Sunday match reports

It was a late enough night for me last night – it was gone ten by the time we’d finished up our podcast yabbering and managed to find an open exit from Croke Park and it was close to midnight by the time I’d the match report done, with a very satisfying re-watch still to do and beers to be had – but there are worse ways to start the day than this. Let’s have a gallop through the online coverage of our hugely satisfying win over Dublin last night.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Dublin Live.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Mirror (live blog, match report, James Horan quotes, Dessie Farrell quotes), Irish Sun, Sunday Times.

Others: GAA, RTÉ (live blog, match report, Rob Hennelly and James Horan quotes, Dessie Farrell quotes), Sky Sports, The 42, Breaking News, We Are Dublin, Chloe Lynch.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho.

Video: GAA, GAA Man, GAA Fan TV (analysis).

Stats: GAA Statsman.

Yes, that was deeply satisfying – time for an equally satisfying breakfast now.

Club members on Patreon will already, no doubt, have heard our ‘Final Whistle’ pod that went online not long after the game finished last night and our match day review episode will be available to club members today. We’ll also have an in-match Discord chat running for the women’s match at Tuam this afternoon.

That’s on the agenda for me later on – mercifully, from the couch as it’s a seriously ugly day out there – and the best of luck to the Mayo ladies in that as they go into battle with Galway.

Back later on with a match report on that and later again with the MOTM poll. After some early jostling for position in the voting – which saw Michael Plunkett out front for a while – it looks like Diarmuid O’Connor, back to his imperious best last night, is heading for the win in this one.

But, hey, we’re all winners today. Enjoy your Sunday, folks.

42 thoughts on “Sunday match reports

  1. Thanks WJ for those reports as always. Great reading on a wet Sunday morning. Also took time out to read a couple of articles in Saturday’s Indo , one by Philly McMahon and one by Colm Boyle. The articles really tell you so much about the men. McMahon a multiple All Ireland winner was as petty in the article as he was cynical in his playing days. Despite all his success he couldn’t resist having a go at Mayo. While he praised himself for riling up Mayo players in a tunnel incident he seemed to be gobsmacked that he was confronted by a Mayo player who had earlier been substituted at the end of normal time in last years AISF. And then his final sentence. Mayo the only county not to invite him to give talks on addiction!!!!! In contrast Boyler came across as such a humble guy who gave everything to the cause, totally enjoyed the experience, but was gutted by not winning the All Ireland. He was fulsome in his praise of Dublin and self critical of himself for some performances. He was as honest in the article as he always was on the field. No doubt some will say Philly is right and has the medals to prove it. Fair enough if you think that but for me theres no comparison between the two men. On a different but more immediate topic, well done to Mayo last night. Overall it was a composed performance and they never looked like losing it. Credit to JH as well. I was not convinced by team selection but fair play to all concerned.

  2. While there were some very good displays from different Mayo players last night, Diarmuid put in an unbelievable shift.
    He almost summersaulted attempting to get to one ball and then his cunning and pickup on the run, when he had little or no room along the sideline was as good a display of skill as will be found anywhere.
    I think Dessie might have been expecting the relentless Mayo half back running game last night but Mayo changed it up and some really probing long kick passes which really caused panic for Dublin.
    The podcast was great listening to last night. It’s mighty how much a win against an old foe can lift the spirits.
    Very well done to the team and management on their historic win.

  3. A little salty today after having a few too many after the game but who cares…… We beat the Dubs. Ha!

  4. Thanks for the press reports WJ. It’s noticeable how thin the reporting is for Saturday night games. Presumably the hacks are working to very tight deadlines, and it shows.

    On Fitzmaurice, the point I was making was how knowledgeable and insightful he is; players taking shots or scores off weaker feet; good on Jordan’s yellow, tracking form through county championship games. Even though Diarmaid was the standout, he made an impressive case for Robbie as MOTM.

  5. I’m smiling contentedly to myself……feck it, purring like a kitten, seeing the thread above and earlier matchday thread. Absolutely massive to be seriously upbeat about the green n red yet again…..and this only February……..Keep it coming !

  6. That win is could be detrimental to Dublins div 1 status, which makes it even sweeter. Something is going very wrong for the dubs and at this rate I dont see them beating Kildare in Newbridge. I believe they will be relegated.
    Diarmuid was class yesterday and really looked back at his best which is great and when Cillian is back I’d say we have the best forward line in the country, at least in terms of our depth. Hennely also is playing absolutely fantastic right now.

  7. Interesting the Sun had a lot of praise for Ryan O D when many here said he had a poor game by his own standards. I think he always posed a threat and Dublin paid extra attention to him possibly to the detriment of allowing other Mayo players to play, none more so than Plunkett who was give acres and took his scores brilliantly; they were still very tough angles to score from but no team would be wise now to give Plunkett room in the forward line now which will keep our opponents honest.
    Overall impression is lots of positives for Mayo and I’d agree. Having most lads in the County is a huge plus and makes 2022 easier if we can get past Galway. The Ulster champions are on our side of the draw and it’s so competitive there the best team isn’t guaranteed to win Ulster. Dublin could do our side of the draw a favour by taking out Kerry who are likely the best team around although we’ll see them in the flesh in a few weeks.

  8. @to win just once. Spot on. God love Philly, he may have the medals but so devoid of many other qualities. A decent footballer but sadly lacking in self awareness.

    As far as the Football goes, he was nowhere near a Chris Barret, Boyler or Lee for example. The main difference between Mayo and Dublin was the quality of Dublin’s squad…we never had a bench that could match theirs in those finals. 1 to 15 we were just as good if not of us being too nice and needing someone like a Phiily is in my opinion simply nonsense.

    This year’s Championship is starting to look like the most open for a long time. I can’t imagine Dublin won’t improve a lot but at the same time their aura of invincibility is gone. Kerry are favourites with the bookies but I feel tradition is playing a big part in that.1 to 8 are they really that good? I would say there are a few teams who fancy their chances this year. It’s great to have a Championship that doesn’t have a sense of inevitably about it for the first time in a few years

  9. Some stats. In the 3 games so far, James Horan has given game time to 28 players. 33 in total have been named in the three 26 day match day squads, only one of which (Rory Byrne) has been named in all three and has not gotten any game time. Six subs used last night, but the last one (Eoghan McLaughlin for Michael Plunkett) was a blood substitution in injury time. This continues James Horan’s strategy from the two previous matches of using 5 subs for normal substitutions. Only 5 players have started all 3 matches so far (Rob Henelly, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan Orme). Only one, Aiden O’Shea, has come on as a substitute in all three matches

  10. I hope Dublin aren’t relegated,Div 1 wouldn’t be the same without them.They bring brilliant support who aren’t afraid to spend. Great boost for Castlebar when they are about. Just want to see them struggle to maintain Div 1 status while hopefully we’ll be riding high.

  11. I definitely want to see them relegated but I want dessie Farrell kept on as their manager!! Given their fixtures & form, I think they’re going to struggle to get 6 points

  12. I didn’t expect us to win but I was delighted to see so many lads given a chance to prove their worth and boy did they do just that. Jordan Flynn stepped up to the challenge of MF. Aidan Orme likewise up front. Towey is a really good footballer but he got muscled out of it a few times and the ref hadn’t much sympathy for him.
    Brickenden did ok but got turned a couple of times and but for a good save by Robbie Hennelly would have been responsible for a goal. McHugh I thought was solid.
    As for the others well we know what to expect from them by now.
    A special word Diarmuid……back to his best!

  13. Willie Joe , I just can’t resist telling you this .. Comerford was not the first Dub to score a headed goal in Croke Park!! That honour falls to a fellow called Breslin . There was a bit of controversy at the time but the referee Aldridge gave it the nod!!!

  14. Dublin will be back when it matters – for the championship!. I agree with Walter White’s summary. But already we’re getting overconfident talking of trebles. Muigheo Abú.

  15. Donegal are stinking the place out in the match against Kerry. They’ve just scored their first point in 36 minutes and, with a strong wind at their backs, are working their way up the field with short handpasses. Without Murphy, they’re a bang average team and will be in the mix for relegation based on this showing. Kerry aren’t that hot either but they don’t really have to be. They’re going to win this one at their ease.

  16. Patton has failed to hold a mis-hit shot from David Clifford, it ends in the net. Sums up Donegal’s game. Seeing as Clifford scored it, it does, of course, go down as a work of absolute, unalloyed genius.

  17. Jesus Donegal aren’t up to much. Giving Kerry very little pressure on the tackle to deal with. I’ve only tuned in for the 2nd half, but only counted one two man tackle. Even before the goal they seem content to take a pasting. When it’s our turn I wonder if it would be worth flipping the selection on it’s head to have experience to weather their first half storm and then have 2nd half to try some of the newer lads when the game’s in the balance.

  18. Brickenden has the makings of a great defender if he works on his confidence a bit more and believes in himself……In the final few minutes I saw him hesitate and avoid a needed 1 on 1 with a Dub in the bottom left hand corner……He should get stuck in more but I do think he deserves his squad place…..I wish him well in his development…..

  19. Donegal not at the races at all now in Killarney even though they’re playing with a serious breeze……They seem lost without M Murphy…..

  20. Can’t see any Ulster Division 1 team wanting to get to a National League final, an extra game 2 or 3 weeks before a very competitive Ulster Championship. Maybe Armagh as they are a not as far down the line as Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan.

  21. Wide ball I was just thinking there I’d love to sneak a win next week and secure division one status. Then, look after a few lads and try a few things. The focus has to be April. Galway have their tails up and are really gunning for us. People will say silverware is important but there are more important things than winning the league. Look at kerry last year hammering Tyrone… Means nothing. It’d be great to have the pressure off going in to the championship.
    On last night, dubs were poor. Kicked some poor wides at critical stages but so did we. Glad newer lads did well and I was pleased with some of the quick counters. Good he is trying a few options at full back. Height may be needed against Galway..

  22. Hennelly is flying right now however I have to state that his one weakness as a keeper is still there..lack of confidence under high balls. He flapped badly at the high one sent in in the 73 minute which went to a Dublin player. This weakness has cost us in the minor final 08, 16 final replay and last year’s final. Other than that he’s doing great.

    For years the Dublin media said Fenton was one of the best midfielders ever in the game. I don’t agree and I think it’s the national media blowing him up a bit because he plays for Dublin. Ruane is every bit as good as him. If Fenton is so great he should be taking games by the scruff of the neck when things are going great for his team- it’s easy doing it as part of a strong team.

    Of course he’s a talented player but one of the greatest? No way – Ruane just as good.

  23. Wide Ball its likely that Galway will have a league final of their own the same weekend, there is no better preparation than a competitive game and the likelihood is that we would be playing a challenge game against a donegal level team that weekend in prep for Galway anyway so league final is a better option.

    Another day out in croke park would also be great experience for the younger lads.

    My only worry would be if we won it we would be going into the Galway game with too much confidence, similar to Roscommon championship game in 2019.

    We will know more about where Galway are at over the next few weeks, they have still to play the other best teams in that division, i fancy them to beat clare and Roscommon and if they can take Derry they are genuine contenders to push for at least an all ireland semi final.

  24. No reason we can’t win next week and win the league then beat Galway.That should be our aim.
    Hopefully no more injuries a d we get Cullian back a league semi and fi Al would be extra games for him to sharpen the tools.
    Don’t forget James Carr also hopefully can get himself right.

  25. National League Final Sunday April 3rd
    Championship Galway Sunday April 24th
    3 weeks going by that

    We havnt a good record of winning a National League Final and Connacht Championship double, you have to go back all the way to 1949 since it was last done. All focus should be on Galway April 24th.A good showing against Kerry in Tralee and James knowing his best 15 are the only 2 things wanted out of the rest of the League.

    2019 lost Roscommon
    2001 lost Roscommon
    1970 lost Roscommon
    1954 lost Galway

  26. 1989
    There’s no League semi final this year, the 2 top teams in Division 1 will go into National League Final.Cillian needs to be back for that Kerry game to be anyway match fit for Galway on April 24th.

  27. Dublin review episode of the podcast is now online for club members on Patreon. Rob, Ger Flanagan and me after the game, Rob and me in-game, post-match quotes from Rob Hennelly and James Horan and Mike with John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner.

  28. Kildare just blew a great opportunity to beat Tyrone. They had loads of ball, plenty of chances but couldn’t hit the target. Sound familiar?

  29. Kildare had their chances and the draw was on right to the end . In fairness to them they played with some heart .

  30. I watched the game back again there this morning. Diarmuid was our stand out player. Apart from his never say die attitude he also has some serious athleticism and skill levels in his locker. I will never forget his goal line foot flick in last years AI semi final. Jordan Flynn (amongst others) had a great game too with some spot-on kick passing. My only minor quibble was a one on one in the first half which he should have won. He didn’t show any urgency to take control of the ball whereas his opponent glided past to take it. As I said a minor quibble and probably a tad unfair, but just stood out a little in a game where we appeared to be fully tuned in throughout. I’m still scratching my head at all those statistics about our poor away league form against Dublin over the years. Goes to show how much we’ve progressed under JH and others in the last decade. Onwards and upwards!

  31. – Mayo were sharp, focused and upped their use of the long foot pass to good effect.
    – Ciaran Kilkenny was actually the MOM, he was very influential. DOC, Ruane, Oisin, Flynn, Robbie in that order were our most influential players.
    – Its two points, a win over Dublin, in Croke Park and with new players two of whom do not currently have the physicality to contribute at senior inter county.
    – We should be targeting Kerry as the most important match out of the 4 remaining league games. Jack O Connor has zero respect for Mayo and it grates.
    – Only regret was that John Small was not shouldered 10 foot into the stand…
    – Start the same team against Armagh, Paddy Swanny and Doherty should be back on the bench and hopefully Harrison.
    – Kudos to the CP officials who were trying to facilitate people move in under stand as opposed to being out in the rain and it was more than a mist WJ !!!

  32. Donegal; even with a strong breeze on their backs and in the middle of winter, still wouldn’t kick the ball. Prefer to run until they drop instead. It cannot be the right way to play football! and to think S. Rochford(who possible may get a 2nd stint in the future at managing Mayo) is in the backroom team – I hope he is learning what not to do.

  33. Daniel Flynn had a great goal chance at the end which he ballooned over the bar to not just draw but win it. Then their goalie had a difficult free way out on wing on 45 m line which went wide near post. Shows the importance of taking goal chances, Tyrone missed plenty and scored 2, Kildare had several too and got none.
    Brolly might annoy Mayo fans with some things he says but in his own career he did goal drills to the point of muscle memory going by a recent programme on his career. And that was nearly 30 years ago. How many teams are doing this today? People here might mock the Clifford genius tag but he’s a top player at a similar level to Canavan and Gooch very likely to goal if he gets a chance. Probably more natural in their case than anything coached but most need coaching. We’re doing a bit better on goals for and against this league and long ball could get us more. Players who could do it naturally were Cillian and Conor Loftus but both slipped back a bit in percentages and Cillian regained that composure. Kevin Mc pretty good for goals as is Lee Keegan. Jason at times (including recently) can be. ROD is like a young Cillian in leadership and composure; a few other players are more point scorers but anyone could get a goal chance. The other thing with goals is they can be walked in like Tyrone again today. The ones they took were close range with a clear shot on. Dublin walked a lot in over the years, unselfish drilled into them. That said ROD nearly too unselfish for Orme goal yesterday and a bit lucky Orme had a height advantage.

  34. Poor decision making has cost us big time over the years…Rod took the exact correct decision to play in the player, in the better position to maximise the goal scoring chance. Showed great maturity on the part of both.

  35. I put my hand up-when I saw the team sheet and bench, whilst glad to see our young players getting big game experience, I didn’t think we had a chance, even allowing for Dublin’s recent poor form, but I am happy to be proved wrong. I thought Mayo were very impressive and there were loads of positives. D O’C was back to his best, Matty was Matty, Oisin(thank God he stayed), Orme settling in nicely, Carney and McHugh looked comfortable, Michael Plunkett had one of his best games and Jordan looked the part in midfield-think he should get a run there. Oisin should stay at half-back or midfield. The experience will stand to the youngsters and they will improve further. Overall, an excellent performance-my one minor quibble is that we are still too inclined to take the ball into contact leading to turnovers.

  36. Sat night was one of the most joined up playing I have seen Mayo play. I saw them running in pairs and nearly always someone nearby to help. They were everywhere on the pitch where needed. I saw them really play as a team. I was very nervous with the team choice at the beginning. But they played a great game of confidence and had no fear of attempting to score at every opportunity. This was very different from the first two matches. The positives to take from the game for me was, it was the first time I remember Mayo taking the lead and holding on to it. We always seemed to be more comfortable having to fight back. Also many of tonight’s players have no experience of losing to Dublin, so will not be in awe of them. As regards Philly MC Mahon, I think there is great truth in what he wrote. Rather than digest what he wrote, some posters are focused on other irrelevant issues around the article. Stephen Cuxton was an amazing leader on the field and off. We know so little about him as it wasnt about him. Yes, maybe Philly had scores to settle, it doesn’t take away from his observations. And that was the difference for me on Sat night. Mayo really played as a team, knowing each others strengths, great supporting play and having no fear. And DOC was a great leader on the night and to the end, happy for Robbie to take the Mom.

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