Roscommon 1-9 Mayo 0-13: Andy points the way out of tight corner

Full time

The heavy, thundery showers that fell in torrents before and after – but not during – today’s Connacht football semi-final didn’t really come as any surprise. Neither did the suffocating, ultra-defensive tactics employed by John Evans’ Roscommon team at Hyde Park this afternoon. What, perhaps, was a surprise was that when the script was perfectly set up for a shock home win, it was instead our lads who righted themselves and snatched enough scores to come away with a hard-fought one-point victory.

The rain was falling so heavily at one stage prior to throw-in that, from the stand, the view of Roscommon town disappeared completely behind the misty, dark gloom. It fell in stair-rods then and so the going underfoot was soft and heavy by the time ref Eddie Kinsella threw in the ball at 2 o’clock, though by then the rain had at least ceased and the sky was blue once more.

Roscommon immediately set out their stall with an extremely defensive formation, with no more than three forwards in our half and a swarming, hard working and hard hitting blanket thrown across their backline. Despite this close attention, though, we got going quickly when Jason Doherty pointed superbly from distance.

Jason Doherty point

Photo: Mayo Mick

Roscommon responded with a super score from out on the right by Kevin Higgins but we then missed a few chances and also had Robbie Hennelly to thank for pulling down a ball that was heading over the bar. From our next attack, Cillian O’Connor neatly gathered possession and played a great early ball inside to Alan Freeman who was fouled as he tried to burst through the cover. Cillian popped over the resultant free.

Action shot first half

Photo: Mayo Mick

The next score was also a Cillian free, also after a foul on Freezer, but by now twenty minutes had been played in a match that was providing plenty of effort from both sides but little in the way of spectacle. The Rossies were content to sit back and frustrate us and we didn’t seem to have any coherent plan to break down their defensive wall. Worse still, there was precious little urgency to our play, with our attacks overly ponderous and completely lacking in invention.

The game’s next score didn’t come until the 35th minute when Roscommon finally broke upfield for Senan Kilbride to fire over. We responded immediately with a point from play by Kevin McLoughlin, following good link play from Conor O’Shea and Diarmuid O’Connor. They had the last say of the half, though, when Donie Shine boomed over a ’45 to reduce the gap to a single point.

Half time score

Photo: Mayo Mick

The Rossies would surely have been the happier of the two teams at the break. They’d obviously made it their aim not to lose the match in the first half and had more than succeeded in doing this. Now they had a shot at pushing on and claiming a shock victory. Mind you, we hadn’t exactly helped our own cause in that opening half, shooting ten wides in that period.

The second half started in much the same vein. Cillian attempted a pass inside that went wide and then Cathal Cregg was off target at the other end. Kilbride pointed from their next attack, though, from a move could have ended in a goal for them but Cillian once more responded from a placed ball after he’d been fouled himself.

At that stage, I was marvelling at the sight of our half of the field completely devoid of any Roscommon players, wondering if they were ever going to come out to play at all at all. Well, I got my answer soon enough as fast hands put Ciaran Cafferkey in the clear and he knifed through our backline at pace. When he got within range, he had the balls to back himself too and his shot beat Robbie’s despairing dive to find the net. The goal was the first one we’d conceded in the Connacht championship since Paul Conroy’s effort for Galway in the semi-final three years ago.

Cafferkey's goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

We responded well, however, from this setback. Cillian pointed another free after he was fouled out near the inline and after he was fouled again soon after, Kevin McLoughlin guided over the resultant free from out on the right. In the next move, Cillian was fouled yet again as he played the ball inside and Kevin Mc popped over the free, awarded from where the ball had landed, to edge us back in front once more.

By now, Andy Moran had come on for Conor O’Shea and another of the old guard, Alan Dillon, made his appearance with twenty minutes to go, replacing Diarmuid O’Connor. Another sub, Roscommon’s Diarmuid Murtagh, had by then put the home team back in front, however, with a brace of well-taken scores from play.

The home side’s cause wasn’t helped, though, when Donie Shine was carried from the field with what was later confirmed to be a knee injury.

The messy play continued. Lee Keegan, bombing forward, spilled the ball when under no real pressure, then Colm Boyle made a hash of a foot pass, gifting possession back to them. In between those two incidents we had a lucky escape when a point effort for them came back off the upright and into the grateful arms of Donie Vaughan. Then Higgins and Kilbride hit a pair of horrific wides for them.

With ten minutes left to play, the Rossies pulled two clear when Murtagh pointed a free and they quickly followed it with one from play to pull three clear. Our provincial crown was now definitely on the line and everything looked perfectly set up for a rare victory over us by the Sheepstealers.

It was then, however, that we dug into our reserves and got the scores we needed to see off the home team. Two points from Andy Moran, the second one a real monster, reduced the deficit down to the minimum and another long range effort, this one from Seamus O’Shea, hauled us back on terms.

Scoring Andy Moran

Photo: Mayo Mick

We almost got through for a goal as well but Andy hesitated and lost possession and as the ball bobbed around Jason Doherty grabbed it and was left with only the ‘keeper to beat. Jason was penalised for the manner in which he’d done so but the replay showed he’d done nothing wrong.

Roscommon were running out of ideas at this stage and a crude shove into the back on Donie presented Cillian with the chance to put us back in front. Once again, the Ballintubber man made no mistake from the placed ball.

We were now in injury time, with poor old Richie Feeney being brought on for his regulation two minutes of action (Mikie Sweeney having come on for Alan Freeman with about ten minutes to go) but it was another sub, the quick-thinking Andy Moran, who released Kevin McLoughlin from a free fifty yards out. The Knockmore man lashed it over from distance to put us two up deep in stoppage time. Murtagh got a point back from a free for them and then they bore down on our goal with a last-gasp burst but this ended in a free out for us with the final whistle sounding straight afterwards.

After the final whistle

This was anything but a varnished display on a day when the conditions didn’t exactly lend themselves to free-flowing football. Roscommon had a game plan and it was one they stuck to and which paid dividends for them. Ultimately, however, we had just enough in the tank to eke out the win but coming out of the ground it really did feel that it was a win we’d barely deserved from a contest that we could just as easily have lost. Still, though, a win is a win is a win and all that.

Best for us in my view today were Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle in the backs, Seamus O’Shea in midfield and Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O’Connor in the forwards. It was the wise old head of Andy Moran, though, who was the catalyst for our revival in the final quarter, with his telling contribution off the bench helping to edge us over the line today.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan; Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea (0-1); Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor O’Shea, Jason Doherty (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (0-4, two frees), Alan Freeman, Cillian O’Connor (0-5, frees). Subs: Andy Moran (0-2) for Conor O’Shea, Alan Dillon for Diarmuid O’Connor, Mikey Sweeney for Freeman, Richie Feeney for Doherty.

105 thoughts on “Roscommon 1-9 Mayo 0-13: Andy points the way out of tight corner

  1. Static static static!!!! Our build up play is far to static and when we got the ball to our forwards there was very little running off the ball. If we cannot sort this out we are in big big trouble. Roscommon had 14 men behind the ball for most of the second half but today we were poor very little structure to our play. Hopefully that battle will put a rocket in our arses.

  2. Where now all ye experts who were forecasting a comfortable win, the heart ruling the head as usual. Anyway for the rest of us who saw this match as a banana skin, it was in the end a very satisfying win and will stand to the team going forward…….

  3. I said it here on Friday that this was going to be a tough battle with Ros putting 13 men behind the ball. We didn’t help ourselves with the poor decision making, awful passing, silly wides and overall poor display.

    I was surprised with the selection and I feel that it was wrong from the start. We had no creativity, no guile, no skill, no ideas. That’s where Dillon & Andy Moran add to our attack. A win is a win but we have to improve a hell of a lot to be anywhere close to the 3rd Sunday in September.

    PS I thought we were well beaten in the middle and Jason Gibbons was missed terribly. Boyle also is not a No. 6. Thoughts?

  4. 45 minutes to make a change when you have scored 4 pts with wind in the first half.

    Feeney gettin 3-4min to make an impact again while the totally ineffective (apart from his point)Doherty stays on for 70min

    leavin Mcl in the corner when he just can’t play in there

    could be goin out early this year with this kind of stupidity

  5. Dont have any faith in Horans tactical awareness.Half forward substituted and could have cost us game.
    feeney comes on with 70 mins gone for Doherty!Anything wrong with that scenario.
    THose of you with blind faith will be happy…those of us who like to read a game are not.End of.

  6. The same problems as last year-No 6 a problem,AOS tires too quickly and we have made no upgrades in the forward line and how Feeney was kept on the line for 72mins is absolutely mind-boggling.

  7. Disgraceful today. Worst I’ve seen in years. Horan … [deleted] … has a severe inability to read a game. Conor o shea didnt know what to do…no way a linkman or playmaker. Put the head down and ran away from goal. Midfield we were destroyed in, not one cleancatch and barry moran left on line again. Ros number 9 ran amuck. All our half forward line taken off! Our half back line just wants to attack as do our midfielders and noone stays back, ball breaks down as we go straight into tackles. Sos boyler and aos particularly bad on this account today. Everything was down the middle and no versatility, creativity NO GAME PLAN! We were lucky to win that.

  8. All – I’m still on the road on the way back. Can everyone please keep whatever criticisms you want to make measured and specific? Any OTT foaming at the mouth stuff will be dealt with severely as per the house rules.

  9. Delighted to get the win. Roscommon played very well and tactically set themselves up excellently. Mayo were very poor in the first half going forward, rock solid at the back. They were much better in the second half. Showed superb character to come back and win it.

    I’d expect a much improved performance all round in Castlebar on July 13th. Some comments on here, particularly, the over the top negative ones, are an embarrassment to Mayo people.

  10. Jeasus lads we wanted a tough game,did we not?,win ugly in June,it gives jh and db loads of things to work on in training,unfortunately I don’t think doc is a championship player,horan experimented with formation today and we survived,we shouldnt panic cos we’re still in it, Dublin are far from the finished product either,it can still be a long summer.get through June and July and be at your peak in August/september

  11. I watched the game on TV. I take no issue with what others have said. Having said that, had we simply put half of our wides over in the firsthalf then it would have been a totally different result. It meant an enormous amount to the team, you could see it in their relief at the final whistle. I watched Dublin v Laois after. It is no foregone conclusion, as pundits would have us believe, that the winners of the All Ireland are elsewhere. Mayo only come to life when they have to overcome the seemingly impossible.

  12. I said all week that Roscommon would not lay down and roll over and sure enough they didn’t. it’s a game they probably should have won, if thay had not missed some easy scores and not gifted away of some silly frees resulting in mayo points. Mayo were brutal absolutely brutal, our ball handling skills, coughing up the ball in tackles,poor decision making We were well off championship pace we had no creativity, no attacking plan and we had very little running off the ball. I know Roscommon played 13 men behind the ball, but these are things we should be able to deal with.We were like a team playing together for the first time.The Mayo boss introduced Richie Feeney with time almost up, he did the same thing against Derry. There is something wrong with that picture.Mayo did win playing very poorly and they did show some character in twice coming from three points down to win and at the end of the day that’s when you need to be ahead.Hennelly,cunniffe,Cafferkey, Seamus O Shea, Mc Loughlin,o Connor and sub Moran were Mayo’s best.Hopefull that’s our bad game flushed out of the system.My god
    we really need to improve considerably if we’re to progress

  13. Its hard to combat the type of negative tactic the Rossies employed lads- thought Mayo were sluggish and dare I say it, complacent, for large parts of the game but they stood up and stuck at it to deservedly win in the end today- they can only get better from here on in- keep the faith- Hon Mayo!

  14. Agree with GBX1 here

    Some of the OTT reactions are hilarious

    Roscommon set themselves up brilliantly and stuck to their game plan well. They made themselves very difficult to break down and frustrated us a lot out there

    They’ll feel hard done by they didn’t win it

    As for ourselves, look a win is a win. far from a perfect performance but as I said Roscommon frustrated us brilliantly. A few years ago there’s no way on earth we’d have won that but severe credit to the guys for digging it out.

    They’re a coming team Ros, and could well go on a decent back door run

    Connacht final now in Castlebar, I expect us to have a vastly improved performance. Could never see galway setting themselves up that well and they’d leave us plenty of gaps to exploit. Sligo are sticky but they’re not as good as Ros and I think whoever we play we’ll beat them comfortably enough

  15. Heart rate just back to normal, won’t go into individual players but thought work rate and discipline was top grade, showed great heart and hunger, a credit to themselves . Would have made changes earlier but easy for us to be critical , we are not the ones giving up our lives for mayo football. They will learn and improve from this.

  16. Jason Doherty stats-played 12 senior championship games and has scored 1-6.He was left on for 72mins today while Horan saw it fit to take off Freeman and leave him.Im just relaying that the facts don’t lie. [Deleted]. Horans tactical nous is now been quite rightly challenged by the Mayo fans that know football.

  17. Also, just to say the tackling by our lads was phenomenal. All over the pitch

    Even right to the end, our forwards put in some great defensive effort up front- two of them were actually penalised which was farcical

  18. Had a lad beside me in the stand roaring abuse at Connor O’Shea and wanting him taken off after 10 minutes. Eejit would be a kind word for him. How you can roar abuse at any of your own players I don’t know, but a young lad 10 mins into his debut, what benefit was that to anyone? Things didn’t go well for Connor today as he clearly wasn’t prepared for the pace of championship football and seemed either nervous or over-eager, but abusing him won’t solve anything.
    I think Horan was right to experiment with the young lads and change things in the half forward line, and when the game was in the melting pot we were able to bring on game changers when Roscommon were taking theirs off. Andy and Alan were very effective as they were fresh and the other players were slowing down. I think the next day they could still have this role while Horan either tries a new combination at half forward or keeps the same 3 lads to see if they learned from today.
    On the way to the game I listened to the Mayo News podcast, they said the best result would be the game in the melting with 15mins to go and Mayo to come out on top. Well we got that. We played poorly, no denying that either, but todays game is of more benefit to us than the hockeying we gave them in McHale park last year. 3-4 weeks of training now til the Connacht final and still nearly 2 months until the August Bank Holiday weekend, plenty of time before we need to peak and plenty of time to get things right. At least today we saw the hunger was there when it was needed.

  19. I note nobody has mentioned mental fatigue. We looked jaded at times in the league, esp against Derry on both occasions and same today. It’s very very difficult to keep going for 3/4 years on the trot..and that’s what we’ve done, and what makes it even harder is that we’ve unearthed no new players. Long term it’s worrying. This year, imo, is our last credible shot at the title for a few years..when hopefully some of last years minors together with the younger lads in the current panel aka Hennelly, keegan, Vaughan, AOS, cillian will still be around… May I dare say a certain lad in Brisbane might return lured by the added incentive if lining out with his brother!?

    Back to today… The positives? We won against an up and coming rossie sude who could still make it to Croker this year(draw dependant!). Our defense were tight and we turned over possession well all over the field. Cillian was excellent.

    Negatives. Wides. Freeman. Half forward line weak. New guys didn’t do anything to suggest they’ll make any impact in 2014, which is when we need it. We relied on two lads in their 30’s to haul us back into it. Keegan and Keithy look like they’re running on empty.

    We can only just hope things go our way.

  20. I thought it was a perfect game. Ros are tough and have some good forwards. Our backs were superb given they had no protection today.

    We gave some new players great experience. Conor oshea looks like a great prospect.

    I can’t see the same team starting again, but it says a lot for the belief of this squad that they can come from 3 points down at home to ross with their tails up and the crowd excited.

    A similar result in the cf would be welcome and the same in the QF if we get there. Then pick it up from there. Last year didnt work, so why would we want to do the same all over again.

    To me it says horan is learning. How many times have we seen kerry stumble through championship only to peak in final.

    Maigh eo abu.

  21. Yes deel rovers- I agree the hunger was there, the display of relief at the final whistle was evident. But hunger and mental fatigue are different. I just hope I’m wrong and that we can get thru the Connacht final and improve for a quarter. We peaked for a quarter last year and dipped again in late September.

  22. Roscommon threw it away in my opinion. Had several good chances in the second half and giving away silly frees cost them. If that ball that came back off the upright had fallen to the Ros man all alone in the big square it was curtains. Instead it fell to Vaughan. They also should have taken the point at the end (or else gone to ground – I’m sure ref would have give a free). Instead they seemed to go for goal and threw away the match.

    As for us well we looked tired and out of ideas. Teams have sussed us out now and frankly it’s easy for anyone to play against Mayo now. We don’t have any alternative to the running game.

    Once the line breakers (that we have become so dependent on) are snuffed out easily by that blanket defence there is no plan B. Take today. None of our 1/2 back line scored and there was no one who could deliver a telling pass into the FF line. In the end all 1/2 fws were substituted (most not soon enough I thought). Strange choice anyway starting such inexperienced fellas in what was obviously going to be a tight game. And Freeman was invisible in FF line. Sweeney came in and actually did ok I though. At least he was out in front to win a ball. Can’t understand either this point of bringing Feeney on for 2 minute games. Either he starts or he doesn’t.

    Finally it’s blatantly obvious we need a different strategy and plan B. And it’s a telling sign that we had to go to the old reliables in order to save the day.

  23. We did look tired. I hope this is more a training strategyand not mental fatigue.Why wasn’t Barry Moran given game time ? As I said before we need to get our attacking play sorted ita too slow and where were all our runners today?

  24. It really was a game crying out for Richie I’d have thought

    Moran was immense when introduced, was great to be able call on him

    Will Gibbons start final I wonder? The obvious would be put him at 11 I guess as a straight swap for COS and maybe Andy into 10, though the “impact sub” role might be what they now have in mind for Andy. I’d personally have a HF line of McL, Gibbons and Feeney, Andy inside but you don’t want to change too much either

    I do think we’ll be sound in final though, whatever team we put out, it won’t be as formidable as playing this well set up Ros team full of confidence in the Hyde

  25. Safe home WJ and everyone!
    Don’t agree with critism of Freezer. He was fouled by a cute and solis

  26. Watched it back again…god almighty. Andy has got some criticism but a class act and he took his chances and set up others. I recommend ye watch it. Of course negative tactics by roscommon. Some awful stuff you’d be shocked to see at club games.

    But lots to worry about. Kickouts high and down middle, we were destroyed there (only clean catch by mcloughlin and midfielders misjudging kickouts. Boyler is a wing back and old issues still arising, we have no 6 or 11. All the half forward line taken off. Richie enters pitch on 72:50 what the hell! Our basic skills at times were awful.

    Spillane said at half time that under james horan he has yet to see a clear attacking strategy in this mayo team…spot on pat

  27. Sorry about that.
    Freezer was fouled several times by Carty and should have had several frees, so can’t blame him.
    I’ve been warning about the battle that awaited us in the Hyde and it transpired that way. We’re not as good as we were this time last year, the Rossies are much better and it was in the Hyde.
    No more from me until the dust settles tomorrow !

  28. Depends on what you aspire to I guess.If one is happy with winning Connacht this has positives.If one is looking for more then it certainly is not.I have no criticism of players.Dont know why a manager holds a great player until 72 mins and I think selection was ludicrous.Is that ott criticism or should we all just row in behind James and offer no criticism until after another All Ireland defeat if we even get there?

  29. Positive – we won a hard championship against a team who tried to stop us playing . We won a game which was in the melting point till the bitter end . We are now under no illusion as to how hard it is to win a Nestor cup never mind the other piece of silverware in sept . We as supporters are spoilt to have so many good days out with our team

    Because we are on an amazing run with this team – we as supporters feel let down when we see players not play to their potential , we think the best team is not picked, the correct subs not used etc . Do some of us think that James Horan ,the players and back room team are giving up their days / nights and family lives for the good of their health . PEOPLE ARE WAY TO QUICK TO KNOCK JAMES HORAN , KNOCK INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS .IT IS EMBARRSING AS A MAYO SUPPORTER TO SEE COMMENTS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH etc etc

  30. Not long back from the game. I’ve calmed down a bit since, which is good because I was fuming after. Fuming.
    First of all – positives. Mayo came out of a tight, tight game and showed great resolve to do so. I though they were dead and buried when they went 3 down with about eight minutes left, but there was fight and belief in them. Leaders stood up – Andy, Seamus, Kevin, Colm, Cillian etc. We still have probably the best six backs in the country and possibly the best 1-9 in the country. O’Connor struck over some vital and difficult frees when they really needed them. This game will help Mayo and they will learn a lot from it. They do have players to come back in and that will help.
    Negatives. I could on about a lot – the lack of cohesion in the forwards, shocking decision making, lacks of runs being made, Lee Keegan’s nonchalance throughout (did he ever break into a sprint?!) etc. etc. But today, what annoyed me the most was the team selection. Most Mayo people knew that the half forward line was simply too inexperienced. O’Connor and O’Shea have good potential, no question but both were pretty much making their debuts. It was far too much to expect that they were going to be able to orchestrate matters from the 40. And Doherty, whilst scoring a lovely point and at times doing well in looking for the ball, is just too inconsistent for too long. The minute Andy Moran came on, and he was ring rusty – quite obviously at times, you could see a better urgency about the team. The same with Dillon. But what infuriates me is that any Mayo supporter could have told you this before the game – it shouldn’t have been left up to a Roscommon goal for Horan to suddenly realise this. And I’m sorry, but at this stage, one does have to wonder is there some kind of rift between Richie and Horan. The guy showed leadership all through the club championship, it was a game that was crying out for him and he’s left on the bench until the third minute of injury time? It was needless and shouldn’t have been let happen.
    Mayo will take a good bit from this – they have four weeks to get guys back and get their team selection sorted. I’m just very annoyed that the plainly obvious was obvious to all but the manager today and it nearly cost Mayo the game against a poor Roscommon team. And they were poor, the percentage stats in the first half alone must have been staggering. Blanket defence or no blanket defence, had Mayo taken a quarter of their chances, the game would have been long over.
    Mayo can, and indeed should, learn lessons from today, but they need to do it fast and without the messing that was apparent today.

  31. No matter what is said, the Mayo lads deserve great credit for coming back near end. It took guts for Andy to hit those 2 points from out the pitch, a real leader and if he wasn’t there I think we would be in the qualifiers tonight.
    Roscommon had us and let us off the hook, they’ll be asking themselves what does it taketobeat Mayo?
    Thank you, Andy Moran

  32. Brilliant win. Delighted to get out of there still intact. Away to an up and coming local rival who are mad to beat us under a motivating manager. Great result. We need to look at the history books because it felt like the late seventies with ten minutes to go. Some supporters need to take a reality check not the team. FFS contstructive criticism keyboard warriors. Four in a row if we get behind the team. Get behind the lads and manager. Move on. A win is a win is a win.

  33. Its amazing what some people say. Last week there was a huge amount of positive stuff here about JHs decision to go with the two young lads up front. Now just because the two didn’t play well we have this criticism of Horans team selection. He has been criticised for picking fellas out of loyalty and reputation eg Andy and Dillon. Well they saved us today. Personally I had my doubts starting the two young lads away to Ros and I also expected a tough game today. Why would Ros roll over. The mass defence and terrible conditions were always going to hinder our type of game. Mayo deserve enormous credit for winning today. Trailing by 3 with ten mins left we looked gone but hit five on the spin to eke out a win. That showed some character especially when some of the guys who have been excellent for us over the last few years were not playing well. So I say well done to team and management. You were in a tight place but escaped. We probably wont win Sam because we may not be good enough but at least we fought hard to keep ourselves in with a shout

  34. As expected it was a dog fight.
    We came out right side of it and will stand to us.

    Full back line were simply outstanding.
    If only we could clone cunnife and have him at no 6 aswell.

    Was always going to be tough outin for o Shea’s junior and diarmuids but will stand to them also.

    Look positives to be taken as is negatives. Need to see more of richie feeney. Love affair with Doherty and two new lads can’t be at the expense of richie.

    Freeman done well we were fouled so often and not given.
    McWilliams and Freeman’s got poor ball in but done sound

    Next day out should see feeney at 11 one if Moran or Dillion at 12 and Kevin at 10 with Mikey starting at 13 but allowed to drift in play maker role

  35. Love the sheer spectrum of opinion on this site. Depending on your viewpoint it was either the worst performance of all time or a heroic win. Mind you it could be seen as a bit of both…

    Andy played a blinder today when he came on and it further reinforces my belief that he is best spring from the bench. I still think Horan was right to give Conor & Diarmuid game time despite the apparently poor return – playing against what was essentially a 15-man defence would challenge anyone and I think (hope) that experience should stand to them.

    Really think Kevin Mc should be in the half-forward line though – he did wl enough today all things considered but us more comfortable at no.10. Have to agree with comments above re Feeney – we really could have done with him sooner and it’s a waste having him on the sideline. Mind you I think Doherty is being judged a little harshly – I lost count today of the times I spotted him free and calling for the ball only to be ignored as others ran the ball into trouble.

    What really amazed me was the lack of inventiveness in attack – we’d get the ball up the wings only for there to be nobody in the middle in front of goal to collect it – this has been a feature of our game for the last three or four matches and I’m amazed it hasn’t been highlighted more.

    Anyway, a win’s a win – I’d sooner a hard-fought victory like that any day than a walkover and I’d like to think it will stand to us later in the year.

    Commiserations to the Rossies (!) – it might not have been pretty but it was a gutsy and spirited performance from a Div 3 team who are clearly on the up. Congrats to Christy Philips and our hurlers today too who also showed great character to win their game. And wishing Donie Shine a speedy recovery – hopefully that injury isn’t as bad as it looked earlier.

    Onwards and upwards …

  36. Once again I’m amazed at some of what I have read on here, but I’m thankful that the posters on here are not managing the Mayo team.
    WJ for me the MOTM today was James Horan.
    People are giving out about his selection, the same people who would have said that Andy Moran and Alan Dillon are past it if they had started, and Horan is “too loyal” to some players.
    Fair play to James for giving two young players a run and making changes as and when needed. This will bring both Conor and Diarmuid on leaps and bounds. While they aren’t gonig to get the MOTM award today, I though the effort and energy that both gave was immense.
    James cannot be blamed for some of the misses that occured in the first half, but I give him enormous credit for making the changes and turning the game around in the last 10 mins.
    Everyone bar the “know it alls” on here realise that you need a serious panel for football at this level.
    One final point, I give great credit to Roscommon, they are a serious team and have some great footballers and are making huge strides. I’m sure they are the Connaught team we will be supporting and hoping success for in the not to distant future

  37. It’s never easy winning in the Hyde Roscommon are a big strong physical team with good forwards and an excellent astute manager I for one looking forward to the Connaught final and think we can only get better and we will though I’d like to see a clear attacking plan being formulated

  38. Positives:
    -Hard game, come- from-behind win, serves us better that than a 10-12 win.
    -Caused a lot of turnovers for Ros. Good aggression and intensity to dispossess Ros
    -Good performances by Cunniffe, Caff, Higgins, Boyle, SOS. Boyle My MoM

    -Forward Play. Never threatened to score a goal. FF line is a big problem. (I said this during week). Where are the goals going to come from. I just don’t see it.
    -Tactics – We didn’t seem have a plan for Ros defensive setup – thus high number of turnovers and intercepted passed
    -Kickouts – Midfield was so crowded it was turned in to a lottery, yet, very few of our kickouts were sent to the wings where Lee or Donie etc could have got possion

    Some rough stats I took> 43 attacking move that made it to Ros half. Of which – 13 scores (of which 7 frees?)13 Wides – 14 Turnovers or misplaced passes, 3 – shots in to goalie’s hands

    I think we need to try something a little more radical in the FF line. Gibbons come in at CHF if fit. Personally I would have persisted with Keith in the HFs, (I think today shows why) but it looks like that is abandoned for good.Despite what some have said here, I saw enough in Conor O’Shea to think he could be an option for us, but at FF. He has the size and is a lot faster/more mobile than his brothers. I think he could be a handful at FF a la O’Gara. Obviously I know that won’t happen but just an opinion. Freezer doesn’t convince me at FF. (although I know many here disagree with that). Probably too good to drop and may be an option at CF.

    For Galway – My forwards would be
    McLoughlin, Gibbons, Co’Connor, Sweeney, C’Oshea, Freeman
    Andy (I know, despite his game winning turn) and Dillon in reserve as he was today. Feeney, Doc, Do’Connor all good options but none of them are going to score 2-3 points per game which is what we need.

  39. – We won, we deserved to win and we are now 70 minutes away from winning 4 in a row in Connacht which in itself would be some achievement.

    – It was IMO a very poor match particularly the first 50 minutes, I think that Roscommon team would have been eaten alive by Dublin in the last 20 mins of the game.

    – We had enough possession to win 2 matches but failed to use it wisely and that’s being positive. Some of the shooting from both sides was cat, sure the pitch was wet after the downpour but there was really no wind to speak off.

    – Our full back line did very well, half-back line was below par with Leroy in particular looking tired. Maybe the captaincy was too heavy a burden on him.

    – Our half forward line as many suspected was just too in-experienced. Conor O and Diarmuid will be stand-out players for Mayo in the near future. Start one of them the next day but put them alongside seasoned campaigners. COC played well, Freeman very disappointing not withstanding that he was fouled quite a bit but he was not fouled for every single ball that went towards him.

    – Mid-field faded but we had no real replacements to make aside from Barry M who did warm up at one stage.

    – Side-line put Andy and Dillon on at the right time, they were the correct subs to bring on. I would think there is no point in making a tactical substitution after 60 mins of a match, only subs after 60 mins should be for injury or blood subs.

    – Anyone that doubted the hunger of the players were proved wrong, those players wanted to win that match and it was sheer hunger that dug out that win.

    – I have to mention the fact that the players and JH stayed on the pitch for a long time afterwards signing jerseys and getting their pictures taken with the kids, this is so important and really appreciated.

    – Finally the overcrowding in the stand was a bit of a joke, can the powers to be not COUNT. The PA system is still on the blink, like listening to a phone call from the far east in the 1970’s.

  40. I can’t help but think some of ye were secretly disappointed we didn’t lose today. But what I have learnt from above

    -If you are a fan of Horan, you’re a blind optimist and can’t read a game

    -James isn’t only a bad manager, he’s apparently stupid as well!

    Delighted, thrilled today. How we got out of that, I don’t know. Andy is a class act and we are on for 4 in a row.

    Honestly, some of the cynics, it’s bordering comically bitter now. Just stay at home. The team would be better off

    PS I have no issue with discussing the game etc, but some of the nonsense spouted above really grinds my gears

  41. Last year everyone said we had it too easy in Connaught so today we were granted our wish We had it hard but we survived. We won. Going on the theory that I saw numerous times on the league blogs , that we peaked too soon last year then today was a complete success. If we can show a bit more in the Connaught final and progress from there I ll be quite happy there are no medals given out in June. Lets keep the faith. Last week we had the best mayo team of all time. Tonight we have the same team. Mayo for ever

  42. Where to start…

    It all depends on what people expect fromthis Mayo team..As it is widely thought to be Horan’s final year and its All Ireland or bust the standards expected have to be at the highest level possible..
    With the conditions and the type of defence deployed by Roscommon accepted as mitigating factors still one must surely conclude today as very dissapointing..

    From the top Horan must take a huge portion of blame..Like what must Richie Feeney be thinking..Ready to come on as a blood sub after two minutes and with our forward line completely malfunctioning he fails to see action until the 73rd action..I’ve no doubt if he was from Ballintubber it would be a different story..Mikie Sweeney was our 2nd best forward in the league yet has seen 10 minutes championship action in 2 games..The vibes coming out from the camp are so poor and things definitely don’t seem to have improved on the sideline this year
    Not individually attacking players but there were two today who looked miles out of their depth and theres no way they should have been starting..Any mayo football fan could see this before the game and its galling the sideline thought it could work..

    As Billy Fitz said we look tired and jaded very similar to the awful league semi final against Derry..Anyone who thinks we’re in a good position after today are living in a dream world..If kevin Higgins not missed numerous point chances we’d be in the qualifiers regardless of Andy coming on

  43. Yes it was great to see support, flags and cheers for our hurling brothers!! Well deserved, shame they don’t get more support all year. Fair play Christie and management.
    Re the footballers, better to have game like that than a walkover victory. Lot of work to be done in next 5 weeks……
    If u are reading this James horan
    ……..lookit give Richie a proper run out in final !!!

  44. Mixed feelings following todays game. I was among pool of people expecting us to out play our Division 3 opponents and have more than enough talent to overcome their blanket defence comfortably in the end, and so was very disappointed with the flat, one dimensional performance today. However, very happy with the character shown in the last 10mins to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and to be back in a Connacht final on home soil. Horan certainly learned a hell of a lot about his starting selection today. Some superb disciplined defending which was a welcome improvement on the league. Half forward line will be reinforced from the start the next day out – injury permitting. Certainly a lot of work to be done on the delivery into the forward line over the next five weeks.

  45. Some Mayo fans need a reality check. Looking for the prefect performance in every game…alright we were poor, really poor. Makes me wonder why more of ye aren’t mangers of top teams since ye seem to know it all.

    The day will come when we go a few years without a Connacht title and we will wonder back to the days of winning like now.

  46. Yes mayobornandbred, here’s something specific:

    “THose of you with blind faith will be happy…those of us who like to read a game are not.End of.”

    I think that is a very arrogant statement and you most certainly have a high opinion of your own knowledge of the game.

  47. “Some Mayo fans need a reality check. Looking for the prefect performance in every game…alright we were poor, really poor. Makes me wonder why more of ye aren’t mangers of top teams since ye seem to know it all.”

    We have potentially 10,000 or so all Ireland winning managers in the county Steve! Serious potential!

  48. It kinda shows the outlook on subs bench with 7 forwards & 3 backs if I recall it right.Barry Moran has more right to feel aggrieved than Ritchie I think as the engine room was shocking & he would be more imposing in FF line than some.
    Roscommon & Connaught council & Castlebar publicans must be pissed off with that last greedy rossie at the end!

  49. Great to have the win.
    Roscommons day is obviously coming but not today!
    I hoped for a draw for the last quater as we need to start to ramp it up a bit from now on and more competitive games would be good, but that is not to be. My view on the game are as simple as this:

    Our back line.
    Our hunger to chase down every ball.
    Quick turnaround
    Young players coming up
    Never give up and win dirty games (this is huge)
    We are in a 4th provincal final
    Andy, Feeney & Dillon have the potential for a good year.
    Strong options on the bench.

    Only one realistic goal chance made v. 2 chances made by the rossies
    Being caught out at our own game with running half backs breaking out of centre to score the goal.
    I hate to say it but, Aidan O’Shea has not been at the races for quite a while (is Barry Moran injured?).
    Not making key replacements early enough.
    Struggle to get ball into the ff line but that is more of a symptom of the oppositions strategy.

    Are we better than we were this time last year – NO
    Does that matter – not now.
    Can we be good enough from August to the end – YES, If we settle the midfield, half forward lines and ff position to levels better than everyone else, and we have this potential.

    MaighEo Abu

  50. I agree with every word of JPM’s analysis. Mayo are in a better place than Roscommon tonight. We all know what moral victories are worth – two balls of roasted snow. Ros had it, but they weren’t able to keep it. As JPM says, if that ball off the post had fallen to a Rossie instead of Vaughan – but that’s football. Balls bounce, things happen.

    When people finish huffing and puffing, they’ll realise we saw nothing today we hadn’t seen already this year and last. Getting the ball to stick inside is vital to our running game, because it keeps defences honest. If the opposition know Mayo can make hay inside, they can’t overcommit to blocking the runs, because they’ll have their tails scalded.

    Someone mentioned earlier about how difficult the Ros blanket was to play against – if Mayo pointed half or two-thirds of their first-half wides the blanket would have been in shreds by half-time. The game is about scoring more than the other bucks. Scoring is what counts.

    James has one or two more games now to solve that inside problem before the August Bank Holiday weekend. We’ll all try and solve it as well. On this blog, or on other sides, or on the high stool, but Horan and the players are the only ones who have to put their money where their mouths are. Best of luck to them.

  51. can we not wake up and smell the roses ???? our build up in attack is TOOOOO bloddy slow. Im in agreement that our back line defended well.However the ball supplied was poor regardless of the fact that if Rosscommon had most of their lads behind the ball or not. If our attack was more efficient it would have given our fowards more chances and better chances to get scores or to take our frees. So its my belief that we need to get the selection right , get our strategy rite and get our attacking play to a higher level.

  52. Mad stuff on here at times lads and lassies !! Personally I was happy enough, tough conditions, tight pitch away from home against a defensive outfit and we got the job done.

    Always things we could do better, bit worrying that we needed the old reliables from the bench to get us out of a hole .. But isn’t that what’s they are there for ? So having a bigger squad is a positive for us.

    We will improve without a doubt .. Let’s get out of Connacht and then focus on getting to croker .. After that it’s a new ball game on a dryer and bigger pitch .. Let’s judge the team at that point assuming we get there, which I believe we will ! Let’s enjoy the journey !

  53. A funny match, hard work to watch and I’m sure harder to play. A tight game like that will stand to us. I feel we need some leadership on the field, someone to take a game by the scruff of the neck and drag us all (including fans – we too have a part to play) up a notch.
    An earlier poster commented on kerry in their heyday stumbling through until Sept and peaking then – we certainly seem to be doing the stumbling part but valuable lessons will be learned from today.
    Mike’s earlier post and suggestions for our forwards for the connaught final are very interesting. I would definitely like to see more game time for Sweeney and feeney
    Finally I love this site, the range of opinions and analysis are often excellent and make for great debate. Well done Willie Joe

  54. Alot can be said about today’s game, both good and bad..
    But here a win is a win, and thanks lads for that..
    I could go on now and give my opinion on where it all went wrong and what should have been done and believe me had i logged on after the full time whistle I’d be barred from commenting at this stage. Over the next 5 wks I hope that the silly mistakes and bad decision made today will be ironed out for our next outting. I’m sure the players and management no what needs to be done to ensure they get the 4 in a row on July 13th. Lets not start playing the blame game this early in championship and get behind the lads to help them over the line in every game.. We are the 16th man and have a job to do too… HON MAYO..

  55. it was a very difficult game in which we put a lot of balls wide due to the wind at ether end of the pitch which was blocked by the stand for the most part today ,
    I felt that Alan freeman was hard done by in the second half wit no ball going into him despite him winning and being fouled constantly when it went into him in the first half,

    our inexperienced half forward line did not preform well at all bar Jason Doherty who won 7 or 8 kick outs and won a good few braking balls ,
    our midfield was lacking at the braking ball ,

  56. A great win today. I did not see a win coming with about 10 minutes to go.Fair play to our great team for digging deep when they had to. They are marching forward to their 4 in a row having passed a stern test at the Hyde.Ros probably deserved something out of it but left empty handed. They did not need to be so negative and showed us too much respect for too long. Freeman was fouled a lot and they got away with it. Ros should have started the 2 Murtaghs as they have a great understanding of each other. Wishing them all the best in the qualifiers. I hope they make the quarter finals in August. Some of the comments by so called Mayo fan today are down right embarrassing IMO

  57. Credit to Mayo getting this win today. Many times in the past we would have coughed up a 1 point defeat and it would be everyone’s fault – players , management, county board, the referee, the curse, the weather, bad luck and whatever else could be reeled out. Today we had a 1 point win and still the criticism persists. What is it ? Are we ever happy? I am.

    Just as an example – what if James had started all the ‘old reliables’ today and the match went along similar lines just the way it panned out today. Horan would have been criticised for not giving a few new lads a chance. He did that and still gets a slating. Give it up ! No one in the Mayo camp goes out to give anything but the best they can be it on the pitch or on the sideline. It’s not going to be 100% for everyone all the time. Horan in his interview after the match knows it wasn’t up there today for sure but that doesn’t mean the game is lost. It wasn’t lost. Credit to Ros they came with a plan , wasn’t pretty but after last year Ros can’t be blamed for their approach. It nearly paid off better than even they expected but having the likes of Andy and Dillon to keep our ship afloat was the difference when we got into the final minutes.

    Always nice to see Mayo win with a swagger but sometimes it’s even sweeter and just as important to win when not playing well.

    PS – and purely as a curiosity when was the last time our half backs didn’t contribute a score

  58. To be fair to Alan Freeman he suffered a dead leg in the warm up and wasn’t right… Hence the reason he came out late at the start.

  59. Overall Im happier it went to the wire and we won playing very poorly, there is an awful lot of work to be done. can we do it I donno, but the manner in which they responded when seemingly staring into the jaws of defeat in the last 10 raises some sparks of hope.
    The criticism of Jason Doherty in a few post above leaves me scratching my bald spot, watching the game again confirms that he worked his socks off. He fielded ball, won hard ball laid off ball got in some great tackles, oh ya only scored once so hes not championship material.?.
    Im really confused at the management of Richie who in the first 5 mins appeared to be coming in for O’Shea,-who got a knock to the face but recovered- this makes him the first sub, right?.. then he sees Andy, Alan and Mikey -who all did their bit- jump the queue, and the salt, is being given the nod with less than 2 minutes of injury time to that would make me angry were I Richie, which makes me curious about JH’s intentions for him.

  60. Watched the match back, and of course there are positives, and several negatives that are well trodden, so I won’t go into them. Nevertheless, here’s some observations.

    – Couple of bizarre things. Hopping the ball on greasy surface. Kickout strategy unfathomable. Mayo had a spare man in the full back line almost every time, why not put it short and build with the open pitch in front of you rather than play the ball into a congested area?

    – Conor O’Shea didn’t have a great day, mainly because he wasn’t around the 45 when Mayo brought the ball into that area. It’s where a CHF needs to be. Also awkward on and off ball. But big men are awkward in the wet.

    – Couple of their scores came from not tracking back. AOS man Higgins scored Rossies 1st point because Aidan didn’t track him. Aidan appeared to be fixing his gloves instead of focusing on his man. Rossies 2nd point came because they had a man over because Doc (I think) didn’t track back.

    – We seemed to be taking the ball into tighter spaces/channels rather than spreading it into space. You have to pull a blanket defence apart, not encourage them to focus their defending in a small area.

    – Ball into Alan Freeman was poor. I would put the sum total of good passes to Alan Freeman at 4, and he won a free 2 times, and was dispossed twice. Bad balls into FF line = double digits

    – Boyler – needs to learn sometimes that less is more when you are going to play centre half. He is so keen to get into the battle that he forgets that he responsible for behind himself. This led to their goal. He left his man to go into a maul of players, his man stole off and laid on the ball for the goal scorer. But people who are saying we need a 6, the only other viable option is Cunniffe and while Barrett is out, Boyler is the man. He is also only learning the position.

    – Mayo did an awful amount of standing today. Just standing.

    – Ref did well, although their free for their 3rd point on half time was non-existent, and we were through on goal when he blew for a non-existent free.4

    – 2 of their scores came from Caff falling over. Balance is a very important skill, especially in the wet, especially for a man marker.

    – Jason Doherty works hard, tackles well, can shoot, and generally takes the right option. People are unfair on him, like they are unfair on Colm Boyle today. Like they were unfair on Andy Moran before this week. Like they were unfair on Aidan O’Shea after the All Ireland because big men don’t run fast enough. Like they were unfair about Alan Dillon the last couple of years. Like they were unfair about Kieran McDonald when he was playing. Like like like like like.

    Some contributors here are so obsessed with winning the All Ireland that you can’t handle it when we don’t play well. Rather, you don’t see it as “not playing well”, you see it as “We are not good enough” or “Certain players aren’t good enough”, and sure we’ll never win it while they are there.

    So now we are looking for a 6. We are looking for an 11. We are looking for a 14. We are looking for a “marquee forward”. Do you not think if we had these mythical players that we’d be using them? We have to play with what we’ve got.

    We’ll win the All Ireland when we play well enough to win it. When our manager gets the “best” out of the group of players that we have, to get them to outplay the opposition for 5 or 6 matches in a row.

    Stop giving out about our men, support them and try and point them in the right direction, to get them to play better. Otherwise, in your terminology, you’re not a “good enough” supporter.

  61. Interesting listing to Joe brolly today .he Says mayo players looking down their noses at the derry Players.Looking at a lot of the comments Posted here this evening I think ye Would agree with him . So let see who wants to put their name into the Joe brolly club Or understand what’s it’s like to play in a yet slippy thight pitch in Hyde Park

  62. I think it’s worth remembering that dogged Connacht Final against Sligo in the Hyde when we scraped through with a dodgy looking ‘point’ and things were level then. Or that day in London when it was on the edge of a cliff…. and we know where we ended up.

    At 3 down today I did believe we would lose. I couldn’t see us gaining enough momentum to do it. Well the lads dug it out and the relief and gutsy determination on their faces was palpable at the end.

    We live, we learn, we fight another day

  63. I think we all know that feeling in a championship game when you just know it’s not going to happen. With 20/15 to go that it’s just not going to swing your way. Sligo 2010 springs to mind and Meath 2009. I genuinely had that feeling today. I am absolutely thrilled they pulled that out of the bag. It showed serious guts and character. The last 5 points we scored today were too class from 4 different scorers. I can’t wait for the final!

  64. Horan v slow to make changes we needed the skill of andy Moran earlier this might have led to more scores in the first half and he has to decide what to do with feeney bringing him on at full time is a joke. Forwards will have to improve some of the wides there was no excuse for

  65. When all is said and done we should be very proud of the character shown by our lads in that last ten minutes. This looked one very tough game to play in, with a wet and very heavy pitch, a greasy ball and thirteen very big and well organized Roscommon lads manning the trenches, there was very little room to shine. yet when it mattered , shine they did. And the big plus, the players will have learned an awful lot about themselves today and will turn up with a spring it their step for the next training session.

  66. Lads your lucky I’m not moderating this site because half of you would be banned. Not the best performance ever but keep a couple of things in mind:
    1. Credit to the rossie. If they keep their heads they could make a quarter final
    2. Credit to our boys (everybody players and management) they have suffered two all ireland final defeats but still the hungry is there. Whhat ever happens this year we all should be proud. It takes some mental strength.
    Keep the faith Lads only 4 games to overcome.

  67. Obviously the win is the most important thing today and so from that perspective it is step 2 over. The plus is that we have hopefully moved into the frame of mind of utilising 18 key players at the correct time and that should be recognised and due credit to JH for that (now he needs to step it up to 20 players) The downside yet again is that our full forward line return is poor lacking both menace and direction when put under pressure to deliver. The guys on the field combined with those on the bench and in the panel have the ability, but the direction is severly lacking. There seems to be a lack of understanding as to how the full forward line likes to move for the ball and how they like to receive it. We are probably the only remaining top tier county who rarely deploy the “outside/come in along the endline” route to goal. Our forwards coaching needs to be addressed quickly. Our Connaught Final opponents will for sure crowd their back line as did Roscommon today.
    Lastly well done to Roscommon also – hopefully they will rattle a few teams in the back door.

  68. Watched the match again on the box and it’s interesting to get a different viewpoint and hear the analysis of RTE.
    First of all I was critical of Freeman above and in fairness looking again on the box he had an ok first half. The two points from frees we scored were directly from him being fouled. And he got back and defended as well. But he was much inconspicuous in the second half and was duly subbed.

    But overall the entire team were pretty poor. At half-time on RTE they said it was putrid. And in fairness it was. 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time in any match is hard stuff to stomach. We also had something like10 wides and some of these were not even shots. Rather efforts that were nothing less than really poor delivery attempts into the FF line that were simply too long and went harmlessly wide. What it did show though was how vital it is to this team to have a player who has the ability to put in a properly weighted pass.

    Up to now this delivery has largely been coming from our half-back line but today the ball from them was less than mediocre. In first half both Vuahgan and Keegan over hit the ball in and put it badly wide. Boyle too was very average in his kick passing. The real sad fact however was that the delivery standard did not improve at all throughout the entire game. And for the 70 minutes we had to instead keep up the running game and eventually wear the Rossies down.
    So the question is – is this a skill we are lacking or was it down to the conditions on the day? Well the answer is that it is probably a bit of both. I think that this Mayo team is setup to play well on a dry day, and, when they have this they can run as they desire and they won’t slip or fumble as much. And their long ball deliveries will/should be crisper and more accurate.

    But guaranteeing good weather in this country is easier than winning the lotto. And this was another point that O’Rourke made today. If we are as good as we think then it’s up to this team and management to be able to handle different scenarios. That includes beating blanket defences on slippery pitches in tough conditions. And their point is we won’t succeed in similar conditions against the better teams than Roscommon.

    Overall we won today thanks largely to our superior fitness and conditioning. They had injuries and got tired and it resulted in them giving away needless second half frees. It was not due in any large portion that we raised the standard of our game.

  69. Perfect result lads, got out of jail in a match we could have lost but didn’t because when the back door was rattling our team refused to be beaten and scored some top drawer points when it mattered most.

    Knew this was going to be a dogfight ( more so when the rain arrived ) and am mightily reiieved to be in game 3.

    Last year we pissed through a Galway team in Pearse stadium and sailed through Connacht and then hockeyed Donegal and learned little apart from admiring ourselves.

    We were ahead of ourselves last year, we gambled a bit this time but got away with it and we can and will learn an awful lot from that match. It’s all about getting our timing right.

    We need to improve but we will. The players need to and will have a good hard look at themselves. Nothing matters but to arrive at the August weekend still standing with as little wear and tear as possible and let rip from there.

    Stay seated everybody !

  70. Just a couple of comments for what they are worth at this stage of the night. I wasnt at the game today and had to settle for the box so maybe i only half saw things (others here could confirm/deny events). The TV is never the best way to see, watch and understand a match.

    – It appeared to me that a lot of our kickouts tended to go long out the middle. This in the modern game is crazy stuff as it gives the opposition a 50/50 chance to win the ball. Were there no runs being made for shorter options?

    – We have in my opinion the best full back line in Ireland, superb throughout, bar I think it was twice Ger Cafferky slipped. What was the surface like by the way? It looked like the grass was long and the rain obviously didnt help matters.

    – I think our HB line did just enough today, Lee Keegan looked tired and Colm Boyle and Donal Vaughan are obviously adjusting to their positions. I think Ciaran Whelan got is spot on when he said we still have defensive issues through the centre.

    – Kickouts for me was a bit of a let down. The two lads got stuck in but my own personal feeling is that there isnt enough support for them re breaking ball. We saw especially in the second half for large parts that Roscommon were the winners of the dirty ball as some call it. In my opinion there is a need for Kevin McLoughlin to be restored to the wing. Not only does he win hard ball but he has the speed and strength to win kickouts on his own. I believe Richie Feeney (like others) should start or at least not be a token sub anymore.

    – It was obvious I think that Conor O Shea was as nervous as hell while he was on. I think we will see much more of him in the future.

    – We need the ball delivered into the forwards much quicker and with much more accurracy. I think we actually tried this at times today but between Roscommon having so many men back and our poor kick passing over 30/40 meters it was very difficult. I would love us to play more “heads up” football.

    – One of our usual problems came back to haunt us today, far to many wides that we need to be converting from here on in.

    – I believe that if we dont have a fully fit and confident Alan Freeman we are in bother. In saying that he does draw attention (2 frees today) and in my opinion he creates havoc in the oppositions full back line. What was the story with his knock in the warm up by the way?

    – My final thought on the game is that I thought that we looked like a team who were mentally exhausted at times. It is hard to define this mental exhaustion. I think its not a will to win, determination, character etc but just a freshness, an awareness of situations, an aggression that we in my opinion were lacking. Indeed only for Andy Moran coming on (he injected this into our game) and to a lesser extent Alan Dillon we would not have won this game. In my opinion its one of two things A) we have gone to the well to many times (similar to Donegal last year) or B) management have took note of this and like was discussed here for months our preparations are geared to later in the season. I hope its the latter.

  71. Mayo Mark,
    You complain about cynics but from your comments you are the biggest cynic yourself judging by your comments on James Horan, which I’m surprised Willie Joe hasn’t deleted. Still, I suppose he cannot get to and delete every comment which needs to be deleted.

  72. Get out of jail card used so early in the year. i think just 0-6 scored from play too many wides kicked and too many shots kicked into keepers hands. The Rossies played the right gameplan and you couldn’t have many complaints if they held on to win. Much improving for Mayo to do but i feel a game like that will bring Mayo on as games in the Connacht championship last year were no use at all.

  73. Anyone comparing us to Kerry playing shit in Munster then winning AIs is deluded. When our boys have a few AI medals in our pockets we can think like that. I thought there were some very ominous signs today. Probably Keegan’s worst game in a mayo shirt. The guy looks burnt out. In fact, our whole half back line were poor today. Cafferkey and cunniffe were magnificent, we need Barrett back ASAP so cunniffe can go to num 6. Vaughan was very sluggish today, I’d consider replacing him if Barrett was fit. AOS has been on a steady downward trajectory since the Donegal match last year. Only for gibbons injury his place would be under serious threat. Seamie was superb in 2nd half and right now is a much more effective player than Aido.

    Half forward line, where do we start. Have to criticise Horan here, Moran should have started, the 2 kids were overawed while Doherty was OK.. I’d bring mc loughlin back out here. The amount of breaks Roscommon won here was not acceptable and no better man than Kevin to pick up dirty ball. Thought Cillian had a poor first half but showed real leadership to drag us back into it in 2nd half. Freeman was virtually anonymous, maybe he was injured.

    Andy Moran showed incredible leadership when he came on. He simply must start the next day.

    Roscommon hadn’t the balls to go on and win it. I absolutely guarantee if we give the maroon jerseys of Galway a 3 point lead with 8 mins left, they will kick on and beat us. Unlike the Rossies, they have no inferiority complex when they see a mayo jersey. Talk of August bank holiday is nonsense at this stage.

    The worst thing about us is our style if play in possession. This “runners from deep” nonsense WILL NOT WIN AN ALL IRELAND. the minute our players get possession in space in defence the ball should be kicked long and accurately. That gives our forwards time and space to take men on in the scoring zone. Not take them on in the opposition scoring zone. Our much maligned forwards get some stick, but every time mc loughlin or doc got the ball yest they were surrounded by our half backs and midfielders, plus their markers. Gooch cooper himself would struggle to operate in that kind of environment. The defensive and midfield solo merchants should be stopped. Kick the Ffing ball long!!! Give our forwards some space to do their thing. Pat Spillane was dead right yesterday. Mayo have no attacking structure, it’s just get the ball and solo, and hopefully a gap will open up. That won’t do against top sides. I really hope Horan can take this on board, but looking impartially at it, I doubt it.

  74. To the guy with the high pitched voice roaring abuse at jh from the stand with 15 to go (within ear shot of James’family),I hope you’re proud of yourself.

  75. It was worrying to see Lee, Keith and Colm all look like they are not over last year. Unless we get this backbone of the team back to 100%, we will struggle in Croker in August.

  76. AndyD

    You’ve got the wrong end of the stick! My comments on Horan were a synopsis of others’ comments above. I’m a huge admirer and fan of Horan. I was criticizing those comments!!

  77. Also I think “get out of jail” suggests we were somehow lucky. We were a point better than Ros yesterday. We kicked 5 savage points when it really mattered. I don’t think that’s luck.

    Maybe had the young Ros put the ball over the bar instead of going for the win in the last attack we’d be going to a replay, maybe that was our stroke of luck, and when the ball came off the post into Donie’s hands… But overall lads we won and awful football match kicking great scores. Granted we kicked a few wides. Dublin kicked 15 yesterday in perfect conditions. Yesterday was a truly horrible day for playing football!

  78. Marquee forwards, you need them but we dont have them if we had we would have been comfortable yesterday. Fairplay to Andy Moran who came off the bench to win the game for he didnt winge about been dropped like some players in the past. If that game was in croke park it would have been differant as we would have had more space however we look like a spent force, i think we will win next day out its hard to see beyond that. We are to reliant on our backs to get scores and taht didnt happen yesterday.

  79. One question can anyone shed some light on the Richie Feeney situation. Its come up here so often and I dont buy the comments that if he was from Ballintubber he’d be playing some people seem obsessed with the Horan Ballintubber link. 2 Ballintubber players playing yesterday.

    There has to be another reason, has anyone seen the AvB games or training situation, does Richie stand out here. There’s no denying hes a quality player and deserves a chance but is Horan seeing something else in training or do other players tend to stand out more in training and AvB games??

    Good win yesterday by the way, did enough, Rossie’s are always up for a Mayo game.

  80. Lots of interesting stuff here.

    Yes, as many said we should have been out of sight by half time and took a lot of wrong options. Rossies seemed to have no ideas at that stage and it probably took Evans to roar at them that they could win the game that gave them confidence in the second half.

    We definitely looked in trouble, but as I look back on it now, there was a smoothness about those 5 points that took us through. Rossies were good at that stage and had come back to lead by 3 after we had come back from the goal. Murtagh will do damage this season.

    But, after all that. It was our first serious game. Do we want to be looking like AI champs at this stage? And here’s a question (I don’t have the answer, maybe some of you do):

    * were Mayo taking this game at half throttle – in other words, Connaught should be a doddle and we’ll gear our training schedule to peak much later?

    This is an option that teams take. It’s high risk. Can’t decide if Mayo are doing that or not.

  81. Catcol, looking at the team yesterday, I wondered the same thing, and if that is the case, I’d be more than happy with that.

  82. Ann – Marie & Catcol, I think that arguably is the main question that we are all asking about the team this year, is it that our goose is cooked after 4 years under current management and that things are gone stale or is that the planning/preperation is so fine tuned this year that we are aiming to peak for an AI final/semi final.

  83. [i] brighton811 says:
    Jason Doherty stats-played 12 senior championship games and has scored 1-6.He was left on for 72mins today while Horan saw it fit to take off Freeman and leave him.Im just relaying that the facts don’t lie. [Deleted]. Horans tactical nous is now been quite rightly challenged by the Mayo fans that know football. [/i]

    Could you give us Richie Feeney’s stats also? I think you will find they are no better than Doherty’s if people actually bothered to inspect them. Maybe we need to hear Doherty fell out with the manager for him to get any credit. Know your football indeed…

    Is this going to be the status quo? Every time we are tested we turn on our team, pointing the finger over and over. We are going to be knocked out early if that is the case because no team can prosper when their fans are constantly turning on them. People need to grow up a bit and cop themselves on. It is disgraceful.

  84. Thanks Anne Marie and Peewee. Here’s another thought on that. One of JH’s comments in the run up was something like Ros are going well, but are Div 3. Div one this year was at championship pace.

    Thus is he saying, yes they’ll be better than last year but won’t measure up and the gap is too great, we don’t need to peak for this?

    Hence give 2 novices a run in the half forward line, try a few things out and a few points win will do.

    Benefit here is that the young O’Shea/O’Connor duo have gained valuable experience. I thought in fact they didn’t do too badly and of the forwards they were no worse than others. And, if Conor is scoring 1-6 in AvB games he must be doing something right.

  85. If ever there was a lesson to be learned it is now. And the lesson is simple – close off the scoring zone with big numbers and hard tackling and even the best attackers will fail. Ros did this brilliantly for most of the game and nearly pulled it off. Whichever team beats Dublin this year THAT is how they are going to do it. This is how we need to go however distasteful it might be.
    This and a radical rethink about how we attack. We need a reliable ball winner or two near the opposition goals who will lay off good ball to inrunning forwards who will finish effectively.
    Well done on a hard won game which showed guts and character. Now learn the lessons and change while we still can.

  86. We played 30 mins of real championship football last year to get to the AIF, whereas Dublin played at least 120mins (remember Meath made a game of it for 50+ mins as well). We learned nothing from our 30mins under the cosh from Tyrone (after all we won the game still playing plan A), whereas Dublin knew they had things to sort out after the Kerry game.
    Yesterday we learned more than in 5 games last year. Hopefully we can now push on. Being rusty now is also not a problem so long as we get it out of the system before August and it does not affect our self belief.
    On the game itself, a lot of the above posters seem to have been at a different game to me. We clearly played a 2 man full forward line, so a lot of the above talk about McLoughlin is wrong. We also had the exact same problems in the FF line as in the 2012 AIF. Roscommon (like Donegal) blocked our men, by whatever means possible, from getting out in front or making runs. Cillian really struggled to break free & I don’t think Alan was mobile enough to help him. As far as I could see the reason they did not get much ball was because most of the time there WAS no good out to them. What we really needed was a 2012 vintage Andy Moran. I had a birds eye view of the Down QF that year, and his off the ball running was something to behold – he just hasn’t been able to reproduce that speed & sharpness since he came back. There was no use in continuing the high ball into Alan either – asking him to catch cleanly and then break the tackle against a tough defender is always a poor option, in future using him to break the ball into the path of a runner would be a better option IMO.
    Other than that, our failure to win enough kickouts and general rustiness were our biggest issues – two that I hope will be rectified by the CF.
    Other than Richie’s late late introduction, I don’t think JH got the selection wrong. He needed to try something different in the forwards, & with the midfield injuries we ended up with maybe one debutant more than was ideal.

  87. That’s my feeling Catcol – it was probably a bit closer for comfort than he would have liked though. Of course, this is mere speculation on our part!

    Digits, as usual, you are a rock of good sense.

  88. Whilst I am a big Moran and Dillon fan I still think JH was right in the team he did pick. I dont think that COS was that bad. He is big enough to stop the opposition making progress. Young O’Connor will benefit from this outing. There has to be some reason why Feeney is not picked. I cant believe this talk of family fueds, etc.. As regards the game I think Mayo supporters are slowly turning into bitter and twisted people. The disrespect shown to Roscommon is unreal. They set themselves up very well and did what had to be done to try to get a result and this included ultra defensive tactics. Thinking that we should win by huge margins is a problem. We are putting completely unnecessary pressure on our own players.

  89. Olive K. I know Lee was a little below normal yday but it wasn’t because of the captaincy …Cillian was captain yday leading the team out ,giving the team talk before the start of each half on the pitch.A great honour for a 22yr old

  90. I remember Paudie O’Shea calling the Kerry fans a bunch of animals some years back.This type of scrutiny is fairly common in countries with very passionate fans such as ours.
    Thankfully in most cases on this site criticism is kept clean and constructive except for the few who let their frustration get the better of them and WJ deals with these people very well!
    As regards the game we got the best result for this time of year ie.we still have lots of work to do we got the kick in the arse , lets keep working.
    Would it be better if we had destroyed the Rossies? I dont think so.I for one was proud of the way the lads dug out that win.They showed great character in the last 10 minutes when the majority of games are won or lost.One game at a time and we won that one!

  91. The only savage points i seen scored yesterday for Mayo was from Andy Moran who is probably no longer a 70 minute player and SOS also scored a good point. Only 6 points from play in 70 mins shows how poor the shooting was yesterday and better and more experienced side than Roscommon would have won that game.

    I don’t think weather played much of a part in that poor game either as most of the rain fell during the hurling game and the previous games in Hyde park had much stronger wind for example 2011 Connacht final.

  92. I agree with Tomas O’Shea. He said Horan and the team are in a great place now after that.

  93. Thanks Optimistek for confirming that as Keegan was named captain earlier in the week. I did not buy the program and could not hear the PA and was surprised when Cillian led the team in the parade and yes you are bang on a great honour for such a young guy. I was going to ask the question about Lee and captaincy in earlier post but i thought it was too long. !! I could not see who went in for the toss due to overcrowding in the stand.

  94. congratulations to the team on reaching another connaught final. mayo would need to find balance between attacking half backs and solid defense. Another goal conceded when half backs caught upfield after a turnover! Also why is there such a gap between games, ring rustiniess will be an issue again for the final. Surely 2-3 week gap is sufficient?


  95. Fair play digits, v accurate summation of the game. In fairness to Horan he had no choice but to pick c’o shea who has been absolutely on fire in training recently. I was quite critical of his performance on the day but after watching it back I thought he did ok. In relation to Leeroy, he’s a top class player and entitled to one dodgyish performance. Delighted to see Andy come in as impact sub and do so well. Don’t think he has 70mins in him anymore unfortunately. Freeman got an awful belt accidentally from robbie before the game started, perhaps impacted on his performance. Thought out fb line looked solid. Overall a win is a win. Think the supporters need to remember that our only job is to SUPPORT! And finally fair play to everyone getting there so early, stand was almost full at 12. Delighted the hurlers got to play infront of a decent crowd! Roll on July 13th!!

  96. Look Maestro,its not personal.When Doherty scored in the opening minute I was like any other supporter in the county hoping to myself that he finally is going to have a top game
    but he faded away like before.Its frustrating that Feeney has never got the same amount of chances because he has for the most part been very impressive.Hes a foraging wing forward who reads a game well and has excellent distribution and when you have a forward line that finds it hard to win dirty ball you have to have very good delivery.I just want to see him get the same chances as everyone else.The reason the majority of the county(minus yourself of course) is calling for him to get a shot is because hes a good player not because he “fell out” with the manager.

  97. Just like one swallow doesnt make a summer, one bad performance doesnt make a , I dunno what, finish that analogy yourselves, but ye know what I mean.

    This was a derby match and what was needed, as long as the management team learned things from it and are astute enough to tweak and change things for when we play Galway.
    I equate this to Cork and Waterford in the Munster hurling championship quarter finals, was in Thurles the first day and In the Hyde yesterday and there were huge similarities. Things just didn’t go right for Cork on the day, their touch was off, their noisy neighbors with a young (for the most part) determined team put it right up to them, were 9 points up at one stage, but the more experienced team showed composure and character to pull it back and draw it. They then show their true form in the replay to hammer Waterford. I believe we would have beaten Roscommon by 5 or 6 if it had gone to a replay. Point is that it didnt, and we finished well.
    Your going to get days like Sunday in derbies, trick is not to panic supporters, just like the team didnt panic. Ranting and raving on here isnt going to change anything.
    Where will the final v Galway (and lets be honest it will be Galway) be played. I feared Roscommon, mainly because the thought of losing to them almost makes me physically sick. I dont like losing to Galway either but they generally have more class and I dont have as bad a reaction to it. However, I think Galway are a much better team than Roscommon so we most definelty have our work cut out for us to beat them.

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