Monday match reports

Photo: Mayo GAA

You know that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones film where they crate up whatever it is they’re crating up and deposit it somewhere in the midst of loads of other crates in an enormous military hanger, never to be seen again?

That’s what we have to do now with everything related to yesterday’s National League final win over Galway, as our full and undivided attention switches – indeed, already has shifted – to next Sunday and the Rossies in the quarter-final of the Connacht Championship.

Before doing so, however, let’s have a gallop – only a quick one, mind – through the coverage of yesterday’s quietly satisfying win over the neighbours, a performance that won us our 13th League title and which should send us into next weekend’s Championship opener in the right frame of mind.

Here’s what’s online about yesterday’s League final in terms of match reports and related coverage:

Locals: Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph, Western People, Midwest Radio, Galway Bay FM (audio), Galway Beo (live blog).

Nationals: Irish Times (match report, post-match quotes), Irish Examiner (match report, post-match quotes), Irish Independent (match report, post-match quotes), Irish Mirror, Irish News.

Others: GAA (match report, Kevin McStay quotes, Padraic Joyce quotes), RTÉ (live blog, match report, quotes), Breaking News, The 42, Our Game.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho.

Video: GAA (highlights), TG4 (post-game with Kevin McStay, Padraic Joyce, Aidan O’Shea, Colm Reape), Ray Boyne (analysis).

Stats: Stephen O’Meara, GAA Statsman.

Our Final Whistle pod is worth a listen too. We recorded it all at Croke Park yesterday, where we captured the post-match atmosphere, heard from Mayo coach Stephen Rochford, got post-game analysis from Colm Keys of the Irish Independent and listened to Paddy Durcan’s victory speech. The pod’s online on Patreon – here.

The MOTM poll is still open, by the way, so please take the time to vote in it if you haven’t yet done so. The results of the poll will be up here later on this evening, by which time the crate marked ‘National League final 2023: TOP SECRET’ – will have been deposited in some dark corner of a secret location, never to be seen again.

Have a great Monday, all.

68 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. A great start to the McStay era, an FBD title and a national league title in our first two competitions.

    I was really impressed with Colm Repae yesterday the threw his body everywhere and for every ball, Galway fans might not be happy with his challenge on Heaney (it was an accidental clash IMO) but if Reape doesn’t commit like he did it is likely a goal, he did enough before the collision to put Heaney off track.

    Sam Callinan and Jack Coyne have really put their hand up and created great competition in the corner back position, we have 4 corner backs whom id have no problem in starting a big game provided they are all up to speed (Callinan, Hession, Coyne and O`Hora). Paddy Durcan was immense and controlled the game so well.
    Up front we didn’t get out usual return from play but Galway are a hard team to score against and they committed plenty of fouls which likely would have lead to a scoring opportunity from play anyway.

    All attention now moves to the Rossies who will be hoping for another ambush, I don’t think we will be as naïve as 2019 this time and would except us to see it out in a close game. We really need to tighten up at the back though when teams run at us from deep, it has been our Achilles heel so far this year.

  2. The relief was evident with Mc Stay yesterday..
    He will take great satisfaction from silverware in CP but this morning brings a fresh challenge down the tracks.
    Felt like we were playing Russian Roulette with the backline yesterday..I hope that tactic is tweaked..
    Reape’s save in the dying secs was sublime..He appears unflappable..What a find.

  3. Very satisfying win yesterday – don’t know why so many posters are bitching – Galway posters, Joyce, Sunday Game. Hey we won – we’re National League champions.

    If you look back at the opening league game against Galway, the development is massive. During and after that game I felt Galway bullied us and generally controlled the game. Most of us felt we deserved the draw but were a bit lucky to get it, and agreed Galway would have felt it was one that got away. I had the feeling that we would struggle physically against teams, that Aido was an impact sub, that the backs would be in big bother against top class forwards – cue every team in Division 1.

    Well, that expertise was turned on its head as the weeks flew by. Yesterday, we controlled it, if there was any bullying done, we did it, and we led from start to finish. They came close, but never levelled; we were always able to scoot up the field and score.

    Another good thing about yesterday. It was a ‘big’ Croke Park game: all the usual pomp and ceremony, bar the President; big crowd, parade, Artane Band, all these things add a little bit to the pressure, and we handled it well. Great start, no goals conceded in the first minute, no giving ourselves a mountain to climb.

    Onwards, and upwards.

  4. Great win yesterday yesterday. Well done to all involved. Everyone tried really hard. Players to return from injury and lots to work on leaves us in a great place and thats after winning league title. Colm reape was the coolest man in the place. Top class keeper. Great day for knockmore also. They can be proud of their no 1.

  5. Great to win some silverware at HQ, and the lads showed great character to dig it out in the way that they did. It’s a decent sign for a young side with a smattering of experienced heads. I must admit that I didn’t think we needed this fixture in view of the Roscommon game being so close, but this feels like an important win for a young side.

    I am also pleased at the way in which we physically stood up to Galway yesterday. In the past number of seasons, they’ve been throwing their weight around in fixtures against us, ripping jerseys etc. We didn’t back down yesterday and I think the frustration showed a bit from them, giving away silly fouls near their goal. If we do meet them again in a few weeks, Tommy Conroy is a must-select player, they couldn’t live with his pace at all when he came on.

    However, there is plenty to work on ahead of the Roscommon game, most notably the way Galway cut us open down the middle on several occasions, and some wastefulness/bad decision making in the opponents’ half.

    Whatever else you might say about the Rossies, they have good forwards, and even though we dominated the league fixture against them, they still took us for two goals in the second half. We can’t be as generous as yesterday.

  6. A hearty congrats here – best form of any team in Div1, and played well yesterday.

    Complacency aside, I can’t see the Rossies doing alot of damage, their back six are no great shakes. Looking forward to championship football, it’s been too long.

  7. “No sentiment around these finals, you have to be savagely clinical, you go up, you do what you have to do, you get the cup…and you come home. I use to be very romantic about them once upon a time but when I got older and started getting into finals, there is only one thing, you win or its sheer fecking misery…there’s only one feeling to have and that’s to win the bloody thing” Kevin McStay 2021.

  8. Mayo win the league title against a Galway side that is as good as any side in the country ( wouldn’t a Galway v Mayo final on July the 30th be the mother of all finals) and yet the headlines in the Irish Independent is

    “Eamonn Sweeney
    Kerry will be their main rivals again but the biggest threat to Dublin this year may be Dublin themselves
    Only one team can stop Dublin from winning the Sam Maguire this year. It’s Dublin.”

    Now i know championship football is a different kettle of fish to league football but bigging up Dublin as 2023 champions on yesterdays performance unless they throw it away is crazy even by Sweeney’s own biased standards

  9. Heard Joyce interviewed on local radio and to be fair he was a lot more magnanimous, very quick to congratulate Mayo and criticised his own side’s turnovers in the first half. Didn’t mention anything about a red card, his actual main gripe with the incident was they didn’t get a penalty. Not sure I agree with him, Heaney had gotten the shot away before the collision, and it went wide, I don’t think Reape actually prevented the goal via the foul (he did indirectly – and legally – by rushing out so quick which was good to see imo). The challenge didn’t look great I have to say, but I expect you’ll tend to get the benefit of the doubt more often than not. One thing I’m sure of is there was no direct intent to take him out

    The referee gave some awful soft frees all round but he was there to be played and I think Galway didn’t get themselves into near enough dangerous advanced positions to benefit from it. They were quite flat overall and still look to be playing a bit within themselves, although there are the usual league caveats. Reape being MOTM may tell a story – as Joyce puts it – but McGrath and Fitzgerald being Galway’s best two players in the 2nd half tells its own story aswell.

    Comments on here since the game like “Joyce will be under pressure” are complete hyperbole, and it may not affect their season much in the long run, but at the same time they leaned heavily on the inside 3 for inspiration up front again (although Comer didn’t actually score in the end? He was obviously a bit ring rusty though) and there were no offensive subs again to make an impact

    Anyhow funny old game, thought Mayo might pull away altogether after the first quarter. Hard to know what really happened after that, but if Walsh nailed the 45 (did he need to take it off the left?) before half time, they could have gone in level after being 5 or 6 points the worse side. Obviously going almost the entire second half without scoring from play is a cause for concern too. Worryingly had Galway taken one of their goal chances (all poorly executed except for Cooke’s) they could have well have snuck it

    All in all though, I thought Mayo defended extremely well out wide, Reape looks a super addition (the 45s alone probably won the match), they really negated the growing influence of Sean kelly and John Daly in the 2nd half, kept Walsh fairly quiet bar two trademark worldie scores, and Conroy made a super impact. Was important to win yesterday after being the stand out team in the league. definitely building some good solid depth

    Roll on chship. Winning the league did absolutely zero good to championship prospects in 01 and 19 – lets put that right this time

    Thought Dublin looked much improved also in the early game? What was the sense from Croke Park itself?

  10. Think a lot of the problems down the middle of the defence were caused by Sean Kelly’s runs and John Daly’s incisiveness (thought Conroy had a decent understated effect in drawing players and creating openings too). Thought this was well shored up in the 2nd half, there was a lot of hesitation and hit and hope from Galway at that point. The above players’ influence was negated altogether

    I’d doubt Roscommon have anyone of those players’ calibers down the middle, and while they have nice forwards, forwards are only as good as the space they’re given and Mayo are one of the best drilled sides in the country. I’d be surprised to be honest if the margin was anything within 7 or 8 points, unless Roscommon just have a complete freakish shooting day and nab a few goals.

    By the way I still think O’Connor has a huge role to play for Mayo yet, his experience alone would have been huge in the 2nd half yesterday and I actually think Mayo win that by a fair bit more if he’s on the pitch. McGrath to be fair got very much to grips with O’Donoghue so as the game went on (outside of a rusty Conroy) there wasn’t a whole lot of inspiration up front

  11. As regards the Reape yellow card, I was surprised he got a card.
    It is not one of the listed black card offences, so a black was never going to be issued.

  12. Below is an extract from Sean Moran’s piece with post match quotes in the Irish Times. I find it meaningful. There were many things that changed the outcome for us – Colm Reape’s performance, a strong finish, some steely individual displays, but I think getting ahead early against Galway’s defence was also a gamechanger. Galway’s defensive structure has been vaunted as their ‘jewel in the crown’ all League. We had to nullify that. Imagine if we hadn’t got ahead early.

    Extract from Sean Moran article, Irish Times, 03/04/23

    “…Joyce was happy about his team’s overall experience of the league but frustrated that having anticipated Mayo’s performance, they appeared powerless to prevent it.

    “We knew they were going to rely on frees a lot. They only kicked four from play. We expended a lot of energy trying to get back up to level and we just couldn’t. It would have been nice if we had got level and maybe pushed a point up. But we didn’t.”…”

  13. John, I think Sweeney’s article looks like “a hot take”, to use contemporary parlance.
    (Slightly embarrassed to write this).

  14. @Ciaran
    I was sat next to a Dub yesterday and 1st half I thought they were very poor. The fella next to me was tearing his hair out. They were there for the taking but Derry didn’t have the killer instinct to go for the jugular.

    They were a different side when Mannion came on. It freed Con up and once they got ahead there was only one winner. In the words of the fella next to me “they are hugely reliant on the old guard and there seems to be very little new talent coming through” They are a danger no doubt and they might get a bounce on the back of Mannion and McCaffrey returning but it will be this year or nothing for them. Too many ageing players at the same time.
    My new Dub mate was very complimentary of Mayo and how we have built a new team very quickly after all the retirements. He did remind me during our game that we still look too open at times and that we will need to tighten up if we are to progress.

  15. @John I know I said previously that dubs are going to win Sam but after them against Derry yesterday I don’t think they will I don’t think kerry will win it either.

    I saw that article to pretty ridiculous stuff always about kerry and the Dubs isn’t it!

  16. Congratulations to Mayo on winning the National League, a proud day for all of us in our corner of the west. From a championship perspective our young team answered most of the big questions yesterday. We worried a bit about how they would cope in the white heat of battle against one of the favourites for this year’s All Ireland. Well, they showed plenty of the physical and mental strength that’s needed to win big games and maybe even have more belief than our great team of the recent past. There are a few things that need to be worked on, we left the door open too many times and invited them in for goal scoring practice but got away with it this time. Galway won the midfield battle in the second half which in part led to the goal chances, just wondering if things need to be tweaked there. Sam Callinan, our youngest player, was on the ball from start to finish, a brilliant performance throughout the full 70+ minutes. If we can get all our players playing at full tilt for the whole game, then we’ll be in with a serious chance of going all the way.

  17. Dublin still the team to beat for me, they improving game to game.
    Add in Mannion, Rock, McCaffrey and they be different beast in couple of months. They’ve no serious game for about 2 months so no pressure on them.

    Derry are no world beaters, and over reliant on Glass for possession.

    My money be on a Mayo Dublin final I’d we miss each other in the groups.

    On dry sod of Croker in July I wouldn’t want see O’Callaghan, Mannion or McCaffrey running down middle of our defense way we set up now.

  18. The positive for me from the game was the way we managed the last ten minutes and didn’t fall over the line by one point. It was thanks to AOS who really put his hand up. The final minutes of the first half were also significant.we looked like going in 6-6.
    There is a lot more to come from this Mayo team as the championship unfolds
    Callinan and Coyne both excellent. Callinan was everywhere including ’holding up’ Walsh. Flynn grafted, oozing with talent. Fionn had moments when he was very good.
    Did we have goal chances? Well a few great passing movements came within a final pass of making it.
    I thought Loftus directed the marking up very well in first half but is that enough. Heaney and the Galway. No 9 whose name escapes me burst through the middle which is still a worry. Always a worry when a goalkeeper gets man of the match

  19. Dublin are surely too good not to have at least one last big push in them yet

    There’s 4 (now 5?!) players in the squad who would probably make the team of the last 30 years and that’s not even including mannion. 13 (now 14!) starters from the 2019 final are still available

    Its easy to forget they won’t face a meaningful fixture for weeks yet so any poor shooting and decision making that was on show is probably vindicated in the fact they’re likely working more on the conditioning side at present

    Interesting thoughts Mind the House and certainly in the second half I thought their form looked much more ominous, in what was a division 1 standard match in all but name. No coincidence as you say that this coincided with Mannion’s introduction. O’Callaghan was almost unplayable in the 2nd half.

    I could see them getting a big statement win in the knockouts later in the summer to announce their return, hopefully not at Mayo’s expense. Nothing like seeing Kerry lift the All Ireland to surely pull them out of their slump

    Lot of ball to be played yet though. That loss mightn’t do Derry much harm in the long run but they hardly have the players to be considered serious contenders unless the draw opens up

    By the way it seems really wrong to have championship ball as early as next week!

  20. Any ideas on why we went so flat after 20-25 mins of first half? Were there positional changes on either side that led to this? After the stop of play for Johnny Heaney’s injury it seemed to drop off.

  21. @ontheditch.

    The question still needed to be asked. If needed, did Reape have it in his locker. He answered that in spades yesterday. He really was magnificent.

    You are correct of course in pointing out that our defensive set up requires more work. It was always thus since the departure of Lee and Oisin and keep naming them, Chris and Colm and Keith and Caff, where would you stop.

    Given the current age profile and the newness of the current defenders playing together, what they have done so far is nothing short of incredible.

    Yes. Further improvement required but we will get there.

  22. From my seat high up in the stand , I had a perfect view of Mayo’s defensive set up .
    Every player knew their job . Loftus / DOC and Coen seemed to be chief organisers.
    I thought Coen had a fine game in nullifying a serious footballer ..
    Mattie didn’t get much mention afterwards here but he put in some graft …one lung bursting track back the full length of the pitch tracking Kelly .
    Great to get the win and have a bounce in the step meeting the Rossies.
    Hopefully we will have Cillian and Enda back which should strengthen our bench …( if they don’t start)
    Tommy made huge impact when he came on but I’d imagine his fitness levels aren’t 100% yet but he will get there …
    Great to win against a good Galway team and equally for management and players there is lots of room for improvement to look at before Sunday.
    Serious battle ahead against Roscommon

  23. I think the young lads are doing fine Revellino. The fullback line isn’t our main concern, it’s men getting through the centre to them ala Heaney yesterday that needs be stopped.

    Loads of time to sort it, but there has been no sign of a change in any of our games this year so far to rectify it.

    But plenty of time till business end with 3 games we can use to try and shake things up as well as in house training and games.

    Word of credit to the CB as well, they often get pilloried. But can’t be faulted for not backing the senior team to hilt. Looking at pictures after game theres around 23 in the backroom team, so they fairly horsing the money into it.

  24. Congrats to Mayo team (and Mayo fans). U look seriously impressive and maybe this will be your year . As a Dub I just don’t think that we have the fire in our belly to take on the Mayo, Kerry teams . McStay seems to push his players to take on their man and break the first tackle . As a neutral this is exciting to watch . So I fully expect Mayo to be in the final at least .

  25. @Joet1480

    Galway dropped Shane Walsh back into the middle around this time. Coupled with the 5 minute breather they got.

    I don’t think it was that we were flat per se, just Galway through weight of numbers got a foothold around the middle.

    Galway didn’t do anything unexpected either, the gamble from us was that with Walsh around the middle Galway wouldn’t score enough to win.

    Halftime we had to reshuffle and lost Paddy from the middle 8, Galway swapped Heaney with Walsh, and substituted their most inexperienced player Hernan, and that area was much more even in the second half.

  26. Folks , a fantastic win yesterday. We didn’t play to our full potential. But still, didn’t ever look like losing. I have to say that very like the Roscommon game in the league
    We were opened up through the centre again yesterday. The amount of goal chances that Galway failed to take yesterday is very concerning. Well done to Colm Reape.
    But I would be concerned for Colm next week if these similar chances are given to the Smiths or the Murtaghs they won’t need a second chance.

  27. Myball, I noted that run of Mattie’s. We were turned over I think, and Galway are lethal in these situations. Mattie just took off and ran the length of the pitch to protect the defensive line. He got in some great hands to turnovers as well.

    Speaking of turnovers, the stats surprised me: 47% Mayo to 52% Galway

  28. Refreshing to see no over celebrating by the players (and fans). Seemed very much a job done move on exercise. Watched the game back, and interesting to see we didn’t try one high ball in on Gleeson. IF we meet them again I think it will be a different story in that regard. The key to beating Galway is getting a few points ahead early on, we done that well to be fair. Galway can have no complaints about the frees they gave away, consistently pulling back the arm of a Mayo player to prevent a handpass. They won’t always be pulled up on it, but great to see a ref not letting them away with it. It will be near impossible for any team to score a goal against them come champonship, they will consistently foul in the build up, which leads to the amount of points from frees but no goals.

    On to Roscommon we go, I’ve no doubt Enda Smith and McKeon (if playing) will be relishing running through that centre channel. We are in serious danger here, something has to be done this week. I think Callinan should be starting at 6. Hes a better tackler, quicker and stronger than Loftus. I think Fionn will struggle to keep his place. I’d swap him with Loftus, and Hession back in the corner to free up Sam for CHB.

  29. Just to add my congrats to the Mayo panel and mangt, great to see it. Was funny from a supporters perspective yesterday that we didn’t seem to have that desperation about us to get to the finish line…..felt we enjoyed the game, fully appreciated Galway’s ability and when vocals were needed around 60 minutes the support rocked in.
    On the goal chances, the usual line applies that every game is different and I would need to look back over the game again to verify this but I felt we were usually 2, 3 or 4 points up at the concession of each goal attempt. So conceding a goal at that stage is very different to conceding when level. Of course we cannot be giving such an amount of chances up in a championship game.

  30. Callinan definitely future potential as CHB. I think myself Brickenden / McBrien might be the solution to central defence both strong and pacey but we won’t be seeing Brickenden for awhile.
    We need to keep giving O Hora and Eoghan McLaughlin game time.

  31. Cheers for that FrostT.
    Whatever chance I have of noticing stuff like that on the telly I haven’t a chance while I am sitting there watching it in front of me.

  32. Thought John Daly caused us some problems coming through the middle. Far too much time and space given to him without anyone tracking him. Whose responsibility was it, you’d imagine Jack Carney as his opposite number, but whoever it was, it needs to be looked at.

  33. One foot in the grave,
    I have never been as optimistic as I am today. There is an element of ruthlessness in this team that we have been missing down through the years. I will die happy after July.

  34. A John Daly we could do with. Not Carneys greatest day in the office. Did some useful stuff at the same time. I thought Galways biggest threat came from no 9, John Maher. Either way, we know what needs fixing but how?

  35. On to the Roscommon match. I just did quick calculation on pitch sizes. If you take 1/2 Mc Hale V 1/2 Croke or Hyde. It’s a whopping 935 sq meters less in area. Now when you congregate 29 players into one half it’s a lot less area to play around in. What difference it makes?
    On the negative, our style is very much based on bring half backs into the action.
    On the plus, it will reduce open goal chances from attacks down the middle…
    One things for sure, it will not be as open as the league game

  36. Yesterday was a great win and will do the confidence the world of good but there is also improvement needed. That is not always guaranteed but we can be optimistic. A fit Tommy and Cillian are huge additions. Cillian’s brain was needed at times yesterday. Also McBrien missing in the 2nd half I felt may have contributed to the flat period i.e. it took a while to re-adjust from the changes made. Eoghan Mc I think was just blowing out the dirty diesel so will get better with game time – was that his first appearance this year ?

  37. Two things that keep coming up from yesterday’s game. The Galway goal chances and Mayo scoring mostly from frees. The reasons being Galway fouled to stop us getting goal chances while Mayo were less cynical but maybe a bit naive.

  38. Totally agree Joe.

    Galway’s ‘game management’ very evident when they’re defending, a mark of any team under Cian O’Neill. Galway very good at stopping a turnover or break with an innocuous looking foul.

    We’re not great at that, and can be a bit green at times. Their last goal chance was a case in point. I thought we should have fouled the runner long before it got to Maher. He was then able to take a quick free to put Cooke inside our 21 yard line – we can’t be happy with that.

    But now is the time to fix these things.

  39. Joe and Rock – Mayo scored from frees because Galway kept fouling us. Cawley (whom I felt was very good overall, like the Rossie game) called them out.

  40. People keep harping on about Reape’s challenge being a black card or a red (IMO it was no more than a yellow, don’t think there was any malice in it and I believe it was 50/50). Am I missing something that nobody seems to be mentioning Walsh’s pull down on O’Shea in 2nd half and Cooke did similar to O’Shea in first half. Did they not warrant clear black cards or have the rules changed?

  41. Congrats. to Mayo, ye deserved it on the day. Reape is a young player – was committed to the challenge, so, no malice intended imo. Hopefully, Heaney’s injury is minimal. Coyne and Callinan are going to mature into fine defenders. Aido has been pulled and dragged for years, and never got the protection he deserved – justice was seen yesterday.

    I always felt McStay would be a good manager – he’s proving it now – he’s his own man while at the same time implementing a collegiate approach.

    While disappointed, we ourselves have made significant progress, with the addition of several 2020 U’20 players. Not making it an excuse, I always feared our match v Kerry last weekend, would cost us.

    Finally, least anyone get complacent as to what’s going to be required this year, the “curtainraiser” was an eyeopener. Dublin are serious this year…
    Go ndeiri

  42. @ Mayoaremagic88 – Joyce just was looking for an excuse and people are latching onto it as why they lost the game.

    In the league against us this year his excuse was the ref played an extra minute for our equaliser. In the all Ireland final last year against Kerry his excuse was the free inn against john daly. In 2021 Connacht final it was o’horas “body slam” that lost them the game. In 2020 championship it was Eoghan McLaughlins pull down that lost them the game.

    What damien comer did to reape yesterday was as bad if not worse but there is no talk of that either.

  43. @KevByrne98 – Agreed on all points. Yes he is painful always playing the poor mouth, refs and linesmen must be sick of him and Cian O’Neill also on the line mouthing and whinging.
    I think/hope we will meet again in a few weeks and he will hopefully have plenty more to be moaning about!

  44. Yes, Comer’s rugby challenge on Reape was something, and did you see Conroy falling over Reape, accidentally on purpose, like?

  45. The reape incident is already old news .Joyce is basically trying to draw attention to certain incidents for future encounters.he was drawing attention to mayo getting soft frees which I have heard also mentioned on a few podcasts today mainly fouls on Aidan o Shea and one in particular on Tommy conroy where 3 players surrounded him and all left their hands in which is a foul.we have seen for years Aidan o Shea being absolutely mauled particularly in the Dublin clashes and referees turning a blind eye to it .in the reape incident there is continual reference to denying a goal scoring chance which he clearly doesn’t

  46. – The players and management deserved that win, just rewards.
    – Kudos whoever is working on the mindset of the newbies as Reape, Callinan and Coyne were all very composed
    -Agree with the comment on John Maher he ran through our HB line much too easily and too often. I also thought Cooke got on a lot of ball and their No. 5 got into great positions on a number of occasions but lucky for us he did not have the confidence to shoot.
    – The shine went off our half forward line yesterday with none of them playing well.
    – Top 3 Reape, Durkin and Callinan
    – We can and will play better and will need to next Sunday…Mayo by 5.

  47. Disagree with you a little Olive on the HF line.

    Thought Fionn played very well. He covers acres of ground, a real box-to-box player who is vital to the current game plan. He’s usually brought off after 55 to 60 minutes – absolutely exhausted. He broke the lines a number of times yesterday too.

    Jordan too, worked his socks off and scored a beauty. Jack Carney quieter, but I note he wasn’t subbed.

  48. I thought Fionn was our worst performer yesterday. Continually took the wrong option and got bottled up way too easily. Tommy Conroy would be lethal on the half forward line, he’d have more room to run at players and has a massive boot on him.

  49. I think McDonagh is the most player who is under a lot of pressure for his place. He does a huge amount of running and tracking but he does tend to run into traffic and get dispossessed too often. I hope he can tidy this up and contribute another point or two on the board.
    I don’t see a whole lot of options in the HF line bar maybe Bob but might be a year or 2 early for him physically and in the white heat of championship. Tommy would be lethal from there as @margie mentioned and also remember the impact in extra time there running at the AIG Blue birds in 2021. He has made a huge impact off the bench and we need those type of electric players coming off the bench to scare the living daylights out of teams and give fans and players a lift, when games are in the melting pot.
    I expect to see COC coming off bench next weekend for sure and we will need his sureness and class a couple of weeks later against Galway if we win!

  50. Eoghan McL could be a viable option at Half forward also. What a weapon he will be if he stays injury free and tidies up his passing and shooting, unbelievable pace and engine. Great options off bench at moment; Cillian, Hession, E McLaughlin, Plunkett, O’Hora, Tommy, Bob Tuohy etc. All could be starters, we will need a huge squad this year to keep players fresh and hungry!

  51. The All Ireland football outright bettings have altered since yesterday morning, Mayo now at 6/1.
    I’m going to take this bet while it’s fairly good.

    A few things to note going forward.

    Mayo midfield need to be better, we cannot expect A O Shea to cover for them anymore.
    A plan is needed if and when we meet Kerry and the Dubs, I mean the men to take C O Callaghan, Kilkenny, Sean O Shea and the great David Clifford.

    A few people I know kinda fancy Mayo this year to go the full distance.

  52. Great win and lots of room for improvement. Frustrating to see Aido trying to chase Sean Kelly. Surely we have to leave him up front where he is a constant threat. Fionn and Eoghan took wrong options on a number of occasions so something to be looked at. Galway players doing 3 fitness sessions a day in Portugal so Joyce was serious when he said we are at a different stage in fitness to them. We need to improve a lot to beat them again in championship and if we get Cillian and Enda back, we can.

  53. It feels like the management now have a mostly settled team in mind, only questions would be Hession or Callinan at 4, whether to stick with Fionn at 10 and if Conroy replaces Carr at 14. It’s hard to see what changing unless we lose early in Connacht. That would leave the likes of Brickenden, O’Hora, McLaughlin, Plunkett, Tuohy, C O’Connor, McHale and Towey on the bench in the absence of injuries. Not too shabby!

    Also so far this year, we’ve beaten Galway twice, Kerry, Tyrone and Roscommon twice. The championship looks open. We’re not favourites but there’s certainly grounds for optimism, especially as I make Aiden the only member of yesterday’s team over 30.

  54. I’d recommend a second viewing for those who thought McDonagh didn’t have a good game yesterday. I thought from the first time watching it live that he was poor but when I watched it back I realised just how well he actually played. He did run into traffic on I think two occasions but his performance overall was very good.

  55. With Sam and Jack settling in nicely in the corners and extra options for there on the bench, Enda H is another live option for the h.f.line. Imagine himself or Tommy or both coming in there when legs are starting to tire. This would give us a totally new dynamic and would cause panic in our opponents. We could have a year to remember yet.

  56. I was watching McDonagh yesterday, and he did a lot of work that wouldn’t be picked up on television, and wouldn’t be immediately obvious as it was off the ball e.g. funnelling back to fill the space so that a pass inside to Galway full forward line wasn’t on.
    I don’t think he’s going to be a regular scorer for us and I think management know this too, and have a different plan for him

  57. I agree 2 hops, I think it’s the best approach to bring Tommy in when opposition are whacked. Imagine being on the other team and seeing Conroy coming on and you are already breathing heavy and you know you are gonna have to dig awful deep to track him. You’d be nearly wishing you were just subbed yourself and be done with it.

  58. I also agree that Fionn McDonagh had a powerful game yesterday, and used huge amounts of energy helping out in various places. I thought he upped his performance a notch or two from previous games. I was watching on TV.

  59. I thought Mayo were slow making changes yesterday. We stayed ahead because Galway missed chances – not because we were in control of the game. Tommy and Bob Tuohy should have come on much earlier.

  60. @Mayo88 that is the big question. Who marks who when the chips are down.

    If Dublin. Con, Mannion, Kilkenny. I think Con is the key one there and by God he is something else. I’ve never seen a more direct player. He just goes for the jugular every time. Would we entrust McBrien with the ominous task?

    Kerry. Clifford I think has to be contained. I don’t think he can be completely stopped and the main thing is to stop the supply. Also who ever is on him, must stick to him like shit to a blanket. Follow him everywhere. Clifford did the damage against us last year when Oisin was elsewhere.

    But it’s a great conundrum to be thinking about

  61. Well done to all involved, quietly satisfied sums it up for me aswell. I thought our game management on and off the field was excellent. We went out hard for the first 20mins and built up a good lead, it was noticeable that we then retreated back into our own half and tried to contain Galway for the remainder of the half. It didn’t really work that well as we weren’t compact enough and tried to defend the full width of the pitch. The 2nd half was a cagey enough affair until Tommy Conroy was introduced with 15 to go. With Tommy on and Galway starting to push further forward looking for a goal, we started to deliver faster longer ball to Tommy and Ryan. It was the winning of the game for us as both men thrive in open space and made hay accordingly. You have to give credit to Kevin and his backroom team for the way they approached the game and the variation in our tactics over the 80mins. Also the respectful muted celebrations by players and management after the game was just what the doctor ordered and I’m sure was preplanned. You would rightly be worried about the amount of goal chances we coughed up but remember, this is, in essence a brand new defence and system we are bedding in, so we have to give it time. The more games the better. A 6 week break is not worth a f#ck to us. Keep improving. Keep winning.

  62. I already gave my overall analysis of the game yesterday. But just to add that I see a lot of criticism of Fionn on here. In my opinion he had one of his best games in a Mayo jersey, probably not as eye catching as others, but did a lot of work with and without the ball, which may have gone unnoticed-a very solid performance.

  63. I thought Fionn was very good on Sunday, The TV coverage is very deceiving. I was there in the flesh and watched it back since. What the TV coverage doesn’t show is the amount of work done off the ball. Fionn was here, there and everywhere on Sunday.
    I think there is plenty more to come from him as well.

  64. Rewatched the first half last night.

    The two goals chances, Maher’s and Heaneys.
    Both come about the same way, Sean Kelly running down the center.

    What’s really interesting is what happens earlier in the move. In both cases we get hands on the ball carrier, and while it’s difficult to tell on TV, that appears to be a trigger for everyone to push up.

    It’s not clear if this is deliberate on the part of current management, but it is something we have been doing for years, to the point that I react when we get hands on the man. This is imo deeply ingrained in the players at this point, and has in the past lead to important scores, and likely will again in the future.

    In theory it’s an easy fix but it’s really a case of risk versus reward. Maher’s chance in particular, looks as if it may have been a deliberate attempt to create a pressing trap on our part, which is something we 100% should be trying to do. When it works it’s brilliant but when it fails, it can fail spectacularly. You try and learn each time and tweak accordingly but tweak too much and you risk not committing enough

  65. Also, I thought Jack Carney was exceptionally reliable. It took 35 minutes to give away a ball. His accuracy with basic skills is to a really high standard. He almost always delivers his passes, both from foot and hand, exactly on the money

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