Sunday match reports

The long, long weekend is nearing its end and we’re coming to terms with our second defeat on the spin in this year’s National League campaign. Oh well, here’s what’s online about last night’s hugely annoying loss to Tyrone.

Locals: Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Mirror (live blog).

Others: GAA, RTÉ, BBC, Sky Sports.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile.

Videos: GAA (highlights), GAA Fan TV (analysis).

Stats: GAA Statsman.

The women also lost yesterday, finding All-Ireland champions Meath a bit too hot to handle in their NFL semi-final clash at Clones. Match report here and Sportsfile photos here.

We won in the camogie, though, and won well too, with yesterday’s victory over Tyrone at Tooreen sending the team through to the Camogie League Division 4 final. Match report on that one here.

There’s more small ball action today, of course, with the hurlers in NHL Division 2B action against Donegal at James Stephens Park, Ballina, at 1pm while in camogie we’re also contesting the All-Ireland Minor C Championship final this afternoon. This national decider against Wicklow takes places at Tang GAA club in Coolvin, Westmeath, where throw-in is 2pm. Best of luck to them in that one.

If you want to hear more about how and why we lost in Omagh last night then our Final Whistle podcast for club members on Patreon should be your first port of call. Recorded in Healy Park right after the game had ended, Rob, Mike and Billy Joe provide a superb concise overview and analysis of the game. That went online soon after the game ended last night and there’s more from them, with me included too, in our full match review pod that’ll be up on Patreon today. If you’re interested in becoming a club member on Patreon you can do so here.

Finally, the MOTM poll on the Tyrone game is still open, where there’s a two-way tussle between Matthew Ruane and Ryan O’Donoghue for the honour. Mattie’s out in front at the minute but the poll will be open for several more hours so, if you haven’t yet had your say there, then please do so.

Right, that’s your lot – it may be raining inside for us this morning but the sun is shining on what’s a decent spring Sunday out there so I think that’s where I’m headed now. Back later with the result of the MOTM poll.

78 thoughts on “Sunday match reports

  1. The one thing this game needed was a plan and to show tactically how to overcome the Tyrone system, no matter how experimental the team selection was. Horan failed miserably I’m afraid nothing learned from previous experiences and this was probably worse if anything, to much re-cycling, long back passes and predictable play all playing into Tyrone hands. Tyrone were not great but had our number, they can play and win ugly they outsmarted us easily. Very hard to see any positives in that game. Is Jason Doherty an injury concern ? seemed to limp off ? really hope he is o,k.

  2. It’s consistency that wins games even in the league , and making , 5/6 changes for every game is doing nothing to build a winning mentality , i know the championship is the goal but this amount of experimenting is crazy . Horan knows what the side will be for the Galway , and the team will need game time together , something they are not getting.

  3. With one meaningful game in the the league before we meet galway it’s fair to say, we’re not in a good place.
    Yesterday’s game exposed clearly our lack of tactical awareness and a complete lack of confidence in the forward line. Not sure what
    Kieran McDonald is doing with the forwards but it’s not showing on the pitch.
    The momentum we had from our early league games seems to have been lost and getting it back will be the biggest challenge facing James Horan over the next few weeks!

  4. Maybe it is not alll doom and gloom!
    Keep was good and the defence. AOS did not do anything wrong! Midfield held their own!
    Yes forwards were not effective against a blanket defence neither were the Kingdom in last year semi-final!
    I would like to see more of Carney and Fergie B. Ryan was immense, Orme needs to shoot and Doc more game time. Le cunadh De bheidh la eile ag an piobaire! Mhuigeo Abu

  5. Galway have had a pretty impressive first half against previously unbeaten Derry Now I know it’s only half time and it’s Div 2 but when they have scored in the first half almost twice what we managed in the entire game last night it is slightly worrying

  6. Galway are going to beat us handy enough in April. We’ve learned nothing from last year. They have. They’re scoring freely and we aren’t. Admittedly, our defence will be better than what they’ve faced thus far. Their own defence is suspect but massively improved.

  7. @to win just once, and all done without Shane Walsh. Derry missing their main talisman but where’s their supposed tight defense.

  8. @Tommy+Joe

    Daftest comment of the year goes to the one you just posted.

    Comments like this means i am not even reading this blog again until after the Galway game.

    4 weeks of negativity coming down the tracks on it, its a shame because its a great platform for people to discuss games and talk about the mayo squad.

    Ill catch ye all after the Galway game in April. Enjoy the build up everyone.

  9. Cheers TommieK.
    I don’t believe the comment is daft. I’m basing it on actual evidence in front of me. The reality is that, when faced with the two sides likely to challenge for Sam, we folded.
    Different opinions are good. You’ll find plenty of overly positive comments on here, as well as my (allegedly) overly negative one.
    Beauty of sports I suppose!

  10. @Tommy+Joe, your comment isn’t daft at all, you’re giving your opinion and not running away hiding behind the couch until Mayo have played Galway.

  11. I think a bit of perspective is needed. No point losing the plot over a defeat but equally cool heads needed after a win. It’s the league. I do think talk of our big quality squad was overstated. A good few lads that started there last night won be playing v Galway.

    We don’t seem to have a plan b v defensive setups which is a major worry. Also the fact we have not seen Cillian yet is very worrying.

  12. All the momentum with Galway now.
    Mayo have one scoring forward.
    That’s the reality

  13. Horan just cant win!! He has done his damnest to give as many players a chance and at the same time put out a competitive team. And he has done a damn good job considering we are not fighting for relegation. And that is priority when you take into account next years championship.
    There will be skin and hair flying at next team meeting after that performance. Normally for the neutral, mayo are entdrtaining, the were downright boring, predictable and fell into the Tyrone trap of slow build up play. Heavily reliant on Ryan, we are steadily building a profile of mark O Donaghue and you beat Mayo.
    Some posters are talking of “we only need COConner for all ireland semi final or final. What arrogance. Get a grip on yourselves. We need leaderdship on the field and they were thin on the ground last night.
    We can still qualify for league final and i hope we do..

  14. @Facetheball yep we’re going to have to hope to absolutely clean them out in midfield to limit their supply into comer, Walsh and co., who have the potential to cause wreck if given enough possession. We simply don’t score enough to beat them in a direct shoot-out so our only hope is to keep it as low scoring as we can

    Or else we’re at the stage of hoping some of our forwards pull a performance out of nowhere or else hope their own forwards have a complete off day, neither scenario all that likely I’m afraid

    We thrived on chaos against them last year – where Walsh went off injured, and they hadn’t a clue of their best team after the confined league season – but division 2 has been a huge benefit to them, they’ve found a settled team and more importantly some confidence

    Our physicality is definitely superior and I do expect us to force plenty of turnovers and put huge pressure on their kickouts but I just don’t know whether it’ll be enough to actually get us over the line, we are just so easy to defend against

  15. Ryan o Donaghue has in my opinion been our standout player in the league. His work rate is top class He is brave and courageous and makes himself available for every ball . His free taking has been excellent .Yet despite his excellence he has scored only 1. 4 ( I think) from play . This just shows how we lack scoring forwards. This is by no means a criticism of Ryan who as I have said has been top class. It simply shows how much we miss Cillian

  16. Kerry 8-4 ahead of Armagh at the break, so looking like any sort of a win vs Kildare next week will get us into a league final.

  17. @Ontheditch… ‘Skin and hair’ flying at the next training session is not the answer to anything!.. We have already been unlucky with injuries, player’s playing in Mayo game’s, club game’s, but it also has been a concern the amount of player’s picking up injuries in training, ie Oisin Mullen before last year’s All Ireland Semifinal’s . It’s is impossible to rule out the chances of any player getting injured in training.. It’s not something we need to repeat..

  18. @ leantimes, please do not misquote me. I said skin and hair flying at next team meeting, for what was a deplorably clueless performance. McStay said an improved second half performance. They went 25 minutes without scoring, players taking wrong options, getting isolated, refusing to take on the posts, desperate shooting, getting in each others way.. Id live to be a fly on the wall for management analysis…

  19. I think predicting championship results on the basis of league is a waste of time. The league helps inform where we are strong & weak – in fairness to Tommie+Joe , I can see why you’d be concerned but a trip into any of the comments section of the past ten years after league defeats will bring up the same kind of comment that ‘we haven’t a hope in championship in Connaught’ etc and 9/10 they’ve been wrong.

    We won the league in 2019 & lost to Roscommon at home the following month, don’t think anyone really saw that coming, need to keep some perspective here. If you win more games than you lose in the league, that’s usually a positive league.

  20. Not sure of all this talk of cillians return will save the day and address our lack of scoring forwards. Cillians biggest contribution to the scoreboard generally comes from placed balls not from play. ROD is doing well on the frees as it is and It will also take cillian a while to reach cship pace.

  21. Although I’m pissed off we didn’t go with a stronger team and go for the win there may be a bit of comfort in the fact they only lost by 1 and 2 points to kerry and Tyrone in games they could have won having understrenth teams and a league final appearance very much a possibility. Could even argue the games were of more value than galways considering the difference in opposition. BTW Dublin looking good so far in the 1st half against Donegal

  22. 2022 is a completely different planet in the context of league not been an indicator , we are in the month of may .

  23. So Kildare’s fate is now firmly in their own hands – beat us next Sunday and they stay up. Who’s for more experimentation in Carrick, then?

  24. And it’s looking likely a win will put us in a league final, hopefully we name a championship team

  25. You’re stirring the pot there Willie Joe!! Hopefully our forwards the next day throw off the shackles. Up Mayo!

  26. Kildare have a notoriously bad record away from home in the league. Listening to a podcast last week, I think their last away victory in division 1 was in 2013 against us, ironically.

  27. Totally predictable tactics by Mayo, so frustrating, I could understand that type of play if we were against the wind.
    Last 15 minutes Mayo showed again, that they cannot score from outside 30 yards, even with a strong wind at their backs.It is becoming a somewhat simple blueprint to defend against.
    Really frustrating to see Horan and his backroom team coach this back and forth passing time and again. It especially frustrating to watch, when we don’t have someone other than O Donohue that can sell a dummy and take on a defender.It is almost Seven months since the All-Ireland final, could we not try and persist with a few forwards with speed who are not afraid to take on their direct opponent and then create space.

    I am afraid that James Horans man management skills also come into question.
    Take Paul Towey for example, V Dublin, off after 50 mins, despite not putting a foot wrong, he was unused V Kerry and Armagh, then yesterday he becomes a corner forward placed at center half forward against a strong wind with a very very weak weak forward line, other than ROD and Orme (maybe) none of the other four will start in April. Ok Towey did kick a bad free into goalies hands, you can imagine that his confidence took a bit of a hit, what does James Horan do takes him off at HT puts on Kevin McLoughlin who has been one of Mayo top ten footballers in the last decade, but are you going to learn anything new from Kevin at this stage in the middle of March in a pretty much meaningless lease game. Answer No !
    Horan could have taken off Jason Doherty who was clearly not fit, and once again are you going to learn anything new from a dedicated veteran player for the last decade, most likely no.
    I am not alone with this thought process, someone blogged the same latter point yesterday.

  28. No doubt,I believe that after well in excess of sixty years of following the fortunes of the Mayo football team I am in entitled to take a slightly silly view of our performance,I have spent many years of my young and middle age criticising our team and management teams,until I realised that the management team are seeing our players most days and know how they feel in relation to loss of form and injuries,I fully believe that the last few managers have picked players who they believe are the best hope of winning,I don’t at all sucribe to the view that they pick favourites,and do their best to win it would be extremely silly for them not to,as for my comment about Deegan last night it was tounge in cheek,I was really disappointed with our performance last night I thought that we were much better against Kerry,I still believe that we have enough to beat Galway but I can see problems arising further down the line

  29. Not alone could Kildare stay up Willie Joe, they could actually make league final if Armagh were to slip up, depending on score difference.

  30. Not the result, or performance we would have liked this weekend. You would have imagined that point down after 50mins, with momentum, however fragile with us, the wind behind us, we should and could have won that game. Think games we won this year in league, apart from Dublin game, could have gone either way. On saying that games we lost we could have won as well. Ok good news, Mattie Ruane seem to have kicked on from last year, as has ROD. DOC playing great, hope to see him back soon. Only worry if he missing a couple of games, he can lose form, but hopefully not. Look, defence seem going ok in generally, however that might be a bit of a problem as well, as we using a blanket defence, and not breaking at enough speed to make a impact in our score board. Goalies doing what required, don’t need sweeper keeper which seem to be in vogue. Bad new, lack of cutting edge up front. Each forward doing manfully job defending, but need goals. And how we miss Tommy Conroy for his explosive speed, to cause and make space. We need to score more, less hand passes, more kick passes into forwards. We don’t score enough against mass defences, so need to get ball to forward before mass defences get set up

  31. @no white feather. Your spot on and results wouldn’t have to be outrageous for it to happen. Well spotted.

  32. A win next weekend will have us in a league final irrespective of anyone else, however Kildare had a good win today.

    We need to put out a more settled team as going into Galway on a 3 game losing streak would not be good, and they will likely win division 2 outright given their impressive result today. The Rossies need to beat them to guarantee promotion so that should be a tasty game next weekend.

  33. Wideball, Kildare had a notoriously bad league record against Ulster teams. Until today.

  34. 9k capacity for carrick, i expect it to sell out , be a fair crowd of kildare will travel youd imagine .

  35. The reason James Horan played a number of forwards who are not regulars is that he is desperately trying to unearth scoring forwards which we are urgently in need of for championship.
    He’ll probably continue with same against Kildare.
    It’s a fact that we have one outstanding forward – ROD – after that and not injured???
    That in my opinion is the reason for experimentation!

  36. You wouldn’t need the brain’s of Einstein to know that to lose your final 3 match’s of the regulation League is NO WAY to prepare for the Championship starting with Galway in 5 week’s time.. Results have very much gone our way today even in Div Two.. with both the Rossies and Galway winning. Galway are already in the final and promoted, so the Tribesmen will play in the curtain raiser Div Two final, versus either Roscommon or Derry, hopefully Roscommon.. So those who believe that Galway having an extra week’s preparation for Mayo, should Mayo make the final, well their reasoning while it was always dubious at best, is now absolutely null and void. Results in Div One also have gone our way, and it is now in our own hands to make the final..So NOW Mayo in my opinion, have absolutely no other choice, but to go 100% for the win next Sunday, and if we do win regardless of what else happens we will be in the Div One final. For those who espouse the Experimental at the expense of results in a do or die environment seneario , it certainly needs no explanation that losing your last 3 league games is NO WAY to prepare for Galway!

  37. I don’t want to hear about this hard luck stuff for Fergal Boland again, he got a starting spot last night and was pretty poor, that wide he had in the 2nd half was very poor for this level

  38. Aidan Ormes scoring return is worrying, he has to get more shots away for an inside forward, he has the skill but doesn’t seem to have the confidence to go for scores.

  39. joemamas – it was a frustrating loss but most of that post is just a rant. So management should have persisted with a few speedy forwards that can take on their men? Who are these forwards exactly aside from Tommy and Diarmuid who were both missing?

    Hopefully it will work out for Towey in time, but he can have no complaints being taken off against Dublin and Tyrone.

    It was very important for Doherty to start yesterday considering he has only played 2 intercounty games in last 2.5 years. I’d start him again next week as we need to know how his form is.

  40. @wj, end the experimentation. This is a semi final for us, and a chance to avenge defeat by Kerry. Horan will be going full throttle for another outing in Croke Park… Doherty needs those games to sharpen up, Orme also… Onwards and upwards to Carrick…
    Nice wind up wj

  41. Are the mayo minors playing in any minor league prior to championship?
    I see sligo minors are playing in Ulster league.

  42. @leantimes, I 100% agree with your post. We need to find a settled side for Kildare game and pick our best available 15. I’m reasonably happy with the first 9 on the team sheet but after that we have still struggled to unearth a gem of a forward who can kick 1-3 from play on a good day. Obviously Tommy and Cillian are huge losses. I’ve been impressed with Carney and Orme does have something about him so I would persist. Boland is a lovely footballer but I think he’s had enough chances now at this stage, gets turned over in the tackle and McDonagh has flattered to deceive too. I’d settle on Diarmuid, Aidan, Carney, Ryan, Jason and Orme as the front 6 for next weekend if all fit. I don’t think Horan is arsed whether we make a league final or not but given Galway will be contesting a league final too, I don’t see how it could be any harm to go up against Kerry wgajn with the chance of winning a national title. Mayo would still have 3 weeks if I’m right before the Galway game and for me losing 3 games on the spin would be more damaging for the group so I expect Mayo to go all out for the win in Carrick next Sunday.

  43. Kildare are flying, should be a real test in Carrick next Sunday on a very tight pitch.

  44. @sean Burke 142 metres x 87 Pairc Sean

    Mchale Park before redevelopment pitch
    Seen this stat on Twitter a few weeks back

  45. Thanks Aidan for clarification, maybe just looks small as crowd close to pitch, should be a cracker!

  46. Castlebar will still be 82 after redevelopment?. Only few extra m in length. Well done with stats Aiden. Kildare have a lot to play for given that next years championship will be based on League 1 positions

  47. – Harte, Meyler and Burns were let run the show particularly in the first half and we did nothing to try to disrupt them
    -While the wind was very strong and diagonal it cannot be an excuse for a dire first half performance
    – A few players played themselves off the 26 man panel for Galway or at least should have
    – Where to from here, beat Kildare and make league final. Since when exactly did it become a tactic to lose matches ?
    – As for putting down markers, not showing our hand and waiting in the long grass we have been doing that for 71 years and we still wait for the big one.
    – Strongest team possible against Kildare please
    – As supporters there is ONE thing we can do and that is stop blowing up players to be superstars after they get a few scores in a league game or against poor opposition in a championship game. This has been going on for years …..

  48. There is a total over reaction,
    It’s vital we test depth of squad and see who can step up, many didn’t and that’s clear and important to know,
    Some are regressing and some improving. There has been a clammer on this channel for certain players , who have again got chances and didn’t take them, so there is no excuses now if there left out, at least we know.

    We’re in a good position, win next weekend we play a league final most likely, and if don’t make final we finish with a win.

    Starting 15 is becoming clearer. Good enough to win Sam, hmm , doubtful, good enough to be in the reckoning, hmm, yes.

  49. The usual negativity when we play badly including losing last 3 games is no way to prepare. If we play well against Kildare and lose because they play even better then we won’t be in a bad place, it’s all about assessing the options. After that A vs B I’d imagine will be pretty competitive. I expect some of these players to be given more chances, you don’t write a guy off after a few games. Flynn is coming good but it took time, now people are happy with the standard he’s playing at. So Towey has only had a few games. In some early cameos he looked lively and dangerous. Boland has generally been good for Mayo and many here have been asking why he hasn’t seen more game time since he came on the scene.
    There’s a chance James will pick a strong team and go for the final but also a chance he won’t. Kildare had a handy win today, imagine Monaghan had a heavy training session but who will be talking about that. Tyrone had an absolute shocker of huge proportions against Kerry this time last year but took them out in August. So a bit of balance needed.

  50. The biggest pitches in Connacht and indeed in the country are Pearse Stadium and Dr Hyde Park which are both identical, they are the same length as Croke Park but 2 metres wider.

    Pairc Sean is very similar to Healy Park, same length but 1 metre wider.

    The smallest by some margin is St Conleths Park which is both 10 metres shorter and narrower than Dr Hyde Park.

  51. It looks like armagh have the best chance to go through to final especially if we lose because even if they lose their score difference is high, unless they get hammered which I can’t see happening, of course a draw will do us if armagh lose

  52. I wouldn’t be betting on us beating Kildare on our current form. Kildare will fight like dogs to retain top tier status.

    I’d like to see us fielding a strong side though, to get to the final and have another crack at the Yerras.

  53. We win we are through , it’s as simple as that isn’t it , unless my math is dire altogether.

  54. JP2 ,

    Points difference only comes into it if three teams are level on points , if we both lose we will still stay ahead of Armagh courtesy of having beaten them in the league , and seeing as Tyrone wont be beating Kerry away , Donegal would then have to beat Armagh by a cricket score to overhaul us seeing as we are +6 and they are -9 .
    Hence the betting of 1/7 Mayo , 7/1 Armagh to qualify with no offers on Donegal.

  55. It’s possible Cillian will play.James said he would target Kerry game but could be a week out either way so it’s possible we might see him make an appearance.Then what Cillian do we get??.
    We ran Kerry close.They know we are dangerous.
    Yesterday was awful but we are a way better side than that.
    Still think Orme will be a top player.
    McBrein hopefully too.
    Also Paul Towey will improve….we will get a return from him in the future if he does the work.
    It takes time to develop and you have to sympathise with him after that miss it will be in his mind all week.He is the type of guy we have to stick with

  56. Wouldn’t be so sure, 1989. The lads on the Mayo podcast heard Cillian may have had a set-back recently. They weren’t sure, but it was mentioned.

  57. @Shuffy Deck.. We could win playing badly, (like Tyrone have done now the last two times we played them, because we were even worse than them)..Or lose playing well..We all know, which is the best way to try and win. It’s not all about assessing options either, although every team needs to do a certain amount of it, .I reckon we have assessed more options than any other team, and we have carried a bigger Squad of players than anyone else as well. We have to go out 100% to win v Kildare, had we won yesterday evening we would now be in the position of experimenting without any risk of losing a position in the NFL final,.. Kerry are in such a position, and Galway are in the same position with one match remaining. And as a result of that, if need’s be both of those rivals of Mayo are in a position to rest a player if he happens to be nursing a slight knock or anything. and as results have gone our way today, had we done the same, we would be in the same position, I certainly believe considering the player’s available to us, very likely would now be in the League Final … Such is life, and now we have to win to get to the league final, and then if it turns out like that, we will have to do the same the following week … That has to be the aim, what else is there for any football team to do, keep experimenting and keep assessing “options”?.. Go out to win, nothing negative about that!

  58. Just to mess with the minds another bit it would still be possible to qualify for the final with a narrow defeat if Donegal beat armagh by 7 or 8.i know I know time to stop thinking about it now.

  59. @No Doubt, if Mayo win next Sunday, we will be in the league final regardless of results elsewhere, because we have beaten Armagh in the head to head!

  60. Kildare certainly knew where the posts were today so will be high on confidence coming to Carrick…our fellas by contrast might not be full of the joys. Hopefully a good week on the training ground ,a few wiser heads coming back the next day might get us through but I wouldn’t be chalking it down yet. There’s no chance we’ll see Cillian next week, whatever about seeing him for Galway game. O hope to see McBrien, Harrison and Carney start.

  61. 2hops I can’t get any info on cillian no matter how hard I try bar a line from one of the pods about a set back , I actually gathered more info on a Dublin player whom I’m told will return very soon , do you have solid information cillian won’t play against Kildare ?

  62. We have to be looking at starting Carr and Coen ahead of what we have seen so far. Our front 6 aside from Ryan really poor again. One of those can kick with both feet and the other can kick long range also. Not enough players taking on chances.

  63. I would not put DOC, as playing poorly. But off 6 that started against Tyrone only Ryan starred again. And as league games have been played, I think you have to start Oran as well. But as for other 3 forwards who knows

  64. if spillane was trying to wind me and my ilk up there he succeeded , fook me they really are a hateful shower .

  65. Must say I was impressed with Boyler on the Sunday game tonight, very professional with top class analysis thrown in. His Co-analyst P Spillane tried throwing a couple of digs at our man, but the Davitts dynamo wasn’t biting!
    Also, I watched highlights of the Kildare v Monaghan game. Kildare looked very impressive putting up that score v the Farney men. Points came from plenty of boots incl their half backs. Flynn, Hyland etc al will take some watching next week.
    I still expect our overall superiority to win out but we need our best 15 tagged.

  66. Despite the poor showing In Omagh I think we’ll do well in Carrick and reach a League Final and who knows might even win it

  67. I agree with Joe & a few others that predicting championship results on the basis of league is a fool’s errand. Also too much expectation around Cillian and even Jason Doherty. Getting back to form takes time. What’s the story on Darren Coen – he’s scored some spectacular long-range points but does he lack the speed for Championship GAA?

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