Monday match reports


Monday morning and, for a change, I’m still on home soil the morning after the day before though I’ll be hitting the road back to the capital before too awful long. Here’s what my trawl this morning of the coverage on yesterday’s game has thrown up.

Locals: Connaught Telegraph, Mayo Advertiser.

Nationals: Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Irish Independent (note the headline that’s completely detached from the subject matter).

Others: GAA, RTÉ (match report, quotes), The 42, Sports News Ireland, Breaking NewsHogan Stand.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Inpho, Sportsfile (includes photo of the day by Stephen McCarthy – here), Eamonn McMunn.

Match stats: Stats Hole.

That’s the lot for now.

Back in a bit – before I hit the road – with the latest edition of the Mayo News football podcast, which is jam-packed with coverage and analysis from MacHale Park yesterday. That should be up inside the next few hours.

If you haven’t yet voted in the Man of the Match poll there’s still time to do so. Paddy Durcan – who claimed the MOTM accolade on The Sunday Game last night – looks set for victory in this one too but every vote counts so don’t forget to cast yours.

36 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. We have one of the best full forwards in the game in Cillian O’Connor, yet he spent most of the time yesterday around Mayo’s half back line – even when we had the wind in our backs. What’s the reasoning there? Good to see Ger Cafferkey back to give some solidity to the full back line as well as tough teak Chris Barrett. When Brendan Harrison comes back surely Keith Higgins could be given a run in the forwards. We need a play-making centre half forward and Alan Dillon could do that job superbly if only for 30 minutes.

  2. It’s May and Mayo did what was necessary, they got past a potentially dangerous Sligo team. The score may have flattered them and they got the rub of the green with a few decisions but in truth Mayo were in charge yesterday and dederved the win. The one worry I would have is that with the dominance they enjoyed the forwards should have tacked on more scores.

    Sligo were unbelievably lateral in their attack and were almost constantly reduced passing to a player who was in no better a position than themselves. If they had players coming off the shoulder they may have a better cut off Mayo but they were playing within themselves and crippled by a system that forbade instinct and individualism.

    I was delighted to see Seamus O S being taken off after that heavy fall, he fell heavily and his head slammed badly against the surface. It is a very positive development in the GAA that head injuries are now being dealt with in an appropriate manner. The intent or desire of a possibly concussed player is thankfully now second to his wellbeing and thank God for it.

    Can’t wait for the Galway game in three weeks time as this will give a better picture of what kind of an animal will slink out of conaught and how dangerous the one that drops into the qualifier tank is. It will be tricky for whoever makes the splash as last year it was the provincial final when Mayo lost but this year the qualifiers will be more dangerous for the looser.

    I think ye will get over the line having watched Galway in this years Div 2 final, they are a dangerous team but I couldn’t believe how negative they were in the first half of that game, they played much better attacking football in the second half and won it for that reason. It depends what list of instructions Kevin Walsh has the next day, I think he will start with the blanket to frustrate ye and hit ye at pace with a mixture of a running game and as the game progresses a fast kicking game to a more stocked full forward line. He will definitely try to test Caff after that injury and the lengthy lay off, anyway I wish both teams good luck as it is one of those games that I would have absolutely no preference in as I equally like both teams and I’m delighted Galway are in division 1 next year.

  3. Lack lustre performance gave nothing away or no reason for Galway to get too excited.
    My biggest worry is our lack of incisive passing movements which open up defences. Thoroughly agree with John above re role of COC. Has little to offer defensively yet spends much of game back in defence. Loftus could have been introduced earlier to give him a good crack at the whip and We need keegans drives forward from wing back. Boland did the simple things well but could struggle against better opposition
    On plus side Cafferky and Seamus O Shea performed well.
    We did enough but have we gears to move up…that question will be answered next time

  4. Gamechanger, It was the semi final last year that Mayo lost, so whoever loses the next day will have to start at the same stage Mayo did then and work their way through the qualifiers. Also anyone looking at Galway in Croker in the league final or even last year should remember that this game will be very different. Damien Comer and Danny Cummins along with Michael Meehan missed most of the league and Galway have lots of personnel changes on last year, indeed it can be said they have lots more options with the return of Armstrong, O Currain , Meehan, Lundy and the additions of Michael Daly, and a few more. Mayo will be a huge test and still are favs. Should be a cracker..

  5. Gamechanger we lost the Connaught semi final last year. We entered qualifiers early and beat Fermanagh, Kildare and Westmeath to make the last 8 against Tyrone

  6. Looks like I’v beaten you to the punch Willie Joe – just back in the capital, but with a lot less productivity to show for my travels.

    Maybe it was the game and the lack of atmosphere, but here’s a rant on my home stadium and its organisation or non-orgainsation.

    * Who was actually running things yesterday.? Lots of ‘Connacht’ branding about. Have they taken over?

    * Early texts let me know that the stand is booked out. As I sit on the McHale Road terrace, I see that the stand is about 85% full at match time and remains at that.

    * Game start time is 2pm. No crowd congestion at 14,500 or so, but crowds keep streaming in until 2:20. Impossible to see a lot of the action into the Sligo goalmouth. Crowds (same people perhaps?) stream out 10 minutes before the final whistle

    * National Anthem – cringy

    * Castlebar Town Band – very good, but can’t be heard because, simultaneously, Irish music is being piped through the public address to drown them out. Still, the announcer does ask us to show our appreciation for their efforts!

    * Team announcements – Sligo seemed to have a new corner forward – Adrian Marrnan. We were told this twice in case we didn’t get it the first time. Imagine the outrage if Des Cahill called him that.

    All in all, not good enough.

  7. Rochford should have move in quickly in defence of OShea. Having said that, Irish Independent are showing they have an agenda other than match reporting

  8. Just like to say about last weeks podcast Willie Joe, it was excellent! A credit to ye all. Very professional. Great interviews too. Felt there wasn’t much appreciation said on the blog but can I just say it was a pleasure too listen to. Keep up the great work.

  9. Agree with that OnTheDitch – there’s some other agenda at play there with the Indo and a few other Journalists have realised and commented on this. Namely- Wooly Parkinson, the Off the Ball team on yesterdays Newspaper review, Keith Duggan penned an Article in the Irish Times on this, and Kieran Cunningham and John Fogarty have both noted that Aido has been singled out quite a bit. Ewan McKenna has noted that the annual Journalistic hammering has begun also, as had Parkinson.

    Now Aidan is a big boy and no doubt many of his detractors will be on here to remind me of that and to tell us that he deserves all he gets. It’s still a huge disappointment that many within our own County have the sharpest of knives for him. It’s not that surprising when you consider Kieran McD and Liam McHale both had to encounter similar venom from within the apparent Mayo following. We’re our own worst enemies at times.

    The fact of the matter a lot of what has been said about him is nonsensical and well out of order, and his treatment by certain sections of the media would not be tolerated if it were another county. This whole “you can speak when you have an all Ireland medal” is quite frankly horse manure, and is a throwback to a historical era that means we get only opinion from those that have won an all Ireland and not analysis of games. We’re still stuck with having to listen to Brolly, Spillane and O’Rourke on the National Broadcaster, for which we pay our licence fee, while the read manna from Heaven in the analysis by McGuinness, Horan and Canavan is hidden behind the Sky Paywall.
    As for Bernard Flynn, I feel sorry for him – he told us nothing of how Aidan did in that challenge game, or indeed anything else of note of the challenge game, only that Aidan took some time for Kids to take their photos with him. Again- opinion and nothing of note and no analysis. Unfortunately many of the GAA writers these days are lads who are only there because they have an all Ireland medal, but lack the journalistic talent or intelligence to properly analyse a game in any meaningful way. Flynn was late to the party that the Indo have been running for quite some time and he’s now been called on it. It’s sad for him that he needs to come out with this sort of tripe in order to be somehow relevant.

    We’re worse if we buy it, read it or click on it, because that only suggests to them that we are interested and they’ll keep producing this nonsense as long as people are prepared to read it. That I have taken the time to pen this much on the topic means they’ve also generated the reaction they want in the first place. It’s time we all stopped giving these petty minded writers the oxygen of publicity, at least from within the ranks of our own support.

  10. Thanks for that feedback! Having Cillian and Rochy on certainly helped but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. Hope this week’s one goes down equally smoothly.

  11. Catcol – to add to that, because the stand area was off-limits, there was no where to get teas or coffees elsewhere in the ground, we were in for the U17 game and had an hour wait between games, so a stream of people left the stadium to head down the road to the garage for beverages. Also the toilets at the terrace town end struggled to cope and were actually overflowing. Seems all resources are aimed at the stand and the rest of the ground is somewhat neglected. Just thought it was a bit disorganised yesterday

  12. Regarding the match, generally thought it was fairly poor fare from Mayo, hoping it was just early championship staleness. Not convinced about the personnel in the full back line, however Harrison will make a difference when he is back. Please play Keegan at No.5 – he has won 4 all stars and a POTY in that position, why are we moving him out of there. Thought our midfield struggled yesterday despite what others are saying…..Parsons and O’Shea get a lot of ball but not a lot of return from the possession, just really conveying possession. But it’s up front we are really struggling, with no real attacking plan evident and the actual formation (ie, who is playing where) gets more confusing by the game. You’d imagine players know where exactly they are meant to be playing and maybe they do, however it doesn’t appear that way. Really thought it was a game yesterday to introduce a few more of the pretenders if nothing else but to increase options however we just got more of what we have been going with for the last 4-5 years and as we go further into the championship there will be less and less opportunity for this, so we will really be going with the same personnel once again. Like even Boland….would he be starting a semi or final ahead of say Doherty or Vaughan despite a decent game the last day? One positive I possibly got from yesterday is that maybe there is a strategy to hold viable resources on the bench in order to push on last 15-20 mins. Anyway I suppose its early days!

  13. KL,. I think Stephen Rochford is trying to develop and evolve as different playing style to year’s previous. Last year our early tactics were being lampooned by Spillane and Co. Namely playing Kevin Mcloughin as sweeper, By the time we reached the All Ireland final, the system was pretty much perfected and Mayo were rightly lauded for their expertise in this area. This year I think the evolution of Mayo will be in our kick passing. I think that’s where Fergal Boland will hopefully develop into a first class player. I think he has great agility, and can kick pass on instinct as opposed to on instruction.. That’s my view of what’s happening, if we do it well enough, we will beat Galway, reverting to the old ways might get us over the line against Galway as well, but it wasn’t good enough to get us to the Holy Grail, so I support the efforts in the nessarly evolution of Mayo football,. We need to fine tuning all the time, hopefully we will be able to get the rewards, it almost came to be last year, despite all the dirty petrol Mayo were burning early on in the Championship. I expect the evolution to continue versus Galway.

  14. @Leantimes. Interesting viewpoint and something that I concur with.
    Clearly some plan is being evolved for later in the year. Fergal Boland does get on a fair bit of ball. He stays on the move. Not being a big physical player it is perfectly sensible for him to keep on the go. He links a lot of play and has a good footpass.
    The Galway game basically shows us where our u17s and seniors stand overall. Great to have two tough outings early on. Really see where the strengths and weaknesses are.

  15. Connacht council run the show. Was like trying to get through immigration and passport control at JFK, trying to get back to the stand from the Albany end yesterday!
    Did they ever find the owner of them “Audi keys”??

    As usual, the podcast was a must listen, well done WJ and crew!

  16. Yes Mayo.Mick, those Audi keys!

    Anyway on to the match. TV highlights gave the impression of a very energised crowd, but it didn’t sound like that at McHale Road terrace. Muted.

    Teams seemed to go through the motions, but it was a horrible day for football with that swirling wind and a heavy shower before the match making things very difficult. Add to that an officious nit picking ref who whistled everything, but hadn’t the guts to issue black cards (Conor should have got one and Sligo about 4) and you make the difficult very difficult. Have to say that Sligo have some damn good players, not that i didn’t know that. They could do a bit of business in the qualifiers if the talented ones get back to full fitness.

    Good to get 70 minutes out of Caff and Seamie. That’ll bring them on a ton. Seamie was amazing considering his lack of match practice. However, like others, I still didn’t think we did enough at midfield. Where has the intensity gone? Cíochrach the TG4 commentator called us in the drawn final last year. We need to start ‘atin fellas alive, and start it against Galway.

    Agree Leantimes that they are trying to evolve the kick passing game, defend in numbers when required (we soaked up and frustrated Sligo big time yesterday), and maintain the running game. It’s a tall order to get all that right. Boland is good and management deserve credit for sticking with him despite a torrid first 20 minutes or so. He really improved as the game progressed which was great to see. I also liked the way Conor Loftus zipped around when he replaced him. He did very well for that second goal and did the right thing in placing Cillian.

    Free taking is a little bit of a worry. Cillian not so hot from 40 yards or so, Kevin Mc very dodgy. Regan needs game time if only for back up alone. Sligo were superb in this area. Marren’s 45 and the goalkeeper’s effort in the second half were superb and can really lift a team.

  17. JL I have to agree with you it is very difficult to see pattern or structure in our play. And its very hard to play to a plan when you have a full forward that covers the length and breadth of the pitch on high energy wasted excursions. Cillians defensive work is poor, his best work was done in the last quarter when he did manage to stay in the oppositions half. We need to restore Keegan to wing half back giving us two pronged attacking options.

  18. Match was very – predictable ,sligo were happy to lose respectably. mayo were never in danger of losing .david clarke saving of a point one of the high points for me .i dont think diarmuid o connor should be at 11,he needs to be on the wing to be most effective with his hard running and good ball skills.I think mayo played within themselves and will be a lot better in salthill. WE have not lost in salthill since 2007 and we wont lose in 2017 either.I think the supporters will ratchet it up a few notches in salthill also . P.S.IT was great to see ST PATRICK at the match yesterday.

  19. @KL also.
    I thought SOShea did ok but Parsons coasting through the motions. We dont seem to have theknack of winning broken ball. Id like to see the stats on that one but I reckonsligo got at least 50 per cent.
    Clarkes long kickouts were much improved imo all credit to him.

  20. One thing that I found very frustrating was that when we went 5 points up with a strong wind behind us, we didn’t push on from there, Sligo got it back down to 3 points. This happened to us in a lot of our games last year as well. It’s grand when we don’t concede a goal like yesterday but when we do concede a goal like against Galway last year and Cavan in the league, things get uncomfortable then, as the opposition get confidence from scoring a goal. So you’d like to see us push on when we get on top like that. Under James Horan we were a bit too gung ho, now under Stephen Rochford you’d like to see us been a bit more positive at the right time. Hopefully we’ll get the balance a bit better going forward.

  21. We never seemed to come out of second gerar but unlike donegal who flexed their muscles for a period, we were left wondering have we higher gears.
    We did hold up Sligo pretty well and I think Galway will find us difficult to break down. But we have to offer more up front. Keegan/Durcan breaking forward still our trump card.
    Should Loftus have got more playing time yesterday. He remains an unknown quantity.
    I am admirer of Fergal Boland for the future, very skilful foot passer and can take a score. Bud predictable in his play. Imo he needs to develop an air of flair about him. Something like the way Diarmuid took on defenders for his goal. And I dont think well get this year.

  22. U17 I was very impressed with Ballyhaunis Jack Coyne at corner back. Polished display of good marking. A name for future. Pat Lambert led by example and Emmett Rowley unfortunate to have to go off at half time. Lets hope he is back for replay. Very entertaining game conditions did not bother them and what about Red Murphy (Sligo)- wouldnt we love to have him on our team

  23. Did I say replay? Next outing in Salthill. It is curtainraiser to senior game?

  24. Sorry folks I was sure that ye lost the final last year but sure it was them and Roscommon that fought it out twice for the title,, anyway it will be a great day for football without doubt.

  25. And The Indo keep spewing the bullshit…. just read the below, such a load of bollix….

    ‘He’s not the player I thought he was’ – Joe Brolly weighs in on Aidan O’Shea debate

    Conor Neville

    Before Mayo took their opening bow in the 2017 championship yesterday, the only topic that energised the commentariat was Aidan O’Shea and his absence from the starting line-up. After Mayo’s uninspiring nine point win over a game Sligo, the only topic that is exercising the commentariat is… still Aidan O’Shea. Alas, the fare in McHale Park was too humdrum to divert our attention elsewhere. O’Shea’s high media profile, combined with his relatively underwhelming year in 2016, and his allegedly prominent role in the putsch against Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, has made him an obvious target for the iconoclasts in newsrooms and bar-rooms all around the country.

    In September 2015, Joe Brolly passionately argued that O’Shea should be crowned Footballer of the Year, recalling with delight his destruction of Donegal’s defence in that season’s All-Ireland’s quarter-final. As of May 2017, Brolly still holds that O’Shea is a “spectacular” footballer. But speaking on the Throw In podcast on, he acknowledges that O’Shea may not be the player he took him for. And therefore, it might unfair to place him on the same pedestal as Michael Murphy. Brolly does not go down the rather tawdry road of suggesting Aidan O’Shea off-field pursuits are hindering his football.

    “All I can say is that he doesn’t put it in for the team in the big days. There’s no doubt about it. He looked a forlorn figure last year. Now it’s very difficult to know what’s going on in a player’s head. One of the things about having the kind of potential he has is that people say ‘Do it now, realise it for us, do it!” “You wouldn’t meet a person in Mayo, and I’m there regularly, who wouldn’t say. ‘Ah Jesus, if only he could put it on for us, if he would only do it for us. “And I know that’s a pretty harsh way that people spoke about it. “And in truth, I’m starting to think he’s not the player that I thought he was. He’s just not that sort of player and therefore it’s unfair to judge him by those standards. And I must say I’m of the view that he’s not the player I thought he was.

    “But I would be absolutely delighted, because there is a spectacular quality to him when he’s going. Nothing would give him greater pleasure to see him sinking two or three goals against the Dubs in an All-Ireland final and I think a wild lot of people would be like that because there is a very likeable quality to him.”

  26. I was disappointed yesterday and don’t understand all this positives after the match. I thought it was a poor game and we were very poor overall especially in the second half with the strong breeze. The claims and excuses then saying we did just enough and kept Sligo at bay and we didn’t reveal our hand to Galway. Well this is only soft chat to me.

    Realistically why should this Mayo team be afraid to reveal anything to this Galway team? If (as most people claim) we are better and stronger than Galway then why shouldn’t we go out and play good exciting attacking football against Sligo and persevere with it. Other top teams are not afraid to do this e.g. Donegal put up a fine performance against Antrim. I’ve no doubt Kerry and Dublin will do something similar when their opportunities arise.

    Ok I accept Sligo were defensive and set out to spoil but there were too many chances that were spurned yesterday by bad decision making. And there were very few leaders on view especially in the second half.

    The word in Galway looking at this is that this is still a strong Mayo team but they are the same faces (with little coming through) and a lot of miles on the clock. And even more so that last year Galway see this as the opportunity to reinforce their stance in Connacht and bury this Mayo team for good.

  27. Clarkes catch reminded me off was his club mate used do for mayo – Liam mchale . It was class

  28. @JBM in fairness many of the comments indicate concern in relation to the performance yesterday. Rochford claimed we created six goal chances! Personally I would have liked a performce similar to Donegal’s where we showed potential.
    All that said we are not going to lie down in Salthill how are the bookies reacting?

  29. Great video Mayo.Mick. What a save! Clarkey leaves me gasping these days at his exploits. To their credit RTE did capture it as well.

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