Ryan O’Donoghue is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: Midwest Radio (Sportsfile)

He was our main man in the bright sunshine over in the Bronx a fortnight ago and in the warm, sunny conditions at Dr Hyde Park yesterday, Ryan O’Donoghue once again led the charge for us.

You’ve voted him as our MOTM, in a poll in which the Belmullet player gained 32% support. Ryan was also named as MOTM by RTÉ, was included on the GAA’s Football Team of the Week and was shortlisted for the GAA’s Footballer of the Week award.

Closely behind him in the voting was Aidan O’Shea on 26%, as the county’s most-capped player put in a performance that contributed greatly to our five-point win. Tommy Conroy (8%), Conor Loftus and Fergal Boland (both 6%) all weighed in with important scores yesterday and this is reflected in the poll’s outcome.

Well done to all of them and, in particular to Ryan O’Donoghue, our MOTM from yesterday’s game.


104 thoughts on “Ryan O’Donoghue is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. A solid performance by Mayo yesterday. The defence were good. The Rossies were very wasteful otherwise it could have been closer!
    Our subs made a difference in particular, Hession and Loftus! Great to see him back as he was put in an invidious position last year playing at No 6-crazy decision
    Man of the match Bullet from Belmullet followed by Aidan who was magnificent for 40min according to the Kerry great Eamon Fitzmaurice on commentary.

    A great spread of scores from the forwards!
    Downside- need more input at midfield!
    Q. Will Mayo win Sam? Cad bhur bharuil?
    Need improvements but on their day will give any of the top teams a run for their money ? lots of young lads learning. Gaillimh next and it will be a bigger challenge but we should prevail le cunadh De!
    Mhuigeo Abù

    PS Comhghairdeas do Ryan O’Donoghue. Bhi se go hiontach ar fad!

  2. Woke up this morning the house was cold, checked the furnace she wasn’t burning, went out and hopped in my old ford, hit the engine but she ain’t turning. Giving each other some hard lessons lately, but we ain’t learning, we’re the same sad story that’s a fact, one step up and two steps back.

    Could apply that Springsteen classic to the mayo team over the yrs.. One step up, two steps back

  3. – Yet another well deserved MOM for Ryan.
    – Tommy Conroy finding a bit of form and an aggressive Loftus playing in his correct position are two big positives for me.
    – Our midfield and half forwards were slow to react to breaking ball on a number of occasions even when well out numbering the Rossies.
    – Eoin Mc Cormack won and carried a lot of ball and was left unmarked or loosely marked for the whole game. Niall Daly went into the same space 3 times in a row with nobody near him scoring one point and missing 2 others.
    – Marking in the full back line was too loose at times, this will be punished by the better teams.
    – Hyde Park has made great improvements, the upgraded seating in front of the stand is super with great leg room.
    – Totally agree with Sean Burke, FBD , Anne Marie and others on the previous thread about time now to stop looking back and crying over 2021 final. If the players can get over 2021 then so too should the supporters.
    – We do not have the players CURRENTLY to be challenging for Sam and we may not have the Management team to won it either but there is a Connacht title to win against Galway and we should go hell for leather for it.

  4. Well summed up Oliver.
    Our backs need to get a lot closer to opposition forwards and put more heat on them – especially when they are taking shots at goal.
    Like the league game v Derry – on several occasions yesterday Roscommon players were let take shots for points with Mayo defenders standing 2 yards off them.
    Against the better teams – like Derry did – better players will pop these over the bar no problem. I cannot understand this defensive tactic of sitting back so deep and not coming out putting pressure on the kicker.

  5. Can I get a campaign started to resurrect the Nephin Mor flag for Salthill. It was a thing of beauty back in the day !

  6. Well done Ryan. So our top 3 are our FF line and rightly so who got the vast majority of our scores. Our midfield were wiped out yet they get 95 and 83 votes here which means at least 95 voters on here had them ahead of at least one of the top three. It’s mind boggling what game they were watching.

  7. Olive Kerrigan, agree with all your well made points.

    I have to agree with Kevin tough, there was so many times that luck was against us for breaking ball at mid field, where by ,the ball hit someone’s leg or arm ,or whatever, and fell to a Rossie. You really cant train for that, it’s pot luck

  8. Sure was!! .Paddyjoejohntom
    That’s when we had a better team but didn’t win any All Irelands . Still they were all amateurs and proud Mayo Men and we all got behind them and whoever was managing them .
    Changed times indeed

  9. The nature of breaking ball is that you don’t know exactly where it is going or who or what the ball is going to rebound off .back in the day keegan Boyle Doherty and mcloughlin were very good at reading it and latching on to breaking balls

  10. Only messing 2hops..Hard beat the boss in full flow tho isn’t it.. Heard the song this eve while I was flicking thru comments. Alot of the same stuff about o shea and management.. Hard to remain positive in a football mad county too because of the Mayo roller-coaster, mainly because of all the fuck ups in finals.. But the supporters are incredible in fairness.. Yes there’s a definite drop off since 21 but still in top 2 or 3 in country. As I said connact football is gone back alot.. Nice to see mcentee at least trying to get sligo competitive and who knows in few yrs. Are the forwards and midfielders in mayo just not there at the moment, looks like it. Rod is top 3 or 4 forwards in Ireland at the moment.. He’s a machine.. So strong and elusive.. And accurate. Completely fucked without him. I spose the way football is gone it’s hard be enthusiastic but we’ll see how it goes.

  11. Well done Ryan – again!. I would like to see him bang the net a bit more though.

    On the support, I don’t get this ‘all is changed, changed utterly after 2021’ narrative. The collective view seems to be, that was OUR All Ireland, and failure to ‘take’ it was not acceptable; we had a divine right to it. How arrogant is that! Tyrone had and have buckets of talent and were better and cuter than us on the day. 2021 was just another in a long litany of AIF losses. We picked ourselves up from many a crushing defeat, and will continue to do so. We are as JH wanted, consistently competitive, and I hope this carries into championship 24. We’re up and running now.

  12. Congrats again to Ryan and also Aidan, who were the only two realistic contenders. Great to beat the Rosie’s and it would do us a power of good, especially for our younger lads, to win Connacht. It will not be easy, as Galway will in prove, as their injured players reach match sharpness and more return. Hopefully we will improve also, and we will need to. The areas of most concern are midfield and Kick-out stratrgy/execution. We lost 8 out of 21 of our kick-outs yesterday and a repeat will cost us dearly. At the risk of being called negative or a naysayers, I don’t believe that we have a realistic chance of winning Sam and this has nothing to do with 2021.This is still a relatively young developing squad in transition, which we may see the best of in 1 or 2 years. Obviously we always have hope and it would be great to wrong. What I would like to see is win Connacht, keep improving, gathering confidence and momentum and, maybe, making a semi-final and giving a good account of ourselves. What did we learn from the Rosie’s game? Probably confirmed what some of us already knew and a bit more. >Kick-out strategy/execution is still a mess and badly need to be hugely improved, or it will cost us big time. >Reape needs to be more careful with his outfield wandering-he was extremely lucky not to cost us a goal. >Our midfield/middle third is a problem regards gaining possession and I feel that is why Aidan is often having to be sent out there to fight fires. Diarmuid might improve things, but I think Bob could be worth consideration there, certainly for the future, as he is a fine fielder. >Although he had a reasonable game, Brickenden is too loose and passive for FB and could be worth a try at 6, where his kick passing could be useful and he might chip in with the odd point. >Aidan, despite what some say, is still worth his place in the starting 15. >Mattie is beginning to look like his old self. >Tommy also looking sharper-I feel he would be better used as a half-forward, rather than with his back to goal-both his points were coming on to the ball from deeper, where he can use his pace and get a run on defenders. >Conor looked fit and sharp, kicked 2 nice points and must be a strong contender to start against Galway, either at HF or maybe MF. >Fergal was involved in some lovely link-up play and scored his customary few points. Hope our new injuries are not too bad and we get Cillian, Diarmuid, Eoghan and James back.

  13. Olive as usual with her feet on the ground giving reasonable and reasoned points of view. Never in the gutter giving unreasonable criticism after a win or a loss or up in the cloud fairyland after a win.
    Fair play to you Olive. You’re an absolute tonic as always.

  14. Was it spilane who said before we don’t have any marquee forward.. Pretty sure we can class Ryan O D as one.

    Fair play to him we are lucky to have him.

    Onto the connacht final we should go all out for this one it’s about time we were back into a connacht final when was the last time we were in one? Must be a few years now. Time to take the crown from Galway we won’t be winning Sam this year but connacht is one that we should be winning and then anything after that would be a bonus this year..!

  15. Looking at all the comments this season and the match reports and former players the elephant in the room is our midfield area.we got away with it on Sunday against an average Roscommon team but this is not going to be sustainable against any of the contenders .we don’t have ball winning midfielders and very slow to react to breaking ball .diarmaid o Connor would improve things but he isn’t an out and out midfielder.Aidan o Shea played well but he didn’t really win any clean possession in there .bob tuohy is promising but needs to develop physically .If we can’t win the majority of our own kickouts then we are in deep trouble down the line

  16. Donegal only won 14/22 kickouts on Saturday evening yet hammered one of the top teams in the country.

    Too much focus on kickout stats the last few years. Making a balls of a short kickout usually has disastrous consequences but going long and losing breaking ball is not a fatal problem.

  17. Look a lot of players were just average including Ruane,Coen,Reape,Callinan ,McBrien,Brickenden,Carney and Flynn.Conroy gave glimpses and O Donoghue and Aido class. This is a poor Ros team and I see us behind Dublin,Kerry,Derry,Donegal,Galway,Armagh and on a par with Cork and Tyrone. So much to improve on.
    Mayo supporters ALWAYS get carried away but unless we improve a rude awakening await and the positive brigade will become more realistic as the year drags on.

  18. Clear winner this time although Aido was probably our no 2 on the day.
    Still a lot of negativity on here. For me it’s all about winning Connaught, we’re already 1 or 2 tier, better to be 1. Galway will improve because they have to, likewise I wouldn’t be counting any chickens and a plan is needed for Comer whether he starts or comes on. There’s only 1 back capable and that’s McBrien. Durcan can be on Walsh or whoever else is dangerous. Finnerty is in good form too. Bric was good enough at 3 the last day and will gain confidence but I wouldn’t be leaving him there for the year as the superstars some teams have are too hot to handle and McBrien is the one best equipped.
    I’d say McStay was right maybe even as low as 4/10 first half but 6 or 7 in the 2nd. Diarmaid OC could offer a great boost the next day. I think Flynn had a knock a few weeks back so he should improve but that drive Diarmaid gives could improve us especially at midfield where we don’t win enough 50 50 ball.

  19. @Padraig O Neill OK ah now I don’t think we will Sam this year and I think most on here realise that.

    But we aren’t that far down the list it’s Dublin, kerry, Derry, ourselves then Galway, Armagh then Donegal.

    Galway are not in good shape yes they will be better then league but they’ve proven nothing so far that they are going to give us a trimming on Sunday week. Sure the bookies still have us as favourites tied 4th with derry on boyles sports.

    Nothing wrong with being a bit positive and I certainly do think we are well able to beat Galway even if we won’t be serious contenders for sam this year.

  20. Giving an honest opinion on what happens in a game is not being negative.just wondering is there any solution to the problem.Donegal also scored 4 goals off their kickouts where as our midfield area looked very messy.with some improvement we can beat Galway and hopefully have a reasonable year

  21. Breaking ball is a bugbear of mine. Someone aluded to it but – if four times in a row, a Roscommon player get it, it’s not hard luck. Some of the long balls to midfield were at worst 50/50. Four mayo players went too close to the ball and the jumping midfielder punched it too far. Very easily remedied but I saw it happen so many times, it was difficult to comprehend. Aido rose well but punched too hard, combined with all four waiting players running too close to him.
    That can be worked out!

  22. On a serious note as i do tend to talk a lot of rubbish when it comes to our chances but yes a connacht title at this moment in ti.me looks to be as far as our ceiling is and that will be a seriously difficult task with galway in our way . Absolutely no way would i just totally dismiss our chances of an all ireland though ,you cant just be so flippant about it , its not Man city (dublin ) , kerry ( asrenal ) Mayo (accrington stanley ) .

  23. A lot of negative comment here about our midfield, one poster describing Stephen Coen as only average. Yet the same Stephen Coen was selected on the GAA team of the week along with Ryan O’Donohue. Stephen is very underestimated by Mayo supporters – on this blog anyway.

  24. Sean burke – that sums it up well. Nobody is saying Mayo are favourites for the AI but we’ve always a chance, no matter who the opposition is. We’ve beaten Kerry and Dublin in recent years.

    PP have us 4th favourites to win Sam. Even at our best during the 2010s we were no better than 3rd favourites at this stage of the championship.

  25. Galway will be a handful as always.
    I understand they missed 5 clear goal chances last Saturday.

  26. @Una good post.. Stephen coen for sure is very underestimated we are lucky to have him always felt he was under appreciated.

    @wide ball spot on we always have a chance I think the year we finnally do win it will be when there’s absolutely no hype around us and totally written off and we will just come out of nowhere to do it.

    @JR they still missed them all though bar the one of course they had to win it v sligo could say the same in league final last year they missed a few goals against us. Comer will be key for them Walsh hasn’t hit form at all though knowing our luck Walsh will come back flying in connacht final!

  27. In fairness we are varying between 12/1 and 11/ 1 with any any bookie’s.our odds were far shorter in those earlier years.you could be 4th favourites and have odds of 50/1 depending on the opposition.Anyway a good performance in Connacht final will see our odds shorten

  28. I get the vibe that we’re a team that could improve a lot with more games. It’s not really been that settled in having our full panel available. A win over Galway would bring us on a lot if we could manage it.
    Aidan is such a smart player. His handpass is like a kickpass. He really is a kind of general, in a this is what we need to do right now kind of way.
    More games, everyone available would make us a very tricky assignment for anyone.
    Is Rory Brickendon’s kickpass ability underappreciated? To me he seems the best kickpasser of the defenders. Still feel it’s McBrien at 3 and big rangey kickpassing Brickendon at 6.

  29. 1985 – you’re completely right about the midfield and people can’t say it’s too early to tell because this area of the field is a problem for us for years now.

  30. A word on Coen. Every team needs a player like him.

    I would have him as the gatekeeper, the one responsible and in charge of organising and Minding the House. He has the experience for it. Fill gaps, plug holes and put out fires. Tell people where they should be.

    The Galway league final last year he did a proper job on Tierney who had been going well prior to that. That’s one match up sorted for next week if Tierney is fit.

  31. I wonder what odds tyrone were in april 2021 ? Anyway its all about salthil for now.

  32. Have to say, I was really impressed by Conor Loftus. He was so direct and willing to shoot. That was one thing that i felt he was guilty of in the past. Taking the easy option to offload to someone else. Glad to see him back and very positive on the ball. I always thought he would be no.11 for Mayo. Excellent passer of the ball and usually always makes the right decision.

  33. To be fair to the lads in the middle, we did ok there in open play. For that 15-20 minute period in the 2nd half where we won the game it was dominating around the middle that gave us the platform.

    The restarts we got blown away, offensively & defensively, and that falls on 6-8 lads rather than just the 2 in the middle.

    Jordan didn’t look near fully fit, so easy to see his struggles. McHugh’s knock probably didn’t do him any favours in the first half either. So hopefully see a lot better from both of those two. Then throw in any combination of Ruane, Coen, O’Shea, Durcan, McBrien, Boland and Carney that we’d have hoped to see showing a lot more energy, desire & determination. Even if not winning them directly or the break, you’d hope for enough pressure on the other side to prevent them getting clean ball. Something we seemed to be lacking with no turnover I can remember around those battles early in the game. Both Bob & Enda made a nice impact there when they got the chance, either fielding or buzzing around snapping up a bit of ball.

    A hint of luck involved in breaks, where we didn’t tend to get the roll of the ball, but if you put in enough work you’ll make your own luck there. We certainly looked a little stuck to the ground at times, especially in the opening half.

  34. The thing about our midfield though is that we are very static for our own kickouts. I often times stand behind the goal ends at matches or even from TV cameras behind the goals , this is pretty obvious when compared to other teams and how they break and scatter just before kick is delivered. We have athletes there,so movement shouldn’t be a problem Surely at this stage we must be working on a strategy especially since we aren’t blessed with giants there as we were in the past .
    And yes there are days when you don’t ‘get’ the breaks but generally speaking you get your share. I hope to see big improvement there for CF and beyond.

  35. I’m a little surprised to see Tommy Conroy in the top three. (My third vote went to Stephen Coen.) Yeah, Tommy chipped in a couple of scores, but only after the match had turned decisively in Mayo’s favour.

    Aidan was brilliant, scoring 1-1 and basically running the show until he was taken off. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mayo team as reliant on one player for scores as we currently are on Ryan O’Donoghue. He may not be a glamour player but by god is he effective. Get the ball into his hands in the forward line and he’ll either score, get fouled or – on occasion – even buy a foul where none is forthcoming. Either way, it ends up on the scoreboard.

    I could wax nostalgic about the days when Boyler, Leeroy, Keith, Paddy etc. could all be relied upon to chip in a few points each, let alone when Cillian was at his scoring peak. But what good would that do. I’ll just ask the county board to hire a bodyguard to accompany ROD every time he leaves the house from now until the end of championship.

  36. @Eoin – Boyle and Higgins were not prolific scorers at all. They scored 1-14 and 1-13 respectively over their long championship careers. Stephen Coen already has 14 points for example, Eoghan McLaughlin 1-6, even donnacha McHugh has 2 points already in 2 or 3 championship starts.

  37. @2hops
    Before the weekend I had been watching the Derry kick out closely and marvelling on how effective they seemed to be in getting the ball away. Seems they have a bit of work to do yet!
    I thought we were a bit unlucky with the breaking ball on Sunday. I remember thinking live that we had enough bodies about but it wasn’t quite going our way. I’d be a bit more concerned if we got totally cleaned and Diarmuid and Eoghan Mc will add to our ball hunting skills in that area.

  38. @WideBall – maybe nostalgia is colouring my memory or maybe those scores they got were in the big games and lasted longer in memory. Hopefully we’ll get back to Croke Park and that free flowing football very soon.

  39. @1985 Kevin McLoughlin was the master of that for a decade. (Winning breaking ball)

  40. Sean Burke, you wondered what odds Tyrone were at Easter 2021.
    I note people saying a Connacht medal is the height of our ambition this year.
    I also note posters continuing to rue our final loss in 2021.
    I echo Catcol to say we were in no way guaranteed a win in the final in 2021. There were two teams in it and it was a 50/50 game. I cannot get my head around the idea that Mayo supporters thought we would win it. It was a possibility only, nothing more, and I certainly felt that on the eve of that final.
    I’m also thinking of 2021 from posters’ comments at present. Lots of us are saying we’d be happy with a Connacht Final win this year (2024), if we are lucky enough.
    I remember posters saying the exact same thing early in the Championship in 2021 – there was frustration on the blog and we felt Connacht was the height of our hopes that year.
    But things changed!
    I want to say that there is a good bit of football to be played yet this year and there could be lots of twists and turns.
    I’m in the ‘hope springs eternal’ camp and back Mayo to go as far as they can up to and including the All Ireland Final. Not saying we will but we just might and I wouldn’t back against them.

  41. Well done to Ryan, a clear winner Loftus looked like he had bulked up and was more aggressive, hope that continues.
    I don’t buy this we were unlucky with breaking ball around the middle. Our long kickouts are not good, too high and loopy, like Clarkes hang in the air too long and makes a clean catch difficult since it gives player a chance to bunch..
    Good to see Tommy scoring but as much as his form it is the space and type of ball he gets. During the league he was usually in a crowded area with his back to goal, tried to drive took a lot of abuse and either got fouled or dispossessed. i too would prefer to see McBrien at 3 and Brickendon who is a good kickpasser at 6. McBrien has not shown a lot going forward which it was claimed he would bring to the position. His good defensively and will be needed on Comer in the CF. i also agree with others that our full back line has been too loose and not agrssive enough in the tackle. Where is Buckleys influence?

  42. Mayo67 and others, I want to ask something about McBrien at 6.
    I wasn’t at the game and was watching on TV.
    I like the idea of McBrien at 3 because of the safety and assurance he gives there.
    But can I get your opinions?
    I felt he was super solid, dynamic and a very safe pair of hands at 6, particularly when he drove forward.
    He really inspired confidence because he was so solid. I never once felt an opposition player would dispossess or get the better of him.
    He gave a different vibe to any of the other players we’ve played there.
    What did ye think from looking at him in that position (not thinking at all about the 3 spot)? About his performance and attributes? Just asking from curiosity. I gave McBrien a vote with Ryan and either Fergal or Conor (can’t remember which) in the MOTM poll as he made an impression on me in the game.

  43. I believe that Stephen Coen has captained a minor an under twenty one team to all Ireland glory,also a Sigerson team to all Ireland success,he must have something to be picked as captain

  44. @Corick bridge. I wasn’t Coens biggest fan in the past but thought he was excellent against the Rossies . I actually gave him my no3 vote on MOTM poll . Savage work rate .intelligent and was constantly organising defense and kept his man quiet in the process

  45. Mayo67, we seemed get good bang from Buckley in first few years under Horan, but our defence and tackling is not great past few years.
    So the coffers be down a few hundred grand since but not sure we getting same bang for buck currently.

  46. Agree Swallon on McBrien. He’s rapidly becoming another Oisín Mullen and the debate will rage about where he is most effective; answer – anywhere he’s put. He’s got such pace, such intelligence and alertness. He stripped a Rossie of the ball early in the first half and it was a thing of beauty.

  47. @Swallow Swoops: Hard to know how you’d describe David’s role at the weekend, given the way it morphed and shifted a bit over the game.

    In the first half Roscommon straight away dropped off a sweeper so we freed David up to sweep in and around that 6 zone. His pace and physicality did a great job limiting breaks with power from the likes of Harney or covering in behind the odd time Cregg or O’Carroll slipped their man. He cut out an awful lot of danger and one of the reasons Roscommon put up some of their wides in that half.

    Out of possession was even more interesting, where he dropped off to act as a 3 nearly always providing our deepest man. His combination of pace and aerial ability really limiting Roscommon’s options on the quick break and helping cut out a few very dangerous moves (he had a big role on the phase where Reape got turned over/fouled & another where Donie Smith looked to be off) along with allowing him the odd high paced burst forward from deep.

    Second half after losing Donnacha (who put in his 3rd great half of having Enda Smith completely smothered in his pocket despite the big hit he took in the warm-up) David pushed out man-marking Enda. A little wobbly the first 10 minutes or so of the half, Smith had a big hand in creating great chances for 1-1 that were both squandered, but settled into after that and did a good job. You could see Roscommon willing to completely sacrifice Enda for long periods, having him sit off deep a lot of the time, to keep David out of our defensive 1/3rd.

    Also interesting to see that with the switch they changed his role in possession too. He was normally drifting in at full forward rather than full back. Not sure if that was more ‘man-marking staying close to his man’ or just a tactical switch trying to have another big man in there if anything dropped short, but interesting to watch nonetheless.

    Despite him playing way more advanced in the 1st than I’d have liked to see pre-throw-in, I thought he did a great job there around 6 and it worked well. Sniffed out the danger well and nearly always making the right call on when to drop deep to cover and when to push up and pressure the ball carrier. Think he only got done once in the 1st half where McCormack skipped past him and created a good chance, otherwise he was (along with Donnacha) the stand-out player in our defensive unit. Wasn’t entirely shocked it was after his switch out man-marking well away from our goal that we gave up a number of decent goal chances. A direct link between the two.

  48. Love that answer, Catcol, and thanks for sharing the observation about him stripping the ball from the clutches of a galloping Rossie.

  49. Totally agree with that catcool about mcbrien but its where he is most effective for the team that matters . For me thats number 3 , especially for this one

    Comer is galways most effective player , walsh might well be more silky to watch but when comer is on fire Galway are at their best (2018 and 2022) . I really hope we give it great attention ,if hes nullified we will be a lot closer to winning .

  50. TsuDhoNim, that’s a fabulous answer. I’ve already read through it once and am now going to go back and read through it a few more times and savour the detail.
    I’ll then see what I come out with.
    Now, back to your post-feast ?

  51. The team id like to see play Galway
    1. Reaps
    2. Coyne
    3. McBride
    4. Brickendin
    5. Durcan
    6. Callinan
    7. Eoghan if available
    8. Coen
    9. Doc
    10. Bob
    11. Boland
    12 Jordan
    13. Aos
    14 Tommy
    15 rod

  52. TsuDhoNim, your answer gives insight into how diverse and specialised the centre half back role is.
    I had no idea it demanded that level of versatility and know-how. I’m very impressed that David, who’s normally posted at 3, could adjust to it.
    I was struck in your answer that he was a great defender in that role more so than emphasising attack, as we might have come to expect from that position in the past.
    I note your sentence here:
    “ … His combination of pace and aerial ability really limit[ed] Roscommon’s options on the quick break and help[ed] cut out a few very dangerous moves…”

    I thought of Derry on Saturday (and Tyrone v Mayo in 2021) – Patton’s super long kickout cleared midfield or was caught by a midfielder. This created a lot of danger and in one or two steps a player was in on goal. We’d need a no. 6 McBrien here to cut that threat out straightaway.
    Mayo also knew Roscommon were a counter-attacking team full of good forwards. Maybe having a very solid defender at 6 was more valuable that stationing that same man at 3 where the threat would be more specialised and might not come as often.
    These were a few thoughts.
    Thanks for that really broad and detailed response, TsuDhoNim.

  53. @Tsu
    You really do need to be in the dugout !

    Regarding McBrien it was very noticeable in the QF last year that Dublin looked to take him out of the defensive third. A number of times Con went walkabout towards the touchline and David duly followed leaving space for Dublin to expose.

  54. McHugh took a heavy knock in warm up and left the pitch. Surprised he started and no surprise he was off at half time. We have a lot of improving to do if we are to get a result in Salthill. Entrance to stand was farcical. Required to walk miles from front entrance to get access.

  55. Walloping into a prone player was pretty damn stupid in the warm up. Leave no doubt, he was shook after it.

  56. Mayo4sam. I like most of your team but find it hard to overlook Mattie. Maybe I’d have him instead of Bob.

  57. McHugh still had an excellent first half dispite the knock he took. Kept Enda Smyth completely out of it.
    I wonder is McStay playing Brickeden full back for now in response to the way Dublin took McBrien away from the full back position last year.
    Is he thinking down the road that we will play McBrien full back and Brickeden corner back. If the opposition bring McBrien out the field at least Brickeden will have had a good bit of experience of playing the full back role.

  58. I’ll throw my team out there early as well.

    Coyne Brickenden Callinan
    Loftus McBrien Hession
    Coen Ruane
    Flynn Boland Carney
    O’Shea Conroy O’Donoghue

    I’m going to be cautious wrt injuries and I think it’s a day for our fittest 15 IMO.

    I thought we good Sunday. Possibly as good as we have been all season. We were really accurate in a lot of what we did. We were hitting a lot of what you’d describe as long range fist passes and similar length kick pass. We didn’t look as invention less in our possession game as last year – we were moving it across the pitch much quicker.

    Going to be a tetchy one again. If we keep our heads and keep showing the kind of game by game improvement you would imagine that we’ll have enough to win this.

  59. Any word on ticket arrangements yet. Connacht Gaa mentioned yesterday, that they’d have details confirmed today, Tuesday.

  60. Given his height and ability with kick passing (and the ongoing issues in the area) might be worth trying Brickenden at midfield.

  61. agree wth comments above, McBrien is our best option at 6 and also at 3. Question is where is he most needed.

  62. I’d say the ”where is he most needed ”will change from game to game from here on in.
    As has been said numbers on backs mean damn all any more, it’s all about match-ups and David will most likely be matched with Comer next day out. The all important thing for me is that he remains fit and on the pitch. I wouldn’t get too hung up on player’s positions.

    As for Ryan, someone said about hiring a bodyguard to keep him protected going forward, I’d nearly go all out and get him a stunt double… until the AI final. Hopefully county board can afford to oblige.

  63. Interesting discussion about McBrien and where to play him. As someone who has endured many decades without a decent Mayo Full-back, I prefer to see him at 3-he has all the attributes needed, height, strength, agility, high fielding, calmness, reading of the game. If we had a good option at FB, I would be happy to see him at CHB. I have said many times that Rory is too loose a defender for FB and I have also said that Rory could do a good job at 6,where you do not need to be as tight a marker-a number of others have also suggested this. He is a lovely footballer, with a great kick pass and he would likely chip in with the odd point here and there. He could also be worth a try at midfield, maybe next season. I think with David, it will be a case of horses for courses, depending on the opposition. But he needs to be at FB against Galway, to deal with Comer.

  64. Valid points re McBrien.
    Looking at games , the full back position in now not standing on the 14 metre line minding the house .
    I do think David will be given the tough tack of nullifying Comer regardless of where he goes on the pitch .
    Good problem for us is that its hard pick our starting 6 . Eoghan Mc , Hession ,, Swanny all can do a good job .
    I’d go full outside the box and put Aiden midfield for this game only as non of our other midfielders can contest the high kickout with Conroy ,plus he’s not that mobile anymore.
    Carney to win forward and Loftus and DOC options too .

  65. Regarding our middle eight, is it more important to mostly have speedy footballing attackers or should we intersperse them with a couple of breaking ball specialists because looking at our options we don’t have too many primary ball winners? Great to have lots of attacking players in the side but without ball winners they are often redundant. In the teams suggested above you can see very little ball won by the mf combos and the only scrapper in the loose would appear to be Flynn but even he won very little last Sunday.

  66. @JoeG: There’s a place for specific profiles for winning ball, the stereotype of Paul Galvin whose paws would wrestle the ball off anyone in a tight battle, but in general you can do an awful lot there with smart positioning and hard work. Both were a little lacking at times during the weekend.

    Too often we had large numbers near a break but none with the attitude/determination to drive for it (could see the difference Enda Hession made on that after his introduction, throwing himself at every break near him despite not being a typical ball-winning profile) or lads not reading the risks/opportunities well. Lost count of how many times we’d have 3 lads all in position to win a break in one single direction while the ball’s in the air but none reacting to the surrounding teammates to reposition for a flick over the top or to shift to the opposite side to prevent Roscommon potentially winning clean ball. All looked a bit too leggy at times waiting for the ball come to them.

    A bit of work to be done in training during the week, a bit more in the analysis session(s) along with a lot more in the motivation stakes as it’s an area Galway will be attacking hard (and everyone else we face this year). Can’t imagine for a second we won’t see a reaction in two weeks time. If the prospect of Galway winning 3 Connacht titles in a row won’t have them diving head first for breaking ball nothing will.

  67. @sean burke
    Yeah Paddy is key, hopefully just precaution, he was walking gingerly but not hobbling.

    If I remember correctly Paddy Durcan has either been motm or very close to it in all recent encounters with Galway, he is a menace to them. He always puts matty Tierney in his arse pocket

    The reason I’d be very confident if beating galway comes down to one word: Pace.

    Looking through that galway team that started v sligo there is absolutely no raw pace in that team on any line of the pitch, they have big men alright but the summer is all about pace especially with weather like the weekend just gone. For goodness sake Cein Darcy is a regular starter there now,he wasn’t good enough 5 years ago and ain’t now

    If we have all our pacy hard runners on the pitch, ie Durcan, Eoghan mc, Hession, Callinan etc we will run the legs off them

  68. @JoeG
    I think you can get away without clean primary winners around the middle but I think awareness of when and where to break the ball to is vital.
    One clear example on Sunday when Aiden went up to fetch,the ball was broken from behind, when Boland?I think had made a lovely run in behind. If Aiden had simply flicked the ball on he would have taken the Rossie out of it and Boland was in acres…things like this we need to be more aware and smarter on. Clean catch not always the best outcome.

  69. Bonus column from Ed McGreal, reflecting on Sunday’s win and how Mayo are fixed following it, is now up on Patreon for club members.

  70. Jack Carney and Stephen Coen I thought were really poor on Sunday and I find it really hard to see how they can start against Galway Sunday week
    Team I would like to see if Paddy and Diarmuid can make it.

    1.Colm Reape
    2.Jack Coyne on Rob Finnerty
    3.David McBrien on Damien Comer
    4.Rory Brickenden Cillian O’Curraoin/Liam O Conghaile/McCabe
    5.Paddy Durcan on Cein D’arcy
    6.Sam Callinan on Shane Walsh
    7.Enda Hession on Johnny Heaney
    8.Diarmuid O’Connor on Sean Kelly
    9.Matty Ruane on Paul Conroy
    10.Fergal Boland
    11.Conor Loftus
    12.Jordan Flynn
    13.Tommy Conroy
    14.Aidan O’Shea
    15.Ryan O’Donoghue

  71. @Achill 75 sorry but Stephen coen was not poor at all on Sunday. If he was so poor why did he get selected for GAA team of the week?

    He’s such an under rated player.

  72. Wrt David McBrien and his positioning – no man is an island and at 6 we have experienced players on the pitch who can cover David when he is caught or dragged out of position – Stephen Coen being the best example but specific to the Roscommon game, I spotted Mattie Ruane sweeping a few times late in the game.

    Similarly wrt the marking I noted that when things were getting loose towards the end, and E Smith was getting the ball away from David, it was guys like Callinan and Hession who were squaring up to him – ie the group knew the danger and were covering. If we recall managements first outing, Matthew Tierney got a goal when he was left inside with Aidan Orme tracking him.

    I would very much agree with the guys saying McBrien’s position will vary depending on the opposition – Sunday with the way the Rossies setup he could play a role similar to Morley for Kerry but we only need to our performance in Killarney last year to see how easy it is to exploit provided you have the players and your homework done.

  73. However Stephen coen did or didn’t play I wouldn’t be taking any heed of team of the week.if a player scores a goal in a game without doing anything else they are on team of the week.it’s generally random old nonsense but coen is a reliable player who does very little wrong

  74. @Clare: “If he was so poor why did he get selected for GAA team of the week?”

    I’d have to say “Absolute lunacy” to that one.

    Stephen didn’t have a poor game. He was solid (as he has been all year & normally is). Questionable on breaking ball like most of our lads & didn’t create many options for Colm on restarts, but defensively stuck to his task really well and as ever helping organise everyone around him too.

    That said, the selection for team of the week was absurd. Jason McGee put in one of the all-time exhibitions of high fielding in Celtic Park. He dominated the ball against one of the most highly regarded midfield pairings in the country, winning primary possession countless times and (the odd time he wasn’t the one fetching it out of the air) providing the link between the middle 1/3rd and attack spraying dangerous accurate long balls to the inside line to punish Derry. He’d a hand in all 4 goals and numerous other scores, along with a powerful running performance and doing a tremendous job tracking back winning turnovers.

    Stephen was fine, I’d happily defend him against a claim of a poor game (and while Jack had a far quieter game than we’d have liked he played a couple of exquisite long balls forward that put Roscommon in real trouble), but the selection on team of the week ahead of McGee was pretty mind-boggling stuff. McGee’s performance was up there with anything Con, Canavan or McGuigan have produced all year.

  75. The GAA team of the week can be great craic. A bit like polls here, even the one above that has Tommy and Conor well ahead of McBrien the weekend 🙂

    If recall correctly was it Lee Keegan who got on it one week after been yellow carded, his man scoring 3 or 4 points and being taken off at half time.

    GAA as main sport in country gets a huge amount of filler material in media.

  76. As a matter of interest, Achill75, were you even at the game on Sunday? If you were I fail to see how you could claim Stephen Coen was “really poor”. Plenty of ball went through him as we drove at them after the break, which was obvious for everyone to see and was, I’m sure, one of the reasons he was selected on the GAA’s Team of the Week. Jack Carney had a quieter game but I still wouldn’t put him in the “really poor” category either.

  77. Coen is a really important cog in our system.
    Does lots of work and a great leader with great positional sense.

  78. Tbh nobody had a bad game against the Rossies. Not everyone was outstanding like Ryan who was probably an 8 or 9 out of ten performer. A few 7s but don’t think anyone was below a 6 so a fairly balanced team performance. Better this way than having 4 or 5 really good outings and 4 or 5 poor. If the 20 involved can produce those levels consistently and the few injured lads come back in good form we’ll always be competitive.

  79. Good point JoeG – the performances were consistent throughout the team and indeed the subs. That level of consistency would stand to us in any future games. O’Hora emphasised that in his interview, talking about his ten minutes and how hard it was to get on the pitch for that time.

  80. Tickets on sale tomorrow , thats the best we can do , lets outnumber galway . This is a big game for this team .

  81. Sligo getting a fair hammering at ht in the u20s.the goal at the end makes it look slightly better.(very slightly)

  82. @Cp: Comfortable win for Galway in the end. Sligo never got going.

    Hard to know if it was the physicals or the mentals of last week (& the schedule in general) but they never got into 2nd gear. Sloyan & Rooney off the bench the only ones that looked to get near their usual levels.

    Coen with another really classy display for Galway. Looks a peach of a player.

  83. Thanks for these podcasts, Willie Joe. I’m looking forward to listening to this one.

  84. If Mayo had full panel to chose from Stephen Coen would not be in the starting 15, so this notion that he is important to the team is nonsense, he isn’t a bad player but doesn’t offer much, first thought is to go sideways or backwards with the ball. Supporters need to stop treating the county team like its a club team, if you are not performing or effecting the game you should not be starting. Ruane is playing a bit better than last year, but he is putting his head down taking too many solos and against the better teams he will get over turned, he needs to give and go more with his head up and let them ball in early to Mayo’s strongest line the full forward line. Carney is a midfielder but his development as stalled a bit, he is probably one of the best footballers technically Mayo have around the middle, can score off both feet and can hit long kick pass but again he isn’t doing it or not doing it enough.

    Think for the Galway game, match ups nearly pick themselves, Callinan on Walsh and McBrien on Comer, id put Carney on Conroy, and Sean Kelly would need a man marker and for something different I would think about putting O Hora on him, O Hora would stick to him and would have the physicality to stop Kelly. In other games against Galway where Kelly has been playing, they have tried man marking him but who ever has been on him has lost him cause usually the player isnt used to man marking.

  85. @Tommy132 Stephen coen is one most our most important players. If you watched the game v Rossies you would have seen him offering a lot and one of the best players.

    He usually always gets into the starting 15.

    O’Hora hasn’t got much game time to be starting v Galway I’d consider Stephen coen a guaranteed starter in any game nearly.

  86. I heard it all now.
    A fella who can’t see the worth of Stephen Coen and the same genius saying O Horas the man for Sean Kelly.
    That’s O Hora who’s biggest weakness is lack of pace vs the fastest player on the Galway team!

  87. FW – I would say you are one of them adults you see running out onto the pitch hugging the players telling there great after a game. If you think Stephen Coen starts in Mayos best 15 then I don’t know what you do be looking at.
    O Horas biggest weakness is on the ball actually, he has pace but not blistering pace. Also Sean Kelly wouldn’t be near Galway fastest player, there is a difference between raw pace and a player that makes there run from deep that is hard to track, but again I wouldn’t expect you to know anything about that.
    Sean Kelly needs to be man marked, and O Hora needs game time. O Hora has a bad rep from Dublin game last year, where he played after missing previous weekend with illness, it was bad decision by management to play him cause he would not have been fully fit to play and it showed. O Hora is perfect for when you want to quieten a player and thats why I said it be something different and worth looking at.

  88. @Tommy132 o hora doesn’t just have a bad rep for the game v Dublin other games to he got roasted. V kerry and he also lost his cool Clifford was running rings around him in 22 maybe that’s a harsh one to comepare to though.

    Stephen coen captained the UCD team to all Ireland in sigserson I’m pretty sure.

    He’s vital I remember in a podcast paddy Andrews was like why did mcstay take off coen v Cork he was doing so much ground work.

    He’s a starter 100%.

    Starting O hora v Galway we would loose O hora is an impact sub.

  89. @Tommy132: Once you start resorting to petty personal insults like that, it’s very difficult to take anything else said seriously. Tackle the post, not the poster.

    As for Stephen… “first thought is to go sideways or backwards with the ball”.

    Have you watched him this year? Or last year?

    Relatively valid comments years ago, he laid off the ball and got out of their 99% of the time when filling in for us as a full back or dedicated man-marker, but that has changed considerably now. He’s one of our more progressive passers. Head up, always looking inside first, willing to take on a long range kick pass when it’s on & even better able to hit it with a well above average success rate and has even started to become a surprisingly frequent threat on the scoreboard (1-6 or so between this year and last off the top of my head). The pace can make him a poor match-up in specific niche cases (e.g. putting him on a Paudie O’Shea) we’ve been forced into through injuries in the recent past, but in many scenarios his coolness, leadership, defensive positioning, work rate, game IQ & absolute Rolls Royce of an engine make him a fantastic option. Starting or not.

    He wouldn’t automatically make my first 15 if everyone was 100% fit (which is a fair ol’ fantasy to begin with), but there are games with match-ups where Stephen Coen, Donnacha McHugh, Enda Hession, Jack Coyne, Eoghan McLaughlin or Rory Brickenden (hopefully we’ll see Swanee and at least one of EO’D or Plunkett push into form and get there too) would all be missing out or featuring depending on what’s needed so no different to the majority of the team.

    As for Mattie… “but he is putting his head down taking too many solos”.

    He certainly didn’t at the weekend. He was receiving the ball and spraying around some sublime passes first time causing Roscommon untold problems at the weekend. With himself and Paddy leading the way in the first half, we popped around 9 fantastic long passes. With very one of them kicked to advantage for the receiver and well executed, with another 15 shorter kicks helping frequently shift the Roscommon defence around the park.

    It wasn’t especially fun to watch the repeatedly shuffling back and over as we slowed things down, one of the reasons for the lack of crowd enthusiasm being discussed, but it was the same movement that helped tire Roscommon out enough for us to be able to run through them in the second half blitz.

    Sadly, I’d be expecting to see a challenging enough watch in the final for purists. All the talk already of Galway dropping back their double sweepers and aiming to hit us on the break with the pace of Comer and Walsh. It’ll be interesting to see if it pans out like that, and the reactions of our lads (players and management) if it does. A quick start and control of the scoreboard (preferably with the wind in the 2nd half if Salthill plays any of its usual games) fairly helpful in games like that.

  90. I doubt PJ will change the style of play so it would be a surprise to see double sweepers. I would like to see Galway playing a more direct style but have sort of given up on seeing it. The injuries are clearing up for now and by the round robin we should have all our players back but what form they can achieve is open to debate. I expect McLoughlin to also join the panel for the round robin giving us options in midfield. The most obvious result is a 1 point win for either side currently a 1-3 point win is 3/1 for us and 11/4 for Mayo. Its most likely result I think.

    Does it matter who wins? of course but its not the bygone days of a semi final for the winners which has taken the sting out of provincial finals no doubt. I’m already looking forward to the round robin and with 3 teams progressing it would be a severe disappointment for both sets of fans to not at least play in a preliminary QF.

    I dont like to see Reape out the pitch when watching Mayo play other teams but hope of course he plays out the pitch next Sunday as he is going to be caught out at some stage. I dont think the risk is worth it for Mayo. I wonder is Paddy Durcan out or if he isnt 100% will they even risk him given his importance to Mayo. What happened to DOC, a vital player but like many Galway players not seen is some time now.

    Finally I tuned into the Sligo vs Galway U20 match and was seriously impressed with the point kicking by the young Galway lads, many a Galway and Mayo senior man should look at that to see how to kick points. We appear to have some serious players coming but time will tell on that of course.

  91. @Chesnsychet DOC got a bad injury during the league. Hopefully back soon but who knows how fit he’ll be will take some time to get back to his best he’s been unlucky with injuries.

    I think provincial championship has lost its importance in a way the championship is fixed.

    However as you said this game is huge for both mayo & Galway.

    For Galway PJ has a massive point to prove and I think this his last dance with Galway this year if ye don’t go far.

    For mayo it’s vital we win a connacht championship as we haven’t won one in a couple of years.

    Also it’s such an advantage being a 1st seed and avoiding Dublin kerry etc in round Robin though even at that I think we could draw derry in round Robin if we were top seed…

    Anyway huge game and I’d say it’ll be a dogfight as always!

  92. Thanks Clare, I was wondering why DOC had not been seen, the level of injuries are blighting counties chances. I think its PJs last year, sure he could deliver an All-Ireland but the form is not there as of yet but you live in hope. I suppose yes 1st seed avoids Kerry and Dublin and the risk of a damaging defeat particularly at Dublin’s hands ahead of a potential knockout game. It should be a good match if it doesnt descend into a sideways passing game which drives me insane.

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