Some stuff about Fermanagh

Mayo Fermanagh 2004

Photo: Connaught Telegraph

So we’ve drawn Fermanagh in the qualifiers, with our Round 2B tie to be played at MacHale Park on 9th July at a time to be announced at some point later on today. It’ll be our first taste of the backdoor since we lost to Longford in a first round qualifier in June 2010 but it’ll be the first scenic route championship match we’ve played in Castlebar since overcoming Cavan in an opening round fixture way back in 2007.

Our three championship meetings with the Ernesiders came before then, of course, with our initial one also in the qualifiers, back in 2003. We’d lost the Connacht final to Galway two weeks prior to meeting Fermanagh in a Round 4 tie at Markievicz Park in July that year and we went under to the Ernesiders at Sligo by a single point, losing 0-12 to 1-8 (report here).

The following year we met at the All-Ireland semi-final stage. We were, by then, Connacht champions once more and came into that semi-final having unseated the defending All-Ireland champions Tyrone in the quarters, on the same day that Fermanagh had caused a massive shock by dumping out Ulster champions Armagh.

It took us two attempts to get past Fermanagh that year. We were wretchedly poor the first day where, down to fourteen men after James Gill was sent off, we somehow managed to scrape a 0-9 apiece draw. The replay the following weekend was a far better match but we still made hard work of it before finally shaking the Northerners off on a 0-13 to 1-8 scoreline (highlights here).

We’ve largely gone our separate ways in the years since then. We met them twice in the League – at MacHale Park in 2006, where we won by 0-19 to 1-14, and at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones (the match was played there as Brewster Park was closed for redevelopment) in 2007. That latter one was noteworthy at a personal level as it was the first Mayo game I went to after having started the blog, following which I penned this match report. Bloody hell, it feels like a long, long time ago.

Enough of ancient history. Fermanagh’s recent record is framed by that gutsy performance against Dublin in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-finals. The Ernesiders really gave it a lash Jack that day, Sean Quigley played with a smile on his face and shunted Stephen Cluxton over the line for Fermanagh’s opening goal on a day when they went down by 2-23 to 2-15.

That positive showing sent them into this year in good spirits. They held their own in Division Two of the League this spring, finishing fourth with six points. An opening day loss by nine points away to Derry was followed by a four-point home win over Meath, which in turn was followed by a one-point away defeat to Armagh. A cracking ten-point triumph at home against Laois came next, then a dispiriting five-point home reversal against Cavan. The campaign ended well for them, though, with two hard-fought draws, the first away to Galway and the second at home against Tyrone.

Fermanagh had high hopes of building on last summer’s green shoots in this year’s championship. Those hopes were buoyed by a positive Ulster opener against Antrim in May where Tomás Corrigan fired over nine points in a 1-12 to 0-9 win at Brewster Park. Donegal stopped their gallop a fortnight ago at the quarter-final stage, however, with Odhran MacNiallais goaling twice as the home side ran out 2-12 to 0-11 winners at Ballybofey.

The Ernesiders got back on the horse on Saturday with a Round 1 qualifier victory away to Wexford, where they won by 0-19 to 1-11. By all accounts, the visitors put in an accomplished showing in the second half at Wexford Park but it appears Paddy Power aren’t all that impressed as they’ve installed us as slightly ludicrous 1/12 favourites to progress when we meet at Castlebar on Saturday week.

75 thoughts on “Some stuff about Fermanagh

  1. This will give us a good idea of where we stand after the Galway debacle. Fermanagh will not fear us and will be hoping to add a notable scalp to their belt. With Corrigan and Quigley in their full forwardline a sweeper may be tested here.

  2. Yes this will not be straight forward. All pressure on home team who haven’t performed well in C’bar in a long time. Add in some players dip in form, uncertainty on sweeper system and formation and it all adds up to one nervy Saturday evening.

  3. This is ideal imo. We drew The best team and also got the comfort of a home draw to get things going again. Have to win now. Simple. I would like to see the forwards freshened up wit freeman or Andy or both.

  4. I remember that dank evening in Sligo with the unfortunate Maurice Sheridan ‘going to ground’ when taking a free in the slippery conditions and leaving Markievicz Park with the thoughts of “never again”. Lets hope its not a repeat.

  5. There was the proverbial biblical rain in Sligo that evening, the gaps between the seats started to fill up with water. Lucky to get the car out of a field afterwards!

    We were blessed in the 2004 semi against them, embarrassingly so. Perhaps that was our true level, based on what happened in the Final.

  6. If there’s an upside here its that our supporters don’t have far to travel for this one.
    All other things considered, this will be a tough hard fought contest.
    A contest where we’ll probably look invincible at times while cat at others. Not sure we’ll learn much, all that matters now is putting the shoulder to the wheel and stay alive, at least till August.

  7. Willie Joe quick q , how many rounds of qualifiers are there too a quarter final ?

  8. This will be a hard game but a game mayo will win I seen Fermanagh play Donegal and seen nothing that would tell me we should be worried mayo by 6 points can not wait for this one

  9. 3 games to makeit to quarter final
    The 3 most important in terms of us advancing are.

    1. Fermanagh.
    2. Fermanagh.
    3. Fermanagh.

    Fermanagh showed no fear of Dublin last summer even when they were well beaten , it will be the same against Mayo, maybe even more because we have won nothing since 2001. We are there for the taking if we aren’t pumped up for the game.

  10. Ha Ha Ha…………..Very subdued thread lads…………..I don’t know which was the biggest shock, our loss to Galway or BREXIT…………..the jury’s certainly out on that one !!

  11. The biggest shock, was Iceland still in Europe & England, as Maggie Thatcher once said to Garret Fitzgerald, ‘out, out, out’ we I don’t know what the third ‘out’ refers yet, but I’ll think of something! Sorry Willie Joe, well off the subject of Mayo Gaelic-football there can’t help myself!

  12. Some people on the other thread predicting an “easy mayo win” , 10+ point win etc. Look that would be great but that’s exactly the superior mentality that has us in the qualifiers. People need to be realistic here and respect fermanagh. No doubt McGrath will have something up his sleeve to beat mayo and yes it’s up to Roch and Co to counteract this but it comes down to the players more so. They need to find that heart and desire we are so used to seeing with this group and had/have 3 weeks to do so. This is a great draw against a dogged Ulster team and if we beat them chances of us getting a similar team in the next round are high. The first 5 mins will tell if this team have shaken off the shite ( on and off the field). I have never heard so many stories and rumours about a group of players than I have this team in the last few days. It needs to stop. Would this talk happen in Dublin ? No chance . Kerry? No chance. Someone needs to stand up and end it , supporters included. And get behind this mayo team in castlebar and get things back on track.

  13. Mango chutney, aren’t you just as bad for listening to rumors? Tell them you don’t want to hear it!!
    And while you’re at it, tell them to get a flag and go to Mchale park for the evening and shout the team on.

  14. Well that’s pretty much what I was saying there Dave. Cheers though. I never really said I was taking them to be fact. I was just saying nothing would be circling around a team who aspire to win a championship. True or not. Everything would be kept under wraps inside the panel community so the players could get on with playing and we could get on with supporting our team..

  15. After what i saw against galway i dont see us getting into stride any time soon. We look lathargic and disjointed and alot of the issues we have will not be solved in 3 weeks. Our only home win can when we beat down and they still racked up big score against us. Caff is major loss. I see alot of posters calling for andy moran to start the next day. He could do no worse any how but its hardly step in right direction. At least we are still in division 1 for next year. About the only positive from all this. Fermanagh will take us on and cause us lots of problems.

  16. Its only Fermanagh we are playing thank god its not Donegal or Tyrone or Monaghan we are playing some people saying a few weeks ago how we will beet Dublin in September now we might not beet Fermanagh we will beet Fermanagh it may not be easy but this mayo team does not become a bad team over night yes we were bad against Galway but give them a chance get a flag go to the game do u part

  17. Beat Fermanagh, then who knows? Could fall at the first or enter the straight with all to play for. I don’t expect miracles, but a few players coming back and the right team spirit might surprise many.

  18. . Attendance will be most interestimg for this. Will there be 15 . -20k mayo there like there should be or will it be more like 7-10k?

    Caff will be missed for this one

  19. 1) Half backs, prefer to see Durkan get another game. I believe he will be a star for Mayo though Donie has more experience and he also needs game time on return from injury. Coen and Nally from bench if needed.
    2) Sweeper if we use one would be Kevin Mc or Zippy. However as we’re bit low on cover in full back line maybe best to return our best corner back to that position. I think he could be useful in forwards but maybe needs must this year. Dublin don’t really use a sweeper, they use a deep centre back (Cian OS wears no. 6) with zonal system alternating Flynn and Connolly coming back to help midfielders and half backs.
    3) Play either Andy or Freeman. Andy losing out because youth needs to be given a chance but IMO he is better than the 2 young lads. Also please stop talking about Reape. It is completely daft. Galway tried youth because they had to try something new. Kerry didn’t give James OD a consistent place till he was nearly 24 and turns out he’s a star when injury free. We have Regan and he did well vs Galway rookie and is useful left footed free taker. Irwin is super free taker but a year away yet. I would have Andy, Freezer and A Dillon all ahead of Loftus in the team though he should be given game time if we get a big lead in any game.
    Dillon could have conducted the malfunctioning Orchestra the last day.
    4) Probably not a good idea to drop Aido. As others said it’s better to motivate so called star players though Kerry dropped star but he wasn’t 100% and Kerry were bit predictable using him too much. Aido is fit and at peak with experience. However it needs to be pointed out to both Aido and Seamus that they are often too slow to release. Sometimes players are hanging off them and shackles need to be released but other times a boring simple sideways pass is all that’s needed.
    Whether to play Aido at midfield, for this one depends whether Seamie’s match sharpness is back after 3 more weeks training. Prefer Aido in forwards closer to goal where he can break tackles.
    5) Not worried about COC, freetaking class again last day apart from 1 and he was taking shots he would normally score.

  20. Personally I would have preferred another team for Mayo after losing the Galway game, I said here before that complacency is almost an uncontrollable like the weather. No matter how the mind sets it’s expectations or preparations the gut felt notion that “we have too much for them” is a lethal presence if the game takes an unexpected turn when the sand is high on the bottom of the hour glass. I think a weaker team would have greased the wheels nicely and given the team a much needed boost of confidence and purpose.

    Fermanagh are no slouches and almost every team Mayo meet from now to the quarters will have the gift of playing with a certain amount of abandon as they are playing a team that most observers would expext to beat them. Essentially these battles are All Ireland encounters as its all or nothing for every man inside the white lines. Mayo have three games to play and each one should they advance will be played on a trapdoor, deadly I know but great perpetration nevertheless..

    There seems to be a suggestion that AOS should be dropped to sharpen his appetite for the next game,,,OMG. I would say that O Shea has the potential to drag ye kicking and screaming all the way to the quarters and beyond. His ability to launch and lead from the middle will I think be crucial if ye are to reach Croker.

    While not suggesting that he shouldn’t be used on occasion to drop into the square to quicken the hearts of the Fermanagh supporters, I think he should be (largely) used outfield as if he is posted inside they will swing out of him like monkeys in a banana tree. Another thing is he will draw frees if he comes at pace and their defensive set up will strain to maintain structure if this bull is barreling towards them. I know he tends to charge and barge when he collects a ball clost to the goal scoring area but when he has a head of speed it is extremely difficult to stop him legally.

    Cillian looked frustrated to me against Galway and was foraging for ball too far from the scoring radius that would afford him a higher return from his attempts on target. If he doesn’t have a much improved day out ye could be on the way out.

    For Mayo it’s all about Croker, that’s where the big teams should be and ultimately where they take out their silver. Mayo will have the silver bristling at a critical time if they avoid the landmines and could be best placed to skin an untested Kerry or Dublin !!.

    Good luck to all involved I hope ye do it (with the exception of Kerry), Is there any update of Ger Cafferky’s injury ??

  21. Any word on the minors who are supposed to be taking the field in Carrick on Shannon on Weds evening v Leitrim? We could do with a lift from them. I seem to recall that we drew with Leitrim in the Connacht Minor League earlier in the year.

  22. Seriously we have the POTENTIAL to beat any team in the country IF we play up scratch.
    I haven’t seen us play anywhere near our best this year.
    Some have said that we have as big a backroom team as Man United. Maybe thats the problem. At least when Horan was there it was his way only,thick and all as was at times ,but he was in charge and the boys did what they were told.
    Jez the last day they looked like they didn’t know what they were doing for most of the game .Cillian who is one of our main men ,taking shots from stupid angles something i never saw him do before (that’s only one example of what looked wrong I’m not having a go at Cillian ).
    If this was four years ago we would wipe the ground with Fermanagh now we will struggle unless there are big changes.
    COME ON MAYO! !!

  23. Good post Gamechanger and hopefully one that will put to bed the mad notion of dropping AOS. The only people who would be happy with that decision would be from Fermanagh. Aidan was poor the last day but hey I didn’t see too many top notch performances so on that basis you could drop half the team.

    The players will know more than we do how poor they were so they should be given a shot at redemption and I would certainly agree with playing Aidan further out the field and letting the bull run at them as you say Gamechanger.

    I would be much more fearful if the game was away or outside the EU as somebody posted earlier. Fermanagh will come with nothing to lose and will see us as a wounded vulnerable animal. They will look at our performance the last day and see a team that is misfiring that looked tired and lacking hunger.. A team that failed to create even one goal chance, that managed to score only twelve points and took some very poor shot options resulting in panicky wides.

    They have their shot at redemption and I hope they grasp it with both hands.

  24. Anybody got any thoughts on the contention from Jim McGuinness that Mayo should play both Aidan O’Shea and Barry Moran up front, a sort of twin peaks approach with Cillian O’Connor playing off them?

    Also we played Barry as a sweeper in front of the full back against Donegal last year and it was very successful (in that game) we conceded 11 points.

    http://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/football/2015/0808/720044-mayo-v-donegal/

    It appears that when we have a specific role and responsibility for our sweeper it works but when we are not specific about the role (like against Galway) then its a recipe for disaster.

    Finally this mayo team when it plays with pace we are absolutely super when we slow it down we are like a Junior B team.

  25. Unless I am badly mistaken I reckon our lads will take the door of the dressing room off the hinges in McHale Park in an attempt to get out and show us what they are really made of. Expect fireworks!

  26. Yeah, All The Way, below are the words of Pete McGrath, the Fermanagh manager:

    Pete McGrath is confident that Fermanagh are good enough to beat Mayo.

    McGrath’s dark horses will travel to Castlebar on the second weekend of July to face the Connacht champions of the past five years in a Round 2B Qualifier. The hosts will be clear favourites but the Fermanagh boss is in the mood for an upset:

    “Sometimes when teams are going in against really top teams – and Mayo are a top team – quite often when you look at a game like that, as we did with the Donegal game, when you add up the bits and pieces, we genuinely believe we were not that far away,” the Down legend told The Irish News.

    “Sometimes there’s that bit of a regret that you didn’t grasp the opportunity, that there was that wee bit of self-doubt in players’ minds.

    ”It’s imperative going to Castlebar that there’s no self-doubt. You respect Mayo for what they’ve done, yes, but if you go there in awe of them or to pay homage to them and to allow them to do what they like with us to get their own summer back on track, that would be very disappointing.

    “That will not be our attitude. We’ll go there knowing that if we turn up and play to our potential, we can be in with a serious chance of winning that game. We have to get our performance right, and the attitude has to be 100 per cent right,”

  27. And my answer to Pete McGrath is if Mayo get their attitude and performance 100% right then there will be only one outcome!

  28. Exactly diehard, yeah it shows he is not trying to play the poor mouth coming to Castlebar, he is trying to make sure that his own players have the self-belief that they can beat us and as you said its up to us both on and off the field to be up for the battle this time, rather than what happened against Galway, when we never got going.

  29. We have to be prepared for a battle here or else its over, just think back to the zero respect that fermanagh showed to the dubs last summer, they just dont care who or what you are, remember when they were being killed by dublin? they just kept going til the end and if the dubs lead had been smaller at the 65 minute mark there would have been trouble.

  30. @Citywest I’m still at a loss as to understand why we never tried to go with the twin towers against Dublin at some point over the course of the 2 games last year. And I thought it could have been a tactical masterstroke, having employed Barry as the sweeper against Donegal, to put him on the square against Dublin alongside Aido in the first game. I guess the feeling was the lack of mobility against a very mobile Dublin fb line may have isolated both if ball wasn’t sticking and we were not in a position to sacrifice another player playing off those two up top as it would have left us overly exposed further out? Understandable I suppose but would have been nice to at least ask the question given Aido’s difficulties over the course of both games.

    Regarding Fermanagh, I’m concerned. My father is a Fermanagh man so I’ll enjoy going to the game with him as I was away in ’04 and ’07, but I feel this is the worst possible draw. I’ve looked back over the Galway game and I cant believe how passive we were throughout. My hope is that the players have got a lot of the dirty petrol out playing Galway but my fear is we had the look of a team with miles on the clock. Considering the vast bulk have been on the go since 2011, its a theory that is not without its merits. Obviously I hope that I am wrong and it would be no great surprise if this great team went out and did a number on Fermanagh, but if we dont, maybe we should look at it as an opportunity to have a summer off, regroup and recharge, and come back stronger next year? Either way, the boys will have our full backing, they’re more than capable of giving us great days to enjoy again, be it this year or next.

  31. Ah seriously whats the big deal with confirming a time for the game on Saturday week.

    Just saw on hoganstand all the fixtures and the majority have no times and days confirmed. Seems mad.

  32. I’d imagine ger this mayo game could be on television .. possibly to cater for that?

  33. On the paddy power wed site they have 3 of the qualifer games including the Mayo v Fermanagh game on at 7pm on the 9th July.

  34. Looking at last years Fermanagh v Dublin result there was a lot more than 7pts between those two teams. Mayo may not have got the better of the Dubs with two attempts but there is no way Mayo can have slipped back so far with Fermanagh going in the opposite direction for the gulf in class to have been eclipsed. I have it in good faith that everything this year was geared towards the team peaking in Aug/Sept and no one expected the Galway ambush. ( I hope to God this turns out to be the case so I’m clinging to it ) I expect a tight game for the first 3/4s but Mayo to turn the screw and finish 7 or 8 clear. And please let there be no further mention of AOS being dropped. The man’s back is broke hauling Mayo up to the gates of the promised land year after year. He’s only coming into his prime now.
    Keep the faith.

  35. That’s what I’m thinking Mangochutney. Sky will most likely want to show it, they have (I think) all Saturday tv rights. There’ll also be a scramble to get another 2,000 *special* tickets printed

  36. Seems lots of the Mayo squad were tops for their clubs at the weekend…..hopefully a sign of the shackles coming off….

  37. Lot of posts here worried about the prospect Fermanagh……well, being straight, if we cant beat Fermanagh at home with a bit to spare, then I would be happy for the season to end next Saturday week. Its an ideal draw, a decent and gamey team – perfect to get back on track ahead of a more likely much tougher test next round (a Cork, Donegal or Monaghan for example). Time to step up

  38. Sky Sports GAA listings

    Sat 2nd July

    Either All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2A or All-Ireland SHC Qualifier Round 1

    Sat 9th July

    Either All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2B or All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 3A

    Sat 16th July

    All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 3B (x2)

  39. I really hope they do themselves justice and get a winning run going to make the quaters. It would be a sad way for it to end for a great bunch they need to fight it out till the end in croker.

  40. RTE have down on their website that they are showing a qualifier on the 9th at 3:30pm… Wish they’d hurry up and announce the times. Seems to be taking an awful long time

  41. I got Sky in to see the Galway – Mayo game so fair play to the lads with going into the qualifiers I will get value for money now .

  42. haha nice one outside of the boot, its an ill wind that doesn’t blow someone a bit of good !

    Sky coverage is very good indeed and will hopefully lead RTE to clean up their act.

    This is going to be a very tough game. all of the fitness stuff which was tailored to peaking in july august must surely now be in the bin. all of the tactical stuff tailored to getting out of connacht and maybe meeting Dublin in a final needs to go in the bin ,

    it really only is about the next game now.

  43. Even though I will go to the game, the Mayo game should be shown on TV. There will be quite a bit of neutral interest in this game with people wanting to see what our reaction is. I’d imagine a lot of people now will want us to lose so they can stick the boot in!! I can’t wait now until Saturday week!

  44. I would love to go but can’t what time is it on tommorow I Midwest have it covered.

  45. I am sure there’ll be a serious reaction Saturday week but what worries me is our set up. Play with all the heart and desire you want but it won’t make a difference if we employ the same zany tactics as we did against Galway. If Evan regan is the only man in the Fermanagh half against a northern blanket defence there’s ain’t much hope to rack up a score. Alternatively if we take the shackles off with a simpler game plan I think we could blow them away.

    As been said numerous times our job is to turn up in full voice. A huge roar should meet the team as they run out onto the field on Saturday evening. Maybe it makes no difference but it def won’t hurt our chances!!

  46. The following was in The Mayo News today:

    (Only four members of the football squad failed to line out for their clubs in the Mayo club championships last weekend — Jason Gibbons (dislocated shoulder), Ger Cafferkey (hamstring), Conor Loftus (hamstring) and Chris Barrett (hamstring). As reported in last week’s Mayo News, both Gibbons and Cafferkey are almost certain to miss the rest of Mayo’s season with twelve week lay-offs looking likely. However Barry Moran, who didn’t make Mayo’s match-day squad against Galway due to an Achilles injury, played the full 60 minutes for Castlebar Mitchels against Ballinrobe last Saturday evening. Diarmuid O’Connor, who only came on for the last 15 minutes against Galway, also lined out for Ballintubber and came through with flying colours.)

    So that’s some good and some bad news on the injury front. Having Diarmuid back will be a big boost as he has become arguably our most important player. Having Barry Moran back will give us some extra options as well. It’s disappointing to hear that Conor Loftus didn’t play at the weekend, so it looks like it will be between Alan Freeman and Andy Moran for a place in the full-forward line, if we go for a more attacking team, which I would prefer to see, rather than sacrificing a forward as we did against Galway.

    Maybe starting with Alan Freeman and having Andy as our Plan B, might be the best option. Andy has to be brought on earlier in the next game if we are looking shaky. Jason Doc could be the player to lose out, although he could still be named at no. 15, with neither Alan or Andy starting, which I don’t think would be a good idea but that did happen in a few of the league games. We do need to have more out and out scorers up front. We’ll see how it goes anyway.

  47. Only Fermanagh!
    T’was only Galway
    T’was only Iceland
    We have never had is easy, or our own way against Fermanagh.
    They are settled Div 2. They are championship hardened. They have (one of ?) the best footballers in the country.
    I believe we can win, if we do, we will have earned it, and we will be the better for it.
    Onward

  48. No id disagree, if Andy is going to play a part id start him rather than bring him on.

  49. Yeah Sean, it’s a hard one to call alright, any man that scores 3-7 in a club game has really put their hand up for inclusion in the team.

    I always think back to the game in Limerick though against Kerry, I’d have preferred to have started Freeman and brought Andy on that day. I always think that if you had a chance in the last minute of a score to win or equalise a game, Andy is the man I’d like to see on the ball as he was against Down to preserve our Division 1 status, with a sweet point.

  50. Just browsing the site and re-read the house rules. They are great at keeping us on the straight and narrow WJ. You’re phrasing made me laugh a good few times! Top man!

  51. I see your Angle, its just the way the game is today i think if ya can bring speed/youth on in the last quater youre better off , ideally someone like loftus or reape for Andy, just an opinion.

  52. 2-5 from play in 30 minutes of senior championship football! Incredible! Andy has to start in my opinion

  53. I think people are deluding themselves about this being a good game for Mayo and if the minds are right we’ll win. The fact is that Mayos form is extremely disappointing to say the least and this continued against Galway when we all thought we’d see a different reinvigorated team. Mayo are struggling for form while Fermanagh are playing out of their skins and I’m sure they have the scent of a “giant-slaying”in their nostrils. I think it’s incredible that bloggers are referring to players form from 2013/14 when the same players have not shown any form in the last 8 or 9 games. Why are we waiting for them to find form? Sure if that’s what we are doing then we should consider bringing back Conroy and Varley?
    Nothing clearcut about this game but we should go back to our natural game.

  54. Lots of calls for people to just name their team.
    Mine is

    Clarke
    Harrison Keane Higgins
    Keegan Boyle Durkan
    Parsons Aido
    McLoughlin Dillon DOConnor
    AMoran COConnor Regan

    Rationale
    1) Goalie is marginal call but Clarke gives solidity and although Robbie has range I think Clarke somehow finds the man with his kicks. Clarke also very quick with the short ones as seen in his last league game.
    2) Aido preferred to his brother in midfield based on Championship fitness. If Seamie back to 100% then that’s a marginal call.
    3) Dillon to steady the ship. He is the best decision maker of our forwards and switches play if the move isn’t working.
    4) Andy because in times like this we need someone who gives 100% and 3-7 is an impressive score in a club game. He can take scores from outside of boot better than anyone and is a leader.
    5) Durkan preferred to Donie because we have a potential star on our hands and giving him game time is a good idea. Coen can be used in 3 or 4 positions as a sub and Donie can give a lift as he did in Salthill last year.
    6) No sweeper, just play zonal like Dublin with Boyler as deep as needs dictate and 2 half forwards taking turns doing the dog work, both at the same time as needed (Dillon being the one given the forward role). Parsons to be our deeper playing midfielder as he can cover acres whereas Aido should be asked to dominate midfield and help the attack.
    7) Higgins restored to corner as we’re just too thin on cover there. Could risk Hall, Coen or Drake but they are the risky calls for CB. Then again risks are needed for long term progress and Kerry are going with a few lads we havoheard of. As full back line is always a worry probably go with the safest option.

  55. Moran scored 3-7 in a club game. Good. Danny Kirby once scored 4-1 in an FBD game for the county. Must have scared the shit out of his rivals because it was almost the end of him.

  56. For what it’s worth Mayo played and beat Fermanagh in a challenge game in the first week of May. Mayo led 0-9 to 0-3 at HT the FT score was 1-14 to 0-13

  57. Cafferty is a huge loss. Will not replace him at Full Back, Keane lacks pace and gives away too many frees . He is only option for the rest of the season . Agree with Dillon starting at C.H.F. if he was 5 years younger.

  58. I must be a bit of an odd ball but I don’t care. I’m sick of the notion that us in the stands have any influence on what players do on the field. While I was shouting at the Galway game. The players clearly didn’t take notice of me so I stopped towards the end of the match. What was the point when attack after attack broke down? What we’re ye all shouting then? Fans react to what they see. Not the other way round.

    The Fermanagh game will not be a walkover by any means. Hopefully we emerge the right side at the end.

  59. Agree with the Clarke starting in goal, for consistency reasons they have to go with him..

    Im afraid Keane is a weak link at full back, he lacks the pace to mark a fast forward…

    Dillon’s best days are behind him also

  60. Farandeelin of course you are right , what happens on the pitch can drive the noise of the fans and it can propagate itself, a first score goes over and the roar can fuel the comeback

    however in castlebar the last day we didn’t even give the lads a good roar in the parade !
    the whole thing got off to a bad start , i have a feeling the crowd will be livelier on 9 June , the threat of elimination will concentrate the mind!

  61. Culchie forever I love it but it’s hard enough to get a group together in the stand to chant “Mayo, Mayo” – I can only imagine the reaction we’d get if we started at that craic 😉

    Farrandeelin you’re not an oddball and you’re right, the crowd feeds off what’s happening on the pitch. Hard to stay motivated when absolutely nothing is going right, like the last day in Castlebar when you’re entering lost cause territory.

    But one lad in the stand or on the terrace shouting in isolation doesn’t really have much of an effect in fairness, it’s wall of sound stuff we need, the type that make the hairs stand up on the back of the neck. Players themselves in many codes reference crowd support, so I’m not going to argue with their testimony.

  62. The backdoor route wasn’t anticipated but if all goes well we will get lots more games. How wonderful is that??? A must win game every weekend each getting harder and each edging closer to Croke Park. Its like Christmas has come early. I’m not fan of the current Championship structure and so being in the backdoor route I’m over the moon (not to say I’m over the moon on the performance that got us here!)

    I’m also very happy we got Fermanagh as any of the other teams may have been taken for granted. Improvement on the last day is a must and so a tough battle lies ahead .. win or bust .. and its only 9th July. Fantastic 🙂

  63. Interesting column from Darragh O Se in today’s Irish Times (here) focusing on the road potentially facing us in the qualifiers and what the players need to do to get their mindset right for what lies ahead.

  64. I agree with the comments about support from the crowd when the announcer was calling out the names I tried to get a cheer going with my niece and nephew for each name being called out well you should have seen the looks I got around me as if I had two heads why do people bother paying into the stand and around the ground if there not going to cheer and have the craic and enjoy themselves or at least let other people cheer and roar on the team as loud as they want I used to think Mayo fans were the best in Ireland but we’re not I even seen at the Dublin game their supporters put us to shame they took over the bacon factory end and had flags etc and one of two charachters with bodhrans now I know the Dubs fans don’t get out much but when they do they make themselves heard I must commend Mayo 51 who have tried their best to rally support at games around the country and indeed NY and LDN the team has to re focus and ask themselves how much do you want this? And you know something we as fans have to do the exact same thing

  65. Hello,
    As far as i can see no one has commented. the David Brady Interview in the Western People. He seems to have been following this blog.
    His comments were on the use of Kevin Mc as Sweeper
    He thinks SR got it wrong no need for Sweepet against Galway and if so Keith Higgins was a better bet. Then he also would like to see some of the newbies been given a chance.

    All he said that is different is that Rochford picked a team suitable for playing Dublin or Kerry AND NOW HAS SHOWN HIS HAND. This i hope is a bit premature.
    On the sam Edition of which i had a free read JH thinks Mayo had an off day. He also thinks it is an opportunity for the newbies to get some game time.

    Galway game may be a blessing and i am glad it is not a Mayo v Ros Final. Everyone will be so much wiser on the 9th. No need to panic JUST YET.

  66. I have to say, I’m not Darragh O Se’s biggest fan, but that’s a very good article and insight into what our players face in the (hopefully) coming weeks.

  67. Agree that the O’Se article was a good read and encouraging insight into the backdoor route to Sam. A good performance against Fermanagh could get us back on track, although I know this won’t be an easy tie. Of course we have the better players, but that is not the point. The outcome of this game will depend on appetite, ambition, spirit. We have delivered before in this regard, and I expect Fermanagh to ask some tough questions.
    But after the disappointment of the performance v Galway, I’m starting to look forward to this one

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