Monday match reports

Photo: Inpho/Laszlo Geczo

Right, let’s start with some positivity – it’s a Bank Holiday Monday and the sun is shining outside. And next spring – if it’s in the spring that the National League next year will be contested – we’ll get to rub shoulders with all our besties from the qualifiers. Clare, Cork, Down, Kildare – what a fun we’ll have together.

Okay, that didn’t really work. We did get relegated yesterday and there’s plenty of media coverage on the end of our 23-year unbroken stay in Division One. Here’s what’s online about the game.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Western People.

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

Others: GAA, RTÉ, Sky Sports, The 42, Team Talk Mag, Highland Radio.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile.

Video: GAA (highlights), Mayo Advertiser (post-match reaction from James Horan – Part 1, Part 2).

The Mayo News football podcast episode reviewing yesterday’s match will be online a bit later today. The Man of the Match poll here on the site is still open, with Tommy Conroy pretty much bolted-on for the award at this stage. If you haven’t yet voted in the poll, though, there’s still plenty of time to do so.

Let’s aim to finish on a high, though – the county’s hurlers recorded an emphatic win over Monaghan in their opening Rackard Cup match on Saturday. There are reports on the win in the Mayo Advertiser, Western People and Irish Independent, while Ciara Buckley has a great gallery of action shots from the encounter in Clontibret – here.

The draw for the Rackard Cup semi-finals (at least that’s what I think they are, though they’ve been styled as ‘Round 2A’ so I could be wrong) was made yesterday and our opponents there are, you’ve guessed it, Tyrone. Match details have yet to be confirmed but it’ll be played at some point next weekend.

55 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Disappointed to lose yesterday but I’d rather going into championship next week in our position than galways. Two games played won _one by 15pts and lost 1 by 1pt after great comeback. Most players look in good shape and maybe a couple of tweaks could improve things.

  2. Going to Division 2 might suit us – let’s face it we have to rebuild / some exciting new talent will learn their trade against some good teams – Cork, Meath, Armagh, Kildare etc will test us – I hope as a county we’re not Snobby about Division 2? – Mayo will have to realise that a period out of the limelight will do us no harm – Roscommon are a good, wll organised team that will test us fully if we beat Leitrim – The heady days of All Ireland finals following our magnificent team are a great memory but the old warriors who deserve our eternal thanks will have to give way to a younger band of Mayo footballers.

  3. No doubt… why the obsession with Galway? Roscommon is a massive game, Leitrim will even be tough up there..
    Both Mayo and Galway have major defensive issues and I mean major.. Galway at least are getting lads back but one point made yesterday here about mayo was at one stage unbelievable to see Aidan and Tommy Conroy the only two defending in the full back line..
    Connacht is anyone’s title

  4. Fair point, Mayo and Galway shouldn’t even think about each other unless they are facing off in a Connacht final. Connacht is there for 3 teams and it has been the 2nd most competitive province for a few years now. On the Mayo defensive issues I think we tried too hard to go all out attack against them early on and against the breeze and we got caught for two soft goals, in the 2nd half we defended far better and their 3rd goal will happen to all keepers who go short often. In the long term our defense will be fine as we have lots of options albeit no specialist fullback but we can adapt.

  5. I would honestly say Roscommon are favourites, they are the current champions, haven’t really put a foot wrong this year and will improve on last year. Galway have gone backwards and I’m undecided on Mayo. Now not a lot of people will want to hear that but its the truth. The Rossies also have a very clever manager, returning players(Murtaghs) and are under the radar after all the talk of Sam going to Galway(Spring 2020) and Sam going to Mayo(last week)

  6. Tuam star. It’s not an obsession with galway. I’m only comparing with galway because they were been talked up as the next big thing yet had 2 bad results in a week playing poorly in 1 whereas mayo played good football for alot of those 2 games. As regards roscommon imo they are good enough to win connaught and if we can’t beat Leitrim we may as well forget it. By the way I agree as regards need tightening up at the back.

  7. I think Cillian O’Connor was a huge loss in this type of game. He would have kept Mayo ticking over in first half – whereas, they left themselves a huge workload for 2nd half.

    Div. 2 next year will be v. Competitive, and that can be only good in developing new talent. Hopefully, Mayo bounce right back – and maintain Connacht football’s competitive nature.

  8. There’s a lot of talk about oisin mullin at cover back why not put him at number six can run all day no point in running up the field and leaving fullback line exposed just an opinion

  9. We are nailed on to steam roll Roscommon in the Hyde. They might have had a chance if it was played in “the graveyard of Mayo football” Mchale Park, where we lose nearly all the time now. All our league points were collected on the road. Nothing at home. Also to have the Connacht Final in Pearse will suit us down to the ground. We will stroll to the Connacht title as long as we’re kept away from Mchale Park.

    If the league starts in late January we will be promoted by the 01st March. Only a few weeks away from now. So no need for long faces and predictions of doom. Silverware coming and immediate promotion too.

  10. Roscommon, as I said before, will be massive favourites for this year’s Connacht Title, they are the form team in the west and will relish a crack at Mayo in the Hyde in two weeks. (If we get over Leitrim, one game at a time). Winning back to back Nestor cups for them would be like Mayo and Galway winning an All Ireland. They have huge squad depth and are now playing as a solid defensive unit. Cunningham really has them in great shape. Mayo need to seriously deploy a defensive system to cope with the Roscommon attack, the Murtaghs, Smiths and Cox are all big powerful units who would make hay against our current defensive unit. In order to shore things up at the back, I’d start with a back 7 of Clarke, Mullin, McBrien, Higgins, Keegan, O’Hora, Coen. These players will need to hold their positions until we have a foothold in the game. O’Hora will plug the gap in the middle and can bomb forward if safe to do so. Madness having Conroy and O’Shea in the backline, this to me screams of a huge lack of a defensive plan. Maybe Horan is holding something back, after all there’s no point showing the full hand a week out from championship. The league is only the league, Kerry were relegated in 2002, the went on to contest 7 of the next 8 All Irelands while building a new team. The league should be about discovering new players, we found out more about ourselves this year than what we did trying to stay up with the same group of players in 2017 and 2018. I’d rather go down trying to build a new team than staying up with the same old faces, we have to look at the future, and from where I’m sitting we have some seriously good footballers on our hands, they just need a bit more time and training.

  11. Tuam Star and Big Mike – good points. Think Rossies deserve to be favourites for Connaught, but they won’t be under the radar. They are Div II champs, and their last two games (probably the most important) were won impressively, particularly against Armagh.

    Mayo now have Leitrim and I think that’s just what we need after being relegated. No time to sulk, just get back up and get on with it. The mindset must be right. While Mayo are, I’m sure, hot favourites, trying to stroll through this could be a big mistake. The previous two games should be a help in getting the approach right. We were really up against it, and came up short at the end, but over the two games there are a lot of positives.

    Nevertheless, our record in Connaught since 2016, has been disastrous. Are Sligo the only team we have beaten in four years, apart from New York and London?

  12. Well I really like carrot face and watery eyes…sure it’ll be a dawdle. I’m actually not as upset as I expected with our loss yesterday and our division 1 departure. Our lads have plenty of work to do especially in defence. But you would have to admire their comeback and especially in McHale park against Tyrone. We’ll be back asap and I expect we’ll give the championship a good rattle this year too.
    Well done to our teams, hurling and football. Here’s to what lies ahead. Maigheo go deo.

  13. Calm down lads. This talk of hammering Ros and resting players for the Galway game. Roscommon are a good side and itl be a tough battle. These are the type of comments that come back to bite us when things go wrong. As the game yesterday showed, there’s a lot of work to be done, especially at the back. Teams seem to be able to cut through the defense at ease. Gone are the days of the hard tackling of the first Horan era when we were a force to be reckoned with.

  14. Horan’s game is all about putting the pressure on further up the field so our attacking backs have time to get back and dont leave the defence exposed.
    If the workrate isn’t high enough or the opposition moves the ball quickly and accurately enough, we’re wide open.
    It’s a high risk approach and a majorly flawed one imo – you’re not going to get through a championship without meeting a team who will expose it. Just have to hope we can do more damage at the other end.
    Thankfully, we seem to have really good young talent up front so maybe we’ll get lucky, but i wouldn’t count on it.

  15. Roscommon are a greater threat to us than galway. They have everyone available to them and have gained a few thanks to covid. They finally have a proper fullback in mullooly.
    The murtaghs are back so they have tons of scoring options.
    They appear to be on a good run of form and peaking at right time and they are reigning champions

    I believe we can win connacht but i also believe galway or roscommon can win connacht. Its gonna be close and we need the real mayo to turn up

  16. @Tubberman You are correct. This approached almost worked when it was more common for players to take the ball into the tackle. Teams don’t take risks with possession now.

  17. …was watching highlights there again last night.
    The petie harte point in the first half was very worrying in how bad the defending was,morgan carried the ball out to his own 40 and was able to ping one into hartes belly on the opposition 20, harte had acres either side of him and could have carried on into goal it if he wanted.

    Was route 1 stuff,desperare defending how all our backs got sucked up the field for it

  18. I know it makes no difference now but if we got the draw yesterday, would we have stayed up?

  19. James horan is not a fool lads we lost a game by one point yesterday a game we could have one all ireland contenders last week all the hype is gone from lad’s now and thank god for that one game at a time and see where it takes us we still have some of the best defender’s in the country which haven’t even played yet his giving youth there chance which everyone was shouting about so just sit back enjoy the ride and see where it takes us keep the fath remember London 2011

  20. Tubberman is right. When Horan was asked about the marking of Donaghy in the replay in 2014 – his first reaction was to blame players out the field for not putting pressure on the players kicking the ball in.
    He said something similar after the game yesterday.
    We are so easy to play against now – let the Mayo backs- including the full back line carry the ball up the field – turn them over and we are wide open at the back. Reality is if Tyrone worked a few more passes in the forwards yesterday they could have created 3-4 more goal chances. Is Donie Buckleys loss been felt now too. Remember the quality of our tackling 2-4 years ago compared to what we are at now.

  21. No just outside Ballagh, we would have needed Meath to beat Monaghan aswell – they just about scraped a draw with the last kick of the game. No point mulling over it now, onwards and upwards, we’ve championship in 6 days.

  22. A lot of writing off Galway i see, which I find unusual. I certainly rate them higher than the Rossies – who I also rate 🙂

    Fair enough they were woeful last week but its unfair to totally discount their early year form while also writing them off based on the last two weeks. The league is definitely the most divisive competition I have ever seen :D. Comments like “its only the league” and “league form is crucial” are used so interchangably by fans and pundits nationwide and – to be frank – are often used when most convenient to support a particular agenda.

    The truth is Galway have the form two forwards in Connacht which counts for a lot (lest we forget one of them only got a mere jog out for one half in the aforementioned last two matches), are on a bit of a buzz since PJ took over, and they also have a relative bye into the Connacht final. Its perhaps a little understandable they may not be back up to 100% championship pace just yet. Also Covid has had a bit of an effect on them the last two weeks, with several players unavailable at different stages as a result. Not even just with the matches themselves but this also has knock on effects with regard to training matches, preparation etc.

    The last 4 Connacht finals have been Roscommon v Galway with them sharing 2 each. Looking at it totally objectively Mayo have it all to do, as a result, to even make a final let alone win it.

    Its not beyond Mayo at all to come out of Connacht but it’ll be bloody difficult. It’ll be small margins, and obviously covid could have a big say in things yet, so its hard to truly analyse it like any other year

  23. SouthMayo Exile, I don’t recall Horan blaming the outfield players – if I recall correctly, his words were along the lines of “it wasn’t the defending of Donaghy, it was the quality of the ball into him that was the problem”. While one might read it different ways, he wasn’t wrong in what he said. David Moran was outstanding that day and the ball he was supplying to Donaghy was what caused us all the problems.
    Conversely – the quality of the ball going in to AOS yesterday was pretty poor, hence why he was kept out of the game. Our Midfield needs work, we had power and height there with Tom and Seamie but we need to find a newer setup.
    For what it’s worth, I though Loftus did OK there yesterday. I felt Matty was a bit quiet and what we were missing was having the likes of Kevin or Jason there mopping up breaking ball. That was something that Ryan O’D and Fionn did when they came on and that was what turned the tide in our favour I feel, but it was too late at that point as the damage was done.

    Anyways – there’s a game against Leitrim next week and we can only be looking at this one game at a time.

  24. I think when you’ve got Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone at home, it’s hard to make up the points from the away games.

    Looking at it overall, 1 point defeats to Kerry and Tyrone. Down to 14 men early in the game against Dublin. It’s really only the Monaghan result that I’d wonder about.

  25. Going to be nothing easy in division 2 next year. The idea of throwing in a load of rookies is a little flawed, Mayo need to get out of that division as soon as possible.

    Cork had a simliar attitude that they would stroll Div 2 when relegated from Div 1 in 2016 yet they end up in Div 3. Neighbours Galway got relegated in 2011 no worries they said we’ll bounce straight back yet it took them until 2018 before they were back playing Div 1 football.

  26. Yeah while those comments by Horan re Donaghy are infamous at this stage, I do think he gets unfair criticism for them and I do see his reasoning

    In the drawn game we started off with a sweeper on Donoghue but it was only when Keegan was sent off we let the shackles off and blew Kerry away until the last 5 minutes

    Much of the retrospective analysis was critical of mayo for worrying too much about Kerry (by playing a sweeper for the only time all year) and not playing their own game

    To counter this Horan’s logic was if we could repeat the dominance in the middle 3rd in the replay, Donaghy would be in turn reduced to limited possession and wouldn’t be much of a factor.

    Many forget that there were actually large question marks over whether Donaghy would even start the replay. So there was little point preparing for hypotheticals and fixating on the opposition, when Mayo were well good enough to blow Kerry away further up the field

    The big twist in the tale as FBD points out was the influence of David Moran (this was actually his real announcement on to the scene after being crippled by injuries). Combined with an awful kickout strategy they cleaned us out in the middle and consequently ODonoghue and Donaghy were given much more supply

    I would however be critical of Horan for not stopping Donaghy the first day. The second he started warming up should have immediately set off alarm bells. The game was finished unless Kerry got a goal, he simply had to drop back Aidan at that stage

    Hopefully he has learned 6 years on more about this game management side of things.

  27. The reason aidan and Tommy were back in the full back line at one stage was I believe they spotted mullin getting treatment up the field and with tyrone attacking mullin was out of position , a lot of negativity posted here but the one area I do agree we need to do something about is goalkeeper which should have happened before now, one of best keepers this year I think was the ballinrobe lad and his name escapes now.

  28. I know its almost as tiresome as the goalkeeper debate but imo the only place for AOS is at midfield.

    He was in mcnamees pocket all day yesterday.
    Totally anonymous. Was grand last week when gway fullback and goalie were having meltdowns but The top defences can handle him in there as we have seen many times.We cant afford to have him out of the game. His stremgths are tackling and ball winning so get him out the field.

    Cillian, coen and conroy should provide enough of a threat in there without needing aos

  29. The Ballinrobe keeper Jennings is still u18 this year so wouldn’t be allowed play senior intercounty. I think some people are over analysing Horan’s tactics tbh. Tyrone scored 3 goals and IMO, David Clarke would have saved those 3 shots on another day. Certainly the two from McKenna.

  30. Agree there FDB. Loftus has much more scope now and looks like a guy relishing it. Great too, to see Fionn get more game time – I would have started him, even though he looked rusty last week. Fionn and Diarmuid putting pressure on opposing half backs is vital.

    Bring on Leitrim. Willie Joe – time for ‘Thinking about Leitrim’ – now!!

  31. WideBall – you actually can play senior if you’re under 18 (only under 17s can’t)

    James Mclaughlin has been called into the Galway panel for example

    That said it’d be extremely rare for a “minor” in old money to be playing senior inter county

    McBrearty would be the last high profile one I can think of – 9 years ago

  32. Podcast episode reviewing yesterday’s game is now online. It’s the first of two episodes this week – we’ll have a Championship preview episode online later in the week.

  33. Yeah. As someone above said. Time for “Thinking about Leitrim” Willie Joe. Looking forward to reading your material on that. “We don’t play them that often“ could be in there somewhere.

  34. Conor O’Malley has to be the shot stopper for next season. He’s back from Peterborough Utd, I know he didn’t want any sport this year, but hopefully next season he’s drafted in.

  35. JR ref was poor alright but Keegan could easily have got the line also so we can’t really say the ref had a big impact against us. On the GK position many of us said that it should have been opened up to county wide competition after the semi last year. is there not one keeper 20-27 age range that’s good enough to be on the squad. I also think Diarmaid should have been tried as a sweeper he needs a defined role somewhere on the pitch. He would bring a bit of aggression, mobility and height to sweeping position.

  36. Look again at Conroys if your going to talk about steps Jr. some of these calls you get some of them you don’t. We lost yesterday not because of the ref but because of our own performance. We have to recognise and accept that and fix it for the next day

  37. Galway are favourites for Connacht. They are effectively in the final already. Ros are a decent side but they simply arent as strong as Galway and imo wouldn’t beat them in a knockout encounter. Rem Connacht finals the last few years have not been knockout. It does make a difference.

    Ros would put up a challenge and on their day could beat any team bar Dub/Kerry. I just have a sense we’ll edge them provided our key players perform but I think Galway in a conn final will be a serious battle. Impossible to call. Joyce will have them seriously fired up for that one. Mayo have the players to win Conn and perhaps with some luck put it up to others. Time will tell.. my biggest concern is that we are a little light in midfield, particularly if we get to the wide expanses of Croke Park.

  38. God, we’re very quick to give up on Robbie Hennelly! He’s still relatively young, place kicking seems to be only improving and long range kick outs are plenty good. No problem with younger lads coming through but the likes of Rory Byrne is not young and no other manager has gone for him. Reape, well and all as he played, has very little experience there. Think this will probably be Clarke’s final throw of the dice this year. Wouldn’t give up on him yet but he’d a poor day at the office Sunday. Amazing he could never sort out the kickouts.
    There was a young goalkeeper caught in the eye in the intermediate championship this year – Luke Jennings. He’s quite young but looks a serious prospect.

  39. I agree that there will be nothing between Mayo and Roscommon or, if they get that far, Mayo or Galway. Galway’s season could hinge on them getting Comer and Steede back fit.
    I would fear for Mayo though, if they were to get that far, against Kerry in Croke Park. The defence needs a lot of work and I do not think our midfield is up to par. And I don’t see ready made replacements. That could be a rough day at the office, similar to last year’s chastening experience in Killarney. But I’m thinking too far ahead anyway.

  40. Galway are only favourites for Connacht right now because they only have to beat a Div 4 team at home to reach the final. The Connacht final defeats for Galway in 2017 and last summer to Roscommon was basically knock out as they didn’t recover from those defeats.

    The winner of the Roscommon v Mayo semi final will go on to win Connacht and play Kerry in the AI semi final IMO.

  41. I still think Rosscomon are div 2 team and when it comes to championship we will have to much for them, Galway will have a sting in them after beating, not going to be simple

  42. Roscommon are too good for Div 2 which is why they stroll to league titles there. They should never have got relegated last year. Monaghan was thankful to Niall Morgan gamesmanship against the rossies for that. Biggest question marks over Galway is their manager, a rookie at this level and under him Galway are now easier to score against.

    @sean Burke. No chance of Cork beating Kerry. Cork ended up in division 3 for a reason and Kerry are All Ireland contender. Kerry to win by 10 points would be no surprise.

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