Monday match reports

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Given that our opening League game took place on Saturday night, I should really have done this one yesterday. Sourcing links online isn’t, though, a job that can be done with any kind of speed or efficiency when one is located the wrong side of the digital divide which is why I’ve decided to hold fire until now. Plus, I’ve the added benefit of listening to the Mayo News football podcast while hoovering around the internet looking for all the match reports. Here they are:

Locals: Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Sun.

Others: GAARTÉ, BBC, The 42, Hogan Stand, Breaking News

Photos: Mayo Mick, Inpho, Sportsfile.

That’s it, job done. Enjoy your Monday.

34 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Lots of errors on both sides which is par for the course this time of year. Ball wasn’t sticking up front in 2nd half. Combination of poor delivery and being outnumbered/outmatched physically inside. Also we didn’t have enough line breakers to breach their defense. Lads are still building their fitness to be able to make those gut busting runs in heavy conditions. Monaghan had more to offer up front as well and deserved the win. Donie Newcombe done well in the corner. Onwards to Tralee

  2. I thinks it’s worth noting the controlled and ‘error free’ performance Dublin provided yesterday. It pains me to say it that you have to complement their whole approach that they’re so competent in their first league game of the season despite all their recent success. It also poses the uncomfortable question as to why we’re not quite as sharp at the start of the season considering our lack of success at national level.

  3. It’s actually laughable that some posters are getting so irate about the first game in February, when we were missing half our regulars and the ones that played are back three weeks from a team holiday. We got spanked last year in Cork in the opening league game, and as far as I can remember, no one mentioned that in September or on the 1st of October. What happens in February and March is irrelevant to the business end of the championship where I have no doubt we will be. People need to get a bit of perspective.

  4. Well done there Willie Joe – a match report, a podcast, and the paper round up and I’m just getting to the keyboard now on Monday lunchtime!

    As one who predicted a Monaghan win – on the obvious basis of superior fitness sharpness and motivation, our performance has to be put in perspective. What I didn’t predict was that Monaghan fancied themselves big time to win this one, helped by, as Kieran Hughes put it (twisting the knife further) by Mayo missing some ‘elder statesmen’.

    Nevertheless, it’s not all bad. We could have nicked it (didn’t deserve to), and a two point defeat is a lot better for our point difference than the performance against Cork last year. This will be important come April.

    Overall the newbies did well, and I’m prepared to give Kirby the benefit of the doubt for the time being. I wasn’t over impressed with the management performance though. Five rather than four subs should have been brought on – this is where fresh legs can really make an impact. And, as other have pointed out, our play was too ponderous, even allowing for the lack of fitness and sharpness.

    Kerry’s win could (COULD) help us. A team travelling a long distance, winning and then playing at home the next week often bombs. We’ll be hungrier this time, a small bit fitter and sharper and we might have a better pick.

    Finally, and I haven’t seen much on this but we are really at a disadvantage at this time of year. Our players are scattered far and wide, one training session is all that’s feasible, and of course our training ban (coupled with foreign hols in January) all undermine the efforts to put a cohesive, hard-hitting, strong-running team together. Others have some of these problems: Galway, probably Donegal, Sligo all have scattered players, whereas, Dublin a lot of Leinster and Ulster counties, Cork and Kerry (maybe less so) have most of their players near at hand.

  5. Going in to Saturday nights game I was looking for two things in particular. One was to see how the new (or relatively new) faces would account for themselves against a hardened tough opponent. The other was to see if we had anything new to offer in our attack, a new structure or approach to our attack. I had us down to win this one by a couple of points even despite the fact that we are behind Monaghan in terms of S&C, fitness and sharpness. I still felt we had enough on the pitch, and to come off the bench, to take the win and send us down to Kerry with the cushion of a couple of points already on board. However, it was not to be and despite some atrocious referring that saw Conor Lane, normally a very good ref, lose control of the game in the last 20 mins, Monaghan deserved their win. I have to mention though the embarrassing incompetent officiating from the stand side linesman in the second half. How he missed the thuggery of some of the Monaghan players was beyond belief. He was so poor the linesman from the McHale road side had to come across into his side of the field at one stage to judge on a free. And, the ref had to tell the linesman that a sub was coming on!
    The new faces did well and showed more than some of their more experienced colleagues. Newcombe, despite being loose in the first 10 – 15 mins, did well and tightened up as the game progressed. He was fortunate that his man did not see much ball early on as he was able to lose Donie easily enough. However, once Newcombe got up to speed he was very good and finished strongly and full of running. A lovely pick-up in the second half under pressure was an example of his ability and he is certainly deserving of another look. Drake, I felt, did well enough and is certainly athletic enough to operate as a half back. A fantastic block in the second half after tracking his runner 40 yards after twisting and turning to stay goal side of him was impressive. Also his willingness to get involved in the many “skelps” is good to see. Kirby battled and fought in the middle despite being partnered with an inexperienced midfielder in Vaughan, and being up against two lads that will be lining out in the Ulster championship. It is a big ask to expect Kirby to make the step up from senior club football (I think he missed a good bit last year also) to Div 1 league but in fairness he never shirked the challenge or gave up. He has an excellent delivery of a long driven ball in to the forwards but I doubt whether he would be an option in the middle third come the Summer. Boland, for me, was the pick of our starting front six. Intelligent, always looked to create space by staying wide, ran into space when we attacked (unlike Doherty and Vaughan who ran into opponents!) and he topped it off with a lovely point from distance off the outside of his right boot. He was comfortable passing off either hand and the timing and weight of his passes were spot on – no-one had to stretch or bend low for his passes unlike some of Boyles passes. I would bracket the performances of both Regan and Freeman together. Flashes of what they can do but there is still that frustrating inconsistency in their play that makes them wasteful in possession and unreliable as a target for ball to stick in the full forward line. I wasn’t expecting much from the more senior players although the performances of Higgins, Boyle, Doherty and Cillian were poor. That can obviously be excused due to fitness levels but I fear that Cillian may be turning into our new Aidan O’Shea in that he steadfastly refused to release the ball to a player in a better position. Paddy Durcan and Coen continued their progress and I hope management sticks with Coen at 6 because, despite a very poor decision to shoot off his left from 35 yards out in the first half, he has all the natural attributes needed to play that position.
    As for anything new to our structure? The complete lack of any semblance of a coherent attacking plan was the most disappointing thing for me. It was like groundhog day all over again. Attack after attack after attack. Hard running up the middle, hand passing over and back the field, running out into the corners and eventually dispossessed. We lacked the cuteness of Monaghan in the way they moved the ball through the middle third at speed, accurate foot-pass into the full forward line, one bounce then into the hands of a forward, bang and over the bar! Simple. Even with 14 men. We lacked their cuteness on their kickouts where they used cross pitch runs of their midfielders where one of them would take our midfielder out, making it look like an accidental collision, (illegally but it went unpunished) leaving their other man free to catch the mark. Simple. Even with 14 men.
    We are not mentally as cute as other sides and that has noting to do with physical S&C or fitness levels. Cillian had a 21m free with only two Monaghan lads on the line and he dallied. We had a 45 towards the end and had no tall player in the square in case the ball fell short or to throw a fist at it. Guess what, the ball fell short!
    If we thought Monaghan were cute and hungry, we’re going to the home of cuteness and hunger next weekend. It will take a huge step up to stay in the game never mind win it.

  6. Just looking at Dublin and Mayo at the weekend shows how good our first team is and the big gap to the rest of the lads whereas Dublin can bring in players who slot in to their system seamlessly.

  7. I don’t think posters are getting to worked up over the first game maybe frustrated yes.
    Most know its early days, more big names to come back but we shouldn’t be letting games slip away like the other night.
    We have all seen the same mistakes made year after year and still find a few new ones, that’s the most frustrating part,plus there have being games were change has being needed earlier were even a blind man with shite in his eye could see it yet no change.
    I do think we will take Kerry the weekend after that who knows with mayos form in the league of the past.

  8. Im agreeing with Catcol again as i did last week when tipping Monaghan 4 training sessions a week since November….I was on the pitch after the game and the sides and corners were guite frozen the frost had set in….i know its the same for both teams but i dont think we should be judging lads espeaciallly newbies on one match on a frozen pitch ib Feb
    I thought the newbies done well ….Boland Newcombe and Kirby…I hope SR sticks with freshening things up i would have liked to have seen Irwin and Plunket as we had 2 more subs to make
    Kerry looked good against Donegal but i would start the same team again maybe bring on subs earlier…
    At least we are not hearing posters blaming Breaffy mafia as there was no one from Breaffy playing…maybe them players might get a bit more respect when they come back….onwards and upwards….

  9. Way too early to be pressing any panic buttons. Getting carried away by a Mayo defeat seems to effect national media going by Spillanes and general comments from outside the county.

    That said our play going forward needs to improve. We are too lateral and look to go back rather than forward. Foot passing delivery into the full forward line is poor.

  10. The dubs had a fairly strong team out against Cavan, however they too were on holiday, the same time as Mayo, and they won their game convincingly, they werent “rusty”. Hopefully we will have a big performance against Kerry at the weekend and get back on track.

  11. I agree with Pat Spillane and I’ve been saying it for years we don’t seem to have an attacking plan at all. Running into the corners and being disposessed easily and coughing up possession cheaply isn’t a plan. In James Horan’s time we always look like scoring when we used our running game and ran at teams but in my opinion our forwards play has regressed and we are depending on our backs to come up and score. The reality is until this is rectified and a proper plan for forward play is put in place we haven’t a hope of outscoring Dublin or Kerry in the white heat of Summer. But it’s only February there’s lots of games to go in the league and there’s still time to formulate a real threatening attacking plan. If I was Mayo manager the first thing I’d do is bring in Peter Canavan or a proven forward and tell him go away and work with the forwards and create a winning attacking plan. Sorry for banging on about it but that’s where I see us falling down year after year and it’s frustrating it’s not being rectified

  12. I think to be fair, the Dubs were nearer what would be considered their first 15 than Mayo,.. But like some poster’s have pointed out the Dubs ability to play 70mins + making so very few mistakes is remarkable, this has been a hallmark of the Dublin team for a few years now . Something Mayo need to do more than just aspire to. But ,despite our ranking of being the nearest challenger to the dominance of the Dubs, we Mayo have been our own worst enemies in making unnecessary and unforced errors.. We badly need to remedy this situation ASAP, and another thing we have to start both halves well,.. These are the Macro performance issues Mayo need to address, if we succeed in this, I confident we can topple even the Mighty Dubs! The Dubs or Kerry don’t have a monopoly on all the best players. If we can improve considerably in both area’s that I have mentioned, I think we Mayo fan’s and the wider public would appreciate that our new faces and fringe players are equally as good if not better than our opponents! I But give the lads the best possible chance and let’s stop fighting with one hand tied behind our back’s!

  13. Not much of a gameplan seemed to be executed the last night. Stephen Rochford by some accounts was not pleased on the sideline. Well if that is the case then he should replace those guys who are not doing it the way they are expected to. Lord knows there are enough of fellas who would like to play on the County team.

    Anything else is just excuses.

  14. Last year when Dublin played Monaghan in the league in Croke Park it was a similar game to ours against them. Monaghan were well ahead at one stage and Dublin reeled them in and beat them by a point in the end. Conor McManus scored 12 points that evening. So for us when we got back to within a point of Monaghan and had two chances to get level, with them down to 14 men, you would have expected us to get level with them.

    We have seen a few times now that Donie Vaughan has started at midfield in Castlebar in the league and it has not really worked out for us. We were missing a good few midfield options for the Monaghan game so maybe you could understand it for this match but it was a bit of a gamble to start such an inexperienced partnership together. Parsons and Kirby or Parsons and Vaughan might have been a less calculated risk to take. Also starting Keith Higgins at full-back on Conor McManus was a big ask for Keith. We seen the way McManus fielded the ball above Keith and then shrugged him off to create their goal. That was the winning of the game really. Again maybe Paddy Durcan would have been a better selection to match up with their danger man.

    Getting a better balance up front will be key for us in the games ahead, as well as moving the ball into the danger area much quicker .

    So for us going forward, these are the things to be taking note of. Will we improvement in these areas against Kerry. Will we get our match-ups right. It’ll be interesting to see if we will have a few more lads back for the game at the weekend.

  15. I agree with Catcol and other comments re concern for the performance of the management. Our strentggth was in our subs bench. A few slick changes at half time would have done the trick, DOConnor or Tom Parsons for Kirby, Paddy Durcan as half back, much more to offer than in corner back, and Irwin for Regan. Changes came too late, not for first time and thats whats worrying.
    Cillian was all over the field. We need him in the danger zone (where he has potential to score). Wasted energy to see Cillian tyring to close down a defender going forward, only exposing a weakness in his Cillians own game, his lack of pace…lets hope Rochford gets that sorted before next weekend and we see O Connor predominantly lurking in the danger area

  16. Just booked my accommodation for Sat night in Tralee. Judging by the booking site Tralee seems to be pretty close to being booked out apart from the luxury hotels [€150 up]. Surprising for a tourist town with lots of accommodation? Mayo GAA good for the tourism business?

  17. Whether it’s “only the league” or “this won’t be remembered in September” is irrelevant.

    Winners win and winners win cups. Four league titles in a row for Dublin. Last beaten competitively a couple of years ago. Like Kerry and Tyrone Dublin won the warm up equivalents of the FBD. Their 3rd team won it whilst the other two were in camp in Carton. Kerrys U21s picked up the McGrath cup and Tyrone mixed and matched as needed.

    So maybe in September we will forget this week and maybe we won’t. Really for a top 2/3 team we have laboured in the league since 2013. Winning it shouldn’t be seen as a chore or weight. Like Bob Paisleys great Liverpool team or Mourinhos Chelsea’s , they tacked the League cup to the domestic championship.

    With us we seem lost. Either we are carrying injuries, spluttering or without any semblance of a game plan. Like McDonald before him , Cillian is now coming deeper to collect ball. No one was as happy as I was when proved wrong last year and the team rammed it down my mouth but the ante ups each year.

    Last year we won nothing. Last year Divs 2 and 3 gave us a handy backdoor route. We took those gifts. We cannot depend on winter excuses , match plan on back of envelopes and handy championship routes this summer. Winning is a habit, as the only team to match Dublin in last 3/4 years, surely we inject a bottom form base where we perform to a consistent decent level.

  18. I see the hill 16 army Facebook page having another go at Mayo supporters again after a post that was it up by the Mayo Gaa banter page!
    I think it’s high time that some of the clowns that are sprouting comments up about our own players etc and some comments about other counties are removed from that page.
    Maybe a new Facebook fans page should be set up and run by decent football supporters not clowns

  19. Aidan those online parasites are best ignored however hard it can be. Life it too short to worry what other people think of us.

  20. That Mayo supporters page does makes me cringe at the best of times, but at the end a the day every County has similar forums. Ye should read the Rossie and Dublin forums when we are about to play them…really is comedy gold, especially the Rossies, one poster said after Fbd game “You could’nt bate them c***s often eneough” …yet they haven’t beaten us in 16 yrs, you could’nt make it up. But that does’nt represent the majority of Ross supporters, same as Mayo supporters page does’nt represent us.

  21. There are a lot of differing views here the last few days about the league. Personally I think the only value of the league is to blood new players, give them as much possible game time at highest competitive level and bring existing tried and tested players up to the required level of fitness come championship. Then push on from there by the easiest most direct route to the All Irelaid Series in the hope that your team peaks at the perfect time to try and overcome this Dublin team. Let’s face it.. no team in Ireland is going to beat Dublin to the league title again this year unless Dublin decide they are going to loose it.. so why is Dublin going to win it? Because Dublin could have 30 different players outside of the 15 who played in the All Ireland trying to get onto the panel.. they are training all year just to make the league and show enough to get on the panel. We don’t have that.. what we are lucky enough to have is a rare (possibly one in a lifetime.. so enjoy it while its here) exceptional bunch 18 – 19 players who have the commitment and if well managed are capable of progressing and peaking at an All Ireland final in the hope of winning it which I believe is everyone’s ultimate goal is it not? Dublin don’t peak to win the league.. they can win it in second gear easy.. and Mayo peaking to win the league might win us the league butwon’t win us the All Ireland.. we would crash and burn come August. So pick which competition you want to win because IMHO no one outside Dublin can win both

  22. The best thing I’ve done in a long time was to block a certain Dublin Gaa supporters (use that term lightly) Facebook page. So much unnecessary posting on it about an imaginary fued going on between Mayo and Dublin fans.

  23. toe to hand,
    that post makes great sense. Its an achievement for any team to be able to compete with the monster the gaa have created, the question is, at what stage do the monsters fans get tired of it? Big fish – small pond springs to mind.

  24. That’s the most sensible course of action to adopt, JammerCee. There’s no point engaging with idiots, no point in reading what they have to say and the best option is simply to avoid them. If you were to take what was happening on Facebook and Twitter as fact you’d swear there was some kind of visceral, tribal hatred between the two sets of fans in last year’s All-Ireland. In the more chilled out real world, however, it was fairly clear that this wasn’t the case at all.

  25. I have just checked my season ticket account and even though five of us attended the game Saturday evening it is showing 0/1 attendance for all tickets,anyone else the same??

  26. Dont think any Mayo season tickets have been updated yet pacar, same for Dublin from what I’m hearing.

  27. In 2014 in the league when we played Dublin in Croke Park, well into the second half we were 7 points ahead of them and they were down to 14 men. They got two late goals and drew the match. This then meant that they made the last four and they went on to win that league title. If we had beaten them, they would not have made the league semi-finals and would not have won the 2014 league title. We should be looking at things from that angle, control what we can control.

    Once they reach the league final, then it is very hard to beat them. They have had much bigger wins in their league final victories compared to their All-Ireland final wins. Teams have a lot better chance of beating them in the early league rounds. For example this weekend, Tyrone who would have a lot of training done early in the year go to Croke Park. Dublin have to go to Tralee as well. We have to play them then in a few weeks time. These are the times to beat them and try to prevent them from getting to the league final.

  28. @ Pacar
    This is the response from the GAA: ‘Attendance data for each fixture is uploaded in the days following the fixture. We generally rely on the local volunteers to upload these so it may be Thursday before all data is uploaded. Best to check it on Friday morning’.
    Hope this helps.

  29. Heading down to Tralee friday night,any pointers regarding accomodation,restaurants,pubs and the route etc(2 couples from Westport,late 20s)

    We have our flags and jerseys.

    Cheers,I would appreciate any advice,none of us have ever been in Tralee.

  30. Mayoforsam
    There seems to be accommodation (on trivago) in the Ashe hotel which is situated in the centre of the town and about a 7 to 10 minute walk from the Austin Stack pitch, it is also in short walking distance from the Castle Bar and Greyhound Bar on Rock Street and Pembroke street respectively, they are two big sports bars but in saying that ye might nor find too many that agree with your opinions in those particular establishments !!!.
    The meadowlands hotel also seems to have rooms on trivago. To eat I would recommend the Oyster Tavern which is located in the Spá Tralee, this is a small village about three miles outside the town or Katie Browns in Ardfert which is about four miles outside the town centre. If ye eat in Tralee there are quiet a few options, I would recommend Lana on Ashe St if ye like oriental food, there are many fine restaurants in the town centre like the Brogue Inn, Bella Bia (Italian), O Donnell’s bar and restaurant in Caherslee, Tralee. If ye want to spend a few bob the Spá Seafoods restaurant in Spá close to the Oyster Tavern is one of the finest seafood restaurants in Ireland.
    If I was advising a stranger, I would recommend having a pint in the Oyster Tavern or if you are staying in the town I would recommend Baileys Corner in the centre of the tome, suitable for your age and there are no spunkers in this bar, Paddy Macks and Rory’s are also nice pubs to go to and the clientele is top drawer,, I hope ye enjoy the trip and I hope ye are lamenting that missed opportunity on Sunday,, have a nice time..

  31. Recommend the N18 Galway to Ennis [it’s motorway from Gort and you bypass Ennis] then N68 to Kilrush [don’t know the junction number from N18] to take the ferry from Killimer to Tarbert, about 30 mins crossing. Then it’s the N69 through Listowel to Tralee. You don’t have to go into Kilrush, you can take a short cut off the N68 which is signposted. Search accommodation websites for accommodation. It did not seem too plentiful in Tralee yesterday evening when I was searching. Alternatively if you don’t like the idea of the ferry the N18 all the way to Limerick is the only answer. Using the tunnel [which is tolled on the Clare side] lets you avoid Limerick city. It’s a long haul from Limerick to Tralee through Adare, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. Other towns are bypassed [Ratkeale and Castleisland]. Check AA Route Planner for more precise details.

  32. David Moran is a major threat this weekend. Previously you could tuck in under him and doorstop him after he landed. Now he has the mark freeing him up. It was reported he was catching many long Kerry kickouts and passing in good ball against Donegal.

  33. Kerry away from home might well be just what we need. It certainly sharpens the mind for management and senior players alike. I’d imagine Higgins, Boyle, O’Connor, Vaughan, Doherty, McLoughlin and O’Shea (if back) will step things up a bit for this one.

    A win would be a bonus away in Tralee, what I’d like to see is a good performance. We need the senior lads to deliver from the front but we also need the likes of Freeman and Regan to start earning their corn. Fits and starts during the league isn’t really good enough and it certainly isn’t any good come May.

  34. Thanks guys,the GF booked the Ashe hotel an hour ago,reasonable enough tbf.

    [b]”ferry from Killimer to Tarbert, about 30 mins crossing”[/b]
    whow!that will be interesting.

    Looking forward to the weekend and the game,hopefully the lads are up for it and have a right good go at Kerry from the throw in.

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