A dour and dreary old wet Monday morning it may be but it’s hard for Mayo supporters not to have a spring in their collective step following our second comprehensive Connacht championship win yesterday. You want to read all about it, right? Okay, then, wet the tea and pull up a chair.
Starting with the nationals, Sean Moran does the match report for the Irish Times and the same paper also has post-match quotes from James Horan and his opposite number John Evans. (Note to the Irish Times: lads, it really is time to take those NFL tables down off your website. They’re starting to get on my tits at this stage).
James paid tribute to the quality of our defending during the game’s opening phase but then, with some justification, bemoaned the manner in which our forward play deteriorated in the second half:
When we open up and move the ball we’re capable but we were very sloppy for the last 20 minutes, we were dropping the ball, there were a lot of interceptions – we got a bit selfish instead of playing for ourselves so that gives us plenty to work on even though we won the game comfortably.
I think his point about selfishness is well made – a number of those second half wides resulted from lads going for wild, glory-hunting scores. Had they stuck to the script we could easily have run in three or four goals and a few more points as well. While it’s easy to accept the drop in intensity in the second half, the self-indulgent stuff is a slight worry and James is spot-on in saying that this is something for them to work on ahead of the final.
The Irish Independent has a match report by Cliona Foley, where she quotes James Horan stating that, whatever about the Connacht championship this year, his side’s “training and in-house games are pretty competitive”. Says it all, really. The Indo’s coverage also includes pieces on the game by Colm Keys and Eoin Liston.
Over at the Irish Examiner, meanwhile, there’s plenty to feed on with John Fogarty’s match report, quotes from James, quotes from John Evans and analysis from Tony McEntee. The latter is worth a close enough read, by the way – I wouldn’t agree with everything the Armagh man has to say but it’s good, constructive criticism of us all the same.
All the quotes mentioned above by John Evans include a moan about the ref whom he felt was unfair to them. I have to say I didn’t see it that way – Michael Duffy is a picky official who undoubtedly gets a little thrill of excitement every time he blows his whistle and he sure blew it often enough yesterday. There were inexplicable decisions favouring both teams yesterday but I’d say they balanced out over the seventy minutes. What would have been interesting, though, would be to transplant that refereeing performance into the Donegal/Tyrone match and see how many fouls he’d have blown for (given that 61 frees were awarded yesterday). At least 200, I reckon.
Colm Gannon does the honours in the Mayo Advertiser and the same paper has also taken the innovative step of doing a post-match podcast with its new columnist, the ever-entertaining John Casey. I have it playing in the background at the minute myself.
If it’s analytics you want, then Emmet Ryan’s assessment of the game over at Action81.com is the place to head to.
Other online reports are available at GAA.ie, RTÉ (match report, quotes from James and audio analysis by Ciaran Whelan), The Score, Hogan Stand (match report, quotes from James, quotes from Keith Higgins), and Breaking News.
Oh look, it’s beginning to brighten up. Enjoy your lunchtime reading.