Roscommon 2-11 Mayo 1-16: disjointed second half but good enough

Let’s start with the good news.

We’ve won again, for the third time in a row in this Division One campaign. We’re still unbeaten – the only team in the top tier with that boast – and we’re two points clear at the top of the table. And we’ve beaten the Rossies, on their home patch too, even though we lined out today without key players like Enda Hession, Aidan O’Shea and Ryan O’Donoghue.

The not-so-good news is that this was our most disjointed display since that late meltdown we suffered against Armagh up in the Athletic Grounds. Today we let slip a game that we seemed on course to win at our leisure and we very nearly paid the price for letting the Rossies back into it.

The way we got cut open for those two second half goals will, no doubt, be subjected to careful scrutiny in the video room. Both times our defence got caught in no man’s land and on both occasions Roscommon exacted full price for our defensive shortcomings.

But, for all that, we held on to win what was an entertaining match played in front of a crowd of 12,491 at Dr Hyde Park.

We made five changes ahead of throw-in. Rory Byrne, Paddy Durcan, Sam Callinan, Cillian O’Connor and Tommy Conroy all started, replacing Colm Reape, Enda Hession, Donnacha McHugh, Aidan O’Shea and Ryan O’Donoghue respectively.

The game started at a low tempo. That seemed to suit us and we went about our business in a methodical way while they, by contrast, seemed rooted to the spot. Their first point – a free – didn’t come until the 20th minute and it was six minutes after that before they got their first from play.

We had the umpire reaching for the white flag seven times before that first point for the home team. Tommy Conroy opened proceedings with a nice one from out the wing inside the opening minute, Cillian banged over a free from out on the ’45, James Carr drove through the middle before shooting over, Cillian popped two more frees, Fionn McDonagh stabbed one over from the restart after the second of those Cillian frees and then Rory Byrne belted over a ’45 off his left.

Roscommon’s first two scores came without a rejoinder from us but then James Carr boomed over a cracking point. A second Roscommon score from a free was followed by one from play by full-back Daly before Cillian restored our five-point advantage at the break with his fourth free of the half.

We continued to control the game on the resumption. They opened the second half scoring but Cillian responded with a beautiful outside-of-the-boot effort from the right wing. Then Tommy Conroy was fouled as he tried to burst through and Cillian slotted over the resultant 14-yard free.

Enda Smith roused himself, showing Fionn a clear pair of heels before shooting over. The Boyle clubman had been uncharacteristically quiet in the first half but he was to the fore in Roscommon’s second half revival.

When Jack Carney netted – having a few minutes earlier banged over a super point – the match looked over. The Kilmeena man profited from sloppy handpassing out of defence by the home team, combined with Lavin’s desire to go walkabout at every turn. When Jack intercepted an attempted pass and claimed possession twenty yards out, there was no-one at home and he calmly rolled the ball into the empty net.

To their credit, the Rossies didn’t panic. They hit back with a point straight away and five minutes later got a second one. Then Enda Smith found the net, leaving the whole Mayo backline floundering in his wake, and this game was very much back on.

We need a score badly at this stage and we got a cheap one to steady us. Tommy was fouled off the ball, leaving Cillian with the easiest of tap-overs straight in front of the posts. With Aidan and Ryan on for us now, it looked like we had the firepower to see this one out without any more undue discomfort.

Cox, only just on the field, rammed over a long range free to cut the gap to three but, after we’d missed a goal chance, created by Ryan and which ended with Tommy’s batted effort coming back off the post and scrambled clear, sub Bob Tuohy hoisted over a marvellous point. Then Jack Carney, such a livewire presence for us again today, intercepted their restart and fed James Carr for a point that put us five clear once again.

They reduced the gap back to four from a free. Then, with the match already in injury time, our defence was once again cut open and Cox was given way too much time to pick his spot in the corner of the net.

We held our nerve and our final score of the day, finished by Matthew Ruane, would have been a well-worked move at any stage in the game. Under such pressure deep in stoppage time, however, it was an exceptional score to conjure up.

We could still have lost it, though, as they had one last chance and there was a goalmouth scramble, in which Diarmuid, I think, made a crucial interception to prevent what would have been a fatal third goal. It was a close shave but we came away with the ball and, with it, two more League points.

So it’s another win and this one definitely guarantees us our place in Division One for next year. In what’s an incredibly tight table (here), we’re (I think) the only ones who can say that for definite at this stage. We’re also now odds-on to qualify for a second successive League final.

Not bad going for a day in which we didn’t play all that well and could easily have got caught at the finish. Winning ugly can, in that respect, be oddly pleasing.

Mayo: Rory Byrne (0-1, ’45); Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Paddy Durcan; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Sam Callinan; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh (0-1), Jack Carney (1-1), Jordan Flynn; Cillian O’Connor (0-7, six frees), James Carr (0-3), Tommy Conroy (0-1). Subs: Bob Tuohy (0-1) for McDonagh, Aidan O’Shea for Flynn, Ryan O’Donoghue for Cillian O’Connor, Conor McStay for Carr, Jason Doherty for Conroy.

Who was our MOTM against Roscommon? Pick your top three performers

  • Jack Carney (27%, 1,057 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (17%, 659 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (13%, 523 Votes)
  • James Carr (7%, 263 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (7%, 259 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (6%, 237 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (5%, 204 Votes)
  • David McBrien (4%, 160 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (3%, 129 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (3%, 113 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (2%, 82 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (1%, 52 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 35 Votes)
  • Rory Byrne (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 17 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (0%, 16 Votes)
  • Conor McStay (0%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,953

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82 thoughts on “Roscommon 2-11 Mayo 1-16: disjointed second half but good enough

  1. Well said Willie Joe. The Rossies won’t be happy with Carneys goal . The Kerry goalie had an even bigger howler today. Let’s remember.. it’s only March. We started Durcan, Conroy and Cillian today. They needed that. we haven’t shown our hand . We won playing poorly and now should be in the final. We mightn’t be good enough to win Sam but at least let’s try and win the League

  2. Very apt and well put together there as usual WJ, thanks again.
    It was a game of two halves today really and, a bit similar to the Armagh game, we wobbled in the last quarter. We’ve plenty again to work on after being carved open for those two majors. I’ll have to get another look at the first goal we conceded – did the Ros player double hop? In any case, our defence lost their shape, and mgmt have enough to look at there and work on.
    Overall it’s great to win in the Hyde and get the 2 pts and guaranteed div 1 for next year. If there’s a league final to be won too, why not, let us drive on as you say yourself Willie Joe.
    Delighted too for my club man Jack Carney getting motm from tg4, what an important and classy player he has become.
    Kevin McStay equally with his post match interview. We are shaping up nicely, just need to work a bit more on our defence, our movement and decision making. K McStay has a few things to sort out, esp at the back.
    Up Mayo!

  3. A good win, but not as convincing as the previous two games, the changes may have effected out rhythm a bit. The goals conceded are disappointing and we need to cut those out for one and for all, it will catch up with us later in the year if we don’t, though our defence is still finding its feet, a lot of new faces in there getting to know each other. We seem to have an issue in every game so far in that when we break out of our defence, and open up teams we are just not clinical enough and scupper too many of the great chances that are coming our way, we don’t seem to know what to do, again a lot of new and returning personnel up front so hopefully we begin to iron out those issues.

  4. Mixed feeling about that match but a win is win and well on course for the league final.

    First 20 minutes Mayo totally on top all over the field, it looked like it would be 2009 or 2017 v the rossies repeated with a 20 point win. Thereafter lost their way outscored 2-11 to 1-9 and only for a great block by Diarmuid it would have incredibly been one point defeat. Looking back might have made it easier for themselves had the Tommy Conroy chance had hit the net instead of the bar but the goal Mayo got was a total gift and proved a key 3 pointer in a 2 point win.

  5. 2 games out of 5 where we let slip a good lead going down the home straight. Got caught against Armagh and nearly so earlier today. Id be shocked if the lads let that happen again this year.
    Overall, great start to the year but after Tyrone in 2021 I’ll never get my hopes up again until we are winning going into injury time of an All Ireland Final.

  6. In summary, we can lose both our matches and still qualify for a league final. The only team who we can’t play in the final at this point in time is Donegal. And we are the only team safe from relegation.

    3 points more would guarantee league final mathematically not relying on other results.

    1 more win does not mathematically guarantee league final – in theory Galway and Roscommon winning both their remaining games with a minimum 16 point difference swing for Roscommon could see a Galway-Roscommon league final. But one more win would very likely see us in a league final.

    If we have a draw and a loss – This would see us in a league final if Roscommon or Galway drop points, unless the unlikely scenario occurs that Roscommon and Armagh win both their remaining matches with a minimum 18 point difference swing for Armagh, which would see an Armagh-Roscommon final.

    If we lose both our remaining matches – there are multiple scenarios where we still reach the final, largely relying on points difference. And multiple ones where we don’t.

    Can Kerry / Tyrone / Monaghan reach a final against us? Yes, multiple scenarios. A Galway-Kerry final is still even a mathematical possibility. There is even a scenario that 5 teams all end up on eight points with points difference deciding the final place, or even 6 teams ending up on 7 points with one in the final and one being relegated!

    Can Kerry be relegated? Yes, even one more win for them may not be enough depending on results elsewhere.

    Can Roscommon be relegated? Yes, on straight points if there are draws in certain games and multiple scenarios on points difference.

    There is even a particular scenario where both Roscommon and Galway get relegated, but who would wish that?

    Remaining games:

    Mayo v Donegal
    Armagh v Galway
    Kerry v Roscommon
    Tyrone v Monaghan

    Roscommon v Donegal
    Mayo v Monaghan
    Galway v Kerry
    Tyrone v Armagh

  7. I thought this was going to be trashing for the Rossies, we were awful in the first half and thankfully we showed great fight in the second half and made it a exciting finish, hopefully we have can get another point to stay up. I can’t wait for the championship game now, it will be a cracker!

  8. After my heart rate has slowed down haha I have had time to think and when I saw all the changes pre match I was nervous but we had to give the likes of Tommy conroy , paddy Durcan and cillian all game time we can’t just go with the same team every match.

    Sooo many games this year we need a big panel . Tommy conroy did well for his first game back nearly got a goal in that hit off the crossbar and seems fit! Cillian had a great game today and seems fully back to his pre injury fitness levels which is great to see! Also good to see padraig o hora back on bench even and paddy Durcan did well to..

    It was always going to be a bit disjointed with so many changes pre match but we still got the win against the Rossies in their home ground and got a goal in against them which no one has managed to do so far!

    It’s only march early days and we are sitting at the top of the table and division 1 safe in a really hard tough division. People outside the county and maybe some in mayo thought we were finished after 21 and then keagan&mullin going but no we still have loads of magic players!

    Yes lots to work on but lots of positives to we are in a much better place then when we were last year. Onwards &upwards ! Sorry for the long essay but credit to mcstay&co they will learn from today to and keep us level headed ….

  9. Many people are making a lot of the changes. But don’t forget that Cillian and Paddy are former all stars and could never be accused of disrupting the flow of any team..

  10. I thought Cillian was our man of the match. He absolutely roasted his man. Won important frees, was so clever in possession. Superb point from play and a great free from distance.

    We are very open at the back. Not sure what Loftus brings at 6. Also Coen should not start come championship.

  11. Also Jack Carney’s goal, credited in the piece but not on the list of scorers.

  12. Thanks for that careful reading, Near Hand In – I’ve corrected both those errors now. A case of more hurry, less speed on my part!

  13. In response to some of the points raised:

    It was not a double hop for the Roscommon goal – for it to be a double hop he would had to have caught it again after the first hop which he didn’t. It probably actually helped him the ball went loose.

    With goals, it’s often more than one factor, which was the case today.

    For the first goal, Loftus was contesting the breaking ball at the kickout. The Roscommon goalscorers run wasn’t tracked when we lost the breaking ball. There was still time to avert this danger but Callinan (who was the spare man at the time and the candidate for closing the space was watching the ball) and wasn’t alert or alerted to the cover the dangerous gap that was left in the defence.

    The second goal, Doherty had to leave his man (the goalscorer) to confront the man that Aidan O’Shea has lost who was bearing down on goal. Loftus was the spare man but was way too far away from goal and I think leaving space around the D in injury time with a four point cushion is asking for trouble. Mattie Ruane was also spare and could have allowed Loftus to drop back and cover the D but the danger is recognised too late.

  14. I also thought Cillian was immense. Won every ball near him and looked full of confidence. Paddy Durcan was full of running and lasted the pace. I also thought Callinan showed really well.

    We were really casual at times in the second half. That game was dead but we contrived to let them back into it several times. I’m sure we’ll look at that so maybe it’s another valuable reminder for us.

    Safe for another year so job done.

  15. There was nothing disjointed about the first half performance desspite pre match changes. We roared into a sizeable well crafted lead. Our inability to manage that lead will be of concern to the management team. We were carved open way to easily up the middle for the 2 goals letting back an inferior Roscommon into the game and giving us anxious final moments.
    A lot of what was good about our performance revolved around Paddy Durcan and man of the match, jack Carney.
    Maybe its a much needed reality check but the two week break has come at a good time. A lot to reflect on imo. We have to break down this soft image wherby teams feel they are never beaten playing against Mayo.
    Donegal will be physical, a game they will have to win, and we will be anxious to keep our winning run going.

  16. Poor enough display today. Average in 1st-half but capitulated in 2nd-half of the 2nd-half. Could easily have lost through displaying the usual fragiliity. Totally incapable of dictating the terms of engagement when in the lead and time running out. We were lucky today but luck is a transient ally.
    Would love to see young Towey (from Charlestown club) get a start next time out as he is a proven finisher at club level and that’s the only audition available to all players.
    Congrats to all involved to date and hopefully they will learn to make life a little easier on themselves as well as this heart-in-mouth supporter.

  17. Good test for Mayo today. There’s no doubt that any complacency (ever)against the Rossies will bring us down. Others have mentioned the numerous pre match changes which were necessary(for squad development for the rest of the season)but which also created a different shape of a team with a little less dynamism and a little less direct football (it’s only one game !)

    We also missed Hession so much today. He’s the non pareil of ball carriers.

    The half back line was out of place for both goals. Interestingly this occurred when the half forward line had been taken apart by the replacement of Jordan Flynn and Fionn. At this point in the game we were incoherent as a team and the fundamental structure of our team for the last four games was undone.

    Our diamond middle “8” was weakened.

    It was like an experiment where you’re trying to find out exactly which parts of the machine are necessary by removing different parts.

    The experiment was ultimately a success but it also strongly suggested that it not be repeated.

    Particularly the part of taking off Fionn and Jordan, the part of leaving Hession out,and the part of the half back line not maintaining its position and structure. We have other options at half back and I’d venture trying them next game would be a good idea. But I’d say it was cause and effect. Take off the two best wing forwards( who cover a log of ground around the middle )and you expose a half back which has been revealed to not be as sound as it looked before today.

    But this Mayo team are a joy to watch and Carney is showing his hand early that he is going to be a helluva player.

    Kudos to all the management team.

  18. I think somebody mentioned already but wasn’t sam Callinan fairly impressive today considering he’s so young. Thought he was strong in the tackle and showed a lot of composure. Although today’s performance wasn’t as good as the other days i don’t ever remember a mayo panel where any one of at least 10 players could come in and not weaken the team. If we think back to 2017 after paddy durcan it was hard to have confidence in the subs. With players to come in like McLoughlin, McLaughlin, McHugh, o hora, callinan, Conroy, Brickenden, hennelly Doherty,orme,cillian, touhy. Plunkett, Walsh any/most of these could come in and still keep the team strong. I suppose what I’m trying to say is we have strength in depth this year so we’ll keep the faith.

  19. That Mayo full back line was like the parting of the Red Sea at times today. Numerous occasions the Rossie forwards sliced through our back line and made us pay. Mayo backs just seemed to stand off ball watching. It’s worrying because against an in form Kerry side we would be massacred. There were times today I felt like we could kick on and rout Rosscoman. However silly mistakes brought the Rossies right back into it. Ball handling errors were very bad today as well as some wayward kicking in our attack helped the Rossies get back into it. Impressed with Rossies this year, they are not far off being in the mix with ourselves. They made us work hard for it and we were lucky in the end coming away with a win. I’d be happy enough if I was McStay. Possibly some of them lads were starting to believe all the hype. Back down to earth with a thud. Much to work on. Now McStay we need to battle for that league title, cos that hammering to the kingdom last year started the rot for our 2022 championship. Go for it!!!!

  20. Great opportunity to give competitive game time to more fringe players over the next 2 games.
    Could comfortably make 6 more changes to the starting team today and still be competitive v Donegal …

  21. I thought cillian got two from play, 1 in the first half and one in the second. I could be wrong.
    Doc is becoming the most important player for us. I thought he was fantastic again today.

  22. A point I’d like peoples opinion on about the roscommon comeback and maybe armagh also. Is it just a bit too easy to blame mayo for letting them back. Nowadays in most games both teams have periods of dominance so shouldn’t it be expected teams are going to come back. There’s not much between teams in division 1 so is it unrealistic to expect a team to shine from 1st to last whistle. I suppose what I’m trying to say is if mayo fall behind we’d be expecting them to put up a fight and come back. Maybe that’s pure nonsense I’ve written but I think I’m trying to make sense of it all.

  23. I think it’s pretty much a certainty that we will be in the league final whether we like it or not. I also think that the fans who are annoyed by a lot of team changes are going to be fecking raging for the next 2 games. McStay sure to blood more players before the final, to give game time to some and rest time to others. The performances of some of the lads brought in today will definitely focus the minds of the players they replaced. If you’re going to have below par periods then having them in an away win at your neighours with a much changed team is the way to do it.

  24. Callinan definitely benefitted from todays gametime but there are no excuses taking our eye off the ball or losing shape because we made a few substitutions.
    Paddy Durcan to CHB to strengthen our backbone. It still proves we are on the learning curve, bot players and management. Donegal will be a tough tough test in ballybofey.. Thats exactly what we need after an indifferent performance

  25. Mixed emotions after that.
    Great to see Cillian,Tommy and Paddy back. The game should really have been over after Jack’s goal which put us 8 ahead with 20 minutes to go.

    Our game management and ball retention needs to be better at times and it goes without saying we needed to Mind the House better than we did.
    There is no better place to learn than on the job though.
    For all of that we did a lot of things right again and if we’re being honest did anyone think we would be close to a league final when Lee and Oisin left the panel?
    There is some competition for places and 5 into 3 in the inside line is some conundrum.
    Hennelly, O’ Hora,Brickenden,Plunkett,Enda, Eoghan Mc and Donnacha Mc didn’t play today. A whole different back line no less!
    We just need to be a bit more streetwise at times but we are going along OK with more improvement in us yet I feel.

  26. Possible Aido and Cillian may be fighting for a starting place. Would like to see them both start a match or two to see.

  27. We have seriously interesting selection issues in five lines. I won’t dwell on the goalie, but the full back line of Coyne, O’Brien and Callinan/Hession isn’t viable. Only Hession has played in Croke Park. You need O’Hora in the corner for experience, move Hession to half forward, and Paddy as the other half forward.
    I think Coyne, O’Brien and Callinan, going forward, could be a fixture, although Callinan could be wasted at corner back.
    The fulcrum of the team, though is centre back. It’s obvious that McStay and his team see it as a quarterback role, rather than defensive. In that case. my preference would be either Jason Doc or Kevin Mc, and if needs be, rotating after 50 minutes. Both bring huge experience to the back line and both have played there . Equally, the management team may have concluded that Loftus is more athletic in the role.
    In the full forward line, I think the only nailed down starters in their positions are Jordan Flynn in the half forward line, and Carr in corner forward. After that, do you play either Tommy or ROD in the half forward line. My opinion, Tommy in the corner, lethal. ROD has the engine for half forward, the lad is just relentless. Cilian, for me is going to start, every time. And then, there’s Aido. I’ve ran out of places. We’re in a good place

  28. @no doubt
    Think back to the 2021 semi final when we produced one of the best comebacks of the lot. All teams will have positive periods in games and there will be times where you’re right under the cosh and have to tough it out.
    Ball retention isn’t a bad place to start if you’re under pressure. Play keep ball like the Dubs used to do and try and run the clock down. Don’t shoot for goal unless the point is unmissable. Recycle recycle and recycle again. Easier said than done though.
    Games like today are invaluable for the likes of McBrien,Coyne and Callinan.

  29. @PM. Agree. Thought D.O.C was brilliant.

    @ Digits. Great dissection and analysis of what went wrong and where we were short when the Rossies struck for the two goals. Great stuff.

  30. AND I ignored our two two best performers today, Jack Carney is only a young lad, he put in some performance today, that ball that he caught from the skies in the second half was incredible, not to mention his point. He’s going to be a fixture if he continues improving, and then there’s the Rolls Royce engine, if any young lad wants to watch one footballer on that team, it’s Diarmuid. Watch his commitment, his movement, and his communication. Just a brilliant footballer.

  31. – Kevin will be throwing his clipboard at the dressing room wall after those two goals were conceeded as they tainted an otherwise comfortable win.
    – We were 7 points up and missed a decent goal chance to go 10 up and game over.
    – Some players below par in particular Jordan who never got into the game. Cillian excellent, Carney very good, Durkan got through a massive amount of ball especially in the first half. Diarmuid works so hard and makes key interceptions especially the 3rd Roscommon goal chance.
    – At least 4 of our players slipped at key times on a dry pitch…wrong studs ?
    -Well tested and found wanting in key areas despite a deserved win.
    – Thanks Digits for posting the permutations, I was hoping you would. You are so well named.
    – We could play a second team v Monaghan and Donegal and heap pressure on Kerry …

  32. Mixed afternoon, in truth we are probably lucky to be unbeaten but we are showing positive signs. Defensively we are still a work in progress but remember that we had three players who are new to senior football and learning their trade.
    The Rossies will provide a good test in the championship but that is a discussion for another day.
    Continue to bring players back in for our last two games and bring on a league final if that is what happens. Donegal are limited but will try and maintain a proud home record. Who knows what the Mayo training plan is for the break but we should get the two points we need to make the final.
    I think that Galway will also make it, they have Armagh and Kerry so within their control. I think that a league final will be another great learning experience if that is what happens…

  33. Roscommon were so poor in the first half that I was wondering if Mayo were going to end up routing them. They appeared stuck to the ground at times. I had expected them to lay into Mayo right from the off. Davy Burke did say on the radio afterwards that they were later than other teams getting back into training so perhaps that is catching up with them now. Nothing like a soft goal to ignite a team and they did start to play with belief in the second half but Mayo just about had enough done to get over the line. I thought the referee played too much injury time at the end and would have been aggrieved had Roscommon got the goal at the end. Jack Carney undoubtedly MOTM but Sam Callinan a close second, both had absolute stormers today. Explosive comeback for Tommy at the start but I thought he faded out of the game somewhat until near the end when he nearly got the goal (off some excellent play from Ryan O’Donoghue). Cillian again shows that he is going nowhere and is the heartbeat of the team. Diarmuid’s engine is back ticking along nicely. A good day out and even managed to miss the traffic at the end!

  34. That was a nervous ending! I was surrounded by ros supporters and they were in dream land.. but, Mayo showed, once again, that there is something just different with this group.. they won the absolute all important kick out near the end.. it wasn’t a short kick out, it was a long one and in that moment these guys showed an edge by winning that ball.. I felt at times Mayo were I 3rd gear, especially around our driving forward at pace.. I came away thinking ya were have plenty more in the tank.. suffered no injuries.. more lads got game time who needed it (cillian Tommy paddy Sam in particular) so all round a good day.
    What did irritate me I must admit was seeing Aido back inside our 13.. he simply does not have the pace to track and he got caught a couple of times.. one led to the goal.. then he goes and gets a massive catch!!
    Mattie was solid in fairness, however I’d be slightly concerned about Jordan.. not getting into the dangerous spaces the last couple of games so hopefully he gets that back..
    Sam was very good, definitely a great find.. Loftus was quite, however I can see he’s a bit like Coen in ways, minding the house as much as possible.. its not pretty, might not get you recognition on the stats front, but crucial for the stability for the team.
    Good day out

  35. I was sure some of the Clifford worshipers would be on tonight to explain what exactly from his performance today makes him the greatest player of all time.

    Was it his 1 point from play in almost 80 minutes ?

    I’m not arguing that he’s not a great player but his team needed a win today and he didn’t really produce.

    Of course if he has a good day again in two weeks the worshipers will be back out kneeling in front of him again.

    On his day he is brilliant no doubt, but he goes missing in too many games in my opinion to be called the greatest.

  36. Joe, I doubt people would be mad at changes to team, I think all lads need to get game time.
    But the naming of fake teams I do not agree with. It’s not like the Rossies do not know what Aidan and Ryan can do.

  37. I think that wraps up the league as far as McStay is concerned. 2 week break and then Donegal and Monaghan where one would expect a bit more rotation. We could lose those 2 and still probably make a league final on the head to head rule

  38. @Digits…the double hop was in the play that lead to the 2nd goal. The last or maybe second last assist came after the player hopped the ball twice to get him away….no matter I’d be happy with the win considering the changes made but even if we hadn’t won it was vital to give those lads game time.
    I wouldn’t necessarily blame our keeper for the goals and he had a 100pc success rate with his first half restarts and scored a beauty. We are well stacked with quality keepers.

  39. @ no doubt. How many games have you reflected back on and said to yourself “gosh, did that game have to be as close as it was? And have we a history of not putting tteams away?
    In fairness, the current panel have to be given some leeway in that they are not a finished product. The remaining league matches are important in that they still have an opportunity to put down a marker as to what they are about as we go into the championship.
    Right now, any team 4 or 5 points behind us going into the last quarter would feel they could crack us. We need to put that right.

  40. @2 hops I’m after watching Conor Cox’s goal back 4 times from when they took the free after Carney lost the ball and don’t see any player hop the ball twice …

  41. No doubt, it’s a good question to ask about comebacks, if they are to be expected, and wouldn’t we fight back ourselves? (I’m thinking of the AIl Ireland semi-final 2015, first day, against Dublin when we fought back from 5 down in the last 8 minutes or so to equalise. And 2018 in Ballybofey against Donegal when we grabbed three points in the dying minutes to equalise and save our Division 1 status).
    I love that we fight like that. It’s part of our DNA and I hope we keep that toughness.
    I also remember between 2006 and 2011 that we had real difficulty knowing how to hold leads in games as it came towards the end. I conclude from this that it is an art form; it’s something you have to learn. It took us a while after 2011 to learn it.
    It’s not always obvious to know what to do.
    I’m thinking of Donegal trying to keep ball in that League game in 2018 in Donegal and maybe wind down the clock and it came back to bite them.
    That said, I think holding onto possession is a big part of holding onto a lead.
    BUT, I also think if you are 5 points or less, you need to be moving the ball into the scoring zone away from your own part of the field (not like at end of normal time of Dub v Mayo SF 2021) AND trying hard to be accurate and *get extra scores*.
    IF a team is building up momentum, you need to do something to break that momentum or slow down the game. (Dublin v Mayo blitz 2019).
    IF a team is making a comeback in the last minute of injury time, and you are attacking, you need to put the ball dead. You might hold back taking a shot so as not to give the opposition a final play (think Cillian’s equaliser that came in the final play of AI Final 2016).
    Sorry for long response. It’s a great question, No Doubt,, and I’m sure other posters have good answers to it.
    My favourite answer is to score as much as possible in the final minutes.
    Come to think of it, Mayo showed how to defend a lead in the All Ireland Semi Final Replay v Kerry in 2017. It involved a very committed and strong defence and a big enough lead not to get caught.

  42. Our match review pod has just gone online on Patreon – Mike hosts it and it features Ed McGreal and Billy Joe Padden, with post-match reaction from Damien Mulligan. This is our second pod of the day, the Final Whistle one, with Mike and me, featuring Martin Carney and post-match reaction from Kevin McStay, went online on Patreon earlier this evening.

  43. @food4thought. Your analysis is spot on. I was trying to figure it out but changes made during the match put us off balance. No one to blame really. Management tried mixing it up and learned a lot. Team showed good character after second goal to go on and win the match. Carney’s goal was not so much gifted and more down to good anticipation on his part. The man can read a game and takes the right options. Management took risks and still we won. Good day I would say.

  44. Giz. I’m talking about the changes from game to game. I do get your point but over the years I’ve just got used to it.

  45. DoC is a gem of a player.
    His catch of the ball around the 43rd minute mark looked like it defied gravity in real time..

  46. I agree with you about DOC, Regina. I thought he was amazing today, alert to danger, and always seeming to be in the right place at the right time. Great to see this.

  47. Fair play Revellino. You’re on a one man crusade against David Clifford.

    He has the odd quiet game, no different to every player in the country. However, over the course of the last 4 or 5 years he has consistently reached levels far higher than anyone else.

  48. I would need the John Giles technology to”hold it there ” to show it,@Digits unless my eyes playing tricks on me,but we got the win. That’s the important thing

  49. @Swallow Swoops
    You hit the nail on the head there.
    How to hold onto a lead?
    Get a big enough lead not to get caught!!!

    A word on Diarmuid. I have been banging on for ages that he should be playing centrally. I thought he should be at 11 and not played out on the wing. Great to see him right back in the thick of it and being more involved in games.
    He would make a great number 6.

  50. I don’t know which of the O’Connors contributions I admired most today, DO’Cs catch or Cillians point off the outside of his boot early in the 2nd half!
    Twill be a sad day when these Kings of the game depart…

  51. Regina. Have to agree with you DOC had some match covered every blade of grass today in The Hyde . He has some engine on him.

  52. @Wideball.

    Just telling the truth.

    I said on his day Clifford is brilliant, but somedays he’s pretty average.

    Not sure why that should irk you. It’s the truth.

  53. Revellino – the best players in every sport have days when they look average. But what David Clifford has done for Kerry and his club in the last 12 months alone is nothing short of brilliant.
    I am sure at the moment the last thing on his and his brothers Paudies mind is trying to concentrate on playing football for Kerry. There are things in life – as them lads are finding out – much more important than football.

  54. No doubt, I am far from an expert. I thought your question was interesting and I like to muse aloud! You might have set the ball rolling on this question.

  55. Revellino – what point are you trying to make exactly. Clifford has the odd quiet game, so what?

  56. @Wide Ball. I have no problem with Clifford at all and I have actually said that when he plays well he is brilliant. You’ll see it above if you read my previous posts.

    I do wonder on people who have proclaimed him to be the greatest player to have ever played the game.

    He might indeed go on to be just that, but surely that would be based over a players career. I just think it’s a bit early in his career to say that he is the best ever.

    @Southtmayo Exile. Not sure what point your making. I said basically the same thing in my post as you did in yours.

    Somedays he’s brilliant and somedays average.

  57. Satisfactory enough today. Was delighted Kevin made a pile of changes before the game. Hope he makes even more the next day. Mayo played well in patches as did Roscommon. Looks like we are in a league final now and could end up playing the winner of Armagh v galway in league final but thats by no means certain. We are complaining about the goals we conceded but in fairness they were two well worked and well taken goals. In contrast our goal was a total gift. Having said that I am worried about our defence come championship. Lots of good young players there but need more experience to bed into a system. We will really see the loss of Oisin and Leeroy Anyway we have done as well as could be expected so far. Not over keen on qualifying for a league final but if we get there we need to win it. On the other games Galway are motoring very nicely turning in strong second halves in lots of games. They are getting their players back and will be a serious championship outfit. Good result for Tyrone. They did a good job on Clifford but tend to always stop the star man from the opposition. Clifford still the best in country in my opinion and one mediocre game in march won’t change that. Mayo now play two counties desperate for points so wouldn’t be all that surprised to lose both. Hunger and desperation to win is a huge factor in league games. Tyrone desperately needed the win today and got it. Mayo will be looking down the line in those games. Battle to avoid relegation is very interesting. Only Mayo are definitely safe.

  58. A great result against an inform team, they weren’t going to relinquish their winning ways that easy especially against Mayo an old enemy, they would have been all out to get a result and not surprising they would up their game at some stage, and fortunately we weathered the storm,so well done to all the crew a great experience for the young players. Hon Mayo

  59. So he was average today because he only got 1 from play.

    The same amount Cillian and Tommy Conroy scored vs Roscommon

  60. Well @ Wide Ball. If you give me the names of those people proclaiming either Cillian or Tommy to be the greatest player to have ever played the game, I’ll have a word with them too.

    Does David Clifford need to score more than
    4 – 9 in an all Ireland knock out game or to have racked up a higher championship total than Cillian to be regarded as a better footballer than Cillian, or how exactly does that work ?

    Like I said. Maybe someday he will be the best but he’s only a third of the way through his career yet.

  61. Revellino you also said he goes missing in too many games to be called the greatest. I wouldn’t call him the greatest yet- but he has gone missing in very few big games when he is needed.
    For example in the last 12 months he has played in a national league final and all Ireland with Kerry plus county senior final with his district East Kerry plus a county final, munster final and all Ireland final for his club Fossa – winning all these games. Between goals and points he averaged at least the equivalent of 10 points from play alone in these games. These are the big games that you judge the best players. He certainly to my mind stood up on these days and didn’t go missing. He is still only 24 as well. Sadly we could write a book in Mayo about forwards going missing on big days.

  62. Thought Fionn McD had a great game again, much more confident play. Diarmuid O Connor is beyond description, how he puts his body on the line wk after wk, n doesnt loose a limb is unbelievable..God help his parents watching on ! Cillian is still such a hard working, reliable, shrewd player.
    Much prefer Colm Reapes kickouts. J Carney flying. Jordan Flynn get back out there n show us your class, top man. Hope Brickendon, & Enda Hess recover quickly, and McHugh n Jason Doc get more games.
    Well done team & management, we’re so lucky to support ye..such a dedicated bunch of lads, thank you for another great w’end.

  63. You can bet the house Revellino, Clifford won’t be missing come championship. It’s safe bet that Jack O Connor will have that Kerry side ready to defend their title. They are mad as hell in the kingdom over that 6 in a row. So many great finals but all I hear down there in Kerry was every title was won against Mayo!!! I’m impressed with our squad dept for this year, but again today we went missing at times, we got to be more clinical and kill teams off. It has been our main problem for years. Lots of unforced errors almost got us again today. Yes they were changes to the lineup but still that shouldn’t happen. I feel the talent is there that forward line is stocked, fast as lightning and big, but a winning mentality, you only get that when you finally cross the line. It’s a heavy burden but it’s got to be broken. What’s exciting so far this year is the dept in that squad, we have lacked this in the past but this year the talent is there. The training sessions A vs B must be insane this year. COC best game in years, if we can get him back to his top form and he has the legs then he has to be a starter. Aido has a big part to play also, sorry he is a full forward, he may not score so much but he causes enough chaos in the full forward line, and draws defenders. Great options at forward COC ROD and Conroy, Carr, Loftus. Let’s finish out the league strong and prep for the Rossies. I’m thinking a Mayo Galway final this year. Don’t matter who wins it but let’s make a better account of ourselves this year!!!

  64. This was a curate’s egg of a performance, with some good and some bad. A win, 2 more points and safety. Great to see Cillian, Tommy and Paddy back and all looked sharp. Diarmuid was everywhere-what an engine, Sam did well and Carr was excellent. We have two big stars of the future in Carney and Touhy. Now the bad-once again we did’nt manage a big lead and it almost cost us, when we should have been out the gate. Our kick-outs stuttered in the latter stages and we allowed Roscommon to slice thro’ the middle for two soft goals. Again, we coughed up possession too often with poor passes, some of the hospital variety, We took the wrong option on other occasions, e. g. think Ryan should have taken his point instead of setting up Tommy for his goal chance-we did’nt need a goal at that stage. Also, we are still carrying the ball into traffic, at times, with Mattie a series offender-I have no problem with trying to go past one defender, but you can’t go thro’ three and you invariably lose possession. Lots to work on and improve.

  65. I respect your opinion Revilinio on David Clifford but I dont agree with it. I guarantee you if Kerry meet us in an All Ireland Final Clifford will have a field day and we will cough up at least two goals.we have seen it all before. We made a star out of Maurice Fitz in 97 even tho he was a class act the likes of Meath of that era or Brian Staffords era would have “dealt” with him Put your money on Kerry for Sam with Galway to go very close or even get over the line if Kerry somehow dont. Until we stop giving away silly goals it wont happen. This is an excellent management team we have and if they cant sort us out and deliver Sam I give up.

  66. I think it is fair to say that Revellinos point is that it is a bit early to call Clifford the greatest of all time. His brilliance is undoubted but he can be stopped by top tier teams. Tyrone snuffed him out big time yesterday. Correct me if I am wrong here but he seems to get rattled every now and then. That might be a tactic to concentrate on. He is hands down absolutely brilliant and a joy to watch but one swallow does not make a Summer. Early days yet.

    On an aside – we will win an AI in the near future – that will happen when absolutely nobody expects it. This is a good management team – they could deliver. This year is open. Kerry (ex-Clifford) are very beatable. Dubs always dangerous but is the depth there? Galway are a solid unit with quality players – could do the business this year. Tyrone need a clean run. Armagh have toughness and class. AI is wide open this year (ex-Clifford).

  67. I think Galway are the team to beat this year. Looking really strong and loads of self belief. Will be very hard to beat.

  68. 1) No clear favourites for Sam this year.
    2) Clifford probably will be the GOAT especially if Kerry win several AI Titles. There are only 2 others he needs to outdo Gooch and Canavan. I’d guess he’s scored more per game than both so far or combined scores and assists are higher. It’s like comparing DJ Carey with Henry Shefflin. DJ was truly great but small and was held more often than Henry in big games. Henry was too big to stop for 70+.
    3) Even great players can be held by an Uber organised defence which doesn’t happen very often.

  69. I think Brickeden may be out best man at full Back.
    We need to seal off the middle of our defence.
    Not sure we have backs strong enough to cope with strong forwards like Cox and Comer.
    Impressed with Callinan.
    Our goalie turned side ways for the 2 goals ,if he stood straight he had a much better chance of stopping them.

  70. as GlasagusDearg said – that was a bit of a Curate’s egg of a game alright. Probably needed that as a wake up call in terms leaving it too close and we were very sloppy after the first 20 minutes.
    We’re safe in Division 1 now and I think we should just go all out to win it. We could meet Galway, Roscommon, Kerry or Armagh if we do make the final.

  71. I don’t rate galway as high as some on here. I may be in for a rude awakening but they are in the pack as far as I’m concerned and not ahead by any means. I think Walsh is a great player but can be nullified and comer has plenty off days and other than that they are nothing special. In a transfer market I’d probably take 5 of their players. I think kerry if Clifford got injured(i know if)would be in the pack also. There’s no obvious candidate at this stage but if i had to pick i still think the dubs could be the team to beat this year. Having said that a certain green and red could surprise us all.

  72. @FBD I agree,start our championship team for the rest of the league and see where it will bring us.
    A team cannot just turn on and off form
    2 of either Mayo, Galway or Roscommon will be seeded 3 in the championship the way the draw is in Connaught.

  73. First of all will yee stop on about clifford. Its not important here. We all know how good he is. But without david moran kerry have big boots to fill. Clifford may not get same service this year.

    A good win yesterday. Good to see other men starting as they need game time. All of them looked sharp. And if we wanna go deep in the championship we need a strong matchday panel. Galway proved that in last years final. We still have plenty to work on. Not a bad position to be in.

  74. I hadn’t realised that Clifford played for Mayo, or have I landed in the wrong blog?. Let’s get behind the Green n Red and send the opposition, regardless of GOATs, back to North, South, East of West as the occasion demands. Maigh Eo Abu!

  75. The ball can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or “hand-passed”, a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or “solo-ed”, an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hand or by shoulder charging an opponent side-to-side.

    Digits , there is nothing that says the ball has to be caught in the hands to be a double hop

  76. @John

    Rule 1.5 When the ball has not been caught, it may be bounced more than once in succession.

    I always remember Liam McHale during some match in the 90s doing 5 or 6 little bounces of the ball with one hand.

    I would have viewed Smith’s bounce as going loose, thus allowing him to bounce it in order to regain possession.

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