Second half revival by the Rossies proves decisive

Ros Mayo final score

Photo: Mayo Mick

Roscommon ran out relatively convincing two-point winners in today’s final FBD League Group A match in the Michael Glavey GAA club grounds in Ballinlough this afternoon.

A crowd of around 1,000 saw Roscommon’s superior fitness and cohesiveness prove the deciding factor as John Evans guided his side into the FBD final against Leitrim next Sunday.

Mayo proved wasteful at times, particularly in the second half, and that is something which James Horan will no doubt use the weekend off to rectify ahead of the opening league game against Kildare in Newbridge on February 2nd.

The game began relatively quietly with both sides scoring just the solitary point in the opening ten minute exchange. Just after the ten minute mark, however, the intensity was ratcheted up immensely when Aidan O’Shea sent the Roscommon number eight almost into next week with a perfectly timed shoulder right in front of a packed stand.

AOS v Ros

Photo: Mayo Mick

That moment brought the crowd and the game to life and Mayo began to exert some control over their near and dear neighbours. The problem was that the final ball was not going the way the Mayo attackers wanted it to after numerous good attacks ended up with one too many passes or a ball in running over the end line.

Andy Moran, playing in the unfamiliar centre-forward position, Jason Doherty and an Alan Freeman free gave Mayo some breathing space over the Rossies as they opened up a three-point gap coming into half time.

The game became a bit heated in the final moments of the half as a few mistakes in the Mayo back line nearly let Roscommon through on goal a few times but they were unable to take advantage of the opportunities given to them. There was a number of ‘handbags’ incidents in this period as the Mayo players were clearly becoming frustrated with themselves and some questionable referee calls.

Ros v Mayo HT

Photo: Mayo Mick

The second half began quietly until once again Aidan O’Shea brought the game to life with a surging run from his own defence right up to the half forward line. The Breaffy midfielder took two Roscommon players out of it with his sheer size and strength before setting up Adam Gallagher for a superb point.

At this time it looked like Mayo might just use their superior strength around the pitch to grind the home side into the ground and coast to an easy victory. However, some more poor decision making in midfield led to two quick turnovers for Roscommon which resulted in them scoring 1-1 in about a minute to bring themselves back on level terms with the Connacht champions.

Mayo responded in style then with a bursting run from Colm Boyle which set up Adam Gallagher for a shot on goal which was brilliantly saved by the Roscommon goalie and rebounded into the hands of the full-back who was unfortunate to suddenly drop the ball and see it roll over the goal line. Despite his attempts to clear it and fool the umpires, Roy Carroll style, it was spotted and the green flag was raised.

Ros v Mayo Adam Gallagher goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

Unfortunately that was to turn out to be Mayo’s final score of the game as Roscommon took a stranglehold in midfield with the Rossie No.8 in particular lording it over the returning Tom Parsons and Aidan O’Shea.

Roscommon rattled off five points without answer during this period of dominance and Mayo just couldn’t get themselves back up to the other end of the pitch.

Ros v Mayo action shot

Photo: Mayo Mick

In the end it was Roscommon’s superior fitness and skill set which saw them qualify for the FBD final next weekend. Mayo have only had one proper training session since last year’s All-Ireland final and as James Horan stated after the game, they are certainly behind in terms of development for the 2014 season.

While an extra game would have been good, a weekend off may do Mayo no harm as Horan, Buckley et al. can get the players onto the training pitch and work on the core basics of the game and brush any cobwebs off the players.

Ros v Mayo warm-up

Photo: Mayo Mick

With the likes of Donie Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea and others set to return in the coming few weeks there is definite scope for improvement and no doubt work will be done on the training pitch to get Mayo up to the required standard ahead of the National League.

Adam Gallagher and David Drake certainly put their hands up to be included in the starting fifteen for that opening game in Newbridge and the Andy Moran at centre-forward experiment is certainly one that I believe needs more time as Andy could be the answer we have been looking for in that pivotal position.

Mayo: Robert Hennelly; Kevin Keane, Ger Cafferkey, Colm Boyle; Brendan Harrison, Shane McHale, David Drake; Tom Parsons, Aidan O’Shea; Diarmuid O’Connor, Andy Moran (0-2), Adam Gallagher (1-2); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1, free), Alan Freeman (0-2, one free), Jason Doherty (0-1). Subs: Keith Higgins for O’Connor, Enda Varley for McLoughlin, Jason Gibbons for Parsons, Cathal Carolan for Moran

63 thoughts on “Second half revival by the Rossies proves decisive

  1. I think I will just cry now and get it over. When I look at the scores in other matches and remember those guys are no fitter than Mayo and we put up 1-8. Have we any passion in this County with lads playing for places etc, etc. I know I will have the arse torn off me but at times, I despair.

  2. Thanks for the great report Mike. This is disappointing, I thought they would manage this one easy enough but I suppose they are a big rusty. Maybe it’s a good thing, but the win will give the rossies a confidence boost.

  3. Drab first 1st half probably lucky enough to be leading by 3 and very flat showing from Mayo in the 2nd half i think some minds were still in Dubai. O’Shea,Parsons faded badly in the last 15 or so minutes in fairness to the Rossies Cathal Shine and sub finneran took control. Mayo got could have been a turning point on different day would it not be a OG instead of Gallagher goal?

    Plenty of improvement needed for Kildare away in two weeks.

  4. Meh… but we still shouldnt have dropped another decent point cushion like last week against Sligo. Fitness is an issue but at least they performed a bit better. Impressed with Adam Gallagher again, good passer and mobile lad. Bring on Kildare

  5. Fitness and sharpness were certainly the major issues today. This is not surprising considering that The Rossies had approx a 6 week start in training on us. There is an awful lot of work to be done before we meet Kildare and Tyrone in the NFL. Having the weekend free will probably be of more benefit than another match, esp against Leitrim who I cannot believe would be serious opposition despite their win over Galway last week. Kildare will also have the same start in training on us, Tyrone less so, I think, but they seem to be going very well at present. We need to take some points from these first two games unless we are to put ourselves under pressure after the NFL break.
    I was very impressed by Tom Parsons in the first half. He showed that he has a lot to
    contribute as did Adam Gallagher.

  6. You deserve to get the arse torn off you for questioning those lads passion!
    They got to the last 2 All-Ireland finals, and you come up with reactions like this to a bloody FBD game in January a weeks after they get back from holidays.

  7. The Rossies were well up for this and with a vocal home support pushed for home early in the second half. good showing from drake and adam galllagher but some of the footpassing and playing ball into tackles from our more experienced men was hardly top drawer, hopefully this is the ” dirty petrol ” being blown out as the late Paudi would have said.

  8. Kevin Keane was my motm especially in the first half and anyone who questioned his pace should have seen him outpace one of the Rossie forewards over ten yards for a ball in the first half. Once again Aiden Of Shea was left on too long when he was visibly out of puff in the last 20 mins with Jason Gibbons on the bench.
    Keane Drake Parsons in the first half, Gallagher and Andy in the first half were the pick of the bunch for me.

  9. Joe Mc – stop provoking others or you’ll be heading for a spell in the sin bin. And that crack you made about players’ passion is little short of a disgrace. It’s the middle of January for God’s sake!

  10. I agree re Tom Parsons but then he always had the ability. What he needs to do now is to add passion and guile to the mix.

  11. Overreaction or complacency creeping into the mindset of both supporters and players?

    I don’t think its all just going to fall into place for Mayo and I presume there are men involved that are aware of this too. We are not where we should be but we were not flying this time last year either.

    My worry is fairly simple , we have two very difficult league ties away from home next. Both Kildare and Tyrone are the pick of the pre season teams , I really believe we might not get anything from them games as opposed to last year where we got a soft opener in Castlebar against an under strength Kerry.

    As for Roscommon, they are an improving outfit , we have no divine right to brush them aside every year, if they improve and we go backwards , it really could end up being a disasterous year. I’m not suggesting that I think we will come a cropper come the 8th of June but there is no way it will be as straight forward as last year. Today’s result means nothing! Fair enough but it will do Roscommon no harm to get that monkey off their back .

  12. I suppose if you look at the teams that are playing well at the moment, they are teams who have new managers appointed like Kildare and Cork. Or teams who have management teams in place for one year like, Meath, Roscommon, Cavan and Monaghan. Also Tyrone who made good progress last year and are looking to build on this. Micky Harte didn’t let his college/universities players play with their college or university teams either. They are therefore playing much stronger teams and are not experimenting as much with their line-ups. These teams have been training collectively for much longer too. While the likes of Mayo and Dublin, have had much less collective training and have been playing teams closer to been second string than first choices. Also Dublin, Mayo and Kerry have club teams involved in the latter stages of the club championships so again this deprives these teams of a few extra options. There is a long season ahead yet and as some posters have said, the week off might do them good. Both Kildare and Tyrone will have played a good few games in a row, when we meet them in the League, our first two games away from home, so that might be of benefit to us….

  13. Apart from Andy Moran I wasn’t impressed by the forwards or our attacking play in general. I know they have done very little since Sep and some lads are not used to playing together. And a lot of lads have to come back yet. It is only January.
    On the other hand whether its rust, cobwebs or whatever but unless there is a massive improvement Kildare could do a number on us and that wouldn’t be good. I’m sure JH will use today to good effect. That said I think he should focus on survival in Div 1 and not bother too much about winning it. He should use the league to give a few new lads a run in the forwards and try out new attacking ideas…..and take the pressure off the key players. They need to be fresh when the summer comes!

  14. Was it lack of match sharpness and fitness that was mayos downfall today? I do recall that last year they looked like a team that fitness wise they were not at peak even in league.

  15. I agree with you about survival , it’s vital we stay up for the future too.

    I couldn’t travel down for today’s game but reports are suggesting we are well off shape and fitness with some individuals. I have a bad feeling some guys are going find it very hard to find last years form, I hope to Christ I’m wrong.

  16. Willie Joe, I am not trying to provoke at all. I am simply stating what I honestly feel. It may not be to others’ liking, including your own. I won’t waste my time arguing.
    When I mentioned ‘passion’ or ‘hunger’ last year I was also taken to task. I prayed that I was wrong last year but I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be right but I saw things all year that were, as now, scoffed at. You want positive thinking.
    I will now forecast that if Mayo play to their potential they will win the All Ireland this year. They are more than capable!!!

  17. I suppose the reason James Horan said that he would like to give the league a good go this year is because we are playing New York in the first round of the championship. Last year we were playing Galway in the first round and the league final was only a couple of weeks before this game. There is more time this year between the league final and the first serious game in Connaught so I reckon Horan feels its more realistic this year to have a good bash at trying to win it.

  18. Joe Mc – nobody, including you, is all-seeing and all-knowing and this constant ‘I told you so’ tone is really starting to grate at this stage. Different people come on here with different opinions, different takes on how the team is developing and performing. Nobody is right all the time, equally nobody is wrong all the time so don’t pretend that you’re in possession of some kind of knowledge that others aren’t.

  19. Some perspective on Kevin Keane, he was marking Kilbride who was carrying an injury. Kilbride did win a lot of ball on him and Keane fouled the ball on the ground at least 3 times, never penalised by the ref. The ref gave no hometown decisions but we are getting used to that.
    Cathal Shine did well in midfield and had the beating of O Se, he was well assisted by the returning Mike Finneran in the second half. Cregg was MOM, C. Murtagh scored 1.4. Ros fullback line was excellent, Mayo goal was an awful pox, after the hard work was done.
    Ros were fitter, sharper as one would expect this time of year. Mayo will struggle early on in the league. But in a division with Derry and Westmeath, Mayo will have no issues staying up.
    The reality is come championship time, teams like Kildare will shit the nest, Mayo on the other-hand will reveal their full hand and be well in the shake up. As I said before this match does not matter a shite to Mayo in the scheme of things. Still nice to get a win against the rhurbarbs, even if its the depths of winter. Good luck in the league.

  20. I would’nt be too disappointed with todays result, it was a second string half back line, which, we all know is the heart beat of this great team. Its mid january and jh views these games as training sessions more than anything, which would explain why aos was left on even though he was blowing hard. Id expect the performace levels to be up a couple gears come newbridge.

  21. Mayo lost to Leitrim last year in the FBD. We still had a pretty good year. If we haven’t got points from 3 of our first 5 league matches, that’d be the time to worry a bit. What would actually be bad at this time would be for players to be getting seriously injuries that would keep them out for 2-3 months, like started happening last year. That would be more damaging.

  22. Few points
    1) FBD league…who gives a shite!
    2) All irelands are won in september not in ballinlough in January. A few weeks hard training and they’ll be back in the shake up.
    3) While its important to stay up we should target a league title. Dublin did last year and winning something breeds confidence and confidence delivers more wins.
    4) I would say 7 of that team will start championship realistically and we have so many to return.
    5) it’s good to see horan give lads a run but he seriously needs to do it in summer to keepnlads on their toes and give other lads game time. The lack of game time he gave some lads in championship was nothing short of a disgrace

  23. Hope they can find the next couple of gears alright – 2 weeks is not a lot of time to get fitness levels up. Hopefully the 4-5 training sessions before the trip to Kildare can get some cohesion going..

  24. Can’t read too much into today’s match but with big wins for Kildare and Tyrone again today we could find ourselves at the foot of Division 1 very quickly if fitness and tactics are not improved soon. No need for panic yet however!

  25. Rossoneri, some interesting comments there. Yeah from a Mayo point of view, maybe we should have some more belief in ourselves. We shouldn’t really fear any of the other teams in Division 1, give them all respect off course but not build them up to been world beaters. There were a lot of the games in the league last year that we should have won really, if we had more belief in ourselves, but we seemed to have a run of one point defeats. If we can turn some of those one point defeats into wins, this year, we should be well capable of making the last four again. Hopefully by that stage our fitness levels and sharpness should be much better. The League title is up for grabs then and we should be as capable as anyone of winning it… Good luck in the league too…

  26. In all fairness to Joe Mc, I think the point he was trying to make was that the new guys might have shown a bit more, in an effort to impress Management. That said it’s only January and hopefully a long year ahead……

  27. remember Mayo were playing against county side who were well up for the match…..racking up big scores against college sides is a bit facile, was at the match and was actually impressed with the new guys….

  28. Glaveys put on a great show for this match every year. In fairness I think it gets better. Fair play to this club effort. I have always got a match program here, I have never got a match program in Ballyhaunis in all the years I have attended FBD games there. Mayo has started with 7 of the AI team and ran out of steam. Ros have improved from this time last year. Should be div 3 Champs in a few weeks time IMO. Cathal Shine and Cregg done well also. The Murtaghs done good too. This will be a major step for Mayo on the 8 of June. I thought Keane, Mchale and Drake were good in Defence. Gallagher and Moran up front. Aidan and Tom were good in the first half and worked well. Very good report Mike Kelly – OK You are hired.

  29. It looks like We have far too much expectation this year. I for one am just going to roll on and support the guys no matter what and accept that (like every year) it is unlikely that we will reach an all ireland but who knows…….

  30. Interesting to see Colm Boyle in the FB line. I think JH’s strategy is to try to replace Keith Higgins with a similar type player. It might just work out if boyler can adapt to life in there. We seem to have lots of options in the half back line.
    If it works out and Keith can concentrate entirely on his attacking role then this could be the key to success. It would strengthen our forward line quite a bit. Plus Keith would make a superb ‘extra midfielder’. We need to make brave decisions around this. More of the same is unlikely to work. Interesting times ahead.

  31. That’s what it’s about mate, brave decisions and the realisation that more of the same is not going to get us to where we want to be. It’s not major surgery either , I know this sounds simplistic but we needed two new forwards, we have them , Adam Gallagher and Evan Regan, mould them in from now on in and I think we will have maximised our potential , no more you can do , if it’s good enough , great.

  32. In fairness the mayo team at started against Leitrim was weaker looking than todays line up, with injuries and others involved in club action i’d wonder how many changes will be made for Kildare away in two weeks.

  33. To my count Keane fouled the ball on the ground once and he also picked up a soft enough card. However, the Rossie forwards were well on top today and out in front gathering up well delivered ball and using it well. Boyle was lucky to get away with just a yellow card after his well intentioned foul in the first half when he was caught the wrong side of the attacker and Cafferkey didn’t beat his man to win a ball until 5 mins from the end!
    Parsons did very well against a much bigger man and the first 6 Rossie kickouts went his side. He fielded 4 great balls and was hard done by the ref as his man was continually on his back throughout. Roscommon were happier to break ball around the middle and it worked well for them as they were much sharper to the loose ball. Mayo didn’t win any of the dirty ball until Higgins came on.

  34. That second string half back line did well and I think, in Harrison, we have a lad who certainly has the ability to be a very good wing back. Give him another season or two to bed in and fill out and he will be a serious option.

  35. I think we will be bottom and, given our current fitness levels and injury situation, it is to be expected. But, as was said above, we may have to make a calculated gamble that Derry and Westmeath will be no better than us, pointswise, when we meet them and look to pip them to avoid relegation.
    I don’t buy into the argument that we have to win the league to be competitive in the summer.

  36. Mayo can hardly be accused of upsetting anyone, two finals in 2 years points to a team that Can get things done against almost all teams.
    Was half expecting Ross to win today. Not too upset by it, it’s January after all
    Adam gallagher and a few others should get lenty of league time and see if they’re better than what we had last year up front.
    Someone mentioned how Mayo may not regain the form, time will tell but my guess is they will find form and be stronger than last year come summer. Just my feeling

  37. Ah lads, calm down – it’s the middle of January and they’ve had one training session this as opposed to Roscommon, who had have been out since November. Relax. I’m perfectly happy that they took a well needed break over Christmas and are only looking to go back training now. Being fatigued and weary in the summer is not what we want – many of them have played a lot of football over the last two years and need a break. Of course they’re were going to fade in these matches – it will matter only come the Summer. Think it’s a good idea for Andy to go out the field – centre forward is a good position for him. Himself, Cillian and Alan Freeman are very similar footballers in many ways and they probably need pace in that full forward line – hence the reason (rightly or wrongly) that Mickey Conroy found himself flung in there against Dublin so early. The two Gallaghers seem to have a bit about them so it will be interesting to see how they develop. The same goes for Coen this year and Regan, if that so-called rift can be mended. Once they win their home games in the league, they should be alright – Westmeath are very beatable away as well. In saying this, I’d like to see them make a push for the league to restore a bit of confidence and belief after last year, but it’s not the be all and end all either.

  38. I hope your rite David.Someone else said it but i would live to see how Keith Higgins would get on in mid field.Very interested indeed.Certainly would add a lot of mobility that some have said we are lacking in the middle of the field.He may in fact compliment our attacking half back line.

  39. Seems to be a slight air of panic here on the back of a defeat to Roscommon – no disrespect to the Rossies, they will have been gunning for this win and they went out there and got it, and make no mistake about it they’ll be gunning for the next one too. But it’s the third week in January and it’s too early for wailing and gnashing of teeth. Let’s not forget that we were looking at potential relegation in our last league game before the play-offs last year. If that happens again this year there’ll be fierce consternation in these parts based on today’s comments 😉 I’d far rather a rested and slightly underfit panel at this stage of the year than a weary one, and I’d certainly like to see us peaking far later in the year. Like Pebblesmeller I don’t think we need to win the league in order to compete later in the year – it’d be good psychologically of course, to have a solid competitive win in the bag, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

    Didn’t make the game today due to work commitments but great to hear that by all accounts our newer lads showed well, and excellent also to see Tom Parsons back in the fold. Agree strongly with PK in that those lads need to get match time in the league – I think to an extent we didn’t maximise those opportunities last year. I’d argue that Gallagher and McHale have earned their starting places on the 2nd based on what I’ve seen and I’d like to see Drake get a good run-out too. Regan absolutely must be brought back on board – I’ve no idea what the story is between himself and Horan, but I’m not convinced there is as much of a “rift” as rumours would have you believe. So I hope we’ll see him in at a later stage.

    I also sincerely hope (based on talk above of Aido maybe being played for longer than he should have today) that we are not going to see a repeat of last year’s pattern of a lack of timely reaction from the sideline – maybe it was just to give him match time but in general, the fact that we weren’t substituting when we should have been worried me in the league, and ultimately it arguably cost us in the final. If there was one thing to be learned from last year, it was that we need to react faster and operate more strategically from the sideline.

    All in all, a shaky start, but if we’ve gained three or four new faces that will help carry us through to September, then at this stage I’m happy with that.

  40. It’s January, and we’re seeing new players get a chance to put their case for inclusion and I suspect JH and the management team are balancing the importance of a strong National League performance against peaking 2/3 weeks later this year.

    I hope that the importance of staying in Div. 1 will not mitigate totally against further experimenting with the new lads and fringe players in the NL..

    Remember, other than injured players and a couple of college lads, it would have been full strength Rossies and Leitrim siðes out today. They both need NL promotion as a priority, so their training is at a more advanced stage and use of the FBD is not to try out lots of new players, it to get to the stage of hitting the NL running.

    So chins up. It’s what JH does in the next 2 or 3 NL games that will tell us if there is a serious plan to fill the gaps that are obvious to most observers. He needs to add some fresh faces to revitalise the panel with more competition for places in the battles ahead.

  41. I agree with you David. They’ll find the form alright, hopefully in August and September as that’s when we wil need it. What happens between now and then doesn’t matter too much.

  42. A few posters here need to take a chill pill. Results from all over the country mean absolutely nothing at this stage. In fact I’d be more worried if we were going around hammering everyone in January as there is no way we would sustain that pace to September. Kildare always look unbeatable in winter, and I’d be very surprised if we beat them in 2 weeks, but It’s very likely come the serious stuff in late summer/autumn, they will be on holidays. Remember 2007, 2010 anyone?? We won nearly every league game those 2 seasons. What happened the following summer? Hammered by Galway and Derry in 07, embarrassed by Sligo and Longford in 2010. Only a fool would start getting carried away with results in a Micky mouse cup in January. When Kerry were reaching 8 All Ireland finals in ten years during the 2000s we often beat them in the league. Hell I even remember Longford beating them in the 2006 league!! 7 months later they were demolishing us in the AI final. Our team will have a training program designed to peak in sept. The only indicators these matches give us is the progress of new guys, and in that regard we seem to be doing fine, with a number of fringe players playing well. For me that’s good enough at this stage.

  43. We were far from full strength David Keenan,Donie Smith,Karol Mannion,Donie Shine,Ian Kilbride,Colin Compton.Paddy Brogan,Donal Ward injured Enda Smith,Scott Oates,Cafferky tied up with their college plus David O’Gara,Finneran just returned yesterday.

    Horan’s Brigade we started training in mid of December played our first game after just xmas against Donegal in challenge.

    Yesterdays game was lively for the time of year both sides have some good underage talent coming through.

  44. couldnt care less about that result , its a run out and thats all it is , maybe it will give the rossies a boost but they will have had a league campaign with all its ups and downs behind them next time we meet, its irrelevant.

    now if we dont win in newbridge I might be concerned… it would be great to win the league, not often talked about but i think our league semi final win against Kerry was one of the great markers put down by James Horan,

  45. Chill out lads. Dublin got beaten by DCU the other week. Do you really think that means Dublin won’t be in the shake-up this year?

    For this Mayo team at this stage of their development, January is for blowing out the cobwebs and trying out new options. Nothing else. A couple of defeats in the National League wouldn’t be the end of the world either as long as we stay in Division 1.

    September is the goal.

  46. Pretty good game. Horan was right. Mayo lost the game by playing stupid balls into the forwards who were not as alert as the Rossies. Also in the second half the Mayo full back line was completely roasted. Ros had two very good forwards in the 2 Murthaghs. Fair play to Michael Glaveys they had the place well stewarded and a nice selection of stuff in their shop. We got a really good welcome and our car was given a great parking spot to accommodate one of us who was not very mobile.

  47. A good lively game for the time of year and we certainly got a glimpse of what we will be up against later in the year, assuming we get out of New York alive (in every sense!). Roscommon, as I thought they would be, were well geared up for this and looked much sharper and better conditioned than us. They will want to get out of division 3 this year and on yesterdays performance they look well prepared and organised to do so. They have a good number of big “units” and a clearly defined and well drilled attack that supplied good ball to the forwards. No fannying around hand passing up through the middle, just quick accurate foot passes to their forwards that were showing well and were always out in front of our backs. The got their shots off quick while in space and thoroughly deserved their win. However, I do believe they showed much more of their hand than we did.
    In the poll I went for a Rossie victory and while I wasn’t surprised by it, I did leave the match disappointed. I know we are not fit, I know we are not long back from a well deserved break and all of that, but that cannot explain the complete lack of a coherent attacking plan. Was our plan to kick long balls into our full forward line? Or was it to hand pass our way up the middle of the pitch, in congested areas, bringing the ball into contact? Or was it something else? I know fitness has a huge bearing on the ability of a player to execute their skills but it was difficult to see what our plan was. maybe there wasn’t one and the purpose of yesterday was to give a run out to lads that needed it and also to have another look at some of the new faces.

  48. I would say Pebblesmeller, you’r last sentence sums it up nicely – “Or was it something else ?” which to put it crudely could mean fuck all or none. Remember James in the past has said, he’s happy to let players get on with it, think on their feet kinda thing. On Sunday that could have been the case, as it would let him see how the new guys react when left to their own devices and as there was nothing much riding on the outcome, this would make sense.

  49. Well said pebblesmeller. Makes sense. I’m one of those who have to take the chill pills. I wonder are they on prescription or are they across the counter? 🙂

  50. Great post Anne Marie Only thing I d disagree with is James being slow to act in Final. In my opinion he acted too quickly in replacing Freeman with Conroy. That did not work. He may have been slow in making other changes

  51. Good point there TWJO – the one notable exception to the trend appeared (to most of us) to be a rather disastrous one … anyway, let’s hope there have been lessons learned and that the sideline won’t feature too strongly in discussions in 2014 unless it’s for the right reasons.

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