Stop the goals and the results will come!

Guest slot_

In May or June each year, the GAA pundits and writers set out a few things that are accepted as unassailable truths for the entire season. Generally there is some evidence that is proffered to support these views, although some of the evidence can be fairly well out of date. Inevitably, one of these “truths” is attached to Mayo.

In the past, it was that we had no marquee forward, that we were shaky under the high ball, that we were slow in midfield – you know the sort of thing I mean. This year, it is our propensity to cough up goals at key times.

There is some evidence to support this. We gave one away at the death against Cork in the league. We had Donegal on the run and gave them one to let them back into it in April. Galway got a couple as well. However, we conceded seven goals in the league this year compared to 16 in 2014. Kerry conceded nine in this year’s league and there is no word about a problem there. Even the three majors by Cork last Sunday doesn’t send the scribes back to their pens.

Strangely it is the one in the second half that we conceded in the final against Dublin two years ago that shows the way that some more lazy commentators first accept the theory and then cherry pick evidence to support it. The fact remains, though, that everyone is now convinced that Mayo cough up goals and, consequently, all opposition for the rest of the year will try to prove this theory.

Big arse hits the net

Photo: Irish Times

In a way, that gives us a slight advantage in that we now know what is coming. So, how do we plan to stop it?

Well, Joe (Rainman) Brolly is actually quite helpful on how to do it. When we lose possession, everyone gets back into position and clogs up the defence to prevent a major, followed by counter-attacking when a turnover is achieved. Jim McGuinness has a similar suggestion, but restricts it to the “middle third” players to get back. It can work – sounds a bit too much like Tyrone’s style for me though.

We have the personnel to employ our own style to this problem, but I think we need to be a bit more innovative in how we set ourselves up. The place to start is the keeper/full-back partnership. People have at various times pointed their fingers at Caff and Robbie when goals went in, but I always thought that individually these two lads were fine. However, as a partnership, they just never exuded confidence. Whoever occupies these positions must have full confidence in each other and know what exactly the other one is going to do.

The next place to go is the man markers. We need two men who will sacrifice their game for the team, in order to negate the dangermen in the opposition. Next you need the guy that tidies up the loose ball and starts the next attack (often this is a tracking-back forward). Then you need the trackers, these are the guys that cover the men breaking through thereby preventing completion of passes. Next you need breakers. These are lads that break the line and can get the ball quickly up the field. Finally, you need the blocker – this is the guy that hits the big shoulder that unceremoniously puts an opposition attacker back on his arse.

What numbers are on their backs is irrelevant but the following are options to fit the roles:

Keeper/Full-Back combination: Hennelly/Keane, Clarke/Keane, Clarke/Caff;

Man-Markers: Caff, Turbo Tom, Barrett, Higgins;

Tidy-up men: McLoughlin, Higgins, Barrett, Coen;

Trackers: Keegan, Donie, Boyler, Keane, Higgins, Coen;

Breakers: Higgins, Barrett, Keegan, Donie;

Blockers: Turbo Tom, Boyler, Donie, Keane.

So we have the men. And we know that everyone will come looking for goals. Knowing the battle plan of the opposition is an advantage. We just need to deploy our forces correctly.

Keep the Faith!

94 thoughts on “Stop the goals and the results will come!

  1. The cork goal was a big fook up, we were two points up, so all we needed to do was not concede a goal with time running out. In that situation I see it a lot more simplistic , all we had to do was foul out the pitch , clog the middle and it was unforgivable the way Management took too long to communicate with the official to get Andy on to take a few seconds off the clock . I watched it very closely Connelly in fairness to him tried to get officials attention a couple of times but Holmes was slightly reluctant and Buckley and Collins looked unimpressed . I’m more hopeful at this stage that it was just teething problems but it did at the time give a bit of backing to the argument that joint management could have problems in my eyes.

  2. There is widespread media coverage of kerry weaknesses in the full back line. They have been there for a couple of years. Commentators even discussed it during the game last week and eamon fitzmaurice spoke at length about it after.

  3. Could someone kindly let me know what are the provincial draws this year ?
    Last year it was the reps.of Connaught v Munster as we met Kerry, as if we could ever forget it.

  4. Yeah its a poor sign when any team concedes a late goal but what I’m more worried about this season is oue ability to score goals. When we got to the final vs dublin thay year we were banging in goals in connacht and vs donegal in quarters etc. This season the goal count is low

  5. Hopefully the provincial farce will be a thing of the past anyway based on the exceptional GPA proposed championship revamp this week. Finally some common sense being spoken. A limit of two hand passes in succession by a team badly needed as well Simple to implement but would make a huge difference.

  6. I’m not convinced about bringing in more restrictions such as a limit on hand passing. The refs don’t even implement the rules we have!
    If you look at the top teams, they are using foot passing much more this year. The Sunday Game panel just haven’t noticed it yet.
    In relation to not coughing up goals, have a look at the way the Dubs set up today. The match itself is unlikely to be a great contest, but the Dubs have upped their game in the way they defend this year. They utilise all of the roles outlined in the post above. And if you look at them man for man, I reckon our backs are every bit as good.

  7. I agree there is a lot more foot passing this year , not so much from us though . I think back to last years Munster final and how Kerry destroyed cork with accurate kick passes but in fairness they have some mighty kickers , they have the art of mixing speed with composure to a tee when kicking , Is that natural skill or just endless practice , another argument.

  8. Are McStay and Canning at a different game to me? “Dublin not firing on all cylinders today”, “Dublin haven’t brought their A game”

    The simple fact is that Westmeath are frustrating Dublin with a packed defence. All expect a big Dublin win, but the longer it goes without Dublin pulling away, the more frustrated they’ll get. I wonder how their discipline will hold out as the game goes on.

    Spillane reckons it’s boring. I disagree. Any country that might face Dublin later this year should watch and learn from this.

  9. The fawning over Dublin is annoying. Flood gates open now 2 goals in a minute. McStay getting excited

  10. Mc stay should never be let near Mayo management job. His fawning over dublin is vomit inducing. It’s like he’s in awe of the dubs. I wouldn’t mind but they are ordinary enough today. Imagine him trying to instill belief into a Mayo team that they could beat Dublin?

  11. I think to be fair to Kevin McS, the job of co-commentator is a very different one to inter-county manager. There’s a fair bit of playing to the gallery in what’s said on TV but I don’t think any inference may be drawn about Kevin’s management skills on the back of this.

  12. Kevin McStay gushing over Dublin isn’t new. He has been at it for years. It is horrible to listen to. As is most of RTE’s coverage.

    Sean Burke, I could talk all night about this, but Kerry being good at foot passing isn’t natural, it is years of coaching and practice. Simple as that.

    Big weekend next weekend with 3 finals. It’s starting to take shape now at last.

    Galway and Ross well on their way to the next round. Although a long way to go yet for Ross.

  13. If Ross hold on, that will be 3 Ulster teams beaten at home by Connacht opposition in 2 weeks. Maybe it’s about time Connacht football got a hint of credit?

  14. Ya McStay should be ashamed, a mayo man doing his job by being unbiased towards the Dubs. I hate this constant negativity towards people on the Sunday game, whatever about disliking brolly or spillane for insulting comments or long irrelevant rants, i think McStay is one of the best analysts on the SG, its part of his job is to get people excited and this is an incredible Dublin team, whether you like them or not, personally I dont. As Willie Joe implied im sure he would have a different attitude as manager, the same way James Horan will have a different attitude when commenting on Dublin games than when managing Mayo.

  15. Dubs in my opinion are overrated I fear they could get caught out can Mayo meet Galway in the quarter final I wonder love to see that

  16. Good win for our neighbours. To go to Armagh and win is a fair achievement similar to Ros last week. 4 Connacht teams still in the mix is good. Galway were decent enough against Mayo so I reckon Connacht football isn’t too bad after all

  17. I disagree willie joe, he’s the one pundit who seems to consistently be obsessed with the same team for quite a few years now. You’d never hear a self respecting kerryman going on like that. He sounds like a mayoman with a huge inferiority complex about the mighty dubs – exactly the kind of attitude Mayo had in the pre james Horan era and one I hope we have left behind forever. Because you don’t win All Irelands with a mentality like that.

    The ironic thing was that I thought dublin were poor enough today – some sloppy handling and poor wides. Also I’d question their ability to shoot long range points under pressure. Flynn is definitely not in the same form that won him 4 all stars in a row either.. Keep connolly and brogan quiet and you will ask them serious questions. Hopefully will be us asking them.

  18. I’d rather avoid galway until next year – think we could play them in quarters again now??

  19. I think it is, Mark – if the Rossies win (which they should) it’s definitely three Connacht counties in the last 12, four if Galway win their Round 3B match.

  20. Hakway won as I thought they would and looking like Roscommon will join them in the draw. The indo today went against both Connacht teams which is baffling to me as they are superior to Armagh and Fermanagh

  21. In regards McGee article i think personally you are making it sound more complicated than it has to be. I dont agree with assigning players to different categories like that as it is far from that black and white if your in one or not, every County player has a certain level of skill in all these categories. For example you listed our man markers, where I would rate Keegan only second to Higgins in man marking ability. I think simply we have 8 possible options in back to start, others will disagree, keegan boyle and higgins are guaranteed there starting place as things stand, keane Caff and Cunnife fighting it out for the back, and Vaughan finding competition in Barret to complete the half back line. Thats not really leaving an awful lot of possibilities available. I think if we bite the bullet and assign either Vaughan or Barret as a full time sweeper, either of which can make great dashes forward it would be sufficient cover to solve any weaknesses in our defence, with other smaller defensive tactics to be based on opposition

  22. I spoke to soon…seems like roscommon have collapsed. Lost by a point with last kick of the game.

  23. Cormac Reily strikes again. What’s w@nker. Has he an agenda against Connacht??

    Connacht Final tickets… I’m away in the States until midweek…can anyone tell me where I can tickets?? I’ve looked online and none..

  24. Have to take back what I said earlier. Ross gone thought they would win bad result for them Will Evans stay or will sunday game be minus best analyst next year

  25. Ros will be devastated.Feel sorry for Ros lads…decent guys.
    Think Westmeath Dublin match awful.Shocking this is what it has come to.Not enjoyable at all.
    Wish Brolly would leave his absolute devotion to Donegal at home.Shocking analysis and double speak!

  26. I’m not particularly worried that McStay will take over Ros to be honest. If it happens it happens.

  27. The great Cormac Reilly is at it again, this time Rossies on receiving end of his _ahem_ “unusual” decisions.

  28. I suppose the Westmeath V Dublin match shows why Sligo didn’t want to play us at home. I’m sure Westmeath would have preferred to be playing Dublin in a Hyde Park type venue today to try and make the game as competitive as possible. Dublin only seemed to be in about second gear and were sloppy at times, yet they still won by 13 points. So from our point of view Sligo have tried to give themselves as good a chance as possible to beat us, by not letting us have home advantage and who can blame them for that. It was a good day for Elverys today with Tipp winning in Munster hopefully it will be a good day for them again next week with Mayo. Roll on the game!

  29. Yeah I don’t get the fawning over McStay and worry that he will go to Roscommon. Also looking at comments online from so called Mayo supporter groups (That bloody Mayo GAA Banter Page being the worst) would make you embarrassed for our fellow fans. Nothing but a bunch of clowns….it is very easy to kick a team and their supporters when down.

    Calling Roscommon chockers for blowing a 5/6 point lead is highly ironic. We should know better regarding those comments.

  30. Sorry for Roscommon, obviously there’s something missing. Maybe the management have made them think they are Gods? They’re a fine outfit for sure but will need someone to tell them they have to perform and light a fire under them. Division 1 will be an eye opener for them but I hope they survive a year or 2 anyways. We need more teams to come up and challenge to keep the sport interesting.

    About Dublin, it’s a joke, 1.2 million population and deep pockets, how can that be fair? They’d beat the pick of Leinster today and it’s going to be a long time before anyone gets near them.

    Whatever panel of 26 Mayo have for the semi if they get that far, they better have a bit of height and power near cluxton who will definitely be there waiting. Call me mad but Barry Moran or Danny Kirby are going to be needed in there to cause trouble or else we ll be pushed aside like the rest.

  31. Not bothered either if mc stay takes Roscommon job , Roscommon in tatters now , if they get relegated next year , that particular bunch are going to start asking themselves are they up to it. Evans has had a very poor season from media to playing men who fail a pre game fitness test.

    We’ ll have to agree to disagree Mark , there is a percentage of natural talent to it imo and I’m not budging from that opinion.

  32. Steve I completely agree re: Mayo gaa banter page on FB. The guy running it hasn’t a clue, knows very little about Mayo gaa and just downright ignorant.

    I disagree tho re: McStay. He’s s shrewd character..did a huge amount to get at brigade over the line in the club all Ireland beating crossmaglen and ballymun.

    If he gets the ros job it won’t be good for us. Mark my words.

    Anyway… Focus on us for now. Sligo will be a tough nut in a wk.

  33. Mayonaze – We wil have to disagree on McStay for now…I hope you don;t prove me wrong.
    We have great fans in this county but with a good team a gang of bandwagoners cling on and are pure clowns. There are a few guys running that banter page, they should be named and shamed if anyone know them.

  34. I’m told tickets are sold out.Can’t get them online or centra or supervalu,can anyone else let me know where i might get tickets,thanks

  35. Steve I have to totally agree with u about the Mayo Banter page. I feel embarrassed to think they are fellow Mayo folk on there. Whoever is running it should just shut it down.

    Cormac Reilly was at it again from all accounts. A dodgy penalty. Maybe its Connacht teams he has an issue with

  36. The Mayo Gaa Banter Page is run by a bunch of kids and you can tell. Very poor and cringe worthy.

  37. And what about it , if it’s run by kids , why can’t they have a bit of fun . Life is so serious with some people , lighten up ye lightweights.

    What the difference between Roscommon and a tea bag ?

    Tea bag stays in the cup longer. Girfuy

  38. It’s a banter page lads, the clue is in the name.
    Can’t say I’m all too sad to see the Rossies are out, they never seem too sorry to see us out either

  39. And as for mcstay I am glad he was not picked, he was treated terribly however by the county board.

    He is a complete lickspittle on rte however, the standard of football pundit on that channel being so low that he is exceptional in that he still manages to come in under average.

  40. FW,
    I’m told tickets are sold out.Can’t get them online or centra or supervalu,can anyone else let me know where i might get tickets,thanks

    FW, try your local club. All clubs will be allocated tickets, (though I’m told they are not sure they will get any stand tickets ordered). Any unsold tickets will be available on the day. I’d say the Connacht GAA ticket van will be located on the Athlone rd side. I’m sure there’ll be more info during the week.

  41. Went to Croker today.

    As a Westmeath friend said, well beaten, but not humiliated. Defensive set up caused Dublin some problems, but was cancelled by complete lack of penetration up front – 6 points says it all.

    Other teams though will be going through it with a fine comb. McAuley not really at the races, still seems to be carrying an injury, Dean Rock won’t do it in the white heat… They are beatable.

    Great crowd there BTW and Dubs to be complimented – Hill packed.

  42. Mayo Mick, John Prenty specifically said on Miidwest during the week that stand tickets were going to clubs (among others) so clubs should certainly be seeing them.

    Hearing of lots of people from both counties looking for tickets even at this early stage – unusual for a provincial final, but I’m sure once the unsold tickets come back on stream people will get sorted. Maybe.

  43. Was there too in Croker today. Connolly is an exceptional talent but take him out of that side and they are just a good team all be it very fit and well conditioned. Their full forward line is a pale shadow of the 2011 and 2013 teams. They started their best 15 today no question about it whereas we have yet to see the best 15 start for Mayo and Kerry.

  44. Cake doing a lot of mouthing last few weeks about mayo standard, wonder what he has to say this evening about the rossie. Some of Dubs stars very poor today, we might catch them out yet.

  45. Munster replay will be really interesting next week . Good feast of football on TV I think , two qualifiers on sat on sky ,Galway, Tipp, Derry , Tyrone side.

  46. Delighted Roscommon are out at this stage, im not surprised as i said on here before Galway game that the Rossies would fall flat in the qualifiers and Galway would make a quarter final, (i know they’ve another bit to go yet). Im waiting for all the paranoia to start when McStay gets appointed “the rossies are coming” “their on the up” “Mayo burnt out” etc etc, all bullshit imo. Their an average team, thats it…think they are alot better than what they are.

    I work with a 26yr old refferee (a dub) who does the line on the odd league game and o’beirne cup an that. He told me that they were shown a video of our replay with Kerry as a lecture on HOW NOT to refferee a game, pointing out in detail the smount of decisions he got wring, And he is also of the impression that Cornac Reilly will never get within a ass’s roar of a Mayo game again….thanks be to God.

  47. I can’t say I’m upset about Roscommon’s defeat, its a real come down for them losing to Fermanagh who have no great track record. Kevin McStay will need to have a huge hunger for management to give up his TV role to take on the Rossies. Galway, in my opinion, will be more of a threat in Connacht over the next few years, not that I’d get overexcited about their win over Armagh who are no great shakes either..
    Any word on Mayo Ladies, I understand that the Connacht Final was on today. Nothing on the RTE website as usual. I cannot understand why the Ladies Association tolerate the poor standard and amount of press, TV and radio coverage they get. Indeed this applies to women’s sport generally if you exclude Katie Taylor and an occasional bit of coverage of international swimming.

  48. Juan my only problem with the story about the video of the Mayo replay is that if it was the case then Cormac Reilly would not be in charge of matches anymore. If it was to show how not to referee a game then why would they let him referee other games. He was bad again today in the Roscommon game by all accounts. It seems a very unusual situation if it is 100% accurate

  49. Although it might not prove popular I think professionalism is the only way forward for refs.

  50. @ Sean Burke, I 100% agree with you.

    @MayoMadness,if a kid does bad in a spelling test, do you not let him do anymore spelling tests? If they repeatedly do bad, you drop them to a level that they can operate at. Cormac should be in Division 4.

  51. Mayo Madness, i said the same myself. He swears it was shown to a group of them, i can’t see why he’d lie about it. Maybe Their was a review of Reillys Performance by his peers but obviously no action was taken. I know he had a stinker but im sure plenty of other reffs have aswell over the years but i never heard off a reff being struck of the roster if u know what i mean.

  52. Reducing the goals conceded per game is about a systems based approach. One stat not tracked for players is blocks. I tracked it coaching a side and put my best shot blocker as a goal preventing and shot preventing sweeper. Player had pace as well so could get to players in time to make blocks. Three blocks in one half of football!! Imagine the same systematic skill set thinking to picking entire defensive system. Need some longer armed tacklers in there in my view. Keegan/Boyle/Barret cannot get their arms to the ball if held by anyone 6’1″ and over.

  53. Connacht teams in general have had plenty of bad luck with refs down the years.
    On the banter page….look I know it says banter but slagging a county on non football issues such as the closure of a hospital, inbred so and so’s as I have seen written on that page is a downright disgrace. Not real football people. A box in the face they would want.

  54. I have never seen a post about the closure of the hospital and I’d know an admin and that would not be this persons style . ” a box in the face” ? Get some fresh air Lad ffs.

  55. Bad result for the Rossies this evening. They were leading straight through and they took their eye off the ball. I don’t blame Evans for that. You have to look at the members on the team on the field this afternoon. Evans has done a really good job for Roscommon. I just cannot understand the fixation some people have with Kevin McStay. How can you confuse the journalist role with that of an inter county football managers role.In my humble opinion I do not believe that the Rossies will appoint Kevin to that role. Evans will be more sought after and Roscommon could do worse than stay with him for another while

  56. That page should be called the Mayo Bitter page. Whoever runs it hasnt a clue. As to why they are so obsessed with Roscommon is beyond me. They give us all a bad name and those who call it banter are worse. They know nothing about GAA or the history of it. Last week they didnt even realise that Cavan was in Ulster. It sums them up really

  57. The Admins are probably from East Mayo. If thats true about hospital remarks then thats out of order. But look, it is a banter page, theirs alot worse on the internet, and beileve you me the Rossies don’t pull punches when we get bet!.

  58. Firstly banter page out of order.Contributes nothing to football discussion.
    Secondly what is with the GAA allowing Reilly to ref games.Imagine training all winter to be exited by his daft decisions.Cormac surely you can find something else to do on a Sunday.
    Thirdly well done to Galway.Would not like to meet them again.

  59. Firstly the banter page is not the only mayo fan page having a go at the Rossies, and if any of you are from East mayo I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of their brand of banter from some of their so called fans. I personally don’t rise to the bait but if they dish it they have to take it. Most of the Rossies I know that genuinely support their team are lovely people and have always wished us well including putting up an odd flag! Hence the reason I don’t participate in the banter. Saying that I was surprised at their exit today, maybe too much effort was put into their league and not enough for the championship.
    Secondly some questions re refs, are they rated on previous performance? Or is it an old boys club? Would making them professional make a difference? What training are they given?

  60. Agree on the professional referees. The Mayo gaa banter page is an embarrassment and disgrace. Kicking a team when they are down is just so classless. The guys running it know nothing about football either. Bunch of school kid idiots. Goading about Roscommon hospital services is just bang out of order.

  61. I don’t know anything about the Mayo Banter page as I never bothered with Facebook or Twitter etc.
    Regards hospital closures I do not know what hospital they are talking about as certainly Roscommon hospital is not closed or scheduled for closure.
    But as regards Roscommon supporters I heard this evening that as they were passing through Leitrim on thier way to Enniskillen they were full of wit about Tipp’s big win over Louth. [Louth had beaten Leitrim earlier in the qualifiers]. I think they were much quieter on their way home. But the Leitrim people were happily inquiring if the bus was for sale or rent.
    Regards referees, the majority if not all Premiership refs in England are professional but that does not prevent daft and plain wrong decisions being given, usually in favour of the top teams, esp. if playing at home. In rugby respect for refs was always taken as a given but in the last few years they have been subject of relentless criticism at the top level. The ref in the Louth Meath controversy about 5 years ago disappeared of the scene and I have not heard of him since at intercounty level. Cormac Reilly seems to have been on probation for the last while and has not handled any major games since the Mayo Kerry semi. I did not see the Rosc penalty decision v Fermanagh but I am told it was arguable at best or worst.

  62. Terrible result Roscommon. Made even worse given that they had the game sewn up and somehow contrived to lose it in the last five minutes.

    To be fair they’re missing a fair few through injuries at the moment but the media unsavvy Evans has not helped matters. His interview with Newstalk on Monday was farcical and was completely inappropriate given they had a game to negotiate that weekend. He’s done far too much talking publicly about their aspirations and as a result they look pretty foolish this morning.

  63. From the draw this morning:

    Tipp v Tyrone
    Galway v Derry

    Kildare v Cork/Kerry
    Fermanagh v Westmeath

    I think Galway will beat Derry with home tie. Tipp to shock Tyrone and Fermanagh to beat Westmeath. Can’t see Kildare beating the loser of Cork/Kerry.

  64. Why would roscommon get rid of Evans he took them from div 3 to div 1 in two seasons he is surely entitled to a season in div 1.With regards to banter page I checked out rosses banter page last week they had a picture of a mayo player with a non to kind caption but still not sure should we stoop to that level more important matters to deal with on the pitch.

  65. Personally, i think Evans was somewhat naive and conned into a false sense of security by the media in general. i remember his interview (game on 2FM) after winning the div 2 title and i did’nt think there was very much amiss with what he said. Just being realisitic about trying to stay in div 1 and compete for provincial title honours and compete with tops teams. Ok, he could have added a few more adjectives like hopefully and possibly to temper expectations. First blip and he was fairly ruthlessly set upon. by same media.
    Problem for Evans was always going to be the mcstay shawdow looming large and with Cake in the role of Dr. Joseph Goebbels on the national airwaves. Make no mistake, he sees himself as an intrigal part of any new management team, quiet probablly the one which mayo would have today if the “package” was accepted.
    Is it a concern for Mayo ? of course, the dominance in the province will not continue indefinietly so there’s a good chance the Rossies may bag one in the not too distant future

  66. I’m sorry to see the Rossies collapse like that and the type of defending suggested in the article that started this post might, in hindsight, have helped them hang on. Having said that, I think that the term “Reillied” might yet enter the GAA lexicon.

    Re the Qualifier draw, I think that Tipp could take Tyrone. They hammered Waterford and Louth and also performed well against Kerry. From the reports of the Tyrone/Meath match, it seems like the first half was an exercise in boring each other into submission. Fermanagh and Westmeath will be interesting. Does the winner of that tie play the winner of Ulster? If so, I wouldn’t expect either of them to get any further.
    The tie of the round for me is Galway vs Derry. This will be fascinating as they are both tough defensive teams. On form I’d expect Derry to shade it.

    So far there is only one team in the last 8 (Dublin), but depending on the 4B draw, current form would suggest that the following would make up the last 7 places:

  67. While the Rossies tend to lose the run of themselves after a few results, i DO feel their pain.

    We have been there before – remember our round 4 qualifier against Fermanagh in Sligo in 2003? In Sligo, my least favourite ground.

    We were well in control, but they got a run on us and the Fermanagh support scented blood. If I remember correctly Maurice Sheridan had a chance to equalise, but a monsoon came down in the last 7 minutes or so. I couldn’t actually see him taking the free, the rain was so bad, and I doubt if he could see the goalposts.

    My kids were just into their teens then, & had no raingear; after all it was high Summer. They stripped in the car and we had full heat on all the way back to Dublin.

    Fermanagh are that kind of a team, and if you are on the backfoot – in Brewster Park – it’s tough. Throw in Cormac Reilly and it’s a sickener.

  68. That day in Sligo v Fermanagh was dreadful. I weighed about 2 stone heavier with the water in my clothes after that. Maurice Sheridan took 2 free from the ground to equalise when the rain was appalling. Should have just picked it up and put it over from his hands. He slipped both times. His last game for Mayo, which is a shame 🙁

  69. Hi. Do you recall the Manager that day in Sligo? My memory of the said manager is that he spoke to the individual players when doing their stretching before games and it seemed a really nice touch. The team gave it everything or so it seemed to me.
    I recall Noel Connelly as an exceptionally reliable pair of hands and brains in the James Nallen mould. I for one am sure whatever the County. Board’s faults picked the right Management team for this year. The other contender would not have the personal knowledge or football knowledge of the current. There would be if i may so a difficulty with Trust. Thankfully the game is not in Sligo. I sat on a wall when Maurice Sheridan was lining up the free and nearly fell off. Really hoping the Management will take a chance and rest some of our stars for the first half. Bye or Tschuss(German). C2

    Mayo GAA Banter Page
    July 13 at 12:14pm
    Genuine fans? Hahaha! Full of media hungry lay abouts

    Well this is what the Mayo Banter page thinks about the folk who blog on here. I see they have taken the comment down since.

  71. I remember losing to Fermanagh in 2003. I also remember them getting beaten by 20 points in Croker a week later by a Tyrone side marching to a first ever all Ireland under Mickey Harte. It just shows how bad Mayo were that year.

  72. Beaten by 20 points by Tyrone? What the heck was that in Mac?

    PS: What’s a media hungry lay about?

  73. It was the All-Ireland quarter-final that year, Mark – Tyrone beat Fermanagh by 1-21 to 0-5 in the quarters, two weeks after Fermanagh had beaten us in the qualifiers. And, of course, we went on to beat the then defending All-Ireland champions Tyrone in the quarters the following year … before almost losing to Fermanagh in the semis. Funny old world and all that.

  74. Fermanagh were beaten by near 20 points by Tyrone that year Mark. It wasnt referring to Mayo getting beaten by 20 points.

    As for media hungry lay abouts, thats us on here according to the Banter page. Thats the sort of comments and support we can do without.

  75. Im sure Cormac Reilly isnt a bad human being….hes just a $hite ref. For all of our sakes, including his own, he should just jack it in and take up some other pastime.

  76. Ah sorry, I thought you meant we lost by 20, which would make no sense!!! 😀

    I don’t know about ye lot, but most of my spare time is spent trying to get into the media in some way or another. But hey, that’s just me!

  77. Fermanagh were well motivated for that game, maughan had managed them for the previous season if i recall and it didn’t end on a high note for either.
    Definitely the worst soaking i ever got at a game.
    I think a young Mayo lady footballer died in a car accident the same daywhen Mayo and Galway were due to play in castlebar in the ladies connaught final.
    Kind of put in all in perspetive really, a bad loss can always be recovered from

  78. I for one am proud to be a ‘hungry media layabout’ ( not sure what that means btw ). Anyways, enough said about that page. Maybe they’ll even create some proper banter someday, god bless them.

    As for that game against Fermanagh in 2003. It was indeed a gloomy day and one to forget. Mayo have a shocking record in the qualifiers if you think back. Longford, Fermanagh and Westmeath ( after extra-time in The Hyde ) have all put us to the sword, down through the years. Thankfully it’s a route we haven’t need to take in quite a while, here’s to hopefully avoiding that road again this year.

  79. Catcol, I cannot remember Maurice Sheridan missing 2 frees in the game against Fermanagh but I remember trying to dry the kids in the car on the way home. You were not alone on that journey

  80. I remember Brian Maloney being swung around and to the ground as he was shooting to equalize versus Westmeath. Free count was completely against us in particular in extra time. Eugene McGee actually made mention of it in the Independent the next day.

  81. pjmcmanus, I think it was Mayo Mark who said we got 2 frees. I only remember one and that was enough, and as I said, invisible in the sheets of rain that fell in the last few minutes.

    I mentioned Brewster Park, and Cormac Reilly, but I forgot to add, Pete McGrath, one of the wiliest foxes around. All in all, a deadly combination for the Rossies when the tide turned.

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