Sligo 0-15 Mayo 1-8: down and out in Markievicz Park

This probably won’t go down in the record books as one of the worst ever days in Mayo’s footballing history but it won’t, perhaps, be too far off it either. On a perfect evening for championship football, we produced a staggeringly insipid performance and once we let Sligo back into a match we should have wrapped up before the end of the first half, we simply let them walk all over us.  They beat us in the end by four points and they did so with ease.  Good luck to them – they richly deserved this win and I hope they now go on to bigger and better things this summer.  For us, by contrast, it’s difficult to see us getting past the first round of the qualifiers.

I remember coming out of Croke Park in the rain after the league final thinking that the display I’d just seen was the true worth of where we stood in footballing terms right now.  In the weeks since then, however, I’d kinda forgotten that searing epiphany but, hunched over the laptop as I am barreling along the N4 back to Dublin (The Brother’s at the wheel for this return leg), any delusions that I might have had about our place in the greater scheme of things have been well and truly shattered by that awful, awful display we put on at Markievicz Park this evening.

1-8 in a championship match.  Against Sligo.  That shows how far down the pecking order we now reside and, while the back door still affords us – as it does for everyone else who ends up being forced to take this route – a shot at redemption, I think we all know now where that route is going to lead us.  It’s all over for us in 2010, bar one or two more shite performances, and that’s not the only thing that needs to end either.

Johnno still has the chance to do something for us in the qualifiers but this really is last chance saloon for both him and a number of his players.  The overwhelming evidence now is that the only direction he’s leading us in is backwards and unless he can radically transform our fortunes in the qualifiers, he simply has to do the decent thing and step aside to allow someone else to have a shot at the job.  Whoever that person is will then be able to decide for himself which of the current cohort of players he keeps and which he wants to jettison.  On today’s performance, a number fall into the latter category.

Ten minutes into today’s match, you would have got generous odds on such a calamitous outcome for Mayo, as we led by 1-1 to 0-0 and looked set to blow Sligo out of the water before half-time.  Alan Freeman, whose performance was one of the few positives for us in the shadow of Ben Bulbin today, fielded cleanly and smashed over the day’s opening score from way out on the left inside the first minute.  The Aghamore man caught the next ball that was pumped in too and this time he was hauled down inside the square. He got up and thumped home the resultant penalty to send us four clear.

Sligo needed to do something to counter our Route One approach and what they did was shift Eamonn O’Hara back as sweeper.  They also needed to get some scores and their opener came following a soft free award, with Colm McGee raising the first white flag of the day for the Magpies.

Conor got one from play to restore our four-point lead but Enda Varley then blazed wide a glorious chance to put us further ahead.  A McGee point from play and a Breheny free reduced the gap to two and, with our long ball tactics now being neutralised by O’Hara’s positioning in the backs, we found ourselves treading water.  Davey was allowed to saunter through to land another point for them and when Conor countered with his second from play for us, it was our first score for close on 20 minutes. Breheny and Conor then traded frees (here’s Mort’s one) to leave it 1-4 to 0-5 in our favour at the break.

You could see by then that we were in bother.  Our failure to sink the knife in when given the chance meant that confidence was now beginning to build in the home ranks and it was obvious that we were being sucked into a battle we might not win.  Even at this stage, the portents didn’t look too good.

A few changes wouldn’t have gone amiss at that stage and the pedestrian Tom Parsons – who spent the first half arsing aimlessly around the middle as the game completely passed him by – would surely have been at the top of most Mayo supporters’ lists.  Incredibly, though, Tom was left to wander cluelessly around the pitch until Barry Moran replaced him with less than ten minutes to go.

We had a few chances early in the second half to extend our lead but failed to do so. Kevin McLoughlin put a half-hearted effort wide, Enda Varley went for a goal when he should have taken the point and instead saw his shot blocked down, Andy Moran dropped an attempt at a point into the keeper’s arms and then Conor sent a free – taken, unusually, from the ground a bit more than 30 yards out – risibly well wide.

Sligo made us pay heavily for this profligacy when, five minutes into the half, they started to motor.  Breheny, from another soft free award (ref Jimmy White was benevolent enough to the home side all evening, I thought), reduced the gap to one and when Peadar Gardiner was pulled up for a foul handpass soon after, Breheny lamped over the free to square things up. An Alan Freeman point edged us back in front but we were now clearly in the kind of dogfight we never wanted to find ourselves in and for which we looked anything but prepared.

BJP for Seamus O’Shea wouldn’t have been everyone’s chosen switch at that stage but that, bewilderingly, was Johnno’s first tactical move of the second half.  Why Seamus wasn’t moved to midfield with Parsons being taken off is anyone’s guess and how Johnno thought pitching BJ in at 11 was going to be a master-stroke is beyond me.  But that’s what we got.

And it was then that Sligo really began to cut loose.  Kelly got his first of the day and then Taylor’s thumper from way out produced an earthy home town roar as Sligo edged in front for the first time.  This was followed by a McGee free and the Magpies were two to the good with twenty minutes to play.

There was still no need to panic but we simply had to get possession of the ball, hold onto it and do some damage with it.  As those dispiriting twenty minutes played out, though, we showed in no uncertain terms that we were unable to do any of these three things.

Alan Freeman did manage to cut the deficit to one but two minutes later Gilmartin banged over another long-range point for them.  Aidan O’Shea had replaced the ineffective Varley at this stage but he never managed to get into the game at all.  Sligo could now sense it was going to be their day and when ex-Mayo player Alan Costello waltzed through to bang over their twelfth point of the day to send them three clear, you could see that our lads had accepted this outcome too.

Andy Moran became only our third player to get on the scoresheet when he pointed from play with eight minutes to go and our final score of the day came from another Alan Freeman free but Sligo’s confident, exuberant closing scores contrasted with our frantic, fruitless efforts to get the goal that might give us another chance.  It never came and, in truth, it never deserved to come and Sligo were fully deserving of their four-point winning margin at the end.  They celebrated their win wildly and they were right to do so.  Their hungry, committed team had done them proud.

Few Mayo players emerged from this evening’s debacle with their reputations intact.  Andy Moran was one – he worked his ass off, won loads of ball and repeatedly tried to drive us forward.  As the second half progressed, he was the only man in the forwards who seemed capable of doing anything positive for us.  Debutant Alan Freeman also had a good day, scoring 1-4 and showing more than once his ability to cause havoc in the air.  He faded after his bright opening but it was still an impressive first championship outing for the Aghamore man.

At the back, Kevin McLoughlin did okay, Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan and Keith Higgins showed occasional flashes of what they can do and Peadar Gardiner (who started in place of the ill Chris Barrett) wasn’t the worst either.

Tom Cunniffe was, though, a major disappointment at centre-back.  He never looked in control of his area, he spilled the ball repeatedly and he rarely seemed sure of what he was meant to be doing.

Tom Parsons was as poor as he was in the league final and how he managed to stay on for as long as he did is a complete mystery.  It’s truly sad to see such a talented player fail to play to his potential in this way and unless his attitude changes in a serious way, it’s hard to see how he can hope to start for the county again after today’s wretched performance.

Ronan was a disappointment too and I gather that the TV replays of a first-half incident could mean that he may now be in hot water on the disciplinary front.  If that’s the case, we could be looking at an entirely new midfield pairing for the first round of the qualifiers.

Apart from Andy and Alan, the forwards weren’t hectic either.  Trevor had yet another miserable afternoon and, like Tom Parsons, you’d have to wonder how many bad performances it takes for a player to be dropped. Conor started brightly enough but he disimproved sharply as the day went on, his afternoon’s contribution summed up by that horrendous wide he shot from less than 10 yards out close to the end.

It sure feels like the end right now and there’s some serious wound-licking to be done over the next few days.  I’m not sure how many weeks it is until the first round of the qualifiers and at the moment I really couldn’t give a flying fuck.  But the qualifiers are there and they do offer a chance for Johnno and his squad of players to prove that they’re not as bad as Sligo made them look this evening.  After this latest abject failure to perform, I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see any meaningful response from Johnno and his team in the qualifiers but it’s now up to them to prove everyone who shares this view wrong.

MAYO: David Clarke; Peadar Gardiner, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan, Tom Cunniffe, Kevin McLoughlin; Tom Parsons, Ronan McGarrity; Andy Moran (0-1), Seamus O’Shea, Trevor Mortimer; Conor Mortimer (0-3, one free), Alan Freeman (1-4, penalty goal and two frees), Enda Varley.  Subs: BJ Padden for Seamus O’Shea, Aidan O’Shea for Varley, Mark Ronaldson for Trevor Mortimer, Barry Moran for Parsons, Kieran Conroy for McGarrity.

41 thoughts on “Sligo 0-15 Mayo 1-8: down and out in Markievicz Park

  1. Time for change , to much ball turned over, lack of commitment (not on all players) others not good enough tm etc.. team not settled we really should not be surprised at result . Terrible show in second half.Plan a hoof it into forward line plan b ?????. No leader on of off the field again

  2. It was embarrasing today.The County Board ,Management and some of the players who did not want to be out there today should all call it a day.

  3. Congrats to Sligo, only a few Mayo players performed today, Freeman looks a good player, we just could not get good ball into him. We seemed afraid to go for our scores, and missed some good chances. Sligo won so much breaking ball and were confident in the forwards, will find it hard to have any interest in the qualifiers, maybe we need a radical change, i.e management. This might give a spark to the squad, and certainly can do no harm based on recent performances. What about our ’06 U21 management team?

  4. We descended into a rabble today. The spirit of that group of players is irretrievably broken. I don’t know if O’Mahoney is to blame for that but we have now wasted the cream of a succession of successful U21 teams. Someone mentioned the paralell with the young team beten by Sligo in 75 fuelled by the core of the U21 team of 74. That group never recovered and it took Mayo 10 years to come again as a force. I think this is where we stand this evening.

  5. It was the worst Mayo display I have seen in a very very lot time. This was a pre 1996 performance. Only A Moran, Freeman and to a lesser extent, C Mort were any good.
    Poor Ger Cafferkey at Full Back. The guy would not win a 50/50 physical battle to save his life. Way out of his depth. Cunniffe was dreadful but I will give him the benefit of the doubt beacuse of lack of match time. SOS totally at sea in a hard fast ground. No a single decent player up the spine from 3 to 11.
    Boy does the future look bleak.

  6. facetheball are you for real?? CONOR MORTIMER to a lesser extent, try watching the game again! He might want to do weights on those Chicken legs to ensure he kicks it over the bar and not into the kepers hands or wide.
    Him and McGarrity are 2 of the most over rated players!!!!!! Mcgarrity might want to put his handbags away and play the ball for a change or stick to the basketball.
    We need to sort FullBack line, and midfield in praticular although there were 12/13 who could have been taken off.
    On a + side Well done to Freeman, good worker (and Costello, in the other colours but had heart and got on the ball which is the main thing, might not be the most skillful footballer around but did his job and is looking fit)

  7. Our main problem was leaving Vaughan on Kelly.
    Team had no spirit & with exception of A moran trevor freeman & higgins were a shambles.
    We really missed Dillon.
    Varley was out of his depth & it says i t all that we took off both our midfielders.
    Blaming the management is not the solution–it was not them that funked it on the field.

  8. Oh dear, obvious and only choice of word is “awful”.

    Listened to Johno after on midwest, christ he is a beaten man, my heart goes out to him in a way, he taught in same school i attended years ago and he is no doubt Mayo through and through but i have not been impressed with him this stint. His biggest mistake on reflection imo was the Ciaran mac issue in 08. As silly as it might sound a county like Mayo cannot afford to leave his likes in the terrace, some will say thats old news and he is too old now anyhow, i disagree stongly. Trevor Mort is not good enough, there are players on jom doorstep better equipped but not selected.
    The players that played today only Andy to me showed the fight and grit necessary.

    Mayo were a long time in the dressing room afterwards, it will be very hard to pick themselves up to what looked like already to be a fragile mentality before the game. Their confidence will be shattered, they don’t seem to know how good or bad they are themselves, very unsure almost wimp like mentality, a no go in todays world of sport.
    On the other hand if Johno can instore some belief, we could give the qualifiers a run it is amazing how some counties have gathered momentum after a couple of victories in qualifiers, ie Kerry last year but i really think it will be so tough.

  9. I truly was taken aback today. I never like pointing straight to the manager , I know the manager can only put the players on the field, but he is the general, when the battle is in danger of been lost he must adapt. Freeman got ten minutes freedom before kevin Walsh adapted with O hara , we waited until ten minutes to go before we decided this is not working.
    We had some serious under performers today , but how can any manager look at Tom Parsons performance today and justify 60 minutes, at one stage the ball trikled by him, he seemed uninterested lazy no clue.

    Trevor again , do Kerry worry about hauling off the captain!!!. Johnno has done a lot for football , but this mgmt team have to take some responsibility, where is the passion , where is the desire. Sad day and I am afraid just the first of many.

  10. Firstly – O’Mahoney has to go. Would love to see McGeeney and Grimley get the job. I am aware that Kildare lost but Kildare came on leaps and bounds both physically and in a footballing sense in the last few years. McGeeney and Grimley would have to come together though. Grimley was much sought after (for a reason) when he said he was leaving the Kildare position.
    Secondly, regarding the players. Get rid of Parsons. I have never once seen him perform for the Mayo Seniors. Overrated. McGarrity should have been sent off today and hasn’t played well for quite some time either.
    Something which to me says a lot about the state of Mayo football today is that the best Mayo man on the pitch, was playing for Sligo.

  11. We now are a very poor TEAM we lack all the intangables that make up a team ,leadership,spirit,determination and so much more ,shit flows downhill ,the management team were a diaster today their heads were not in that game how could Donal Vaughan be left trying to mark their best forward after been booked (he could’nt commit to any challenge after the booking). i know these lads give their all but this team is broken ,all these players have had good games for mayo and may again some day but not under the current leadership .it would be good if johnno decided to go now and let someone else get an early start on next years c\ship.to much football talent in mayo for us to perform like this,no excuses johnno please just leave

  12. johnno and the team have earned the right to this set of qualifiers and that is it , we could possibly draw sligo again along the way. an early exit will have to spell the end of johnnos tenure regardless of the quality of opposition we draw. listened to marty morrisseys commentary and it seems to me that is was not dissimilar to the meath defeat , they were allowed to pull away in the latter stages of the game. very disheartening. its a very long way to croke park now…

  13. I’m not sure that Johnno has earned the right to anything during this tenure. If you look at the treatment of M&M he has been given more than enough time and one connacht title in 4 years is a poor return. It has been obvious for a while that we had no plan B but now other teams have sussed our plan A we have nothing. The second coming of JOM has been marked by gutless capitulations and these have never been addressed like

    2007 Galway, Derry
    2008 Tyrone (3 points up and folded)
    2009 Meath (Galway almost added again)
    2010 Cork, Sligo, TBC

  14. i hear ya richard , what i meant is i want johnno gone after the qualifiers , with the players in the county he should have done much better

  15. What a terrible display, dont know where we go from here. O’Mahoney has to win sam or step down simple as that. when is the qualifer draw?

  16. What was Johnno doing leaving Varley on the field for that length of time? He got about 2 balls and a yellow-that was his action for the day. Then he only changes him when the game is nearing the end-what was he thinking? I’m really starting to doubt his position, and you look back to Moran and Morrisson and they got us a Connaught final, and onto the All-Ireland in their one year of service, and then they were cast aside for Johnno. What has he done for us? One Connaught in the space of 4 years in charge.

    Lads, what we need to do now is move on from this match, and turn our attention to the qualifiers. Forget about our not so pretty record in them, forget about this shambolic display. Look ahead, because focusing on this match too much won’t have any positive effects…

  17. Gibbonm, the first round of qualifiers is on the 26th of June, which is a Saturday. So I would think the draw would take place maybe 2 weeks before-but I’m only guessing.

  18. I was loking forward to Sligo. I was expecting a backlash (after Cork). I was expecting them to play with pride and passion and compete like dogs.
    What we got was more of the same as we got against Meath and Cork.
    Many of these lads may have talent but it seems to me they lack the competitive edge, the hunger and drive for success, the pride in themselves and passion for the jersy.
    Sadly, this is the way it is and it is unlikely to change.
    My instinct is to blame Johnno (our instincts are always to blame someone) but the truth is he wasnt on the field – the players were.
    The tuth seems to be that we simply do not have what it takes to compete at the highest level.
    And Lord wouldnt I love to be proven wrong!

  19. Diehard, I have to disagree with you on two fronts.

    Firstly, Johnno might not have been on the pitch, but he was in charge of who was on the pitch-and he made a shambles of that. He left Varley on too long, Parsons wasn’t up to it and he made numerous other wrong decisions. Johnno was just as much to blame as any one of those players-he should have known better.

    Secondly, we do have what it takes to compete at the highest level. The thing that was killing me yesterday watching the match was that those players have so much to give, but they lack belief. Mayo have a wonderful underage set-up and they have a team of young, vibrant players. Mayo have proven, in 2006 notably, that they most certainly can compete at the highest level, but as they proved yesterday, they can stoop to the lowest level as well.

  20. Complete and utter shite. I thought the Meath game last year was bad, but this was shambolic.

    I agree with you Esther, O’Mahony has to take a large portion of the blame. His calls were baffling to say the least. Parsons should have been hauled of a lot earlier than he was, although he could of been joined by quite a few more. Vaughan needed to be moved off Kelly etc etc.
    I hate blaming managers for bad performances, but it’s a managers job to make the calls, motivate the players and set up a system that works. We had none of that.
    Sligo showed how a manager with passion and an ability to get the best out of his players can work wonders. Sligo were a shambles when Walsh took over, they’re a fine team now. We need someone to come in and instill some passion into these players. There’s ability there, it’s just not being utilised properly. Change is needed.
    We’re still in the qualifiers so we’ll see how that goes first. But is anyone confident? I know I’m not. The only way O’Mahony can stay is if he somehow manages to reinvigorate these players and lead us on to Croke Park in September. But can anyone really see it happening? There’s simply no evidence to suggest he can do it. And fuck this hoping for a handy draw in the qualifiers. I want Derry or Antrim away. Let’s see if these players and the manager have any bottle left.

    Fair play to Sligo. Worthy winners. I wish them all the best for the rest of the summer.

  21. it was like 15 players who had never played together – it is well time Johnno was gone – if he will be going is a different question given there is political reasons he still has the job in the first place.

    I think we need a manager from outside the county – there is the makings of a team there we just need them to get a lot tougher and have them play like a team

  22. I understand peoples anger towards Johnno but i would advise true supporters to wait till were out proper otherwise we are not supporters at all. If the noises coming from towns and clubs around the county are negative the response on the pitch will also be negative.

    We were terrible yesterday but i believe actually i know that is not a true reflection of the teams ability.

    The great thing about todays championship is that a defeat doesn’t signal the end. Majority of Mayo people will be saying ” better off if we were out, f..k the backdoor” etc, but that is not their true feeling, we all feel the same this morning, we are thinking MAYBE if we sneak a couple of handy wins, we could gather momentum and have a right go at getting in the shake up.

    I have said it for years and people always dismiss it as rubbish, but untill the day Mayo people believe our team never will either. I will carry that belief to my grave, that is sort of set within the mindset of Mayo people when it comes to our county team, its like ” ah sure were not good enough”. There has never been true belief from supporters down to players, i remember been in the canal end in 96 final, i looked at the scoreboard we were a few points up with 15 min remaining, i urged the crowd around me to chant and roar us on to victory, a man turned to me and said ” will ya dry up, i bet you 20 pound we dont win this” my god i was a teenager at the time and thought, thats what you’re up against in Mayo, no true belief.

  23. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying Sean.
    Sites like this are great to vent after a defeat, helps the healing process. I’ll always give my support, hoping beyond reason that things will work out.
    There is absolutely no evidence from what I saw yesterday that we can make a real go of the qualifiers, but I’m not giving up either. Let’s give it a go and see what the players/manager are made of.
    A few tough away trips could be the making of us, just like those away games in the league seemed to bring the best out of the players.
    It’s just so fecking hard to be positive after the last 2 insipid performances.

  24. Yes its possible, a couple of handy draws and we might stage some sort of come back, but unless theres a road to damascus type change in that team in the next 2 to 3 weeks then we are all codding ourselves with Rossie like optimism.
    No leadership, tactically naive, no heart, no guts, four daming things to say about a team but they unfortunatley all true about this bunch of players under the current management.
    And thats the important thing, we know we have talented players – its just that this management team cant get it out of them for some reason. The fault may lie on both sides but its just not working and needs to change. Whatevers wrong is beyond fixing in the current setup.
    A new manager and new setup can cange things drastically. please God they will or another bunch of talented players will be consigned to history without fulfilling their destiny, and thats a very depressing thought.

  25. sean , you can be sure we will all support them in the qualifiers , this is going to take some turnaround though , fair play to those who voted 2001 all over again for johnno on the poll 🙁

    Apologies to all Sligo readers as i never once said congrats to them , hope we get our chance for revenge in croke park and best of luck now in the championship unless we meet again

  26. Rayosilke – those 15 fellas never played together!! You saw how last week everybody was so suprised at the selection.

    Another man who looked absolutely dead on his feet from very early on was Varley.

    The only thing that you can say in the manager’s favour is that injuries tied his hand. The likes of Kilcoyne, Dillon and Harte would have been good options to win a game. Howley could have shored up centre-half back on a day like yesterday (I know he is nowhere near a long-term solution).

    But then the reality is that overtraining after the League Final is probably the cause of many of those injuries. What was the benefit of 5 challenge games when the team that played yesterday never started any of those? There were club games thrown in.

    A positive would be the players themselves waking up this morning and organising a meeting between themselves and deciding how they will approach this. That is leadership, and would show a desire that they are not going to stand for such a shallow and meek exit after 8 months of hard work. We know that won’t happen though.

    The Qualifiers will be a lonely road but we have to keep the faith

  27. Pathetic! Up there with the worst ever! The most important thing now is not our next game but who the county board will put in place for next year. Noel Connelly would be the obvious choice.

  28. I agree EstherMayo1951 JOM has to take his share of the blame no doubt. He should have moved earlier when obvious problems were emerging.
    However, like yourself, I also believed, up until yesterday, that we had “a young team of vibrant players”. But in all honesty I did not see much vibrancy against Meath last year or Cork this year and yesterday brought it home to me that we might be codding ourselves about the true quality of many of our players. And it gives me no pleasure to make this kind of pronouncement. I only hope they will prove me wrong because I want to believe there is hope for Mayo (having loyally supported them since 1965 when I first attended a Mayo match!)

  29. The problem yesterday was with the positions of the players, the management and those who just arent good enough. A good few of them have shown their potential in the right positons like Aidan O’shea at CF as he showed with the minors, Cunniffe at FB (Cavanagh said after the 2008 match that he was the best full back he came up against and yet Cunniffe hasnt played there since!).

    Vaughan shouldve been wing back, not corner back because hes no man marker. Higgins shouldnt ever have been in the corner as hes way too loose. Could they not have given Higgins the free man role instead of Cafferkey?

    Seamus O’Shea is clearly a midfielder not a CF. Could himself and Parsons not have switched or even switched Parsons to the bench due to his uselessness.

    Ronan was extremely lucky to stay on although he would have been just as useful on the bench.

    Johnno just isnt showing that he cares any more. Honestly BJP is still on the panel? Trev and Gardiner as Captain and Vice? What about Andy or Dillon or Pat Harte or someone half dacent as captain?

    There are plenty of young lads such as Kevin Keane coming through and anyone who isnt going to try can feck off the panel, theyre just as useful as injured. Wheres David Kilcullen by the way?

    On a lighter note fair play to Freeman as well as Costello and the resht of Sligo and Louth for a dacent win over Kildare. A serious improvent is needed if we got someone like Kildare in the qualifiers. If that doesnt happen we can happily say goodbye to Johnno and thanks for taking us Benitez style backwards. But sure lets stay positive. 2001 again? Sure why not

  30. No heart. No spirit. No PRIDE. No MEN.

    I know that this sounds facetious, but Cora would have given a far better account of herself.

    Shameful.

  31. Very surprised at the lack of intelligence displayed both on and off the field. Eamon O’Hara went back firefighting in front of his fullback line after 8 mins- JOM should’ve gone for the jugular even at that stage and pushed a nippy lad up to bring him around and about the place -it could have yielded 2 or 3 scores and we’d be talking about a different game here. Peadar Gard kicked in a big high ball to an area where there were 10 players 25 yards in front of the Sligo goal… he was on his own when he kicked it. My point is JOM is not getting the best out of these lads- Peadar G is better than that- but he should be given the qualifiers to see what can be reaped from the year. Thought BJP did well when he came on.

  32. BJP and Chris Barrett were excellent yesterday for Belmullet against Kiltane in the Comorthas.
    Straight back in the saddle. I think Chris was a big loss on Saturday, he is a good defender

  33. It’s hard to be too hard on supporters who are negative when they’ve been told for the past four years by the Mayo manager that this is a poor team. Johnno’s statements after the game on Saturday were more positive than he’s been since he returned to the job.

    He was always a fair man for talking up the opposition but I don’t ever remember him talking down Leitrim or Galway or Mayo in the 80s the way he’s talked down his own team since he took over.

    And people took him at his word. The muted response to the team taking the field on Saturday was bizarre. You’d hear a bigger roar at a league game. A whole flock of chickens came home to roost on Saturday. Johnno reaped what he sowed.

  34. An Spailpin Fanach i dont think it was unresonable for us to think we could beat Sligo and at least throw a few passes together, we have had reasonable underage success down through the years. The most depressing thing about the defeat was the gutless way in which the towel was thrown in. Mayo have better individual players then Sligo but its clear to see that we are a poor team. Why cant we show the same spirit as Sligo. Its very hard to look forward to the Qualifiers.

  35. Liam McHale made a v. good point on the Sunday game about Mayo teams over the past 2 years fading dismally in the last 15/20 minutes of games. Same happened Saturday. V. accurate and very curious.

    Some fellas cast blame on the FB line. I can’t blame the FB line for the display. How can I when all the ball did in the second half was come straight back in on top of them every time they cleared it ?

    I look at the 1 on 1 battles.
    MidField and the middle 3rd were completly lost by Mayo. Like others in my opinion only 1 man stood out in this sector- Andy M.
    Tony Davis called this the match up of the game and both players fought as hard as possible for the honours in this duel.
    It’s a pity however the rest of our middle third do not have the same desire as Andy.

    It’s hard also to put too much blame on new lads either as some making championship debuts.
    But i agree with your analysis WJ on T Cunniffe. It was epitomised in the second half when he got the ball and (for such a big man) he just panicked looked around quickly and handpassed the ball 2 yards left left to debut man Chris.

    As clear an indication of …. “Christ – I don’t know what to do here. You take responsibility quick” ….. as I have ever seen.

    And look at SoS RmCG and TParsons – all our super mid-field possibilities subbed out of the game.

    We were always renowned for our midfield. Not any more it seems.

    And what of all of our “capt fantrastic” Trevor defenders on this site – ye have to take some of it back now surely ??

    As for Conor – well love him or hate him he scores points. Unfortunatly he is not the man to change the flow when we’re listing badly as he’s just not a leader.

    We still haven’t faced the fact that we don’t have a free taker.

    Tony Davis made another good comment again on the telly when Mayo had the ball. Mayo had possession and it was said that “A point should be coming”….
    But Tony cut in, “well hang on, this is Mayo – wait for the white flag to be raised b4 you say that”. You know what – they guy’s right.

    Also fair play WJ – you congratulated Sligo and that was the right thing to do as you only beat what’s in front of you and like their colours they did it in spades.

  36. Liam McHale made a point on the Sunday game about Mayo teams over the past 2 years fading dismally in the last 15/20 minutes of big games. Both accurate and very curious.

    Some fellas cast blame yesterday on the FB line. I can’t blame the FB line for the display. How can I when all the ball did in the second half was come straight back in on top of them every time they cleared it ?

    I look simply at the 1 on 1 battles. Mid field and the middle 3rd were completly lost by Mayo.
    Only 1 man stood out in this sector – Andy M. Tony Davis said it was the match up of the game and both players fought as hard as possible for the honours in this duel.
    It’s a pity the rest of our middle third did not have the same desire as Andy.

    It’s hard however to put too much blame on some lads either as some making championship debuts.
    But i agree with your analysis WJ on T Cunniffe. It was epitomised in the second half when he got the ball and (for such a big man) he just panicked looked around quickly and handpassed the ball 2 yards left left to debut man Chris.
    As clear an indication of …. “Christ – I don’t know what to do here. You take responsibility quick” ….. as I have ever seen.

    And look at SoS RmCG and TParsons – all our “Top” mid-field options subbed out of the game.
    We were always renowned for out midfield were we not. Well not any more it seems.

    And what of all of our “capt fantrastic” Trevor defenders – ye have to take some of it back now surely ??

    As for Conor – well love him or hate him he scores points. Unfortunatly he is not the man to change the flow when we’re listing badly as he simply is not a leader.

    We still haven’t faced the fact that we don’t have a proper free taker who can kick a 45. Yawn…kinda tired of saying this in fact.

    Tony Davis made another proficient comment on the match. Mayo had possession and it was said that “A point should be coming”.
    But Tony cut in, “well hang on, this is Mayo – wait for the white flag to be raised b4 you say that”. You know what – they guy’s right.

    Also fair play WJ on your congratulations of Sligo. It’s the right thing to do as you only beat what’s in front of you and like their colours Sligo they did it in spades.

  37. willie joe, accurate match report but 2 minor quibbles. second half free count was 22 to Mayo, 9 to Sligo, so hard to see pro-Sligo bias there and McGarrity got away with some amount of pulling and dragging all through.

  38. Fair point, Tomas – I hadn’t seen the free count when I wrote the match report, which was in the car on the way back to Dublin straight after the game. I hadn’t even calmed down by then so I think I was fairly restrained in what I said! I never, of course, claim to be unbiased …

  39. Despite all the hurt in digesting that defeat fair play to those of you gracious in defeat and wishing us the best of luck. Spent my childhood following my mother’s county in Connacht & beyond in the 1980s as Sligo were always gone early, even though ye gave us some unmerciful hidings. Castlebar 1987 after us beating Roscommon was the most cruel, even the Mayo uncles didn’t say a word after. The only difference Saturday evening was belief. Yes, Mayo have more footballers, heaps of Connacht titles, a storied tradition but for some reason the heads dropped the moment we went ahead in Markievicz. I saw 2 defenders jog out to their positions for that kick out and their heads were down. I really hope ye pull it together for the qualifiers, and I hope we can improve for Salthill.

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