Rossie revival sinks Sligo

Shall we dance

Photo: Irish Examiner

We had a day-trip to the west today – with a kid in the Gaeltacht to be visited – and because of this I missed the live TV coverage of this afternoon’s Connacht semi-final between Roscommon and Sligo. I caught some of the action from Hyde Park live on the radio and I’ve just seen the highlights now on The Sunday Game but obviously I wasn’t able to follow the contest blow-by-blow.  As a result, I haven’t a huge amount to say about it.

The first and most obvious point to make about the match is that the Rossies won. Despite for a time courting rather outrageously with possible humiliation at Sligo’s hands for a second time in twelve months, the home team finally steadied themselves after the break and the storming second half they put in more than made up for their godawful first half performance.

The second observation from my limited viewing of the action was that both defences in Hyde Park looked worse than poor. It was a great day for forwards but if the backs aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do then it’ll always be a good day for attackers. To make matters worse, both goalkeepers suffered nightmare moments with their kickouts, in the process heaping further pressure on the ropey backlines in front of them. It was little wonder the scoreline ended up at 4-16 to 2-13.

Today’s Hyde Park contest doesn’t, I reckon, add a whole pile to what we know about Roscommon. They’ve now played three times in this year’s Connacht championship – with Galway yet to take the field – and they remain a bit of a conundrum. Are they a coming force? Are they any bloody good at all? I guess if we get past Galway next Saturday evening we’ll finally get to see for ourselves next month.

40 thoughts on “Rossie revival sinks Sligo

  1. Stage finally set up and suitably illuminated…….(previous scenes have been played out in places as far strung apart as London, New York and Roscommon)
    Enter Stage left Mayo and Galway ( who will remain on stage but for 72 minutes)…..
    Scenes three or four of Act One, Mayo having put Galway to the sword, move on to final scene of this Act and bate Roscommon??? Maybe so, maybe not. Methinks I’ve got the plot right at least. Maybe not the dialogue and finer points. But the plot.

  2. I’d be quite concerned about Saturday. Attitudes within a countys supporter base influence all teams at a subconscious level, even one as battle hardened and experienced as this Mayo team. There is a dangerously dismissive attitude towards galway among Mayo fans currently. Anyone remember Brollys famous “when cork beat Mayo, there will be some big clashes in this championship” comment in 2011 on RTE? Remember the anger you felt listening to this idiot so casually ridiculing our county and our team? And how sweet a victory that was against the apparently unbeatable Cork in Croker that day?
    Well that’s how galway will feel next week. According to the boys on the sunday game they must have pulled out of this years connacht championship and given us a walkover!

  3. Agree with Mac’s Left Boot…. Galway r slowly improving under Kevin Walsh and remember they’ve won 2 All Ireland u21’s in the past few years(you don’t do that without talent). Should we beat them? Yes. Will we? Only if we play very well and treat this as seriously as any Mayo v Galway should be.

    Galway were better away from home in the league the past 2 seasons.

  4. Are the Sligo player and the Roscommon player in the photo on top here, dancing cheek to cheek?? Love knows no boundaries.. 😉 :-).

  5. I did not see the game or The Sunday Game either. The RTE website report says that Adrian Marren got a black card for “pulling back” David Murray. Pulling back a player is not a blackcard offence. Pulling down or tripping a player is a black card offence. Can anybody tell me whether the black card should have been given or not? Adrian Marren was a key player for Sligo and if incorrectly sent off this was an unforgivable offence by the ref and he should have a red card for the rest of the summer. If the black card decision was correct Marren’s foul was unforgivable. I can understand a defender needing to take a black card but never a forward as the opponent is not in a scoring or threatening position. Same applied to Cillian O’Connor in London.

  6. Adrian Marren did a 3rd tackle and according to the letter of law it was a black card. He was a loss no doubt but after putting so much into the first half Sligo looked gassed by the 40th minute. Roscommon won the second half by 17 points could have been more if they didn’t waste a number of goal chances.

    Lets be honest now McStay isn’t going to win a provincial title with that Roscommon team any time soon as major surgery is required on their defence and midfield.

  7. Looks like a little bit of charleston they re into there Joe Mac! This is what the game is coming to with all those stupid cards and regulations. The adjudicators now have a central role to play….all that’s missing is the music and an alteration of costume.

  8. I don’t see anything here to worry Mayo or indeed Galway. Their defence is brutal. The short kickouts are costing them scores and Mayo will push up on that. And with Cillian O Connor and Evan lurking around, they will be punished. They can’t kick the ball out the middle because they can’t compete there. And you can put your house on it that if Mayo beat Galway and presumably Tom and Seamie in midfield, they won’t dare. They have some nice forwards but again, they are nice forwards against weak defences. Mayo are used of marking the best forwards in the country and winning individual battles. Solid defence takes care of that. The forwards were shooting yesterday with nobody near them. They won’t have that freedom again. Can see Mayo (provided we beat Galway) win by 7 or 8. Mc stay got them extremely fit for the league training back in October but that fitness will count for nothing when everyone else has caught up. I’ve them a few times this year and wasn’t impressed. I really hope we beat Galway because I’m dying to get this team to castlebar ?

  9. Good man mayomagic, now we`re dismissing both Galway and Roscommon!! Happy Days.

  10. Did anyone else find ger cannings commentary on rte tv yesterday really annoying. Suggested mayo were playing yesterday in the game at least three times and kept calling senan Kilbride senan conall? You would think simple pieces of information like who’s playing would be easy. Keep it simple stupid.

  11. Yes Caslebarred! There were two annoying commentators there yesterday.Is it it a modern phenomenon or is it how one is just getting generally crotchety?
    And I thought in my simplicity that the black card was introduced to combat synicism in the game…not the game of football itself. Deliberate pulling down had become an occasional obvious offence but the card seems to be available now for all sorts of thoughts and fancies!

  12. AndyD it was a carbon copy of Richie Feeneys black card for castlebar in the AI club final a few years back. Idiotic black card, but fully justified I’m afraid

  13. Only caught the final few minutes of this game. Watched Enda Smith kick their fourth goal after some simply woeful defending and couldn’t understand why they were even celebrating – was then informed Sligo were eight ahead at the break.

    Hard to know what to make of it. Rossies are well capable of putting up a score but there are all sorts of questions over their defence and midfield.

    Anyway – that’s not a concern for us yet.

  14. Well if ye think we effect the Mayo team psych by what we say here then Galway surly must be effected by their fans….cause Galway fans I know don’t give themselves a chance…saying their “team” of exiles in the states could give their current home team a run for their money. Ive never seen Galway football as down in the dumps.

    Now that is not to say they can’t beat us. If Mayo are any way off we can get beat. But if we bring our A game then I think we have too much for Galway and I think we will.

  15. Mac’s left boot I don’t think any serious Mayo supporter will take Galway lightly and I don’t think the players will either if we play to our potential we will win if we don’t we could get caught I remember being down in Tuam on a horrible wet day in 1990 we were playing Galway Mayo were red hot favourites after being in the all Ireland final the year before. A man called Hugh Blehin ran riot that day and dumped us out of the championship since then I personally would always consider Galway a threat they have a fine footballing tradition and always seem to have a few excellent forwards

  16. Watched it on TV.

    Rossies were in trouble, big trouble at half time, but they turned it around impressively. Wind was a factor too. Sure they were very poor in the first half and nervous, but once Kilbride fisted to the net after 20 seconds of the second half, they were on their way.

    They can score from long distance,didn’t have too many wides and their movement made them look like a division one team. They shut up shop effectively too when the game turned their way.

    Interesting too that McStay was very much to the fore after the match, talking the Rossies up for the Connacht title. Yet, when they lost the last few matches, and had the New York scare, it was Fergie who had to do the talking. Funny that.

  17. What’s funny? McStay is the boss and dictates the tempo. He can do what he wants. He’s comfortable with the press and he’s hardly going to talk them down. If he was our manager I would be backing us to win an All Ireland.

  18. Ros have very good forwards who can cause serious damage if given room and plenty of supply. They are very poor in defence where one Sligo forward caused havoc all day. Also very poor in midfield. I cant see them getting enough possession around the middle to trouble a serious team. From yesterday it looks like they have made no improvements since the Kerry match.

  19. An interview he gave about the difference between his TV work and management was notable. Plenty of time to work on issues with the TV ….on the spot decision making as manager! In the latter, sometimes you get it right and sometimes not….that you can improve with practice! I wonder how much practice he ll get this year. Both jobs, I have to say are very fine callings if the material fits.
    At the moment it appears to me that Ros team needs to have a lot more variety
    in the team make up as has been noted Maybe they ll find it or invent it or maybe not.But also perhaps they might be as well off without any standout stars and into the future develop a nice balanced side where everyone is doing their bit.But sure they ll enjoy the ride wherever it takes them!
    And of course resurgent oppositions in Connaught can only enhance the state of the game around us.Could this have had anything to do with our ‘nearly there’ experiences in the last while?So let’s not be fearing our opponents but let’s approach them as fodder for where we want to get.

  20. @AndyD, when I first saw the black card “offence” I went ballistic (and Mayo not even playing!!) but when I saw it from a different camera angle, it probably was correctly a black card.

  21. Yew tree – it’s generally only a negative when you are overwhelmingly favourites. Every team loves to be written off, especially by their own people. Generates a siege mentality. Despite all this I think Mayo will have enough to get the win next weekend and Id be delighted with that. On paper we have better players but rest assured the galway lads have had an eye on this one for six months, and they will be fired up. Quite a few of our more established players have only shown glimpses of their full ability so far in 2016 and will need to up it big time next week. I’m sure they will though

  22. I have to say the talk on the Sunday game by Brolly and Spillane is disrespectful to Galway, that game is still to be played and Mayo are not in the Connacht final yet by any stretch of the imagination.
    That being the case, it is a game we should win but to write them off like that would be ammo for Kevin Walsh to use to get his team motivated. Whether it’s enough Ammo is another story.
    I think Sligo did play well in spells and looked reasonably dangerous when close to Goal. They do have some very good players but they are operating with only a few (such as Ewing, Marron, Cawley) that are really of Intercounty standard.
    Roscommon’s Defence is porous enough and their midfield isnt great either. They do have good forwards however so whoever meets them in the Connacht final will need to starve their forwards of possession. IF it’s Mayo, then going by yesterday’s performance, we are still ahead of them. If it’s Galway, then I think Roscommon would be favourites to overcome the tribesmen, simply because I don’t think Galways’ defense would cope.

  23. Trying take any sense out of the Rubbish that comes out of spillane and brollys mouth is like trying to drink soup with a fork, Spillane says Ross are a top four team, brolly says their bottom four. As for Galway, their fans really don’t expect much, from speaking to a number of friends involved in Galway GAA, football in the county is not in a good place, most people I’ve talked to reckon they’ve gone back from last year. Now, unless the whole of Galway has decided to create a country wide conspiracy to lure Mayo into a false sense of security I believe them. I think we will win but I really hope we start to some semblance of a playing style, offensively and defensively. As for ros I have seen nothing to make me think the result would be any different from the league. They have no power in the middle third and are very porous defensively. If we can keep their forwards quiet(easier said then done mind you) push up on their kick outs and be more clinical then we were in the Hyde we’ll Beat them.

  24. A few here saying not to write off Galway’s chances because you never know etc. I 100% write them off. They are a broken average team .They might have a point to prove but it won’t be proving it , not this weekend or anytime soon. We won’t face a challenge with Roscommon either as long as our team isn’t battered with injuries like it was at the start of the league . A few knocks to the O’Connors, AO shea, Regan . Any of the key forwards then yes possibly I’d be a small bit concerned for the Ross game, otherwise it will be a drilling , that defence is brutal ,as will the Galway game. Mayo won’t see a challenge until they leave Connaught end of .

    Mayo to beat Galway by 8 to 11 points

  25. A number of posters have said already what I was annoyed about with yesterday’s RTE coverage of the Ross/Sligo match. If any Galway /Mayo football fans think that Mayo are already in the Connaught final I want to assure them that there is a semi final to be played next Saturday , Mchale Park Castlebar at 7pm! The winner of this fixture will play Roscommon in the final. Contrary to what Joe Brolly might say Mayo are not even in a Connaught final, they may and hopefully will after Saturday. If the Mayo team perception of these facts is as unrealistic as some of RTEs pundits Galway will face the Primrose and Blue in 2016 decider. However Mayo have been well able to keep their eye on the ball this last 6 years. The next match is always the most important one. So turn up on Saturday evening, bring your Green and Red colours, should be a great evening entertainment .

  26. I am not a regular poster on this blog but I would view it from time to time especially during Championship. I always find the posts accurate and fair of games etc which is why I said maybe of all the forums around I might share my story here. First off, I’m a through and through Roscommon supporter – seen a few good days and plenty of bad ones but as every supporter should I stick with my team through them all. I’m on holidays in Spain at the minute so naturally enough I went to an irish bar to watch the GAA matches last Sunday – with the Rossie jersey on of course. Shortly before the start of the Roscommon game a family came in and sat across from myself and my boyfriend. One mayo jersey and a few monaghan ones. All was grand. However when things started to go wrong for Ros and we started leaking goals the crowd across from us got very rowdy cheering etc. No problem with that. But when the mayo woman among them started jeering me, shouting across at me “oh are you okay, are you okay??? Hahaha that ros girl isn’t happy….” and so on. She continued to goad me and try and provoke a reaction. I kept to myself and didn’t react which is what she clearly wanted. Might I add I am a woman in my early 20’s – this woman was in her mid to late forties and in my opinion should have known better. Needless to say when things turned back for Ros in the second half she shut up and left before the game ended. I’m sorry, but that kind of behaviour is both disgusting and disgraceful. Even if Ros had gone down against Sligo yesterday I would have sat it out and accepted our fate, I wouldn’t in my wildest dreams behaved in the manner this supporter did if the shoe was on the other foot. I’ve grown up in Roscommon with my dad a proud Leitrim GAA man who always instilled in me the importance of supporting your province especially when your own team is knocked out. After my experience the other day I can’t say I will anymore. We should all want Connacht to be as competitive as possible – and not run down teams who are trying to make progress. Roscommon are light years behind Mayo still but we are making progress and progress should not be sneered at for any county and by any county.

  27. Saoirse, bad manners is bad manners regardless of who it comes from. This “lady” was suffering from this obviously. Re yesterdays match, it was a decent enough contest until last 15 mins. Ros has some very good forwards and a decent panel but a special word for Sligo full forward Hughes who was magnificent and my man of the match. We could do with a full forward like him, one that wins his own ball and pop it over the bar from all angles.

  28. Saoirse,
    there are idiot supporters from every county. Mayo is no exception.
    To be fair people who are Neutral will usually shout for the underdog, and where there is a rivalry, they’ll shout for the other team. Let’s face it, Roscommon were playing Sligo and with the greatest of respect to Sligo, i don’t think they have a rivalry with anyone.
    I’ve no doubt that were it a game outside of the Connacht championship and Roscommon were playing any team from Ulster, Munster or Leinster, then chances are that Mayo woman probably would have been rooting for Roscommon. That’s how things work.

    As I said, there are idiots in every county, Roscommon has a share of them too.

  29. Saoirse – you were unlucky to meet with a supporter with that attitude but we have all met with those types at matches or watching in pubs..That mayo supporter is probably a fair weather who manages to get a tkt for an all ireland and can barely find croke Pk. .At least you had the last laugh.?

  30. Saoirse that woman you met watching the match is an idiot and doesn’t represent ordinary decent Mayo supporters. Unfortunately there are idiot supporters in every county and Mayo has no shortage of them.

  31. Saoirse, sorry to hear that. As in life the wheel always turns and you were right to just say nothing. Just follow your team and enjoy the day regardless of results.

  32. Just a thought, we are all assuming that as we’ve been top 4 of there abouts for the past 5 years, and that Stephen Rochford was a very successful club manager, we should be good this year. Logical enough.
    However, Stephen was successful with a particular sytle of football, did he play that style because of the players he had and that best suited them? Or is that style his “ethos” and the way he wants us to play?
    If it is, have we the players to play it? These players have never played it before so I don’t know the answer to that.
    Point I’m making is that there a huge number of unknowns about us for championship. The league was a hodge podge of styles and tactics which achieved two goals, keep us in division 1, look at the current players and try new ones. I don’t think it tells us enough about how we will be come next Saturday and beyond.

    It took Pat Lam 3 years to get the Connacht players playing the way he wanted them to play. And he was only allowed the room to do that because expectations were low.
    I believe the combination of Stephen Rochford and this Mayo panel will be successful, but expectations are high and I fear he may not get the sympathy to introduce the style he feels will get success from this panel. It may be that we don’t see the best from them until next year and don’t be surprised if that is the case.

  33. I’ve had to endure my fair share of clowns at many games over the years. They come in all shapes and sizes but unfortunately are present in every county.

    That kind of goading is pretty low level stuff but irritating all the same. Worse still it can often trigger real enemity in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

    Needless stuff and not to anyone’s benefit.

  34. Saoirse,one of great pleasures of supporting our gaa teams is the banter before and during the game,I have had many good days ,so sorry to hear of your misfortune in meeting an idiot abroad,all I would say is you cannot educate pork,John Cuffe,you know I have the highest respect for your opinion,but I would respectfully suggest that we have the brightest young manager in the country,and fully expect to finally welcome sam across corick bridge this year,and we might even put the last stone on the bridge

  35. Saoirse, I bet if you asked that “lady” she probably wouldn’t be able to name half the Mayo team. We have great footballers here in Mayo and we dearly look forward to beating the lard out of Roscommon if we meet in the connacht final. But we also have our fair share of amadáns in Mayo as well.
    I will be supporting Mayo (all the way to an all Ireland final, hopefully) but I will also be supporting roscommon when they take on the corks, Kerry’s or whoever else comes their way.
    I suggest that tonight you raise an extra glass of sangria and drink a toast to her nibs, repeating three times the invocation “thoul bitch!” And you will feel much better.

  36. Saorise that is a situation I think everyone has found themselves in on a number of occasions. Personally had a few run ins with Dublin ‘fans’ on the way back to the city centre after the final and semi final .

    There is always a few idiots who take it too far .The real fans don’t do this . There is banter and there is just drunken anger . I felt this from of a few scumbag types who probably were just jumping on the band wagon back in 2013 on the walk through the north side after croker.

    Best just to avoid these types of people and walk away ,they only want a rise from people who do care about the result

  37. This person would have behaved in an embarrassing manner no mater where she was or what her situation was. The colour of the jersey means nothing. An idiot is an idiot no matter if there is a jersey or not. What is really embarrassing is if you are wearing the same colour jersey as that person that is behaving badly. Its not really a Mayo thing as idiots come from every corner of the country.

  38. Enjoyed the Ros v Sligo game. No blanket defence and good entertainment from honest players. Cant figure out Ros, dire in first half, excellent in second. Yes their defence seemed porous but remember we conceded something similar v Sligo last year in Conn Final eventhough we annihilated them. Thought the experts on The Sunday Game were their usual foolish selves, talking about a Mayo Ros final with not a mention of Galway. Obviously they have no concept of Mayo Galway rivalry. I expect Mayo to win but I would never dismiss Galway or take them lightly. They wont want to lose to Mayo six times in a row*(has it ever happened before) and if they have anything about them they will come out all guns blazing. Respect your neighbours but dont fear them. Heres looking forward to a long and exciting summer.

  39. Saoirse – Try not let one fool stain your view on an entire county. It’s hard I know. I have come across complete A holes from Galway, Meath, Dublin, Roscommon and my own county Mayo on a few occasions.
    Every county has them sadly. Roscommon will win a Connacht title soon and probably a few, I have no doubt about that. Hopefully not this year tho 😉

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