Monday match reports + U21 line-up for Wednesday

Mayo team v Westmeath

Match reports: Mayo Mick

It’s a glorious Monday morning here, with the whole week set to stay the same, and that horrible weather us plebs had to put up with on the terrace in Mullingar yesterday now a fast-fading memory. But we still have the match reports to look back on so here they are as well as more besides.

Mayo Advertiser, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Times, RTÉ (match report, audio report), GAA, The Score, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

Photos from Mayo Mick, Inpho and Sportsfile.

Post-match audio by Colm Gannon with Seamus O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor and James Horan and, in case you’re interested, my own post-match audio ramblings.

The Division One table as it stands this morning is here (courtesy of @MayoGAA). The same source confirmed last night, by the way, that Clare’s Rory Hickey – one of my least favourite refs of the current bunch, if I’m honest – will officiate at next Sunday’s match with Cork. This will be our second encounter with him this year as he also reffed our opening league match against Kildare last month.

That wasn’t the only announcement from the County Board last night, as they also released details of the team to play Roscommon in the preliminary round of this year’s Connacht U21 championship, a match that’s fixed for this Wednesday at MacHale Park with a 7.30pm throw-in. The U21 championship is, of course, championship football like it used to be – one slip and you’re gone – and Niall Heffernan’s charges have a tough opening against what is sure to be a confident and well-drilled Rossie outfit.

The winners in this one can have real ambitions of an extended run in this year’s U21 championship and we’ve named a strong team for it, details of which are as follows:

Mayo (Connacht U21 Championship v Roscommon, 12/3/2014):  Matthew Flanagan (Balla); Kevin Lynch (Mayo Gaels), Liam Kitterick (Westport), Aidan Butler (Claremorris); Cian Burke (Ballymun Kickhams, Dublin), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites); Padraic Prendergast (Louisburgh), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Gareth O’Donnell (Charlestown Sarsfields), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels, captain); James Shaughnessy (Claremorris), Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy). Subs: Shane Keane (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis), Michael Hall (Breaffy), Brian Murphy (Ballintubber), Darragh Ruane (Bohola Moy Davitts), Sean Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Steven Conroy (The Neale), Anthony Jordan (Bohola Moy Davitts), Liam Irwin (Breaffy).

As Ed McGreal from the Mayo News (who did a Con Houlihan on it yesterday at Cusack Park, by the way, eschewing the comforts of the press box for the more earthy pleasures of the rain-sodden terrace with the rest of us) noted last night, this will be the ninth successive year that one of the O’Sheas will have played U21 championship football for the county, which is a truly remarkable statistic. March just won’t be the same in the O’Shea household come 2015!

41 thoughts on “Monday match reports + U21 line-up for Wednesday

  1. Is padraig prendergast still a minor in 2014? Good to see 5 of last years minors starting I think…

  2. Where was JH yesterday i know i saw him before the game but after that not a sight of him.

  3. ah i see.Ya cause it was Buckley given the instructions from the side lines.will be a great game against Cork.I know the lads will rise to the occasion.Im just worried cause we are leaking goals at the back and i have a feeling the Cork will employ the high ball into their FF line and that worries me.Have we learnt the lessons from the last 2 finals ? In all our games so far in league our backs have been far too loose.This is something that needs to sorted asap.Basically we need to start playing like we did against Donegal last year in quarters and been consistent with it.

  4. Exact same is right. Great minds think alike it seems.
    Next Monday they’ll be different because they’ll deem cork important enough of a game to cover on their own.
    Westmeath are in division 1 and it shows the gulf division between 1and 2 where they are headed. It’s imperative that mayo stay in division 1 to continue improving old and new players each spring. B

  5. Under 21 match should be interesting. This team was beaten soundly enough by Ros in Castlebar 2011 before the Galway senior game but without trying to spout too many cliches under 21 can be a funny age group, it’s all on the day. Few minor AI winners from last year involved (I count 4 in starting team I think Mac?). Interestingly, both midfielders and CB are minors from 2013- such key positions. Good to see faith being put in them

    Who is that full back does anyone know? I’ve never seen him line out for a minor team before if I’m correct? He’s not picking on reputation which is good to see

    Anyone know where Conor Horan and Quirke are? Both on it last year iirc.

    Is Cian Burke James’ brother? I mean I assume he is given they’re both adopted Ballymun clubmen. Ardnaree originally I think

    Hopefully we can win this but it certainly won’t be easy Ros won Connacht minor 2011 and really ought to be reigning under 21 Connacht champions. I felt even ourselves left it behind us a bit in Tuam last year, Galway were well for the taking that day. They then went on to win AI- funny age group as I say. On the other hand, two years ago I still don’t know how we didn’t lose to Galway that day and lose handy

    Lets hope we can do it. Hopefully playing in the league (Hastings cup or whatever it was) will stand to us too

  6. “Interestingly, both midfielders and CB are minors from 2013- such key positions”

    And CF too!

  7. Gotta love the old copy and paste function that masquerades as sports journalism in some places these days Anne-Marie.

  8. Yep Ciaran Cian Burke is younger brother of James and an Ardnaree man for his sins. He was CHB on the 2012 minor team that was robbed by the ref in the All Ireland semi against Meath.

  9. Cheers! On that note, I remember Lavin from Kiltimagh looked good that day. Haven’t seen him since, is he injured? Or just not picked

  10. Of the Mayo 2011 minor Padraig O’Hora, Aidan Butler; Conor O’Shea, Gareth O’Donnell; Adam Gallagher; James Shaughnessy, Evan Regan are now starting.

    That was a very good Ross minor team lost out to Tipp by 2 points who went on to win the AI. Though hard to read into minor results for example Kildare bet Offaly by 8 points in 2011 minor yet they lost to them in U21 level this year.

  11. I’d be a bit worried that midfield diamond might be a bit light coming up against the Rossies. Good prospects but very young. O Connor has looked a bit light in the league so far and Ros will not be shy anout getting physical.

  12. I was just checking out the betting for the All-Ireland U-21 Football Championship on the Paddy Power website, always a good place to rate what our chances are likely to be for the year ahead, we are actually a good bit down the list of favourites. It’s as follows:

    Dublin 6/4, Galway 13/2, Roscommon 8/1, Tipperary 9/1, Cork 10/1
    Kerry 10/1, Tyrone 10/1, Cavan 12/1, Mayo 14/1

    I suppose a win for Mayo could change all that. It shows that there are a lot of good teams in contention for the title. Cork and Kerry are actually playing on Wednesday as well in Tralee. I wonder is there many of the Cork senior panel involved with the U21s, as this might have an impact on their senior game against us next week-end.

  13. I have been looking over the results over last 2 years between the league and championship.It shows a pattern that the,last 2 AIF we lost because we were out scored on goals and same for the league.In fact most of our losses over league and championship came as a result of conceding goals.Very few have we lost because we were out scored on points. and i don’t know if we have learnt our lesson.

  14. Yeah another thing that I notice too is that a lot of the goals that we give away are ones that we just should not be giving away, balls hitting off the post, defender’s not reacting quickly enough to the breaking ball and then the ball ending up in the back of our net. Or mix-ups between our goalie and full-back line. Or conceding goals after we have just scored one. I heard someone once say, that when we are playing well, we then tend to sit back and admire our own play. James Horan was saying that he was not happy that some of our players were show-boating against Westmeath after getting a great start. The top teams don’t concede the type of goals we do. So whether it’s down to nervousness, anxiety or lapses in concentration, we really need to get rid of it from our play.

  15. Liam Kitterick didn,t play minor c,ship, but should have! He is a fine fullback.

  16. Getting back to topic ,I think the management have put in a big effort with this team and would think that their effort will bear fruit,starting on Wed eve.

  17. @ opt2misteek
    At the risk of been pedantic the topic does mention both the senior & under 21s.

  18. Here’s wishing the U-21’st the best of luck Wednesday evening. A win and it will boost the morale of those lads and by extension, the whole county. Man! I cant wait for summer.

  19. Horan doesn’t seem to have grasped it yet, but since the introduction of the black card, Mayo have conceded 8goals and a heap of points in our four league matches to date. It’s quiet obvious that having a defender isolated one-on-one with an onrushing forward or under a high ball, is a no-no. Defenders might as well be playing with one arm tied behind their backs, cause any contact could mean conceding a free or be shown that dreaded card.

    As we face into our final matches against the three form teams in the league, it will be imperative that we tighten things up at the back. It’s all well and good attacking on mass, but to be always vulnerable to that sucker punch, must be sole destroying for any team – need we remind ourselves of those two AIF.

    Regardless of our two wins we’re still in a precarious position in the league, and will probably need at least three more points to be sure of retaining our division one status, to achieve this, minding the house will never be more important !!

  20. I think the one guy files his piece and the various papers will often buy it from them if they don’t have their own reporter there.

  21. Time for us to try something new. Only Louth have conceded more than us. So let Keegan play at 5 and continue to make his runs. Play a nominal forward behind him that slots into Keegan’s spot when he bombs forward. When we are attacked the extra man can shield the full back line or slot across as needed.

    Since the Down QF 2012 we are being filleted through the middle. Young Dolan scored 2-2 yesterday. This is a pattern from the Dublin matches last year followed by Kildare, Tyrone and Westmeath. On present trends we will concede at least 6 more goals before league over. A team letting in 14 goals in 7 games needed worry about big cups

  22. I agree John.What about exerting huge amounts of effort into trying to cut the opposition attacks of at source or at very least take the sting out of it? I want to see us a attack like the Dubs and i think to be fair the lads are trying to do that.But in most cases the attack is too slow not enough lads running and showing for ball and then taking ball into tackles.We need to get faster and more direct.

  23. That’s great to hear, you’d love to see us have a good run in this grade in 2014. It’ll be very interesting to see how the lads up-front will get on, there seems to be a lot of scoring potential up there anyway!

  24. Am I the only person who thinks there was something a little odd about how Tyrone lay down in their last 2 league games against Kerry when Kerry desperately needed points

  25. I’d actually like to see Lee Keegan given a run at mid-field in one of the matches. It’d be very interesting to see how he would get on, maybe play Drake on the half-back line then. We do need some more mobility in mid-field against some teams or at certain stages in some games, so I reckon it would be worth trying him in mid-field for one game. He is well able to score anyway. It’ll be interesting to see if Tom Parsons gets back into the team as well. He is quite mobile too for a mid-fielder.

  26. It’s actually one thing that I notice, depending on what’s at stake, really has a lot to do with how the result will go. Kerry were really desperate for a win and Tyrone are sitting on 5 points with Westmeath to come at home next week, to move them on to 7 points. You just get the feeling, that if any team is a little bit off form, then it’s very hard to get a win. You see this in the Premier League when a relegation threatened team plays a mid-table team. The bottom teams really scrap for every point. I’m hoping that next week with Cork having 8 points and us still scrapping for points, it might play into our hands. We are still fighting for our lives, while they are just playing to see what position in the top 4 that they will finish in. Our need is the greatest!

  27. Not really, that Tyrone result was coming Kildare opening them up and Mayo could have scored 4 or 5 goals against them. Mickey Harte will probably go back to defensive football again.

  28. How do you mean? Yes this year was a game of 2 halves with Tyrone collapsing in second. But last year was different in Omagh. Tyrone never showed up in first half and Kerry were something like 9/10 points up by 1/ 2 time.
    But obviously they got a real earful in the dressing room becasue they came back in second like a train and were unlucky in end to lose by a point after I think hitting the frame of the goal as well.

    Rivalry between Tyrone and Kerry has been on of the hardest and toughest over past 10 years. I know it has weakened somewhat with retirements but it hasn’t disappeared.

  29. Was listening to Canavan on radio this evening. Needless to say he was on about tyrones concession of 3 goals v Kerry. He made the point that between teams experimenting and the new black card rule the scores in the league are very high and that when championship comes around teams will play extra defenders when necessary.I think he s right and while I d prefer us to be conceding less Im not too worried, Our defence was strong last year no goals v galway Ros London or Tyrone one v Donegal and 2 unfortunately v Dubs. As a result we ended up with 3 All stars in defence. Put Keith back where he belongs, get Donie match fit and we shouldn’t be too bad.

  30. Canavan has a good point especially with the black card rule. Having an extra defender there is probably a good idea. Also I think Richie Feeney is pivotal to us this year. He is the link man in Castlebar and could also operate that role for us at county. Our Paul Flynn so to speak.

    1/2 fws McLoughlin, Feeney, Higgins (in no particular order)

    One of McLoughlins undervalued key strengths was/is his accurate passing off the boot over 30/40 yards. I would drop Kevin McLoughlin back as cover in front of FB line (where he has played before) but leave Higgins in 1/2 fw line to give that line the pace it needs. Break up the opposition attacks by swamping them and then alternate the attacks between playing the ball first time into the FF line or through Feeney and running from deep via Keegan, Vaughan and bursts from O’Shea.

    FF line (COC, Freeman, Moran)

    Playing the ball first time in is what Freeman may like but Dublin (using them as standard now) like to defend from the front and get on top of forward lines as early as possible in matches. They defend physically as well so you need guys in there who can stand their ground, maintain possession under pressure and still compete for the scores.

    Lots of dogwork but then again its the hard grafters that win it for the overall team and not the sunshine boys.

  31. My understanding from the comments following last years AIF was, that James would have a few eyes in the stands relaying messages back to the side line. It was never envisaged that he would leave his post, which to my way of thinking is the side line. Hiding away in the stands kinda gives the wrong message me think…..

  32. Relief, the first word that comes to mind and disappointment the next with our display.We can be lucky that Westmeath didn’t show up for the first 15 minutes.For the remainder of that first half Westmeath hosed us down. I warned about complacency, people were thinking that all we had to do was to show up and win pulling up. Just because we had one 90 degree day last Sunday against Kerry doesn’t make it summer. They keep picking Keith Higgins in the forwards, It’s time to cop on and play the player in his best position and that’s corner back.Our backs especially the half back line all race up the field at the same time leaving huge gaps and leaving our full back line totally exposed, Our centre half back when he goes up the field, forgets about getting back to his position. If we play like this on Sunday next it could be embarassing.Our defense has shipped 8-56 in our four games an average of 2-14 per game and that’s not trash talking by the way, the stats don’t lie. Lee Keegan was again outstanding today, he consistently plays well. The strength of our bench got us over the line.When Cillian came on he steadied the ship. Brian Gallagher by all accounts impressed when he came on.They were about the only positives we took from today’s win, in addition to two very valuable points.The league has thrown up big scores so far in all divisions .The art of defending is non existent, players are racing through without a tackle going in.The black card has played a roll in that.

  33. Exactly – we’ve removed some professional fouling from the game but at the expense of good defending.

    4 steps is just too much in modern football. Reduce the number of steps to 3, insist that referees police over-carrying and charging consistently during the course of the game and now you are actually promoting good defending. The attacker will have to play the ball earlier and more often which means the defender is getting more clear opportunities to dispossess the attacker.

    As some compensation to attackers we could allow them to bounce the ball as many times as they choose, streamlining the game – there’s no reason why we should punish players for hopping the ball more than once anyway.

  34. Sorry mayoman-my comment was meant to be seperate and not a reply to yours-pudgy finger syndrome!

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