More final misery for Mitchels

All-Ireland club final end

Bloody hell, I didn’t see that coming. Castlebar Mitchels went into this afternoon’s All-Ireland club final as strong favourites but they emerged from it broken and beaten, losing to Dublin and Leinster champions Ballyboden St Enda’s by a margin of thirteen points.

Everything that could go wrong for Mitchels today did go wrong. After fluffing a few early chances to get the scoreboard moving, Castlebar were carved open for a goal at the other end that came decidedly against the run of play. Following this unexpected setback, Mitchels appeared to lose their nerve, with players fumbling the ball, taking the wrong option with it or simply giving it away. For all the world, they looked like a team with a bad dose of stage fright.

The first Ballyboden goal wasn’t fatal but the second one, which came from the penalty spot after fifteen minutes, certainly was. Nine down now and nothing on the board themselves, there really was no way back for the Mayo lads from such a nightmare start.

Despite this, Castlebar had plenty of chances to eat into this lead in the second quarter but a succession of shocking wides saw several opportunities squandered. Further scoring chances were wasted by repeated unsuccessful attempts to work the ball into goal-scoring positions when the more sensible option would have been to take the points on offer. As a result, by half-time all Castlebar had managed to do was to chip a solitary point of that early nine-point deficit.

The second half saw the contest amble on towards its depressing denouement. Mitchels’ heads went down long before the end and Ballyboden proceeded to cut loose in the closing moments, effortlessly banging over a number of scores to stretch their final winning margin to thirteen points.

There’s little more to be said about a day that proved, sadly, to be one from hell for Castlebar Mitchels. Redemption for 2014 ended up instead as a second dose of All-Ireland final misery, a defeat that the players, their families, management and supporters will feel keenly. Commiserations to them for what was, in every sense, the toughest day imaginable.

89 thoughts on “More final misery for Mitchels

  1. Commiserations to Castlebar, disasterous first 20 effectively ended their chances.
    Shows how crucial it is to get out of the blocks in these big matches

    What I’ve noticed from watching Castlebar over the last few years is they seem to really struggle to put a full 60 minutes together.

    Lets focus on beating our pals in the primrose and blue now. Durcan and Moran will be big additions to the Mayo team. Absolutely crucial that we go into the championship with upward momentum with 2 wins

  2. Sport can be cruel it’s either agony or extascy and usually always agony when Mayo teams are involved in finals feel for the Castlebar lads they trained hard and didn’t go out there to lose or let anyway down hopefully their day will come

  3. I admire all involved with Castlebar Mitchells in getting to where they got today. A wonderful achievement, to play at HQ on St. Patrick’s Day. Similarly, Ardnaree Sarsfields and Hollymount- Carramore a couple of weeks ago.

    But from the player ranks of all three clubs is there one who will alter the fortunes of Mayo football, I ask you?

    Throughout Mayo’s league odessy, thus far, I’ve read about the manner in which the Mitchells’ players will bolster things when they return to don the red and green. Regrettably, I feel that, on today’s evidence, my own Junior club would be in as good position to assist Mayo as were our representatives in Croke Park today.

  4. Pat Durcan will certainly add to the panel.
    Danny Kirby was lost in a forward line that was not performing. It would be interesting to see him with a better calibre of player around him.
    He at least keeps his head up and can pass accurately. Your own junior club would not score today or against Castlebar. Massive gap from Senior to junior.

  5. I actually thought the goalkeeper Rory Byrne had a good game generally. Looked to have a tidy kickout and footpass.

  6. I am reluctant to comment as anything I would have to say will not offer any consolation to Mitchels. A bad start, which they got away with v Crossmaglen who didn’t put away their goal chances, was ruthlessly punished today. What is it about Mayo forwards that they cannot, or will not, take point scoring opportunities when they first present themselves. I always say that at top level football the first opportunity is the best because if not taken the defence will not be long closing the door and trying to recycle or find a better positioned player is futile. Also bringing a defender up to take a scorable free from the hands seems bizarre to me, esp. when the free is missed.
    Castlebar usually seem slow starters to me and this is, as far as I can see, not surprising as, like the wedding feast at Cana, they seem to keep the best till last. Why James and Fergal Durcan do not start in their forward line is a mystery to me.
    Hopefully their Mayo panellists can put it out of their minds. Like the jockey who has a fall perhaps the best thing is to get back up at the first opportunity. We will see versus Roscommon.

  7. Hard luck to Castlebar but really whatever about things not working out for you there was little to inspire me about Castlebar today…no passion, no determination, no focus, no confidence, playing over and back on 20 metre line…no leaders, no one to take frees…I was utterly annoyed and angry after this game. What is the fear in Mayo about winning…time to grow a back bone as a county and be brave…I am not inspired and have never walked out from a game early but sadly I had to get out with 5 minutes remaining…I could take no more…sorry!

  8. Hard luck to Mitchell’s. They have to be a good team to reach the AI. Only 2 from thousands managed it !! But they were poor today and the early concession of goals proved fatal as it usually does. They were good enough against crossmaglen, just weren’t today..

    I don’t think this result will affect mayo at all.
    Durken will start. Moran,cuniffe and Kirby will beef up the squad.
    Nothing has changed from that perspective.
    Hopefully Regan and loftus can step up as the year unfolds.
    Let’s not give up all hope just yet.
    The obsession that appears to be developing with Roscommon progress is blowing things out of proportion somewhat.

  9. Yep as disappointing as it is for castlebar I certainly wouldn’t say it’s over and out for the lads with desires on county panel . Barry Moran was having the year of his life up till today , Douglas was putting his hand up for sure and Kirby is still worth a run . I’m not sure how it works in terms of recovery time from a defeat like that but the Ross game would be very soon but at the same time what a game to take your frustration out on.

  10. Lol forgot p durcan the most obvious of them all he will surely be part of panel at least .

  11. Just feel sorry for Castlebar,is it true that they did not travel up to Dublin the night before the game ? If so a very poor call
    Paddy Durcan Is a class act.

  12. We have got to pick up on the warning signs before these games happen. You just can’t be depending on your midfielders or half backs to be getting scores for you. We have seen this with Mayo too. When the scores are not coming from these areas, as usually happens in finals, we seem to be lost then. Backs trying to do the jobs of forwards, which in turn leaves gaps at the back to be exploited. Nine times out of ten we end up losing our shape in games like this, hence the disastrous results. We have to go back to basics or we are going nowhere.

  13. it must be very disapointing for mitchels all that could go wrong did go wrong hope the county lads get over it quickly as the county team needs them badly

  14. Another thing …Mayo/Castlebar supporters were silent for the whole game…and I cannot blame them. We had no reason to open our mouths and no one to inspire or excite us. I know the team froze and think it’s about time our teams stopped freezing and forgot about themselves…play with passion, play with desire, take risks, go for the jugular, be brave and be bold but for God’s sake don’t give us the drivel we had today…I cannot support this any more…fed up…completely!

  15. So much going wrong for us . We really need to dust ourselves down and win next weekend in carrick as well as Roscommon and get some kind of positivity going again .

    That’s the short term but the deeper issues will remain until we revamp our structures and outlook in general . Mind you that would all change dramatically if we won an all Ireland , an under 21 one would be ideal this year.

  16. Gutted. Home after a long day. I did not see that coming and I am still really trying to figure it out. It was bizarre beyond belief because I know and most people know that this team is far, far, far better than what they showed today. Sport is a funny old thing

    Axle, if you don’t feel capable of supporting anymore, then ,frankly, don’t bother.

  17. AxelM
    You have hit a proverbial name on it’s proverbial head.
    The silence in Castlebar last Sunday v Kerry, despite our numerical superiority was nothing short of shocking. I came home hoarse but knew that I and those who would offer vocal support would have been drowned out in Killarney or Tralee

  18. Feel for ye Mark , it was disappointing for Mayo gaa fans in general but must be absolutely soul destroying for Mitchell’s people like yourself.

  19. I don’t believe the players let the supporters down today (they owe the support nothing) but I do believe that they let themselves down, big time.

    All of the fundamentals were missing. They looked scared going forward, couldn’t get their shots off and when they did, they were snatching at them. Midfield didn’t do much either.

    Very poor stuff from a decent team.

  20. Just home. It was actually the worst flop of a performance I’ve ever witnessed, and there is no point dressing it up in any other way. It was a comprehensive team flop though, and please posters do not go singling out particular Mitchels lads, saying they’re not county standard etc. Some of them may not be, but other Mayo players from other proud clubs (who are still on the Mayo panel) have consistently let themselves down just as bad on big days so think twice before putting the boot in. I don’t know what is happening but it’s not just a Castlebar problem, that’s for sure.

  21. “I don’t know what is happening but it’s not just a Castlebar problem, that’s for sure.”

    I disagree. I hate the term but to me Castlebar bottled that today. More so than any other Mayo team that we’ve seen in a long time.

    BB St.Enda’s were 4/1 today and had injuries. Castlebar had the players to win that today and they also had the experience of playing a final two years previous. Unfortunately they weren’t strong enough mentally and after the first few minutes the game was never once competitive. That’s completely unacceptable, I would have expected to see some fight and some balls at the very least. Instead, we got the white flag immediately. Very poor.

  22. I agree with all that Ken. I also feel it was the worst Mayo flop ever, but it could easily be argued one way or the other that in all the Mayo losses over the last 4 or 5 years we bottled it in some way. And then there’s 96/7, 04, 06. I suppose it’s a matter of degree really. Today just amplified it more than I could ever have imagined.
    I also expected more of us today given two years ago and on the basis of other performances this year.
    Just gutted. Hard to look at each other after the match and that happens all too often. But I still feel we’re all in this together as a county.

  23. On some days absolutely everything goes wrong and that was Castlebar today. But what I cant get my head around is why does it ALWAYS happen to Mayo teams. How is it that we can beat anyone in Connacht and in AISFs and then flop so spectacularly in the final. Our club teams beat St Brigids and Corofin in big Connacht games, Dr Crokes and Crossmaglen in AI semis, our Co team have beat Dublin, Tyrone, Cork and Donegal at quarter and semi final stage and have been imperious in Connacht but then flop in the finals. In contrast Ros and Galway clubs dont make it to Croker very often but when they do they perform well while the Galway county team usually perform well on the big stage. See 1998 and 2001 for example. Is it something in our make up. We were blown away by kerry in 2004 and 2006 and conceded two goals v donegal early in 2012. But in 2013 we started well v Dubs but lost our way and we led meath by 6 in both final and replay in 1996. No matter how we go about it we just dont seem to be able to do it on the big day. Is it a mental frailty or are we really cursed as so many other counties gleefully tell us we are. We must have good teans to get to all the finals but surely its more than coincidence that we continually fail to perform on the biggest days of all.

  24. Castlebar came up against a better team today, with a better game plan, who carried out the basics better, made better decisions and could shoot. We have an obsession with soloing at speed into blind alleys and then shooting under pressure. If given space we’d rather solo than shoot. I’d rather see backs that stop opponents with whatever they can get away with, rather than see them soloing up the field and getting applause for it.

    I too left, for the first time ever, before seeing it out to the end.

  25. Our shooting and build-up play as a county in general is deteriorating. That has been detailed very well on this blog. I remember watching Mitchel’s against Dr Crokes a couple of years ago in Portlaoise and even though Mitchel’s won, the difference in shooting ability from distance was very noticeable. That’s only one small example I remember noticing at the time and it sticks out. There are many more examples as we all know.
    Ballyboden could do the same today and it’s always us who are lacking. It’s absolutely sickening. Even when we go ahead we freeze, as per ’13 final, second half….we went to jelly in that period, didn’t know what to do in the half forward line especially. Same last year. It happens especially on the big days even though we can play great stuff all year. So I do feel the ability is there, or at least, has been there – it’s just that we never do it justice on the big day. It’s gut-wrenching and beyond disbelief at this stage.

  26. As an outsider looking in, the alarming thing was how the team folded so quickly after getting of to a bad start, this was their second final in three years so they should have more experience than to let that happen, probably not a popular choice for ye but Brigids went 2.3 to 1 point down to Ballymun 3 years ago in the final but never gave up and won by a point

  27. Mayo didn’t freeze in the 2013 final, there was no effort left behind that day.
    Our game plan suffered when Tom C got injured and Keith had to leave the forwards. Dublin goal against run of play brought them into game too.
    But in 2nd half Dublin kickouts on a hot day were killing us and the Dubs homework paid divided. It was Cluxton’s greatest day in a Dublin jersey. On a cool day it wouldn’t have been so successful.
    It was a game if 2 halves, we should have gone in a good bit further ahead and we were well beaten in 2nd half but not for want of effort and nobody choked. One or 2 wides but not many. Few mistakes by management possibly taking Freeman off and for sure Varley subbed on in half forwards when he is a corner forward. Though heart monitor on Freeman who reputedly was sick may have led to that decision. But players on the pitch gave it all in that torrid 2nd half and just came up short.

  28. Was at the match and same old story. Mayo players in my opinion still lack confidence and self belief in the big games, they still dont believe they can win. All the wides and dropped shots into keepers hands stem from lack of confidence pure and simple.

    Mayo will never win a title until they step up, truly believe they ARE going to win and they will do whatever it takes to win.

  29. Bottom line is that on the big days you need your BIG players to perform, in 2001 Ciaran McDonald performed and Crossmolina won the Club Championship. On the big days you needs all the big players performing, otherwise we will never get oiver the line, simple as that…

  30. Shuffly Deck, was at the game..winessed our downfall first hand, the Dublin fans laughed and sniggered when Freeman was taken off. Excuses and more excuses. As long as media outlets like this one here encourage hope, we will never win. Time to really step up and bloody expect to win it

  31. BB played like Tyrone. They kept 12 players in their own half most of the time. Castlebar were crowed out in attack and when BB counter attacked Mitchels were short players in defence resulting in no pressure on the BB attackers .No game plan

  32. Hard to make any sense of that. Mitchells collapsed on the big stage. Crossmaglen must be kicking themselves. They should have been out of sight at the end of first half. Ballyboden never gave them the opportunity. Hon the Ross is starting to piss me off with his bleatings. Revenge is a dish best served cold and all that. The lads have noone to blame other than themselves. There are no positives whatsoever.

  33. At this stage, Mayo people and Mayo teams have so much pressure on themselves, our teams are playing with more fear of failure than belief in our ability to win. That fear makes them brittle mentally and physically the players freeze up time and time again. Mitchells must be better than they showed yesterday but they looked like a team unable to function soon as the pressure was applied.
    1. Mayo teams need to focus on not conceding soft goals, whatever it takes that must stop. The county team and Castlebar yesterday were carved open at times. County team hasn’t sorted that out in league yet.
    2. the #1 skill for a forward is scoring, some of the misses yesterday when the Mitchells forwards had no defenders nearby was criminal and embarrassing. The Mitchells got enough possession to put a lot more scores on the board. Same for the county team, our scoring rate from all the possession and frees we get just sucks the life out of the team and the supporters.

  34. My comments seem to be winding sensitive souls up the wrong way on different threads eventhough that is not my intention, I have said numerous times that we still have to prove ourselves come championship times but all I get thrown at me is that we are getting cocky.

    So I will leave ye to it to chew the fat among yereselves,keep up the good work on the site Willie Joe, it is a great forum, over and out as you would say yourself.

  35. I’m not sure I buy into the too much hype thing . Donegal were in overdrive in2012 , ffs they paraded through the town with the Anglo Celt , bagpipes the whole shebang . They approached the aI final with swagger and confidence , their support never doubted themselves .

    It’s something deeper we are missing on final day and whoever cures it will be very smart , likes of James horan , john Maughan etc couldn’t find a cure but someone will someday . It’s neither luck nor lack of quality all the time , you don’t get to all these finals without quality but what is it that stops our teams driving on in a final ? I’d love to know the answer .

  36. Take no notice of some people hontheross. They are just feeling a bit sore at the moment as indeed are a lot of us so its easy to lash out and have a go at some outsider. As you said to WJ this is a great forum and its made all the better by inputs from guys from other counties. Your own county are flying at the moment and ye have every right to be upbeat. Ye have had plenty of bad days in the past and we have been the cause of some of them.. The score ye have racked up and the points ye have kicked have been seriously impressive, especially when compared to our forward displays and that of Castlebar yesterday. Like a lot of Mayo people I try to console myself by saying its only March, its only the league and we have players to come back though. not many by the way other than Cillian, Keith and Durkin I think. So indeed these are worrying times for Mayo. We have been excellent and dominant for five years but unfortunately could not achieve what we all crave so much. So dont be too surprised that some of us are feeling a bit touchy at the moment. Keep on blogging

  37. Confidence pure and simple. Mayo teams still dont believe they are going to win. St Bridits knew they would win, Corifin knew they would win, players afterwards said they were never better prepared than that day, they knew wverything about their opposition. Mayo Teams are still wauting for the sucker punch, still waiting for the umpire to wave wide. You can see this with the amount of shots dropping short, no team drops shots into the keepers hands more than a mayo team, players over compensating with accuracy by reducing power no self belief to just tap over the bar.

  38. Over the years in all these losses its seems we have learned very little.
    Teams go out to put us away in the first 10 mins and what do we do play the same way.
    If a goal goes in in the first minute or so we should set up a wall till everyone has settle into the game.
    Why do we let others dictate what’s happening.
    We scrape by semi finals over the years and know other teams have studied those games but we go out in finals and “hope” it will work out.
    Time and time again we heard one or two players are having the year of there life only to be marked out of it in the final.
    For me when players are doubled marked I can’t understand what the free man is doinging.bb had there homework done and by god they were prepared well.
    Can we say the same about castlebar to say it was all down to stage fright is a bit of a cop out.
    Its happening to often in Mayo and a lot of it is down to not wanting to change our style if we only scrape by our previous game.
    Hard luck to castlebar.
    We need to learn from the past and prepare for the future.

  39. The sadist in me surfaced this morning and I caught a look at the first half “highlights”on rte player..penalty was given away by Cunniffe but problem came from a mitchels player with years of experience passing into the hands of a Boden player ..it was just a lot of running after the boden players by mitchels..all the experienced heads on the pitch for the second time in two years and looking back today the heads were gone after ten [email protected] win just once. .you are infinitely more charitable than I towards certain posters…

  40. You beat me to it there, to win just once. Hontheross – don’t mind about any swipes at you, it’s always good to get honest, genuine opinions from contributors outside the county so please don’t feel your opinions aren’t welcome here because they are and will continue to be.

  41. It’s been said….yesterday BB played like Tyrone.There wasn’t an inch of space available to the CB forwards…snuffed out of it.Before they could wink the game was over.They didn’t have the plan B that was required…to give them the same back!But unfortunately Mitchels did nt have the type of player to chase and mix it.I was conscious of how leaden in the legs many of them were. It was uncharacteristic of them.Did they travel up in the morning as someone said?Or were they on the town all night?That would explain it and all we want at this stage is an explanation.Only The Durkans and one or two more seemed to be up to it.
    Whatever the reasons for the under performance and there is no shortage of possibilities,it can’t have anything to do with the commitments shown by the members of that Castlebar team.

  42. Best team won and good luck to them ,,, now more than ever we need to get behind this mayo team ,, they have giving us 5 marvellous years and shown true resilience by dusting them down after defeat and putting their lives on hold for the honour of wearing the green and red ,, I will walk into the Hyde with my colours on and chest out proud of my team and will roar them on till the final whistle ,, we owe them our full support !

  43. I understand they traveled up in the morning & down that night but that was a team decision. i feel sorry for team & mentors. Is Castlebar goalie fit for county panel ?

  44. its frustrating me that mayo people are dismissing Roscommon. they are playing a great brand of football at the minute, no one can say any different. they are stretching the pitch, and moving the ball very well, Donegal were not fit enough to match them. What I noticed from that game is their mid fielders hit the sideline for the outlet pass, exactly what mchale talks about on News talk about the “Barcelona” style.
    They have some great scoring forwards. For us to win this game, i feel we need to move AOS to MF again and gain a platform. But then who do we have inside to do any damage? I hope we can win on Sunday but momentum and form is contradicting this hope.

  45. As a Mitchels man yesterday was absolutely heart breaking. I feel that in every final you need to get an early score to settle the nerves and Castlebar just couldn’t get it and as they kept missing relatively easy chances the confidence just slipped away. Their heads were down for the second half which is a shame they probably should have just chipped away at the points to make the score board look respectable. Anyway there is not really much more that can be said about the game but the lads should be proud of their achievements this year, they have been great ambassadors for the town and have given it a massive lift. The lads will be a massive addition to the Mayo panel, don’t let yesterday cloud anyone’s judgement.

  46. No point beating about the bush it was a pretty embarassing effort by Castlebar. Men against boys stuff.

    yet again a Mayo team go into an All Ireland completely naive and think that it can be won by playing man on man football. Ballyboden didn’t have to be brilliant to win, and had a gameplan that simply blew Mitchells away.

    Very disappointing after such a great campaign with so many memories.

    Until Mayo teams develop a ruthlessness and wilingness to get down and dirty and hold their heads we are not going to be winning an All Ireland.

  47. Meathmayoman 100% concur. Solo-ing up the field into trouble seems to be a Mayo obsession. Same last sunday against Kerry, same yesterday for Castlebar. What is a forward supposed do when making a run when a wing back is coming flying up the field soloing?-run wide to make room for him… further from goal…more difficult to shoot etc etc. Its a very individualistic and unsustainable approach, that requires overlaps from more marauding defenders on your shoulder and one that has cost Mayo when games are tight at the business end. You’ll get away with it against lesser teams but a bit of guile and craft is required is required to take the prize. Castlebar found this out yesterday as Mayo have done for years. You can only devise a gameplan to suit the players at your disposal so the only conclusion to be drawn is that the forwards aren’t of required standard to play a different style of football.

  48. Very sorry for the Mitchels players, management and supporters.
    As was said above on the big day you need your big players to really perform. They need to lead by example and settle the team when things are going wrong. They need to battle and act as warriors and stir the blood in the lads when they are going flat. Sadly Castlebar yesterday lacked leaders. Apart from Paddy Durkan the rest seemed to buckle rather than stand strong.
    I suspect that the most thing that will hurt the Castlebar lads this week will be the realisation that they didn’t do themselves justice.

  49. We are an enigma in the GAA for sure. Another Mayo team collapses in Croke Park…..commiserations to Castlebar. We badly need a lift out of this rut.

  50. Show me one bloody post in here dismissing Roscommon ? Some of ye want us to go to bed with them ffs they are our rivals especially now with them coming good and looking a real threat to our dominance in the west , some of the speak in here epitomises the mayo mentality .
    Do you think Kerry go on in an airy fairy admiration trip when cork are doing well or visa versa or any other sporting derby . Honestly some of ye are not well in the head . I hope we make bits of them , I hope we beat them by a record score and leave them with aches and pains mentally and physically , that should be the ruthless mindset . Who gives a shit about any other team but our own , I love Mayo and that’s all that matters.

  51. Good man Sean Burke…get out and fight…MayoMark…I left because there was no team to support…felt a bit stupid sitting there hoping the bride would turn up…gilted again! Dismissing me is not the answer…loyal support is great but we have to have something to support too…

  52. Embarrassing, I don’t think that I have ever felt so embarrassed at a game following a Mayo team. I don’t know how many club finals I have been at now following Mayo clubs but I remember Knockmore winning a great semi-final then underperforming in the final. Castlebar have now underperformed in three finals. I remember Ballina owning the ball against Crossmaglen Rangers but still ending up losing, because they could not put the ball over the bar. At least Crossmolina and Ballina did manage to win one. Even watching senior games over the last while, club and intercounty, I can’t think of one forward from Mayo off the top of my head who could consistently kick points from play, either against a wind or with the wind at his back or even if there is no wind at all.

    One of the few teams who have been successful for us in Croke Park, were the 2013 Minor team. They had forwards who WANTED to put the ball over the bar or into the opposition’s net. I remember hearing an interview with Tommy Conroy after that minor final. He scored a goal just before half-time in that final to put us into the lead. He said something like, we were behind at that time and in all of the other games that year we had been ahead at half-time, so I took a chance and went for a goal, which he got. That’s what you want to hear. Lads that WANT to score rather that players who are afraid that they will miss. Until we have a few lads up front who WANT to score and score and score, we are going nowhere. Think of Cora Staunton, if she had scored 100 points in a game she would still be looking to score 101 points. Cillian O’Connor has the same mentality.

    We always seem to end up in the situation where our defenders are going forward trying to score which then leaves us wide open at the back. We just seem to make the same mistakes over and over again…………. Forwards not scoring, defenders then going forward, been left wide open at the back, goals conceded, game over.

  53. Sean Burke. Damn right, thats the spirit our guys need. Thats the spirit the supporters need next sunday. Lets go there with the mindset of putting Ros back in their box.

    AxleM its tough to watch but thats the nature of sport. Its all too easy ro support a team when they are playing well and putting 20pts on the likes of Sligo. But when the going gets tough thats when the team really need the support of the fans. Outside of Dublin, Mayo carry the biggest support of any county and that is a credit to us especially after the days we have had over the years. I would say it really hurts a player when he has run himself into the ground to look up and see his supporters heading out the gate before the final whistle.

    Support the team, roar them on,stay till the end, win or loose and shake the hand of the person next to ya after its all over. Then do it all again the next day out

  54. “I don’t like to say good things about Ross but you can’t hide from the truth . They are a class side whom I think are about to embark on a sensational journey, they could possibly land the big prize in the near future . For a relatively small county they also have financial backing to match and better some of the big hitters . I’d fear for the result Easter Sunday , they are scoring for fun and there is nothing to suggest we can score near enough to beat them . Changing times but we still might not be that far off them come the summer for this year maybe”
    Good man Sean, great to see you’ve had a road to Damascus like conversation since Tuesday.

  55. I have always believed it is a mental failing as opposed to a skill one. Players not performing on the big day are retained. In Kerry they would be ran out of town. A manager who won four Connaught titles beating teams from lower divisions is made Mayo man of the year. This was possibly the first team to do that and not win a national title.

    At least yesterday’s performance did not leave the door open for the usual list of excuses.

  56. We seen the mentality of the Kerry players last week when they pretty much did everything possible to prevent us scoring a goal in the Aidan O’Shea penalty incident. We need to show this mentality at the back as well rather than letting teams walk through us.

  57. AxleM “I left because there was no team to support…felt a bit stupid sitting there hoping the bride would turn up…gilted again! Dismissing me is not the answer…loyal support is great but we have to have something to support too…”

    Pretty disgraceful comment about a team of amateur volunteers who are at levels of fitness and conditioning that I could not even imagine, who have won 2 Mayo Championships and 2 Connacht Championships in 2 years. By the way, the only Mayo team to come within an asses roar of winning Connacht in the last few years, never mind winning it (twice). Again, if you don’t want to support them, don’t bother. Just do us all a favour and don’t pretend it’s mighty and means something to you when it actually does happen for these lads.

    But good luck to you. You’re entitled to walk out on teams you’re supposed to support when times get tough for them.

  58. Unfortunately Liam I’m a poor effort at that beal bocht cute hoor speak for the benefit of the Rossie contributors but I don’t have to tell anyone that is unfortunate enough to know me in real life how I feel . We will beat Roscommon next Sunday .

  59. Huge game for us next week. Probably bigger for us than it is for them. Expecting a dinger with a very big crowd!

  60. That was a poor performance. There is sonething fundementally wrong with the way our forwards play compared to other top counties and clubs. We wasted ball after ball after ball.The build up play was perfect but once we got up around their 40 yard line we start to go lateral carrying balls into tackles , over carrying or taking wront shot. All of which ends up with wastage.Compare this to the way Ballboden played yesterday and how teams like Kerry and Dublin its direct its running direct for goal and its clinical. After 20 mins the game as a contest was over. The way Mitchell’s forwards played yesterday mirror the Mayo team play. Needs to be addressed.

  61. There is nothing wrong with GAA players in Mayo, other than our style of play is stuck in a time warp. In James Horan’s time our style was very much a running game – and for the most part it very nearly worked. Overpowering teams with our energy and tackling was the order of the day – that is until we came up against a very defencive Donegal team in the AF, who under Jimmy McGuinness had perfected a system to counter our style of play.

    In the meantime all the top teams have more or less moved on to embrace this style of play, where you simply pack the defence, wait for the forced turnover and break at pace. Sounds easy, but as most of our established players have gotten used to a more attacking system, they are now finding it very difficult to change the habit of a life time. Until such time as we can perfect this new system we more than likely will keep coming up short on the big occasion.

  62. Lads, will ye stop turning on each other. We will need to close ranks and pull together for the Hyde. If AxieM felt he had to get out with 5 minutes to go rather than sit there and watch the slaughter, i would not hold that against him.

    Anybody know what the capacity of the Hyde is these days? She could be well tested on Sunday week with maybe 12,000 going from Mayo and say 4,000 from Ross.

  63. It went out of my mind but have to mention the schoolboys who played at half time in Ballybo.Perhaps it fits into something.Did anyone notice the fluency that those little chaps dealt with the football and the off the ball running etc? It struck me as uncanny at the time…..but said to myself that little fellas have become very adept lately.However, the display at half time in game v K of our little fellas of same age etc was not a patch on the Ballybos.There was a whale of a gap in quality. It may be a pointer to something or our fellas might have been a different grade selection.Then again there were two bunches out above on that day!

  64. @JimFlag, nor do I. But why the need to come onto a Mayo GAA Blog to tell everybody about it while at the same time slating the team you claim to be supporting while they are down?

    I would not dream of ever doing that to his, or any other, Mayo club.

    There is a difference between criticism and slating/insulting a team.

    That’s all I’m saying on the matter anyways, I’m fed up today as it is. Just want it to be Saturday to head on the road to Carrick for minors/U21s double header.

  65. I see James Horan is at a loss to know what happened to Castlebar yesterday. Well he has only to look again at how Ballyboden set out their team from the off. They packed the defence by bringing their half-forwards back, this had the effect of encouraging the Castlebar lads to come further out the field, and following the inevitable turnover, hit them on the break. This they did time and time again, which totally frustrating the Castlebar lads to the point where they completely lost their way. Will we learn anything from this latest defeat – only time will tell……

  66. I think everyone feels your pain today, Mark, and that of all Castlebar supporters. Commiserations on it, an awful day for everyone.

    I’d agree with Jim Flag that it’d be best to close ranks at this stage – sniping at each other isn’t really going to solve anything. On the topic of moving on, there’s actually a rule my little book of comments to the effect that ‘Oh woe is us’ contributions aren’t welcomed but I think I’d’ve ended up banning 50% of you last night if I invoked it. Now that we’ve appeared to pass the peak of this cathartic outpouring, I reckon it’s maybe best if this particular wailing were to cease.

  67. Close ranks is right and keep the Mayo flag flying. Maybe amongst better players like the county setup there will be a few of the Mitchell’s lads able to step up. Kirby, Douglas, Barry, Durcan and cunniffe are the type that may and the goalie looked ok too. Look at the Paul Durcan save, finger tips to the outside of the upright while the bb goal from play and even the penalty both went where the bare space for a ball to squeeze in existed. Fine margins, even though Mitchell’s were out played all over, it should have been closer.There can only be two goals for Mayo players and fans this year, fans support the teams and players to not worry about wides or mistakes, just play as hard as you can and together maybe we can avoid relegation and surprise a few in the end of summer.

    The quality in our county panel and the management setup have simply got to count for something, let Sunday week be the first step on a great journey.

  68. Just heard castlebar postponed their parade till Sunday for the homecoming, not trying to be cynical but we of anyone should not count the chickens before……..

  69. Kevin, I can confirm that that is utter nonsense. Castlebar cancelled the parade, just like they did in 2016, not because of a “homecoming”, but because it is pointless having a parade where lost of the spectators and participants are in Dublin!!

  70. Mayo GAA FB page just posted the U21 team for Saturday:

    We could do with a solid start here. A Conancht title would be more than welcome this year with hopefully potential to go further!

    1.Matthew Flanagan (Balla)
    2.Eddie Doran (Achill)
    3.Seamus Cunniffe (Ballaghaderreen)
    4.Ciaran Harrison (Aghamore)
    5.David Kenny (Aghamore)
    6.Michael Hall (Breaffy)
    7.James Kelly (Belmullet)
    8.Val Roughneen (Balla)
    9. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore) Capt.
    10. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
    11. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina)
    12. Diarmuid O Connor (Ballintubber)
    13. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
    14. Brian Reape (Moy Davitts)
    15. Fionan Duffy (Crossmolina)

    16. Scott Kilker (Belmullet)
    17. Shairoze Akram (Ballaghaderreen)
    18. T.J Byrne (Kiltimagh)
    19. Barry Duffy (Balla)
    20. James Lyons (Aghamore)
    21. Eoin O Donoghue (Belmullet)
    22. Colm Reape (Knockmore)
    23. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
    24. Mikey Murray (Ballina)

    Manger: Mike Solan
    Selectors: John Ginty & Joe Keane

  71. Mayo McHale, agree Mayo need to adopt a new style of play. However I dont think we should move necessarily to the defencing system employed by other teams. Agreed some elements should be adpoted like a certain nasty streak. But to go out and copy other teams is reactive move where wr will always be behind.we need to be proactive, develop our own system to break down these teams. Come the summer I expect us to be playing a more kick pass style of play like corifin. It must be noted that Tony McEntee spent the first 3months managing Bridgits in Dublin teaching them how to kick pass properly.

  72. Yes we are all in it together alright. I reckon the county board should organise a get together of all the management teams involved with our county teams and thrash out where they want to go. Styles of play, training methods, coaching options etc. should be all discussed.

    All of the current coaches in the county should be involved in this brain storming exercise. Even get the likes of Brian Coady, Jim McGuinness, Liam Sheedy, James Horan, Jack O’Connor etc. in to address the delages at the get together.

    Even all the management teams of we’ll say the top clubs in the county should be present as well. In fact any management team in the county involved with a club, school etc. could be involved as well. I’m just making this up off the top of my head now but we have to try to do something different to get different results.

  73. So we took a kicking yesterday it’s not the first time but we’re still alive. A good win Sunday week against the Leicester City of the GAA world and we start to dream all over again

  74. MayoMark…I take your point…I should respect that the lads have done so much and really ought to have kept my mouth shut… Maybe yesterday was the straw that broke my back but you are right …true support is about being there through thick and thin…
    I can only imagine what it’s like for the team and their families to wake up with this defeat hurting…and I apoligise to any I have offended..including you MayoMark.

  75. Axle, we all want the same thing at the end of the day! We won’t fall out over it 🙂

  76. Kevin….Ive heard a few times that Castlebar cancelled their parade for a home coming. But the reason they cancelled the parade is because they wanted everyone in the town to go and support the lads. I think that’s perfectly reasonable? How many times does a club get to an All Ireland final. Mayo Mark is right the parade was postponed 2 years ago.

  77. One player from South Mayo, as with the trend in recent years particularly under Gilvarry no South Mayo selectors or players. Holly-Carra, Garry, Claremorris, Davitts all playing Senior Football and only one player on panel.

    Noticeable, the number of players from East Mayo with two Ballagh Men involved. Would be hopeful that this group would be at least competitive.

  78. If Roscommon are so good how is Senan Kilbride still playing full forward for them? he has never delivered for them in championship. Where are they going to get midfield dominance in the White Heat of championship from? How many Roscomoon players would get into the Mayo middle 8, when everyone gets up to speed? Also their FB line got roasted a couple of times last year will be interesting to see how they have shored that up. I think they will need to unearth a top midfielder before they can really challenge nationally

  79. centerfield what went before probably doesn’t count for a lot now as Its a new Roscommon management with a game plan in place and system of play that seems to be suiting their players to the best of their ability. Remember the best wasn’t got out of the current Mayo panel until Horan instilled the most suitable game plan and system of play.

  80. Just for the record. I don’t care if someone from Timbuchtoo comes on here and offers their opinion on Mayo football. Fair play to them. What I do care about is outsiders rubbing salt into open wounds. We do enough of that all by ourselves. I don’t think it’s right but I do understand the frustrations. We are proud Mayo people and we only want our own do themselves proud. I can take that bullshit from one of our own but I don’t appreciaite outsiders taking cheapshots at our lads when they are at their most vulnerable. Mayo is my fucking county and those lads are my fucking lads and fuck the begrudgers.

  81. @Baconfactoryend.

    “the Leicester City of the GAA world”.

    Careful there now. They are after winning again today and are 8 points clear at the top of the English league with 7 to play.

  82. Dont know what all the excitement bout the stealers is, ok they, v won a few games in league, so what most the top teams have a weak teams out at the start of league , remember derry got to a league final a couple years ago, were are thet now, can see the same happening to ross when the ground hardens up, remember this is the same team that sligo beat last year and the same sligo we, d beaten after 15 minutes in conn. final….as for castlebar , had,t their homework done and a bad day at office, thats all , the better team won on the day, never mind that nonsence about mayo teams in croker , any time we lost up there we were beaten by better teams over 70 min on the day , simple as that, as for ross and whover else comes on this page , there mus,t be much goin on in their own gaa page , when they have to comment on us…..lets get behind the lads , they,ll be there or about again this year, thers no gurantees in sport, never was and never will ….c, mo muigheo…well done u 21, s last night….

  83. Oh and dont forget the mcstay feel good factor, may come back to haunt us and prob. will down the line but not this year , have to do something with AOS, he,s no full foward and he is not the mayo team, when hes double or treble marked has to learn to release ball fast to unmarked players around him , reminds me a bit of cora staunton , everything has to go thru her…………..

  84. I agree with the posts on here saying it was the worst collapse from a Mayo team. Simple stuff like a 10 yard handpass were going astray. The fear of taking a shot on.. nerves.. simple as that.. which is surprising considering they were all involved 2 years ago. it will take a while for the players to get over this one. The lads with the county will have that to concentrate on but the rest will be stewing over this for quite some time.

    Mitchels are the best team in Mayo and were the best team in Connacht this year. It is hard to fathom how it went so wrong

  85. I don’t know what happened to the lads on Thursday. The poor level of performance was hard to believe from such an accomplished bunch of players. Lets just put it down to a collective off day for the players and the management. Pity it happened on the biggest stage. It’s hard to believe that we were watching the same team that beat Corofin and Crossmaglen. I hope the lads can just move on and get back on the bike after a few weeks rest. They represented Mayo well and must be applauded for winning their second County and Connacht titles in 3 years. I don’t see any other team matching that feat for a long time. Well done to the Mitchels on an excellent year overall.

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