Monday match reports

The bad news is that it’s Monday morning once again. The good news, however, is that there’s a bit of online coverage about what was, for the greater part, a successful weekend for the county. Here goes:

Men’s win over Armagh

Locals: Connaught Telegraph, Mayo Advertiser, Belfast Live (live blog).

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

Others: GAA, RTÉ, The 42, Chloe Lynch.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho.

Video: GAA (extended highlights).

Women’s win over Galway

Connaught Telegraph, Ladies Football, Sportsfile (photos).

Hurlers’ loss to Derry

Connaught Telegraph.

U20s’ narrow loss to Derry

Mayo GAA.

Right, that’s your lot for now. Club members on Patreon can look forward to our match review episode of the podcast, which will be online a bit later on today.

The MOTM poll is still open here on the blog too and it will remain open until later on this evening, after which I’ll be back on with the result of the vote. Have a good one, y’all.

46 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Thanks Willie Joe. Reading the comments of Horan and McGeeney, they both seem to agree: Mayo were no great shakes! McGeeney said Mayo weren’t even coming on to Armagh, Armagh just gave the ball away in the last ten minutes. James, on Mid West yesterday seemed quite frustrated; Mayo playing into Armagh’s hands, couldn’t get their game going and so on.

    Not being at it (soooooo frustrating), I can’t really judge, but looking at our performances so far, there is something lacking. Have we become more defensive, and is this at the expense of expansive forward play? We seem to be ekeing out scores, and, as others have pointed out, the half forward line is still a problem, Diarmuid apart ( a big apart).

    Kerry are scoring freely, against the same opponents we have beaten, but only just. Galway too are shooting the lights out in Division 2. Our points difference is +9; not great for a top of the table team.

    Yes, we have lots of options, and it’s only February. Hard grounds should suit us better. As a plan B, Let’s book the Hyde for April 24th; it’s our lucky venue.

  2. I love it when opposition managers lose to us and say “ye aren’t great”. Well we just took ur unbeaten record so what does that say about u?

  3. Noelle Healy on the Sunday Game remarked that Ryan Donoghue ‘ came in for a lot of criticism after last year’s All Ireland Final’ – personally I thought he was excellent on the day – ok, a missed penalty but professional soccer players take much worse penalties than Ryan D did.
    Another example of lazy analysis on RTÉ !

  4. McGeeney’s comments will hopefully be noted by Mayo and they might not stand off the Armagh men as much the next time they meet. Still though, I don’t think McGeeney intended it as an insult to Mayo.

  5. In fairness McGeeney just says it as he sees it and sometimes maybe without thinking. The players were not as cohesive as against Dublin and it always seems that we come away punch drunk after we beat Dublin so there may be a little overhang of that. James Horan will have to soon settle on a team. April is getting close. I enjoyed the match and never thought we were going to lose it. Our shooting and shot choices have gone backwards and it was the legs to play 75+ mins that saw us through coupled with the oul heads. Overall we got a result but the same cracks and defending issues are there but refereeing decisions did not help and that has to be frustrating. I watched our goalie get injured during the warm up and groaned because it felt it might be one of those days that suck the joy out of you when you feel we are on the up. Kerry unfortunately will magnify our problems. On another note, maybe watching yesterdays Monaghan match might give goalies an idea why they are there as the last line of defence – not to chase glory up the field.

  6. Would like to see more of Jack Carney. Think he should get a start down in Tralee. Seems to be comfortable at the level so far.

  7. I would say we’re not playing well through all games but winning is good and the fast pitches should suit us although it seems ridiculous to be playing Galway in April. If we beat Galway the Rosies are going well. Galway probably suit a fast pitch too so it evens out.
    Kerry will be a tough game and we’ll be underdogs for that one and they fielded close to championship 15 against Monaghan. If we can add to HF line I think we can win it although McDonagh was credited with preventing a goal chance he’s not featuring enough in the scoring zone. Not easy for half forwards when they’re asked to put in huge work rates and still score but Diarmaid for one seems to have found his groove.
    The score in Monaghan game flattered Kerry a good bit because the roving goalie tactic finally backfired on a massive scale but no doubt Kerry were the better team. Monaghan may have over trained whereas Kerry don’t need to , such is the weakness of their province. They are ticking over very nicely. I like Kerry but don’t like Jack’s style, he has to be the most dour manager around. True they have conceded the least so far but what really matters is championship and they have 2 dead rubbers before meeting the Leinster champions.

  8. To be fair to mcgeeney i dont think he is having a dig at mayo there, i think it his exasperation as the scores at the end being self-inflicted by armagh, for example oisin o neill coughed up a shocking possession for Jordan Flynns point which proved extremely costly

    Its defintely way more positives than negatives, great to be getting the results and all that but the important thing is that suddenly it looks like there is a bit of genuine depth there. For the first time in years JH will be going into championship game against Galway where he has lots of tough choices to make, whereas many years 13 of the team would pick itself.
    I certainly believe we need to stick with AOS and Kevin as subs, they are far better suited now to coming on and helping with the final push over the line. Its high time we had impact off the bench

  9. I agree supermac. An easy ‘out’ for James would be to start the likes of Kevin and Aidan in the HF line given our lack of scores from there over the past year, however the evidence is crystal clear that they’re better coming off the bench. James must continue trying out different players here. There’s still time. There are no standouts though, and that’s a worry.

  10. I would not be too concerned about the Kerry or Tyrone games coming up in March. We are as well to use these games for further experimentation and get more minutes into the likes of Brendan Harrison, Jason Doc and hopefully Cillian. All eyes should be on April 24th from now on as we are definitely safe from relegation now. Getting to a league final won’t matter a fuck.

  11. Agree with Quayman

    aside from the Dublin game it wouldn’t have taken a huge swing in the other 3 games and we could very well be sitting on just 2 points now with a huge uphill battle to save our division 1 status

    I’d say 7 pts from 4 games is more than even Horan expected, survival assured after 4 games is better than most would have hoped for really.

    Gives us an opportunity to try a few things now, am personally not all that pushed about winning the league, 2019 was great to actually win a national title but we ended losing to Roscommon a few weeks later and getting hammered by both Dublin and Kerry that summer, so it didn’t really have much of an effect come championship.

    The Galway game will be astronomical. They look in far better shape than the last 2 seasons already, while so far it seems there’s no hangover from last year’s final on our part

  12. Ciaran – I don’t think Galway should be judged on their last 3 games, they have yet to play any of the teams challenging them for promotion.

    They do look in better shape and you can only play what is in front of you but they still need to prove they can do it against the bigger teams. Roscommon and Derry will both fancy their chances against Galway.

    As for ourselves, we are in a good position now and can try things.

    I would like to see Aiden Orme, Jack Carney, Enda Hession and Jordan Flynn start the remainder of the Games.

    I would like to see Rory Byrne and Colm Reape start at least 1 each of the remaining 3 games (potentially 4).

    I would also like to see David McBrien, Mark Moran, Rory Brickiden, Frank Irwin, Donnacha McHugh, Brendan Harrison, Jason Doherty, Fergal Boland and James Carr get plenty of minutes in the legs either off the bench or starting.

  13. Was at game yesterday,very enjoyable day out great to see live football again and be among mayo fans.
    Armagh were very defensive 15 men behind ball.we were average at best.we will get better when “when the bumble hits the window pane”. Could anyone tell me,is there a back door this year.?

  14. And if Galway go out and as expected beat those sides the narrative will probably be that its only Division 2 and they’ve beaten no-one

    We need to tread very carefully ahead of April, and we need to view Galway as a genuine division 1 side who will take serious beating. Last time we came into the championship in flying form from division 1 we were ran out of the Connacht championship by Roscommon – who we probably took too lightly (they were relegated whereas we actually won the league). As bad as Galway were the last two seasons, we were a cynical foul from going out to them in 2020 and who know what might have happened had Shane Walsh stayed on the field last year, after they dominated the first half

    I wouldn’t underestimate the effect NUIGs win might have on some of their players either and ominously he seems to be finding a settled team after a complete rosary beads approach to team selection the last 2 years. Owen Gallagher has probably been the newcomer of the season so far

    Mayo should be favourites as things stand but honestly a reality check or two may be no harm at all during the remainder of the league if it ensures our minds are fully focused for champ. Some of these players have probably not even lost a competitive fixture at senior level to Galway and maybe that can bring its own hindrances, this fixture has traditionally thrown up surprises – 1999, 2005, 2007, 2016, 2017 to name but a few in more recent times – form can very much go out the window

    We need to be as up for this game as we are Kerry or Dublin in the latter stages, and treat Galway with as much respect

  15. Shuffly Deck – ‘two dead rubbers before meeting the Leinster champions’. Unless Kerry have a special exemption (nothing would surprise me these days), they will have a quarter final, where the opposition could well be an Ulster heavyweight. Even a semi against Leinster opposition is not guaranteed, because the Leinster champions could be knocked out at the QF stage, perhaps by another Ulster, or Connaught! heavyweight.

  16. While we don’t appear to be 100% mathematically safe from Relegation, it would seem Kerry aren’t either. It would take a very specific set of results for us to drop at this stage. If Monaghan lose any of their final 3 games then we’re safe regardless as at that point nether Monaghan or Dublin could catch us.

  17. Paddy durcan named in the gaa team of the week, not bad going for someone who only came on as a sub.

  18. Winning close games and coming from behind to do so is very good for morale. It would not have been a surprise if we had a slow start to the league on the back of a poor performance in the AI Final but credit to the managers and players this has not happened. I dont think anyone is surprised by Kerry. Under their new manager and on the back of their disappointing performance v Tyrone last year they were always going to hit the ground running. They have some superb forwards and O Connor is obviously working on tightening the defence as was his sour dissatisfaction at conceding an irrelevant goal at the end of yesterday’s game. In contrast to Mayo, Kerry have won all games at a canter except v Kildare. One would expect them to beat Mayo at the moment and I expect JH will make a number of changes the next day as well. We have issues at half forward so no harm to keep experimenting and giving players opportunities. At this moment in time O Shea and the Cliffords look untouchable, but it’s a long time yet until the serious football will be played. We are going nicely, need to avoid injuries and get a few more lads back.

  19. Ciaran – I dont think James Horan or the Mayo squad will take their eye of the ball against Galway, they will know what they need to do in order to get the result.

    As for the fans, its irrelevant what we say or think but i agree Galway should be treated with the respect of a division 1 team. We can focus on Galway now while they still have 2-3 really important games to get over first before they can focus on us.

    Lets enjoy the rest of the league and worry about Galway closer to the time.

  20. We have about as much chance of being relegated at this stage as Roscommon have of winning the All-Ireland this year, could it happen, yes, will it happen , no.

    If Armagh beat Kildare in the first game of the next round then we cant possibly be relegated because even though Kildare could still finish on 7 points if they win their last 2 games, it would mean that they would need to beat Monaghan to achieve that and consequently Monaghan could then only reach a maximum of 6 points.

    Can’t wait for this big relegation battle in Tralee. :-).

  21. @jkell88. Agree with your last paragraph. Let’s enjoy the league as supporters and worry about the galway game nearer the time. Is it not enough to be critical when the team loses?l would like to think the team and management have enough cop to keep galway in mind. It’s great to have a team who will fight to the end and more often than not come out on top. God knows we have witnessed enough last minute escapes so let’s try enjoy what we have now and that’s not being foolish just sit back and enjoy the show.

  22. Great post Ciaran. There will be no danger whatsoever of us not treating Galway with respect. We stumbled over the line against them in 2020 and we were 5 points down at half time in last years Connacht final. We will know we are in for a battle and I fully expect us to be prepared for one.
    We are motoring on nicely ourselves and all this without Cillian or Tommy Conroy. If we can get Cillian and Jason Doc back then that will set us up nicely. James Horan has done brilliantly to keep us competitive with all of the retirements in recent years.
    Galway are heading in the right direction but they shipped 2-17 to Cork at the weekend and will know they will have to tighten up defensively to have any chance of progressing.

  23. FDB, you’ve worried me a little on the maths!

    Still, I feel we are safe (I know that’s a negative way of looking at it), and so the (likely to be) much hyped top of the table clash at Tralee won’t be quite a shit or bust game. James will experiment a bit, and we won’t be tuned 100% – because we won’t have to be. Kerry likely to be the same, but their scoring capabilities may see them through. That’s the thing about the league; even though its very competitive, managers take chances in certain games, certain games are not as competitive because teams are safe. Take a mid table ‘safe’ team against a team who desperately need the points to survive, even if they have been crap in previous matches.

  24. WJ: if the above picture is from your location at the match, how da heck do you manage to get so much accurate details for your excellent match report(s)?.
    I was at a better vantage point but on occassion missed a foul or who took a particular shot from either team.

  25. My Left Foot – I was tapping out updates on scores etc. for the Discord chat as the match was happening and that’s what I used as my main reference when writing up the match report. That made recalling what happened when a bit easier!

    The photo actually makes it look as if it was taken from further away but it was in reality an excellent vantage point high up near the back of the stand close to halfway.

  26. I think Mayo should thank the Roscommon County Board for the use of Dr Hyde Park yesterday. It is now one of the best playing surfaces in Ireland, absolutely in excellent condition yesterday after two or three of the worst weeks of weather for a long time, and the lines marking the pitch really stand out. Who knows we (Mayo) might require it again for a home championship game!

  27. Galway Roscommon last round of the league is starting to look rather tasty.
    Trying to do the maths in my head but looks to me like the only way that’ll be a dead rubber is if both of them beat Derry, and they’re down to meet in the final

  28. Catcol, I wouldn’t be worried – the results needed for that to happen are very specific and assumes we get no points from our remaining games, that Tyrone and Kildare both get 4 points from their remaining games and that Monaghan get minimum of 5 points from theirs. It also assumes that Donegal and Armagh all get at least 2 points from their games.
    While there’s nothing to say that the whole confluence of events above might not happen , you’d get long enough odds on that accumulator if you were to find a bookie to take that bet. Paddy Power don’t appear to be offering odds on ourselves or Kerry to be Relegated and the longest odds they are offering is for Donegal at 20/1.
    As for interesting permutations, my preferred outcome next weekend is for Kildare to Win, Tyrone to Win, Mayo to Win and I’m not so bothered as to what happens between Donegal and Monaghan, but have a marginal preference for Donegal there.

  29. Thanks FDB.
    Watched the highlights again just now. Notwithstanding my somewhat negative assessment of or overall league performance, that last point was an astonishing passage of play. Armagh had the advantage of a kick, with O’Neill, who better, the taker. Magnificent catch by Aido, great hands by any number of players, and the devastating running game, with Paddy at the end of it. Best score of the league by any team.

  30. Another good result for us. Due deep. Old heads to the fore. .I posted a few weeks ago about goalkeeper s coming out being stupid. Ask beggan how stupid it is. Not once but twice. Robbie stay on your line. Its an idiots game.

  31. Catcol, rewound that passage of play twice on highlights..It was savage..At high speed too ..
    Thoroughly enjoyed yesterday..The spin from Castlebar, the atmosphere and of course snatching a win when Armagh looked like taking all the points in the 65th minute..Really appreciate these days now more than ever.
    Great for Rory Byrne to get a full game ..The swap for Hennelly was literally being announced as the ball hit the back of the net for Armagh ..You ciuldnt make it up!
    Thought Flynn looked very comfortable in midfield.His distribution skills looked good and he had the confidence to take a shot that put us ahead late on..
    I rolled my eyes when Spillane flagged the game against Kerry as our litmus test but in all honesty he’s prob right..

  32. Leantimes, Mayo should opt for Hyde Park for the Galway game if MacHale Park is still out of action.

    It a superb and fast playing surface simliar to Croke Park and John Prenty and Co shouldn’t be moving Connacht championship games out of Connacht

  33. I also noticed how Gooch called us a “plucky” team, on the face of it paying us a nice compliment. But the truth is they don’t rate us whatsoever. But it’s the old cliché – until we win one (and stop losing them in every conceivable way) we won’t be respected as genuine contenders.

  34. Mayo’s final two games against Tyrone and Kildare will be against teams seeking to avoid relegation, thus the “wanting it more” might come into it. Even if Tyrone beat Dublin in 2 weeks time and go to 5 points, they will want a win or draw against Mayo to be safe as their last game is away.

    Surprised to see Tyrone are playing Kerry in Killarney again for the second year running on their last fixture, all 4 final div 1 games down for Sunday 27th March at 1:45pm. I had forgotten this can happen the odd time, when one team already (in this case Tyrone) reaches 4 home games.

    Kerry might even let Tyrone win it this year or at least not give them a 6 goal pasting (6-15 to 1-14) as in 2021. Quote of the year was Peter Keane’s post-match statement “if you took the goals out of the game there wasn’t a whole pile in the scoreboard at the end of it,” 
    Turned out he was right by year’s end.

  35. Lads an ladies, I’m only back having been away for a while.
    Remind me who swanny is please?

  36. Another gratifying and narrow win, grafting out a result in difficult circumstances. Winning is a good habit to get in to, but surely it can’t be a part of the game plan to keep giving our opponents leads from the very start of the game? We seem to be very loose in the opening period before storming back into games in the second period.

    Our seasoned players came to the fore again, big contributions from Aido, Kevin McLoughlin and Paddy D again. Also thought Ryan O’Donoghue and Diarmuid were excellent again.

    One minor thing I noticed yesterday was from the opening throw-in, one of the Armagh midfielders turned as the ball was in flight and thundered right into Diarmuid O’Connor (I think), without ever looking at the ball, right in front of the referee, who let the play continue. This has been going on years at this stage (especially to Aido) and never gets penalized.

    Any word on the sick list, Hennelly, Doherty and Brendan Harrison? Tommy C being a long term casualty, of course.

  37. Would like Horan go for a half forward line off Jason Doherty, Diarmuid and Jordan Flynn with Aidan and Matty midfield all brillant in the air would give great options for long kickouts for Robbie, very risky going short against a Kerry press remember 2019 in Killarney.
    The 2 key match ups would be Oisin marking David Clifford and Leeroy tagging Seanie O’Shea
    Could also maybe put Paddy Durcan right half Forward to track Gavin White at 7 and put Hession back at 5.
    10 Doherty

  38. @Mayomagic.. I agree with you Mayo should nominate Dr Hyde Park for their ‘Home’ fixture v Galway, but only if Mchale Park cannot be used, it remains to be seen, probably need better weather than we experienced in February for that to happen and who knows we might just get a good early Spring?, We certainly could do with it… Pearce Stadium Salthill also has an excellent playing surface, as most grounds that host top class hurling match’s tend to have. The only constant problem with Pearce Stadium is the wind from the Atlantic that all too often ruin’s many a game.. From a supporter point of view, parking and the gridlock traffic trough the City of Galway is a nightmare.

  39. Agreed liberal role in the tie.
    You never hear of serious, well respected sides being called “plucky”

    That’s the kind of thing we would call Leitrim or Sligo, and gives a good indication of what Kerry people think of us deep down.

  40. I would show Kerry nothing of our hand in this league game. It’s a nothing game really. Give young lads a chance to experience playing at that level which will hold them in good stead going forward. I’d leave Cillian until the next game against Tyrone too

  41. Our time has come, it’s very tempting to go out all guns blazing against them but could you imagine the hype machine in Mayo if we did get a win? (Mind you with the price of diesel it might be lying silent by April :D)

    I’d like to see Cillian get some game time if he’s fully fit, but I definitely wouldn’t be rushing it for the sake of it being a game against Kerry (and I know Horan won’t). I’d agree with you, I’d rather see the young lads get that time into their legs; we don’t need a win (despite the doomsday mathematical scenarios elsewhere in these comments) and I’d also rather see Kerry being hyped up again nice and early on.

    I thought it was interesting to see Horan be so decisive and proactive on the line on Sunday from early on though – it definitely felt like he wanted a result.

  42. Is Horan wearing ear piece new , don’t remember him using this before , but seems to be making quick decision in all matches this year

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