Monday match reports

The football’s back and so too are the match reports. Here’s a quick gallop through the online coverage of our dramatic draw with Donegal yesterday.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Donegal Live, Donegal News, Donegal Daily.

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

Others: GAA, RTÉ, Sky Sports, BBC, The 42, Balls.ie, The Girl That Writes About Mayo.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Sportsfile, Inpho.

Video: GAA, GAA Man, Mayo Mick.

Audio: Donegal GAA Podcast.

If you’re looking for more audio then my own post-match audio report is here. Our ‘Final Whistle’ episode of the podcast is also available to club members on Patreon and our match day episode will be similarly available later on today.

The MOTM poll is still open here on the blog too so, if you haven’t yet done so, please take the time to cast your vote there. I’ll be back with the result of the poll tonight.

That’s the lot for now, enjoy your Monday.

51 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. The big takeaway of the week for me is it is clear Dublin are very much back in the pack now, they have problems, none of their new arrivals or fringe players are stepping up and they are dependent on a core of 4 or 5 players with massive miles on the clock.

    There are now about 6 teams who will feel an all ireland is very much a realistic possibility, with Mayo amongst them. Ulster teams are on the rise again too, wouldnt surprise me at all if tyrone failed to come through ulster this year with teams like monaghan/armagh/derry improving massively

    It really is all to play for this year, all the top teams have flaws but reason to believe

  2. Willie Joe
    Just read the Donegal reports always interesting to see what the opposition thinks……The take away I got from those……… your writing and the lads on the blog is streets ahead of the guys in Donegal!!.

  3. Yeah big few weeks ahead for Dublin

    Its only January but that was fairly worrying for them Saturday. Don’t think its a lack of hunger – their tackling and workrate was fairly intense – but they just seem so flat. Fairly understandable after so much dominance really

    They may have some huge decisions to make if this continues.. Is there even a possibility Farrell doesn’t see Championship? Does a championship SOS go out to Jack McCaffrey and Mannion? Or do they use the season as a “write off” of sorts and try and rebuild from scratch again?

    Now that’s all in the event that they don’t pick up some form in the next month or two – you couldn’t discount them turning it around at the same time.
    They were extremely poor by their standards last year yet were a re-taken 45 from making the final. And in Fenton, McCarthy and Kilkenny they have three all time greats still in their ranks. O’Callaghan and Howard are also two of the finest talents of their generation. So you couldn’t fully write them off but it certainly makes for a more interesting championship having them back in the pack

    Kerry were far from great shakes either yesterday and still seem to struggle to get quality ball into their forwards against well organised defences. That workout yesterday was probably better than anything they had before the Tyrone game last year though, and with the Na Gaeil lads coming back they’ll have much more options in the coming weeks. They also have the two best players in the game at present so will likely enter the championship as the favourites barring a calamitous league

  4. Thanks WJ for all the links to what both camps thhought of game. I also read the Donegal reaction. 3 consecutive draws, Donegal feeling all 3 were theirs to lose. Amazing the role of goalkeepers nowadays with Beglin ending up leading scorer for Monaghan. In that department, Hennelly / Byrne is considerably weaker than Clarke / Hennelly in the past imo.
    Keeping possession from kickouts needs to be worked on. In fairness, i dont think players are given Hennelly the options he needs.
    Discipline a concern. Coen send off and Flynns first involvement involved after ball retaliation that would have landed him in the soup had it been picked up by ref/linesman. Players with short straws will be targeted by opposition.
    Taking wrong options needs careful analysis. Several incidents yesterday including Coens foul on Murphy as Calinan had cleverly made it back to cover and Hennelly fully alert to threat as well.
    Tough baptism for the newbies but great game to be involved in, hopefully they will get more opportunities. The outstanding Murphy highlighted the dreams every Mayo supporter had for Aidan O Shea at one stage. O Shea still has a role to play in league at least.
    Lots of positives from game with the return of Doherty being the most noteworthy. A crafty full forward to can take his score.
    I see next Sunday, kilmeena down for 1:30 and Mayo kick off at 2pm. Surly those times can be staggered.

  5. Kerry and Dublin will be some game in Tralee under lights on sat night.
    The league will be very tight after the weekends results.
    Hopefully we’ve blown out a bit of dirty diesel now and can get a result in Clones,its a very difficult place to go though,their record there is very impressive.
    I was fully expecting us to lose against Donegal yesterday,I expected them to be sharper and a bit further a long than us and they were.Once we weathered that,brought on Aido and got to the pitch of the game we totally outplayed and outfought them.They are no great shakes and would be Div 2 standard if you take Murphy out of their team.Delighted to get a point,get some new lads game time, and see Jason and Harry not only play but look like they never left.
    When you consider the lads we have to come back we are in a good place.

  6. Ciaran – intrigued by you saying Kerry have the 2 best players in the game. David Clifford and who?

  7. The big thing about the weekend is that it has confirmed to me that football is dead. Terrible football that was played in the Club championship continued in the League. The only team that were worth watching in the Club was Portarlington and Armagh against the Dubs in the League. Armagh used the wings and some lovely foot passes and despite all the fitness gurus the ball still travels faster than a player can sprint. I was actually getting sick looking at Armagh as it brought back to me how we could have beaten Tyrone.
    Mayo again showed great heart and determination but unfortunately Mayo persist in picking certain players year in year out that obviously train well but never produce in matches. To use a racing expression they catch pigeons on the gallops but flop in the race.
    And I am not talking about one of my favourite players AOS as he has done wonders for Mayo over the years. AOS should play FF every match and be instructed not to move outside the 21 and nice quick high ball should be floated into him. Donegal should do the same with MM. Our full back couldn’t even win the ball in front of MM.
    Anyway the GAA will have to do away with short kickouts and outlaw all back passes or else only the diehards will continue to watch. Young people are not watching GAA anymore.

  8. He’s a good player but I wouldn’t have him anywhere Clifford’s standard or several others around the country.

  9. MOTM poll has henelley on 37%. We all know from reading the blog that it’s a bit of a marmite thing with him. A debate I’ve never weighed into. But come on, 37%, he was the standout player by a country mile and the main reason that we weren’t beaten.
    Maybe a pick your best 3 in order could help, with 3pts for your first pick, 2 for your second and one for your third.

  10. The Dubs more worrying problem is their backs. I don’t think Davy Byrne is at the Cooper / Philly standard and nowhere near peak Rory O Carroll standard. Those warriors are falling away for Dublin. Murchen is quick and McCarthy and Howard are very good footballers but only 1 of those plays in FB line. Are they any better than Kerry, Tyrone or our backs, I don’t think so.
    The Dubs won’t be easily beaten for sure but have definitely fallen back into the pack. Galway looked good yesterday so we’ll have our work cut out in Connaught. Pundits also pointed out how player turnover affects the Dubs. In most counties Cormac Costello would be an all star, only starts some of the time for dubs. Armagh are a breath of fresh air. I hope they win Ulster. Kildare now look well able to compete. I know it’s early and some teams ahead in preparation but this year could be very interesting. Donegal still seem like they want to blow games like they did yesterday. Fairly happy with our 2nd half apart from red card giving away penalty but if he didn’t do it would probably have been a goal. Very interesting watching donut kick out strategy in Monaghan Tyrone game. It’s not all down to the goalie.

  11. Aidan is a good intercounty midfielder. He’s a good club full forward. Doesn’t have the skills to be a top intercounty full forward. Play him between number 6 and midfield and can make runs from there and use his good kick passing from deep. Made a good impact from the bench yesterday. Coaches need to sldiscourage him from wandering all over the pitch trying to plug gaps. He hasn’t the stamina for that.

  12. Ciiaran,
    Sean O’Shea better than Fenton, Kilkenny or James McCarthy? Seriously, you gotta be joking. His free taking skills outweigh all his other attributes.

  13. Donegals goalkeeper made a right blunder ,
    He was out as an extra player through match,
    Cud have been caught couple times with lobs,
    I think goalkeepers shud be doing the role their given, and stay in their square,
    Maybe time to look at goalkeepers being kept within box ,restrict out field run with the ball,

  14. @sam og just had a look. That clip is just so shocking even all these months on and one wouldn’t see it anywhere else. Control completely lost. Sure what hope had we with that carry on and whose to say it will be any different this year. Sigh.

  15. Couldn’t agree with Greenred about AOS. I remember his great goal against Donegal when he was marked by 2 Donegal players one of which was the great Neil McGee. Quick high ball floated in, outjumped them and burst through back of net. Now that he has lost his pace he must be utilised at FF. Still has plenty to offer but must get the right ball not like what happened against Tyrone. Mayo’s running game was badly exposed. Backs up the field running into cul de sacs and no one at home to mind the house when the turnover came.

  16. Martin. Couldn’t agree more. Kamikaze stuff from patton beggan and Morgan this weekend. Especially beggan .it’s simply crazy tactics. U lose the ball the goal line is empty. So stupid. Robbie stay in your square. Spillane called out Rochford and horan as been under pressure. James has taken us to 2 finals. Rochford! Bonner didn’t even get out of ulster. . Spillane knows well that this mayo team is within striking distance of the holy grail. Just trying to stir it up a bit. Great comeback from mayo but in all fairness donegal s tactics are brutal. To quote Rochford from his podcast a few months ago…. All field sports are now possession based….And as long as they play with that theory and negative back passing fir sake of possession they will never see an ulster title . Aos made a massive impact when he came in. But neither orme Loftus. Mcdonagh or Walsh produced yesterday.

  17. Here, we havet not beaten Dublin since 2012 in the league. We played them in a couple of weeks so, until then, a wise fool would keep it quiet whether they’re finished or not.

    It’s unlikely but they could come in a flutter yet. They were back training Sunday morning in Parnell Park.

    Either way it’s only a matter of time before Declan Darcy takes the reins from Farrell.

    As for ourselves I think the aim should be six points it will be enough to keep us up.

  18. Mayolass – I really think it’s time to move on from that day. Fogarty putting up that clip after a new inter-county season has begun is bordering on trolling and, Lord knows, there are enough bad-minded eejits trolling in that space as it is.

  19. Martin and craggy
    Couldn’t disagree more. It’s only kamikaze if you get caught. I think it’s a great tactic and one that will cause us all sorts of problems next weekend. Very hard to play against.
    A rule change will probably come down the line once more coaches use it. But for now I ask, how do you cope with it? I certainly don’t have the answer.

  20. @Ahnow

    Patton cost Donegal the game yesterday, and Comerford probably cost Dublin an all Ireland doing it last year. It has literally been kamikaze in 2 of our last 4 games

    It’s fairly easy to defend against, you swarm the goalie, once he’s held up the defense panic. They don’t know whether to cover the goal line or get involved around the ball

  21. Hi Willie Joe. I see Armagh V Tyrone along with 2 hurling matches are being shown by TG4 on Sunday. Its not available on GAAGO in Ireland either. Does that mean the Mayo match won’t be on TV until the highlights program?

  22. @Ciaran is absolutely correct regarding Sean O’Shea, the lad is a phenomenal footballer and anyone who believes he’s just a “free taker” clearly doesn’t watch enough football or see how important his role is in the team or that he’s well capable of scoring from play as well.

    @AndyD, Fenton, Kilkenny and James McCarthy all great footballers but I’d take Sean O’Shea any day ahead of them.

  23. I’ve no idea, Travelling Wilbury, but it sounds from that like it won’t be shown live. As Rob pointed out on the podcast the other evening, the GAA needs to sort out things on the streaming side. Covid released that genie from the bottle and it’s not credible for the GAA to try to undo arrangements that everyone has now got used to.

  24. FrostT, in my opinion both decisions were harsh, referees seem to be dying to penalise them for daring to come out the field.
    You say it’s easy to defend against, well let’s seen how we get on with Beggan and Morgan first, the two most forward galloping goalies in the game. Everyone found Morgan’s forays difficult to deal with last year even ourselves.

  25. Does anyone else think that Conroy plays too deep? Time and time again he tracks back and it’s really frustrating to watch because he needs to be left up front where he can cause the most damage. I’m pretty sure if he had been given the opportunity that Doherty got in the 2nd half yesterday he would have buried it. I think Conroy’s talents are wasted tracking back because once we win the ball back he has to make a lung-busting sprint to make it back into the forwards again and it just doesn’t work. He needs to be left up front where he can cause serious problems for the opposition, not stuck in our own 45 when we win a turnover. And yes, I’m aware that most forwards need to track back in the modern game but you can leave at least two up front most of the time.

  26. We got out of jail the last day. Hopefully that result should improve the team but this hang up of not starting games until mid way through the match has been going on for a good while now. I understand about growing into games but you still need good leaders on the pitch, And we had very few on display in the first half. Aidan came in and the game changed. Up to that the midfield was non-existant and Donegal controlled the middle. One of the strong point of Mayo historically was always out ability to be consistently strong in the middle, Horan has built on that by making us very strong in the 1/2 back line and competitive in the 1/2 fws. But that middle third axis that started against Donegal was very weak and in fairness we were found wanting as a result. Maybe as more lads come available this will be rectified as there are certainly players there who can make a difference especially in this area.

  27. Laughable that you can watch pretty much any club championship game on a streaming service but Mayo v Monaghan (and plenty other) division 1 matches can’t be watched anywhere? This is one of the biggest matches of the year. Absolute joke by the GAA, it’s 2022 not 1992

  28. Mayo45 – Tommy executed a number of turnovers yesterday, with perfectly-timed tackles, and more than once took off on a squirming, mazy run towards the Donegal defence, setting up a few scores in the process. He did plenty of damage for us in that way but how he didn’t get nailed in the process I do not know!

  29. Definitely WJ. Brave as anything, leaving himself open for a smashing. But he’s a big unit, so it would take a well-timed tackle by a hefty defender to nail him. He’s a handful because opposition will have to foul him or let him go. He’s so strong and fast.

  30. WJ and Liberal, did ye notice at one stage that Michael Murphy came in and shouldered Tommy hard on the right hand wing? I thought ‘Ouch!’ But then I had my mouth wide open as Tommy kept going and passed the ball to Jason Doherty, I think it was, who scored a crucial point.
    I was amazed at this and thought that lad had some strength. Murphy’s tackle didn’t stop him.

  31. Willie Joe – Just to be clear, I’m not criticising Tommy at all as I know that is how James wants him to play. I just want to see him staying in a more advanced position where I believe he will get more scores rather than tracking back so much.

  32. Was McLoughlin pulled up twice for over carrying the ball. Darren ó Sullivan used to run 10 steps and no foul.

  33. I don’t disagree with any of that, Mayo45. Up top is where we need him most for sure.

    I saw that one, Swallow Swoops! I really thought Tommy was going to get it there but he somehow avoided the hit.

  34. Mayo45……Your point is good. I was at the game and watched Tommie staying on the FF line for about 10 mins, obviously sticking to strategy and waiting for direct ball that never came……To be fair, he was as deep as you can get but eventually had to track back in search of possession……

  35. Ahnow . Patton cost donegal the points yesterday by coming out. Its heart in mouth kamikaze football and rest assured beggan will get caught out. Hopefully next weekend. Coming out in the hope he might score a point and if it goes wrong concede a goal. I’m not having it for one minute. Stupid tactics

  36. If patton cost donegal then you have to say beggan got a draw for monaghan.
    Hope he gets caught too next weekend. But I’m all for thinking outside the box and simply think this tactic is hard to combat. This tactic is mainly to give an extra option to players on the ball, scoring last weekend was a bonus. Anyway time will tell I suppose, but my own opinion is that this tactic is going to be used more widely, stupid as you call it or not.

  37. For those who didn’t see it, Rory Beggan had a “tuck it home” point just inside the 21 and 20 yards right of centre. He advanced into a big tennis court sized unmarked space and was the obvious best placed player.

  38. Had a discussion with someone on the Beggan thing and this whole new fad of goalies spending most of the the time up the pitch, them claiming its the second coming of Christ and me claiming its pure daftness. Their argument was but didnt Beggan score a point, maybe so but isnt that what your forwards are for? Spend more time on the training pitch developing patterns of play to allow forwards or outfield players in general to score rather than this fecken gimmick.

  39. Tyrone won the All Ireland with that gimmick.
    Monaghan lost to them by 1pt with that gimmick.
    Its main value is the 7th unmarked defender, not any scoring.

  40. As I said scoring the point was a bonus really. This tactic was originally to create an overlap from well inside your own half and then retreat back to goals. Beggan has just taken it to a new level by showing he’s not afraid to go over the halfway line.
    East Cork, you say that’s what forwards are for, but Beggan was there to draw a defender on to him to free up a forward to receive the ball and score. No defender came so he received the ball in acres of space and showed he could score too. I’m sure they’ve spent plenty of time on the training pitch developing this and it’s working.

  41. I feel regular use of a fly goalie is a problem in the making. I’m just waiting for him to be caught out in space and the other team to put the ball fast up the field and in the net. That all depends on lightning speed but I would be targeting that if I knew I was playing against a team commonly using this ploy.

    Where I think it could be good is if all other options are off – like at end of game and you’re trailing by a score. Then I’d come out of goal and go for broke with an extra man.
    After AIF in 2017 (with benefit of hindsight) I thought there was an option there for David Clarke to come out the field with the ball when our main men were being pulled to the ground in the closing minute or so. It wasn’t a done thing then but it’d put the cat among the pigeons at that stage. We always know best after the fact : )

  42. I wouldn’t be too quick writing off fly keepers, if done properly it can be very effective and it will evolve so it’s something Mayo need to be prepared for.

    I’d blame McHugh more than Patton because it was a poor decision and poor pass to him, tiredness and lack of concentration from McHugh.

    It’s easy to pick holes in it but we could do that with any move that leads to a score for the opposition.

  43. @Sawllow Swops.
    That preplanned incident against Dublin you refer to was when Clarkie was taking a restart at the end of the game.He had no option to flick it to himself and run out with it.

  44. FW, thanks for this! Helps to have some clarity and wake me out of daydreaming. I evidently hadn’t thought it through deeply enough. I was too busy indulging thoughts of Clarkie sailing past offending Dublin players, defying their base tactics.
    I didn’t think at all of the rule constraints the goalie was under.
    I remember the incident indeed. I wonder if he could have run out the maximum distance allowed and launched a kick into midfield/half forwards, or if that would have made a difference.
    On a second option, I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t think either that he couldn’t kick it to himself and go on a run. (I was busy getting carried away!)

  45. It’s very important to keep an open mind about the evolution of the game regardless of whether you agree with it or not because otherwise you get left behind because of stubbornness.

    There is a massive untapped resource of tactics that can be brought into the game but from my experience the biggest thing holding this back is the fear of change, the fear of it going wrong and traditionalists who have a very simple view of the game.

    So it’s risky talking down the idea of having a fly keeper, people need to realize it’s an option that needs to be available to be used in a risk averse way.

    The day will come when outfield players are converted into goalkeepers, that will happen.

  46. Agree with all the posters about the lack of live coverage from the national leagues. It’s a real kick in the teeth for supporters of all ages. The majority of people going to all league games have prepaid tickets so it’s not down to the old argument that live games reduces attendances/income. Time for the GAA to wake up yet again and will provide the service for its many followers.

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