More on Sunday’s game

Shea_Aidan_force_vCork2014

Photo: GAA.ie

As Sunday’s win over Cork slips a little further away in the rearview mirror, the sense of contentment about it grows. I sat down late last night to watch it again, via RTÉ Player on the laptop, but I was too knackered to look at the full thing so I’ve still got the increasingly insane second half to come a bit later on. At least now that I know how it finishes I won’t need to gnaw at what’s left of my knuckles this time around.

What struck me from rewatching the first half was how bloody hard the lads worked – particularly the forwards, who swarmed incessantly at the Cork rearguard as they tried to break upfield – and it also confirmed what a nasty undercurrent was running through the contest. That elbow into Kevin McLoughlin’s face by Cadogan was pure filth and it amazes me how a player like that seems to get away with this kind of thuggery all the time.

It also places into context what utter nonsense that whole “streetwise” allegation was and how it was, in fact, a smokescreen for a clear plan to rough our forward line up while hoping that, in the heat of battle, we’d look like the bad guys. It’s difficult to have much respect for a team like that and, as James said afterwards, it makes the win over them that bit sweeter. I hope they lose their hurling semi-final too.

It’s clear from this piece in today’s Irish Independent that Lee Keegan isn’t exactly empathising with the plight of our vanquished opponents either. The Westport man looks ahead to the semi-final but he also talks about the pre-match pot-stirring last week and how our lads interpreted this (correctly) as fear on their part. He then goes on to say:

We felt that our integrity was questioned, which was not nice, but we went out and did our job and got the job done, which was the main thing. They can say what they want but at the end of the day it is about getting results and we are in the All-Ireland semi-final and they are not.

Hear, hear – It’s not just between the white lines that Leroy is a classy operator.

For those of you still poring over Sunday’s match, there’s obviously going to be a veritable shedload of coverage in the local papers, with the Western already out since yesterday and the newly redesigned Mayo News hitting the streets today. I’ve even got a piece in the latter and I’ll post it here as well in due course.

Those who want to delve a bit deeper into how Sunday’s game panned out will be interested in Emmet Ryan’s Tactics Not Passion match analysis on Action81.com and the excellent breakdown of the key numbers in the game over on Don’t Foul.

Finally, just to confirm that the impressive win secured by Kerry’s minors over Kildare yesterday means that it’ll be us against the Kingdom in both the minor and senior semi-finals on the 24th. Jack O’Connor’s young charges are the 13/8 favourites for the Markham Cup this year while we’re the 4/1 outsiders (Dublin are 2/1 and Donegal 10/3 – Paddy Power odds here) as we aim to secure back-to-back All-Ireland titles at this level. What a start to the day it would be if Enda Gilvarry’s lads were to upset the applecart on them in that one. A double over Kerry at Croke Park in August? Now that sounds tasty.

51 thoughts on “More on Sunday’s game

  1. Got it in one Willie Joe on the Cork tactics. As I said, these guys know the back alleys pretty well and I felt indeed that they bullied us a bit; I hadn’t noticed it until I watched it again last night. And what’s more, they ‘don’t do’ defeats to Mayo. One maybe, a blip, but normal service should soon be restored. That’s what’s so great about the current team; they are setting new standards all the time. Kerry are the last barrier in that category and they will be even cuter than Cork.

    I was a little worried about Lee’s comment on their fitness. The fatigue possibility still keeps gnawing at me.

  2. A Mayo v Kerry double sounds good to me WJ. Just got Monday August 25th booked off work 🙂 Il also add I booked a few days off after September 21st back in January….lets hope I get to use them 😉

  3. What struck me, and is a point I have been making with much glee down here on Leeside since Sunday, was how they sh*t themselves when taking on Kerry but thought they could be the big men against us. if they had a tenth of that aggression against Kerry, they’re supposed bitterest rivals they might have at least made a game of it.
    But no, thats what bullies do, pick on what they think is weak and cave in when they believe they are playing someone stronger. Well they know who’s weak now, and its not us.

    Alot of crying down here about the ref, I’ve shot down any manner and means of moaning about that with the comment
    “but sure isnt that always the way, the big teams always get all the calls from refs”, and walk on. That quietens them.

    I also find it laughable that they are going on about it now, when only two mini bus loads of them made their way up to support “their” team, and didnt even want to know about the match last week. It speaks volumes that it was the Kerry crowd on their feet cheering in Croker when Cork scored the goals. Wonder why that was? Free pass to the final perhaps?

  4. Watched it in bits again also

    Like many I was far happier the second time (very similar to AIF 2012 actually) but I was also content after first viewing.

    We had 3 goal chances early in 2nd half, which on another day we’d have stitched at least one. Had we taken any it was game over and I think we’d have won handy. In hindsight we could well be better off not taking any and from getting a stiff test right to the end. But to bounce back after conceding the two goals was incredibly admirable. Anyone (myself included) who thought Mayo wouldn’t be able bounce back at all this year has been left with huge eggs on their face! Very proud of the lads

    Now onto Kerry and I’m very confident again. I thought Kerry looked simply awful against Galway and but for the two (very dangerous might I add) corner forwards and some awful tactics and decision making by Galway, I think we’d be facing our neighbours again. Any half decent side would have put Kerry away on that showing but to be fair they will improve (like ourselves). they simply have to, some of their passing was awful and they allowed such an average outfit like Galway dominate them for longish periods

    By how much is the question though. I’ve long been writing them off (since their last hurrah in 2011 which they threw away) and have always been proven right up to now. They simply don’t have the quality all over the pitch anymore with a very suspect 1-9. I think we’ll make hay by running straight at their backline and expect us to fully dominate midfield.

    Of course the worry is the inside men. Declan is long finished as a major force but still can take scores, however it’s Geaney and in particular JOD who’ll need serious minding. The latter has enough to win matches on his own, however it surely won’t be enough against a top side and they’ll need lads to stand up all over the pitch. I’m glad the likes of Galvin, Tom O’Se and of course the Gooch aren’t around anymore as the first two could well pull one last huge performance out of the bag (it turned out this was last year v Dub) and, well Gooch is Gooch. We’ll need to mind the fouling- Sheahan can put placed balls over from anywhere

    Anyhow I’m fully confident we’ll win and if we hold JOD well it’ll be comfortable enough imo. I expect to see our best performance of 2014 here and while I don’t think we’re ultimately going to be bringing Sam home, unfortunately, I do expect us to be there again on the 3rd sunday in Sept, which is some achievement given last year’s disappointment.

  5. I thought Kerry defended well against Galway , on one hand you could say Galway shouldnt have had all them wides but from where i was sitting in the cussak , it looked like Kerry near limited their shot selection to near impossible angles and harried them well.

  6. east cork exile, the ref gave them a very soft free against Cuniffe and also I saw nothing wrong with Ger Cafferky’s ‘foul’ for the last free. I thought the ball was there to be won and he kicked it to touch. At worst it should have been a fifty.

    Also Cillian was hard done by in the first half for a high ball going in that I thought he won clean and the ref gave a free out.

  7. Ah yeah but highorlow, as the saying goes “if your explaining, your losing” so tis much better to throw back a smart comeback that has no opening for another comeback and move on.

  8. The bitterness and hurt pouring out of Cork’s 17 supporters is beautiful to see. Mayo are now one of the big teams and the fact that Cork were close to taking our scalp has them all hot and bothered.

    Bring on Kerry, we owe them a doing, that much we can all agree on.

  9. Sean tbf Galway are easy defend against, they’re clueless when they get in the middle third- was the exact same against ourselves. When you have Comer going for a potshot when Lundy is clear on goal in the second half you know there’s something very off with them. I wouldn’t mind but had he given it and Lundy gone on and scored a goal, it could have been galway’s day- Kerry were very rattled at that stage and Galway had gotten about 1-2 without reply (?).

    Too pedestrian and taking too many wrong options. Far too slow moving the ball too. Look at how the Dubs carved open kerry’s defence at times last year, I think we’ll get very good joy attacking them at pace. They still managed to concede a hefty score v Galway

    On the flipside is our own defence hasn’t been outstanding by any means, sadly

    I have faith Cafferkey has a huge game in him though and I think Tom Cunniffe is the most underrated defender in Ireland

    But if I were kerry, in all fairness, I’d be very confident JOD will do a fair bit of damage along with Geaney. I just think we’ll do our own job well enough down the other end and outscore them hopefully

  10. I remember us also attacking very well against them in the league. they’ll have more or less an identical backline out the next day.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s only the league and all that but you can’t tell me it’s completely irrelevant (kerry hadn’t won a game at that stage like ourselves and it was an essential do-or-die game- it was thought at the time)

  11. Anyone who saw the Kerry /Galway game would agree Kerry were there for the taken .Galway were not good enough to put Kerry away. I mightened have seen as many teams over the years as other posters given my age .But certainly the Kerry teams i remember since 96 on a whole were a better outfit than this Kerry side. I have no doubtthey will raise their game for us .We must do the same . If we do that then will will see ourseleves into another AIF. Lets looks at our lads comapred with the Kerry lads. Over the 15 positions we are stronger and more expereinced in most of them. If Cork are due plenty of beatens from us then Kerry certainly is .

  12. Dead right Mayomaningalway agree completely!!

    How do ye reckon we’ll match up anyway? I’d imagine we’ll name an unchanged side with 7 “backs” although I expect Vaughan and Keegan to track D.Walsh and Geaney respectively out around the middle. Cunniffe and Cafferkey to mark JOD, Barrett/Higgins on Geaney/DOS

  13. This 2 man to mark JOD is nonsense. Galway’s problem yesterday was the man that was supposed to be marking him was nowhere to be seen at vital times. Cunniffe will take care of him? He only scored 3 points against us the last day but I think he was recovering from injury.

    Speaking of injuries any news on AOS’s leg, COC’s shoulder, Barrett’s leg and all of KMcL?

  14. Hurley and o’neill are as dangerous a forward line pairing as there is out there . The chances of any team keeping these 2 quiet for an entire championship game is very slim. But, our full back line is too exposed . We are playing a high risk game around the middle of the pitch where if the opposition break a tackle they have oceans of space between midfield and our goal to break into or kick the ball into. We have midfield area flooded with players at the expense of our half back line . Ger Caff is calling for protection in front of him all the time and we don’t seem to be learning to protect this area .
    Also I think Kerry defended very well in the 1st half particularly against Galway . They confined the Galway forwards to just outside the scoring zone . Galway then looked slow on the ball and some of them did not back themselves to break through tackles . But when ran at the Kerry defence looked vulnerable , like for the Galway goal .

  15. I agree that Kerry defended well especially in first half v Galway. Galway were going around in circles trying to work the ball into a good position before ultimately being forced to kick from distance more often than not, missing. Hence Galway had loads of possession but Kerry got the scores. Kerry set up very defensively much like cork did against us and like cork they then rely on the ability of their excellent full forward line to get their scores. Corks FF line caused us plenty of problems and Kerry will expect to do likewise. One final point on Kerry is that they always do just enough in the quarters. In 2011 they were no great shakes v Limerick and were similar last year v Cavan. Their game v Galway reminded me of those two matches. Kerry always knew they were going to win and did just enough to get over the line. They will be much better on Aug 24 but I expect we will be as well.

  16. Ill have to watch the game on tv but i thought that Cunnife was providing cover in front of Caff .

  17. Highorlow we don’t “double mark” o’donoghue and I’m afraid it’ll be good night. Which is a huge Shame as this Kerry team are no great shakes

    Thankfully the man who actually makes the decision, James, will surely have a plan to crowd him out! Not that it won’t stop him having an influence I reckon- the guy is special

  18. James o donaghue will beat any single player in Ireland enough if the right ball is given to him, he has power,speed and accuracy that is hard to compete with so it’s up to the lads further up the field to cut the ball out before it gets near him, which they are well able to. And unfortunately the other Kerry forwards are handy enough too so we will have a major battle on our hands in 3 weeks
    My biggest fear is that our subs are brought in too late and some are not worth bringing in at all, Gavin Duffy should really have got 10 or 15 minutes against Galway and be named on Sunday’s panel and maybe positioned near the goal for one reason only, win the ball and pass or burrow towards the goal with the marker left with no option but to concede free or peno.
    One thing is sure, he wouldn’t be dispossesed too easily or be pushed around and he knows how to hold the ball, a big asset not being used.

    Do we start gibbons the at midfield next day and have aos on the hf line? We seen what Galway did when they took off running through the middle, the signs are there for us from Kerry’s game as much as the signs of our weakness is there for Kerry from our game and I hope to God that we take heed of these lessons.
    A final thing is this, we had goals at the taking but didn’t see the chances or just took the wrong option, if we can just settle for a millisecond and take the shot or pass to a colleague we will beat Kerry by dint of goals.

  19. Another huge positive to take from Sunday was the contribution and mood of our supporters. We have endured some bad defeats prior to 2011 where loosing the game always looked likely from a long way off so perhaps it has taken until now for us to summons our full and confident voice in support of this current team. But from where I was seated I felt as if we were feeding off the strength of this team and in turn responding with loud and confident support. Needless to say it is vital that we keep this going for the next day – loud and confident, even boisterous but never arrogant support.

  20. I agree fully richardmgd, and I think this has happened naturally over the last 2-3 years, due to the journey the team and supporters have travelled. We won’t be wanting in that regard the next day I suspect!!
    I suppose we can see the real fighting qualities in our lads and that they are giving it everything. Of course we’re not always going to be happy about what we’re seeing, either from the team or management, but we all can appreciate what they are putting into this. This year they seem to be playing as a unit and there is a united feel to the team and that’s always a good place to be.

  21. ‘My biggest fear is that our subs are brought in too late and some are not worth bringing in at all’ . You have hit the nail on the head there David and I share the fear.
    If we are to go down this year I fear this is where it’s going to happen.
    There appears to be no pre-planning at all in relation to our use of substitutes.
    We appear to be using them reluctantly & too late and more often than not they’re the wrong ones. We appear to think that our starting 15 can see the game out despite the fact that our opposition are freshening things up early in the second half. No wonder we appear to be running out of steam towards the end.
    Unless this aspect of our game improves significantly I fear it could end in tears.
    For a man who has got so many things right I fear the boss has a significant ‘blind spot’ in this area.
    The input from our subs has been so poor that something significantly different needs to happen if only because ‘something significantly different’ couldn’t be any worse.
    How about David’s suggestion regarding Gavin Duffy or Barry Moran on the edge of the square with us trying to set him up for those slap-in goals a la his effort against Galway.
    Something needs to change.

  22. Think Donaghy may yet play a role for Kerry.He can shore up midfield and full fwd and could be dangerous.
    I really feel we have the team to beat Kerry now.All our forwards and midfield scoring.Backs were better than given credit for but Barrett not up to his best.He might not start on 24th.Still we will tigjten up and if Barry is fit it will be serious team.
    Finally why were Cork allowed to surround referee at end.It was a dangerous situation and GAA were lax to allow it.Theyspeak often enough about pitch invasions then allow a losing team to antagonise ref.

  23. Kerry have copped on to this as well this year that you need a strong bench, they feel thats what caused their downfall in the semi-final against Dublin last year. If you think of the impact that O’Gara and McMenamin make when they come on compared to the players we bring on. Even the Kerry subs scored 5 points when they came on. I think I seen a stat somewhere that 20% of Dublin’s scores are scored by their subs. Donegal are also getting much more of an impact from their bench this year as well. Twice this year already we have been within a kick of a ball of getting beaten, against Cork and Roscommon. What more of a warning do we need? When Kevin McLoughlin got injured, surely it should have been Richie Feeney that should have come on, you would have been replacing one link player with another. Then when Andy Moran was coming off, again you’d have thought Alan Freeman would have been the best player to come on. Thats the real killer, its not like we don’t have the players to come on. Mickey Sweeney came on against Dublin in the league and scored 1-1 from play. Jason Gibbons was probably our best player in the league and add Barry Moran or Gavin Duffy to that list as well. You’d think that Darren Coen and Adam Gallagher, (although I think he’s injured at the moment) would be better options as well. It was only when Michael Conroy and Enda Varley were injured earlier in the season, that they weren’t our first choice subs. Even compared to a few years ago their confidence seems to be very low. Is it just stubbornness or what at this stage that sees James Horan still bringing on these players? At this stage its nearly unfair on the two players themselves as even they don’t seem to believe they should be brought on, thats the way they play anyway as far as I can see. They seem to be almost trying too hard to make an impact, then they just fall over, touch the ball on the ground etc. It would be a real shame if James Horan threw everything away for being too stubborn, it would be a tragedy even.

  24. Maybe its not stubbornness on JH s part. Maybe he sees them at training and they impress. Neither Coen, Gallagher or Duffy were named in the subs last Sunday. The only subs who have made impact when coming on this year were Andy and A Dillon v Ros and presumably that’s why he has started them in both games since

  25. Time to bring a balanced view into play.

    Firstly a lot of posters now complaining about subs complained that Dillon and Moran should not start.
    Varley and Conroy have done well as subs before though not on Sunday and have experience as subs. Ok it didn’t work but both had chances to score so it was not as cut and dry as some say. Barrett it is acknowledged was being badly beaten and Harrison was the obvious replacement.
    Those saying subs should have been brought in earlier -who would you have taken off- Cillian,Aidan,Seamus? Yeas they were knackered but I am glad they didn’t come off until the last moment.People pointing to SWeeney being so good in the league forget Conroy and Varley have in the past been excellent during the league!
    The commentary is not malicious but is a little judgmental I believe.
    I think James got it right. Perhaps his system near the end needs work but perhaps he knows that.
    WE love having something to complain about.There would have been little criticism of Cuthbert had they won.
    That’s my view.

  26. I’d be surprised if Donahy doesn’t figure at some stage but I’d say it will be as a sub .Any word on Seehan? He will be a bid loss for them but I’d say he fit. I agree with balancedview about the subs. Only thing I wouldn’t be impressed with is given lads 2 mins of game time. No point to it. Andy is defo off the pace but I believe he along with Dillon will play a massive roll for us against Kerry. Can’t see any changes for the Kerry barring any injuries.Dubs are going to be in for a serious physical battle against Monaghan. Be interesting if they make it through injury free.

  27. Any player from 1-15 can have an off day and if they do, they need to be replaced, I don’t care who they are. What the manager needs to decide is will the player on the bench have more of an impact than the player on the field for the remaining time. Beyond that it gets all to complicated for me and whether I agree with his decisions or not, I have no influence over them. By my nature I’m a nervous flyer as I hate for someone else to be in control of the situation. I often think it would help if I was inside the cockpit to see what’s going on but then I don’t know how to fly so I’ll just have to trust the pilot.. In James I trust

  28. Anyone that was at the Mayo v Donegal QF last year will remember a very low key Kerry doing just enough to get past Cavan . Then they came to the Capital for the Dubs in the Semi – final and it was FULL ON Celebrity Death Match Stuff that could have gone their way if a ball had bounced out of a tackle differently on the 70th minute. So before anyone starts writing off Kerry – know this – they WILL improve and they will be ready with a plan for us . Looking back on our record against them since ’81 we have 1 victory from 7 attempts – hardly the kind of record we can be getting cocky about.

  29. I’m down in Cork at the minute on me joliers, and let me tell you this, they are not happy campers. They’re absolutely raging – about the ref, about Horan, about losing to us. Which, of course, is making my week all the more enjoyable 😉

    Onwards we go now, but I’m surprised at the assumption here that we’ll beat Kerry easily. Ladies and gents, no matter how poor you think that Kerry team has been up til this point, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll be saving the performance of the season for us. They were crap last year too and look at how they played against Dublin.

    But that said, I think we’ll get the measure of them. But we might want to take a leaf out of the Rebels’ book and shore up the defence a little more for this one.

  30. Well done Seamus O’Shea. I have enjoyed this mans progress from the u21 days and club football. Now a great leader on a great Mayo team and that is why I voted for Seamus. Also well done to the WJ over the past few days. You have played a stormer for the last week.
    I thought that Galway were poor. After 6 years in the wilderness I was expecting flashes of the olde Galway to express their football pedigree . From my seat in the Hogan they looked like a team content to be held a arms reach by a Kerry team that did not want to move through the gears too early in the season. I will acknowledge the fine individual displays by several of these young boys. I was delighted to see many of the Mayo supporters shout for Galway. Real sportsmanship from real supporters. I really do not know what to expect from the Kerry team based on this game. It was second or third gear at best from the Kingdom. I had a great day on Sunday. One to savoir for many a long day to come. Feeling fully recovered about now.

  31. I thought Kerry where favs for rematch with the dubs remember cillian s goal against Kerry would love it if he could do something like that in 2 weeks an y news on his injury

  32. Another great display by Mayo on Sunday. They showed great heart to go and win it a few times. My heart is just settling down now. This game could have gone either way but our recently gained experience in big matches saw us through. We need to do some surgery on the backs, half backs and full backs. If we repeat our that performance at the back again Kerry may take advantage, especially JOD.
    I don’t agree with you WJ on James Horan keeping his hands in his pockets at the end of the match. Lots of things are said in interviews before big matches by managers including James himself. But you should always proffer the hand regardless after a match like that as it is the manly thing to do, especially when you win! I think it was pathetic not to do so and shows up a worrying attitude from him for me. I have always been proud of the attitude & respect shown by all the players and managers involved with Mayo towards their adversaries post match down the years despite some difficult experiences. So, I am disappointed to see that pathetic pitiful attitude shown yesterday.

    So, keep the heads up lads and no whinging!

    Hon Mayo

  33. That’s gas Anne-Marie – I’m in Killarney of all places on my own holidays for the week. Was playing pitch’n’putt in Deerpark today, straight across from Fitzgerald Stadium. No sign of Eamonn Fitz reopening the training sessions to the public yet though!

    As for last Sunday – well, most of the ground has already been covered here. All I’ll add is:

    – I was hoping for a major improvement from Messrs Moran and Dillon. We got one but not the other. Still, Andy’s great point from distance just before his substitution might just give him the lift he needs before Kerry. I’d still prefer him to be an impact sub but major respect to the man for his work rate.

    – points from distance! And lots of them! A very pleasant surprise, and here’s hoping they don’t stop now.

    – there’s not much point in posters such as myself putting forward the case for Mikie Sweeney or Adam Gallagher any more. James Horan has plainly made up his mind that Conroy and Varley are his first two forward subs, and he’s going to sink or swim with them. Everyone can see it wouldn’t be enough against Dublin. I don’t see it being enough against Kerry either if that game is tight with 15 minutes to go.

    – Chris Barrett is not match-fit, and either Higgins or Harrison should be in for him for the next day. Chris is a terrific player but his lack of match fitness is denting his confidence. We can’t be using an AISF to be getting lads fit.

    – sweeper didn’t work. If we’re going with this the next day, sweeper has got to help the full backs rather than just standing in the CHB position.

    – Seamus O’Shea. What a man. My favourite moment: 14 minutes in, two Cork men try, and fail, to wrestle him off the ball. Ref gives the free. Seamus resumes play, waits until the ref starts following the ball upfield, and sends one of the two boys flying behind the ref’s back. Brilliant.

    – demotion to the bench has also hurt Alan Freeman’s confidence. Some difference from 12 months ago.

    – Aidan O’Shea put in some shift. Arguably just as important as his display against Donegal a year ago. He didn’t walk into traffic once. Great goal.

    – great points from play off left and right for Cillian, and that was some free when the game was level.

    – one of the classic Mayo failings made an unwelcome return: we got 7 up and said ‘that’s it, the game is over’. Contrast this with the utter ruthlessness shown against Donegal and Tyrone last year.

    – thought JH went way over the top with the post-match score-settling. What was the point? We had won the game: that’s what will hurt Cork. The stuff James came out with was unlike him, unnecessary and betrayed just how wound up he and his team had got.

    – serious plans need to be hatched for O’Donoghue and O’Sullivan the next day. Keep those two quiet and the game is winnable.

  34. HopeSpringsEternal, that’s a great post earlier and sums up many of my thoughts too!

    When you look at the other winning managers from last weekend and the impact that their subs had, it makes JH look tactically bad indeed. The whole idea of putting subs on is that they’ll boost the rest of the team and make a positive impact. Instead, uniquely at this level, we have a couple of subs that when they come on, they inspire the opposition – it’s really embarrassing!

    And last Sunday also proved that Andy is better utilised as an impact sub as he showed in Roscommon.

    Alan Dillon too while pleasantly surprising me with his scores, he slowed several attacks with taking far too much time on the ball, and he also was the forward that did least to stop the Cork backs working the ball out of their defence and putting pressure on our backs. He, like Andy would be more effective coming in as impact subs against a more tired opposition.

    Certainly, Barrett is a long way off his great form from this time last year but he was out for a long time recovering from injury. However, while Chris will have come on further from the last day, I’m really worried about Caff. His poor form and lack of aggression, along with no apparent management plan for when he’s pulled away from the big rectangle, all bring great concern.

    I agree with most posters that we need a serious plan for Kerry’s dynamic corner forward pair. I’d go with TC on JOD and Keith on Greaney, with Harrison or Barrett riding shotgun with Caff?

    I”d start Jason Gibbons with SOS and Aidan at 11. Freeman at 14 and Sweeney in the opposite corner to Cillian.

    Kerry or Dublin will not be as physical as Cork and while we’ve come through another close encounter, could and should have won that game by 10 points if we started one or two different players and brought on the right subs earlier!

    Here’s my individual ratings on last Sunday after watching it again:

    R Hennelly, 7
    C Barrett, 5
    G Cafferkey, 5
    K Higgins, 8
    L Keegan (0-01), 8
    C Boyle, 7
    D Vaughan 7
    T Cunniffe, 9
    S O’Shea 9
    K Mc Loughlin 8
    A O’Shea. 9
    J Doherty 8
    C O’Connor 6
    A Moran 5
    A Dillon . 6.5
    SUBS:
    M.Conroy 4 ( Blood Sub),
    E Varley 4
    B Harrison 6.
    A Freeman – too short a time to rate.
    J Gibbons – too short a time to rate.

    J Horan (Manager) 4.

    I will finish with the inscription on the gravestone of a policeman shot in America: ” Loyalty above all else, except honour “. We certainly don’t need or want any more premature epitaphs, so loyalty should cease to hold priority over form. Our management needs to honour the memory of the men of ’51, be scrupulously fair to all the current squad and serve the best supporters in the world by picking the best 20 odd players to start and come in! We need them to do the right thing for Mayo football when they select the team to play Kerry, and also have a proper plan for our best sub options! Fail to plan – plan to fail!

  35. Keegan’s interview sums up how meaningless post match interviews are – “we sent for the cavalry in Varley, Harrison and Freeman and They saw us home”. Of course Lee wouldn’t say anything different about his teammates, but we all know he’s talking nonsense here – our subs weakened our team very obviously the last day and will not work against Dublin or Kerry if repeated. Andy Moran should have stayed on. After probably his worst 40 mins in a mayo jersey, he was playing really well for the 10 mins before he was subbed around the 50th minute, and should have been left on.
    Bringing on the inexperienced Harrison when the game was in the melting pot and we were under savage pressure was strange too – feeney was a more obvious option with Vaughan dropping back to replace Barrett.

    Also the referees performance has had little comment on this forum. Always a good sign from our point of view. It was embarrassing at times how favourable to us he was – cafferkeys foul on O Neill that wasn’t given, and whatever he told the cork boys in the last minute both contributed significantly to our victory. There’s plenty of stick directed at refs on this site when we are hard done by, so I think we should acknowledge the ref when the shoe is on the other foot too. Willie Joe – send him a Christmas card later this year from all at mayo gaa blog!!

  36. Great points made by cloud9 and Mac’S left boot. I watched the entire match again and there are serious problems to be addressed before the match with Kerry.
    Our full back, seriously lads, he has been burned so many times, was evident in both cork goals and was lucky not to have conceded another. Lots of ppl pointing to Barrett as the problem, but eff it man, if you’re the full back, it’s your line, your turf, you Marshall the defense, boss the effin area! Make it your own, that when any FF comes knocking, he will effing fear you.
    This is not an easy problem to solve because the pace of the game has progressed yet we tend to live off glorious performances from the past. Kerry are specialist when in Croke Park in championship, are lethal when given a chance and will relish the thought of facing us. They will in fact be very quietly confident of giving us a hiding. I fear they might and nothing would gall me more than them cute hoors having a handy semi final. Let’s make them pay I say. Dish out our own hiding, to them. But we can only accomplish that by buttoning up the back and not concedeing easy goals, particularly right after scoring a major ourselves. This has happened time and time again. Shaking my head! I don’t see how we could change things at this late stage….maybe place Mchale in there? He did well in the league but is probably off c’ship pace…maybe young Cohen? Again, probably too late in the c’ship now. The only way I see us prevailing is if we run up big scores the other side, and continue to live dangerously in the FB line.

    Regarding the subs bench..or rather the selection of first, second, third etc subs. I think there’s no point in any of us making a case for freeman over Andy or Sweeney over Dillon.
    Horan will stick with Andy and Alan, and will go to Conroy and Varley when the AI is in the melting pot. He was right with Dillon this past weekend, while he looked to slow play at times, he showed experience and smarts with some great scores. Horan was borderline with Andy, …..he was beaten to the ball many times and far too often he slipped and was in the turf. I got to thinking about that….it’s not that he’s lacking the studs, he lacking his balance and pace..and I’m not sure it will come back, but Horan will stick with him.
    Anyway, that was a nasty Cork team and believe me, they were pissed they were beaten by us, for they consider us inferior when it comes to sport. My only gripe is that when we had them pinned to the ropes, is that we didn’t hammer them.

  37. @cloud9 Alan Dillon was one of the best players on the pitch on Sunday, sheer class. He scored 4 points, I’ll say that again, 4 points, from play, from corner forward. There is nothing else you can ask from him. Slowing down the ball? Try a bit harder! He is one of the most composed players you will ever see on the ball. Mayo’s 3 best players, in order, we’re Seamus, Aidan, and Dillon. Funny how people struggle to see class when it’s right on front of them.

  38. I’m sick to my teeth of this “shlowing down the game too much” nonsense. Andy created 4 points and scored 2 on Sunday. 2 of which came from him having the composure to slow the game down and bring other potential scorers into play. Between Alan and Andy they shlowed the game down to the tune of around 10 points between them. Long may it continue,

  39. And as for “the best fans in the world” remark. The best fans in the world wouldn’t hurl the abuse that is directed at some of our best footballers, past and present. And don’t for a second try to tell me it’s only one or two. The disrespect shown towards our players and management from our own fans on a regular basis is frightening.

  40. Mac’s Left Boot – ref ok. In other words favoured us. i felt that at the game, but I had a very bad view.

    On the video recorder, here is the minus sheet for Reilly:

    * No red card for Cadogan’s thuggery on McLoughlin
    * Free and point against Cunniffe for no reason
    * Jason Doc constantly blown up for no reason
    * failure to send off that water carrier who was interfering with play for the final free. The sheer arrogance of that still makes my blood boil
    * Cillian O’Connor held in a straitjacket for most of the game

  41. Can’t agree with you on that one, Everhopeful. The Cork lads namechecked two of our players in relation to tactical fouling. Name the last time a management team did that before a big game. It was a new low in my opinion.

  42. Catcol – You can add to that list O’Driscoll’s punch to Boyler’s windpipe early in the second half, which was seen and for which a yellow was given. It was a clear, deliberate closed fist strike which should, of course, have been a straight red.

  43. Why was Andy Moran falling so much? He seemed to stumble a lot? Was it his studs or was it lack of fitness or what?

  44. GBXI – ‘ Funny how people struggle to see class when it’s right on front of them’, you say. That would be just like you told us all a few months ago about how good Conroy and Varley are?

    Alan Dillon did no grafting like Doc and Kevin Mc did – he let his man off on overlaps practically every time because he wasn’t up to following him. And if you watched the game again, look at how he did slow play and didn’t give the first time pass to those running forward in to space! Andy was the next least one to track his man down when they were breaking out but at least he tried. Both would be great impact men in the last quarter!

    Facts, just like form is what we need to be dealing with! We’ve see enough loyalty and poor selection choices in our forward line – and obviously tactical substitutions seem to be off the agenda. You see Andy, Alan and Mikey were really the SAS when they came on in the Hyde – not tactical, just desperation!!

  45. @cloud9 Dillon worked as hard as anyone else in that forward line. Again, he completely justified his selection, scoring 4 points from play. The slowing play down thing is laughable, he has more vision than most and his decision-making is excellent.

    All Mayo’s starting forwards scored from play, most more than once. Once again Horan gets his team selection right and has Mayo back in their 4th AI semi final in row. Though in my opinion he should have left both Moran and Dillon on for the full 70, but that’s hindsight for ya. Tell us who start start instead of the 2 lads with just the 3 All Stars between them then?

  46. That’s the point – no one disputes what they have done in the past and could still do coming on. But all good players would swap any number of All-Stars for an All-Ireland Senior Inter-County Winners Medal, and unfortunately we’re further away from that than we were last year, with the same old shite! Just look at the tactical substitutions the other winning managers made last weekend!

    You asked who’d start instead of the two lads: Gibbons at midfield with SOS, Kevin Mc at 10, AOS at 11, Feeney at 12, Doc and Cillian either side of Freezer in the front-line. Then bring on Andy, Alan and Mikey in the second-half.

    Vaughan returning to to wing-back with then with equally big calls in the full-back line as the full-forward line. TC in the corner, on J.O’D and Keith in the other corner on Paul Geaney, their other lethal weapon and hopefully Caff’s form will improve and he can box clever on Dec. O’Sullivan.

    Barrett would be a good impact man in the second half along with the other lads!

  47. Just came across this site and want to say congratulations. I think it came down to ye having more intensity than us and a much stronger midfield.

    We will be hoping to take our revenge someday but in the meantime I really do hope ye do the business against Kerry and go all the way!

  48. At this stage, anyone calling for Feeney to start is just wishful thinking. He hasn’t played any meaningful intercounty football this year. 35 mins in deadrubber v Derry, 35 mins in deadrubber v New York. No championship. No league. Didn’t even get to play the club final. His last match top-class match was in February. Whether you agree or disagree with that, it’s a fact. He could not be match sharp.

  49. Agree with catcol that I’m concerned about our fatigue/fitness… We hear all the talk about management timing it etc to peak for now but I’m not so sure.

    We defo need the subs to step it up!

    Also, I think Fitzmaurice and Kerry will have something up their sleeve for the semi. They will defo try something different than what they’ve done so far this year.

    I think we all agree that improvement is required.

  50. @Cloud9 The Feeney at 12 and Doc at 15 idea is crazy. Feeney hasn’t started a game for Mayo since the Roscommon game last year if I’m not mistaken, and has played little county football since – he’s also a way better impact sub than starter, as he has proven on a number of occasions for Mayo. Doherty is having his best year in a Mayo jersey and arguable is our best half-forward and you want to move him into the corner where he is very likely to be less effective.

    Dillon has earned his place, there is an argument for Freeman over Moran, but more than anything else Horan has earned the right to pick who he wants without it being called “blind loyalty” just because others don’t like the selection.

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