Rossies end our FBD hopes



Mayo’s 2015 FBD campaign came to a disappointing end at Elverys MacHale Park this afternoon as Roscommon ran out deserving five-point winners over the home side on a glorious day for football.

Mayo welcomed Kenneth O’Malley, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Seamus O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor, Enda Varley and Darren Coen back to the team for the first time this season. On paper those players, allied with new blood being brought in, looked good enough to beat their neighbours and reach the FBD final against Galway.

Still no Gavin Duffy for the Mayo faithful, however, as the Salthill-Knocknacarra man was unable to get the day off work to pull on the Mayo jersey.

It was the visitors who got off to the quick start in the opening period with three points on the board inside the first ten minutes and really they should have had at least one goal in that period but for a wonderful save from Kenneth O’Malley.

It took Mayo until the 11th minute before they could raise a white flag from a Jason Doherty free right in front of the posts.

Doherty added another score from distance as the hosts began to gain a foothold in the game before a mistake in defence from David Drake allowed Senan Kilbride to drop the ball into the large square to Ciaran Murtagh. He quickly laid it off to his brother Diarmuid who made no mistake in crashing the ball past O’Malley in the Mayo goal.



Doherty added two more for Mayo from dead balls but nothing from play was coming off for the home side as Roscommon looked like they could completely overrun Mayo at times.

Enda Smith made a fantastic burst through the middle in the 27th minute and added a further score for Roscommon before Kevin McLoughlin added two to leave just three between the sides at half-time.



Mayo could consider themselves very lucky to be only three down at the break as Roscommon looked far hungrier and much more cohesive as a unit than the home side. On too many occasions Mayo players were left without any support against two or three opponents and the full-back line in particular played like they didn’t know each other at times, which should come as no surprise considering Chris Barrett, Donal Vaughan and Lee Keegan are all attacking half-backs.

The second half began much as the first with Roscommon dominating proceedings and adding three points to their tally against Mayo’s solitary free from McLoughlin in the opening ten minutes.

The Green and Red did create their first goal chance through Enda Varley but the corner-forward was taken out of it as he burst through on goal by a Roscommon defender. The referee amazingly waved play on, allowing Roscommon to clear their lines.

McLoughlin added another free before a mix-up in the back line saw a Chris Barrett hand-pass intercepted by Mark Nally to create a one-on-one for the Roscommon attacker.  He made no mistake in slamming the ball past O’Malley.

It was the least Roscommon deserved for all their dominance and they also had a chance through Enda Smith but O’Malley made a fantastic save with his feet to keep the scoreline down.

The visitors stretched their lead through points from Diarmuid Murtagh and Enda Smith with a McLoughlin free keeping Mayo’s tally ticking over.

Then came the Mayo goal as Seamus O’Shea was taken down after bursting into the square. Substitute Alan Freeman stood over the spot kick and just as he has done many times in the past placed the ball into the bottom left corner to give Mayo a slight glimmer of hope.

The Green and Red only needed to lose the game by 2 points or less and they would reach the FBD final against Galway but try as they might in the final few minutes they could not get by the Roscommon rearguard.

Alan Freeman was fouled on the edge of the square for McLoughlin to add another free but that was cancelled out by another Murtagh score.



The final few minuets of the game, as Mayo chased the goal which would hand them qualification, turned farcical as Roscommon’s tactics of killing the ball and slowing play worked a treat and frustrated the Mayo lads enough to cause two seperate scuffles to break out on the pitch. All of which suited the Rossies perfectly as it was eating away at the clock.

Finally the referee blew the final whistle to much delight among the large Roscommon contingent to hand them their first win in Castlebar since 1986 and a date with Galway next Sunday.

Over the past two weeks we have been able to talk about the new players who provided Mayo with something new and were able to make good enough impressions on the management team that it was giving them a real headache in selection terms. Unfortunately today too many players made the decision for the new management team.

The full-back line, on paper our most experienced grouping, were just not good enough in their positions which as I have already said comes as no surprise considering they don’t belong in that line of the team. Stephen Coen came across as still too young and raw for such a pivitol spot as centre-back while the full-forward line, aside from Jason Doherty’s industry and scores, were just not at the races.

The referee as well left a lot to be desired as he seemed incapable of controlling a senior inter-county game and I will be very surprised if he is seen throughout the national league and championship. But that was far from the winning or losing of this game. It was a match that Roscommon seemed to want more and they rightly came out on the winning side.

Two points from play in a total of 1-10 is also very worrying for Mayo and no doubt will mean plenty of hard work being done in that aspect on the training ground over the coming weeks.

All in all a very disappointing end to the FBD campaign for Mayo and one which will leave the new management team with plenty to ponder over the next two weeks ahead of the opening round trip to the All-Ireland champions Kerry when they should have Keith Higgins back in the fold.

Mayo: Kenneth O’Malley (Ballinrobe); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Lee Keegan (Westport); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), David Drake (Ballaghaderreen); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore 0-6, five frees), Morgan Lyons (Ballyhaunis), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Enda Varley (Garrymore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole 0-4, three frees), Darren Coen (Hollymount-Carramore).

Subs: Alan Freeman (Aghamore 1-0, penalty) for Lyons 35′, Keith Rogers (Ballaghaderreen) for Drake 43′, Caolan Crowe (Garrymore) for Darren Coen 45′, Mark Ronadson (Shrule/Glencorrib) for Boyle 46′, Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber) for Moran 48′.

Roscommon: Darren O’Malley; Sean McDermott, Niall Carty, Neil Collins; Brian Murtagh, Niall Daly, Ciaran Cafferkey; Ian Kilbride, Mark Healy; Mark Nally, Enda Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh; Donie Smith, Senan Kilbride, Ciaran Murtagh.

Referee: Eamon O’Grady (Leitrim).

30 thoughts on “Rossies end our FBD hopes

  1. If you thought Ros were physical wait til we meet other teams.
    Mayo need to man up.FBD or not there are lessons to be learned.There will be one change this year ..Stephen Coen and thats it.Just my view …no evidence at all.

  2. Where is Conor O’Shea in all of this? Is he injured or tied up with one of the colleges? He may not have starred against the Rossies last June but he was the only outstanding Mayo player in the U21 debacle. He surely has more to offer than Morgan Lyons, Mark Ronaldson and quite a few more.

  3. A good post Mick, thanks.
    That is an exciting looking team, a pity they did not pull it off but you never know what is going on this time of year.

  4. Letsgomayo- 100% man up is watt they need to do!!! No more Mr nice guy! Three coming in two going out and the two were playing today!!!they wore odd numbers and it suited them!!!!

  5. Well done Mike, I enjoyed your piece, Just as I remembered it. Rossies looked good today, as they did last year in Michael Glaveys park.. I fully expected them to beat Leitrim in the final last year. They should be good enough to beat Galway next week, but you never know with the Rossies. I will reserve my judgement untill the 9th of Feb in Pairc Elser. Things did not go well today for some of our lads but it is early days yet. There will be plenty of chances for fringe players in the first division football in 2 weeks time. We will not be in a position to judge any player until they face the Kerry, Dublin and Cork players in competition

  6. Conor O Shea is recovering from a broken ankle from last year. I would he he would do well to be an option for the league.l Pity. Injury held him back from the league last year too and while he definitely has ability, it was a lot to ask of him to start his first championship game before he played any league games if I recall correctly.
    I would not be too harsh on management for trying lads. It is what the FBD is for.

  7. A good and fair assessment of today’s game Mike, well done.

    Reading through the comments on the other thread, I must say, I do enjoy the dramatics here after we lose a game. I think it’s mainly because we lose so few these days that it’s like the end of the world when we do.

    While I was pretty disappointed with our performance today, neither will be losing any sleep tonight about losing to the Rossies in January. I’m not in any way dismissing them – I had an animated conversation with a fellow poster here last year where I suggested that Roscommon would win Connacht in 2015 and I still wouldn’t like to bet against it (sorry MayoMark!) But I’d wager that when August comes they will be nowhere to be seen, unlike ourselves. However, their U21 success is starting to show and they are looking excellent at that level again this year so far, so we need to be watching our backs in that regard, and yesterday’s U21 win against Wicklow exposed some of our weaknesses there too.

    The referee had a big impact on the game today, and if he learned one thing today it will be that if the Rossies are given an inch, they happily take a mile. The way Diarmuid O’Connor and Mark Ronaldson were attacked out there wasn’t just classless, it was dangerous and such behaviour needs to be penalised, not waved away. But handbags aside, to give Roscommon their due, as Mike said the win was very well deserved, they were far hungrier, and Senan Kilbride and the Murtaghs in particular were impressive, as was their midfield where we had slim pickings. Some of our passing today was abysmal to say the least and they turned us over way too easily at times. But you have to remember, regardless of how many of the regulars togged out, it was still an experimental line-up, we had established players out of their regular positions, we had a couple of guys there who I genuinely don’t think will feature come February, whereas Roscommon have less depth in heir squad and showed quite a bit of their hand today. I would expect to see Stephen Coen, Neil Douglas, Adam Gallagher and of course Diarmuid featuring more this season (I know I’ve forgotten someone else but I’m a bit brain dead after the drive back). And our regulars are not long back in the training groove after a few weeks’ well deserved down time. Happy to see Aidan, Andy, Alan etc being rested still. So while two points from play tells a story, it’s not one that will bring on the nightmares!

    So while it’s good to have a reasonable analysis of the game and of our weaknesses out there today – there is no shortage of material to dwell on there! – some of the negativity is a biteen over the top. Every time something goes remotely wrong, it’s like doomsday. Much like the couple of so-called Mayo “supporters” behind us in MacHale Park today who thought it perfectly acceptable to fling insults at Alan Freeman and Seamie O’Shea, it’s a bit OTT. Worth also keeping unsubstantiated rumours under your hat (rumours which are at odds with every single other thing I have heard from within the camp) unless you can present some evidence, and instead maybe get behind your team.

    All roads lead to Killarney in two weeks’ time and then we’ll see things ratchet up a notch. Bring it on.

  8. Turfing lads out already are we? This lad has to go, that lad is no good, etc etc. The mayo fans can be ridiculously fickle at times. If we want our lads to improve their performances as players then it isnt unfair for ourselves to improve as fans.

  9. Today’s match isn’t the last of the Rossies we’ll see this month – it was announced tonight that we’ll be playing them next Saturday in the Hastings Cup semi-final, at a Longford venue (seeing as it’s a Longford GAA tournament). Full fixture details on this still to be confirmed.

  10. “Gavin Duffy was unable to get the day off work so he could pull on the Mayo jersey”. Is this a joke, or is there someone taking us for a ride ?

  11. This is just silly. People getting carried away with an experimental side in the FBD league. Also some of the things being said by some of the complainers are contradictory. The reporter says Stephen Coen was out if his depth at centre back – another poster says he’ll be the only man from the FBD that will make a breakthrough. Obviously we know the full back line are halfbacks- but for gods sake it’s about experimentation. Maybe the management wanted to develop alternative options for later in the summer in an emergency scenario. Chris Barrett is a corner back by the way – v Tyrone 2013 he was brilliant there if I remember correctly? Just calm down people. It’s only January.

  12. Conor o Shea was listed under additional team members on the NUIG team in Mayos first match.
    Rossies are a coming team whether we like it or not and the win today even at FBD level was an important step for them. Especially in Castlebar. They deserved it.
    We haven’t really learnt anything new from the FBD this year. Maybe people will eventually learn that Horans panel was the best available in the county. I certainly believe that, bar G Duffy it was.
    Great to see so many getting a run especially younger lads for the future, but in my opinion the team we had last year was/is good enough to win an AI.

  13. Gavin works for Connacht Rugby who had a game today. So no joke – it seems pretty straightforward and legit to me. Unlikely we’ll see him tog out regardless if you ask me, but I don’t think there is any great conspiracy either!

    Yeah Mac’s Left Boot, Barrett lined out at no. 4 against Tyrone in 2013 if I recall correctly and he was the difference for us that day. I think he’s a class act – I’d like nothing better than to see him replicate that form 15 more times this season!

  14. I have to say I was very surprised roscommon showed so much of their hand today such as the slowing down and the physical edge to their play.. The time for trying out team tactics is in the league, the time for seeing what individual players can do in different positions is in the fbd. To that end i was happy see Vaughan show up well in full back again, still not fully convinced but its worth preserverence.

    The only conclusion I can draw from today’s game is that ros badly wanted this win in Castlebar for a moral boost and also hit the ground running in the league to get promotion. I only hope we are of the same mind set and hit the ground running in division 1.. winning the league would be a nice moral boost right now

  15. Pity about the result today, would have liked a game against Galway, just to see how they are shaping up. Listend to todays game on shannon side, jesus christ you’d swear roscommon won a connacht title the way that commentator was going on!!! First win in 29yrs in castlebar etc. I couldnt stop laughing. From what i saw, that was extremely close to a full strength roscommon team, so im not losing any sleep. For those gettin in a twist over losing against the rossies today, Leitrim have won the FBD league two years in a row! That speaks volumes. Its all about the champo, as they say in the pale!!.

  16. It’s all very well experimenting but to be worthwhile the experiments need to have some prospects of success. Which some of the experiments tried in this FBD have not had. Some were repeats of experiments tried by James Horan in the past. Some appear to have been completely for show.
    One of our major problems yesterday was the room given to Roscommon players by our defenders. If you give an opposing player, esp. one of the physique of most of the Roscommon payers several,yards to run at you it is very difficult to stop him. This is a tendency of most Mayo defenders, esp. our half backs and putting those half backs into the full back line was a gaurantee of freedom for Rossie forwards. Is there any real prospect of changing the style of those defenders playing for the past 3-4 years? Another obvious fault is picking small forwards who lack any real pace. Any player under 5’9 in modern football needs real pace, ball control and accuracy to be effective. How many of the forwards tried out in this years FBD have these attributes? Or even two of these attributes? There is, as some posters have pointed out, no need for doom and gloom and no point in putting too much emphasis on the FBD. But we are entitled to see some semblance of progress in each outing if we are to make progress. Our two wins were against college teams almost completely devoid of intercounty players so no great value can be put on performances in those games. If players were to be tried today was the day to do it and most of the experiments were failures.

  17. I don’t agree andyd, management said they would look at all last years panel as well as the new faces. Regardless of their height. Surely these guys deserved a chance in the fbd to make a claim for a spot in the new setup. Consider the service they gave mayo. You have to be fair to lads, in order to keep a happy squad. They will start culling lads from now on as they have stated, but all the time you have to be fair. This i believe is how you keep a team united.

  18. Terrible performance but so what… is the time of the year for experimentation and every game we play won’t go to plan. Anybody who thinks different has no clue.

    I would much rather have Roscommon winning in Jan then July in McHale park. Some of the reaction from a few of their fans and a selector on the sidline was laughable but sure they don’t beat us often so let them off.

    I think we are all well aware Roscommon and Galway are catching up to us so this year will be tough tough tough. I think we had 7 players playing today from the one point win in the Hyde last June.

    Don’t panic lads.

  19. Donal Vaughan began his Mayo career in the full-back line and Chris Barrett has played numerous times as a corner back? Lee Keegan has also played as a sweeper in front of the full-back line and excelled there, admittedly not a man-marking role but he’s still a top class defender.

    You can hardly say they don’t belong there because the alternative is Cafferkey and Henderson, men who ‘belong’ on the square.

  20. Some posters are forgetting that Ross team is settled and are well down the road on there team evolution. From reading the match report it sounds like we’re a good bit behind of them (yesterday). We were damn lucky to beat them last year in the championship and I’m not one bit surprise they turned us over, but so what????? It’s Jan, we’ve a change of management, with loads of new guys getting a run out, and we’re experimenting a bit. It’s even too soon to even read into the experiments themselves. We need new faces to get a run out and see how competitive they really are. I think Ross have done us a great favour. They didn’t pull any punches and we got a bloody nose! The closer Ross are to league and championship form the better we can gage our guys. This is invaluable to our new management.

  21. I have always thought jh picked the best team regardless of rumours, I think we will be lucky to get two or three new players to improve our panel, hopefully enough to get us overthe line but doubt it

  22. Very poor performance from Mayo, can’t think of one player that played well. Two points from play is worrying too. But as they say, it’s only FBD league and the Mayo players are far from full fitness!

    My main point is on the ref though. It was a tough game to ref no doubt but he made a complete mess of it. One of the worst referring performances I’ve seen in a long time. The non-decision against Enda Varley when he was through on goal had people laughing with disbelief! Referring standards is a serious issue in Gaelic football. Oh and finally, the sooner the hooter system comes into football the better!

  23. Clearly I think the black card rule was too generous in terms of how many a team can pickup. It should have been third black card is a sending off. I don’t recall there being an inter county game last year where four black cards were picked up by a team.
    You can do three through on goal drag downs, replacing the defender each time. Most teams have defenders on the bench who are reasonably close to first 15 quality.

  24. Sometimes I seriously wonder, roscommon are in collective training since October, we are in collective training for about 2 weeks! At this stage of the year it’s about getting miles and games in the legs as Jimmy would say! People need to be wise and understanding enough to know that it’s feckin January! management have only a few meaningless FBD league games to look at any potential new players, the game v Kerry is very important if we’re to do well in the league, thus not risking too many new bloods so the possibility of looking further at New lads increasses the better we do!

  25. We started collective training on December 1st. We lost at home to a very average college side last weekend in a truly dreadful display and the lads clearly had a point to prove to themselves yesterday. Nice to finally get a senior win against Mayo in MacHale park and we did it without Conor Daly,Donal Ward,David Keenan,David O Gara,Kevin Higgins,Cathal Cregg,Cathal Shine,Michael Finneran and Donal Shine. However with us now back on track the NFL is our main focus and with just three home games it’s a must that we hit the ground running.

    As for the fighting yesterday notHong more than handbags stuff though it should add a little spice if we are to meet again in July.

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