Ryan O’Donoghue our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: RTÉ

In the absence of the all-time top scorer in the Championship from our ranks this summer, it has fallen to the younger players to fill the void. Cillian is, of course, irreplaceable and so playing without him means we have to do things differently, with our two Championship games to date – admittedly against very modest opposition – seeing a wide spread of scorers.

While a number of the young guns have taken on added responsibility in these games, arguably no-one has done so more than Ryan O’Donoghue. He has assumed Cillian’s freetaking duties but so too has he adopted the same kind of workrate the Ballintubber man always showed – tackling hard, moving constantly, forever looking to create openings for others and scoring freely himself.

In yesterday’s game he popped up all over the place in attack. As well as three pointed frees he also contributed 1-3 from play in what was an eye-catching performance. He was RTÉ’s choice as Man of the Match and the GAA have shortlisted him as Footballer of the Week as well as including him on their Team of the Week.

With 25% of all votes cast, you’ve also chosen him as our MOTM from yesterday’s game. Tommy Conroy polled next highest on 18%, followed by Darren McHale (11%) and Padraig O’Hora (10%). All four are relative newcomers to the team but they were all central to yesterday’s big win.

Well done to them all and in particular to Ryan for what was a storming MOTM performance in yesterday’s game.

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

  1. Hi WJ . I notice here and the match report you have Ryan down at 1-05 with 2 frees. I think it’s 1-06 with 3 . Doesn’t matter really except for accuracy. Can you check if that’s correct. Thanks. Either way, well done Ryan .

  2. Well done Ryan, the forward equivalent of the great Boyler.

    Our midfield display in the first half in particular was poor. Leitrim keeper hardest working man on the pitch had no particular strategy except to kick long to the midfield where they bunched and were successful in getting possession in particular breaking ball. A repeat of that against Galway and we will be in trouble.

    Looking like a close final with extra time likely !! Assuming a result has to be had on the day.

  3. Thanks, Nephin – you’re right, it should be 1-6 for Ryan and 2-1 for Darren McHale. I used the list from RTE, as it was quicker than checking my own notes (in which I jot down every score) but having done so, I can see that the RTE report is wrong as are some others, though some – like the GAA and the Mayo Advertiser- have it right. I’ll correct the record here on the blog now and thanks again for pointing it out. I’m all for accurate reporting!

  4. Keep up the good work Ryan. As I said previously, he’s demonstrated he’s got what he takes by virtue of his performance in last years All Ireland final. This in absolute essence is always the ultimate test of a player. He’s gone where many other Mayo forwards have not.

  5. No problem WJ , I know from reading the blog, that you’re always trying to be as accurate as possible. It’s important for entries in the archive more so than today. I always try to keep scorers of points, frees , marks etc to much slagging from my family. Just something I do. They say, can’t you buy a paper tomorrow, like everyone else.

  6. I know some people are bemoaning some of the weak opposition in the lead up to the Connacht final. I think it might be a blessing in disguise. These games have been very suitable for working on interlinking play, something that might have been nigh near impossible against tighter marking opposition.
    Surely the newer lads will have plenty of confidence gained now with some great fluent play over the past number of games.
    Well done to Ryan. A great display and a mighty boost to all those playing around him.
    It would be some achievement if we could win Connacht in the year of 2021 with so much new blood on the pitch. I’m looking forward to the Galway game already.

  7. Hard to know Revelino. There have been pluses: experimentation in positions, newbies (MacHale, Byrne, Brickenden, Hession, Carney), step up in responsibility for younger fry in Cillian’s absence, a new midfield gelling well – if Diarmaid is back. Also Cillian, the team has had time to acclimatise and regroup. Think if this was sprung just before a Connacht final.

    One huge plus is Robbie. He has given us a platform at midfield all year – remember the pressure we put ourselves under last year. If he doesn’t play…

    Still, there’s no doubt Galway have benefited from tough opposition.

  8. Ryan is playing with real confidence and is stepping up as a leader on the field. He’s always looking to create danger.

  9. Well done to Ryan, the hard work is paying off. Physically he looks to be in great shape, but what’s really impressed me is his skill set improvement, especially his kicking technique. When he first came into the team you could tell he was offering something different, always looking for angles and space. It didn’t always come off in those early days, but I really felt that if he was able to make the step up athletically, whilst honing the basics to a senior IC div 1 standard, we’d have a right player on our hands. I appreciate the standard of opposition hasn’t been great, but to see Ryan step up and become a real leader in the team, is very encouraging. Keep up the hard work Ryan, you’ve all the tools!

  10. Seems interesting Lowndes would play through league and pack it in after one championship. anyone else feel it’s a tad unusual?

  11. I know Galway have had a better test but I would argue that Rosscomon are not that good, set up defensively which didn’t suit them, I can’t see us losing Connaught under Horan and if we do we have no business going any further IMO

  12. Obviously are year is done if we lose, but I think we will win by 6 points or more

  13. I can’t understand this fear of Galway,they are playing in a lower division,we are the champions,we should certainly be good enough for at least eight points,up Mayo

  14. I think if we are looking at what mayo have found this year its hard to look past mchale. Hessian needs to be able to do his primary job…DEFEND. The jury is out on him.yes he looks good breaking out with the ball . Mchale so far so good albeit weak opposition. I cannot honestly look around the squad and say anyone else has put his hand up to say I’m a championship starter . Although I do like Brian Walsh.

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