One to savour

Here, with my thanks to the Mayo Today website (who have a great roundup of all that’s being said about yesterday’s game), is one to watch again and again:

By the way – talking of watching, if Setanta Ireland is one the channels in your TV bouquet (the collective noun that broadcasting types are wont to use) you’ll, no doubt, be interested to know that the match will be shown in full there at 16.40 tomorrow and again at 21.30 on Wednesday.


25 thoughts on “One to savour

  1. Willie Joe I am absolutely fucking chuffed for you, me every one of the other supporter who went yesterday and stuck by the team all year. My hand is raw from the high fives with randomers and clapping that was done yesterday. I remember you saying and rightly so how poor the atmosphere was in Castlebar was, well I think we made up for it yesterday.

    All the credit has to go to James Horan, from Longford last year to Dublin yesterday, unbelievable!

  2. lets hope that each of the proud believing mayo supporters that were in Croker y/day be given 1st refusal on semi-final tickets.As ive said on previous posts I was happy with the draw,measure progress against the best etc.All doubters of these fine men………..come on line and put ye’r ass’es up for spankin’!!!Eiri suas a mhaigheo

  3. Jeepers my head is all over the place. Waiting for the hangover to set in. Still coming to terms with that display. Was going to post a comment on this blog earlier but nothing I could think of would possbly do them boys justice after what they did for us and for Connacht football yesterday.

    Astonishing, phenomenal, marvellous and magnificent are the proper adjectives to use.

    It was a great day to be a Mayo man in Croke Park. I know we have won nothing national yet but that exhibition showed our country that whoever holds the Nestor Cup has got to be respectred as a great team.

  4. “Mayo need to stop capitulating when teams get a run on them, like Meath last August, Cork last April, and both Sligo and Longford this summer. Getting them back on level footing is the priority now and their best chance of doing that is by shopping local, not on the High Street.”

    The above was written by the Cork Examiners Fintan O Toole last August 6th. The man called it well, indeed I was reading a recent article by him about Mayo v Cork and Sundays match. Well researched and fair. Watch out for him.

  5. can anyone post a link where we could hear tomas o se declare after defeating limerick that all his focus is now on cork. jesus that could be a valuable motivational tool to monsignor james

  6. o se says that in the first interview after the game on rte….its on rte player for the next while. cocky kerry shower……just the way we want them.

    Well done lads, fantastic genuine effort and hard work. Thought Ger Caff was incredible in the second half. Was a pleasure to watch….. Maigheo Abu

  7. Jack Lynch, Michael Martin, Jimmy Barry Murphy, The Blarney stone, The Banks, Conor Counihan, Sean oh, Neil Tobin, Tony Davis, West Cork, Milstreet, Con Murphy, Patrick Street, Micheal Shields, Dinny Allen, Frank Cummins, Bantry, Sarsfield Roundabout, Billy Morgan, we gave your guys one he’ll of a beating

  8. That Tomas O Se quote occurred on the Sunday Game Live programme, which will be available for the next few days on the RTE Player – here. The interview is on at 2 hours 9 minutes into the programme and he says “we came up to do a job, we did the job and we can now focus on Cork”.

  9. I was right behind that shot, but it looks even better on television. I played with Kevin McLoughlin for many years at underage, and I rarely recall him scoring a goal, he was always a point scorer. McLoughlin ran rings round Kissane yesterday and won a lot of ball for one of the smallest and lightest on the pitch.

  10. Its great to read positive coverage in the national media about us, but in reality it means nothing. The same guys praising us today will be the first to stick the knife in and say “I told you so” if we lose against Kerry. Its crucial them team avoids the limelight and any hype for the next 3 weeks, so many Mayo teams have fallen into this trap over the years.

    For what its worth, this was how I felt the players rated the last day:

    Hennelly: Solid and reliable. Great 45′, now firmly established no 1.

    Cunniffe: Brilliant. Tight and tigerish in the tackle, had O Connor in his pocket once he moved onto him.

    Cafferkey: Horror start on Donnacha O Connor and was very fortunate not to pick up a second yellow for a bad tackle midway through the first half. Improved brilliantly once switched off O Connor and was rock solid in 2nd half.

    Higgins: Outstanding. Kept Kerrigan pretty quiet and even found time to score a point the other end. Possibly Mayos player of the championship to date.

    Feeney: Kept his marker fairly quiet, and picked up more and more breaks as the game went on. Looked at home in croke park

    Vaughan: His best game yet for Mayo. Really effective in nullifying Pearse O Neills influence, and made a crucial block with his foot from a goalbound Aidan walsh shot late on.

    Mortimer: Without doubt his best position. Looks a natural wing back, will surely pick up Galvin the next day in what will be a fascinating battle. Its a travesty that at 31, this guy has been played out of position for the last decade. I remember him being the best mayo player up in celtic park in 2007 in a qualifier v Derry where he was wing back, yet O Mahoney never played him there again. Baffling.

    Seamus O Shea: Outstanding once again. Has stepped up this season from being a bit part player to one of the top midfielders in Ireland. One of the big success stories this season for mayo.

    Aidan O Shea: On form, this guy is unplayable for any opposition. Needs to stop soloing into trouble, and was at fault for Kerrigans goal, but his potential is frightening. What a talent to have in your team.

    Mc Loughlin: Brilliant goal. Lightning fast, and great work ethic, another man who has stepped up to championship level, now a key player.

    Dillon: Great leadership. Composed on the ball, will fancy his chances against an ageing Eoin Brosnan the next day. Rarely lets Mayo down.

    A Moran: Sensational performance. Switched to full forward and gave Michael Shields, a 2-time all star one of the biggest roastings he’ll ever receive.

    Varley: A bit quieter than expected, but showed well and kicked a crucial free off his left early in 2nd half to give mayo the belief that they could win it.

    Freeman: Showed well for the ball, worked hard when he came out to the half forward line. Good physical presence.

    O Connor: What an impact he’s made. Lovely point from play, created chances and kicked frees perfectly, surely a contender for young player of the year now. Unbelievable composure for a 19 year old.

    Doherty: Was outstanding when he came in. Great oulet at corner forward in last 20 mins, will probably start the next day.

    Gardiner: Cool head was important near the end. Great experience to have on the bench

    Campbell: Was impressed with him. Won a couple of important balls, and was strong in the tackle. This is a guy who has serious talent but his attitude has been questionable in the past. Lets hope he focuses 100% on football from now on.

    Mc Garrity: What a sub to have. There arent many teams in Ireland where he wouldn’t start. Won a few vital balls again when he came on.

    Keegan: Not really on long enough to make an impact, but good to see another young player getting a run in Croker.

    Kerry will be a step up in class again. However they have weaknesses too, more than they did in 04, 05 and 06. I really believe we can beat them. Their team evolves around guys like Gooch, the 2 O Sullivans, Marc O Se, Galvin and Donaghy. Unlike the last games against them in the championship, some of their other players are a bit suspect though. We also have a stronger bench, in my view. Cant wait for the game!

  11. Ah well done Mayo for an outstanding performance. Could not really fault any player although i think Doherty could slot back in the next day. What we MUST do now is put one more big performance together to show all our detractors that we are a serious team. A flop against kerry will give them further amunition but i honestly dont expect we will get another flop. Can someone just answer this though, why do we always start so bloody poorly in games. We could make things so much easier on ourselves by starting well. When Cork got their first goal i wasnt even shocked…it was almost expecting to go 3 or 4 down. We can afford a bad start against kerry!

  12. dont agree ted, kerry are the one team we cannot afford a bad start against !

    if we can match them early or even blitz them for a change then i will be much more comfortable during this game… ah who am i kidding , another 70 mins of touching cloth is on the cards on the 21st ….

  13. Picking up on a recent post by ‘Ontheroad’ when he mentioned how James Horan became Manager of Mayo, which is a very interesting point. As you probably know by now I am not a fan of the Officers of the County Board, never have been and never will be for as long as the individuals who run the affairs of Mayo GAA stay at the helm.

    For 4 years our County Board supported the JOM regime and they looked on as Mayo fell further and further in the National pecking order without taking the necessary action. They mixed Politics with the GAA and in doing brought Mayo to its lowest level ever. They used our beloved Green and Red for the political gain of one individual and we all looked on in disgust and horror.

    So ‘Ontheroad’ you are right and it is truly amazing and somewhat ironic that we ended up with James Horan as Manager. He was clearly not the first choice of the then Chairman and probably the majority of the County Board Officers, but was, as you put it the choice of the PEOPLE of Mayo.

    Clearly the €10 million debt the County Board is in as a consequence of developing MacHale Park was a major factor in appointing James. The County Board as much as they would have liked to have Tommy Lyons and his bandwagon could not afford him. So with the will of the people and the financial difficulties that the County Board was in (and still is) they picked James.

    Standing in Croke Park on Sunday I couldn’t but think back to Liam Horan and his Strategic Plan and the brave attempt on his part to expose the failings of the County Board. The underline theme of Liam’s Plan was that Mayo GAA should adopt a ‘Professional Approach’ and the achievements of Sunday by the Mayo team and James Horan stand as testimony to this point.

    As much as I despise Brolly, Spillane and Hayes for the comments they make about Mayo GAA we have made it very easy for them. Our failings both at local level and on the National Stage on the biggest day of the GAA calendar, has left us very exposed and fragile to the nasty personality traits of these guys.

    For Mayo to be a success and to be treated with the respect we crave we need to get our own House in order first and James Horan and his backroom team has now commenced this process.

    Imagine what Mayo could achieve if this approach could be repeated throughout the entire GAA setup within the County.

    We have now taken the first step and full credit to James and his Team for their professional and honest approach in rebuilding ‘Brand Mayo’.

  14. Mayo had a good win last Sunday, however it was not the huge upset people are saying. Cork were weakened with injuries and were over hyped by the media. The Mayo players knew they could will the game and that is what they did.

    Kerry on the other hand are a different proposition. They will once again be hot favorites, however this time, they well deserve this tag. The surprise element of Mayo is now gone. Kerry will not take us lightly. It will require Mayo to raise their game another 10% to overcome Kerry. Have we got that extra 10% or was last sunday the peak. It is to far out from the game to call and with a round of the County Championship next weekend to go thing may change.

    Either way Mayo have restored belief and pride amongst the Mayo public. Thank you lads for doing this, and what ever happens against Kerry the future doesn’t seem so bad after all.

  15. looking at the game again, not taking away from the performance but Cork could easily have had another 2 goals.
    We were praised for man marking but in both those cases they were created by players leaving their men and going to the ball, I presume the intent was to smother the player in possession.
    We’ll need to be smarter on that the next day as Kerry wont miss those chances and we dont have the firepower to make up for defensive slackness.
    Great team effort but lets me honest, the 1 point from Cork in the second half was down to them not taking their chances as it was as much to do with our good defensive efforts.

  16. Who put the ball in the rebels net … Kev did . Kev did !
    Who put O’Leary on O’Learys ass … Aido did . Aido did !
    Thanks for lighting the torch paper lads.
    Forever in our thoughts & dreams.

  17. I also looked at the match in full last night Exile. Mayo had a legitimate goal in Doherty’s doggedness in dispossessing the Cork keeper. It should have stood. We also had 4 scorable chances in the last 20 mins – Horan referred to these after the match. That’s another 7 points! He appears to be a big stats man; always concentrates on the hard facts and won’t get drawn into emotional talk pre or post the match. This is a positive development – it means the players always know where they rank in his thoughts – statistics don’t lie.

    Looking at the game again some players really stood out; Vaughan’s anticipation was first class, Cunniffe’s tackling was top drawer, Vaughan despite only contributing a point gave his man the run around and he created a lot of space for the other forwards, S. O’Shea’s distribution was excellent bar one mis solo (!), and Andy Moran had his best game yet in the Mayo colours. Aidan Campbell contributed when he came on – he’s a big man and rode a few hard hits before distributing well. I reckon we will see him earlier v Kerry if the match has bite.

    Yes Kerry are a different side but Horan & Co have demonstrated that they’re good strategists – they will set the team up to hold the Kerry onslaught at the start and then beat them as per ’96!

  18. I wasn’t in Croker on Sunday but I was in Rusilip back in May… And to say they’ve improved since then is an epic understatement.

    With 20/20 hindsight, it’s clear that that first-round match (and subsequent provincial games) have been about experimentation and steady development. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they expected, maybe even wanted, to progress via the qualifiers so that each game could further hone their style and make an impact at the business-end of things.

    For me, the most telling improvements have been, in no particular order:

    *Finding the right positions for the right players. Sounds obvious, but as has been mentioned many times in this thread it’s not something we could always take for granted. Sure, there are still a few weaknesses but our best players play where they can play best.

    *Picking a game plan that suits the players at our disposal. Where once we were dismissed for having players of a (relatively) slighter stature, we’re now using that to our advantage. Our mobility and pace has been used to great effect, allowing us to play extra men in defensive cover and yet still pose a serious threat in attack.

    *Better shot and pass selection. How often, in previous years, did we see great moves and promising scoring positions end because someone tried a fancy flick pass or attempted to bend over a shot from out on the sideline? Too often. Whatever exactly has been done behind the scenes, it’s worked. Kicking wides is all part of the game, but kicking bad wides seems to have been eliminated.

    *Better handling and getting the basics right. Personally, I’ll forgive a lot but not the sight of a supposedly ‘talented’ player dropping chest high balls – and for years I was never very forgiving of certain Mayo players (some forwards in particular). But the handling is solid, the short passes are crisp and played to the benefit of the receiver rather than an attempt to get rid of the ball at the quickest opportunity.

    *The attitude is right. Everything from not panicking when going behind, not panicking when going in front to being disciplined in tackling (so much so that shipping yellow cards in the first 10 minutes doesn’t have us on tenterhooks) all bodes well. It was telling that, right on the final whistle, the senior players were telling their younger counterparts to cool the celebrations. No big deal, it’s only a QF etc and not worth getting excited about, but previous regimes would have attempted to build a (media?) career on the back of beating the reigning All-Ireland champions. Not this time.

    *The stats don’t lie. If you lose almost 90% of the kickouts in the first quarter of the game, you change things. They did that on Sunday and to great effect. While some managers will have football coursing through their veins, it’s vital in the 21st century that the information available is used the right way. If some bought James Nallen the ‘Moneyball’ book, they deserve as much credit as anyone.

    For fear of sounding pessimistic (me? a Mayo fan?), I’m not sure we’ll beat Kerry. And – here’s where I get a little bit controversial – I’ll go so far to say it doesn’t matter. If we do beat them, we’ll have beaten arguably the two best teams in the championship and will have a serious, full-on tilt at Sam. But if not, the basis of a solid platform and further improvement for years to come has been established and that’s almost, almost, as valuable as the big prize.

  19. Watched the game again today: few observations

    1. Attitude: The number of times Mayo players got ‘hits’, shoulders and hard blows on Cork plaers was unreal. Also there was a bit of the ‘dark arts’ with late hits, blocks after the ball, and even some off the ball niggle. It was obvious that this steel surprised Cork. (Remember the League final?)

    2. Certain players I hadn’t noticed on Sunday really shone on a closer look. McLaughlins is a really confident and efficient player. almost always plays the right pass and really has some engine. Doherty made a huge impression and really upset the Cork defence. He is so confident as well.

    1.Frees: Of the 6 frees from which Mayo scored at least 2 were in the ‘soft’ category. At the other end Cork could have got at least 2-3 in the 2nd half. Gooch gets every call from Refs, always has. Those calls will go Kerry’s way the next day if we commit the same fouls.

    2.Turnovers: McStay noted it on the SG and it was true. There were a lot of unnecessary, sloppy turnovers especially in the 2nd half. For the amount of possession we had, 7 points was actually a poor return.

    1. Caff: In fairness he had a good game but I am still not convinced about him at FB. My guess is Star plays at MF for Kerry and Dec o’S plays at FF. Would hate to see that matchup.

    2.Freeman – Agian did a hugh amount of work but what exactly was his role/position especally in the 2nd half. I though he did well in the first half when the correct ball was played in but was out around MF for most of the end half a far as I could tell.

    3. Punched Scores. Minor point, but it seems that most top teams get at least 2-3 punched points a game thee days when space is so confined. I cant remember the last time I saw a punched score from Mayo. Any reason for this?

  20. As someone mentioned in some other post, for those of us who were there and forgot to set the Sky Plus (ok, that was me) and who don’t have Setanta, would there be anyone kind enough and technologically skilled enough to upload the match somewhere, like 4shared or somewhere? I like to go through matches with a fine toothcomb afterwards, and I’m being starved on the scraps of the Limerick-Kerry match on RTE player 😛

  21. Just watched the match again and agree with a lot of what Mike has said. The outstanding feature of the match was the phsicality and work rate of the Mayo team. We made Cork work for every solo, hop, handpass and yard of space they got. You could see on several occassions particulalry their backs looked shell shocked at the pressure they were being put under and the lack of options they had. Phenomenal energy from our lads.
    A word on the O’Shea’s. Séamus in particular was excellent, worked his socks off. Aidan got so many hits in and when he hits lads they stay hit! But he carried the ball into tackels an awful lot. I think Doherty will start the next day, was a bit threat when introduced.
    It was a fantastic performance but still loads to work on. Perfect position for Horan.
    As long as the lads show the same level of desire and commitment the next day, the pride in Mayo football will well and truly be restored.

  22. I watched the match again this afternoon and would agree with what Mike and MuigheoGoDeo have said. The workrate from start to finish was enormous and we put in some huge hits. I remember one on the day that Kevin McLoughlin put in on Cadogan which left the latter in a heap on the ground. Cadogan is some unit but he just crumpled when he met Kevin’s shoulder. Then in the second half Kevin sent another one of their lads spinning away with another well-timed shoulder. An Spailpin has already correctly pointed to the importance of Aidan O’Shea’s thumping hit on Noel O’Leary.

    A few points that struck me on watching the game (in no particular order):

    – We did an awful lot of slipping and sliding. They did a fair bit too but a number of our lads seemed to have difficulties keeping their feet. I know the surface was greasy, especially when the misty rain started to fall in the second half but if incorrect boots are a problem after all that’s been said and after our previous problems in this area (remember Meath in 2009) then it’s a worry.

    – We got a poor return for the possession we had in the second half. We should have scored far more and will need to take these kind of chances against Kerry if we’re to have a chance.

    – Their penalty looked soft enough, though you can see why the ref gave it. Andy’s penalty shout looked very marginal and you can see why the ref didn’t give it (even if I was screaming about the “Munster ref” when he didn’t). Ger Cafferkey could easily have walked for the trip on Fiachra Lynch which was damn close to being a second peno for them as well.

    – Our disallowed goal could well have been given. Jason Doherty hassled Quirke but didn’t seem to foul him before the keeper spilled the ball. If we lost, it’d be a hot topic of discussion, I reckon.

    – On the day, I felt that Alan Dillon had a poor enough match but I can see now that he worked his socks off, mainly on unfashionable pressing, being the link man in moves, providing assists for scores and passes that led to fouls which produced scores. He had a good seventy minutes.

    – Jason Doherty made a huge nuisance of himself when he came on and got on a load of ball. I think he’ll start the next day and, if he does, Tom O’Sullivan could be in for a rough ride.

    – Aidan Campbell came on late but he got stuck in straight away, giving hits all over the place. He’ll be a good man to bring in at the right time against Kerry.

    Overall, I thought we looked good. Sure, there’s plenty to work on but the team obviously came on in leaps and bounds from the Roscommon game and we can expect another gear shift before the semi. Looking forward to it already!

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