Quick update

Mayo v Donegal

This is just a quick early morning update from over here (I won’t annoy you by banging on about the sun shining brightly all day, but it is) to report that, to be honest, I haven’t really a whole pile to say.

I did a quick sweep through the papers just now and the only stories of note concern Donegal, with the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner both reporting that their injury concerns are easing and that Eamonn McGee (almost certainly) and Karl Lacey (more than likely) will feature for them on Saturday.

They’re obviously carrying other bumps and bruises too, a fact that Rory Gallagher alludes to in that Indo piece above. The Donegal manager adds, however, that the quick turnaround they have to deal with can be as much a positive as a negative, citing Tyrone’s surge from the qualifiers to the All-Ireland back in 2005.

He’s definitely got a point there. While failing to win your province puts you in a bit of a hole, the momentum gained from winning a few matches on the spin thereafter can give a team serious acceleration going into the All-Ireland series. It does, though, mean you have to take down one of the provincial champions in the quarters to get back to the position you’d have been in if you won your own province but, once you’ve done that, then the earlier provincial defeat becomes just a historical footnote.

In this respect, I think we shouldn’t be laying too much stress on Donegal being a tired team, carrying loads of injuries and all that. If they beat us on Saturday evening, they’ll have three whole weeks to rest, recuperate and prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin so I think we can expect them to bust a proverbial gut to get to that position.

There’s nothing about us in the nationals, though obviously there’s plenty of stuff by now in the locals but time doesn’t permit me to have a wander in that direction at the minute, I’m afraid. There should, I think, be some information released today on ticketing for the game so watch out for that if it does appear.

Finally, Elaine from the Smart Lotto team that’s working with the Official Mayo GAA Players Fund Lotto account has been on to ask me if I could give a plug for the Play, Like & Share competition they’re running which gives a chance to win tickets for Saturday’s game. This is running on Facebook and full details are here.

54 thoughts on “Quick update

  1. There’s no doubt some teams can build real momentum through the qualifiers but it tends to be teams knocked out in the early rounds of the provincials. Donegal got turned over in the Ulster final and beat a Galway team that effectively fell apart. I’m not convinced they’ll be able to recapture their early season form. If Mayo start well and bring real intensity and pace to the game I think we have more than enough.

  2. Enjoy the sun WJ (I cant even remember what it looks like). I reckon all us season ticket holders should at some stage today be getting notice of our ticketing details.

  3. It’s either six of one or half a dozen of the other! Donegal are either a tired leggy team or they are battle hardened through the qualifiers? We will know more on Saturday night.
    This is where the we wanted to be all year. In the lead in to a big game where we know we will be tested to the pin of our collars. This, with all due respect to Galway and Sligo, is our first thorough examination of the year. This is not new for us as we have often, in the last 3 years, emerged from Connacht (or is it Connaught?) relatively untested only to put in a blistering performance in the quarter final. We will need something similar again to progress and extend our Summer.
    I would expect that Noel and Pat will not be surprised if Murphy, or another target man, is positioned on the square and fed balls from on high. Therefore I expect them to have a plan and also to have worked on it over the last few weeks and months. I don’t think you will see us go man-to-man and I hope to see an extra defender, at all times, in the pocket behind no.6 and ahead of no.3. We will win or lose this game tactically. What I mean is that we know we have the pace, stamina, power and strength to match and probably beat Donegal. We know we have the experience of being at this stage and we have both won and lost against Donegal in big games.
    For all Murphy’s talk about the 2013 defeat, our lads would want to go out with the attitude to prove to Donegal that that game was no fluke.

  4. You’ve got it all there Psmeller. Just two things! Someone suggested K Higgins for that spot in front of no three. I reckon he’s the very man for the job if it can be arranged…mobile and intelligent enough to know when the danger is in it.
    And two, I’m thinking that D won’t fall like they did before. They’ve been around enough to scale those psychological barriers and I think they could have an undisclosed reserve of kick.However,they might have some niggles after Galway. I expect a real tough scramble and that ll be good as long as green and red is what we see first peeping over the top of the hill at the end.
    And just one more point.. a warning to our fellas as if they needed it.The great Napoleon thought he was on the way home after Moscow but it didn’t turn out the way he thought! The ends of games need to be treated with great respect!
    Aghaidh libh Muigheo!!

  5. Yes, this will be a real test for the new management in particular. Donegal have shown they have variations in their tactics which we need to be able to respond to quickly. We have the better team, freshness, if we can display tactical awareness we’ll come out on top.

  6. After the blistering performance that put away Galway at the weekend I think this Donegal team will no doubt feel they can push on big time. Probably one training session this week and a light workout on Wednesday/Thursday.

    Why wouldn’t they? They will look at Mayo and see us as the only thing stopping them (as WJ pointed out) in their way to being in another 1/4 final. And with Lacey and McGee back that will give them an additional much added boost.

    Our fellas are in for a real test.

  7. With all the hysteria among Mayo fans about how we are going to deal with Murphy, people seem to forget that Donegal will be asked serious questions by Mayo, if the management have plans to combat high ball into full back line and nullify that particular threat then we should have more than enough firepower to win by 4/5 points..

  8. Once the ball is thrown in Mayo will need to nullify the Murphy threat by 2 men on him. They’ll do the same to aos the far end and both will end up out the field. This game is a primed for j doc, d oc and Mickey c to outshine coc and aos as forwards for the day, even if aos is tightly marked and had to move out we still have Danny Kirby or Barry as targets that are well worth their salt. I hope we utilise the bigger ff and let donegal do the wondering and worrying. Either of these guys can win plenty of ball from above and turn to shoot or lay it off. Especially early in the game and introduce ronaldson and other speedy bucks when the donegal legs are tiring. IMO its a game Mayo really should be winning by a few scores regardless of how donegal set up, we have the freshness that ensures we can go full tilt for 70 minutes.

  9. Genuinely think we have an advantage here – all that’s really changed since 2013 for both sides is management – virtually no new Players on either side and no retirements other than for us the likes of Carolan, Feeney no longer on the Panel and Clark back from Injury. The Starting 15 on both sides would appear virtually unchanged.
    The Donegal lads are a bit older than ours, with 3 games played in 14 days by the time the final whistle blows on Saturday.
    They’re still a serious outfit tactically very astute, and very dangerous on the break or from the high ball in.
    Key to the game will not be stopping Murphy, but stopping the supply of ball into him and McFadden. If Murphy has to go chasing for the ball, it seems to stop Donegal scoring altogether – that’s where they have their lean patches.

  10. Apologies for being pedantic FBDinashui but Donegal played 20 days ago from this Saturday, not 14. It is a significant difference from 2013 when they played us 14 days after Monaghan.

    I’d also completely discount 2013 myself. It was a complete freak game, a one-in-a-million and we would all be writing it off as such ourselves, if we were in their position.

    That said, strictly speaking Odhran MacNiallais and Ryan McHugh have certainly been positive additions for them since, even if I don’t think Donegal have come close to the heights of 2012 in the meantime. However, I’d have to say we’ve gone ever so slightly backwards ourselves since 2013 in what was perhaps our ‘peak’ under Horan, just judging on what I’ve seen overall since, even if it shouldn’t appear so solely judging on the personnel we have available

    That said, there was a very 2013-like feel to our demolition of Sligo and what an occasion Saturday would be to dish out even more mass destruction!!!

    If we look at our most recent quarter final though (2014 v Cork), we looked at times unassured, VERY shaky at the back, and perhaps overconfident, even if there was some great signs in how we raised our level when put under the cosh a few times. We won’t afford such general ‘lackluster-ness’ the next day out though

  11. Murphy does need to be stopped but with the obsessing people are doing here about him he will do more damage by just running around the field without the ball with 2 or 3 Mayo men chasing after him like a game of follow the leader leaving other players with acres of space. Ok mayo need a system to stop leaking goals and protect from the high ball, but if Murphy scores 2 or 3 points from play its not the end of the world, if we let in a goal it not the end of the world, most games have goals in them. From now on any teams we face will have a a few forwards who can cause serious damage and it is not enough to just focus on stopping one player, we have as much reason to fear McFadden and Mcbreaty and yet we cant double mark all 3 of them.
    A single sweeper should be sufficient to stop there full forward line of the 3 of them, but if Murphy wanders out the field it may just require an increased work rate from our central men to give him hell while in possession of the ball. If we are going with the long ball strategy we should be seeing the saved energy of our half back line being put to use somewhere else.

  12. I wonder will Cunniffe start? We have so many defenders to choose from we can pretty much afford to leave out under-performing guys on a whim- which is a super situation to be in!

    He has been a superb servant to us but like with Ger Caff last year, sometimes you just have a bad year and it can be difficult to just turn your form around. We have Barrett, Keane, Cafferkey and TC all going for two positions which is great depth. The new found problem, however, is picking two- Higgins seems to be the only one in true form or truly reliable at the minute

    That said we may well do a 2013 on it and create a half forward out of someone, like with Keith. It wouldn’t shock me to see this- we ain’t beating Dubs or Kerry without severely congesting the backline and while we can only have eyes on Saturday yet it’d be prudent to still come up with an overall strategy so to speak

  13. I like the idea of a second big man to fill Aiden O’Shea’s shoes if he is being crowded at ff and drifts out looking for space. However the only “big man” listed in the subs to date has been Barry Moran. We need at least two to cover both for Aiden and midfield. We do not need all four of Alan Dillon,Michael Conroy, Mark Ronaldson and Mikey Sweeney. They are too alike and fill the same basic role which Alan Freeman can also fill. [We need him for freetaking in case Cillian has a mishap]. Danny Kirby should definitely be in the mix, as should Jason Gibbons. Does anybody know if Jason is back in the panel?

  14. Sorry Ciaran – you are right – it will be 3 games in 20 days as they played Monaghan on the 19th of July, Galway Saturday just gone and ourselves Saturday coming.
    Also Ryan McHugh started for Donegal against us in 2013, so he’s not that new.

  15. Well yes but he’s certainly a far better proposition now than then- he was only a year out of minor in 2013 in fairness, but had his proper breakthrough last season

    But my general point is I wouldn’t go reading into 2013 in the first place I think. Sure, it’s the most recent Championship clash where we’ve met, but it wasn’t really any ordinary game. It was a bit like our 2006 match vs the Dubs where everything just seemed to fall in our favour. It was a real come-down year for Donegal too but there’s a bit of a point to prove for them this year, with plenty now deeming them a ‘spent force’

    I think that’s a bit of an OTT suggestion, mainly as I don’t think they were that long a massive ‘force’ in the first place, there was just one season really where they looked unstoppable. They’re a fine side and still arguably the 4th best overall in the country, but they are certainly beatable

  16. Someone mentioned having bigbird or Kirby as a backup type for aos. would the McGee bros be able to handle a twin towers ff line,that won’t happen but it could be fun to see

  17. Anyyknow what’s the weather like for sat hope to god it’s not raining. With all this hype on aid o Shea the Donegal defence could underestimate o Connor and that could be a plus for Mayo.

  18. From Met Eireann “Latest information suggests that Saturday may be a dry day with light winds and some sunshine also.”
    Not that I would trust it, at this stage before the Sligo match it was forecast to be very wet…

    Slightly off topic, but am I the only one wondering if the blanket is not just a losing formula for most teams? Sure, it might have it’s place in specific games at specific times and help stop the trimmings handed out to the likes of Kildare, Sligo & Longford, but the underdog wins we have had this year were all due to teams shaking off the shackles and attacking with power and determination. Westmeath v Meath, Kildare v Cork, Sligo v Roscommon. And especially the end of the Fermanagh v Roscommon game. Most of all I think of Derry who had a great league playing attractive football last year before a big defeat to Dublin in the Final. Whereas this year playing textbook blanket defense they ran everybody close, but lost match after match….

  19. Looks like its going to be a sunny Saturday evening. Maybe its time to stop talking about

    Donegal and start focusing on our own game. I would very much like to see runners

    coming from deep off the shoulder of the man in possession — kamikazi style. It takes

    courage but the one with momentum always has less chance of getting hurt. Being

    patient is fine but sometimes you need to cut through. There is no harm in borrowing a

    trick from the rugby boys to split a massed defence. And we have a few bravehearts

    thats for sure.

  20. I think we will win. Just about though. Wonder what the kerrymen, or sorry the gaa media will have to say on our chances?

  21. Any season ticket holders having problems setting up the group seating,been trying it all evening,keeps saying account and email not matching,

  22. At the end of the day, Donegal probably have more to be worried about us, than we have to worry about them. We have had a three week break. We are injury free. We are fit and ready to go. We are coming in on the back of a 26 point confidence building 5 in a row Connacht final win. They have a seven day turn around. They have a few injury worries. They have already lost in the Ulster final. They have had a few very tough, hard games. The last time we played them in the championship, we beat them by 16 points. So as I said, they should have more worries about us. In saying that, it could still be a banana skin game for us. We are going for our fifth quarter-final win in a row, which is not an easy thing to do. In relation to the match-ups, I’d be a bit worried if Keith Higgins is picking up Patrick McBrearty. He marked him in the league game in Castlebar. McBrearty was too strong for him. He scored one goal that day and was unlucky to be blown up for a free when he scored a second goal that day. If we get our match-ups right and our defensive structure in place, we should come through this one.

  23. We should be playing the game on our terms not Donegal’s….hit them hard and fast from the go. I think there is to much focus on Donegal ans what they will do rather than our guys.

  24. I was in Donegal the weekend of the replay last August,every Donegal person I met were sure they would beat Dublin and said they wouldn’t be able for us in final,they are a lot more nervous about us than we are of them.mayo by 7

  25. true steve what mayo need the next day is scoring fowards and good passes to those from a mid field that is winning primary posession. cillian , aidan DOC, andy,kevin, jason are going to have to get enough scores on the board to win . The mayo mid field of sos and parsons plus the half backs keegan ,boyle and vaughan need to win enough ball and feed it into mayo fowards who are out in front of their men to win.
    these guys know all this themselves.

  26. – Match will be decided by cards and goals in that order. Discipline will be vital for us.
    – AOS and Murphy could both end up as peripheral figures on the day because of tactics employed. Opening for others to make their mark.
    – Neil Gallagher is the main engine for Donegal, he is the one that really needs attention.
    – What are the odds for a repeat of 1985 semi final line-up?
    – Very few draws so far this year, Sat may throw up one draw.
    – It would be nice to get a cracking match to redeem what has been a cat championship todate.

  27. If we are this worried about beating Donegal on Saturday, I can’t imagine how there will be any sort of optimism at all left for a potential semi-final with Dublin, or a final with Kerry should we get that far. Agree with the posters above who suggest we should be concentrating on our own game rather than worrying about what Donegal may or may not do. I think this team will have answered a lot of the questions that have been posed of them by 8pm on Saturday evening.

  28. Just realised I have done a Cork County Board on it and completely disregarded Monaghan and Tyrone there. Whoops. Well, that’s how I see it panning out … I imagine I’m not alone.

  29. Donegal won’t be worrying about us at all. Never mind their media spin. They’re the ones with the All Ireland medals in their back pockets and will fully expect to make full advantage of their superior full back and full forward lines to swing the match their way and set up a semi final clash with Dublin. It’s up to our management and players to tactically outwit and physically outplay them on Saturday. Its going to take one massive effort to win this one.

  30. It looks as if the weather will be fine for Saturday evening.

    My own take on the match is that Dillon will start instead of Moran. With Aidan and Cillian being heavily marked the likes of Diarmuid and Jason will put up early scores and their pace,along with the likes of Tom Parsons and Seamie going forward will win the match for us.

    I said it at the weekend and I repeat it again Mayo will win by at least 4.

  31. Anybody else having problems logging on to the Croke Park season ticket site this evening?

  32. Ya,the 6 digit number,Ann Marie,no luck,rang county board,my friends just have PEIL on their cairde cards ive got PEIL and CLUB +,they said that could be the problem and told me to ring tickets.ie tomorrow morning before tickets are issued,one would imagine they should be able to sort it out.

  33. I know there was a cut off day to do group seating Chrisann not sure if it was today.
    On the match I’m not too worried about Donegal I think once we perform we will come out on top. We will definitely get our test. I have a feeling we might do a Kerry on it when they both met in last years final so lots of bodys going back but not being afraid to add numbers to attacking play. The lads are in good condition .

  34. It might or might not be the team, but I like the attitude. Name the team early. I’ve a house of aces, what have you got. Shows confidence.

  35. Chrisann it turns out the site is down this evening so no-one can access it at the minute apparently. Hope you get sorted in the morning!

  36. Young Fella and chrisann

    Just tried to login to my season ticket,its the Croke Park season ticket,and unable to do so.
    It was working ok earlier today.

  37. According to the Mayo News the team were training this evening so the team must have been announced then after training. They also trained on Saturday and Sunday, as mentioned in that report and are travelling to Dublin on Friday evening. Roll on the game!

  38. It isn’t surprising that the team remains unchanged after such a comprehensive win but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a change or two before throw in. Kevin Keane in particular is a possible late starter.

  39. Very much agree with above posters! Same team announced but I’d be astonished if there aren’t changes made to that team. Particularly with regards the full back line. We’ll know at six o’clock Saturday what the real team is!

  40. The more I think about maybe Vaughan on Murphy isn’t such a bad option listen I know the team will change come Saturday Jason doc will prob drop deeper and let the Mcgees try and rattle Aidan for a full 70 they will get some shock compared to marking Damien comer

  41. Tactics on the day tailored to the team will be key. Look at the Kerry/Cork/Kildare matches. Dublin vs Fermanagh was more like a rugby league game. Against the blanket defense Dublin should have played in the high ball rather than passing it around on the 40. On Mayo if AOS and COC stay fit we’re in with a chance to go all the way otherwise …

  42. you know it wouldnt surprise me if we played the same FB line again.

    If theres a way of losing a big match on the sideline we’ll find it! After all we’ve proven it over the last 20 seasons

  43. The more I think about maybe Vaughan on Murphy isn’t such a bad option listen I know the team will change come Saturday Jason doc will prob drop deeper and let the Mcgees try and rattle Aidan for a full 70 they will get some shock compared to marking Damien comer
    Vaughan isn’t remotely heavy enough to mark Murphy

  44. Centrefield, “If theres a way of losing a big match on the sideline we’ll find it! After all we’ve proven it over the last 20 seasons”… it’s a terrible thing but i have to agree with you.. Hope to Jaysus we’re wrong!!! Please all you in Heaven (or Hell if you have the influence), prove us wrong!!!

  45. So centrefield who would you place on Murphy ??????
    I’m not having a go at you Nycgreenandred but I had the displeasure of watching Donegal isolate Keane on Murphy in 2012 directly in front of me in the Nally. The reason Keane was on him was because Murphy had destroyed Cafferkey up in Ballyshannon in the league that year from what I can remember.

    I would play orthodox FB line with 2 sweepers one being SOS. SOS being given the simple job of being in Murphys face for 70 min. If Murphy drifts out to midfield then SOS can contest ball out there aswell.

    Down did something similar to Tohill in 94. Conor Deegan was moved to midfield and told to get stuck into Tohill and follow him wherever he went.

  46. Sorry for changing the subject away from the important issues of the match again, but just to let people know that the Season ticket site seems to be working OK again.

  47. Centrefield. Don’t buy that Vaughan isn’t big enough. Look at what aidan omahony did to Murphy last year. Why wouldn’t he do a job on him. Stick to him like shit to a blanket and double up on him I’m the FB line, could work?

    What happens though when Big Neil Gallagher goes in there? Who is going to follow him. This is P and N biggest game. Serious questions are going to be asked. Really looking forward to it… hon Mayo

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