More match reports and stuff

It’s Monday and, yes, it’s raining again here. At least it’s a Bank Holiday, you might say, but the globalised world in which we now live in means that on this occasion I have to eschew that particular privilege. A wet working Monday it is, then.

Okay, seeing as I have to work, this’ll have to be a reasonably quick one, just to hoover up the online match reports that didn’t appear yesterday and to say a bit about the two other quarter-finals that were played over the weekend and stuff.

The Indo has reports on the minor and junior matches but the one on the senior match is the one in the Sindo that was up yesterday. They also have a piece about Andy’s injury.

The Times’ match report by Malachy Clerkin is built around Andy’s injury and the same paper also has some post-match quotes from our James and their James. On a day when we all ended up a bit down in the mouth, I think the following bit from that last piece quoting our man is worth repeating here:

“Christ,” he exclaimed. “I don’t want to sound too feckin’ downbeat. We’ve won an All-Ireland quarter-final by 12 points. I’d take that. I’d take that any day of the week.”

Indeed. The Times also have a short report on the minors’ win on Saturday.

The Examiner is the only one of the nationals to have reports on all three of our victories on Saturday. Here they are: senior, minor and junior. The same paper also has post-match quotes from James Horan and from Wee James.

Okay, I think that’s it as regards match reports. Moving onto a few housekeeping details about what lies ahead, the minors will be facing Meath in the All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks time (i.e. not on the same day as we play the Dubs). That’s because we beat the Munster champions on Saturday and so take their place in the semi-final, with Meath doing the same to Ulster champions Tyrone yesterday. So it’s us v the Royals on the undercard with the Donegal/Cork semi-final on the 26th.

I haven’t been able to find out yet when (or indeed where) the All-Ireland junior final is being played but in that final we’ll be facing either Kerry or Cavan, who play their semi-final in Nenagh this coming Saturday. Hopefully the Breffni lads can do a Polo Grounds job on the Kingdom in that one, thus paving the way for could be our chance to avenge the 1948 All-Ireland final loss to the lads from the border county.

A few quick thoughts about yesterday. I ended up back in Croke Park in the end, in a nice seat in the Upper Hogan and it was a good day’s entertainment. Cork fairly walloped Kildare but they could, had they chosen to do so, utterly annihilated them as they passed up on at least five clear goal-scoring opportunities in the second half. Cork looked menacing – when they could be arsed to play, mind – but the Lillies were embarrassingly bad, worse even than Down against us. Fourth Best Team? Maybe in Leinster but, after yesterday, even that claim would be open to debate.

The Donegal/Kerry contest was, as expected, enormously tactical but for all that, I thought Jim McGuinness’s team lacked an awful lot of awareness in how they took the game to Kerry and, but for their appetite for sheer hard work, this could well have cost them what eventually was an historic victory. The quality of ball they played into their full forward line – especially in the first half – was pretty dire and, time and again, badly-directed passes inside were happily gobbled up by the Kerry backs. The other odd thing was the lack of variety in their kickouts, which were boomed right down the middle time after time, despite the fact that Kerry were winning the aerial duels there.

Kerry were, though, a mere shadow of themselves and they failed completely to hurt Donegal the way they needed to – a regular supply of long-range points was a must for the Kingdom yesterday but aside from one from Declan O’Sullivan in the first half and another from Anthony Maher early in the second they were unable to find their range at all.

That late goal (which looked like a square ball to me although Kevin McStay reckoned on The Sunday Game last night that it was okay – maybe it was) kept the outcome in doubt for longer than was really necessary but Donegal deserve great credit for hanging in there to dig out the win. They’ll get enormous amount of confidence from having done so – they now have a 100% success rate against Kerry in the championship – and this will, no doubt, stand to them when they face Cork in three weeks time.

Finally, I see the bookies have us as outsiders for Sam – Paddy Power are quoting Cork at 6/4, Dublin 9/4, Donegal at 11/4 and us at a rather generous 7/1. Our odds of 2/1 to beat the Dubs are also rather attractive, I reckon – as I recall we were available at the same price in 2006 and it didn’t do us any harm that day.

73 thoughts on “More match reports and stuff

  1. Donegal are unbelievably reliant on Colm McFadden, mark him out of the match and Donegal won’t be able to get the scores necessary. If they hadn’t got that fluke goal, yesterday probably would have been a different story. Donegal had a lead to hold on to, and they flooded 14 men back. If it had been a straight shootout I’m not sure about whether they can pull it off. The moral of the story is to start well at 100 miles an hour against them, force them to come out and play.

  2. The culling season is well advanced now with 4 more fallers at the weekend.
    Thankfully we managed to stay upright & are now swinging into the straight with just two fences left to jump. We need to keep our focus now & keep all our thoughts on how we maximise our chances. We beat a team that is hardly even in the Top 8 & the next day we will encounter a huge step up in graft & physicality.
    Our problems upfront are further compounded by the loss of Andy & now we are left with some hard choices. Do we place our faith in improved performances from the Freeman/Doherty/Varley axis ? Do we push some defenders or midfielders forward in the hope that they might improve things ? Or do we stir up the hornets nest again and draft in some newcomers even at this late stage … I’m thinking of Mort, Mac, Kilcoyne or even the Mayoman in Australia if he is able to spare a few weeks in September ?
    From here on in the margins are going to be very small & James has some thinking to do to get these calls right. On such decisions Sam could be won or lost.
    Any thoughts on these matters from other posters ?

  3. Now that the exuberance of the weekend is slipping by it is perhaps time for some reflection. It was an excellent win and for those of us who have been on the wrong end of results in Croke Park it was worth celebrating. THere were a lot of positives and a few worries.

    I would outline them as follows:

    1.In my view Andy Moran was the last man we could afford to lose as he was in my view our best player and of course inspirational as a captain. A huge worry.

    2. I am still not convinced that Jason Doherty is the answer to any problem. Great goal but very little thereafter. THose who championed Conroys case have been proved right and there is more in Conroy yet. He needs to start popping over points if we are to have any notions of reaching the final.

    3. The substitutes were I thought disappointing given our rampant stature. Feeney was not at a the races, and Freeman was poor. Jason Gibbons did ok I thought but hard to judge.

    4.Higgins and Vaughan are good at most things but CAN be loose at times. Something to work on.

    I think talk of Mortimer and Hanley is plain daft and I wonder will some people ever learn. THe reality is there is a bond now (as in Donegal without Cassidy) so lets not get silly.

    Can we win- Yes. The fact we are still underdogs is our biggest asset I believe. It will take work and effort and good selection from heron in. Either way well done to James and the lads- they are a cohesive and more importantly progressive unit at last. Nothing won but neither has any other county won anything.

  4. Lets be cruel here, lets pretend we are Jim McGuiness or Micky Harte . Those men lost players, overcame adversary in family life or at least faced it nobly. The prize ahead is now is what matters. Only four can claim it. Where I sit I see no reason why not us.

    Hopefully Horan, definitively McGuinness and Harte would face the future and the loss of a talisman with two aims. One being to grab the damn thing and two, to put the loss, the calamity and the challenge into perspective.

    Andy Moran rowed the boat this far up the river, he has done his bit…gallantly might I add. He now will become an inspiration , a lightning rod for the team. What he must not be allowed to become and the media is at it already, he must not become the effing rock we founder on.

    Within the current squad the answer lies. No need to go to England , Australia or anywhere else. Harte will hopefully come back, he frees up options in mid and half forward. Dovetailed with him are the O Sheas to boost the front lines. Conroy is the real deal, the maligned Doherty, Varley and Freeman did nowt wrong and more importantly they remained true to our cause never putting personal vanity ahead of the team. Stop the keening over Andy, he is a warrior and he would not want it.

    Place the trust in those who served and manned the trenches. We are mayo, we need not panic and start wondering who might be out there to aid us now. We reached a second successive semi final without a headline act. I feel for Tom Cunniffe, Parsons, the Kilcullens, Geraghty….men who did their county a service. I feel for Billy Joe who travelled long roads in support of town and county and never once opened the window and spat the dummy out.

    Andy is out, he is in our prayers and thoughts but to Mayo at this moment I am actually more useful, so focus on what we have and not on what we haven’t. Two September wins will give Andy what he deserves and what we crave…an All Ireland.

  5. I’d agree an awful lot with Cool Hand Luke. Overall it was a great performance against a team who really weren’t at the races. However, the loss of our Captain Fantastic is a hammer blow. To me it seems like Alan Freeman is the obvious replacement choice though it will be tough to fill Andy’s shoes. It really will be up to all 6 forwards to show for the ball as much as Andy would do when the chips are down (as I’m sure they will be at some stage) against the Dubs.

    I wouldn’t be too tough on any of the subs, I don’t think any of them could really be judged considering the nature of the game at that point they were introduced. Any talk of a desperation move for Hanley, Mort etc to join a panel that has just scored 3-18 in Croke Park – well you might as well say go home to all the forwards in the panel as you’re not good enough to beat the Dubs.

  6. John thats high on rhetoric but short on analysis.of course we have to move on.who said otherwise.fact remains we will miss Andy.its not an excuse its a fact.worrying that john and others looking beyond Dublin. One game at a time.That is vital.

  7. Well said John.
    Andy is a huge loss (more so than even AOS or Keith Higgins) due to his ability to win ball and link play, but it’s happened so let’s deal with it.
    The one ‘good’ thing is that Andy being Andy, we won’t lose his influence or leadership qualities around the squad. You can imagine how determined he’ll be to play his part around the players for the next 4 weeks (and hopefully longer). Which says everything about the calibre of man he is.

    As for the Dubs, we face a massice test in 4 weeks. Sure they haven’t been playing great yet, but they’re the current All-Ireland champions and a serious outfit.
    As much as we’ll miss Andy, Dublin are a different side with Alan Brogan in their team. I’m sure he’ll be back for the semi.
    But bring it on, let’s beat a full strength Dublin side in Croker, it’d be even sweeter than 2006.

  8. I thought the Kery/Doneal game was entertaining and exciting..but couldnt fathom some things…like why Kerry didnt utilize Stars ability around the small square; yes eventaully they did, but too little too late. And why Kerry let McFadden dominate up front?…he was the life and soul of that gritty game.Having said that, fair play to Donegal, they achieved what they need to.

    Pivoting back to our game….looking face value at the scoreline, you’d think “wow”…
    The back…Keegan (0-1)
    The midfielder Shea (0-1)
    The forwards, McLoughlin (0-2), O’Connor (0-7, six frees), Dillon (0-4), Conroy (2-1), Moran (0-1), Doherty (1-0)
    Of the subs, Freeman for Moran (did not score), Feeney for Doherty (did not score), Varley (0-1) for Conroy, Gibbons for O’Shea (did not score), Barrett for Boyle (did not score, ok he was a back)

    Point is that without Andy directing the traffic, we are much less creative and more predicable. I just dont know who, from the existign crop on the bench, can step up and be that transformational playmaker we need them to be..

  9. Watched the Donegal match on telly. Have to say congrats to them. Beating Kerry in the championship in Croke park is some achievement. I think it will bring them on in leaps and bounds in terms of confidence.
    Only drawback I see at moment for them is that Kerry were unfortunate with injuries.
    Lost Brosnan and Sheehan early through injury. And with the other substitutes already made they also had an injured Gooch who had to stay on because there was no sub left. And they still nearly pinched a draw.

    Cork were Cork and looked phenomenal and athletic although Kildare were dreadful in the second half – even worse than Down were. Dirty as fuck though. I think whoever gets that semi-final match to ref will have some serious decisions to call. If I were a betting man I would put a few quid on a sending off.

    Dublin were poor but sure so what. They still won. Felt a little sorry for Laois. They tried as hard as they could but playing the seventh defender cost them up the field as they had no one to really get the scores when they were required.

  10. Spot on there JPM regarding Laois’ seventh man…to win, you need to put points on the board.

    We should remeber that, when ppl speak of Andy sittign on the sideline.

  11. It is never a good idea to let the joy of victory stop you from analysing the weakness in a set up. We have many as we have many strengths also. The teams left ALL deserve respect and Dublin will be a tough nut to crack. Given the loss of Moran it is a mammoth task. I accept people like to see the positives but positivity can often mask problems.

    Our forwards have to up their game. Doubtful if we would get any of those goals again so we must look to scoring points under pressure. That is why Dillon is so crucial and Conroy looks like he can step up. We need more from the other forwards and bonus points fro Keegan, Boyle or O Shea would help.Also I agree Higgins and Vaughan need to watch their men closely as the Dubs are good if they get a run on you.

    Think we can win midfield .I agree we must worry about Dublin only. Irrelevant at this stage who is in other semi final.

    Above all let us keep the hype down. We are no further on than last year and we have had too many false dawns. There is a consistency building and what we can do is help by supporting but not adding to expectations so no talk of All Ireland’s please.

    Agree with Mister Mayor we need the people on the field to perform. People off it will support but that’s all they can do.

    Think great tribute due to Cian O Neill also. Mayo have never looked fitter.

    Finally fair play to Brolly writing us off. More of that needed from the over hyped motor mouth.

  12. Willie Joe, I believe the Junior Final will be played on 25 August, venue TBA. The other semi-final will be played between Kerry and Cavan in Nenagh this coming Saturday.

    I feel desperately sorry for Andy. He is, indeed, a big loss to the team but the other lads will now have to step up to the plate and show us what they’re worth. I for one believe they can do this.

    I really had to laugh at last night’s Sunday Game and Brolly already designating Dublin as one of the AI finalists – he did the same thing last year before our quarter final with Cork!

  13. From what we have seen over the last weekend there is no need to get panicky-we are as good if not better than ANY of them.This is a 25 man team, no prima donnas but all very capable & focussed.Horan has instilled in this squad a belief in themselves and a steely resolve to get the job done. Some unwarrented criticism of some areas i.e corner forwards-we scored 3-18 ,more than any of the other teams at the weekend-these lads need our unconditional support so from now on less of the negatives-we can make our county prouder this year

  14. Brolly wasn’t alone , Hayes made a point of saying it at least twice about Dublin being in the final. I’m starting to find it funny at this stage rather than getting worked up about it.

  15. Looks like there is more than one Tubberman… That isn’t me who posted above and has happened before. Doesn’t bother me, but just so people know – posts under that name could be from one of at least two people! 😉

  16. Tubberman let me also doff my cap to Alan Dillon. Majestic and excellent. More of the same from him. In 1999 Benny Coulter was the difference in the minors , Saturday Alan repaid that day with interest, fair play when it’s due and Dillon deserves it.

  17. Was not sure whether to laugh or cry after the match on Saturday.
    What a blow to us. We could not have lost a more important player.
    Where now ? A chance to regroup I suppose.
    I suppose start Freeman there. But he really needs to up the urgency
    and aggression and get stuck in.
    We’ll have good night in Bowes on Sept 1st. There will be a good
    bit of hype here in the Capital before that one.
    Well done to James and the boys. What a great improvement to
    to the team in the last 2 seasons. It’s great to be still in it.

  18. Tubberman (the real one) – it might help matters if you were to log in (I can give you the necessary details on how to do this if you want) as then we’d know for sure it’s you.

    Tubberman (the unreal one) – please don’t post under this name again, it’s already taken. Use your imagination and think up another name: it’s not too hard if you put your mind to it. Any further comments from you using the Tubberman name will go straight to moderation and will not be published.

  19. Well the croker chokers are back in another semi final. Great work from JH and his team and terrific work from our own lads, I am not by any means a tactical analyist but here’s how I see it. The dubs will firstly take out Cillian and thereafter take out any subsequent freetaker. Our lads from 10 to 15 have to spend the next 4 weeks taking spot kicks, we could win the semi on that alone. No worries about the back 6. the half backs and 2 midfielders need to contribute roughly 5 points from play. You CANNOT replace Andy, so it’s time for plan B, over to you James! Thank God we didn’t have the money for a big name manager (Smiley, smiley smiley)

  20. So I apologise to the wrong Tubberman… Ah well Dillon still has had a good championship!

  21. Why do Mayo supporters feel offended if pundits predict that Dublin will win the semi final? Is that not good news to Mayo management, it puts pressure on the Dubs. Brian Cody, Jack O Connor etc always build up the opposition in the media. John Maughan talks in his article in the Mayo Advertiser of the dangers of hype, he regrets that that he did not take the team away from the county leading up the finals in 96 and 97. Dublin are All Ireland champions, they say if you can win playing badly it is a sign of a good team.

  22. I know Andy is a huge loss but we have to accept that and move on. Every match report was clouded over by the loss of Andy and I agree with John that we need to be careful not to buy into this. Would be far worse to lose him the week before the semi-final, JH and team have plenty of time to get used to the idea and plan accordingly. Hopefully have some other players coming back from injury to bolster the squad, Harte and SOS etc.He’s out now but he can still be very influential so let’s get out there and put the Dubs to the sword for Andy !

  23. Will soon see what Ciaran Connor and James are really made of if its true he asked them back and they refused don’t think I’ll ever get over it …. On the other hand if they do accept it will show the whole country what being a MAYO man is all about … Oh lads please be men and accept/offer your services for the big cause . .. For us … for the county … the team and MOST of all for ANDY ….

  24. Yes, it’s common news now about Mac, find it a bit disappointing tbh but you can’t force the man.

  25. Oh i get it now.
    Ciaran is Ciarán McDonald
    Connor is Conor Mortimer
    James – JH.

    Can’t see any of these being asked back. McDonald is out of the mayo equation for what, 3 years now? And unless Conor were to make the first move and apologise he has no future under JH.

    Mind you JH never kicked Conor off the team. Conor left of his own accord.

  26. It would be tough to see Mort coming back after his statement he realeased. He obviously(wrong or rightly)felt hard done by with the way Horan was using him this season and whatever you think about him Connor always had firm belief in himself and his actions when it came to football.
    Disappointed that Mac has turned down coming back if that’s true but in fairness to Ciaran he must know himself he’s not up to it cause he always gave everything to Mayo and I’d be shocked if he held any grudge( although I’d understand if he did) to the present setup over the way he was treated by the previous mangement. The fact that he went to the press ( how may interviews has he ever done?) to confirm he wanted to carry on back then would suggest if he felt he could contribute, he’d be out on the training pitch in a shot.
    I think if Conroy keeps improving and by tweaking our stratedy slightly Freeman could man the no.14 shirt against the Dubs. Also Pat Harte hopefully should be back as an option on the bench and with Seami O’ Shea having more trainig under his belt he’ll come into the reckoning for a slot in the half forwards. All in all we have enough options to come up with a plan to down the Dubs. There’s plenty of leaders in Higgins , Keegan ,Dillion adn Aido to step up and give it a lash on Sept 2nd.!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Dont know ’bout the rest of ye but I’m sick to the teeth of people
    STILL goin on about the renegade and C Mac.I’ts like the dog
    you tell to lie down,but keeps growling under his breath!!
    LET IT FUKN GO ONCE AND FOR ALL.Nothing will be gained
    except a whole heap of discontent.

  28. If this team that’s evolving under horan is made of the kind of stuff I believe its made of then the dose of the collywobles infecting some players on here will not get to team mayo, because they are a team ,a unit, a force which can withstand blows and keep going they are not a bunch of gasurs looking to the big lads to see them through, it is also quite possible that at the weekend of the club QF’s we could be sweating over more than Andy- thats football and team mayo will get on with it.Keep the faith.

  29. We have three midfielders in the subs, R, Mc Garrity, D. Geraghty and J. Gibbons. We brought on three subs that played in the forwards last Sunday and none of them sparkled in my opinion. Should we not have more forwards on our bench. Where is Pat Harte and say it how we like – Mortimer is needed. We may not agree with what he did but we must have our best available.

    We have a chance now so lets have the best best 26 available on the day.

    We beat a poor opposition on Saturday in Down. Dublin were not great either but they missed Brogan. If he is available for the semi and Andy being out we will get it tight. I agree that this team is getting better and is better than Mayo teams of yore.

    I was in the team hotel on Saturday night and saw no officer of the Co. Board there. They should have been there to show support for the team that has brought us to an All Ireland semi-final?

  30. Pat Harte is injured, but I think he’s not too far away from a comeback. He would be a welcome addition at this stage.
    Conor Mort has made his decision, he can live by it.
    I don’t think the players would be too upset at the lack of Co Board men floating around the place to be honest!

  31. Seamus O’Shea, if fit, would be a good selection at centre half forward. Kevin Nolan will struggle with his size and strength. By all accounts SOS is also one of the fastest men on the team over 100 yards. A strong centre half forward that will run in straight lines and open up space for the smaller men is a good Plan B.

    The one thing absolutely guaranteed in competitive football is injuries! I agree with the previous posters – JH, the panel and selectors must move on. It’s cruel but there’s a very winnable match to be played on Sept 2nd. The team cannot afford to bring any baggage or doubts onto the pitch. One thing guaranteed is that the Dubs will tear into them from the very start – the 2006 semi final defeat still rankles. Its better for the panel and supporters if they are written off. It suited in ’04 v Tyrone, ’06 v Dublin, and ’11 v Cork.

  32. Ed – I’ve deleted that comment in its entirety due to the outrageous slur you’ve cast on a former Mayo player. If you’re not capable of staying within the house rules for comments, then I’d be grateful if you’d refrain from posting further comments here.

  33. Well, was at the matches at the weekend so haven’t had a chance until now to put my thoughts onto paper, so to speak. To begin with, it was a great performance in Croker, one of Mayo’s best in years there. Horan’s selection paid off (though I have to question the nonsense surrounding the selection – most knew by Tuesday evening that Conroy and O’Shea were playing – why they had to prolong it for the week, I don’t know. Fooling nobody and a tad unfair to Varley and Geraghty.) Those who played justified their selection. I was very impressed with Keane and Keegan – real defenders, not just athletes. Cafferkey, who I didn’t rate all that highly before, put in another good shift and looks very solid. Midfield dominant, forwards showing great movement – great performance.

    But….

    Moran’s loss is huge and cannot be understated. He is out first to every ball and is a huge link man. The amount of frees he won in the first half were a significant reason as to why the game was nearly over by half time. I agree with COOL HAND LUKE – he was the player we could least afford to lose. Sickening. To be quite frank, I have never come out of Croke Park after a Mayo win so deflated.

    To not aid matters, out substitutes did not ease my worries. Gibbons did quite well, to be fair, but Freeman who is the obvious replacement for Moran one would think, was poor and has never recaptured the form of 2010. While possessing a good pair of hands, he looks to lack confidence and was easily blocked down (twice) by Down. This just won’t be good enough against Dublin, I’m afraid. Varley did ok – Feeney was only okay too. Trouble is, this was against a team well beaten – they should have been flying really. And I know Doherty got the goal but I thought he did nothing after that. One goal is still not enough to justify his selection.

    Also, it cannot be understated how bad Down were. Their defence were atrocious, midfield non-existent and Laverty was by a distance their most dangerous attacker. Their third goal was shocking by any standards and particularly as it had happened so many times to them this year (i.e. the quick free), which was highlighted in the Sunday Game. They gave up very easily and very early (after the third goal).
    Do we have a chance against Dublin? We do – but the signs aren’t good. Dublin are coming into this after a bad game at the office and won’t be over hyped. If they get Brogan back, the forwards will work far better as a unit I feel. They break at speed and that is their greatest asset. Mayo will have to be careful not to be too loose at the back (Higgins and Vaughan take note!). The one thing that Dublin are poor at is their tackling – it is shocking. They tend to just wrap their arms around the man with the ball. Something to look at maybe – but that’s for another day.

    As for the other opponents – Donegal are depressingly good and hard to beat – I admire what they do, even though I hate their style of football. Cork were awesome – they are serious and may have too much for Donegal. Think one of those two teams will win the All Ireland myself.

    By the way, I agree with the bloggers who say that talk of Mortimer, MacDonald, Kilcoyne, Hanley coming back is daft. The squad he has is the squad he has. Mortimer would add nothing to the team – those who know their football could see that when it came to it against Cork in the league final he was slowing up the game. Mayo showed on Saturday that they are good when playing a fast paced game and Horan is clearly working towards that. I admire that and talk of bringing back players not part of the squad is not helpful. And I have to say, whether I’m right or not, that I find it hard to believe that MacDonald was asked back. The hype factor alone would be a huge distraction and one that Horan would simply not want.

    Now this piece is probably coming across as negative – but I have to say that things look good in the long term. Our backs are young and look good – Keane and Keegan in particular look good. Midfield is strong and could be around for a while. Conroy looks good and McLaughlin and Dillon are playing the football of their lives. O’Connor looks sharp and is getting better and better. They look fit and are playing a nice brand of football. And as I said, it was a fantastic win in Croker. The team is developing well and will be there or thereabouts in the next few years – I just believe that Moran’s injury is just too much to overcome to beat Dublin. But I really hope I’m wrong.

    Also – well done to the minors who put in an astounding performance. I for one did not see it coming – minors are hard to predict!! Well done to them – they play like the seniors, making great runs from deep and the best of luck to them against Meath.

  34. It’s all very well saying , we can’t add players to the squad now but we can’t keep losing players and not replacing them at sometime, at this rate we’ll have no back up at all .

    What happens if we lose another forward the weekend through club games? Are we going to head up to Dublin the next day with no forwards on the bench?

    There is too much negativity surrounding the idea of adding a couple of forwards to the panel, it’s not such a big deal, just slot them in , all senior club footballers in Mayo are at the top of their game in fitness terms, of course there is a massive step up to inter county at this stage but like i have pointed out, we can’t just keep losing players through injury and walk offs without replacing them.

  35. Fair point Sean – but Horan is adding players, the likes of Alan Murphy etc. People are talking about Mortimer, who exiled himself and McDonald, who would bring incredible hype, even though he last played intercounty football in 2007. And talking about bringing back Hanley from Oz, who also hasn’t played football since 2007, is daft. Fair enough bringing in players who are playing well for the club (like Alan Murphy) but it’s the same players that are being talked about and it’s not helpful, in my opinion.

  36. Congrats to mayo on brilliant display, forget about downs poor performance.The reason for such was Mayos dominance in practically every position.Also mayo delivered kick passes 30 to 40 yards accurately which destroyed downs attempt at so called blanket.Remember blanket CAN BE SHREDED.Mayo are probably best coached team in last four.I believe we are in perfect position,team wriiteen off by pundits ect.Please Angeline ,no poems or songs lets do that when SAM returns to mayo be it this year or not.Enjoy success in winning 2 Connacht titlets .Reaching 2 s/f and playing brillant foot ball in croke park.Andy is a huge loss,he will be first to admit that Mayo can and will overcome.Best of luck Andy on your recovery,JH and all in back room team GREAT JOB.IS FEIDHER LINN.

  37. Sean I think there’s a few forwards who were involved earlier on that can be added to the bench like Connor O Shea and Coen from Hollymount. Also factor in the return to fittness of Seam O’ Shea and hopefully Pat Harte. In fairness to Horan he’s already added Alan Murphy which proves if you’re lighting it up in the club championship James will give you a shot too. Also there’s is the likes of Evan Regan who hopefully will be fit for the Dubs ,Michael Forde and Aidan Walsh which would give us plenty to work with without having to go for drastic measures from afar or the past!!! Maybe even Kirby if he’s back from Chicago and has kept himself fit. I think if you fit into Horan’s vision and game plan he seems to be willing to take a chance on an in-form player

  38. Willie Joe,

    You are to be congratulated on the management of this site. It is getting better by the day.

    Well done!

  39. Sean, I agree that some club players are at the top of their game but I dont believe
    management can, as you say ‘slot them in’.The guys there are playing to a system
    which they’ve(I Hope) been honing for months.Some guys have been playing with the
    panel to balance the A vs B games,but I dont think they’re on the panel.I know of one such case

  40. Well done Horans Brigade.Superb analysis fair and honest.Best I have read.Donegal canbebeaten though as can Dublin and Cork.Players neerd experience of Croker so

  41. The rumor mill surrounding Ciaran is getting ridiculous.

    I am a Ciaran Mac man, 100 % ,so it is with great pitty i write this, he is not coming back , end of story.

  42. i hope none of the senior panel especially the fowards take these rumours to heart cant be good for their confidence all these rumours flying about , these lads have done the hard slog all winter and into the summer which ever way it goes against the dubs the lads are entitled to their day in the sun, i dont believe for one second that ciaran mc would even contemplate joining up with the panel apart from the hype it would it would cause it could also bring with it a fair bit of resement from the lads that have worked so hard to get us to where we are today leave the rumours in the mill, i for one think we have enough power to beat the dubs thats all that matters for now is the dubs

  43. In relation to Andy’s injury – has it been absolutely confirmed that he’s unavailable? Remember Ger Hartmann worked his magic on Henry Shefflin and John Tennyson (I think) for Kilkenny. Would it be possible something similar could work for Andy? While it wasn’t exactly a success for Shefflin, Tennyson played the entire match after suffering just as bad an injury as Shefflin. Surely, any possible remedy should be investigated

  44. It has actually gone very quiet on the Andy front. No scan results released ? The miracle could not happen could it …..

  45. My 2 cents,
    Mayo will be able for the dubs even with brogans playing. Cork will beat donegal and we will meet them in final, the fact that they beat us in the league final was a blessing for us. Whatever about upsetting the lads in the panel by bringing in others at this stage I think they would all agree it was a good idea were they to land the big prize next month.conor mort should be brought back and the air cleared between them all, he is too good to leave sitting and wants to win as much as Horan. C Mac is a different story because he is older, but would add a great option for opening up a defense for the last twenty minutes.
    The thing is mayo are 61 years waiting, too long for a county that loves football.

  46. mort left himself sitting at home .no one to blame only himself .no footballer is bigger than the county the days of being guarnteed starting berths in every match because of who you are is under horan long gonethank god it is ,ciarain mc id love to see in the panel .but the hype in the media would be a negative thing for the county , think ive covered that in a previous posting ,wj will tickets be available on match day a few exiles have being asking me ?

  47. @David … EXCATLY … Spot on with your 2 cents … It has to be this year it just HAS to be … I know we all went a bit crazy with Andy’s news it just it means so much to us all to land this prize and this year for me and my family it means EVERYTHING :'( …

  48. It doesn’t have to be this year at all and in all probability it wont. Another 5 years in that team for most of them at least.

    Dublin is a big ask but it is certainly not beyond this team, more because of Dublins not firing on all cylinders though than our quality.

    No matter how you dress it up we are still lacking a at least a couple of top quality players, add in the loss of Andy and we are going to struggle unless there is a serious up in performance by a couple of forwards. The Dubs will probably squeeze the life out of Dillon , as he will be the man we will look to now to link up play.

    We will need something new, something we haven’t showed our hand in yet, i hope Horan has a gameplan for the jacks that takes them by surprise, i don’t envy his task without Andy tbh.

    I’d be hoping SOS is fit and able or else the romantically hopeless dream of the return of C. Mac.

    Fingers crossed everyone comes through the weekends games unharmed, there will be some mighty intense battles including the mouthwatering tie of C’bar b Tubber. (might even head down home for that one, is their a double bill in McHale park for that and Cross v Westport)?

  49. James has been on to Crossmolina about the availability of one of their star forwards – -however that man is not Mac – – it is Carolan who has become the latest addition to the panel.

  50. After reading the above posts ( and assuming that Andy is out for the rest of the championship) there are a lot of wishes and hopes on one side, while on the other we see an effort to counter those sentiments with what appears to be logic….. we are to have no hope against Dublin, Donegal or Cork (the latter would be the tough one)……two weeks ago, two months ago, eons ago, we had those same conflicts and worries……….back in march the talk was of relegation…………we made the league final………before the Down game we had forwards that couldn’t score, the position of the posts and the width of those posts didn’t change last Saturday……..but what did was the belief and ability to perform at headquarters…………from the above blogs we need a miracle, surprise or that ‘that that makes the difference’ to take on Dublin…..(am going to ruffle a few feathers here)………….The difference I saw in Mayo last weekend and which was mentioned by one of the bloggers already, was the accurate 30 to 50 yds foot pass, which allows not only to break the blanket defense but allows us to play at speed. One exponent of that and one who would take away the close attention that Alan Dillon and Cillian o’C will get from the Dubs in their efforts to stifle us ,a great forward and a Dub beater,someone ,if fit could have a place in any team in the country ,C. Mc. ……….most of you probably don’t remember Jimmy Keaveney but ‘the jacks would never been back without him…………he wasn’t the fittest and not a shadow of C. Mc. but a great presence……..sometimes we have to take a chance to achieve.

  51. Correction….a place in any county team, not country……..apologies.
    Great site WJ and all

  52. Yea build the hype.thats the way to go.kerry demolished tyrone and kildare sligo.nuff said

  53. Lat time I saw Cathal Carolan was for the u21’s and he looked a quality player then. Havent seen much of him since 2010? Anybody have a views on his progress with Cross? Has been involved with the seniors at all this year?

  54. I mentioned here some time ago that Carolan had been going well for Cross especially against Castlebar where he scored 1-2 I think, he is no flash harry but a hard working honest half forward who can win ball and score. No harm at all to have on the panel.

  55. Good to hear he’s progressing well . I remember against leitrim u21’s up in Cloone we were under serious pressure with Wayne Mckeown and Tomas Beirne doing a lot of damage when Carolan and Kevin Mcloughlin started to clean up around the midlle in the second half and turned the tide. He’ll definitely give us an option in the half forward line. It’s nice to see we’re reaping the benifits of those underage teams from 2006 to 2010. It’s easy to forget about them because of the turbulent time we had with the seniors in those years!

  56. Some amount of debate going on here since the weekend, good to see.

    A terrific win, even if the captain’s injury was a high price to pay. It seems that hammering Down makes you a great team if you’re Donegal, but if it’s Mayo doing the hammering, then of course it must be that we beat a poor side. Ah well, time will tell. Donegal are about to meet a serious team. Should they get past Cork, then – and only then – will they be deserved favourites for Sam.

    Mayo? Well, the biggest problem with Moran’s absence is not that he’s the captain, nor that he’s our most reliable ball-winner, but that he’s the only man in the FF line that we can 100% rely on. Conroy had a good day the last day, but he’s only 50-50 to play well any day he togs out. Doherty’s finish was a fine one for the goal; anonymous otherwise. And we don’t know if Cillian O’Connor will be picked in the FF line on Sept 2.

    Moran was also the pivot man, laying off the ‘pop’ handpasses to runners to open the defence. If Horan still wants a full forward to do that against Dublin, maybe Freeman is the best option : he won’t be physically bullied, and his kicking is too slow at the moment – witness the two that were blocked down on Saturday – so he could just concentrate on winning it and handpassing it off to O’Connor or Conroy.

    But if Moran’s absence requires a new game plan, then JH will have to get creative. I suspect he’s already doing so.

    It’s hard not to think that Seamus O’Shea should come in to the equation in that case. It’s only a year since he was the better-performing of the O’Shea-O’Shea midfield. He’s back training, he’s quick and built like a bull – surely he’s worth a punt running hard from centre-forward? We need to give Dublin a new problem on the day, as they’ll be training their sights on Dillon.

    The notion that because Andy is out we’re doomed is nonsense. Did we or did we not defeat Kerry in Croke Park without Aidan O’Shea, when he had wiped the floor with both of their midfielders in Tralee the Sunday before? As great a player as Andy is, O’Shea is the critical cog in the wheel. If we can win without him, we can win without anyone.

    It’ll be fascinating to see what the manager comes up with. Whatever happens, he has again done a superb job over the year. I remember reading an interview with John Maughan before the 1996 final in which he mentioned a letter he received thanking him for ‘putting the balls back into Mayo football’. James Horan is well on his way to doing exactly the same.

  57. Interesting but noone has said we are doomed without Moran.cant understand why people keep saying that this is the case.

  58. Great to see the GAA have outdone themselves in the fixtures…..

    I’m open to correction here but I think the Mayo minors play Meath in Croker on Sun 26th August……The Mayo Seniors play Dublin the following week….

    So if you and a mate want to go from Mayo to support two teams who have done really well all year, it’ll set you back €160 and thats even before you get a bit of food, fill the car with petrol etc etc….

  59. While I sympathise with your sentiments Mayoman – it is probably a little unfair to blame the GAA on that one. That is a pre-determined draw and the reason our Minors are not in Croke Park the same Sunday as the Seniors is simply that they came through the back-door. September 2nd was set aside as semi-final day for Connacht/Leinster teams -both minor and senior -if they came through their respective quarter finals. Kerry because they beat the Connacht minor champions are rightfully there on Sept 2nd. Mayo- because they beat Tipperary, the Munster champions have to follow the pre-ordained route and play on Aug 26th as that it the day for the planned meeting of the Ulster/Munster champions. Of course if our Minors had beaten Roscommon in the Connacht final and then won their next match – then they would have been playing the same day as the Seniors.

  60. Mayoman

    Why would it “be great to see that the G.A.A. have outdone themselves again” That is a peculiar statement.

  61. the minors in effect became the munster champions after beating tipp in other words we tke the munster champs place because of the backdoor system if we had come through the front door we would be on the same day as the seniors ,

  62. Sure Andy is a big loss–hopefully he will recover fully. how much worse it would be if it happened in the first minute of the semi—now we have time to plan.Lets give the squad players a chance–we were very hard on Barry Moran throughout the league & look how well he turned out,. I agree we need a bit of physicallity in the forwards but not at the expense of work ethic. As regards Mort there is no I in team.

  63. Was at club quarter finals over the weekend. What a display by Alan Dillon for Ballintubber- he led by example and showed his team the way to play. Cillian O Connor and Jason Gibbons in great form too. Great to see inter county footballers wanting to achieve with their clubs – for me Dillon went full throttle today to win . No holding back for Croke Park. Always plays like this for his club and does not get any injuries. There a lesson there for all inter county players that seem to me at least to be going through the motions with their clubs at championship time. Well done ballintubber

  64. I agree that Andy Moran is a loss to the team for the obvious reasons but as captain he can have a great influence on the team from the side line, and if the team raise their game for him then we will benefit greatly and maybe even be a better team, with other players stepping up.
    As for the Dubs, i don’t see them as a good team without the Brogans, with the Brogans they are a good team with good movement in the forwards.We have footballing defenders good enough to hold the Dubs, with the Brogans. They are confidence players and a good start puts doubts in their minds and they will make mistakes.
    In the league game in Castlebar that we won easily, we started well and kept pressure up. We had Barry Moran at FF, and he caused problems for the full back line.I would not play Barry in there again but a big man would cause problems for them.
    The Dubs will intimidate any player that allows himself to be intimidated, so it is important that every player stands up to them.
    We are playing in division one of the league and beating the top teams on a reasonabley regular basis, so we are no longer in awe of any of them, when we meet them in Croke Parke.
    Good luck to our Minors and Juniors as well as our Seniors.

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