Quick round-up

I meant to do this earlier but the pre-holiday pressure (I did mention I’m off on me holliers soon, didn’t I?) is beginning to bite, like a sticky corner-back or some such irritant. As a result, I didn’t get the time to do the normal Mayo News trawl of a Tuesday and so here, late and briefly, is what’s in it, which, of course, is a whole load of stuff about the Sligo match.

There’s the match report, the after-match quotes (nothing new compared to the nationals), Kev’s analysis and Sean Rice’s take on the game. Nothing earth-shattering in any of that but I thought Kev’s point about Mort being lucky that Bannon didn’t send him off for fecking him out of it was interesting. The picture that accompanies his column is good too and if I had the time I’d launch a caption competition on it. Mort does look like he’s saying something along the lines of “Ah would yah ever go fuck yourself yah big fat tub a lard” and, if he was, you’d have to agree that it was fair comment, even if it would definitely have resulted in a straight red.

That’s about all on the match. The rest of the weekend’s action was interesting too, in particular Derry’s loss to Fermanagh (which was largely attributable to Fergal Doherty’s absence and yet another “do everything to help the small guys” refereeing performance). Derry were the latest league champions to find that this tarnished crown was of little use to them when the real action started. I though they’d looked really sluggish against Donegal in their opening match and so their demise up at Healy Park was less of a shock than it was portrayed to be. And so Fermanagh reach their first Ulster final since the days of Peter McGinnitty back in 1982. Armagh beat them in that decider and they could repeat the dose this year but only if they first get past Down. The Brother is chuckling away to himself these days as he fondles that betting slip he has had for a few months now, the one where he put twenty notes on the Mournemen at 16/1 for the Anglo-Celt Cup.

Wexford’s wait for a provincial final appearance has been far longer than Fermanagh’s but they finally made it to the Leinster final at the weekend. Dublin are their most likely opponents in the final, but only if they account for Westmeath in the semi-final first. I think they will and then in a Croke Park packed to the gills with all those soccer-following fair weather supporters of theirs, the Dubs are likely to end Wexford’s long unbeaten run.

And what of poor old Paul Galvin? Looks like soccer is the only option for him this year too. But, as I said the other day, all this means is that the rest of them will now be even more fired up to succeed in his absence. All those of us in the ABK camp (i.e. everyone in the other 31 counties) can only hope that they draw one of that bunch of hard chaws from Ulster in the quarters. Better still, if Cork beat them in Munster, it’d be great to see them have to travel to Omagh or Derry for the final qualifier round. We have to live in hope …

7 thoughts on “Quick round-up

  1. “And what of poor old Paul Galvin? Looks like soccer is the only option for him this year …….”
    Not likley lad did you not hear ?
    hes off to Ballinagh Co Cvan for the summer where he will be made welcome by those supporters who know how to handle an errant ref!!

  2. Thoughts from McHale Road, June 22nd

    Following the game last Sunday I was a bit surprised to see some of the reaction of those who commented online, both here and elsewhere. Apart from Parsons and Nallen, everyone of the team came in for a bit of criticism from some quarter.
    From the back to the front line, most players drew negative comment. Clarke inconsistent with the kickouts, Boyle turned inside out, Conroy not convincing, Higgins not tight enough, Cunniffe too loose, Heaney holding on to the ball too long, McGarrity not at his best, T Mort in the wrong position, Harte not strong enough, Gardiner unconvincing, Austie having a bad day and Andy having an even worse one.

    In a way, I am beginning to think that I was at a different game from 3.30 to 5 pm last Sunday. This is the way I saw it.

    Johnno laid out his back line in a way that would stop the threat that we expected from Sligo. Everyone had a job and from what I saw, they all stuck to the script. The backs were tighter than I have seen them for years. The only fouls we gave away in our half were from our forwards (except for one from Boyle in the first half). On a couple of occasions Sligo got through but Clarkie was up to it when they did. Remember, Sligo werelast year’s Connaught Champions and they only scored only 4 points from play. None of the backs were subbed – they didn’t need to be. I rate that as a good day at the office from our guys.

    At centre field, I struggle to see how Ronan can come in from criticism. Can anyone remember a single ball that he dropped, a time he pulled out of a challenge or a time he gave away possession? I can’t. The only reason that he might not have looked 100% is because Parsons was giving an All-Star performance beside him and it would be impossible on the day to look great beside such a performance. But remember, Ronan’s man was taken off at half time. Did anyone stop to think why that might have happened?

    In the half forward line, Trevor worked his socks off. He made the pass to Conor for the run that resulted in the penalty. He made a goal out of scraps in the 2nd half. He gave us the type of ballsy performance in the forward line that has been missing for a long time. And as for Harte, he fought for every 50% ball and got most of them around the middle. Again and again he provided a link into the full forward line with a variety of runs and long balls that had the Sligo full back line in knots. Peadar worked hard, but with the half backs on top, he wasn’t needed in the fallback role and by the middle of the 2nd half, he was replaced by a forward (Killer) so that further misery could be piled on the Sligo backs.

    And the much maligned full forward line? Conor was obviously a little off full pace, you could see it from the first free he took early on, but he put that behind him and managed five points from play. Austie and Andy did exactly what I hoped they would for long periods – they stayed inside. This put enormous pressure on the Sligo full back line and with several Mayo players making runs inside, the goals came. In fact, if we did this more often, everyone would know who was running where and we would have got a hatful of goals. (We need the exact same tactic against Galway.) Austie also got two screamers of points that the Sunday Game crowd would be having orgasms about if they came from a Kerryman or a Dub! Andy was quiet, but he didn’t stop trying all day. In total we scored 2 11 from play. I need to look at your archives to see when we last did this in the Championship. I certainly can’t recall that type of score in 70 mins from memory. In addition, a different ref might have awarded us some of the frees that we should have got. Five or six extra resultant points would not have been excessive.

    So I seem to have seen things differently from some people. I saw a team that is still learning but one that finally has a bit of belief in itself. One that was a bit ring rusty – having waited weeks to get into the action – but showed that it has come a long way since last year. OK, what I saw was not perfect but I saw a team of Mayomen that was fired up, who will be fired up for Galway, who will collectively give 100% and really, what more can a supporter hope for.

    So maybe I was at a different game, but the one I was at seems to have been much more interesting!

    Keep the Faith!

  3. Fair points, FourGoal, and, as you point out, there was plenty to be positive about the last day. I guess what has thrown most people (including myself, I’d have to say) is how bad Sligo were which, I suppose, then leads on to questions about how good we really are.

    I think the team is still a work in progress and so the Galway match is the real acid test for them. I think we’ll know a lot more about their true potential after that one.

  4. Good report FourGoal. There were probs with the performance for sure but i did come away from the game with a warm feeling. for the first time i was happy that there was a game plan in place and as importantly there was a no nonsence attitude. I said before the game that if we won narrowly and learnt some lessons i would be happy. things couldnt have worked out better regarding the result, but there were also some lessons learnt…very obvious ones. Heaneys overplaying of the ball accross the half line was very obvious in the 1st half but seemed to be addressed at HT. Gardner brings nothing to the forward line which meant killer got a run. This was a win win, we had a player on who could score big and who can also take long range frees – i know he missed the 50 he took but it was a far better attempt than anything that had preceeded his arrival. It was also very obvious that having big men around the middle gives us a huge advantage. this was acknowledged in post match reports so id say the likes of conroy and Harte will be left where they were against sligo. THe days of having Alan Dillon at CHF are surely over. I think we will have learnt the lessons and certainly wont be naieve against galway. it will be a real battle this time around. That doesnt mean we will win but as long as we put in a good performance all will be forgiven

  5. What’s this Oxygen festival? A bit like Lisdoonvarna only with fewer mullets, right?

  6. Well in fairness it spells the old cliché you can only play what’s in front of you!! In fairness, we scored three goals, conceded just seven points, and popped over 11 ourselves. We really only played as well as we had to. A problem of late was the amount of goals we’ve been conceding. On Sunday we conceded none and scored three. So hey, lets be positive!!!

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