Monday match reports

Photo: @Helenos77

Who cares that it’s a dreary old Monday morning in November? We’ve just won the Connacht Championship and now have an All-Ireland semi-final appearance to look forward to in three weeks time. In these pandemic days, that’s not a bad prospect to be mulling over on a Monday.

There’s a good bit of coverage online about yesterday’s win, as well as the hurlers’ Rackard Cup semi-final victory on Saturday and the ladies’ loss to Armagh. Let’s get to it.

That’s your lot for now but stay tuned as the Connacht final review episode of the Mayo News football podcast – featuring Colin Sheridan, Paul Earley and Andy Moran, along with Rob, Mike and Edwin – will be online a bit later. The MOTM poll will also remain open until this evening so don’t forget to have your say there as well. In the meantime, enjoy your Monday.

Image: @Granuaile4Mayo

The Mayo GAA Lotto is a great way to express your support for the lads. Play the Lotto here.

48 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Rewound Barrett’s block in the 21st minute about 5 times last night.He’s unreal..Great to get a title ..Three weeks break badly needed but alot of work to be done..Kick outs will be the undoing of us and the sparsity at midfield ..Ironic that as soon as we get our forwards the midfield starts leaking..Anyway a sweet Monday morning.

  2. Any chance of getting Aidos winning speech added to one of the podcasts WJ if anyone had recorded it? I know you’ve plenty on your hands already and thanks for all you do so no worries if it can’t be done but RTE didn’t show any of it yesterday.

  3. Hi Willie joe , it’s great to be able to see what the papers say before getting out of bed on a Monday morning. Mayo are now cynical!!! Isn’t that great ? And about time. Seriously though I thin 5 games in 28 days was tough going and it showed in the second half . I expect Cork to win easily next Sunday. Of course Mayo must and will improve. I don’t understand the bookies odds. Cork are 11to 1 while Mayo are a ridiculous 7 to 2. Keep safe everyone

  4. Kick out cost us against Tyrone and nearly did yesterday, ye mightn’t agree but I’d have hennelly with long drive and work on picking up breaks

  5. The goalkeeping debate is massive at this stage , previously I was in clarke corner but I’m afraid it’s just become far too frequent , I’d add he seems to have become nervous about it himself ,kickout is so vital in Gaelic football it can literally mean the difference in winning and losing . Hennelly is the percentage at this stage .

  6. Just as a stupid question… I never played much football but love it. Apologies if this is stupid but could another player not take the kickout? Clarke’s seem to glide in the air but what if one of the backs was good with a kick out? It seems such a hot topic and it’s easy to see how it’s a liability but I’m only asking the outside the box question…
    Delighted to win yesterday and so proud of team and management. Keep it going Mayo…go deo.

  7. Great to get the win yesterday, 5 years is a long time without the Nestor Cup, at least that itch is now scratched and ‘pundits’ can’t throw the lazy line at us that we’ve only won games against Sligo and New York in the Connacht Championship in recent years. Galway, as expected, were well up for this game, that said, the result being so close was probably more down to the fact that our shooting was woeful in the first half, being honest and without sounding arrogant, we should have had the game wrapped up by half time, however our wides kept Galway in the game for the second half. Galway and PJ will take a lot from this game, pride has been restored in the maroon jersey after the league hiding, there is plenty of talent in Galway and with a decent run without injuries they’ll be a match for anyone in 2021 and beyond. Regarding Mayo and in particular our younger players, that game will have brought them on loads, it reminded me of the 2011 Connacht Final against Roscommon, (without the rain), we dug out a result in an ugly game, that counts for a lot.

    There are loads of things to work on for the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into them here, winning is the only thing that matters in a knockout Championship, Horan and his team will know themselves that yesterday’s performance will not be enough to beat Tipperary or Cork in a Semi Final. It’s great to have three weeks off now, it’ll give the team a chance to work on things and to rest up, playing 5 games in 5 weeks was always going to cause problems yesterday in terms of fatigue etc, thankfully we had enough to scrape through.

    Good luck to the Hurlers playing in their All Ireland Final this weekend against Donegal, it’d be nice to bring more silverware to the County.

    We move on, Up Mayo.

  8. I was surprised we only won by one, that is all I was shocked by, we kind of fell near the end, Walsh is a serious baller to give the other folk some credit.

    To quote a reply I seen on a certain other GAA forum, a galway man was yapping on and complaining about us and the reply was sweet, loved it even more because I live in Galway.

    “Enjoy the hurling ”

    Beautiful and Lets keep the faith with this team

    #mayountildeathdoesmepart

  9. MO direach
    In times gone by the goalie didn’t kick out the ball. A fullback or corner back did that job. I had a spell at doing that myself. But time has moved on and the game has changed and nowadays you cannot afford to give the opposition an extra man on the kick out……..unless you had a goalie who was capable of switching with an outfield player for the kickout but that too has its downsides.

  10. what a great photo of Andy and Aido, warms the soul on a dreary Monday! I’m only seeing upsides. We’ve a 3 week break now and should head into a semi in peak condition. Cork will be an incredibly tough proposition but I’m not going to worry about that for now, I’m just going to bask in the glow of an ugly win against our fiercest rivals. On we go!

  11. Could someone answer this question? What was the difference between the Galway we saw yesterday and the dour, blanket/shawl, pulling and dragging, defensive-minded, niggly Galway of Kevin Walsh fame? The Galway game people couldn’t wait to get rid of?

    Just asking for a friend.

  12. – Majority on here had predicted a very tight game and so it turned out. Great to see Aido lift the cup and for all the guys involved.
    – Galway were definitely rusty for the first 20 minutes while the 5 weeks in a row was catching us near the end
    – Sure the wides in the first half were bad BUT at least we tried to take advantage of the wind and as others have said we were way too cautious in the second half against the wind with lads afraid to go for points. There is a fine line between a highly specified game-plan and allowing players to go with their instinct at least some of the time.
    – Best for us were Ruane who was like a man possessed for the entire game which is why is was my MOM, yes he made mistakes but he got on a awful lot of ball. Barret, Eoghan Mc, Oisin, Tommy and Paddy up until that totally wrong yellow card was doing fine, the card inhibited him for the rest of the game.
    – There are some posters who keep saying we have a ‘great’ bench, how many times have we heard that over the years. How do you measure what is great, for me a great bench means when you bring a sub on they make a difference to the game. Yesterday only Walsh made a difference by getting two points from play, sure some were not on long enough like Fionn, Higgins very rusty, Jordan did not get into the game and neither did Mark M.
    – PJ seemed to have two game plans one of which is spit on his hands and the second of which was to bring Comer on. Silly bringing on injured players as he did the same thing with Steede who hardly touched the ball.
    – Big questions for me about the influence Paul Conroy was allowed to have on the game, Why Kelly was allowed to attack a number of times all the way from his own full back line, Clarke’s nerves getting more pronounced as the game drew to a close, Aido playing here there and everywhere thereby minimizing his impact and why COC and Kevin Mc were so quiet.

  13. I think the Cork v Tipp game could be a lot tighter than people reckon. The game is being played on the 100 year anniversary of Bloody Sunday with Tipp wearing a commemorative green and white jersey to honour the occasion. They will be highly up for the game due to this and also they have a great chance to win a first Munster title since 1935!!

    Combined with this they have Colin O’Riordan back from Oz for the match who is a serious baller as are sweeney and Michael Quinlivan on their day. Watch this space…

  14. Agree catcol it was a ‘press play’ from Galway…a potentially strong offensive team playing a deeper defensive set up. That is what caught Kerry out last week ironically playing an extra defender when they had the way better forwards…didn’t play to their strengths..

  15. Great result yesterday, Horan will have learned a lot with plenty to work on which is a good position to be in. Shot selection in the first half was poor (should have been out of sight at half time), this can be worked on in training. Kickouts is a major problem, short kickout was targeted in the final 10mins and nearly cost us. In general I like where Horan is going with the team and the pair of Ruane and Loftus offers a lot in open play and I would persist with this but in those final 10mins where possession is vital I would be looking to have AOS, Flynn and SOS/Parsons in the middle to offer option for long kickout, make use of the mark to kill off the game.

  16. I think on balance it is time to reintroduce Rob Hennelly…nothing whatsoever against Clarkie who has been a brilliant servant. With the Breaffy connection around the middle third there is more of an understanding, we have seen him send arrows to Mattie’s bread basket, making it harder for the paw to come in from behind. Also an option for the long rangers, if Cillian’s radar is off (of course Robbie’s radar can be off too). Longer term though we just HAVE to bring in younger lads such as Reape from Knockmore and develop a more rounded player between the sticks…an exciting few weeks ahead. Up Mayo.

  17. There was very little difference between the Kevin Walsh set up and yesterdays first half display from Galway catcol. The big difference though was the speed in which Galway transitioned to attack in the second half. They went to one on one and all out to win the game. Sure they bring men back to defence if they can to stifle an attack but we do the same. That’s where turnovers and speed of transition up the field can give you 3 on 2 on their defence. Galway under Walsh would have stayed stuck in first half mode for the whole game. It would have been an even worse game to watch for the purists and they would have still lost.

  18. One wonders how many times history has to repeat itself before some people realize that Hennelly is not cut out for goalkeeping at the top level. Once more at least, seemingly.

    The lad crumbles under pressure, time after time.

    For all his supposedly superior kicking ability, he has cost us a number of goals/ dismissals directly off his restarts in recent years-Dublin 2015, Galway 2016, Dublin 2016, Roscommon 2019. All tight games that we lost, and he had a shocker in the first half against the Dubs in the semi last year too.

    I get why people are critical of Clarke’s restarts, which have been ropey for a while now. But I struggle to recall us ever conceding a major as a result of one of them, and he is in unarguably a better shot stopper than Robbie and is much better under high ball.

    Unfortunately we don’t have a Cluxton/Patton/Beggan between the sticks for the restarts. The answer lies out the field.

  19. Have to agree with you there on all points Olive. My own thoughts on yesterdays game:
    Kickouts – clearly our achilles heel and get even more ragged at the end of the game (cost us in the 2016 drawn final, along with our 2 own goals).
    Backs – did well-ish. Leeroy did OK on Shane Walsh but Walsh is something else too. Eoghan and Paddy were fantastic, Paddy’s Yellow was one of many poor decisions by the ref. Mullen was good enough, certainly didn’t allow Comer any influence on the game. Stephen Coen does a lot of the hard work as usual – he’s reminding me a lot of Donal Vaughan in a lot of ways though I don’t know if he’ll ever score as much as Donie did.
    Midfield. Being honest we were cleaned out of it there on the restarts most of the day. I expected as much really. I can see what he’s trying with Loftus there but I just wish there was another option. Ruane did well despite a slow start.
    Forwards – . Diarmuid, Ryan and kevin did OK. there seemed to be a lot of rotation going on which I don’t think helped. Cillian was playing very deep and Aido had to come back to midfleld a lot. Tommy did well. I was pleasantly surprised with Brian Walsh as being honest I was puzzled by his inclusion, to be fair he answered any criticism I had of him. Didn’t see too much of Mark Moran, Jordan or Fionn when they came on.
    other than Tommy and Brian Walsh I’d say our forwards had a day to forget.

    Overall we won playing Badly. The Galway lads can certainly feel aggrieved about Eoghans foul but I recall last year when Carr ran through their backs to score a wonderful goal, there were complaints about how no Galway fella laid a hand on him and how he should have been taken down – this by many a so called pundit too. If Eoghan had let that happen no doubt the same criticism would have been levelled at us.
    As for the overall refereeing – awful for both sides – we certainly got the benefit of a few astounding decisions but by the same measure Galway got their share too. It seemed to be a case that you could foul Chrissy or Aido several times before it was given. Paddy getting a yellow card for a fair shoulder has happened before against Galway, if anyone remembers a few years back Boyler Flattening Comer who was in full flight with a perfectly legal shoulder, and he got a yellow for it too. I do feel for Galway given the manner of the defeat but we’ve been on the receiving end of those ourselves on numerous occasions but it will be little consolation to them that we know how that feels.

    Long story short, we won our fifth game on consecutive weekends, and did so playing badly. Lots to work on and a lot to improve. If we don’t, the Munster Champions might end our year.

  20. Well done Mayo a great win, the one point win is nearly better than the large victory a few weeks ago with so much at stake.
    This win gives a Huge boost of energy to Mayo people all over The World in these difficult days.
    We all now can look forward to an All Ireland Semi Final in December..
    As I have said before The goalkeeper situation
    and our ad hoc midfield situation are making it unnecessary difficult for us.
    Maybe bringing in Jordan Flynn might help in the middle of the field ,
    I have not seen a team who are leading by 2 points after 70 mins have their Goalkeeper kick a long ball down the field to where they have not
    Won ball through out the game
    This happened in The 71st and 73rd minute,
    We lost out on both of them one of them would have cost us the Match had it not being for Eoghan Macs quick thinking.
    75 minutes plus Mayo are leading by 1 point
    Hold the ball at all costs Right !! No a long kickout again ??
    I am sure the experts on here will have an explanation of this but to the likes of myself that seems Crazy.
    Its Great Mayo are winning even with these type of plays and long may it continue.
    Maigheo abu.

  21. It Means Nothing to Me, Clarke has cost us a few majors, truth be told. He cost us a goal against Tyrone in this years league which effectively saw us relegated as a result. I recall also he was outstanding at shot stopping in the League game in Croke Park in 2017 but he was responsible for the goal that evening and to be honest, his kickouts that evening were a gift to the Dublin team.
    Great shot stopper, yes. His kickouts fill me with dread however.

  22. Just getting around to thoughts now

    The game was just like the 2017 Connacht first round game in reverse…

    Like with so many matches it was the first 10 minutes of the second half which were the most crucial. 3 points no way reflected our dominance at half time, but to still be 3 in the ascendancy ten minutes into the restart was probably the winning of the game for us. During this period our shooting accuracy increased massively and it just gave us that cushion, which ultimately proved enough to eke things out at the end

    Overall it was the fair result. We played with an intensity they just weren’t able to live with. Between our own goal and their 45 yard line, it was as stellar a performance as one could ever expect. Sheer hassling, harrying, and workrate to force countless turnovers and spoil promising Galway attacks. The notable exception was on their kickouts where we barely won a ball for the most part. This is a worry

    We needed this win a bit more than Galway I think. Its been a mixed year for them. After a great first few months, they’ve been struggling with injuries and momentum since the restart, and to be honest this championship was always likely to be a bit of a write off for them. But they’re absolutely going in the right direction. They’re well established in division 1 now, are hovering up Connacht underage titles and have two of the best players in the country at present in Walsh and Conroy. The latter was simply phenomenal yesterday – however should have seen red in the first half. The two Kellys are a revelation also, i genuinely think Paul is heading for incredible things.

    I’m unfortunately not as bullish about our own future, but we’re certainly making hay in the most strangest of championship seasons. There’s a lot of Division 1 sides who would love a cut at us at present in an All Ireland semi but instead it’ll be a team just out of Division 3 who have the privilege. Its not a gimme but its not far from it as semi finals go. Get into a final then, and sure who knows what might happen. Far different than facing into a super 8s and perhaps having to face a resurgent Galway, Tyrone or Kerry again at some stage

    there’s a damn lot to work on though. Our scoring return is certainly not up to scratch, its a bit hit and miss as to what forwards will turn up on a given day – although Tommy Conroy is one of the country’s breakthroughs of the season, and is heading for an All Star on current form. Again we needlessly hit the panic button yesterday in the last few minutes when we were doing very well up to that point.

    But in 2020 – and with all its bizarreness – none of the above actually matters all that much for now. We have a cracking chance now to get to a final and while we’re miles off the Dubs on current form, strange things can happen in one off games. and boy if any county is due a bit of luck…

  23. One thing worth noting is – i think – that Conneely’s early score might be the only ‘easy’ score Galway got all day

    Most were long range efforts. That’s some defensive effort from Mayo.

    Comer having to move out and operate as a 3rd midfielder to win any sort of ball also shows this

  24. Amazes me year in year out same arguments. Clarke kickouts. Hennelly shotstopping/decision making at this stage we could have got some young wan pregnant by cluxton and had a inter County keeper that ticks more boxes. Surely there is more than 2 lads in the county capable or coach able to be a keeper at county level. Seems a closed shop.

  25. I 100% agree with ‘It means nothing to me’ you hit the nail on the head there. Stats don’t lie, and Hennelly has cost us far too much throughout the years. Clarke a far better presence for high ball also. A kickout is only as good as the lads making the runs out the field. Re watch the last 10 minutes, hardly amy of our lads are making runs, Clarke had f***k all options to aim at. I will always prefer a keeper who drives a ball over the sideline 45 yards from goal, with 60 seconds left, than one who trys to chip short and gets intercepted. Clarke has shortcomings with kickout trajectory, but Hennelly is certainly not the answer.

  26. @FBDinashui: So, one goal in a league match that we should have won anyway (missed four goal opportunities that day, if I recall)? Still not exactly like-for-like in terms of big game mistakes, is it? I remember Diarmuid Connolly scoring a point from one botched kickout late in the 2016 drawn final but hey, we all saw what happened in the replay.

    Big Dave is likely to hang up his gloves at some point in the near future anyway, so it’s best to investigate the options for his long term successor.

    Incidentally, one Colm Cooper thinks that the issue is not as clear cut as a lot would have it on here. After the game in Killarney last year where everybody focused their ire on Clarke for the kickouts, Cooper pointed out that none of the primary receivers were showing for the ball. But sure what would he know?

    @MayoDunphy: For all this “possession is nine-tenths of the law” stuff, goals ultimately win games, and the goalie’s primary job is still to keep the ball out of the net. If you look at the scores Mayo have put up in the recent All-Ireland finals/semi finals, they would have been enough to have won it in years gone by, it has been the concession of goals that has ultimately cost us, especially against Dublin.

  27. I love how if Hennelly messes up a kick out it’s all on him but when Clarke does it the outfield players are to blame. There’s a fairly long list of errors and scores conceded from poor restarts for both keepers.
    Both keepers have strong points and flaws but it’s delusional to think that Clarke’s kick outs are not actually a problem.

  28. Ah look, you had a chance to list these big mistakes on Clarke’s part and the best you could come up with was a couple of incidents from league matches. I think we’ve seen this year already how much bearing league performance has on championship outcomes, with the league champions watching the remainder of the championship on the Sunday Game.

    It’s incredible really that we have still have fellas touting Robbie on this forum, errant kickouts or not from Clarke. We will never win an All-Ireland with the former in nets, simple as that. He’s good for some sort of blooper at least once a game that will cost us a goal and his record in the latter stages of the All-Ireland race over the year proves that. It’s no coincidence that he hasn’t won the big prize with either club or county.

    Clarke has a better big game temperament and will come and take man and ball in the air, something I would question of his competitor in all honesty. Yes, Dave’s kickouts could be better, but at the same time he’s not shanking it to opposition players in our red zone, which Robbie has unfortunately done on too many occasions (Dublin 2015, Galway 2016, Dublin 2016, Roscommon 2019…)

    Hennelly is a GAA volunteer like the rest of us, gives his all to the cause no doubt and I don’t want to dunk on him, but the myopia concerning his abilities from some Mayo supporters at this stage of his career is quite incredible.

    For next season, the aim should be to identify a long-term successor to Clarke and give them a decent run prior to the championship.

  29. Agree FDB,also seem to remember Hennelly making a point blank save against Clifford in the dying moments of the league final last year…not bad for someone who “isn’t ” a good shot stopper. I agree Clarke rules the square under the high ball,but there are games when keepers don’t have many high balls to deal with, or shots to stop. Haven’t seen a game yet where a keeper didn’t have at least a few kick outs to take. I’m just saying the pros and cons of both need to be weighed up before Croke Park. Management unlikely to go with anyone outside of these two at this stage of this competition.

  30. @2 hops: Clifford literally palmed the ball straight at Hennelly, he would have been very disappointed to have conceded from that one (1:17:00 or so).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr2YSdGM7Y0

    And with all due respect, a league final is a different magnitude of pressure altogether from a championship final.

    Agreed that an untried option will not be parachuted in at this point barring unforeseen circumstances.

  31. The kickouts arent great but Horan not gonna change now. Therefore we need extra focus on practising restarts at training and we actually need to bring a level of intensity and tenacity from outfield players that is higher than the opposition so as to compensate. We must demand that Boyler-spirit and ball winning aggression, desire and bravery.

    The next game will be tough. Very tough in fact but if we can win it then there’s one game to glory and while we would be outsiders, you just never know what could happen.

    I agree with Ciaran. I think Mayo needed the win more. Galway have slightly more talent coming through…they had lads there like Rob Finnerty who would likely be a starter for us if he had opted for Mayo. Kelly’s. I do think Horan is good at making players better, but there are plenty of our forwards who could be/should be in better form.

    A few have said on here that we have a highly talented forward unit now. Do we? I think we potentially have a potent attack but a lot of lads arent playing to potential currently. McDonagh, Carr, Coen…in and out of the panel, never mind the team. Take Mark Morans league display v Galway out and he’s done nothing else. I’m not saying he wont be a big player for us but…

    ROD. Linkman. His scoring rate is very low.

    Walsh, good cameo yesterday but could he do the same again in 3 weeks?

    Conroy is the only newbie forward with any consistent scoring form.

    Cillian has been hot and cold. Hot against a hapless Rossie defence. Cold yesterday. Missed a real goal chance, should have rounded the keeper and kicked a poor wide, by his standards. Anytime Cillian starts being dragged downfield he has less influence in attack.

    Diarmuid, we all know he can own a game but it’s not happened yet. If we are to get anywhere this season we really really need him. I cannot understand why he is being played at 12. Wasted.

    Kevin Mc, seemed to have little influence yesterday but like Diarmuid, we need him to find his groove fairly pronto.

    It’s a long time since we’ve gone into a last 4 game with so many issues and question marks. But with Mayo you just never know what can happen.

  32. Had my chance to list them?. Sure look it we’ll forget about Clarke skying it out over the sideline in the 2017 final when Stephen Coen was unmarked on the other side of the pitch. Or even yesterday, sticking it out over the sideline when Galway were pressing at the end of the game. It was the outfield players that saved his blushes there but sure they’re at fault too for him not being able to keep it inside the lines I’m sure.

    I’m not advocating for Hennelly either but it would be nice if people applied the same critique to both our keepers rather than rounding on one and being blind to the flaws of the other.

  33. We are not going to beat any big team, Dublin, Donegal or Cork with our present goalkeeper , great shot stopper great servant of mayo football but time has caught up on him, same for some more of the players there for last 10 years or more, no point in bringing on defenders or midfielders from the past, youth is the only way forward.

  34. @It Means Nothing to Me, you’re clearly in the Clarke camp on this (and that is fine) but you’re struggling to see both sides. Absolving Clarke of a mistake because ‘the league has little relevance on championship outcomes’ is a weak argument. Tell that to Galway or Cork who have spent most of the last decade outside the top division and then struggled to even make to the last 8 of championship.

    To bring a bit of balance to the argument, Clarke twice kicked away vital position right at the end of the 2017 AI final, once over the sideline like he did this weekend gone. He was dropped for the 2016 replayed final because of poor kick-outs in the final minutes of the drawn game. Maybe not so great under pressure either? So far out of 5 games, he has twice given short KOs straight to the opposition (Tyrone and Galway). In the AI final of 2012, he came out to punch a high ball and nearly killed Ger Cafferkey while Michael Murphy punched the ball just over the bar of an empty net. On the shot-stopping, Clarke is the best there is and may ever be but it’s an over-rated quality in modern Gaelic football. For balance here, Hennelly made brilliant saves v O’Gara, McAuley in 2013 final and Clifford in 2019 league final. Stephen Cluxton is considered one of the most influential players of all time, but not because of his shot-stopping. Beggan, Patton, and Morgan aren’t mentioned as the best of the rest because of shot-stopping but because of their ability to kick the ball. It’s paramount in today’s game of possession-based football.

    Your implication that Breaffy haven’t won a county title because of Hennelly is just plain wrong. They wouldn’t have made the final without him. He may not be an 80%+ shooter but he can kick the ball off the ground from greater than 45 metres more accurately than anyone else in Mayo. Breaffy arguable over-achieved in reaching those finals. Without their county players (plus Irwin/Fadden) their team would barely make intermediate.

    My opinion on the keeper situation – it’s a bloody tough one for Horan and I’m glad I’m not making the decision! It’s nearly like being a golfer, you’re own your own and sometimes you’re just hoping that the kick-out/shot works out. Having watched club football over the past number of years in Mayo Clarke and Hennelly are, by an distance, the two best keepers in the county. Clarke is less like to feel the pressure (though he has been more so of recent times) whereas Hennelly does seem to get nervy once every game. Because of the importance on kick outs, I’d go for Hennelly even if it brings more risk elsewhere. He really has a lovely strike of the ball and given that Cillian struggles to kick the ball from anywhere outside of 35 meters, he is a better option for those long ones too.

  35. Would Rory Byrne not be the man to replace Clark? I think Robbies had his day. I’d like to see Rory in the league next year and see how he goes. Horan needs to find a midfielder or 2 also. Apart from that the team is pretty solid.

  36. @GBXI: Shot-stopping is “overrated” in terms of goalkeeping? Good Christ, I’ve heard it all now. Of course distribution is an important element of goalkeeping, I’ve never suggested that it isn’t. But a goalkeeper’s primary function has, and always will be, to guard the net.

    But seeing as you mention Cluxton, he arguably kept Dublin on course for their five in a row last year through making several fine saves from Kerry goal chances in the drawn game. Have a look at the footage on YouTube if you don’t believe me. He is a fine shot stopper in his own right, laser style delivery notwithstanding.

    Cork and Galway have been relatively uncompetitive in recent times not so much because they spent time in division two (it didn’t do the likes of Tyrone or Donegal much harm…) but because both of those counties were financially constricted. Cork took on a lot of debt due to the redevelopment of the Park and Galway’s hurling board got themselves into trouble due to a failed land deal for a centre of excellence for hurling, which meant that their county boards had to pool a lot of overheads.

    But I digress…

    I have never suggested that Hennelly has never had a good game. As the YT footage I posted shows, in 2019 Clifford hit the ball straight at him. I will give you that he played well for most of the 2013 decider. But he had a brain fart which led to him conceding a preventable goal, which is the whole point when it comes to Rob. He is often good for making a mistake which leads to a goal in crunch games. And in that particular final, Dublin were struggling until they got the gift of a soft goal, from which they didn’t look back.

    You’re citing some mistakes from Clarke which amount to either the concessions of the odd point here and there or hoofing the ball over the sideline. Are they mistakes? Sure, undoubtedly. Were they causal factors in losing those finals? No. Proportionality is a thing.

    I will also give you that Hennelly can take the odd placed ball, but IMO his accuracy is not that great from those and he misses more than he scores.

    It seems to me that most of the people that favour Hennelly on the basis of his kicking: my contention is it’s not as big as an advantage as it’s being made out to be, especially if he’s dropping clangers at the other end.

  37. It’s sad that we are discussing goalkeepers, the day after winning the Connaught Championship.
    David Clarke has not allowed a goal in our 3 provisional Games.
    He won All Stars because he was the best goal keeper in the Country.

    The problem is not the lockouts, it’s the free man making himself available.

    Regina, I also re played Chris Barrett’s tackle last night.
    It was un believable bit of skill.
    He has certainly shored up that full back line.
    It’s hard to get used of the “Clontarf” reference.

  38. I totally stand over that comment that shot-stopping is not as important as kick-outs in modern Gaelic football. It’s why we are all having this debate – kick-outs – and it’s why all those keepers I mentioned, Cluxton included, are regarded as the best. In soccer the keeper’s primary function might be keeping the ball out the net but in Gaelic I think the kick-out is more important. Morgan, for example, is fairly average at shot-stopping but he is a brilliant kicker of the ball.

    I also don’t think Mayo lost those finals because of Hennelly. 2013, we were blessed to only lose by a point. Yes, Dublin’s first goal moved momentum towards them but Caff’s weak defending was equally to blame here and we were 2 points up at half-time. Hennelly’s save on O’Gara arguably kept the game tight.

    On the placed balls, I actually think it’s becoming a real issue for Mayo from distance. Cillian’s stats are so poor from play and from frees outside of 35m – the worst of all the top free-takers. Hennelly is about 50/50 from 45s and further but that’s about 30% improvement on Cillian. The doutfoul blog has a great piece on this.

    Maybe you are right on the last line (though I disagree) and that seems to be Horan’s thinking so far but my posts were just to bring a bit of balance to the argument! 🙂

  39. Clarke has been a great servant to mayo football but as l watch the games on tv I have to turn away as it is so easy to read where he is kicking too . Opposing team have him figured out, hennelly is a better option to ping the ball out of our half over pressing teams when games are in the melting pot.

  40. Mo-direach,

    Maybe somebody has answered your question about the kickout and alternative kickers but here’s my tuppence worth anyway. Back in my young days [a long time ago] it was very unusual to have a goalkeeper taking a kickout. In Galway’s three in a row they were always taken by Enda Colleran. Donie Fitzgerald of Kerry, also a corner back, took their’s in that era. Martin Furlong of Offaly is one of the first ‘keepers I recall taking kickouts. But perhaps the first goalkeeper to take the kickout was Leitrim’s Jackie Gallagher in the team which reached and lost four finals in row to Galway 1957 to ’59. He was converted to goalie from corner back because of his prodigious kick off the ground. Having him in goal meant that opposition teams did not have a free man around midfield for the kickout and he was also able to bypass midfield and get the ball to Packie McGarty.

  41. Shot stopping is overrated in terms of Gaelic football. We didn’t concede a goal during the Connacht Championship but from memory, I don’t think Clarke had a save to make?

    We were relegated due to the 3 goals Tyrone got in Castlebar. All 3 of them were save-able, even if one was saved we’d still be in division 1. I’d keep Clarke in goals at this stage of the season but there is an argument for playing Hennelly.

  42. It’s sad that we are discussing goalkeepers, the day after winning the Connaught Championship.
    David Clarke has not allowed a goal in our 3 provisional Games.
    He won All Stars because he was the best goal keeper in the Country.

    The problem is not the kickouts, it’s the free man making himself available.

    Regina, I also re played Chris Barrett’s tackle last night.
    It was un believable bit of skill.
    He has certainly shored up that full back line.
    It’s hard to get used of the “Clontarf” reference.

  43. Enough the Clarke bashing is becoming a joke , just like every team game you are only as good as the players around you if your open he will hit you if your not he cant

  44. Enough of the Clarke and Hennelly bashing. They have both been very good for us but are human and possess the odd weakness. As usual fellas not in the panel are being touted as potential saviours. If these lads not in the panel were that good Clarke and Hennelly wouldn’t have dominated the goal keeping spot in the last decade. While we may have our preferences its a bit sad that some here are going out of their way to point out mistakes. Would be just as easy to pick out brilliant saves made by both.

  45. Anybody think Conor O’Shea might be the missing link at Midfield. He had a strong club Championship

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