Monday match reports

Mondays just aren’t the same when the match coverage concerns a defeat rather than a victory. But, never mind, summer time is back and we’re off to Croke Park for the League final on Sunday. Things could be a lot worse.

Right, let’s dive into the online coverage of yesterday’s defeat to Monaghan as well as the LGFA win over Donegal. Given the amount of matches on across the country yesterday, there isn’t all that much to link to, in all honesty, about the games involving us.

Mayo v Monaghan

Locals: Connaught Telegraph, Northern Sound.

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

Others: GAA, RTÉ, The 42.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile, Mayo GAA, Michael Maye.

Video: Michael Maye (highlights), Midwest Radio (post-match with Kevin McStay).

If it’s audio you’re after, our Final Whistle pod recorded at MacHale Park after the game hits the spot nicely. Mike and I are on it and we’ve post-game comments from Kevin McStay and Monaghan’s main man, Conor McManus. The show is available on Patreon – here.

Donegal v Mayo

Match reports: Ladies Football, Connaught Telegraph, Midwest Radio, Donegal Live.

Video: Ladies Football (highlights and post-match with Kathryn Sullivan).

That’s the lot on the match coverage front.

The MOTM poll on the Monaghan game is still running, by the way, with a tight race in the voting between the two young guns who excelled for us yesterday. Back later on with the result of that.

54 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Looking forward to the game Sunday. Galway praise from me is very rare but for anyone who didn’t see them yesterday they gave a great defensive display and seem to have a good system but hopefully can be got at in the big space of Croker. It will tell us where abouts we are in the pecking order. If mayo lose I’ll be telling the galweigans sure didn’t we make 9 or 10 changes from last week.

  2. On reflection of the game I’m not as doom and gloom as some posters .
    We made 10 changes from previous game against a decent team fighting for their survival in Div 1.
    Lads looked nervous as obviously a lot of them knew this was their chance to impress . I felt we improved as they settled into the game.
    We went behind and fought back to within a point of them which showed attitude and character.
    Monaghan were the better team on the day but think 3 points the better team was a truer reflection of the game . Management and the players themselves will have learned alot from the game .
    Galway are a serious team but will meet a far different team next Sunday. I think Croker will suit both teams . Galway will be hot favorites I’d imagine but I’ve seen enough in the league to suggest we will give them a good rattle and wouldn’t die of shock if we beat them .
    Great to be back in Croker challenging for silverware.

  3. Well done to Monaghan. McManus showed his class once again today. O’Hora lacking game time was obvious for all to see but game will bring him on. Our shooting let us down big time. Midfield was in trouble all day. Some forwards afraid to shoot. Loose defending especially for the first goal. Lack of physicality against a more mature Monaghan team. Not sure why Robbie was out in the middle of the pitch leaving no one in our half of the pitch. All that said it was basically a team that hadn’t played together before and you learn a lot when you lose. If that game was played again next week I would not be surprised if Mayo won. Our unbeaten run perhaps left us expecting too much from yesterday’s team. Looking forward to first visit of the year to Croker. Will be a cracker!

  4. Fair to say the Mayo/Galway rivalry is taking on a whole new dimension. Where previously we were all gunning for a one-off Connacht championship meeting each summer, the two sides are liable to play each other as many times this year and next year as they previously did across an entire decade. Unfortunately the spice may well go out of the occasion as a result and it’ll just become a multi-annual fixture, with some games more important than others

    I watched back the Galway match last night and was very impressed with them. It still wasn’t perfect, Kerry – who still look a bit off full pelt – pegged them back a few times, and it was still a fluke goal which ultimately was the difference, but what has been most satisfying for Galway is they are really building good squad depth and they now have the best defence in the country, a far cry from a few years ago. The ominous thing is that there is still improvement in them – Comer is now coming back to full fitness, McDaid still has to return, and I’d be shocked if Walsh went a championship game scoreless from play. They’re roaring All Ireland contenders as things stand

    Very hard to know how next week will go. I don’t think the extra game is any harm for either team. The provincials have lost a lot of lustre with the new format, so its a fine opportunity to win a trophy without having to be too concerned with the next few weeks. I suspect Galway have a better team at present but these matches often take on a life of their own, and I still think Galway aren’t putting away teams convincingly enough. With a few swings they could have been in a relegation battle in the league despite being, in my view, the best team in it this year. It might be one Mayo need to win a small bit more, I think two losses on the bounce could start to heap a bit more pressure on the team. It’ll also be another national final lost to add to an ever-growing list

  5. All indications seem to be that it will be Sunday for the match but is there an actual official statement somewhere?I can’t seem to find one. I assume it’s with the Dubs which should make for a big crowd albeit it will empty out after their game.

  6. I don’t understand the negativity from plenty.
    There wouldn’t be many who would have predicted Mayo in a league final. The best hope was to avoid relegation in many eyes. If the best 15 had started yesterday then we would have won. No disrespect to Monaghan.
    We will be a different animal next Sunday and the rest for some of our lads will have done them no harm.
    Galway look sound defensively but we have height speed and mobility in our ranks so it may help us on the bigger pitch.
    The bookies have Galway as marginal favourites but I fully expect us to turn up next week.

  7. I dont agree that Mayo need the win more Ciaran. Galway have been talked up massively since Joyce took over and have not delivered any silverware yet other than 1 Connacht title and a few FBD titles in his 4 seasons.

    When he took the job in 2019 his first comments and objective was to win an all Ireland, if Galway win against us on Sunday us would be massive for their development and i think they deserve to be favorites for sam this year, if they lose it will be 4 final losses under Joyce in croke park (Connacht Final, Div 2 Final, All Ireland Final). It will be interesting to see if they can back up all the talk now when they come up against the so called easiest team to beat in a national final.

    Sunday is more a free shot for us who are rebuilding and under new managment. We probably weren’t expecting to find ourselves in a League Final this year. McStay in his early interviews mentioned his objective is to Win Connacht again so i’d see the Roscommon game as a more important one for us.

  8. Thanks Willie Joe. You’d imagine they’ll need to announce it soon as they’ll want to sell as many tickets as possible. My reasons are a bit more selfish – I’m working on Saturday but I’d be able to go on Sunday!Should be a cracker!Maigh Eo Abú!

  9. KevinB, McStay has also bigged up the importance of the league. Even yesterday in his post match interview this was a theme, and talk of getting silverware in cupboard.
    I have not heard all Joyces interviews this year, but do not recall it coming up in what I have heard. on that basis (unless there is interview somewhere I missed), onus is on us next weekend more so.

    Looking forward to Sunday as after that, despite championship the week after the reality is the next very important game is in the round Robin. as we can in theory lose:
    – League Final
    – Rd 1 Championship v Roscommon
    – Rd 1 round robin
    – Rd 2 round robin
    And then Win/Draw Rd 3 round robin and get to next stage.

  10. I agree with Sean Burke above. Galway have talent all over the field but in particular up the centre, the backbone, no weaknesses. The league journey has been on an upward curve and their performance v Kerry was a finished product. And they have strength in depth.
    Our own path, we shot out of the blocks, in terms of fitness, improved our game management and play to a pattern.
    But the one position we havent come to grips with is the ‘6’ and if yesterdays effort was an attempt to clarify how we defend at this pivotal position, it buckled after the first five minutes with Doherty at sea through no fault of his own.
    I know MsStay & co. are big into analysis and it might serve them better to look at the G>alway Kerry match for inspiration in this case. Loftus has performed adequately as ‘sweeper’ if you like, but the physical aggression that comes through that central position is not curbed. Makes O Briens position at full back almost untenable. We have a week to sort this one…

  11. Off topic I’d like to wish cora the best in her retirement from the professional game. A true legend in every way. Went to Australia in her mid 30s and broke lots of records since and would probably have been successful at any sport she wanted. Waiting to see herself and lee in studio for the all ireland final this year as part of the competing team panel. Good luck cora

  12. “Galway have been talked up massively since Joyce took over”

    Really? By who? When he took them over they were at a bit of a crossroads at the end of a poor season

    They were underdogs in all but one championship match last year, were very much under the radar in the league until the win in Armagh

    I don’t think I’ve actually seen an elite side talked up less. If Galway and Dublin win next weekend there will be far more coverage of the latter

    Their own fanbase are also generally cautious in their analysis of them. There’s no fanfare within the county either as they are one of several teams – Connacht and the hurlers attract lots of support also, so football results don’t carry the same level of coverage as in counties like Mayo

    Galway are in an ideal position and I don’t think a loss next weekend impacts their season too much

  13. Some talk about Galway here as if they are on a par with the Dublin 6 in a row team.
    I could have sworn we beat Kerry more comfortably. Maybe I am missing something.

  14. The great David Clifford kept scoreless from play yesterday by the fantastic Sean Kelly..

  15. Ciaran you for one have talked them up massively for the past 12 months on this blog. You just posted the below is that not talking galway up ?

    “they are really building good squad depth and they now have the best defence in the country, a far cry from a few years ago. The ominous thing is that there is still improvement in them – Comer is now coming back to full fitness, McDaid still has to return, and I’d be shocked if Walsh went a championship game scoreless from play. They’re roaring All Ireland contenders as things stand”

  16. Tuamstar – Sean Kelly is having a fantastic season not many have got the better of him in games over the past 12 months.

  17. Spot on ‘onthditch’, this one will be a real test for Mayo to see where we are really at.

  18. Are we really at the stage where we can’t actually praise other teams here – especially one that has made the last two national finals – without being called out on it?

  19. You right Kevin, I would have preferred to avoid Galway next week, they are a serious outfit. And credit to Joyce after a shaky start off he’s done a fine job, Cian O’Neill seems to have been a huge addition.

    It will be a big acid test. I’m with ontheditch and outsideBallagh. I’m not sure of our defensive structure, I hope to be proven wrong but when we’ve been attacked through the heart we’ve been exposed. Diarmuid has to do Trojan work at his own role and covering deeper in defense.
    I’m not sure we get the perceived attacking edge many proclaim from the QB role.

  20. Galway would beat France tonight , Sean Kelly would have mbappe in his pocket , that’s how good Galway are .

  21. Praise away ciaran ye deserve all the praise with how ye went about yer business to get to the league final. It is time for Galway to step up now and back up all the talk.

  22. PJ is in his fourth year – I think – as Galway manager. Therefore, the squad should know his system of play inside out at this stage. McStay is in year 1 and lads are still learning his system. Also this is the first time it will be tried out in Croke Park. Outside of Mcdaid – a great footballer- Galway should have all their championship squad available. Anything less than a comfortable Galway victory would be a set back for PJ and his management team.

  23. On the centre back issue I think we touched on it a few weeks back on how difficult it is to turn a long term forward into a defender. The fact is the role is so different it takes a lot of time to change your whole way of thinking, not Jason’s fault alone yesterday but for the first goal how did that man manage to sneak so far up the field unnoticed. Not sure if he was even Doc’s man at the time but it looked like we were trying to play him offside. As a forward you get away with letting your guard down for spells with no consequences but as a defender you need to be always on. The Loftus experiment will have to be persevered with now at least for the next few games with Diarmuid having to station himself as our defensive mid man and hope Mattie can do some damage joining the attack. Diarmuid could play the 6 role perfectly. Shame we haven’t 2 of him.

  24. 2 hops is now not the time to try something new e.g. Plunkett, Paddy, McLoughlin etc. as next few games are last we can really try out another system?

    SouthMayo Exile, while you are correct, O’Neill is not as long there and that’s where the big change has been for Galway, in defense. I do not see a huge step change in system for Mayo, we move the ball a bit quicker at times alright, but nothing revolutionary. our defense coach is in his 7th/8th year with Mayo also.

  25. Ciaran, for a Mayo man you seem to have a lot of love for Galway. Each to their own.

    Galway are going well but let’s see at the end of the year who is sitting atop the mountain. Lot of football to be played yet.

  26. @Giz I’d hate to tie Paddy up in the centre,I think he’s worth more to us raiding down the wings. I’d be a bit worried that the other ;ads you mention wouldn’t have the physical strength to hault a , marauding McDaid or the likes.

  27. Interesting point on two DoC’s. If Loftus plan does fully backfire, wonder if one option is to go with DoC at 6 and Touhy at 9. Feels like a big ask for someone that fresh into the panel though.

    Personally think an incentivized Galway are a great team to be playing to see how this approach pans out (although Hession and potentially McLaughlin out does have an impact on the unit as a whole). If the kicking isn’t on, then at least Loftus was part of the midfield under Horan that had us focusing on recycling of possession.

  28. Is enda hession out , I can’t remember rightly was it just cillian that mcstay said should be ok for championship or was it both he included ?

  29. @Gizmobobs: Who’s the defence coach in the 7th or 8th year?

    Not sure I’d agree with the premise if it’s Donie Buckley being spoken of.

    A four year gap is a fair while in GAA given Donie left the setup back at the end of ’18. When you take someone like him who’s so well known for working his socks off in the off season and reinventing his coaching techniques, strategies and tactics travelling the world to learn from other sports it’s a world of difference in his execution as well as time. With our squad having an average age of just a shade over 25 (with a couple of outliers pushing into their 30s doing their best to increase it) the majority of the side would never have met Donie before the start of the year.

    Some fairly stark differences in how the team is selected (the profile of the half forward line the most obvious), setting up (defensive positioning of the half forward line the most obvious) and executing the defensive system this year. It’s not perfect, yet, and still needs plenty of work from a theory and execution point of view but from what we’ve seen so far the signs are very positive.

  30. @Tuamstar, I wouldn’t be anointing Sean Kelly yet. Fairly sure I remember Clifford scoring heavily in the biggest game of all last year when Kelly was supposed to be marking him. By the way, Tierney is much more of an impressive player for Galway than Kelly.

    Galway are clearly comfortable in the their structure now, and very strong in defense. Mayo felt the brunt of this in Castlebar last year when they struggled to break them down. However, I think Mayo are much better in attack this year – Horan’s teams were very one dimensional. Should make for a good game.

  31. Whoever thinks we are raging hot favs on Sunday tbh I think that is a poor attempt at building a side up. In fairness Ciaran has a decent pulse of where football is in Galway. We just don’t command the same fervour from our fans (apart from the solid core) like ye do or indeed our hurlers do. In other words the hurlers capture the hearts and minds of the casual Galwegian more so than our footballers. Mind you the casual fan is starting to take notice. On Sunday both teams are pretty equal if league performances so far are anything to go by. Our two key offensive threats are not fully at it yet (Comer not fully back from injury) but this is somewhat negated by the fact your Conroy looks still in a similar boat. Both sides have unearthed some gems (Sam Callinan your stand out imo) and Carney looks like he will be a solid senior footballer. Flynn up there with the best curently so McDaid a big loss for us if he is absent again on Sunday. Defensively we are very solid but our offensive threat while hopefully will be fully at it come high Summer are only scoring in short block periods these days. I presume ye will revert back to the goalie who manned that position for most of the league. For us I get the sense PJ may go with Power.

  32. TsuDhoNim, yes Buckley. Agree good few personnel changes since last time here. But our current CHB and other older heads were there. It’s great sign of a coach that he keeps reinventing and learning, that’s why we pay the big bucks for him and his ilk.
    But the fundamentals of defense, as in the tackle has not changed much and that seems to be a weakness in heart of defense currently. Hopefully I will be proven wrong as year goes on, but we have at max 4 competitive games to practice alternatives to current system before the serious stuff starts.

  33. KC – Galway are the favourites and a more settled team. Galway have lots of croke park and big game experience now. There has been plenty of talk about how good Galway are within the county the last 12 months and also in the national media. Everyone has them as a top 2 team in Ireland at the moment so it is now their time to step up now and deliver national silverware to show us all its not just all talk. It is more or less the full available Galway squad for 2023 who will line out on Sunday.

    Mayo will most likely be playing with a new keeper, a very young and inexperienced full back line, a new look half back line, a new look half forward line and an experimental full forward which has been working well so far to be fair but he will be marked by the best full back in Ireland on Sunday which will be a different story.

  34. Obviously not what most are talking about but we’ve a much clearer picture of what the championship will look like:

    Barring Kerry or Dublin not making a provincial final.

    Third Seeds:
    Two of: Mayo, Galway and Roscommon
    Two of: Tyrone, Monaghan and Derry

    The two from Connacht and Tyrone are certs. As are Kerry, were they to go out of Munster early. If Derry win their league final then the Dubs would be unable to be third seeds.

    Fourth seed:

    Dublin going out to Kildare and a Fermanagh run to the Ulster final aside, only gaining their own second seed can change these four. Cork, Kildare and Meath are next in. Cork are probably reasonably safe and pretty likely to be a 4th seed even if they aren’t second seed. Kildare are relying on Cork or one of Armagh and Donegal doing their business. Meath are the same but as an “and” statement.

    That’s our 15 plus Leitrim, Sligo, London, New York, as things stand.

  35. Galway and Mayo rivalry is what it is, both sets of fans can never fully acknowledge how good the other team is. And that’s what’s special about it.

    In reality it’s 2 evenly match teams, should be a fantastic game on Sunday.

  36. Jaysis KevByrne98, I had us as a top 4 team, your post makes me fear we could be relegated from the Tailteann cup!! 🙂
    12 of our 2021 AIF starters have played over past two league games. Aido for one has played in full forward many, times and has scored over 20-90 for us so far. We are very much in the Mix along with Dublin, Kerry and most certainly Galway.

  37. We will find out on Sunday Gizmobobs if we can go toe to toe with the mighty juggernaut that are the Galway footballers. It wont be easy but ive no doubt our lads will give it their all.

  38. KevByrne – you’re over egging how “new” this Mayo team is. Looks like we’ll have a new keeper this year (even though Hennelly is available) and the full back line is a new combination due to the 2 lads stepping away. Aside from that it’s very experienced. Playing Loftus at 6 is a choice. We’ve plenty other more natural defenders that could slot in there.

    The half forward line isn’t new look – Fionn is in his 5th season on the panel. Jordan has switched positions with Diarmuid and Carney started the league final last year, along with most championship games.

    The full forward line isn’t experimental with Aidan, Carr and Ryan.

  39. Well KevByrne98 if everyone has us as a top 2 team which I respectfully disagree with the bookies certainly don’t agree. 4th favs to win Sam at 12/1 with Sky bet and joint 3rd @ the same price with Boyle sports. And they do say bookies never lie. We are certainly coming but still unsure if it will be 2023. Of course I sincerely hope we will reach that everest summit.

  40. Mayo are 13/2 with PP with top two Kerry 7/4 and Dubs 5/2 short but still most likely winner comes from those two. Galway are also 13/2 with next best Derry at 12/1.

  41. Chesneychet there was plenty of experts from Galway on here after the draw in the league earlier this year telling us that ye have a better calibre player than mayo yet to return.

    All these players have now returned for Galway. Ye have near a full strength panel heading into the weekend and it is Joyces 4th final in croke park against a new look mayo managment and team coming off a loss.

    Ye just beat Armagh and the all Ireland champions. One hand is already on Sam for Galway and Sean Kelly is the front runner for FOTY after keeping clifford scoreless from play in Salthill in March.

    It will be a good result if we can stay competitive on Sunday with the best team in Ireland and many’s Favourites for Sam.

  42. You’re on a bit of a rampage there KevByrne. Would such tribalism not be better served on twitter or somewhere?

    Things seem as even steven to me as mayo and galway have ever been. We lose Cillian and Enda, they’re without a few too in mcdaid and molloy. I assume Comer won’t start?

    We got plenty of joy in the second half of the drawn game when we pressed and they had to go long. Should be the clear plan of action again cos in the first half of that game we let them away with plenty easy short, even when they had a black card. The good seats look to be gone in CP already

  43. Seriously don’t know why people are saying Galway are favourites for Sam. Early days and only the league . Yes they just beat kerry and Armagh but we also have beaten them and nearly did Armagh.

    We had a huge change in the team against monaghan 10 changes like come on won’t be the same next Sunday.

    And yes mayo are a young team but that will stand to them with the pace and energy. we only lost to them last year by a point to a very weakened mayo team.

    Glad Galway are favourites as it will keep us level headed.

    Mayo won’t want to a loose another final especially after last year.
    See all the Galway experts coming around ha if we do loose I won’t be able to take the slagging from the Galways mates ha but it’s good banter ?

    Mayo by 4

  44. Galway are missing McDaid, Silke ,Molloy, Mulkerrins and Comer recovering from injury as well as Walsh not 100% matchfit. McLoughlin out long term too.

  45. Those lads most likely wont be available for Galway in 2023.

    Comer and McDaid should be at minimum on the bench the weekend. So it’s a near full strength 2023 Galway squad to pick from.

    Time now to see what all the fuss is about and if Galway are the real deal as we have all been hearing the past year.

    As some of my Galway friends have said over the years there is no easier team to beat in a final than Mayo so no excuse now on Sunday time ye showed up and show us how to win one.

  46. @chesneychet we will also be missing cillian and enda hession .

    @kevByrne that’s exactly what my Galway mates are saying to Atm ha typical jokes about mayo and finals. As you said let’s see how good Galway are.

    Funny how people say oh sick of hearing mayo for Sam but can hear Galway for Sam already coming out haha

    Should be a cracker of a game on Sunday either way !

  47. Mayo were the best team in the league not sure why you are painting them as underdogs on Sunday. I think your Galway friends were talking about All Ireland finals where Mayo have had no success in the modern but in the league Mayo have a much better record even winning it in 2001. McStay will be desperate to win the league after such a fine campaign.

  48. @chesneychet I just heard a lot of people are backing Galway for Sunday outside of Galway and mayo. Maybe after our lack of performance against monaghan though it will be a different team come Sunday.

    Galway have great strong defence and the likes of Shane Walsh.

    We also have great talents I think the teams are pretty evenly matched in fitness also.

    Hopefully it’s a good game the one earlier in the league was a cracker to!

  49. @ Chesneychet.

    PJ has had as many years in charge of Galway as K Mc has had games in charge of Mayo.

    Anything other than a very convincing win by Galway on Sunday would be seen as a major failure. Major.

    Mayo are debuting a new team and have already performed very well (topping the league table).

    We will have several players who have never played in the championship, starting, so a good performance from our lads in Sundays final will be a victory in itself.

    We of course would like to win on Sunday, but don’t kid yourself.

    All the pressure is on PJ.

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