Poll: how will we fare against the Rossies on Sunday?

FBD League campaigns come and FBD League campaigns go but one of the constants of January football for us is a meeting with Roscommon. No matter how the Connacht Council rejig their groupings we always end up in the same one as the Sheepstealers and yet again this is how it is this year. In addition, it’s often the case – as it also is this year – that the only time we get to face another county team in January is when we play the Rossies and this tends to add a smidgeon of piquancy to the annual early year joust with the neighbours.

The venue is pretty much a constant too – either Ballyhaunis or nearby Ballinlough – and this year it’s our turn to travel to their place for the fixture. With both teams on three points going into Sunday, a win for either of them will seal a place – most likely against defending champions Leitrim, who are riding high at the top of Section B – in the following weekend’s final. This means that there’s something tangible to play for in Ballinlough, which should make for a competitive enough tussle.

I’ve been keeping tabs on FBD results in the archive since 2008 and our record against the Rossies since then is one of four wins, one draw (last year) and one defeat. But how do you think this Sunday’s meeting will go? It’s time to vote.

How will we get on against the Rossies this weekend?

  • Win (72%, 123 Votes)
  • Lose (26%, 44 Votes)
  • Draw (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 171

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52 thoughts on “Poll: how will we fare against the Rossies on Sunday?

  1. As well to let the Rossies have their win now instead of in the Connaught Championship. If its the same team that was fielded last week then Roscommon should win.

  2. Roscommon have about 9 players out through injury. Donie Shine (who was showing very well for the first time since 2010), 2 young Smiths, Ian Kilbride just to mention a few. However the panel is alot sronger than probably the last 10 years. Senan is back and playing good stuff. Expect Cathal Shine at midfield, he is a decent future prospect and a massive big man. Defence is pourous enough. This match does not matter a hoot, promotion in the league with 4 games at home is imperative. Beat Leitrim in the championship everything else is a bonus after that.

  3. As rossie says above the result is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things but i would slightly differ in opinion there if the result was a hammering in favour of our lads , i could see that type of a result having a negative impact on Ross.

    Ross are at a crossroads in 2014, if they fail to gain promotion and are served with another heavy defeat by Mayo in june , they are in trouble .They will be determined enough on Sunday dispite it been only FBD to give a good account of themselves.

    A lot will depend on the sort of team Horan fields on sunday.

    Id expect Roscommon to be more competitive this season, their Brigids boys were dead on their feet come inter county summer last year they wont have that problem this year courtesy of Castlebar.

    Senan kilbride will be their main man in the year ahead , he would get his place on the Mayo team imo when playing to his ability unlike last summer.

    Personally i dont ever like losing to the rossies so ill admit i want to win on sunday.

  4. Would prefer a win to be honest just to get the extra game in for the likes of David Drake etc. to impress further. I think we will win.

  5. I have a slight feeling that the Rossies could win this one as I think they will want it more and see an FBD victory as a bit of a boost going into the league. I hope that Horan continues to use as many new faces as possible because we already know what the established lads can do. I dont think it would benefit us much by starting 9 or 10 of the more senior players and winning by 8 or 9 points. We have more to gain by giving as many of the new lads as possible game time and finding out how they do against, what I expect to be, feisty enough opposition. I would sooner lose narrowly and feel that we may have 4 or 5 new faces to bring into the squad for the league.
    I hope he sticks with Harrison, McHale and Drake in the half back line as they have done alright so far and I feel we don’t have good cover for Keegan and Boyle in particular. Harrison had impressed me anyway. I would like to see a half forward line of Gallagher, Gibbons and Carolan as it would provide a bit of everything, i.e. the guile and skill of Gallagher, the foot passing ability of Gibbons (that part of his game has impressed me so far and good quick ball to the inside forwards is what we need) and the direct running, pace and power of Carolan. I would go with Vaughan and 1 other at midfield just to see how Donie would get on there. We need a very mobile option at midfield to counteract when opponents kick outs are aimed wide of our midfield as happened in this years final.

  6. Spot on there as usual Pebblesmeller – I think we will win this one, but wouldn’t be overly surprised if we lost, or mind too much either. Main thing is that the newer lads get another run out and we try a few things out. Main reason I’d like to win though is having the extra game in this regard.

  7. I hope we win this one as my feelings on the Rossies is that you can’t beat them often enough or by enough. Agreed though that testing fringe players is probably more important than winning and I would expect that most of the fringe players used in the last couple of weeks will be in action again.

  8. Agree Pebblesmeller. The important thing now and in the league is to blood new players. The important results are in the Championship!!! What the hell use are results if they are not the right ones. We have had lots of results and flopped on the important one.

  9. I echo yoyr sentiments.

    Pebblesmeller, do you think there is a possiblity of a change in the half back line ? Keegan going into hf line and Drake taking his position for example ? Id agree with you about Donnie Vaughan, id like to see him tried in midfield.

  10. Pebblesmeller – can’t find fault with your approach and team for Rossies.

    Are you going to be the new selector by any chance?

  11. Is there any new lads playing Sunday does anyone also how many home league games does mayo have can’t wait for the Dublin match.

  12. Agree with pebblesmeller I have advocated a number of times that Donie would do agreat job at CF and would try Cafferky at centre half back as he is an excellent player going forward. He has been found wanting at FB on a number of times particular against Dublin
    I think that we would get better return from him there. We need a bit more muscle in the FB line in the mould of S Mchale with Cunnife and C Barrett
    Dont agree with converting any more backs as forwards
    Give Carolan and B Moran and other players like Gallagher and Irwin a.chance to establish themselves in the forwards with Higgins Andy Freeman and Cillian in the the frame
    I think Evan Reagan deserves another look at for the league If he could match his general play with his free taking prowess he would be a decided asset

  13. Played Leitrim in Ballinamore last year so if Mayo win on Sunday the final will likely be in MacHale park.

  14. With the NFL just a few weeks away Mayo nearly always field a strong team for this fixture. I think those on the bench last weekend could start on Sunday while a few fringe players will be given the opportunity to impress again.

    Kildare,Tyrone are putting up some huge scores in their recent pre-season games both will be in top form for Mayos opening league games by the looks of it.

  15. Like Cavan they will probably need to get out of Div 3 if they want to move forward. Both have young panels i don’t think either are at any crossroads yet.

  16. I see in the Indo today that Mick O’Dwyer has retired from inter county management, what a legend! One of the best managers of all time, in any sport I would say. He has some interesting comments about Mayo too, as follows…..

    “The All-Ireland winners get all the credit and questions are asked about the rest. Take Mayo. They lost the last two finals but with a bit of luck might well have won at least one of them. Yet, you’ll hear people criticising them and saying they’ll win nothing.They should ignore that and remain positive because there’s an All-Ireland in them.”

    Well lets hope, his words come true! The link to the full article is:


  17. Pebblesmeller – We could do with you on the line with Horan since a few have left him, agree totally with all you say above.

  18. I think its fair to say that we know we have some fine talented footballers .The question is lads how high will be the confidence as a team from last years campaign.That’s what ill be looking for come league.

  19. This is an experimental fixture. The result means nothing. I would like to look at Donie Vaughan as an option at Midfield, particularly if we came up against Dublin later this year. We have 3 or 4 fantastic midfielders but they are all in the same mould, ie high fielding big men. I could see Vaughan possibly turned into a Cian OSullivan type mobile runner, a type of option we didn’t have last September. Not saying he should play there all the time, our midfield was imperious all year long until the final, but if a situation occurred again where we were being bypassed in midfield against Dublin, it would be nice to slot Donie Vaughan (or someone similar) in there to counteract cluxtons laser like kick outs. We need a plan to beat Dublin this year, its very likely we have to beat them in order to win anything. The same tactics as last year will not be good enough.

  20. Thanks Truemayo, but in fairness to Horan it is a lot easier to type it and talk it than actually do it 🙂

  21. Sean,
    If I was to change the half back line I would focus more on no.6 than anywhere else. I seem to remember Keegan being tried in the half forwards last year for a while and it didn’t really work. Aganist Leitrim and Galway in the championship Keegan wore no.5 but switched with Vaughan to no.6 immediately after throw-in, so we have a few little tweaks that we can make.
    I don’t believe that we necessarily need a major change, as in Keegan and Boyle we have the 2 best wing backs in the country, but I feel that with Vaughan at no.6 against better teams we are too open and fail to shut down that middle central area of our defense.
    It might be an idea to revert Cunniffe to no.6 if we can fill the right corner back position adequately, it would help Cunniffe also in that the centre back position would be less demanding on his dodgy hamstring. Another option would be to move Keegan in there and switch Vaughan to no.5 where his athleticism and ability to attack would suit our style of play and also not leave us too vulnerable to a counter attack. Keegan is more disciplined positionally and a better defender so it would make sense to leave him there and Vaughan can take points (and goals) as good as Keegan.

  22. I wish!! I would do maor uisce/selector/boot cleaner/bag carrier/sandwhich maker/ball boy etc. but maybe James wouldn’t listen??? 🙂

  23. I agree Mac, it has to be horses for courses and the more options we have in terms of players/positions/styles of play etc. on the field of play the less predicatable we will be and therefore we will be more difficult for our opponents to figure out. We could all guess our starting 15 for the final last year and just because one starting 15 is good enough to beat Tyrone in August it does not necessarily mean that the same starting 15 are good enough to beat Dublin in September. We are so close but we must learn from the negatives of last season if we are to progress.

  24. I despair with the constant refernce on this site to the Sheepstealers and Paddy’s Day. Who do you people think you are? No doubt the height of sophistication. Goodbye.

  25. I agree we need to be flexible and adaptable in our selections in midfield. And Donie Vaughan would do very well there. But if it’s horses for courses you want at MF why not Keith Higgins? He has it all in terms of speed, agility, intelligence, skill and determination. He would cause mayhem as an attacker and his defending needs no comment. I could imagine many inter county managers and their midfielders wondering what in the hell to do about him.
    I believe that Keith was the biggest worry Dublin had both before the game and at half time. By putting him back into the corner at halftime we solved Dublins dilemma for them (and I can well understand why JH did that).
    Just a thought!

  26. No word yet on team lineup so difficult to make a call. I think it means little to us in overall scheme of things. If James Horan’s plans are to take a tilt at the national League then a peripheral team is what should be played and see how they get on.

    However if he does and puts out a strong team then it’s important to win it. Whoever wins it will probably go on to win the FBD I think and this would certainly benefit Ros going into the season ahead. So definitely an opportunity to keep them pegged back.

    On the other hand if he puts out an experimental team then it shows these lads on the periphery what they will be coming up against in the Summer. Even if they were to win they should also know that Ros is currently a division 3 team they are playing and not a top division 1 team.

  27. Roscommon are welcome to the fbd league title if mayo can use the game to see if newer lads are more capable than the existing men.

  28. Vaughan at midfield is nothing new, and James Horan has tried that before with little success.

    What might be a better bet would be to have Donie or Boyle (or both) push up from half-back into midfield on kickouts to cover the gaps on the wings – Seamus O’Shea can’t be expected to cover both wings while Aidan is preparing for his next leap.

    This is what crucified us in the final. Cluxton had open country on left or right to aim at every time (and a running team-mate to hit as soon as the ball went wide/over the bar).

    Mayo have the ammunition to beat everyone out there bar Dublin. So it would make sense to try things out now with Dublin in mind. (Having said that, Donegal will probably come along and beat the Dubs in the semi-final now!)

  29. My opinion is we dont need to make changes in the back line at all. caff keegan and boyle are the best players in their position in the country and would start on any team in the land. The last two all star teams shows this-consistency.
    Our forward line needs ajusting with the addition of 2 , possibly 3 players.
    Thats the area that cost us sam in the first 25 min of the all ireland.

  30. As an outsider looking in, you are correct. Midfield does lact a bit of mobility, so Vaughan may be an option on a particular day, horses for courses and all that. Forwards are not great, however the All Ireland was only lost by one point, so Mayo can’t be far away at all. Horan is a superb man at preparing a team, his downfall is, he can’t react quick enough during a game where the oppostion are asking questions. In my own job I see lads who have excellent organisational skills, but cannot react to a challenge that pops up at 15:00 on a Friday evening. If Mayo are to cross the winning line first under Horan, they will have to be much better than the rest, cause Horan can’t react on the line under pressure. But he is still a seriously good one, you guys are lucky to have.

  31. Nobody in the country wants to see a challenge pop up at 15:00 on a Friday Rossoneri!! That’s wind down time 🙂

  32. I wonder is James Burke who was playing for Ballymun Kickhams, originally from Ardnaree, still in the panel or is he injured at the moment? I thought he looked like a very stylish and accomplished player, any time I seem him in action. He looked like he would make a very good left-half back, as cover for Colm Boyle.

  33. Mac my friend; there are other teams in the running as well as Dublin. Kerry, remember them, were a couple of kicks away from Dublin. There’s Cork, Tyrone, Donegal, maybe a new Kildare and possibly a few dark horses. Dublin’s attitude last year was to focus on each game as it came up, deal with it and move on to the next. That worked pretty well for them. I remember lots of comments here discounting almost every team. That worked well for us.
    So what’s the lesson???

  34. If I were a bettin man id say it’ll a combo of peripheral players and established players starting on Sunday.

  35. Playing Donal Vaughan in midfield is not the answer, why? if you look at the way he marks a man he runs along beside him but is not able to tackle, and when he does it usually ends up in a free against us. Donie is a great athlete but I think he is not the person for midfield. I have great respect for the guy.

  36. Interesting to see that Tom Parsons is back in the Mayo team, that is taking on Roscommon in the FBD Connacht Senior Football League on Sunday. Good mixture of new and established players too!

    1 Robert Hennelly – Breaffy
    2 Kevin Keane – Westport
    3 Ger Cafferkey – Ballina Stephenites
    4 Colm Boyle – Davitts
    5 Brendan Harrison – Aghamore
    6 Shane McHale – Knockmore
    7 David Drake – Ballaghaderreen
    8 Tom Parsons – Charlestown Sarsfields
    9 Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy
    10 Diarmuid O’Connor – Ballintubber
    11 Andy Moran – Ballaghaderreen
    12 Adam Gallagher – Mayo Gaels
    13 Kevin McLoughlin – Knockmore
    14 Alan Freeman – Aghamore
    15 Darren Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
    16 Brendan Walsh – Ballintubber
    17 Keith Rogers – Ballaghaderreen
    18 Jason Gibbons – Ballintubber
    19 Brian Gallagher – Claremorris
    20 Cathal Carolan – Crossmolina
    21 Michael Conroy – Davitts
    22 Enda Varley – Garrymore
    23 Lee Keegan – Westport
    24 Cathal Freeman – Aghamore
    25 Keith Higgins – Ballyhaunis

    Best of luck to all involved….

  37. I see the team has been announced for Sunday with Tom Parsons being drafted into the fold to partner Aidan O’Shea at mid field. Interesting…very interesting !!

  38. Interesting alright but I wouldn’t get carried away. Nice to see youth again given a chance with Diarmaid O Connor & Adam Gallagher involved.

  39. R.Hennelly, K.Keane, G.Cafferkey, C.Boyle, B.Harrison, S.McHale, D.Drake, T.Parsons, A.O’Shea, D.O’Connor,A.Moran, A.Gallagher, K.McLoughlin, A.Freeman, D.Coen

    Subs B.Walsh, K.Rogers, J.Gibbons, B.Gallagher, C.Carolan, M.Conroy, E.Varley, L.Keegan, C.Freeman, K.Higgins

    Expected strong line up. Parsons first start since 2010?

  40. Joe I’m not an idiot and very well aware of the threat provided by the other challengers, especially Tyrone who I would expect to have a good rattle at an AI title this year with an improving side (they reminded me of ourselves in 2011 against us last year), Kerry and cork are both going backwards in my view but are more than capable of beating us on any given day, while I would expect stronger Galway and Meath outfits to finally come to the party in 2014 after a few years of flattering to deceive. However I’m basing my opinion on what we saw last summer where mayo were streets ahead of every other team in Ireland bar Dublin. If we are serious about winning an AI we have to be thinking about options to beat Dublin. I don’t care if its January. We may well slip back into the pack in 2014, who knows?? Right now though I believe we are the second best team in Ireland and hence will judge the team accordingly.
    On a side note, I’m a little apprehensive about seeing all these big names playing in January, I hope the lads on the go for 3 years straight injury-free don’t get too jaded early in the year. It’s good to see Andy Moran playing lots though, he needs plenty of game time to get in shape for the season ahead as he missed almost 12 months last year. Parsons is a quality player and a potentially more mobile option at MF, while he is also a strong fielder. I felt he was a bit laid back at times while playing under o Mahoney, and that definitely won’t happen under Horan, but there’s no question that the guy has the talent to nail down a starting spot on the team. We have incredible depth in midfield really.

  41. In fairness better than Tyrone but weren’t really streets ahead and who knows how a game against Kerry would have went? could be a semi final pairing this summer

  42. Mayo magic
    Look at the Tyrone game again. Once mayo clicked into gear after 25 minutes Tyrone were done for, and that’s not even counting the incredible wides and 2 goals not taken near the end.
    Mayo were miles ahead of Tyrone

  43. I was at the game and have watched it back twice since, TBH a fortuitous penalty got Mayo to clicking into gear and brought huge shift in momentum however what i will say is Mayo were miles ahead in the terms of the bench as Tyrone were unable to replace Harte,McMahon,O’Neill who all went off injured during the game.

  44. Mayo had scored a perfectly good goal before that penalty to click into gear, which shouldn’t have been disallowed. Presumably with the clarification of the advantage rule this year it would have stood.

  45. Interesting to see how Parsons goes, has a lot of talent and mobility but never seemed to get stuck in properly when playing for mayo before.

    Also interesting to see Andy at centre-half forward, we have failed to find someone for this position and we need to nail it down imo if we’re going to win the big one. There are two places up for grabs in the half forward line as i think Dillon’s days of being in the starting 15 are numbered – great servant that he was he doesn’t seem to have the legs for seventy minutes anymore so I’d see him being used as an impact sub,

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