Regarding the Rossies

Photo: Midwest Radio (Daire Brennan/Sportsfile)

Right, the points that were on offer up in Omagh are gone and so our next opportunity at securing our top tier status comes on Saturday night back on home turf. Roscommon are our opponents under the lights at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park where, with the generator humming sonorously in the background, the ball will be thrown in at 7.30pm. Cavan’s Joe McQuillan is the ref and TG4 are showing the game live, with Midwest also providing live radio commentary on it.

The Rossies have become a proverbial stone in our shoe in the Connacht Championship of late. When they took the field in Castlebar in the provincial semi-final back in 2019, they hadn’t won a Championship match there against us since 1986. But they won that day and on their next visit, last April, they won again.

So it won’t really bother them, one suspects, if they’re told that they haven’t lowered our colours in the National League at MacHale Park since 1984. What’s forty years between friends?

More pertinent than historical records, of course, is current form. Up until last Sunday, their Division One campaign this year wasn’t going well but the thumping win they recorded against Monaghan at the weekend was just the tonic needed for them heading to Castlebar. All the better that we go into it off the back of that scutching Tyrone administered to us on Saturday night.

Roscommon also have a loss to Tyrone in Omagh on their CV this year, as they were beaten by the Red Hand County by 0-17 to 1-11 in the League’s opening round. They then slugged out a nine points apiece draw with Galway the following week before Dublin beat them handily enough on a scoreline of 1-19 to 1-12 at Croke Park.

Last Sunday’s emphatic 1-16 to 0-7 win at Dr Hyde Park over the Farneymen lifted them off bottom spot in Division One, however, giving them renewed hope that they can survive in the top tier. A win over us would bolster that aim still further, while pushing us closer to the drop.

Both sides will also, no doubt, be thinking ahead to our likely Connacht semi-final meeting in April, assuming, of course, we get over the New York hurdle first.

Roscommon’s manager Davy Burke cheerfully admitted that our provincial Championship meeting last year was a game they’d been solely focused on in the months leading up to it and I doubt it’ll be any different for them this time around. With a League final date unlikely to distract us this year, I’d imagine that’s where much of our focus is already too.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Saturday night’s meeting is likely to have any element of a phoney war about it. We both need a win, for roughly the same reasons, and neither side is likely to hold back in its efforts to secure the result they’re looking for.

We’re strong enough favourites to win but, against the Rossies, odds count for little. This is a local derby and it’s a game that’ll be contested in the full-throated manner you’d expect when neighbouring counties clash.

After the way they brought us down to earth with a bump last year a week after we’d beaten Galway in the National League final, we can feel, with some justification, that we owe them one. For their part, the Rossies always believe they can beat us and will be doing everything they can to ensure this happens.

Win? Draw? Loss? Let’s end with a vote on that to gauge the mood ahead of Saturday night.

How will we do against Roscommon?

  • Win (64%, 862 Votes)
  • Lose (29%, 391 Votes)
  • Draw (8%, 103 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,356

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167 thoughts on “Regarding the Rossies

  1. Considering our form and injuries , the rossies 11/4 with the bookies is crazy especially coming off the back of a 12 point win, would say it’s a 55% 45% game in favour of mayo

  2. I was really hoping we’d be full strength for this game and play our strongest team. I’d hoped we’d be up and running by now and maybe even bang in a couple of goals to really lay down a marker for championship, but… I watched Rossies against Dublin and I was very impressed. They have a very good defensive system and when the turn over, the attack quickly and have some very good scorers.
    I’d have Roscommon a good bit ahead of us at the moment to be honest. I know people will say they lost, but Dublin were much better that night thsn they were against us. Teams now know to keep us out around the 45 and we don’t have the shooters.
    Paddy is a massive loss as out of all the defenders that attack, he scores. Our back 3 have to concentrate on defending this weekend. If they want Sam to attack play him half back but things need to be tight at the back or it’ll be another 3rd qtr demolition job. There is a tendency for people on here to say we should have enough to beat such n such. The same chat was happening b4 tyrone game and against cork last year. Very few teams fear us now. It’d be great to turn that around this weekend. But I’m not confident.

  3. Was there any word on David McBrien at all? A vital player for us not only in the back line but also because it releases Sam out to 6.
    Also anything on James Carr? Another one we need back.
    We’ll be a different proposition on Saturday evening no doubt about that.

  4. Hopefully Mind the House we will be a different proposition v the Rossies but it will take a conversion on the road to McHale Park. We need to get back to our good old days and as Paul Flynn said our strong point was causing chaos. More direct football with kick passes and give it a lash and don’t be afraid to shoot. Play with swagger and entertain. That’s all I want and if we are not good enough go again next week. We never need to question the players commitment so there is no need to get bogged down with too much tactics and end up playing with fear. It’s meant to be enjoyable and even though Sam has alluded us not many fans have had such good days and plenty of goodwill from neutral supporters. Gaa would have been in a poor place for the last 10 or more years without our great teams.

  5. The Rossies are timing their run this year in order to ensure a deeper journey in the latter stages of the championship this year. Not easy to balance this with survival in division 1. The plan so far is working following the demolition job on Monaghan last weekend. They will relish the opportunity to pile more misery on Kevin McStay and his men.

  6. It’s who knows regarding our latest injuried players but I do recall a McStay audio a few weeks back saying that James Carr would be in line for a return in Rd 5 (Rossies) or Rd 6 Derry.

    Would like to see Cillian and ROD both start inside this weekend and see if their craft and understanding can inspire the other named forwards around them.

  7. I think it’s time to try Bob Tuohy at FF. we need a physical presence in there.

    Also, interesting that Hession won the ball for the penalty in the inside line so perhaps he could be tried in the FF line to utilise his pace..and bring Conroy to HF line.

    Coyne should be rested for this game..time to try someone else at No. 2 just to see.

    Also, I think Hennelly shot be retained in goal as he was a bit rusty the last day.

  8. Odds are crazy. A buoyant Roscommon fresh from their hammering of Monaghan v an injury hit Mayo reeling from their very poor second half v Tyrone. Some top
    Class forwards on that Roscommon team. against a Mayo defence possibly minus Paddy and McBrien A difficult assignment. Will not be pretty reading here if we lose. Maigh Eo Abu

  9. Bookies are probably taking into account that the rossies are missing plenty of first choice players this year which might explain unlike 2023 why they are battling relegation than pushing for a final spot. Ciaran Murtagh, Cian McKeon, Conor Daly, Eddie Nolan all gone travelling/opted out. Ultan Harney, Ronan Daly returned from their travels but haven’t featured this year and Ben O’Carroll who stood out for Brigids in their All-Ireland run is out injured.

  10. Am I right in saying since that 1984 loss there has been only two Mayo v Roscommon league matches in MacHale Park (2017/2019)

  11. Based on their performances at the weekend and the Mayo injuries Roscommon have to be favourites for Saturday evening.
    Mayo are in transition and Roscommon have been building steadily over the past few years and have a hardened team with stalwarts like the Smith brothers and the Murtaghs to name a few.

    The performance against Tyrone was a big reality check for Mayo. Better that this happens in February and not June.
    If motivation was needed then what better than a visit by Roscommon to McHale park?
    With the quick turnaround there is no time to dwell on the Tyrone game other than take learnings from it.

  12. Time to forget Tyrone now and concentrate on Roscommon. This is a potential relegation battle and we need to be really up for it from the start-they will be. I want to see us have a real go and take the game to the and show real intensity, sadly lacking last Saturday. It’s difficult to predict the starting team, with the uncertainty about injuries. Doubt if Paddy will feature, would be great if McBrien was fit, to release Sam to 6.Would be a big bonus if Carr was available as his scoring threat and ability to win possession would significantly improve our FF line and could release TC to RHF, where I think his pace could be better utilised-I feel he is better facing goal. Hession should start and would really love to see Tuohy getting a run at midfield. Would like to see us mix it up, more direct, quick ball to our inside line and shots from distance. And much less of this lateral passing over and back and down into the corner cul de sacs. Hope to see Mc Hale get some minutes and Duffy also-I think he has potential and there is some thing about him.

  13. You would, indeed, MO2023. The other matches were played in Ballina (1988 and 1988) and Charlestown (1985). Incidentally, facts like this are easily checked by using the search tool in the results archive – in this case by selecting the opposition, level, competition and venue. The answer literally took seconds to find.

  14. Ros will show us how far off we are. We’ve no midfield worth talking about, very dodgy full back line with our so called forwards not able to score in any predictable way. I’d say we might get a good stuffing, by maybe 7/10 points.

  15. Met a young Roscommon footballer out for a pint after the match last Sunday night.
    No drink ban with the County but one in place with his club MADNESS
    Well up for the Mayo game.

  16. There will be a lot of rich people on this blog Saturday night if they stand over their comments and goto the bookies to back Roscommon.

    In 2022 we played Kerry away lost by 1 point, a week later Tyrone away and lost by 2 points then the following week we played Kildare in carrick and won by 8 points.

    I think the scheduling of games 3 weeks in a row and 2 away games in Kerry and Tyrone back to back in 7 days had a lot to do with last weeks performance.

    I expect a much changed performance from Mayo this weekend with a 3-5 point win.

  17. I doubt if the bit of travel involved caused our weak showing in the 2nd half v Tyrone. It’s not as if we had to cross a few time zones. Mc Stay said he hadn’t even thought of it when asked was travel a factor.
    To me it was plain old fashioned they got a run on us,and we didn’t have enough quality or experience on the pitch at the time to deal with it.

  18. I’m hoping for a Mayo win but mainly a dramatically improved performance.
    I think Roscommon are fully capable of winning this game and nobody could be surprised if they do, given their quality. Let’s not be daft or complacent. We’re the ones with yards to improve, in general, and components to build and slot into place.
    I hope for Mayo capability to score points from distance, to take these shots on, and to practise for accuracy.
    I also hope for ability to reply to conditions as they arise instead of going stagnant and to build solid variety into our game.

  19. Going on assumption that durcan/mcbrien/diarmuid out I think the following team for next week…a lot of guys who played poorly against tyr to feature again but only because they need the games/minutes.
    Few players very much in the ‘sh1t or get off the pot” territory at this stage








  20. 2 hops – Its a combination of we rested players and tired bodies and minds.

    Take Sam Callinan and Rory Brickenden as an example in the space of 10 days have traveled to Kerry twice to play a game and Tyrone once to play a game. On top of that they have had to attend college in Dublin and travel to and from Mayo for training. That is the guts of 2,500km or 24-30 hours in a car / bus and 8+ hours of intense exercise over the space of 10 days on top of your daily tasks, that surely will somewhat effect an amateur players body and mind to perform.

  21. The latest Ah Ref podcast with Gerry McGowan and John Stagg well worth listening to about the Mayo forwards

  22. The bookies aren’t normally wrong but I think the odds on offer are crazy.
    Of the two teams coming into this game, the Rossies have better form with a draw and a resounding win, whereas we have two losses, the last game being a particularly bad collapse. Looking at the table, their defense is actually a meaner one than ours (1-52 conceded to our 1-55) and that’s with many praising the fact that we haven’t been open at the back. Well, neither have they! At the other end of the field we have outscored them 4-50 to 3-48 but two of our goals were penos and the other coming off a big, high, loopy ball into the square, so those stats are a little misleading. Add into the mix that the Brigids players are returning to the Rossie squad and it all points to a very strong and confident Rossie team coming into MacHale Park on Saturday evening.
    I grew up on the border looking across at the baxxxxds and had to listen to them in school when they’d beat us handily in the 80’s, so I struggle to ever give them credit for anything, and am always quick to ridicule them whenever I can. But, make no mistake about this, if we aren’t at our very best on Saturday night and bring our best performance of the season to date, then they will win again.
    A win for either side could quite easily relegate the other, so there’s a huge amount at stake. Roscommon and Galway wins this weekend will shove us to second from bottom, just above Monaghan. With Derry coming to Castlebar in the next round a victory for us could not be certain, so we could end up relegated by the time we go to Clones! Likewise, a defeat for the Rossies would leave them on 3 points, with Kerry coming to The Hyde you wouldn’t back the Rossies winning that so they too could be heading to the round 7 fixtures as good as gone.
    Nothing other than a win for us can be accepted.

  23. Pebblesmeller – Roscommon got their draw in round 2 the same weekend we beat Dublin.

    They are coming in off a 7 point loss to Dublin and big home win against Monaghan.

    Monaghan have lost their last 3 games by 12 points, 13 points and 10 points.

  24. I’d go with the following (assuming that Durcan, McBrien and DoC are out)……

    Go strong, hard and fast early and be sure to get ahead of them on the scoreboard.
    I’d use Tuohy and Flynn as additional midfielders to crowd out and win any long ball going out into the middle third from kickouts. Tuohy pulling wide can be an option for Reape on his kickout, otherwise low and fast out wide to our wingbacks who have serious pace to get free. I’d expect a better showing from Ruane due to his 50 odd mins in Omagh and would use a rested O’Shea as a pivot inside where we should look to target him with direct ball out in front, having Conroy and O’Donoghue coming off him at pace. We need to clear out the space in front of O’Shea so our wing forwards need to retreat out the field and they, along with Boland, need to be looking to pop 30m or 40m balls into the space in front of O’Sea – NOT big, high, loopy balls coming out of the clouds! Think the service O’Shea got v Galway for McBrien’s goal, that, many times.
    You have Plunkett and McHugh to come into the backs and Cillian with McHale/Duffy to come into our front 6. With O’Shea, Carney, Ruane, Tuohy and Flynn we have plenty of height to switch players around midfield and Carney could go inside to FF for a while and see where does Smith go then?

  25. Catcol, I have been on about this since last year, its a common technique used by a of a lot of club and county teams. particularly useful if your team is not particularly strong in the air. how we do not appear to have some sort of tactics after 15/16mths on kickouts seems mad, Brickenden being picked out last week with his back to ball etc.

    On the travel past two weeks were we staying in Adare Manor and Lough Erne resort? The 5 star treatment should have helped negate some of that weariness 🙂

  26. @Spotlight, I’d like to see more game time for Tuohy too but adding him to the middle doesn’t add physicality. He was shoved off the ball several times Kerry by smaller stockier opponents. He doesn’t appear to have bulked up from 12 months ago. In fact, his performances in the league last year were more impressive. Still, given the scarcity of our midfield options coupled with the form of those playing there to date (Diarmuid aside), we just don’t have many options so we may as well throw Bob in and see what he can do.

    Tbh I’m much more bothered about individual performances and structure/strategy than I am about the actual result. I wasn’t particularly happy after the win over Dublin because we didn’t play well apart from a brief spell in the 2nd half. Take Paddy out of that game and we’d have lost by 6 or 7 points.

    The ONLY game that counts is in the Hyde in April so I’d rather come away from this weekend seeing Brickenden having a string game, Hession really showing positive form, Bob or Carney having some moments of dominance and Tommy kicking a few scores and lose by a point than win but not see any improvement from our players who have not yet reached a level we need them to be at. On the flip side, in championship it’s all about results. Form and performance, while always important, is secondary.

  27. Mayonaze – I think Paddy’s performance against Dublin a few weeks ago was overblown. He had a very good 5 minute spell in the first half which led to 2 pointed frees, although Paddy didn’t actually win the frees himself. Wasn’t in the game much after that, although no one doubting his ability.

    Looking back at the weekend Ruane drove at the Tyrone defence in the first half and won a free. Then did the same thing a few minutes later to set up Conor McStay for a point. It was his kickpass into Hession that led to the penalty as well. A lot of Mayo fans have Mattie written off but he’s one of our best players when on form.

  28. Gizmobobs – Id have questions on the accuracy of whomever is telling you that the team is staying in Adare Manor before a league game. Did JP fly them from Tralee to the manor in a helicopter as well ?

  29. Even Lough Erne resort is a 5* resort. a long way from the seminary in Maynooth we used in past years 🙂

  30. The issue with ruane is not what he did the Tyrone game it’s what he isn’t doing.He is a midfielder but seems incapable of winning any contested ball in the air. Yea people will say the game has changed but Conor glass and Brian Fenton do the going forward and scoring part but also are very powerful in aerial contests .Ruane is a good footballer but he needs a recognised ball winner in there with him .His best year was 2019 when Aidan o Shea was flying.just watch back that league final.problem is we now don’t have that sort of midfielder

  31. @1985 mccurrys goal in 21 final comes to mind, Ruane was stuck to the ground and conn killpatrick pulled it out of the sky , that was the end of the game then

  32. Ruane’s best years were 2020 and 21. He was man of the match in back to back Connacht finals. Funnily enough Loftus was his midfield partner on those days!

    Obviously it’s not ideal, but you can still win big games with a weaker midfield. Remember Tyrone in the 00s.

    It’s all down to kickout strategy and working on breaking ball. We’ve struggled on breaks the last two weekends. Adding a 6’5″ lad to midfield won’t fix that.

  33. Definitely fancy Roscommon for this one unfortunately. They have the forwards who can put the ball over the bar, while we don’t.

  34. Aidan o Shea spent alot of time around midfield in 2020 and 21 .he switched in to full forward at the start of the second half of the 21 Connacht final.Loftus was named at midfield in alot of games.if a midfielder is winning primary possession then there won’t be as much breaking ball .I am not being critical of Matt ruane it’s just a fact that he isn’t great in the air and yea kick out strategy’s come into it but the top counties still see a need to have the likes of David Moran(Kerry now badly missing him)Brian Fenton Conor glass .Brian Kennedy and con kilpatrick as the last 3 all Ireland winners have shown

  35. 1985 – as you said Aidan went full forward after half time in the 21 Connacht final, yet we still managed to pin Galway in their own half for the rest of the game. Aidan wasn’t on the pitch vs Dublin when we took over and turned the game on its head.

    Kerry won the 22 All Ireland but they actually took off David Moran at half time in the final because Galway’s midfield were running riot. That Galway midfield consisted of McDaid (who’s an athletic half back really, certainly not a high fielder), along with Paul Conroy (very good footballer but not a massive fielder either). That Galway midfield also dominated Conor Glass and Derry in the semi final.

    I just think people are making a lot of excuses for why we’re losing games. Almost resignation saying we don’t have the players to compete. It’s up to McStay and co to get us competitive.

    Under Horan we reached two all Ireland finals with Loftus and Ruane midfield. So I don’t buy that suddenly we cannot compete in that sector.

  36. @Wideball, I don’t know. In my opinion when Dublin were getting a run in us we needed someone to get a grip of proceedings. Paddy went on a 5-10 min spell of dominance and that completely changed the momentum of the match. We don’t have nearly enough of that kind of influential player who can turn the tide. I’ve said it a few times but we really need leaders. Men, to stand up. That’s what winning teams all have in common

    Ruane is a box to box type. Similar to Diarmuid but not as reliable. Yes, when he is on top form he’s excellent but you just never know when he’s going to do that. He often goes anonymous, like in the 21 final. Ruane at 70% is a starter for me because at that level he’s well ahead of lads currently getting game time around the middle.

  37. Mayonaze – agreed paddy showed great leadership and got us going. From memory he won 2 Dublin kickouts in a row during that spell. Back to my other point, it just shows you don’t need to be Brian Fenton or Conor Glass to win kickouts.

  38. Wideball I certainly haven’t been making excuses but it’s very obvious we have an issue in winning possession in the middle of the field.I would imagine that Galway people would be shocked to find out that Paul conroy wasn’t a fielder after 16 years.again Conor Loftus was named in midfield much as he was named at centre back last year.Anyway on to the Roscommon game .i think we will get the job done here and can try a few things in the remaining games

  39. Not pressing any panic button here after last Saturday. In truth McStay used this game as a rest week for some of our regular starters probably with the Rossies in mind this weekend. I am seeing some tweaks in how we are utilising different players this spring. It is fairly obvious that we are trying to use Tommy’s speed inside as a focal point for our attack. He won a lot of ball in the first half last Saturday night but had no off the shoulder runners to take the ball off him, leaving him isolated usually with his back to goal. It is a work in progress and if we can improve our timing and accuracy it will lead to more goal and scoring chances. Tommy is taking a lot of stick for not getting on the score sheet as a result but I think we will see the benefits of this tactic when players are at championship fitness and sharpness. Ryan O Donaghoe is playing a lot closer to goal this year and isn’t drifting out as much as other years. In my opinion his directness and intelligence on the ball make him the perfect no.11 to supply Tommy or Aido. However, his running and courage inside to take on the shot is also invaluable. Patience needed now. Roll on April 21st.

  40. JKEL88 presume it was our travel partners Corduff Travel that ferried them from Adare estate 🙂

    I reckon we will be ok v Roscommon but could be a great battle, they have good forwards and a solid middle unit. But despite their relative meanness at the back I felt in some games they were cut open, but not punished.

    Davy has had far more rebuilding to do this year compared to Kevin, where as we have had mostly senior statesmen retire he has been dealing with a different profile of player having to be replaced e.g. Murtagh, Daly, McKeon, Nolan all gone and Harney, Ronan Daly and O’Carroll just coming back into the picture as MayoMagic highlighted.

  41. Thanks for that Willie Joe, knew it was too many as the two were in different divisions a lot since the 80s

  42. On the midfield discussion and I hate to bring up 2021 nightmares again but makes me squirm thinking back on the lead up to the final, when it was accepted by all across the country, in the media and on here (myself included) that Mayo had by far the superior midfield. Even Andy Moran on the otb podcast was having a pop

    Then Kennedy and Kilpatrick went onto dominate the final completely, indeed I would put Kilpatrick in the top 3 midfielders in the country right now, he can do everything

    It’s mad how a narrative can take hold and become accepted, the tyrone lads must have been licking their lips

  43. Satisfying read, The Maroon River. Interesting points.
    I agree with you Supermac about the self-assured narrative about Mayo’s midfield before the Final in 2021. It’d make one squirm now. I remember Con Kilpatrick being dismissed on OTB podcast beforehand as ‘inexperienced’. It didn’t matter.
    Tyrone specialise on having their homework done for the team they are going to encounter. One day we will put that right when playing them.

  44. Tyrone played puck on the long kickouts in that final. We were opened up a few times with it. Very very naive, considering they tried it a good few times against Kerry in the semi, albeit with little to no success. But it was clear they were working on it as a tactic.

  45. Brian – your comment that Roscommon have the forwards who can put the ball over the bar and we don’t got me thinking.

    Having looked at the archive would you believe it’s July 1993 since Roscommon scored more points against us in a league or championship game? Any time we lost to them since (01, 19, 23) they’ve scored 2 goals and that has won them the game.

  46. Gizmo, you’re right about the team staying in the seminary in Maynooth and would you believe, one of those times was the night before the 97 All Ireland final. No 5 star treatment then. Closer to a prison than even the most basic hotel.

  47. I think a few are reading too much out of the Tyrone result/performance when the eight changes made a huge difference. The Mayo starting 15 Saturday night will be closer to what started in the previous three games that produced 8 point win against Galway, one point win against Dublin and loss against Kerry which as a reminder was the last play of the game 14 v 15.

  48. That stay in the seminary in maynooth was the night before the semi final with Offaly and princess diana died in the car crash.Liam McHale tells a great story about himself and PJ Loftus encounter with a deacon the next morning

  49. Of course you’re right 1985. What year was it when Dermot Flanagan only lasted a few minutes. They were there the night before that match too. My young lad was brought in to them at breakfast and told me Dermot won’t be playing as he’s limping around the table. I remember the McHale story well. Classic.

  50. Just checked the archives and Dermot was replaced by James Horan in the 97 final v Kerry. I’m fairly sure it’s that game I’m thinking of. Probably stayed there for both games.

  51. @Supermac,that narrative about Mayo having the superior midfield in the lead up to the ’21 final was being well stoked by Tyrone at the time too. I remember more than once Peter ‘the great’ describing Mattie Ruane as ‘player of the year in waiting ‘ in the run up to that final. Of course we fell for it hook ,line and fn sinker.
    Not sure Mattie has even recovered from that sting.

  52. Feel bad for mattie ruanne since the 21 final tbh he’s never been the same since. When he’s at his best he’s a top midfielder. The sending off for mattie to in 21 was the last straw I think he’s just been so on /off since.

  53. Form can be funny, the same Mattie could come good this year.
    I would like to see him work on plucking the ball from a kick out on the run, this may suit him better than a congested midfield.

  54. In Mattie’s defence, a knowledgeable football Kerry friend of mine said to me that Mattie was pulled and dragged all game by Tyrone in order to stop Mayo’s momentum and I agree with him. It was a clear deliberate tactic, which proved effective and which the referee turned a blind eye to, even tho’ it was completely. Frustration with this eventually lead to Mattie’s red card.

  55. It case ye haven’t coped it by now, but Tyrone are trying to copy the Dubs with their tactics when the play Mayo.

    The Dubs have done this for a good few years.

    Bunch and break for kickouts.
    Sometimes use a very long kick out, past midfield.
    Defenders crowd the forward in possession, always seems to have an extra man back there
    Let Mayo attack, sit back past their own 45 metre line, keep Mayo passing laterally and backwards, then explode in 2nd half, when Mayo are out of pure defensive mode, remember 2019, last year quarter final and Tyrone did it last Saturday night.

    Mayo are just not learning fast enough.

  56. @Glasagusderg I 100 % agree Tyrone we’re only delighted at that red card to but I felt like Tyrone should have been penalised in some way for the lead up to that ref def turned a blind eye.. but anyway old bad memories best to be forgotten ha.

    Onwards to the rossies they will be confident coming in but still think mayo will bounce back and name our strongest team available rossies will be hard to beat but still think mayo by a few points.

  57. If Mayo win on Saturday they’re right back in the mix for a league final. The mood here will be a lot more positive too. I’ll only be worried if McStay doesn’t get a reaction after last week – he said he would so let’s see. As usual with the league it can come down to who needs the win more and in this case I think it’s Mayo.

  58. Moose79 – We have scored more than Roscommon so far in the 2024 league.

    I’m pretty sure if Roscommon are to win this weekend it’ll be a similar game to the championship meeting last year. Low scoring, niggly, lots of time wasting, lots of head injuries etc. Good luck to them too if it works!

  59. Wide ball in fairness in the earlier rounds this year we’ve availed of the time killing tactics ourselves 🙂

  60. Hope Im wrong but cant see Mayo winning this.If O Carroll is back it will spell real trouble.I do think O Donoghue is superb but he has little support..

  61. @Padraig O Neill OK we will see nearly completely different team come Saturday to the one facing Tyrone 8 changes in a team including the number 1 goalie makes a huge difference in a team. I think mayo will come out firing for this one. Mayo by 4 or 5.

  62. Mayo’s form is certainly worrying but I think we will come good as season goes on..a semi final will be our lot but I’ll take it. However I’m more concerned with the recent resurgence of the mullet!!! I watched the league Sunday on tv the other night and it was prevalent!!!

  63. Would it be fair to say Mayo’s form has gone down since beginning of league. One would expect the reverse of that. making so many changes to a team was bound to be disruptive and can see why as they need to look at players but with very little continuity it is hard to bed in a system or style of play. I would be concerned that will come into championship more or less where they left off last summer.

  64. I really dont get this whole Mayo`s form is worrying, fair enough we got our arses handed to us in omagh but 1 game where 8 changes are made shouldn’t be what we are judging of where our form is at. We lost by 1 point in Tralee, beat Dublin at home and beat Galway in Salthill.

    Prior to the league commencing i think everyone would have been fairly happy being joint 2nd with 4 points going into the Roscommon game. We have played 3 away games and 1 home game, the teams we played are the last 3 all ireland champions and finalists of 2022. No other teams other than ourselves has competed for an all ireland in the past 10 seasons other that the teams we played in the first 4 rounds of the league.

    We have the 4th highest points scored and 4th lowest points conceded in division 1, our form is about midtable and should be enough to see us survive in divison 1 which is all that matters for this time of the season.

  65. @Pullhard there is certainly a Mullet epidemic creeping into the GAA 🙂

    If someone is going for the mullet, they should really go for a handlebar moustache too !!
    Go big or go home

  66. A thought I have on improving our half forward line. I believe this line’s lack of line breaking and scores from play is a major issue.
    Tommy Conroy comes on right half forward on 45 mins.
    Jack Carney replaces Jordan Flynn on 45 mins.
    The idea is in the more open last 30 mins of the game we dramatically lift the pace of that line.
    This line currently lacks pace and scores when starting both of Jack Carney and Jordan Flynn.

  67. I wouldn’t subscribe to the Mayo form being worrying, we made a load of changes for Tyrone so was always going to be messy.

    Kerry and Dublin are a good bit ahead of us so for me anyway, beating the Dubs (somehow) and narrowly missing out in Tralee were good results for us.

    The league is always one step forward, one step back. Would expect us to finish 4th, 5th or 6th in the table. And whether people like it or not, that’s a fair reflection of where we are at.

    Would love to get the win Saturday and take the pressure off though. I think we could be in for a thumping against Derry – we match up terribly against them.

  68. JKEL88, for me the slight niggle or issue is that we didn’t play well in those games against Dublin and Kerry. We played better in the game against Galway but we know Galway were depleted and only middling in that game.
    We were competitive. But we’re wondering here in Mayo if we are playing better this year, if we have scoring thrust, if we are showing ability to react when big pressure comes on, if we’ve added extra moves and plans to what we were doing last year, and that we can deploy those capably, reliably, if we are more solid, more dangerous, have several players showing leadership.
    None of the games we’ve played this year has shown any of that. It’s still an unknown and until we see this progress before our eyes we’ll feel uneasy. We just don’t know yet but we live in hope.

  69. We are seeing that we have struggled to improve two aspects.
    1. Catching kickouts with a pure fielder in the air.
    2. Having a teamwork attacking approach. This has been worryingly poor since the departure of Andy Moran at 14. We are 7 years adrift in teamwork forward play.

  70. 1985. The stay in maynoth was before the 1997 final. Yes lady Diana died the morning of the semi against offaly. Malone claffy Brady never seen a ball for 30 minutes

  71. Well Liam McHales story was that it was the morning princess Diana died that himself and PJ Loftus had this encounter with this deacon or monk or whatever who informed them of that news .I doubt it would have been news to them the morning of the final

  72. There are certains aspects to the team and individuals id prefer to see improvements in versus the results . Of course its better to win but say for example on sat night we lost out narrowly but Tommy bagged 1-3 from play , then im happy out .

  73. If the Rossies are still in it with 10 minutes left I would say ye will be in trouble. If ye get on top of them early they might fade out of it. I’ve noticed the Rossies are very good kickers of the ball, dare I say the best in Connaught on their day but have had major slumps in their games none worse than the defeat by Clare a few years ago when they fell into a hole and couldn’t drag themselves back into it on time. I think Mayo have to win as Derry will be a hard team to beat for ye in the following game. Ye would need to somehow curtail Enda Smith as he could run riot in midfield if he is let. I suppose getting off the fence I think Roscommon will win but a Mayo win would be no surprise. Goals win games and ye are well capable of goals that would turn it in yer favour but if its on point shooting only Roscommon would be favourites.

  74. 1985 the reason I remember is because con houllihan wrote a very good article about it after the final. Making reference to where we stayed. He used to drink in the portobello in rathmines. Another final we should have won

  75. Yea craggy I knew they stayed there the night before the 1997 final.I couldn’t get a ticket to that final and ended up watching it on a 14 inch portable in templebar but McHale does reference that incident so they must have there for the semi final as well

  76. Craggy. You’re right. As I said on this thread yesterday, my young son was brought into the college by the lady doing breakfast for the team and distinctly remember him telling me when he got home about Dermot being injured.
    1985. Is probably right too about the semifinal as Liam’s story about PJ Loftus and Princess Diana was the morning of the Offaly game. They probably stayed there for both games.

  77. That final should have been winnable.when dermot Flanagan went off after a couple of minutes we brought on James Horan at wing forward switching colm mcmenanon to midfield sending David Heaney to wing back and fergal costello to corner back .by the time everyone settled we were well behind.The joke at the time was when John maughan gets a flat wheel he changes all four

  78. I remember all those changes well. Indeed Flanagan never should have started when a child could tell me he was limping at breakfast. Some talk at the time that the Co Board were convinced of victory and wanted Sean Flanagan’s son to lift the cup.

  79. Looking at it if Rossie dont get a result, almost curtains fro them. Derry and Kerry to play. Even if Derry in league final before that game, they so much momentem cant see them losing. Mayo loss, still think they will beat Monagham the last game. So the Rossie wont be holding back, and expect them go all out. Not sure Mayo will have same hunger. But hope they do, as dont like losing to Rossie, at anytime

  80. I think we are going to learn a lot on Saturday. As one other poster said, we need a response. If McStay fails to get one it could be worrying. In every game so far there was a large element of emotion around it and player excitement as the league starts up. That atmosphere for players can be great and doesn’t usually require much motivation from management. However now as the league progresses the initial excitement is fading and the management need to find a way to lift it again, albeit after the second half last weekend there should be no need for motivation. If we lose on Saturday we will be right under the cosh and backs against the walls. I think we are a long way off Div2 atm but if a result goes south on Saturday we will be in big trouble. I think it’s vital for McStay and co to retain their Div1 status.

  81. People say that kerry team of 97 was only middling but they had 2 if not 3 of the best footballers we’ve seen in Maurice Fitz, who personally is my favorite player ever, Moynihan who was outstanding and both in their prime, a young Dara o Se in the middle and other very good players like pá Laide, hassett o cinneide who mortimer kept very quiet..tough backs like breen and o Flaherty at 6..Crowley came on too. So they were no mugs.

  82. Lads, the silent generation we became, do we need to sift through those wet cold ashes at the bottom of the field? All that’s there is a rusted Batchelor beans can, a faded Tayto pack costing 12p and a whole lot of trauma.

  83. By the way, I agree with Chesneychet about the 10 minutes to go thing versus the Rossies. We know from experience how it plays out if Mayo find themselves in that position.
    Generally we can’t score from distance versus a blanket or massed defence so we frantically try to burst through to score or we take pot shots. If Roscommon regain possession they can hold onto it and we get even more frustrated. Scores become like hen’s teeth in this scenario.
    In my imagination, we lure the Rossies into a false sense of security and then we start kicking scores from distance – Fergie B, Mattie Ruane, Ryan O’Donoghue, Sam Callinan (why not?), Paul Towey. We unlock their defence and we run rampant to win in the last 7 minutes!
    Oh the delight if we could start taking on and nailing those distance scores. Oppositions wouldn’t be as keen to use the blanket against us then. Let’s get practising. It should be a component of what we are doing at training – a long distance shooting clinic every week.

  84. Obviously if the rossies are still in it with 10 minutes to go we could be in trouble you could say the same for any game we play!

    We will be a completely different team to the one v Tyrone.

    Rossies won’t be an easy game but I’m still going with mayo by a few points.

  85. Long distance shooting is just too hard. I’d be advocate of the size 4.5 ball that was used in the International rules. On a cold or wet day especially the range of shooting is not much better than 35 yards max.
    I’ve always felt the heavier size 5 was a slight disadvantage to smaller players as they’re usually a few yards less boot on them.
    Small hands (no joking) it’s a fair bit more catchable the smaller ball. If you’ve ever caught the kids size 3 (just proving by example) it’s even easier again.
    Possibly something for the football rules. I’m mid sized meself and mid strength and I never really thought of the O’Neills as being comfortable. It often struck me as well just how much has the design been improved in 50/60 years?

  86. I voted for Mayo but not totally confident. Both teams have an injury list. I agree that we need to look at long shooters. IMO Boland, Diarmaid (out), Tuohy, Mattie, Towey and Flynn seem the best from midfield up. Cillian too but last day his best spell was in distribution to ROD. Tommy C scores from closer in but agree we’d be better off with him sprinting in from the wing.
    For me Tuohy is preferable at RHF for balance being a leftie than in midfield.
    I’d like to see ROD, Cillian, Towey, Boland and Tommy (wing) all in the forwards so that leaves space for Tuohy with Flynn moving back to midfield. Carney and Mattie can battle it out for the other midfield slot or sub coming on for whoever doesn’t perform. If any of the above fail to perform Aido is a utility option, I don’t think McStay has it at this level but Duffy probably has, starting to look like a good player. Would prefer Luke Feeney from Ballina to McStay from the limited club matches I’ve seen but that’s one for next year. He’s gotten a few chances and not grabbed them. The only other wild card we haven’t seen this year is Loftus who we know can kick long but hasn’t consistently played at HF for Mayo. Boland has jumped a level and is the same age as Loftus so an extra 5% from him gives us another option. They’re kinda veterans at this rage, not far off 30.

  87. Surely Kevin Quinn is capable of something late in a game? 10 mins to go try and get one point on the board. He’s not physical, but very late in a game things are much more open, similar Paul Towey. I haven’t seen enough from Conor Loftus since 2018 to be featuring.
    You can use the player search in the archives to check on players scoring performance.

  88. Agree shuffle that be fairest team just now , I’m expecting a big big performance from us and fully expect us to give it to them hard .
    Reape, has to start in goal, head and shoulders best keeper now and only one of the three who can play outfield role.
    2 Coyne, confidence must be bruised possibility to sit it out but get back on the horse is another concept, expect him to be attacking more than defending against Ross defensive setup .
    3 Brickedeen, Ross have nice forwards but he’s dealt with better in kerry .
    4 Coen, underrated and a leader , need him in to steady the ship.
    5 Paddy Durk if fit if not hession move across to 5 .
    6 Sam , corner back role is fine but he do a job on smyth and still give attacking prowess .
    7 Eoin Mc, big night for eoin , needs to prove himself but again against defensive setup his physicality be important.
    8 Flynn , needs to stop trying to do 3 roles relax concentrate on your game and for feck sake , settle yourself on shooting , your accurate and great player get last season mojo back
    9 Carney, I’d be very tempted to have Coen midfield to complement flynn but carneys growing into role at same time so he get the nod.
    10 Loftus , return of conor to halfforward, not that 5,10,7,12 on your back makes any difference but his ability to pick a pass, win possession and be cool head will just add the stability plus he is deadly accurate albeit doesn’t get enough chances to shoot
    11 boland , going nicely dalys men will look to hurt him but he’s too cute for them .
    12 tommy conroy , bit of cut and thrust in halffowards
    13 Cillian, play himself back into form
    14 Carr roam out to halfforward line, interlink , give and go , one twos. Lad has so much in his locker just hope he can show it .
    15 Ryan, he and cillian inside on their own , two potent attckers , don’t defend don’t anything but be corner forwards and tap ball over aswell as work space .

    Donnacha mchugh be a good option to man Mark smyth and general athletic mode for these type of games .
    Darren Mchale probably more likely than carr being thrown straight in and this game should suit him in the role of drifting from inside out and getting a run on at goals
    Bob tuohy has being contributing and going well but this is a game his impact be best felt off the bench when it opens up a little .

  89. Don’t know Kevin Quinn but if not already in panel it’s too late for this year. I’d like to see Luke Feeney but similar criteria applies.

  90. I’d love to be able argue with you better JP about conors as I’m a big fan of his since underage but for different reasons he just hadn’t put it together.
    He had a good run the yesr midfield when we played dubs in final at Xmas.
    He had a good performance against kildare too in halfforwards , the halfback role was a good idea but for whatever reason, he ended up playing deepest most the time . If it were a role at playing 6 and getting into the shooting zone and tapping over from a distance no better man but he was recycling it too much under orders and keeping simple possession.
    There’s a player in there , this could be the year he’d shake free and play the role he can but without doubt we haven’t seen from him , the leadership and go to man, he was underage

  91. Totally agree re conor loftus , hes a genuinely talented footballer just cant seem to find the rhythm , that goal v derry in 17 and a ciaran mac esque foot pass into andy v kerry same year , had me dreaming of what he could be to Mayo football . Just praying tommy conroy doesnt go the same way, apart from anything else silky football is what we enjoy as spectators .

  92. One eye test thing btw I often notice with Kerry and Dublin players is their kicking leg is usually straight as a golf club and everything is picture perfect. Like the way Kieran Mc used generate power from his long flex back and his athletic whippy frame.
    After all these years we still have lads with a scoopy kick getting under the ball with the kicking leg a bit bent.
    Technique is not really a “sure whatever works”.
    From what I see it doesn’t work.
    The more scoopy bent the kicking leg, anecdotally the more inconsistent the kicks.
    What excuse does any player or team have around kicking technique? Dublin clearly have put attention on it.
    If kicking technique makes for example a 5% difference to accuracy, then isn’t it worth having a coach purely on that area?

  93. Regarding 1989.the weekend before the final mayo spent the weekend in renvyle to keep out of sight and Dermot didn’t take part in any of the training and it was believed in the area at the time that he wouldn’t be playing. Crazy stuff.I’d say at this point it can be revealed without consequence(I hope)

  94. is there any players in the county that need to be brought in over the winter, making changes the last day you can see the lack of depth in the squad & behind those there’s another 15 lads who can’t get in, surely we aren’t maximising the full talent in this county ?

  95. No Doubt.
    Looking back it was a crazy decision. If they really wanted Dermot to collect the cup , couldn’t they have brought him in for the last couple of minutes if they had the game won. Otherwise no need to.

  96. I don’t think there was any injuries concerns with dermot Flanagan in 1989 .TJ kilgallon was the big injury doubt then

  97. 2024. What have we learned so far. Nobody has came in and showed anything apart from boland that everyone knew bar management should have been in the panel last year. Towy has scored 3 points some off the bench bit conor mcstay start s ahead of him out of the blue. Uncle Kevin saying he s trying men that are flying in training. They definitely weren’t flying in healy Park. Clearly we missed mcbrien badly. We now have to try towy for 3 games and see how he goes because we have found absolutely nobody so far. Ros is now a must win and I’m not concerned about that. Its the ponderous first half of possession we had the last day and no urgency to put scores up. Expect the tried and trusted again on Saturday with hopefully towy given a decent chance

  98. Reape will likely back in goal Saturday night after Rob was given a run out in Omagh

    If McBrien is out the full back line will likely be Coyne Brickenden and D McHugh

    No Paddy Durcan I’m guessing but the half back line have plenty of pace with Callinan,McLaughlin. And Coen probably filling in for Paddy.

    With Diarmuid O’Connor out I think Ruane will be given another start in midfield alongside Carney

    Wing half forward will be taken up by two six footers for kick outs so likely Tuohy,Flynn and at 11 the in form and Boland. Full forward line should pick itself with Conroy,AOS and O’Donoghue

  99. If we cant beat The Rossies this wekend its a big doubt if we survive in Division 1, and out of Championship in Qualifiers, simple as.

  100. We have learnt that our panel is not as strong as some people think,we have learnt that our excellent management team is making the most of our team,we have learnt that on our day we can beat anyone but everything has to be perfect for us,I believe that we will beat Roscommon easily,we are in a good place

  101. @Culmore if we don’t beat rossies we may well get relegated for sure yeah but that doesn’t mean we won’t come good come championship time..

    Soo many on here pre league said they don’t care if we play badly during league or even get relegated so long as we have a better championship then last year a semi would be a massive achievement I think for us.

    All isn’t lost I expect a big reaction from our guys on Saturday after 2 losses in a row and mcstay is under pressure this is a huge test I think for this team but one where we will come out on top.. ( I hope ha)

  102. In my view I favour Roscommon to win.
    We’re simply down too many of our best players.
    David McBrien
    Paddy Durcan
    Diarmuid O’Connor
    That’s a lot.
    We’re competitive with our best players fit.
    We’re waiting on 2-3really good underage players to come through. Just how it is currently.
    I’m very confident there are 2-3 gems in the underage pipeline.
    Any team is heavily dependant on having star quality in the best 3-4 attacking players or midfielders. The truth is most players role is to carry water effectively and get the ball to the best.
    Look at the effect Con OCallaghan, just one player has had on Dublin’s seasons. He’s a seasons changer, plural.
    You read a lot of guff around how every Tom, Dick and Harry is absolutely critical.
    All ream sports. It comes down to as small as 2-3 real quality players on the attacking side of the ball. I’m not personally a believer that an outstanding defender in anyways equates to an outstanding attacker.

  103. Diarmuid O’Connor I think scored one point between the club and county championship last year.
    We need scoring forwards.
    Mayo should be well up for this game.
    I think we will win.
    Hard to play well in all league games, Derry opening up for at least 3 goal chances last week.
    Form is all over the place.

  104. @JP very true about very good young players waiting to come through from underage

    I think Niall hurley is a really young promising forward star in the making. He’s full of confidence and not afraid to shoot for goal. I think also Diarmuid Duffy has huge potential but early days but we definetly do have some great young talent waiting to come through!

  105. Dont worry Clare that confidence and shooting for goal lark will be well knocked out of Niall when he joins the senior panel just like it was Diarmuid O C sure all you need to be able to do now is lateral pass

  106. Rossies have named their team

    Conor Carroll
    David Murray Brian Stack Niall Higgins
    Niall Daly Eoin McCormack Dylan Ruane
    Enda Smith Shane Cunnane
    Robbie Dolan Diarmuid Murtagh Ruiari Fallon
    Donie Smith Daire Cregg James Fitzpatrick

    No Ben O’Carroll on their 26 but Ultan Harney,Ronan Daly named on the 26 which would be their first appearance of the year if they feature on Saturday night.

  107. No BS there. This is our hand , can you match it. Name the panel and be done with it. Shows confidence.

  108. @Glorydays ha. ah I get that attitude the lateral passing is awful..but have hopes for niall hurley and diarmuid Duffy 2 talents for sure.

    So Rossies have named their strongest team we knew they would…

    We are well able to match that team just feel for paddy durcan he’s such a loss and been so unlucky with injuries last year same with diarmuid o Connor.

    Davy probably licking his lips thinking they will hammer us in castlebar… In a way it’s good we got such a beating in omagh going in totally under the radar here..

    But as I said mayo still by a few points.

  109. McStay said after the Ky game that Paddy had a minor strain and was left at home nearly as a precaution. Also said McBrien was taken off because of cramp.
    If both are true – then both should be available 14 days later.

  110. Yeah McStay said that about McBrien, Durcan which could mean both are good to go this Saturday.

    @clare I’m not sure if that is Roscommon strongest team. A few on bench will likely be starters come championship time and no Doyle their big midfielder or Ben O’Carroll named on their 26.

  111. A good Roscommon team on paper but as Brian Clough famously said unfortunately the game is played on grass.

  112. Culmore Doesn’t matter a damn what result we get v Roscommon on Saturday as regards the championship. It is February. We beat them in league last year but fat lot of good that was when it came to our championship encounter. The league is important in terms of preparation and giving lads a run out, but not a barometer for championship. The top 3 teams in the league last year(all from Connacht) had very poor championships. The team which won the AI played in Div 2 of league. Of course we need to win this weekend. Playing in Div 1 is good for finances and pitting yourself against the better teams, but as regards the championship it is pretty much irrelevant

  113. I have read posts on this page for quiet some time and although there are some knowledgeable contributors, the amount of deluded comments on this page is staggering.
    Maybe this is part of the mayo psyche and why we will never reach the promised land.
    We beat a very poor Galway side, should have been beaten by Dublin, and beaten more convincingly by Kerry.
    We have a forward line that doesn’t score bar one, a midfield currently who can’t win ball and when we are in possession we consistently don’t know what to do or there are no runners off the ball. I don’t know what the hell they are doing at training but it’s clear to see this team have gone backwards big time.
    But I guess you will have people on here saying that we are waiting in the long grass and not peaking too early.

  114. Think the bookies odds have it spot on. A close competitive game with Mayo to prevail by a margin or 2 or 3 points.

  115. Faded dream alot of what you say is accurate unfortunately.Saturday is now a test of Kevin mcstay and his management teams credentials.we continue to make ludicrous excuses to explain dire performances .Nobody forced the management to make 8 changes last week aside from the injuries to mcbrien and paddy durcan who both seem to pick up an awful lot of injuries .There appeared to be some improvement defensively this year but that was blown away last weekend so where have the improvements been.well Tommy conroy came on in last year’s league final running at the Galway defence and caused them a lot of problems likewise in salthill in the championship.This season no real return from him .Jordan Flynn a consistent scorer last taking wild shots some of which are now more in the direction of the corner flag.No midfielder has emerged and aside from jack carneys catch against Dublin I can’t recall one other contested piece of fielding in that area.Kevin mcstay and management team will ultimately be judged at the end of their 4 year term??but in his many articles over the years his vision and philosophy on how football should be played is far removed what we have witnessed so far.

  116. This game should be played at a good tilt as both teams will want to win. We could also look at this game as a key or defining moment in our season i.e. set down a marker with our neighbours by beating them well – by that I mean no goal conceded and keep them to a low score and us coming through by 4-5 plus and then move on to preparation for championship. Remaining games can be used to get more games into the players returning from injuries and those that could potentially be used in championship or part there off. And also hopefully try out a few things that could be beneficial for championship.

  117. Thedarkyfinn – If we set down a marker or win then everyone will go back to saying we are peaking too early and its only the league. If we lose or dont perform then everyone will blow the opposite tune.

  118. Mayo supporters deserve the same service in relation to naming of team and subs in advance of game. No one else could give two hoots.
    Winning in Castlebar is always a challenge for Mayo. If they get sucked into lateral passing and slow build up, then we will struggle. The below par performances of key players is a worry. Jack Carney is a superb player but his game is now a confined to making himself available and hand passing the ball off. Incisive runs at defenders is off the agenda. Hopefully we’ll get something more progressive on Saturday

  119. JKEL88 – I take your point but the opposite could also happen if we win here well then lose the last couple – it’ll be all doom and gloom. There is no middle ground with supporters sometimes – all duck or no dinner !

  120. Maybe if we play for a draw then everyone will be happy.most people are level headed enough to know that we have problems in a fair few positions and we aren’t really all Ireland contenders but neither are we that bad and a Connacht title and reasonable run in the championship is what we can reasonably expect given the evidence we have seen so one was interested in winning the league but we certainly don’t want to get relegated or Roscommon beating us in castlebar again

  121. Hate is certainly not an appropriate choice of words to use between the two counties. Its much more of healthy rivalry or respect. The Rossies are working of a much smaller budget than ourselves, and while both counties are falling short of the ultimate goal, Roscommons competitiveness at county and club level has to be acknowledged.

  122. @JKEL88 thanks for the link..!

    I hate that saying that people think mayo feel entitled to win the all Ireland I’ve not met one mayo person who thinks that at all.. I don’t think we will be winning it this year anyways haha

    Reminds me of some of my rossie mates saying the same they literally do think we are a very arrogant bunch when it comes to gaa ha

    Ah well do we really care?..

    Would be such a boost to see paddy durcan named on the bench at least.

  123. Two losses in February and some have us out of championship contention already. I haven’t seen this place as downbeat since we last lost an AI final. Non-scoring forwards and non-fielding midfielders. Should we pack it in now before the inevitable collapse in the summer? I don’t see anything about that Roscommon team that should frighten us. I always back us against Roscommon and always will. The real championship action is just over six weeks away. We should be aiming for wins tomorrow night and in two weeks against Derry, who we should also never fear. Hopefully we can go to Clones with Div1 status secured and can afford to be looser in the selection. Last week in Omagh showed that there are a number of players who are not yet at championship pace and need more gametime in the legs. That is what league is really about. We’re not in a bad position, let’s see how the next few weeks play out.

    I hope we quit this malarkey of naming dummy teams, totally counter-productive IMO

  124. The irony…… Frankie Dolan telling us what it takes to win an All Ireland when he never even made it to a semi final! Also, this is the same Frankie who confronted and abused a ref as he was coming off the field, after the ref rightly sent him off. Frankies disciplinary hearing went all the way to Croke Park, despite some of Frankies “friends” trying to influence the refs report. Frankie was a big-time Charlie as a player, a flat track bully who has no grounds for calling Mayo players arrogant when you compare his one single Connaught title to some of the Mayo lads who have five or six of them.
    We’re not arrogant, we’re just better than them. The trophy haul proves that. And I hope to Christ we bate seven shades of shite out them on Saturday night. No BS excuses about injuries, or “it’s only the league”, or “the result will have no bearing on the championship”. All that BS is just giving an “out route” to the players and management, an excuse to lose. If we as supporters have that mindset then we better get used to losing.
    The players and management owe us (the Mayo supporters) a big, big performance because they were embarrassed by Roscommon last year, at our home, in the championship. Payback better be coming, with interest, on Saturday night. This is a local rivalry like few others and unless you live close to the Rossie border you won’t understand the mutual hatred we have of each other. They travelled in from Castlerea and Ballinlough to drink in Ballyhaunis on many of the All Ireland final nights, just to gloat and laugh at us in our defeat. So anyone being all nice and flowery about “not hating our opponent” etc is niave in the extreme. They hate us and we hate them. End of story.
    Mayo need to lay a marker down on Saturday night. Less of the possession, controlled, sideways passsing, stats backed rubbish and instead up the tempo, hit them hard, late and often, and bring an anger and intensity to our game that has been missing. It’s going to be bad weather, cold and wet and not a night for pretty boy football. Sheer blunt force trauma is what’s needed and we better bring it in spades. This is a big, big test for McStay and the players. Let’s see if they have it in them because anything less than a victory will be a damaging result for us. Possibly sending us down to Div 2.

  125. Pretty sure that frankie dolan interview is from a couple of yrs ago .

    Roscommon are a very good side with an excellent forward line who can score a lot handier than our bucks .

    I think the bookies have got this wrong amd cant see anything but a ros victory tomorrow .mcbrien and paddy out is huge

  126. Imagine Management will go with close to what their perceived championship team is tomorrow. Something like:
    Brickenden (McBrien if fit but doubt that he is)
    Callinan (Would put him at 6 personally but looks like they have him as our designated man marker)

    McHugh could start for Plunkett possibly, and O’Connor possibly for Aidan, but imagine after sitting out last week Aidan will start.

  127. Peddlers that Frankie interview is a good few years old.
    Also he dragged his club team to an All Ireland Club so not sure what you mean about the Irony. How many have you?

  128. Well said Pebblesmeller, i hope we beat seven shades of shite out the Rossies on sat night and send them back to division 2 where they belong, there is no love lost between the two counties and i cant understand why any Mayo person would back a Roscommon team to beat us.

    They gloat at us when we lose, cheer us home from croke park after our final defeats on the N5 and bring banners down to mchale park to let us know we haven’t won Sam. They booed one of our all time greats off the pitch in Croke park in 2017 and any chance their ex players get given in the media they try and knock us back.

    If we dont get a big kickback and performance from the team on Saturday night after what Roscommon did to us last year, ill have serious questions about the players and management and what sort of balls they have.

  129. @Sean Burke

    The stats work out at roughly Mayo by 4, which is very much consistent with the bookies 3-3.5 point handicap.

    Bookies might be wrong but they are bang on given the model they’re using.

  130. Ricer879,
    None, except an Intermediate Club All Ireland runners up medal. You?
    But here’s the thing, it’s not me mouthing off to a national media outlet about it. Plus, he was talking about intercounty, not club. That’s like chalk and cheese. If he knew so much about what it takes to win All Irelands he would have more than one Connaught medal, wouldn’t he?

  131. Pebblesmeller you are going full ah ref mode who does what he does to grab a bit of extra attention for people to listen to his podcast.

    Best to relax yourself it’s early March and league. Judgement on any team will be done by the end of championship.

  132. Pebbles. If I remember correctly, he wouldn’t have that one either, but for getting Ray Connelly incorrectly sent off. Then when the ref had dismissed Ray, he pretended to act like a gentleman pleading his case.

  133. That’s correct Nephin.

    JKEL88, The arrogance comment is all the more misplaced when you consider, as you’ve highlighted, the way they treated Andy Moran both in Croke Park and also out in Kiltoom at that FBD game. Compare that to Wille Joe Padden and TJ Kilgannon carrying Dermot Early shoulder high off the pitch in his final game for Roscommon.

    Then again, what do you expect from an ass but a kick?

  134. The absolute shit coming out from a few on this is laughable. “We’re not arrogant, we’re just better than them”. Ye have been in 13 all irelands(replays) and lost everyone of them. I thought yea would have become a bit more resilient by now and a few Rossies gloating after a lost wouldn’t make a differences, but clearly the neighbours criticism hurts the most. Regarding the darling Andy Moran he started kissing the badge in a fbd game in front of Roscommon supporters what did you think was going to happen when we played yea in the championship that year or when he started gloating in front of the Hill in 2013. May the best team win Saturday.

  135. @pebblesmeller great posts your spot on!

    @Joe2 in fairness nothing wrong with Andy moran kissing his crest after a game so what if he wants to do that? Why does it bother rossies so much what he does?..

    Regarding us loosing all the finals least we got there when was the last time Rossies won a championship game in Croker even?!

    We need to put down a big marker tommorow a win is an absolute must or even I will be questioning mcstay and Co if we don’t..

  136. @Ricer879 I highly doubt Andy moran would do that he’s a gent he’s not immature like that either you even say yourself he “Allegedly” stuck his fingers up to roscommon fans wouldn’t make claims like that unless you witnessed it yourself.

  137. Steady up there , Andy never gave the fingers up to anyone . Hes not that type of man at all , not claiming to be his mate but ive known him since he was a boy , was in secondary school with his brother and that behavior youre suggeting is just not in their make up , mannerly and polite was their character .

  138. Allegedly the rossies were outraged when Andy stuck his tongue out at them and put his thumbs in his ears.seriously lads .I wonder will the battle be as intense on the field Saturday night as it’s been on here

  139. Looking forward to seeing the team, hopefully shortly. Feels like a ramp up in intensity from a supporter perspective this weekend!

  140. Well said Sean Bourke. Pathetic scraping the barrel with Alleged comments.
    The Rossies had the balls to name their team and bench. When will Mayo supporters know our dummy team. Games before the game. I hope the management team have more concrete tactics when the actual team takes to the field

  141. Not looking good for Connaught teams, could two of them be relegated, if Monaghan has to win last game to stay up they will win it. After the league could there be a debate started on Joyces and McStays tenure of Office.

  142. I’m a Mayo man living out of Mayo a long time so I’ve seen and heard all sorts said about us over the years. I hate to say it but an arrogance did creep in somewhat over the past 10 years, that’s what dining at the top table does to you. And teams the level below will always have a go at us, particularly Roscommon. That’s just the way it is.

    There are two counties in football that are universally respected, Dublin and Kerry, the rest just don’t rate each other. You can even see it on this blog, a lot of Mayo people refusing to rate Derry and a part of that is because we think we have more pedigree than them.

    As a county we aren’t great at taking criticism and would do well to realise at times that not everyone has to like you. I for one would much prefer to have Meath’s All Ireland’s from the 80s and 90s, and have the whole country hating us, than being everyone’s second favourite team.

    We need to realise that a hell of a lot of the goodwill towards Mayo evaporated after the Tyrone game. A lot of people are sick of us.

    Its time now to start building again. And who cares who we annoy along the way.

  143. My god we don’t help ourselves in Finals.
    Starting a row with Meath and not able to finish it.Tyrone had shown how to beat Kerry for 2004 and 2006 but we thought we could beat them playing football.
    Letting Donegal get Murphy one to one, we never learn.

  144. I dont mind losing league games I’d we learn something or find someone new. Or play positive football. I’m not so sure this so called excellent management team has ticked any of those boxes so far. I tipped us to lose the last two games. I’m really not sure this time. If we keep playing the possession lateral no urgency stuff… we all know what the result will be.

  145. McHugh for Plunkett
    Carney for Diarmuid
    Touhy for Duffy
    Aidan for Cillian
    O’Donoghue for McStay

  146. 1. Colm Reape Knockmore
    2. Jack Coyne Ballyhaunis
    3. Rory Brickenden Westport
    4. Sam Callinan Ballina Stephenites
    5. Donnacha McHugh Castlebar Mitchels
    6. Stephen Coen (C) Hollymount Carramore
    7. Enda Hession Garrymore
    8. Matthew Ruane Breaffy
    9. Jack Carney Kilmeena
    10. Bob Tuohy Castlebar Mitchels
    11. Fergal Boland Aghamore
    12. Jordan Flynn Crossmolina Deel Rovers
    13. Aidan O’Shea Breaffy
    14. Tommy Conroy The Neale
    15. Ryan O’Donoghue Béal an Mhuirthead

  147. Great post unstoppable. We have been labeled the professional losers. People don’t want to see us in finals

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