks in the defeat to Cavan. For them though, worst of all, Connor McAliskey is set to miss the entirety of the 2017 season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament. This is something that we really want to avoid, picking up injuries at this time of year.

    I also see that Donegal have lost the following players for next season: Rory Kavanagh, Christy Toye, David Walsh, Eamon McGee, Colm McFadden, Leo McLoone and Odhran MacNiallais due to retirements or players opting out. Anthony Thompson has also opted out for the moment.

    Cork have also lost three players in their early thirties: Paddy Kelly, Daniel Goulding and Fintan Goold. While some of our older players don’t want to retire and the younger lads are mad eager to get their senior careers up and running. It’s amazing after all of the stick that our players get, they still give it their all for the cause and long may that continue!

  18. Take your point HSE, but we can’t wrap players in cotton wool. Injuries can come from any situation – look at the awful injuries Aidan Kilcoyne incurred while preparing to kick a ball during a warm up.

    Continued attention to stretching and warm up exercises will certainly help – I suspect younger players are less tuned in to this.

  19. Yeah Catcol, I think that was the reasoning behind a lot of Rochford’s selections (picking the Castlebar and a few Westpost lads), having players who would probably be a little bit fitter in the team, rather than some of the other lads who were available to play. The fitter the player, the less chance of them picking up a knock. It’ll be interesting to see what team he picks this Sunday.

  20. You would assume the Wesport lads won’t be playing this weekend since it’s only 2 weeks before their club semi final. That opens up 3 places on the team.

    I’d like to see James Durcan getting more of a run and Michael Plunkett in the forwards – I think that’s where he’s best.

  21. What I am saying is that this is a great opportunity for guys to show their wares. Don’t regret it later. In my opinion very few stood out especially considering the opposition. I am not having a go at them. I never came near to playing for Mayo but I admire everyone that do. Saying that I am not going to blow smoke up their you know what with lies or false praise.

  22. Sinabhuil – I think Rory Byrne could be on your list there also. He was solid between the posts and did bring off a good save in the second half. One thing for sure is that you can rely on him not to turn into a wibbly wobbly wonder under a high ball !! Worth giving him a few more chances to develop in both FBD and National League.

  23. Quick quiz question for this man.i played in the Connacht senior football championship.i played at the World Cup for England and I also won premier league and FA cup medals.

  24. Jeepers Keepers 45,and a , ‘Wibbly Wobbly Wonder’. Your going back to the day of Pounds Shillings and Pence, the Wireless and children getting beaten by the so called teachers in school for them yokes ,. Mayo certainly weren’t winning too many matches back in the romantic days of yore. Ah but sure a young man could bring his comely maiden on the crossbar to the Dance at the crossroads, have 5 or 6 pints (if he wasn’t a poineer) in the pup, buy 10 Woodbine and smoke them in the pub and still have enough change for the Priest on a Sunday all out of a Shillling when them Wibbly Wobbly Wonders were out. Paddy Cullin made his debut for Dublin, coming out on to the pitch, licking a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder!

  25. Interesting stuff there catcol. I can see Rochford and co trying to follow that alright, or maybe we ll start to lead for a change. Be the ones that done something first and benefited from it.
    I think Mayo have their own little things going on though, so at least we are not completely behind the door. Brushing teeth with the opposite hand that they would normally use is one I heard they are doing.
    I watched ” the best of lee Keegan” on YouTube, left foot, right foot, it doesn’t matter, he’s some bit of stuff. Some people are just born with that extra bit of something, I’ll go a bit further, I really am beginning to think that Keegan is the best overall player I have seen play the game. He doesn’t have the boot of Macdonald but he has every other skill. And even the boot is up there with the best forwards in today’s game. That goal in last years replay was a thing of beauty. Mayo are very lucky to have the likes of him training so hard and it’s no wonder those young fellas in Westport are doing well, Keegan is inspiring them. Long may it last.

  26. Nice article Catcol.
    Before last years All Ireland Connolly was talking with another player and the ball was moving in his left hand from the back of his hand to his palm like you might see a juggler do. He was looking at the player he was talking to and not looking at his left hand.
    Our most improved player I think is Donal Vaughan. When you compare each season he’s adding little bits each season. I heard he was soloing with a tennis ball. Last year I noticed him catching kickouts above his head.
    We seem very late to the party with goals like Lee Keegans. We don’t get many of those player arriving at pace being teed up.
    The quick catch and give it to a man on the loop. Again a common score that we don’t get many of.
    Soloing, especially evasive bounces Kerry are very good at. They use it as a steady up and evade the defender before shooting. Also they bring the defender in and step out again very fluently while on the run. Young David Clifford did this before shooting in the minor final. It gave him a bit more space to shoot.
    Cillian did a pretty skillful bit of movement and soloing before his equalizing point last year.

  27. Some good points there JP. Practice makes perfect and that. I have watched Keegan since 09 and his game and skill levels has improved every year. For me Andy is the one that inspires for sheer continuous improvement. But it is there in spades throughout the squad specially Vaughan. More moves like the AOS/Keegan goal in the AI final of 2016 for this season please.

  28. Yes JP, PJ and Dave, thought Shannon might have mentioned Mayo, but he has done so before and of course knows Donie Buckley’s work well. Reckon Donie must have done a lot with Brendan Harrison who made huge improvement over 2016.

  29. That’s a interesting article alight Catcol, thanks for sharing that.

    One area that we really need to improve on is our forwards been able to score with both feet. If you notice the Dublin forwards, they can nearly all score with their weaker feet. I can’t remember any of our forwards scoring much off their weaker side last year, Andy did a few times, Alan Dillon as well. Cillian gets the odd score with his left boot as does Evan Regan with his right boot. You’d like to see it happening more regularly though from all of our forwards.

    The O’Sheas probably need to improve here, Aidan and Seamie. Conor is not too bad with his weaker foot.

    So in the big games especially, we need to see improvements in our scoring rates from players using their weaker feet. Conor Loftus scored two goals in this year’s All-Ireland U21 final, one with each foot so that was great to see from him. Liam Irwin can use his right foot as well, his weaker foot, to good effect.

    It’s something to watch out for anyway in the coming year.

  30. Martin Keown played for London. Seriously? Fucking hell. Never knew that.
    Somewhere at the back i presume. A great soccer player alright in his day.

  31. Nail on the head there Hopespring, it’s a major issue for Rochford to address. Only one player has scored with both feet in croke park in the last 5 years – lee Keegan.

  32. Few Changes to freshen up the league team?




  33. I like that. I thought that AOS did well in both AIFs when he operated mopping up ball in the backs. He seemed to cover a lot of ground. I also recall him doing something similar in one of the backdoor games. This might give Vaughan and Parsons scope to get forward to link with Keegan and the O’Connors.

  34. I would have Clarke everyday MAyo51 but thought I read he’s being rested or that .

    Ya I think AOS deep means he can hit heavy tackles, gain the mark, distribute accurately with 3 men on his back and if he does have alot of attention by means of tackles release quick ball to the athletic duo in Parsons and Vaughan and up the field we go .
    Also we get more usage of a side of his game which isn’t praised enough is his tackling and defensive positioning .

    Diarmuid inside along Cillian maybe robbing Peter to pay Paul but if Leeroy goes up to 10, he will do same job as Diarmuid .
    In Diarmuid I see someone potentially of the no.10 to no.14 similar to James Horans transition to fullforward in 1999 . He well able to win his own ball, fast , eye for goal and very accurate .
    He would be the perfect foil for Cillian .

    Loftus I see as a playmaker and accurate passer and Kirby at 11 is similar to AOS there .

    Anyways its just messing around but maybe a change is as good as a rest .

  35. Nice team outside of boot. But I don’t know about Loftus at 12 he seems more like a finisher then a playmaker. As for other player’s at number 12, the two player that had that number on Sunday stood out for me Fergal Boland and Adam Gallagher. They both can kick with two feet and are excellent passers of the ball.

  36. Hse…that lack you refer to has been endemic in the team for a long time and I think in recent times it’s put down to a shortage of skill….shortage of scoring forwards..emigration even ,a shortage of this that and the other! And I suppose everyone has a bit of the story.
    It is quite a possibility,is it not,that this weakness is bred out of an unwillingness to really engage with its presence in the side. How do you get through to a ‘star’ concerning an obvious short coming in their particular set of footballing skills. What a player K McD would have been if!!! And likewise for so many more back then and before. But then to a degree back then you reached a certain peak of greatness according to your innate ability or your natural consignment of skills without too much bother.. you just had it enough for what ever need there was find yourself on the local team or to aspire to the higher status of a county player….a grand player, a flier, a horse of a man,could he catch a ball??…could he what! Over the bar from any angle..any angle, left or right and all that . And it was all natural.As a footballer you were a product of your own personality and circumstances which often meant you ended up in goal, on the line or that you didn’t get the call at all and proceeded to follow up some other great dream!
    Over the times the game has changed beyond recognition in terms of commitment and skill sets required to succeed.What would have clinched trophies in former times would nt simply be good enough for today’s competition and so here we all are trying to conjure up the necessary assemblages to overcome all obstacles!
    We bore ourselves with words and phrases like pace,middle third, blanket defence,and the famous sweeper when pos we should be thinking more in terms of producing enough players who are fit for the game we have now created.We have a game that too few players are adequately qualified to play. Ok, it’s like a top class orchestra employing a bunch of ordinary musicians. You may well recognise the tune but you won’t think too much of the experience. However if the orchestra is representing your
    county you won’t mind so long as they win the big competition.So it becomes not so much about the music but mostly about just being better than someone else.So we lose sight of what’s really important…possibly!
    I previously referred to primary school kids in Ballybofey last spring giving an exhibition at half time.Their hand passing and off the ball running was incredible,way beyond their years…obviously had been coached to a v high level…it was what they knew the game to be it seemed! Presumably the other skills will become part of the pattern as time moves along and Donegal will in years to come have a deep treasure to delve into! Seems they might need to speed up the transition a bit though!
    So is this where we at at? Are we at a point where to be top of the class you need be able to kick with two feet ….pass with both hands ….run left run right without a blink, see further and more than your Dad did, do a flick and a flip to mesmerise and finally kick a ball like you were threading a needle.Yes, that is def so and yet when we see someone kicking with both feet we still marvel at the sight and at once proclaim the emergence of a great genius!
    Fair dues to the players mentioned who are trying to catch up out of need. And this is precisely where we’ll find that golden key that will create those spaces gaps offloads and spurts that have not appeared often enough up to now.But of course the time for keying into this game is way back in junior infants! And tie up that other leg if you have to!!

  37. @Puckout, You’re not exactly correct there. In the Tyrone game this year, Cillian scored points off both feet. Andy did likewise against Tipp in the semi final. Can’t remember over the last five years but I’m guessing there were others too? Apart from Keegan who has done it regularly.

    However, I would agree that this is an area we need to work on.

  38. Thanks Puckout.

    Some interesting comments there Inbetweener, that’s the thing, are players the products of their environment as well, I heard a Donegal person say that one of the reasons why their teams play such a short passing game is because of where they live! The wind blows a lot up there so kicking the ball in such windy conditions might not be the best idea.

    Outside of boot, I would agree with you there about Diarmuid playing a more advanced role this year, that would be great to see. In relation to Lee Keegan, I think it was in the League in 2014, he was tried in the half-forward line for a few early games and that didn’t work out for him. Like Keith Higgins he seemed to be a little bit lost at times up there. I wouldn’t mind to see Lee given a run in midfield though to give him some more freedom.

    In relation to Aidan O’Shea playing the holding role, one big weakness that he has, is when a fast player simply runs around him and pops the ball over the bar. I think it was John Small that did this in the drawn final this year. I think it happened in the Tyrone game as well. I still have not watched it back but I seem to remember Seamie putting in a sterling effort in the final replay in front of his defence in the second half. He might be better suited to that holding role. He is not turned as easily as Aidan and probably has a bit more pace than him over a short distance.

    The League is for experimenting though so we’ll see how it goes!

  39. Leantimes – it was my favourite as a kid !! Don’t know if they make them anymore but I did see something that resembled one on the pitch in croke park back on the 1st of October !!

  40. Jim flag yes Martin Keown played a championship game for London not sure of the or both of his parents are from Galway and he came close to declaring for Republic of Ireland.

  41. Aidan. I never knew any of that. Fair play to ya. I’m going to try and find out who he played against and when it was. He is doing a fair bit of television work these days and made the draw for the FA cup a couple of nights ago. Ya learn something new every day and ya learn a lot of stuff on this site.

  42. Aidan is vulnerable to a step. Especially if he has minutes played. Niall Sludden it was who stepped him in the Tyrone game in the first half.

  43. It’s really impossible to pick a championship team for Mayo at this time of year. We don’t know who will be playing at the top of their game, who’s off form or who will be injured and regrettably its sure to happen to one or two. Or if someone else blossoms beyond recognition ala Brendan Harrison . No player should be 100% certainly, even Aiden. Don’t get too impatient, I heard one or two shouts from behind me, calling on Stephen Rochford to cop on and take a certain player off who had just coughed up possession at McHale Park last Sunday . Presumably wanting that player replaced. But when I looked round at the subs bench, the cubard was pretty bare. Now that frustrated Mayo fan was over the top. The management done a very good job last Sunday, considering the card’s they were left to play with. All good players grant it, but when you consider the fact that they had never played together as a team before. I was impressed with what I seen last Sunday.

  44. Leantimes, I would totally agree, its the beginning of January, its way too early to be making predictions about possible chanpionship line ups. Most of last years panel are not available and the majority of young fringe players are not available to Mayo as they are with the College’s, which for me makes the FBD games meaningless. Towards the end of the league is when Rochford can really make a decision on a player, after he has had them as part of the group for an extended period. Also imo talk of moving Keegan to the forwards is a none runner. This was tried with Higgins with mixed results at best. Keegans game is built around attacking with pace from deep, currently he is the best in the country at this, moving him forward would disrupt the way he plays the game. Leave him in his natural position where he dominates.

  45. I think people are more interested in the idea of Keegan at midfield. Last years trend for the big teams (including ourselves) was that short kickouts were more popular. We maybe have a bit of a tactics lag in that we are still togging two big traditional midfielders.
    In my view if Mattie Donnelly was a Mayo man we would have won last years All Irelands, both games. Keegan in my view matches up well as a Mattie Donnelly type player who comes in to attacks drifting towards either wing away from the heavy defensive cover in the centre. If he is not shooting he is also able to pass the ball well to others while having more covering and attacking speed than a traditional midfielder. He is also more of a goal threat if he is higher up the pitch and more freed up than being a man marking defender.
    Agree that half forward wouldn’t suit him. In that position you end up in a direct battle with a wing back, you are often facing towards your own goal, which is not instinctive to career defenders.

  46. JP, I see your point regarding midfield, it definitely needs an injection of pace and endurance, not just in the starting line up but from the bench also. Ideal candidates for me would be Vaughan and Coen. Keegan would definitely do a job at midfield but he is so dominant and effective from his current position that it would be a case of robbing peter to pay paul. We need to keep whats working in the team and improve in the weaker areas. Moving Keegan would strengthen one area but we would loose one of our attacking options, therefore I dont see the benefit of moving him and risk loosing whats made him such a dangerous player.

  47. Why the hell would we move the best player in the country from his best position? Seriously lads sometimes I just despair

  48. The idea of playing ball players midfield won’t be too smart if the opposition place two big catchers there. Probably a good idea is to be flexible and have a horse for the course… no harm to be bringing along the likes of DOC Coen AOS and M Ruane in this spot for contingencies down the line.

  49. A players best position does not always equate to being their most effective position in relation to his team.
    Our trend has been that we lack match winning ability from midfield in the big games.
    The idea of moving Keegan to midfield gained currency with me after Stephen Coens solid showing on Diarmuid Connolly.
    Keegan at midfield only increases his attacking threat in my view.
    If a team tog two tall midfielders, there are adjustments can be made at the time of kickouts and at start of each half.

  50. We have seen Dublin play their best half-back, James McCarthy, in midfield. They also played a half-forward, Ciaran Kilkenny in the half-back line. In the All-Ireland final replay they started a wing-forward, Paul Flynn at midfield. This flexibility seems to be working for them anyway, in terms of picking up 4 All-Ireland titles in 6 years, so it’s no harm to keep an open mind on these issues. Lee Keegan plays midfield for his club so it’ll be interesting to see if he can lead his club to glory from that position, which will be no easy task given the opposition that they face. .

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