One game at a time

All this talk about the bolted-on, nailed-down, done-and-dusted certainty of our claiming a hat-trick of Nestor Cup wins next month is clearly starting to irk James Horan. Speaking to the Western People this week (with a report on this report available on Hogan Stand – here) James did his best to toss a bucket of cold water over such uppity thinking when he said:

There’s a huge amount that we need to improve on before we play Roscommon. All we’re doing is preparing for June 16th. To look any further ahead would be foolish. We’re looking to win against Roscommon and then give ourselves a chance of winning the Connacht final.

Which, to be honest, is exactly what you’d expect him to be saying at this point in time. While there’s no getting away from the facts that we’re unbackable favourites both to beat the Rossies – we’re 1/5 with Paddy Power to win on June 16th – and to go on and win our third Connacht title in a row (we’re also 1/5 to do this), we still have to go out and do the business on the field, starting with Game 2 on Sunday week. After our destruction of Galway it’d be a shock of fairly seismic proportions if we fail to account for the Sheepstealers but we still need to approach this game with the same kind of diligence and application as we showed for the one in Salthill. I’d be fairly confident that James and his management team will ensure that the lads remain grounded and focused on the immediate challenge that lies ahead. As others have already said in the comments, though, it’d be no harm for the rest of us to adopt the same mindset.

So, sticking with Game 2, the only news to report is that Sligo’s Michael Duffy has been appointed to ref the game. This is the first time we’ve had Marty’s little bro reffing us in the championship and from what I can see it’s the first match of ours that he’s taken charge of since our NFL demolition of the Dubs back in March last year. The Other Duffy can, like Mother, be a tad prickly at times and he’s fond enough of the cards too – he gave Dublin’s Paul Flynn and Diarmuid Connolly their marching orders that night last year – so the lads will, I reckon, need to be on their best behaviour the next day. It wouldn’t, for example, be the best day for Aido – as can be his wont – to shrug off a flailing tackle with his elbow. Forearmed is forewarned and all that.

Apart from that, there’s nothing of note to say at this stage about Sunday week. Have you sorted your tickets yet, by the way? If not, full details from the County Board on this issue are here.

12 thoughts on “One game at a time

  1. Favourites both to beat the Rossies – we’re 1/5 with Paddy Power to win on June 16th – and to go on and win our third Connacht title in a row (we’re also 1/5 to do this),

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    Strange the same odds for both? last year a 22 win against Leitrim was followed by a two point win against Sligo so in short every game is different..

  2. Your right Willie Joe, got to keep focused on the job in hand, Even the greatest race horse of all time Arkle had to jump the fences as they came along, not thinking about the final furlong until he had cleared the last . Some Mayo fans are getting carried away much to early, in my opinion someone of the “BIG” teams are going to get caught out by complacany,and then a big post mortam. I know James Horen and some of the Mayo lads, their no fools but still must approach this next match as professionally as possible. Personally I would like to see Richie Feeney getting the number 11 shirt from the start, in the absence of Cillian. I used to hope James Horen would try Donal Vaughan in that position, but am convinced that Vaughan strong running gives our fowards more oppurtunities than we concede at the other end.

  3. I’d say Alan Dillion will start at 11 great passer and one of Mayo’s best scoring forwards from play. Andy Moran should be fit enough to start this game himself and Alan Freeman to play a two man full forward line. I think Varley,McLoughlin will be given free roles the latter will help out the defence as he always does.

    I think the back six that started against Galway will remain the same.

  4. Good advice from horan. If we look too far ahead wewill fall on our face. The rossies will be no pushover. Expect a few suprises on the day but think we will get over the line in the end. I
    would like to see feeney start as he isworth stickingwith. Iwouldhold onto andy as impact sub, have coen as well ready to come in. Otherwise same 15 as galway game.

  5. I agree that it would be logical to start with Alan Dillon, whether in the corner as with Galway but I would prefer to see a full forward line of Andy Moran, Enda and Alan Freeman if only to give Freeman in particular another chance to prove himself. Also I would start Richie on the forty for the same reason and keep Alan Dillon as the impact sub on the basis that he could come on in any position which will help to keep everybody else honest. The defence should remain unchanged.

  6. Did I read that the second round of the championship is to start the weekend after the Roscommon game? Are there many more rounds of the championship scheduled between now and whenever Mayo finish in the championship. We really can’t afford any more injuries and a lot of the big counties have stopped their players from competing, Dublin, Donegal etc.

  7. People here want a full forward line of Varley andy and freeman, thats to bad, i taught we mite have had decent chance to win an all ireland up untill now.

    Varley would make an excellent impact sub but nothing more, Andy wud start in any FF in the country, but freeman? not a hope, (its not good when your Fs you out of it at a challange match) we have to stop giving the same fellas chance after chance after chance. Why not give young fellas like Coen regan or oshea a chance. If i were to bet if we get to croke park (please god) Coen will be starting in the full forwards.

  8. Just saw on twitter that Mayo All Ireland winner 1950/51 the great Mick Mulderrig passed away. I had the good fortune to meet Mick and his wife Jo about a year ago. She predeceased Mick by a few months. A beautiful couple full of generosity and full of stories who opened up to me a stranger. A Dheis De ar a ainm dilis .

    John McAndrew passed away recently so now from my reckoning only Paddy Premdergast, The Flying Doc Carney and Fr Peter Quinn remain with us. Great servants of the old county all.

  9. Any truth in the rumours that a challenge game took place last night against Kildare? Did anyone else hear of this?

  10. I heard someone got a bit of a clipping. Not sure if it’s true or not, especially a week away from a championship game it’s hard to see jh having a game like that. Kildare sliced Roscommon in a big way 2 weeks ago in a challenge game, and Roscommon lost by 3 points to a second string Dublin team, nothing can be taken from these games, they swing massively and are only a workout and final touches test ground for some ideas a manager may have.
    I’m getting excited and nervous to see what way Mayo will enter the game. Either 100 mph and level all before them or 35 mph and lucky to be level at the break.

  11. I thought the rossies beat a 2nd string Dublin side by 5? Mayo beat Kildare by 15pts is rumour going round and was played behind closed doors.

  12. Mo

    You are likely right, I just read it in passing
    And 15 points spare over Kildare would say second string of Kildare
    Though you would imagine lads would be trying really hard to get a jersey, on both sides!
    How would mcgeeney look at a defensive player that was part of such a shambles? If indeed the game did take place.
    Jh will have a nice problem in picking his forwards if the “fringe” players were scoring well like the Cavan game.

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