Semi-finals, survival or sacrificing of status?


Four games in and we are not where we want to be in the League. Three straight league losses were a hard pill to swallow. Despite a hammering from the Rebels in round 1, the Munster lads sit below us in the table which is a reassuring fact that not all hope is lost.

The most infuriating aspect of the League this year is that the Rossies are sitting comfortably above us on six points. They dished out some payback on our behalf returning the hammering down in Pairc Ui Rinn while snatching points off Kerry and Down also. This should not sit well in Mayo.

Sure, we could take the point of view that it looks good for Connacht to have two teams in Division One and that a team other than Mayo are thriving. However, it has to be remembered, they are the noisy neighbours and they’ve gotten even louder, this must be stopped.

Yes, we are half way there and most definitely we are living on a prayer. Thankfully we have progressively been building and building since that loss down in Cork. Narrow two point losses to both Dublin and Donegal are games which could have swung either way.

Much like those two losses, our last game swung in the balance and thankfully for the first time this year, the pendulum swung in our direction. As Willie Joe mentioned in an earlier post, our record against Kerry is impeccable, in the league that is! Hopefully the Monaghan victory is the catalyst in a second half revival in the League.

We are in a position at the moment which could see us succeed, slumber or just stay stagnant. Worst case scenario: losses to Kerry and Roscommon with a win against Down almost a certainty. A relegation battle would ensue and going off recent form, it seems as if our nearest buddies would be Cork.

If it is the case that we both linger on four points and end up battling for survival, then this is a battle already lost as the head-to-head rule means they have the jump on us there. It is still wide open though and a win against Kerry on Sunday would see us leapfrog the Kingdom.

Best case scenario: three from three. If the Down game is a certainty and our record against Kerry is to stand to us, we only need to worry about the noisy neighbours. A change of venue may occur yet which would take the pressure off us in terms of going to their hunting ground and grabbing a win.

That would leave us on eight points and certainly in contention for a semi-final spot. Six points would seem to be the magic number, the last team to get relegated on a score of six was Roscommon in 2003. Since then though, any county that has reached this magic number has hung on but only just.

At the start of the campaign, I presented an opposite hypothesis to that of Stephen Rochford’s and urged for success and not just survival. You don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone though and Division One status is something a team of Mayo’s calibre should have tightly under their belt for next year. It is not often I admit I am wrong but I was wrong and at this stage I would be delighted with the safe six point mark.

22 thoughts on “Semi-finals, survival or sacrificing of status?

  1. Given that it’s Rochfords first year in charge and he has only started working with the lads around late November/early December I think survival in this very competitive division would be a great achievement

  2. I am guilty of saying we should target winning the league but it’s hard to see us winning it at this stage. Given the introduction of hall and co and the clearing up of injuries it has not been a bad start, we will likely beat down and one of Roscommon or Kerry to get six points, and could have beaten Dublin and donegal on those days but lost narrowly. I am impressed by Roscommon but also wonder how cork can have allowed 4-25 to get past them ! Very odd indeed. For me we should stop experimenting now and target the wins needed to keep division 1 status for 2017, in other words, put out our strongest available 15 and only change if necessary or if we have it wrapped it on a given day.
    This Sunday will be a really interesting game and so will the Roscommon game, a win in either will be well earned

  3. Rochford was realistic at the begining of the year, late starting, a horrendous injury list and players missing due to club duty meant that a serious go at winning the league was never really on. Add to that three very tough games to start. Cork were excellent the first day and put in a show of point kicking ( yes we were poor too). So Rochford was right to target league survival as the main priority.

    I think we will be safe this year, I can see us on 6pts with a host of others and pts diff will get us over the line. In saying that relegation is by no means the end of the world. This team target championship every year plain and simple, even in the Horan era, winning the league didnt really feature. If the worst happens then a year in div 2 really wont make that much of a difference.

  4. I have said it here before ,, stay up great but if we go down it’s not the end of the world . It’s all about getting new lads experience and not rushing older or injured players back ,,peaking fitness wise for championship . it’s all about Sam for me.

  5. I’d hate to see us getting relegated. The nightmare situation would be us ending up in Division 2 and Roscommon and Galway in Division 1. I’m sure if you told Meath and Galway when they got relegated that they would still be in Division 2 today that they would not have believed you.

    I can imagine all of the headlines about the players not backing up what they stood up for when they got rid of Noel and Pat. With us having 2 of our last three games at home we should be well able to do enough to stay up. Ending up in the fifth or sixth position would be fine and then build for a massive summer assault. If we did manage to make the semis that would be a bonus.

  6. The rossies are after giving our minors a bit of a trimming in Bekan this evening, 2-20 to 1-02. Don’t think we scored at all in second half.

  7. Noisy neighbours is an understatement!

    They are ear splitting, but at the same time afraid to get too excited.

    With a dry ball on Sunday we should take Kerry by 5 or 6 points, despite the start we have improved over each game, Kerry are stale.

  8. That kind of defeat should not happen to any Mayo team against Roscommon , it’s a fookin disgrace to be losing underage games by that margin , under 21 s the same last year , not blaming the players either btw , something seriously amiss with the way they are preparing some underage teams.

  9. Minors got a fair trimming last year in the championship if I remember correctly. Something not quiet right at underage it seems

  10. Berry I am not sure what to make of your piece there. Its all over the place really. We have had worse league campaigns over the last 6 year than this year. Some interesting things are a foot this year that you have not alluded to. My apologies if you are a poster living outside the country.

  11. Forget this obsession with Ros. They have every right to be cock a hoop and noisy at the moment. 6 points in league and away wins to kerry and cork is excellent achievement but they have been building for a while now. Hammering Mayo in the minor league is a concern. No way should we be losing to any county by such a score . Its absolutely dire. Get our own house in order and leave Ros to their own devices. Our excellent senior team have been papering over the cracks for a number of years and when they drift off the scene I fear we will go like Man Utd and spend years in the doldrums If our U21s under perform this year I will be seriously concerned

  12. Ros has a serious structure in place and mcstay knew it living in the county and im from ballyhaunis right on border and they will b there the c!!!! I fear in 2 or 3 years time and im dreading it /we seriously need a county board that see this or we will end up like cork

  13. I don’t know where all the depression had come from all of a sudden.Im just in from a pretty good play,feeling pretty good and after reading a while here I’m now feeling pretty bad! Having come so far against the odds we ve only really lost one v Cork. I d prefer to consider that what we had with DO and DU gave us the win we had v Monaghan which victory will bring us forward to another over Kerry on Sunday.And when that happens do we then hang up the boots…play bad…hold back for some reason. I wonder how is Rochford going to break it to the team! “Ye are fucked boys”…….”Out ye go and do yer best but it’s a waste of time …. Ye just don’t have it and I’m no help at this stage”
    You just can’t be letting up at this stage like it appears is the forecast most common above! There is every chance we can beat Kerry and then Ros and then Down which has us in the last four,one of whom we ll have beaten and the other two who gave us the insight into how to knock them over in the next joust we have with either!
    I would be all in favour of taking each game as it comes and the next game is v Kerry in Mc Hale park next Sunday after the hurling match… our own back yard!

  14. I absolutely love the way Mayo folk describe us as the noisy neighbours. Why? Its more than a little arrogant to do this. It would be much different had Mayo got 20 All-Irelands to back themselves up. No they have only 1 more than us. Noisy neighbours? Perhaps someone with an objective view could explain this. We half less than half the population of Mayo. Noisy or just making the best of what we have? All genuine opinions accepted. As I said before the haters are going to hate

  15. Mayo had worse leagues than this current one and Mayo could yet win their remaining games to reach the semi finals. Matter of fact i said this before the Monaghan match that Mayo could have a possible semi final v Dublin in the weeks ahead. Kerry (H) Roscommon (A) Down (H) are all very winnable games with what is very strong Mayo starting 15s and if all 3 games are won what then a totally different article?

    I don’t understand how or what Roscommon are doing can be infuriating? they are doing well fair play to them and they have every right to shout loud when you consider they were a div 4 team just 5 years ago. What the neighbours do doesn’t matter to Mayo as Mayos league faith is in their own hands.

  16. Not sure what one can say to put your mind at ease rossie Shane .Some GAA supporters seem to get very offended by a bit of banter , so what if some of us refer to a neighbouring county who make a lot of noise for a county who haven’t beaten our bucks in 15 years of championship football , it’s not offensive at all and very apt also.

    Ye are doing very well but unlike a lot of fans I will not be dishonest in saying I wish Ye all the best, as for the life of me don’t get that angle at all , I want Mayo to win every game every time , I want Mayo to win every Nestor cup , I want Mayo to beat Galway and Ross every time by as big a margin as they can. Of course that’s not going to always happen but to be wishing your enemy well is just airy fairy shite and typical of this country we live in, dishonesty all the bloody time .

  17. I for one am happy to see Roscommon doing well (same with Galway). Of course I want to beat them every time we meet and by as much as possible. But if Ros or Galway were to get to the latter stages of the championship I would be shouting for them against the likes of Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone etc.

  18. Agree with you diehard. Competitive games against our neighbouring teams yes by all means. But this primal rivalry bordering on hatred of the opposition that seems to be suggested by a certain few posters is not in the makeup of any of my friends who follow Mayo football. Such talk would be more at home in the Reservoir Dubs site. Any wonder you get the primitive rabble congregating behind the goal at Dublin matches. I would always support Galway or Roscommon teams at Croke Park games. I would expect the same in return when Mayo contest the big games. So lets hear it for Mayo tomorrow and for Mitchells on Thursday.

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