Rossies sound warning ahead of Saturday evening

Photo: Irish Mirror (Inpho/Tommy Dickson)

The prevailing narrative for some time has been that our 2019 League Division One campaign starts with a nice, handy opening fixture. Roscommon’s impressive five-point win over a strong Galway line-up in this afternoon’s FBD League final, however, sounds a timely warning about our taking next Saturday evening’s match for granted.

Reports on Roscommon’s 0-13 to 1-5 over Galway in today’s FBD decider at Tuam are here – Connacht GAA, GAA, RTÉ, Irish Mirror.

Next Saturday’s League opener should never, of course, have been seen as any kind of gimme fixture for us. While Roscommon spent last spring in the League’s second tier, they ended that campaign as Division Two winners and they then went on – unlike ourselves – to qualify for the inaugural Super 8s in the championship.

Last year may not have been an unqualified success for the Rossies – with Kevin McStay parting company with them after the championship – but it was far from a disaster either. They won far more matches than they lost in 2018, a boast we were unable to make about last year.

The other factor which should give us reason to pause ahead of next Saturday night is, of course, our appalling record at MacHale Park. We’ve forgotten how to win at home – we lost all three games at Castlebar in last year’s League, with our most recent success at the venue (in normal time) coming as far back as the 2017 Connacht championship quarter-final meeting with Sligo.

It was probably for this reason that James Horan was so upfront when he spoke to the media – including his interview with the Mayo News football podcast – shortly after his reappointment as manager and identified the Roscommon game as one he’d be targeting. Any team that wants to progress needs to be winning its home games so a victory at MacHale Park against a neighbouring county in Round 1 of the League was an obvious one for James to aim for.

It still is. Points will, as always, be tough to collect in Division One this year so a positive start to the League will be important for James Horan and his team. Today’s FBD final win by Roscommon, though, merely goes to underscore the truth of the assertion that nothing comes easy in the top division of the NFL. That’s not going to change at MacHale Park this coming Saturday evening either.

39 thoughts on “Rossies sound warning ahead of Saturday evening

  1. Well done Roscommon will be a tough test for us next weekend. We will need to be at full strength to beat them and the two points could count for alot come the end of the league. Sounded like a lot of handbags at the game which is nothing unusual for a local derby. Any timeframe for the return of the injured players within the mayo panel ?

  2. Well done Roscommon and good luck to them
    But in my time watching football it’s always the same ol
    Story with Roscommon flying in January fall flat in June. If we are afraid of playing Roscommon next Saturday at home in Castlebar we might as well all move to Mongolia and take up playing tiddlywinks

  3. Handbags is one way of describing it but personally I’d describe it as ros adding a hard edge to their game which has been missing for years .

    “We are aiming to win the fbd, it’s been too long for Mayo to have no silverware ”

    ” Our first league game against Roscommon is the target after that ” goes on to highlight our poor home form as something he wants to change .

    “I’m here to win an all Ireland ”

    I’m delighted Horan is back .Is it wise to be saying this kind of stuff though ?

    It’s hard to know what to expect from Mayo next week or who will be involved . All form considered , key players out , exp lads showing signs of slowing up naturally , Mayo at 2/7 and ros at 7/2 , no doubt about the value bet is Ros .

  4. We should know all about falling flat in June after last year… It’s not about being afraid to play them, it’s about removing any sense of complacency.

  5. @backdoorsam. Im sure they have tiddlywinks tournaments in Ireland. no need for drastic action. Tickets to Mongolia wouldnt come cheap. definitely no flights from knock anyway.

  6. Wide ball to be fair Mayo have been very competitive since 2010 ok we went out early last year but every team needs a break now and then. Roscommon are a handy side but we should be aiming to beat them on Saturday night by about 5 points. By all means treat them with respect and don’t treat them lightly or dismiss them but use the occasion to get back to winning ways in MacHale Park it’s a home game we usually don’t win home games that’s something Horan is looking to change from the off so let’s do it on Saturday. I don’t think any other teams Galway included will be afraid of playing Roscommon at home or away. We saw signs during the FBD league that our backline is becoming a bit more solid and our full forward line is looking to have a bit of potency to it so let’s play with fire not fear

  7. Well we’ve had a good long break for this season but didn’t win either of our FBD games. The Roscommon defence held Galway to 6 scores today which was better than our defence managed last week. Sooner or later the Rossies will beat us in a competitive game, hopefully it won’t be next weekend.

  8. Totally agree @WideBall….. there has been a complacency about our lads at this time of year which was all good and well when we were a signature top 4 team. In previous years we were always expected to kick on in the championship..however now..I don’t know.. we need silverware and we need to start to remember that winning feeling again then build on it. Here’s hoping…Maigh Eo abú !

  9. We haven’t been competitive in the league for a few seasons, in fact, just clinging on to first division status. Senior Players well rested now and I expect we will be competitive.
    Everything boiling up nicely for our opening game and crucial we rebuilt McHale park as a fortress for us. I agree with wideball too but hopefully not next Saturday. When do tickets go on sale?

  10. Should be an match for us we have been resting since June,in stark contrast to the last few years,tried out a lot of new talent ,so would expect an easy win

  11. The six day turn around will handicap Roscommon and should be worth 4 or 5 points to us. It’s a game we must win. We won’t get a better chance to bag the points.

  12. Hi folks, and firstly let me wish all here a safe and happy 2019.

    Looking forward to that game, Roscommon have learned from Galway that they were lacking the required edge to eek out a result in a championship game. I think ye will win next weekend, in fact I hope ye do as the last thing Mayo need is to be playing only their best players as the league progresses just to keep the heads above the relegation waterline.

    Mayo need to get a few points in the bag early and start running some of those promising youngsters so they can get the experience of marking the best in front of big crowds and have the experience of the weight of expectation of what wearing the Green and Red in big games brings. Championship in late summer is a cauldron that can erode or even worse destroy the confidence of a young player straining under the heavy load of expectation on so many levels.
    I wish ye the best in all competitions this year once of course it doesn’t come at a cost for my own county.

  13. Great to hear from you again Gamechanger and a happy new year. The season has truly started now. If anyone spots a big yellow bus say nothing.

  14. It’ll be a tough game. Rossies have blown the cobwebs off and I expect a real tight game next weekend. Hoping Mayo can win but I know nothing yet.
    Maigheo go deo
    Lovely to see some old handles being kick started for another exciting year!!
    Thanks Game changer 10. Hope we’ll both get to the business side of championship and sure if we do meet…hmmm

  15. Well the Rosie’s should bring a very good crowd to Mchale Park…. looking forward to what should be a great night….. Past time to pick up a win at home!

  16. Lookin like a ticket to Mongolia could be cheaper than buying one for next Saturday night after the recent unjustified increases!

  17. Not sure what you can read out of FBD final win? What we know is the rossies are under new management after 3 years of Kevin McStay and they had to endure a huge turnover of players and next Saturday they will be without their 3 best defenders, one of their best midfielders and some of their best forwards in the Murtagh brothers Fintan Cregg and Brian Stack. This new look Roscommon side aren’t to be taken for granted but you can see why Mayo are 1/3 on to win.

  18. Mayomagic – pardon my ignorance but why are the Murtagh lads not playing next Saturday?

  19. Galway were for years losing the physical battle with Mayo. Walsh identified this and more than sorted it out. No longer will Mayo teams bully Galway like they had in Horans first period in charge. Now Roscommon have identified the same problem and appear to be fixing it. Tyrone up until last year were also a team that Mayo bullied for years. Again last year they well and truely sorted this out. This is what happens. A team develops an aspect of their game and opposition management identify this and takes action to sort it out.

  20. My Team v Rossies.
    Barrett, Harrison, Higgins.
    Boyle, McCormack, Durcan.
    Diarmuid + Vaughan
    Boland , Keegan , loftus
    Andy , Reape , Doherty

  21. Interesting to note that it will be the first competitive game in a very long time that Kevin McLoughlin won’t be involved in. What an outstanding player he has been over the last decade and very underrated. Still plenty left in the tank too. Hope he is enjoying a well deserved break – a key player for later in the year.

  22. @richardmgd Apparently one brother is gone traveling for the year and the other got a bad eye injury in the summer v Dublin had to have a operation on it and will likely miss all of the NFL.

  23. Sinabhuil – I think that’s a very simple way if looking at things. Mayo beat Galway for years primarily because they were badly coached and organised. We’ve started losing to them because of complacency (2016) and more recently because of poor discipline. Not to mention Galway are a much better team than 5 years ago.

    I don’t ever remember Tyrone being bullied by us. We were simply better than them and should have won sime of those games by more.

  24. Richardmdg Diarmuid has an eye injury which has ruled him out of club championship end of last year not due back till very end of league at the earliest. Ciaran has took a year out to go traveling

  25. Paying say €20 to go into Tuam and get frozen whilst catering and toilets are very basic is really not on. If the GAA want to increase their income they need to, at least, provide better facilities. Even in Castlebar the food and drink provided is very poor when you consider that there could be anything up to 10,000 at the match. The food franchise belongs to the Mitchells. I feel they should be pushed to provide more and better facilities. Newbridge had better facilities last year. The lack of a hot food option is very poor and reflects a poor attitude to treating attendees as customers. The game is no longer just attended by football diehards. There are many people now attending who are used to a little bit of comfort.

  26. The problem Sinabhuil in catering to those who want a more comfortable match day experience is that the cost of doing that is not made back at all. Also, this is moreso for those who mainly attend championship.
    If you run a survey saying “Would you like hotfood” ya the majority will answer yes.
    The question is better asked more conversational “Would the lack of hotfood reduce your attendance at league matches, Yes, No, I don’t attend much league, I never attend league”
    The match of the year last year was in Newbridge and it has very basic facilities.
    The GAA has to financially move away from stadium development. It has no option to now anyways as Parc Ui Caoimh just swallowed all Capital investment cash.

  27. JP I know what you are saying. I am convinced that treating people as customers is the way to go. Provide value and part of this is to provide better catering and toilet facilities. Not looking for Croke Park style catering but a little bit more polish would not go amiss. Also cleanliness levels in toilets, more ladies toilets and a small bit of paint here and there would not go astray. Not looking for a major capital investment. Also if 10,000 people are attending a game then I am pretty sure that it would be commercially viable for a burger/hotdog outlet to operate profitably. Where the problem is that the franchises are ran on a penny pinching basis with unqualified club volunteers. Charge €20 then provide the quality service. Make the experience more enjoyable and you will have more people at league games.

  28. I am really looking forward to saturday evening to see mayo in action again and am expecting mayo to win. I also think we should forget about eating at the match and concentrate on supporting and cheering on the team.surely we can survive for two hours without food. we can have as much food and drink we want when match is over

  29. @jimbo, you are right, too much food, crisps, chocolate, tea, coffee and drink sold at matches, particularly at Croker.
    You should see the place when people leave their seats, the amount of rubbish lying under the seats is embarrassing.
    Every year people on this blog are in fear of the year ahead, and for the last few years I have wrote the same thing on this blog, if Mayo have a real ambition of taking the fight to the Dubs in the championship than Mayo shouldn’t be fearing Roscommon, Galway, Monaghan, and Cavan in the league and should beat them also.

  30. Lads and Lassies I can’t see Galway even being as good as they were last year (now that Tally is gone) never mind being better. We all seen how they were found out last year when it came to the business end of the Championship. Maybe I’m being very simplistic in my views but they were woeful in defence before Tally so what’s going to shore the defence up this year? For people that were at the game last week, what was their defence like and what sort of a system were they playing?

  31. Tally was only with Galway last year to fine tune there defence and in 2016.2017 Galway only conceded 0-12,1-11 against Mayo. All is not well now it seems when Walsh is making excuses to the media or maybe its his way to lower the expectations after reaching the Div 1 final and AI semi final in 2018. At the end of the day its still a mainly young team with a lot to learn.

  32. The Paddy Tally thing gets overblown by the media. Galway played the exact same way against us in 2016 and 2017 as they did last year.

  33. I hope to God we see a football game on Saturday evening. I am sick of this s*** of 8-10 players in a heap pulling and pushing each other. It’s very easy sort it out – apply the rules – third man in send him off. I think Tom Parsons has been the only player where this rule has been applied – after a very minor incident against Kerry in a league game in Tralee.

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