Poll: how will we do against Roscommon?

Mayo Ros parade

So it’s now only a week until we face our first major hurdle in this year’s championship. While the bookies might reckon – what with their 1/5 odds on us to prevail – that our upcoming Connacht semi-final against Roscommon at Hyde Park next Sunday (throw-in 2pm) is a gimme for us, we all know full well that this is far from the case.

Understandable doubts about whether or not we’re truly up for another tilt at Sam following two successive near-misses allied to a recognition that John Evans has done a good job of whipping the Rossies into decent shape mean that this one is likely to be anything but a gentle warm-up to the Connacht final for our lads. The opposition will definitely be gunning for us in this one and although you have to go as far back as 2001 for the last time they tasted Championship success against us, they never fear facing us on their home patch.

James and the lads will obviously be well aware of this and will have prepared accordingly, just as they did heading into what everyone felt was a tricky assignment in Salthill last year. As a result, if the Sheepstealers do manage to take us down this day week, it’s a seriously battle-hardened outfit they’ll have conquered.

There’ll be plenty of debate during the week on how this one might play out but in advance of all that it’s time for a straw poll on the contest. How do you think it’ll go? Time to vote.

How will we do against Roscommon?

  • Win (82%, 230 Votes)
  • Lose (13%, 37 Votes)
  • Draw (4%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 279

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35 thoughts on “Poll: how will we do against Roscommon?

  1. No match is a gimme. It’s Mayo’s game to lose. If a championship Mayo with a steely mind show up, well then it should be a handy win. If Mayo doubt themselves well then it’s anyones call. If Dublin were playing Roscommon it would be a easier game to call, Dublin by 10, or 20 points. Mayo lost the AIF last year by a single point. How would Roscommon have fared?

    Roscommon are a good team and on any other day I would root for them but if Mayo are to fullfill their potential we should have way way to much for the Rossies. I think the Rossies will definetly be up for us but we should have to much experience and handily negate their enthusiasm.

    Either cream will rise or the future stays black for Mayo. Are we made of more? It’s time to telL or leave the building.

  2. Simple, we have to win and keep doing so as I can’t see these lads having the same enthusiasm via the backdoor route.
    MaighEo Abú

  3. Good to see you getting back in the groove again WJ, we’d all be lost here without your intelligent insights and the very useful information you provide for us on this site.

  4. Is it right that you can only buy tickets at McHale Park before match day ? Or are there other outlets supplying ?

  5. This game will provide a good indication as to the team’s state of mind. Depending on the circumstances, a tight win could be more useful than an easy win, not that the latter is likely.

    The general view is that Mayo do not do well in the back door, mind you I think that this team might be different, having said that I think that we will have enough to win and take the next step to achieving a four in a row, an achievement that we should not underestimate, if it comes to pass. Onwards and upwards….

  6. Wouldn’t it be gas to see Gavin Duffy getting 10 minutes at some stage in the ff spot?

  7. Horan has said clearly that he’s looking at Duffy playing a role from 5-12 if he does get game time, and not at FF or FB

  8. A long gap since our last competitive match and this is likely to have an impact early on. However once we get into match mode should be over well before final whistle.

  9. The general feeling with the Rossies i have spoken to is if they give a decent account of themselves they will be happy enough and they feel that will give them some confidence going forward to the qualifiers. They don’t feel home advantage will count for much as they lost and lost well to Galway in the Hyde two years ago. For Mayo its simple to win and move on to the next game. If its a tight game it might leave some question marks or self doubt but i think Mayo need a good competitive game to get them going again. Lets be honest the New York game was nothing more than exhibition stuff and Mayo badly need to get the Derry display out of the system.

  10. You’d think that James Horan will try to use Gavin Duffy in the role that he developed for Keith Higgins last year, someone to give us something different on the half-forward line. This was an experiment that worked at times but you just felt that Keith never felt fully comfortable in that role, would Gavin Duffy be more suited to the role? He would give us some much needed leadership qualities in that position too.

  11. It cannot be underestimated how big a loss Jason Gibbons will be around the middle third. His fielding ability, athleticism, mobility and scoring ability from distance will be missed. Anything less than a fully focused and full blooded effort by both O’Shea’s could see us in a tricky situation. We have the talent and physicality overcome a dog fight but what I’d really love to see is the same approach and ruthless mindset by all 15-21 players that take the field as was shown in Pearse Stadium last year – a lay down of a serious marker for the rest of the championship…

  12. The bookies are seldom wrong and I would expect an 8/10 point win. What will be interesting is the starting 15 and the approach we will adopt.
    Whether there will be a role for Tom Parsons, Mikey Sweeney, Ritchie Feeney or indeed Gavin Duffy? Whether Dillon will start or not? If Diarmuid o Connor will feature?
    Getting the selection right is crucial.

  13. Have we ever had a faster backline?
    How many reasonably big,fast forwards have we produced since the fifties?
    Has Barry Moran had a season free from injury?
    I was going to continue with a series of questions but the match on Sunday keeps intruding.I feel we will win.
    Jason is a serious loss.Tom Parsons is mobile and a lovely fielder but can be wayward in his kicking and is probably not as strong as the O’Sheas.Any news on Barry?
    Last year Roscommon started well but failed to score in keeping with their possession.
    We scored from most of our chances.I think we will do the same this year.
    I love following Mayo and the build up of excitement before a championship game.
    I love the long summers we have had and hope the same is true for this year.
    Thanks Willie Joe for this wonderful site and thanks to all the interesting people who comment on Mayo.

  14. I think, and I hope, Mayo have the Derry game well out of their system by now. Any doubts will play into Roscommon’s hands. They are a big strong team and if they get on top it will take a huge effort to dislodge them. That said I expect Mayo to be ahead by a few points at halftime after an even enough opening quarter. Second half should see us pull well ahead. If not we will be in trouble later in the summer. This is a pretty good Roscommon team but I would not expect to see them challenging for an All Ireland final place even if they were to win Connacht

  15. Anybody know what the curtain raiser is? I checked the Connacht website but as usual there is no information there. Maybe it’s a big secret, but why? A Roscommon club hurling game and they don’t want a big rush at the gates early on?

  16. Mayo are playing Roscommon in the hurling at 12. Gates open at 11 and hopefully most Mayo supporters will get in early to support the hurlers. They really noticed the increased support last Saturday in Castlebar! Getting in early will also secure your seat in the stand if your a season ticket holder!

  17. It’s the Connacht Intermediate Hurling final AndyD and I’d second what Mayo Mick says above – there were a few hundred supporters there on Saturday and I think they really appreciated the support – they work damn hard too with very little investment, support or glory! Grab a big breakfast and get up there early 😀

  18. Thanks for that Anne-Marie – Surely your name will be atop the Mayo PRO ballot one day !

  19. I’m thinking we’ll win this one. I’d be very surprised if we blow them away, more likely that we will meander our way through this, keeping the Rossies at arms length all the time.
    As usual, we will have spells of brilliance, followed by spells of mediocrity, nevertheless enough to move on and hopefully sustain no injuries. I’d be happy with that.

  20. If we have any ambitions this year then we need to be putting a recently promoted Divison 2 side away.. we are better then them, simple as that.. our fitness levels should be ok now also having reached the league semi.. I cant see what Roscommon could bring to the table that would be so different from last year that would result in a shock defeat.

  21. We have to box clever on Sunday and send out a strong built team to match up against the physical rossies .I don’t think its a game young Sweeney should start in but spring him off the bench when the big hits calm down after a few yellow cards . Its a ideal game for Ritchie Feeney to start and hopefully Freezer shows well for the high ball .I am a little concerned for our midfield pace against a fast rossies midfield .lets hope we dont up any serious injury on Sunday.

  22. It’d be great to see the crowds getting in for the early match. Honestly felt that the support for the hurlers on Saturday was felt by them…only a good thing! Plus it’ll mean a seat for the 2pm game 😉

  23. With 25mins gone in MacHale park last year the score was Mayo 0-7 Ros 0-4 then in the final 10mins of the half Mayo outscored the Rossies 0-6 to no score and the game was over as contest by half time. No two games are the same and since then the Rossies have got within two points of Tyrone in the championship and have gained promotion to div 2.

    I have a feeling this will be closer game than last year however i feel Mayo will pull away at the end to win by about 5 or 6 points.

  24. Interesting piece by Colm Keys with McStay in today’d indo. McStay states the Rossies have the best forward line in Connacht. Though it’s also claimed O’Se is being tried out in the half forward line with Gibbons doing so well in Midfield…isn’t Gibbons injured?

  25. Colm Keys – Published 03 June 2014 02:30 AM

    The smallest changes could make the biggest difference to Mayo finally getting over the line next September, former player Kevin McStay has argued.
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    Ads by GoogleMcStay remains adamant that Mayo are still best placed to halt Dublin’s seemingly inexorable roll to a second successive All-Ireland football title.

    But subtle positional changes and a fully fit Cillian O’Connor can package Mayo a little differently in the months ahead.

    advertisement”There won’t be much different about them, maybe that’s the strength of it in one way. They are not doing a lot wrong. Okay, they lost another final and that’s going to be hard in its own way to face,” said McStay.

    “They lost it playing poorly. They didn’t play well against Dublin and Dublin didn’t play particularly well either.

    “If Dublin look like they’re pulling away – and we could debate that too – probably the next best equipped team to have a cut at them are Mayo. They have the power, the athleticism, the pace, the experience and they are very well organised and drilled.”

    The process of change required, the ‘Sunday Game’ analyst believes, is already under way.

    “They have put Keith Higgins back. That will improve the defence. It has to,” he said.

    “They are playing around with the idea of Aidan O’Shea at centre-forward because they can now. Jason Gibbons had such an excellent league, a serious league, as good as any midfielder I saw – and I was at a lot of Division 1 games.

    “They have the flexibility now to push Aidan up. That could be it, the thing that lights the fuse, you don’t know.

    “Remember Cillian O’Connor, in fairness to the guy, he was badly injured, he probably shouldn’t have played in it (All-Ireland final). He was strapped up and said ‘I can play’. Imagine his head in the month coming up to it, the biggest game of your life and you are dragging this shoulder around the place.

    “(Colm) Boyle is in the middle (centre-back), (Donie) Vaughan is on the wing. They are saying ‘your natural instinct is to go up’ and you are popping up with a goal and a couple of points. That’s good but we needed someone at home down the middle, so now we’re going to put Boyle there to keep the middle a little bit more solid.

    “In fairness to James Horan and his management team they’re analysing this, watching it very closely, and looking for those inches, millimetres that could swing it and Mayo won’t be far off.”

    Mayo step out for their Connacht semi-final against a rapidly improving Roscommon, who they beat by 12 points in the corresponding game last season.

    But McStay, who has a strong familiarity with Roscommon football, is certain the challenge will be so much stiffer 12 months on and that will benefit the reigning provincial champions.

    He insists that Roscommon have potentially a better forward line than any other county in Connacht.

    “Senan Kilbride, Donie Shine, Diarmuid Murtagh and Cathal Cregg – no other county in Connacht has four forwards of that talent,” he said.

    “That is a fact. If you have four forwards of that talent and ability and they can perform at the level they need to perform… That remains to be seen this summer, we might see it, it may happen.”

    McStay believes his own county have accepted certain realities about the make-up of their own attack.

    “Mayo are never going to win the All-Ireland on the basis of a star forward. It’s going to be the sum of their parts. They’re going to get enough from somewhere to win it, a midfielder who can get two or three points, half-backs who can get a couple more,” he said.


    “For 40 years I’d argue Mayo haven’t had an absolute national-standard forward. Maybe Ciaran McDonald was the last – we can debate that too.

    “We are in good company. Lots of counties don’t have them. The Padraic Joyce type of player, ‘Gooch’, Bernard Brogan, Trevor Giles, Oisin McConville, top, top heavy score-getters when they are on their game.

    “I think their management have accepted that, and that’s the way they are being drilled so that everybody makes a big contribution to winning their games, so they are going to win it as a team.

    “They are not going to win it playing pretty decent and having two special performers.

    “It’s probably why Mayo haven’t made the breakthrough because they haven’t had that top, top forward. It is cruel, it’s tough.

    “They are a county that produced so many bloody good footballers, midfielders and top-class defenders.”

  26. Thats a daft article given that Jason Gibbons is out for a few months.

    If everything goes right we will probably get over the line by a few points, but whats really going to be annoying is the media reaction to that, if we do happen to win. It’ll be as if we only beat the Aran Islands XV by 2 points after a dodgy penalty decision in the 7th minute of injury time.
    Roscommon are a good team, playing at home with their only requirement being a decent performance. That equals being within 4 points and it looking like they could have won it at periods during the game.
    As regards the bookies comments, bookies are often wrong during the early stages of the championship, if your a betting man its a good place to make money. They dont seem to have the same level of knowledge or insight that they do for the fully professional sports.

  27. He insists that Roscommon have “potentially” a better forward line than any other county in Connacht.

    Thats a bit different than saying the Rossies have the best forward line in Connacht and anyway it will be a while before the Smith’s,Murtagh’s reach that potential if they ever do at senior level?

  28. “Senan Kilbride, Donie Shine, Diarmuid Murtagh and Cathal Cregg – no other county in Connacht has four forwards of that talent,” he said.

    Kevin McGloughlin (All Star), Andy Moran (All Star, scored 1-3 in last year’s AI Final), Cillian O’Connor (Top scorer in the championship, twice YPOTY), Alan Dillon (All Stars)

    There, I did it in one try! In fact, our youngest player, Cillian, has more Connacht medals in his back pocket than all of the above combined!

    I’m not too worried. Fine footballers they are but we have more than enough in our squad to do these boys.

  29. Paper taking McStay out of context as the key word was potentially. MayoMark in fairness all the Mayo forwards you named have been playing on a very good Mayo teams the Ross lads don’t have have and for example Donie Shine,Senan Kilbride have performed well in the AI finals they played in e.g underage,club.

  30. I accept that MO2014, I’m not belittling them as players. Just countering a quote stating there aren’t 4 talented forwards like them in Connacht.

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