Rossies retain January dominance over us

Final score

For the third year in a row it was a case of pre-season defeat to Roscommon as we lost by three points, 0-13 to 0-10, in this afternoon’s FBD League encounter at MacHale Park. The loss ends our interest in the 2016 FBD, with the Rossies advancing to face Galway in next weekend’s decider.

The stand at MacHale Park was filling up rapidly as we took our seats, fifteen or so minutes ahead of this afternoon’s 2pm throw-in. There were two changes to the team we’d named in the programme, with Donal Vaughan starting instead of Kevin McLoughlin at wing-forward while Darren McHale took Andrew Farrell’s place on the other wing.

We started brightly enough, winning most of the early exchanges and initiating a number of probing attacks. On every occasion, though, these forays broke down, either because the direct ball in got gobbled up by the Roscommon backline or else because the oh-so-clever attempted pass was fumbled or went astray. None of these sorties produced a score for us.

Five minutes in we suffered our first setback. Keith Higgins went down on the far side of the field and when he finally got back on his feet after a few minutes of medical attention it was obvious he wasn’t okay. The Ballyhaunis man was replaced soon after by Lee Keegan.

Tom Parsons was in bother too, signaling to the line about a problem with his finger. It was a dislocation and Tom fairly upped his Alpha Male street cred by having the finger popped back into place on the sideline before rejoining the fray.

Tom Parsons Alpha MalePhoto:

The visitors took advantage of the resultant confusion in our ranks and were able to turn this into scores. Points from Diarmuid Murtagh and Neil Collins got them going and as we struggled to settle they added two more to take a firm hold on the game.

Sixteen minutes were on the clock before we finally opened our account, via a Conor Loftus free. We enjoyed a good ten-minute spell after this, with further points from Mark Ronaldson and Keith Ruttledge, both from play, cutting the gap back to one.

A second casualty limped off during this period, though, with Kevin Keane nursing his shoulder as he made his way gingerly from the field. Shane McHale came into the defence to replace the unfortunate Westport player.

Any hopes we might have had of getting back on terms before the break were dashed when Cathal Cregg knocked over two scores to stretch their lead back out to three. Conor Loftus popped over his second free of the day to leave the gap at two at half-time.

The visitors built on this lead on the resumption, with Ciaran Murtagh (a free) and Enda Smith pointing to send them four clear. This spurred us into action somewhat, with Conor Loftus converting another free before Jason Gibbons landed a peach of a score off the outside of his boot.

Ciaran Murtagh and Conor Loftus then traded frees but with the match now very much in the melting pot it was the Rossies who pushed on decisively. Three points without reply for them put the gap between us at five and with time running out it was clear we’d need at least one goal to pull this one from the fire.

It never came and, to be honest, it never really looked like coming. A wonderful point from way out on the right wing by Conor Loftus and two frees from Jason Doherty were all we got for our late pressure as the Sheepstealers came away with a deserved three-point win.

January football is never champagne stuff and this was certainly the case today. Best for us on the day were Padraig O’Hora, Lee Keegan, Shane McHale, Colm Boyle, Tom Parsons, Jason Gibbons, Jason Doherty and Conor Loftus.

Of more pressing concern to us than today’s result is the mounting casualty list. Stephen Rochford confirmed to Midwest after the game that both Keith Higgins and Kevin Keane will undergo scans to see what kind of damage was done and while he said he was hopeful that neither player was badly injured it’s obviously a worry for us with the start of the NFL rapidly approaching. I’m not sure what the story is with Conor Loftus, hopefully it’s only a minor knock.

With the FBD campaign done and dusted for another year, thoughts will now begin to turn to the more serious stuff that lies ahead. The Rossies left Castlebar today with the spoils – as they did twelve months ago – but today’s encounter won’t even merit a footnote when the story of the year’s real action is written later this year.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Ger Cafferkey, Kevin Keane, Padraig O’Hora; Keith Higgins, Caolan Crowe, Colm Boyle; Tom Parsons, Jason Gibbons (0-1); Donal Vaughan, Mark Ronaldson (0-1), Darren McHale; Keith Ruttledge (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-2, frees), Conor Loftus (0-5, four frees). Subs: Lee Keegan for Higgins, Shane McHale for Keane, Diarmuid O’Connor for Ruttledge, Shane Nally for Boyle, Brendan Harrison for O’Hora, Brian Reape for Loftus.

70 thoughts on “Rossies retain January dominance over us

  1. Good game this is a warm up to bigger games like league and championship are Mayo meeting the Ross s in the league.

  2. 3 cheers for roscommon. Hip hip horay, hip hip horay, hip hip horay.

    Now let’s move onto the national league.

  3. I listened to this match & so i do not have first hand knowledge. I note that we had a complete new spine to the team. I feel moving KH to half back line is a good move as is moving Vaughan out of CHB. We may struggle in the opening rounds of the NFL but so be it—-we cannot continue with our old backline as we give away too many goals.

  4. Oops 🙂 premature posting. Not too upset with that. More worried about the loss of Higgins, Keane and Loftus – hope their respective injuries don’t rule them out for too long.

    I thought Parsons was superb today.

  5. Thought the same Ann Marie he’s vision for passing was brilliant. Injurys are a worry come two weeks time.

  6. Roscommon looked like a team with more work done and with their manager longer but good effort from Mayo lots of fight in them. I went there looking to see if there was any sign of an attacking plan forming can’t see one yet but it’s early days Roscommon found scores easier to come by

  7. Vaughan at 14 for the Cork match. Well worth another look there. Conor Loftus starting to make waves. O’Hora put in a brave shift until he ran out of steam.

  8. Both teams take home some goodies after this bit of bravery.its funny how you forget the joy of playing football in such conditions.And in my time you had to contend with that slime that covered the leather on wet days.

    Ros will be happy with their win and it was deserved. Their first touch was good and they had 7/8 scorers.Well done the Rossies.
    And well done C. Loftus. It appears that he has emerged as a genuine prospect for corner forward.Maybe the other will be Regan when we see a bit more of him! Maybe.

    Parsons and Gibbons were a nice enough partnership. Otherwise it’s now all eyes to the future’

  9. Thanks Willie Joe and posters for the updates.

    Listened to it on radio. I’ll say one thing: whatever about emerging talent on the pitch, Mid- West have discovered a major talent in Declan O’Reilly as co-commentator/analyst. The Mitchels’ manager was incisive, insightful, thoughtful and authoritative all through, and of course his knowledge of the players and their club background enriched the comments.

    While I hope to be attending as many games as possible, the fall back of local radio is certainly attractive with O’Reilly in the box.

  10. Roscommon looked far ahead of Mayo in terms of preparation today as well as fielding a more hardened, settled team. Three newbies in the forward line was asking a bit much of Mayo but one of them, Loftus, certainly booked his place for the foreseeable future. Regards MacHale and Ruttledge I think the prescription is the same as that of an old neighbour of mine, unfortunately no longer with us, “more cabbage and hairy bacon”. [Sometimes he got a bit excited/mixed up and the cabbage was hairy]. Enough of that and next year maybe. I don’t think that Donal Vaughan looked comfortable at full forward either but maybe it’s worth running that one again. I was surprised that Evan Regan did not feature, even in the subs. Injured? It was a game when I often thought that the workrate and skill of Kevin McLoughlin was badly missed.
    Nice to see a few Rossies getting a little bit excited. It couldn’t happen at a better time of year.

  11. Accurate and concise summary there Willie Joe. Thanks.
    Physically, the Rossies were vastly superior to us today. That was to be expected since they had pretty much their full strength team out while we had at least one third of our best absent. Having said that, we regard ourselves as a top three team nationally. Persuant to that is the worry that a squad such as ours were so easily stripped of possession in attack, especially during the first half. The primrose and blue, like all others, are conscious of Mayo’s distaste for the high ball into our goal area. So too will the other 30 or so counties until such time as we produce a full back line that has as their agenda putting manners on full forward lines as opposed to going up the field to score an odd point while in the same game conceding two daft goals.

  12. Thanks WJ and well done on the audio. The only downside was the couple of guys having to come off the field. KH and KK are a crucial part of the setup going forward. Disagree on Conor Loftus there with a few of you. I thought he was too easily beated to the 50 50 ball too many times for my liking, The point was class I will admit and the free taking was good also. He needs more game time in Div 1 would love to see Ruthledge and O’Hora again also. I believe Gibbons could be on the way back

  13. Game lost in the first 10 minutes. With the heavy pitch and an experimental team on show, we were never going to make up that 4 points deficit. For sure there’s plenty of work to be done, and it serve as a huge wake up call to some of the new guys who have ambitions of making the team. Anyway it’s on-wards and up-words from here !

  14. Southoftherobe you are in dreamland if you think that was pretty much full strength from us, Darren O’Malley, Niall Carty, David Murray, Cathal Shine, Kevin Higgins, Ultan Harney and Donie Shine will all be pretty much guaranteed to be our starting 15 when things start to heat up and injuries clear up.

    Not much to be said about the match itself, hard to read much into it, we seemed to have the greater hunger for it which is understandable with the new surrounds of division 1 on the horizon and the importance of the first game against Monaghan in 2 weeks

  15. Good run out today, we won a lot of possession but it was not converted to scores in the first half in particular.

    Coupled with some really silly wides, some very poor passes and a somewhat fitter Roscommon the scoreline did not flatter Roscommon on the day. Mark R was out muscled on a number of occasions, a CHF must be physically strong.

    Keane signaled to the sideline immediately he went down, seems to be a shoulder injury. Keith limped off so hopefully both will recover quickly.

    Conor Loftus certaintly missed some 50/50 balls BUT he has a pure forwards instinct and will do damage on a fast pitch and we are not overloaded with good CFs.!!! Himself and Shane Nally should get some game time in the league.

    Listened to Kevin Mc Stay being interviewed on RTE 1 and he is dampening down expectations for Roscommon, its a pity that message has not filtered down yet to a couple of their supporters.

  16. Deserved win for a fitter and stronger team on the day. Some in attendance feared Keith Higgins did his ACL. Only 0-4 from play over 60 mins is a very poor return. Much improving needed for Cork game.

  17. Hope the injuries are’nt too bad. Pity bout the result but once i saw the the roscommon team sheet i knew we’d struggle to win it. All eyes on Cork now, who, I presume will do their usual early league trick and fly out a the traps. They were knocked out early eneough last year so like the rossies will have at least 3 months hard training on us. All i hope for the league is survival, anything else is a bonus.

  18. Midwest radio said it was alan freeman who came on for reape, that he wasn’t named as sub?

  19. In fairness the Rossies do love their FBD trophies. I doubt Mayo will be too upset over that loss. Rossies have more work done but when you take into consideration, they had a very strong team and we had a very much experimental side, they will have to do a lot more than that to stay in Div 1. They still haven’t sorted out their terrible midfield. They will take more from this game than Mayo but if mayo had a full team today, they would have destroyed the Rossies. Looking forward to the league and championship ?

  20. hontheross

    Having taught and coached two of your best I know a little about your team and your panel.

    You gave it an almighty shot today and invested a lot in the outing.

    Fair play to ye. We were well and truly beaten. Ros were more than three points the better team.

  21. Tom parsons was off the field for approx 6 mins and the mid west commentary team did not notice it.I suppose they were the far side of the field. But without parsons today and Doherty it would have been a ten point defeat.those things happen in January.

  22. I’m not sure the FBD is of any use at all and if we have any of our seasoned campaigners injured , it’s certainly not worth a shite to us.

    Onwards to Cork , hard to know what sort of team we will field , it seems we have quite a few injuries to put it mildly. Cork have had a decent McGrath cup campaign (for all that matters either) ,they play Clare next Friday night in the final after beating both Limerick and Waterford , beat Limerick by a point and a cricket score put past Waterford.

    How did DOC do when he came in , did he look sharp ? I throw in the towel on guessing what’s the story with Regan, uuj are out of McKenna cup since last week , he’s either not available, injured or it’s another management who don’t think he’s worth a run.

  23. With our injuries mounting and having a shortage of players at the moment, I was just thinking how crazy it is the way the GAA season is scheduled. With 3 of our club teams involved in the latter stages of the club championship, that means that pretty much up to 100 players (an average of thirty plus per team) are in cold storage at the moment, while other players end up playing two games in one week-end. If Castlebar make the club final, then for 3 and half months their players are unavailable. Things like this just don’t make sense.

    If these championships were finished up in 2015 then for example players like Douglas, Kirby and maybe Darren Coen up front and Newcombe, O’Reilly and Stephen Coen at the back would have being getting game time. On the other hand because of this a player like Keith Higgins was pushed into action probably sooner in the season than you would like to see and he ends up getting injured today. Hopefully the injures are not serious.

    So with the FBD League now done and dusted, we could say that the following players who did not see game time in 2015 could be options for us in the year ahead: O’Hora, McHale, Nally, Gibbons, Loftus and Ruttledge. I suppose six new players is not too bad.

  24. I thought Parsons was excellent today, and o hora looked good too a little terrier, I am worried for Keith and Kevin, hope the damage is minor. the Rossies can have today, looking forward to meeting them in the league and championship!

  25. Cliona in fairness the last time Mayo played the Rossies in the championship with a stronger team that lined out today only one point separated the sides.

  26. I think it will be a very interesting Connaught championship I’d expect Rosscommon to be a bit cuter and improve under Mc Stay and would expect Galway to be better too so we won’t have it all our own way but that in itself will stand to us if/when we get to Croke park

  27. Just to clear up the point about Evan Regan, my understanding is that he wasn’t eligible for today’s game due to the rules governing participation in the FBD League and McKenna Cup. Had we made next Sunday’s final he’d have been eligible to play in that. He’s not injured, as far as I know.

    We couldn’t have brought on a blood sub for Tom, Wensamsuun, for the simple reason that there was no blood. A finger dislocation is a painful business but not a bloody one. There was, for sure, damage done to us when those running repairs were being undertaken on Tom, though he played a stormer once he came back on.

  28. It’s actually very difficult to gauge where our rivals are at in terms of are they a major threat to us . Last year I sincearly believed they would give it a right crack in the Connacht final but they completely collapsed in last years championship and didnt make it past sligomto meet us .

    So then you start to ask yourself are they much use at all ? They are in div one this year and that is going to make it really interesting and they will also be exposed a lot more , we will be familiar with them too . The league will shit or bust them imo, if they are beat out the gate and relegated , it will damage their confidence but if they do well and survive they will have good momentum for the summer and will pose a threat for sure.

  29. You’d have to wonder with Roscommon why they’re taking things so seriously this early in the year. After last year’s championship blowout you’d think they’d want to shed the ‘Kings of January’ tag and focus more on the serious stuff later in the year.

    Very impressed with Loftus for us. Hopefully his injury isn’t too bad and likewise for the others that went off.

  30. One thing that we should remember, for all of the Connaught titles that we have won, we have 3 All-Ireland titles while Roscommon have 2 All-Ireland titles. Thats what it comes down to and our record is not one to be proud of.

    For example Kerry have something like 70 Munster titles and 37 All-Ireland titles. Kilkenny would have a similar record. The Dubs have won in the region of 50 or so Leinster titles and 24 All-Ireland titles. So for them its something like a 50% ratio of All-Ireland wins to provincial title wins. Donegal have 8 Ulster titles and 2 All-Ireland wins so their ratio of wins is 25%, Galway would have a similar record. With us having, is it 45 Connaught titles or so and 3 All-Ireland titles, I’d safely say our record is close to been the worst. So we can’t lose sight of that fact either.

    Our League titles win record, U21 and Minor All-Ireland titles win record is much more healthy, we hold our own at these levels, it is our Senior All-Ireland titles win record that is really letting us down. Hopefully our record will improve in this regard in the future.

  31. Guys, is David Drake injured / unavailable?.
    He’s another option in HB line. We may have to shuffle defense should Keith H be injured for a while.

  32. Great match commentary from Mid-West today. Well done!
    The ‘silly wides’ continue to be the Albatross for Mayo. Its the scoreboard that counts at the end of the day. This issue must be addressed once and for all by the new management team.

    With the Championship on the horizon and Mitchels meeting Crossmaglen exciting times beckon!

    Best luck Ros for rest of league.

  33. Declan, maybe you`re being a bit harsh on Roscommon. Who says they took the FBD seriously? Would you accuse Galway of the same thing as they also won all their games?

    I was sitting beside a Roscommon man at the game today, who reckons that about five of the Roscommon team who started the game, wouldn`t make their championship tesm.

    I overheard a few people on the way out afterwards talking about Aidan O Shea being over at the Liverpool/Man Utd game today.

  34. With all the injuries, giving players a well deserved rest and trying to give as many newbie’s a run out (a meanin full run out with as many quality experienced supporting players around them) its difficult to get any semblance of a balanced team together out on the field for an fbd and it showed.. Roscommon played very defensive and it was difficult for us to get any quality ball into the forwards.. and Roscommon did play very well defensively.. they got a lot of turnover and muscled our guys off the ball. Thought the injuries didn’t look that bad.. lads were taken off straight away as per cautions. . KK looked possibly the most uncomfortable with the shoulder. Our midfield pairing were good today and I like to see O’Hora get some more game time. On another final note Im afraid its referee bashing time again..I’ve seen this new Sligo ref officiate over a few of the All Ireland County club games and again today and best that can be said for him is that I believe he was not biased against any one team.. he was just pis poor all round.. some of his decision making I just could not fathom at all.. for example.. why let a blast of the whistle when you have your hand raised to give a player advantage that’s been fouled. At times both teams didn’t seem to know what decision he had made.. enough it’s only January.. bring on the league..

  35. Now that our pre-season campaign has concluded attention now turns to a couple of very tough weeks ahead as we begin our National League foray with a large number of key personnel still sidelined / unavailable. Looking back on the 3 games this month I feel that Jason Gibbons, Shane Nally and Conor Loftus will have certainly merited inclusion in the match day 26 for the spring campaign.

  36. Well done to the Rossies, by far the better team on the day.

    The FBD campaign has to be viewed from the perspective of what did we learn that we didn’t know already.

    Keeping this in mind over the 3 games Keith Ruttledge impressed me the most of the new players. He has real pace and makes intelligent runs,.You cant coach pace, so i think he deserves a run of games in the league. Loftus has shown potential aswell and should also get a prolonged run. In the backs O’hora has the look of a natural corner back with a colm boyle like bravery element to him, however it may take more experience and strength and conditioning before he is ready. They would be the three main positives from the FBD, which is a good return.

  37. Willie Joe, thanks for clearing that up re Evan Regan . A bit bizzare that a player can play o Byrne cup one week, fbd the next but can’t do that with McKenna cup .

  38. I found the lateral passing awful frustrating especially when so many were turned over & punished.I thought the older lads would never be so rusty & it took battling efforts from O’Hora & Gibbons to keep us in touch.Good luck to Aidan IF he was in Liverpool.I didn’t notice Loftus getting hurt but Keith & Kevin’s prospects didn’t look good

  39. It’s early days. There is not alot to draw from the match other than the Rossies beat us on our home pitch. The rejected Mayo man was the victor and returned to Roscommon with the spoils . We didn’t dodge a bullet there we dodged a cannonball. A bit disappointing that none of the new crop of Mayo lads shone but we will have better days.

  40. Listening on Midwest and looking at the facial expression on Higgins face in a pic I just seen , I’m concerned about his injury .

  41. Joe Ruane why do you think ye dodged a cannon ball by not getting McStay? The jury is still out on him at this level as it is with Rochford, just curious why you think that

  42. O’Hora has plenty of courage, but lacks the physical presence to be the answer to the modern full forward line like Murphy (Donegal), Donaghy etc. He seems prone to error also. Is he better than “Turbo”, Barrett or Higgins. Brendan Harrison looks a better option.
    Loftus missed a lot of chances but worth sticking with. The only other hope for a new forward stands with Evan Reagan when he gets tried out.
    Gibbons and Parsons were very good considering the amount of possession the forwards were losing and the amount of ball that was coming right back at them time and time again – tough going!
    The Rossies have nothing new – good forwards – and the ability to crave playing puke football. I think another FBD league will be the highlight of their year. I think they will be lucky to to survive in division 1.

    Good to see Rochfords potential game plan. More foot passing and early ball in to the inside forwards. (May suit Loftus) Think Mayo will be in the final shake up again – but cutting out the brainless passing and discovering that final phase of clinical finishing in front of goals will decide if they can take that final step.

  43. Hope Keith Higgins is not badly injured

    Thought Conor loftus was very impressive today and as a poster outlined the summer days will suit him

    O hora is a tough dude , he seems to be willing to put his body on the line , what we need …. Would like to see more of him in the league

  44. Im not liking these snippets of info im seeing about Keiths injury, trying not to panic but iv’e a bad feeling.

  45. Mayo51. You say you de like to see a bit more of P.O’Hora.Unfortunately what you see at present is all we re going to have of him,unless he wears high heels.He is a terrier ok but a bit smallish for that spot….reminds me of Kerry Murphy of HB line.

    DOC was nt on long enough to show much ……. Someone asked!

  46. Not much new learned from FBD Nally in particular,, Ruttltdge and Loftus look like they may have some potential for the future, O Hora game and brave but lacking the required height and phisique at this level. D.V. now tried @ 3 5 6 9 10 11 14 where next ? Badly need a commanding stay at home No 6 and a strong running creative no 11.. and of course the old concerns remain at F.B though O.K today. Parsons Mayo M.O.M by a mile

  47. Willie Joe,

    It’s strange that if Evan Regan was not eligible for Mayo yesterday he was named in the subs last weekend v Sligo IT. Are we having a rerun of the Gavin Duffy eligibility saga of two years ago? Regan’s McKenna Cup campaign ended on Saturday night week last, the evening before we played Sigo IT so naming him in that program involved a bit of forecasting.

  48. Only thing of note from this game is the injury concerns, especially keith. Hope it’s not too serious. Of all players the guy could do with a rest anyway, has he missed more than a game or two in league and championship in the last ten years?

  49. I don’t think there’s any mystery to it, Andy D – Evan was named in the subs for the IT Sligo game but it was announced before the match got underway that he wasn’t, in fact, entitled to play. This sounds like it was just a simple misunderstanding, which was corrected before the match began.

    As I understand it, the way eligibility for the FBD and the McKenna Cup works (I’m not sure if this includes the O’Byrne and McGrath Cups) is that if you play in the ‘regulation’ matches in either tournament then you can’t go on to do so in the other, regardless of whether or not the team you played in still have an interest in that tournament. So although UUJ are out of the McKenna Cup Evan still couldn’t have played for us yesterday as it was a regulation game but he would have been okay to do so had we qualified for the final. But we didn’t so that eventuality doesn’t arise. That’s the position as it was explained to me and it makes reasonable sense.

  50. I was impressed with Loftus yesterday and also when he came on in Ballina. I think he offers something different on the inside line. He has lightening pace and obviously he is very skillful. That point yesterday showed that.

    I still think his best position is in the half forward line but he probably isn’t ready for that yet. He needs games so hopefully we will see more of him in the league.

    I think himself and Nally are the only 2 that will break into the squad this year. The rest, although very good need a bit more time to develop physically.

  51. WJ, it’s a hard one to figure out because as far as I know Enda Smith played for DCU in the O’Byrne cup and played for Roscommon yesterday so maybe there are different rules for the different pre-season tournaments.

  52. Nally and Loftus does look the case alright.
    But that is good numbers (two new, one forward one back).
    You still have the u21s who could provide two or three more depending on how the stronger lads find their feet over the next two months.
    Then Castlebar where there are potentially two new faces in Neil Douglas and Danny Kirby. Both have played for Mayo but would be new faces thinking towards summer time match day 26.

  53. Can’t agree that Shane McHale was one of our better performers. He was taken for a spin around the pitch and very easily turned. Got taken for 2, if not 3, points from play and most of Roscommons attacks came straight down the middle. He made a great sortie up he field at one stage and took a wild swipe at goal and his bravery is never in doubt. He has had terrible bad luck with injuries but unless he gets more mobility in his feet he will end up getting cleaned on drier faster pitches.

  54. Pebblesmeller, as much as I’d like to argue that point re McHale with you, I’m afraid I agree.

    Conor Loftus really shone yesterday, he has that killer instinct in front of the posts in which we have been so deficient down the years and the game time will stand to him. I do think if Fionan Duffy makes the leap from U21 that he would also add something special; but maybe he needs another year. It’s a big ask for Regan now to step straight into a league campaign and claim a spot, but no better boy to take on the challenge.

    Rutledge has serious pace for sure; I think he needs a bit more time but great potential. O’Hora is a grafter; cut from the same cloth as Boyler in terms of workrate. Nally is a smart player and carries himself with a confidence that belies his lack of intercounty experience.

    As regards Higgins, he would be a massive loss, and here’s hoping the news isn’t too bad, but if he’s injured, we’ll have to find a way forward without him. As Rochford himself said, players get injured, that’s life, we find a way to move on.

    Yesterday was the first game in a long, long time without Kevin Mc – four years?

  55. Re Higgins , I’m not sure I agree with ye , is there anything to be gained by playing proven lads in fbd . I understand the point to a degree that it’s more worthwhile to mix it up with regulars and lads been given a run for the first time to surround them with good exp players but on the other hand when you weigh up the state of the pitches , percentage chance of getting a hard knock . You’d have to wonder is it worth it in the end .

    Anyway it’s done now but ffs rush nobody back , plenty of bucks to take up the opportunity in the early rounds of the league . Be very useful to get a result down in cork , Dublins early season is not going great either and we have them in 3 weeks time in castlebar . Two wins would be heaven and breathing space

  56. What exactly happened to Keith Higgins? Didn’t see him myself in the actual act of getting the injury. Was it from a tackle, a collision etc. Maybe he’s not as badly injured as people fear.

  57. Hon the ross

    I did not want him as mayo manager and gave my reasons on this blog. WJ saw fit to censor my post and as a result I do not want to revisit this issue. Suffice to say at the time I felt Holmes and Connelly were not an ideal choice either but still I felt that Mayo did not need much to get them over the line. I felt that the two lads although good Mayo stalwarts lacked the ability to inspire. That’s all water under the bridge now.

    Moving forward congrats on your well deserved division 1 status. The more teams from Connaught in division 1 the merrier, I say. Unsuprisingly your manager was spouting off to the papers about how he felt aggrieved by the way he was treated by the Mayo county board and stated that he would never allow that to happen again, blahdeblah. I for the life of me can’t see how racking up old coals is benificial to Roscommon football but at least he got that off his chest. As I recall it was himself who announced on The Sunday Game that he would be “Throwing his hat” into the ring and I do agree that the manner in which “his hat” was fucked back at him was wrong, ye have his hat now and good luck with that.

    The Rossies are a good team and have developed well over the years and you should have beaten Mayo in the championship. Your a hell of alot better than what ye showed in the Sligo match but unfortunately you only get judged by the cold light of the final score. Something Evan’s learned the hard way.

    We will meet again…

  58. I have to correct you there, Joe Ruane – I did not “see fit to censor” that comment from you. What you said in it broke the rules in a pretty flagrant manner and I was left with no option but to delete it. I agree it’s all water under the bridge now and so best left in the past. For my own part, I’d wish Kevin and Liam all the best with Roscommon (though obviously not at our expense).

  59. Wrong choice of words WJ. My comments were deleted because they broke the house rules. My reasons for disliking these lads are personal and should have remained so. For the record I wish the Roscommon footballers all the best in 2016.

  60. Apart from personnel was there any evidence of a new emphasis on composure in the final third if the pitch and shot selection as coached with Corofin? If we are not capable of consistently doing the right things then no amount of strength/conditioning will land Sam! Think players like Bernard/Alan Brogan and economy of effort!

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