Report on last week’s challenge match with Donegal

I’ve just come across this match report by Anthony Hennigan in the Western (with thanks to Dan for the prompt to have another hunt around to see if any such report existed) on last week’s challenge match with Donegal.

The issue of most interest, I guess, is the team, which showed seven changes from the side that started against London in Ruislip (seven tends to be JH’s minimum from match to match).  In came David Clarke, Eoghan Reilly at full-back, Lee Keegan and Trevor Mortimer at wing-back, Aidan O’Shea at midfield, Kevin McLoughlin at wing-forward and Cillian O’Connor at corner-forward, replacing Robbie Hennelly, the two Feeneys, Chris Barrett, Jason Gibbons, Aidan Campbell and Trevor Howley.  Mark Ronaldson, Aidan Campbell, James Burke, Peadar Gardiner, Cathal Freeman and Cathal Hallinan all got a run-out as well.

Anthony Hennigan makes the point in his report that Donegal’s two goals were scored by their centre-forward Martin McElhinny and that it was London’s 11 Paul Geraghty who inflicted the most damage on us too. Donal Vaughan’s hold on the no.6 jersey must therefore be coming under some pressure, although I have to say I’d be struggling to come up a name to fill what is probably our main problem position right now.

15 thoughts on “Report on last week’s challenge match with Donegal

  1. Kilcullen at 6, Trevor Mort at 7. Good competition for the remaining 3 places as I would think that Alan Feeney will be no3.

  2. have to agree with you there chisel kilcullen should be given a go at 6 his strength alone would be of benefit to our halfback line.

  3. leave donal alone people he’s a young player learning his trade give him the year at least he might surprise you .

    we are far to eager to move players around when they are’nt preforming instead of letting them settle in to the position

  4. Anyone know whats the story with Keith Higgins? He played at no. 6 for Ballyhaunis against my own club earlier in the year (albeit not the greatest opposition, I’ll admit) but it was like he had magnets in his hands. He was always in the right place breaking up attacks. He’s our best defender and CHB is our most worrying position at this time. I’ll admit there are possible problems with it though, e.g. who would mark the dangerous corner forward with Higgins at 6? and what about if he came up against a physical no. 11?, but sometimes you just have to play your best players we’re they’ll have most influence on the game. Cafferky, Cunniffe, Howley and now it seems possibly Vaughan aren’t up to the job unfortunately and we’re running out of options.

    Note: All the above is dependant on his injury/availability status obviously.

    Note 2: I also saw Chris Barrett play at CHB in a club game earlier in the year but wasn’t near as effective as Higgins.

  5. Kilcullen played full-back for the 2007 League so he would know a bit about defending at inter-county level already. Whoever is CHB against Galway though will be up against the wily PJ in all probability so brains more than brawn required.

  6. Encouraging, glad to see Aidan O’Shea at midfield, he should start there against Galway

  7. I think Howley or Cafferkey are the best options for CHB. I do not believe that Kilcullen has the mobility for the job. He is a real option at midfield – we need at least three strong players there. Good to see Aiden O’Shea performing well at midfield. I always thought it would be his best position. I see mention of Barry Moran coming back into the scene. If he can stay injury free he would be a great option at FF, with alan Freeman and Jason Doherty in there also I would be very hpeful.

  8. Another thought – what about Jason Gibbons getting a run at full back? Several natural midfielders have made the move with success in the past. James Kilcullen was tried there but did not have the mobility and Ronan McGarritty in my opinion does not have the required aggression.
    On another point I believe many of our problems stem from defenders not realising that their primary job is to stop opposing forwards. There is no point being a lovely attacking defender if your opponent is causing mayhem.

  9. There are an awful lot of people commenting on the report that have clearly not read it.

    James Kilcullen played midfield. Donal Vaughan was at 6 and will be at 6 come the Galway game and whenever we drop out of the championship. One comment mentioned Kilcullen at chb – he wasn’t and won’t be.

    We are in enough of a mess without a genius idea like putting an intercounty novice who may not be good enough for this level at full back. This is June, not January. These decisions/experimenets should have been made months ago. We will be patchwork enough without such crazy ideas.

  10. Trevor Mortimer is the answer to the No 6 position. Higgins might be ok in a challenge match against nobodys, put him up against a strong tall ball carrier and the match is all over. Totally overrated player in Mayo, but not further afield.

  11. I suspect Cynical Cynthia’s comment about novices at full back is related to my suggestion about Jason Gibbons as a possible full back. I would like to hear her suggestion – or does she accept that we have a problem there. Several attemps have been made to find an effective fullback. New players have to be introduced sometime and it is not unknown for novices to turn out trumps. I do not suggest that the Galway match be his first in the position but we do not seem to have a convincing full back. Seeing Dermot Geraghty being brought back as a corner back is not very encouraging – he is fine footballer but does not have the stature or fielding ability and would be targetted by opponents because of this. Perhaps as a wing back.

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