Sunday match reports

It’s another wet and cold morning here in the west but, after yesterday’s results for the county, it’s nothing but bright sunshine inside. The men won, the women won too and, for good measure, so did the camogie team.

I’ve no match report to point you towards in relation to that camogie match. It’s worth recording, however, that it was a game played at Adrian Freeman Park, Tooreen, in which we beat Louth by 3-13 to 1-1 to claim our first points in Division 4 of the Camogie League.

In terms of online coverage, then, let’s start with the women.

The win they secured over Cork yesterday was, from our perspective, as positive as the match day logistics were negative. On what planet is it right and proper for a Senior inter-county match to be shifted from one location to another one forty miles away less than an hour before the planned start-time?

As many have rightfully noted, there’s no way a men’s game would have been subjected to such indignities. It shows just how much road still needs to be travelled for the women’s game to get the kind of equal treatment it deserves.

In terms of the game itself, it looks like we coped with the day’s adversities better. Anthony Newman’s match report on it is available from the Irish Examiner, Midwest Radio, LGFA website and there are also reports on Echo Live and the Irish Sun.

Onto the men, whose six-point win over Roscommon leaves us in a nice, comfortable spot high in the table ahead of the final two rounds of Division One action. Here’s what’s online about this one:

Locals: Mayo News, Western People, Connaught Telegraph, Midwest Radio, Roscommon Herald.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Mirror, Irish Sun.

Others: GAA, RTÉ, The 42.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho.

Video: GAA (highlights, extended highlights, Colm Reape save from Enda Smith), TG4 (post-game with Ryan O’Donoghue, Kevin McStay, Davy Burke), Mayo GAA (post-game with Kevin McStay).

Stats: Stephen O’Meara.

If it’s audio you want, then our Final Whistle pod is the only place to go. Mike is on it, I’m on it too and we’ve match analysis from Edwin McGreal as well as post-match reaction from Kevin McStay and Davy Burke. The pod is available on Patreon, details on how to access this and all our other great audio and written content is here.

Finally, don’t forget the MOTM poll, which is still open and will be until this evening. We had plenty of strong performers in last night’s match so here’s your chance to provide a bit of recognition to the players you felt stood tallest for us in the cold and wet at Castlebar.

Back later on with the MOTM poll result, in the meantime enjoy your Sunday.

73 thoughts on “Sunday match reports

  1. Thanks Willie Joe. I’m tucked up here in bed following a hip replacement, so it’s the orthopaedic chair for a while, and needless to say, the blog is more valuable than ever.

    Peculiar game. I felt Roscommon were in pole position at half time; they had dragged themselves right back. Into it, matching our fantastic scores with their own, especially from Murtagh. Like our Kerry QF in ‘22, they lost momentum, and we upped our efficiency, taking all our chances, and suddenly we were out of sight. After that it was one long yawn.

    Now we’re back where we don’t really want to be – with a very good chance of making the final!

  2. I’d expect Derry to put out their A team again in two weeks, and we’ll be down a few. So can’t really see us making a final thankfully. Championship and getting everyone fit in time is where it’s at now, in my opinion.

  3. This morning Mayo are 9/1 to win the league and thats where the value bet is . Dublin are 5/4 favs and if you were to look through the posts i suggested they were the value bet at 12/1 before the kerry game . if we were to beat Derry {not saying it will happen but it could } we would then be in and around 2/1 to win the league or maybe even less as if one of dublin or derry were on the same points as Mayo we would have the head to head advantage on both if see above .

  4. I hope last night’s result lifts some of the despondency seen here over the last while. Some excellent Mayo performances on a difficult night for football. The half-back line chipped in with four points. Aside from Rory Brickenden having to make an interception the full-backs never looked beaten and had the measure of their markers. Won the midfield battle and forwards didn’t have to work too hard for their scores. I was surprised at how little intensity Roscommon showed in defence. They did not play anything like their usual defensive game until well after the game was lost. Like some on the podcast I was wondering if they were keeping it under wraps for the Hyde in April. Surely they’re not capable of that kind of 3D-chess…?

    I agree with others here who say Towey is being treated unfairly. He should be judged on the merits of a full-game. How can he build up confidence knowing that a less than perfect performance will see him get the hook. Scoring-wise, his two points in Salthill alone have him ahead of others who are regular starters in the forwards. Fair is fair.

  5. Hope for Derry match is that they are fully geared up for it and try and snuff out ROD and Boland – that’s where the threat is coming from and would be good for Fergal to be under as much pressure as possible ahead of championship – has been a great league for him so far. If we could get a decent run from Touhy and hopefully Jordan / Tommy so the threat from points is spread that would be handy.

    Would also be interesting to see if some more work could be done on adding goal threats too aside from Eoghan (hopefully he’s fine) that would be good.

    Hopefully Coen gets more time especially with Durcan injured.

    All in all, exactly what we’d want points wise from the league so far.

  6. Ah come on Ultair, Towey wasn’t taken off for being “less than perfect”, he wasn’t having any effect unfortunately.
    Last night was a big opportunity for him and I don’t think he took it tbh. It’s not his first year in the panel either.

  7. Can’t see Derry upping the ante at this stage as they’re home and hosed. Mickey Harte won’t want to give too much away before the Donegal opener in Ulster. I’d be surprised if Harte wanted to win the league outright considering the battle ahead them. Mayo and Dubs or Kerry could end up contesting the final by default but there’s a few more slippery games to go.. technically if Monaghan win today almost anyone could end up with another must win game to survive. I’d fancy Mayo to beat Derry tbh and Tyrone might throw a curve ball by beating Dublin on the final match day.

  8. A strong performance from us last night. We put them away with the minimum amount of fuss.

    We are in a reasonably good place overall. You could argue last night that Diarmuid, Mattie, James Carr,David Mc Paddy, Tommy and Cillian with a bit more fitness would be in a first choice starting 11. 2 defenders, 2 midfielders and 2 forwards not starting and all quality players at that. If we can get some or all of them anywhere near fit then all the better.
    I thought Hession, McHugh and Coen put in good performances last night. The panel looks in reasonable shape and as we saw last night its all about having panel options when there are a few injuries. I think back to the game in Kerry last year where we sprung Paddy, Enda, Eoghan Mc, Tommy and Stephen Coen from the bench. That was some mob to be able to call on.
    The defence is doing Ok. 1 goal conceded after round 5 compared to 5 goals conceded after round 5 this time last year. That is something we have to keep working on. You can never Mind the House enough.

    Finally a word on young Towey. We get behind him and persevere with him. He dropped a few short last night which was frustrating. Was the wind against us first half? He may not make a starting 11 but he is a good option later in games when legs are tired there is a bit more space about.

    The glass remains half full.

  9. @Mark Dempsey: That would be a huge change in psychology from every team/year Mickey has managed before now. He’s always viewed winning the league as a massive plus, both for winning as a habit & confidence building. He has never been one to pull the handbreak. Every player that ever played under him comments on his desire to win it.

    I’d imagine this weekend was far more a combination of a necessary break for a few lads, necessary minutes in a few more and wanting to hold his cards close to his chest on a team he feels is a serious All Ireland rival this year. I’d expect following a weak break, two weeks break for a few key lads and with another break (Round 7) coming before a potential final we’ll get hit with the full strength in Castlebar.

    No harm. Nothing like a Derry pressure test to check for holes in tactics/systems/patterns/personnel.

  10. If we beat Derry, and Dublin win their last two as I expect they will. That’s Derry out of the final then (I stand corrected if not true) I’d expect them to go for it 100% against us in two weeks. Personally, on current form, I’d rather avoid a final against Dublin at all costs.

  11. @Brian: Nothing nearly that predictable there yet.

    The H2H advantages we’d have on Dublin/Derry (and Dublin on Derry) in your scenario would be cancelled out when the 3 teams (assuming Derry beat Roscommon in the final game) finished on 10 points. At that point it’d go to score difference instead (H2H is only for 2 tied teams).

    A lot could change there in the coming rounds but you’d expect Derry (currently +17 ahead of us) and Dublin (currently +7 ahead of us) to be competitive on those.

  12. Tsudonim, it would be a break from the Harte tradition, that’s correct, but the thinking behind my opinion is that Jim McGuinness entered the equation and that Mickey might have some trepidation in showing the master tactician his hand. I’m not exaggerating, I hope, in saying Derry are fairly fearful of stumbling early on in Ulster. McGuinness is seen as a banana skin considering his relationship with Gallagher who moulded this Derry side. He’ll cut his cloth to fit I think. Great user name BTW ?

  13. Well Done mayo last night show great intensity and hard work all over the field but lots to work on but I think league table goes on score different with anymore than two teams on some points

  14. @Mark Dempsey: All super valid points. They’re just ones that could have made in slightly different ways for the Ulster Championship many times in the last decade of his Tyrone run… but never seemed to factor into his thinking. Definitely something to watch when it comes to the selection and intensity next week. You could well end up being spot on, I just wouldn’t expect it.

    You can’t beat the aul’ phonetics. If I need a pseudonym, who am I not to go ahead and pick one.

  15. Very happy with last night’s performance, especially our younger players, they really took the game to the Rossies, E Mcloughlin showed great pace up along the wing,hope he isn’t too badly injured, well done to all the squad, it was a long drive back from Omagh,last week after the result ,but fair play when the pressure came on to get a result the whole squad delivered in style against an in form Roscommon side ,hopefully we can now build on this going forward Hon Mayo ??

  16. Tbh I want us to be playing against a full strength derry, the threat of relegation gone now its a free hit to rest ourselves against one of the leading contenders and try work out how to break down a strong defence.

    It’s win win.
    I’d just play a complete 2nd string v monaghan then. Wrap all the key men in cotton wool at that point

  17. McHughs performance certainly puts him as the most improved player on the panel and he will be a solid cover come championship time. Towey and Touhy could have been replaced at half time(2 minutes into second half ridiculous) Towey much hungrier when he comes off the bench. While Touhy is a great player in the making, it may not be in this year’s championship.
    Carney as defensive midfielder is a safe pair of hands. Intelligently switched play to where the space was. Very mature performance
    Boland outstanding, our most consistent player.
    We did pick off a few nice long range points, (AOS off weak right foot) but we also missed a few. I would also say the turnover figures against us in the first half were high, but difficult conditions in fairness.
    Despite a weak second quarter performance, we are well set up for the clash with Derry

  18. So for tied teams on match points
    scored points differences comes before H2H in finalizing the placings?

  19. @MrTed: If two teams are tied on points it’s just H2H.

    If it’s 3 or more teams tied the H2Hs can end up in a nonsensical loop so they get completely ignored and it goes to score difference.

  20. @TsuDhoNim ahh ok. I was making my assumption based on H2H’s, interesting to know. As others have suggested we should give our 100 % to the Derry game then, seeing as they’re probably the second best in the country on form at the moment.
    Put out the B team against Monaghan, like we did last game of the league last year, if it’s not too late for them by then to save themselves from relegation.

  21. A lot of comments over the last night in relation to Tommy Conroy. I think a true reflection can be made at the end of the league but I think it’s becoming more clear to see that he uses his pace for everything. Whilst that is a plus I’d love to see him get his head up and use it more often.

    In the second half yesterday Eoghan McL hand passed him the ball 13 yards out, had an easy score on but tried to run past 3 Roscommon lads. It was never going to work. I think the coaches could be working on that a lot more, not allowing him to take plays in in-house games, forcing my him to get his head up and either shoot or score. He tries to go past his man every time and really there is no need at times.

    As for Towey, give him the next two games completely uninterrupted. For player trying to break into the team, when they get a chance, the first thing on their mind is not to make a mistake. Give him the confidence to express himself with him knowing that he will play the full 70. Mchale is another man who should be given far more time too.

  22. Ontheditch.
    I agree regarding taking Towey off after 2 minutes of the second half. Not that I disagree with replacing him but it should have been done at halftime. What purpose did it serve to give him those 2 minutes, he couldn’t have done much in that time. All it did was embarrass a young player being hauled ashore in front of 9K people.

  23. Ha ha tsudo… very witty. I could never understand why the word phonetic wasn’t spelt so… anyway we’re only chewing the fat. None of us has a clue what’s goin’ to happen except there’s lots of twists and turns ahead yet.

  24. Lots of permutations with regards to where we finish up, and thats not a bad place to be. But for me the most important aspect of the last 2/3 games is getting James Carr, Diarmuid, Durcan, O’Hora (if still around) and McBrien back on the pitch. A fit and in form Carr can kick 3-4 from play on a given day, he’s two footed, great acceleration and can be like a “new signing” for us if he’s available for the real stuff.

    Reading between the lines of McStays interview, he’s not bothered with a league final (thank God) and it seems he’ll use these games to give lads minutes and probably the likes of Towey amd Tuohy to up their game.

  25. McStay could possibly end up in a final Margie, and, yes I hope not too.Nothing to do with the bigger prize imo absolutely nowt. A Monaghan win today throws up a few tactical manoeuvres. Nothing would surprise me now… Galway and Kerry final probably considering my prediction record.

  26. A good performance last night and good to see the younger guys standing up plus some of the guys coming back from injury.
    It’s clear that Mayo cannot leave a few of the experienced guys on the bench for the championship games.

    It could be next year before we see the team transition really take off.

    This year All Ireland winners will probably be the Dubs winning a final v Derry, or maybe Kerry.

  27. Hope you get well soon Catcol, as myself last June with a fracture it was great to watch all the games on the paid service ( even if it was about 3 minutes behind the radio coverage ).

  28. Good result yesterday which gives us a deserved 6 points after 5 games. I believe we have reasons to be optomistic given what weve seen so far. Would like to see cillian get a start sooner rather than later still feel he could be a major asset for us further down the line, especially given our forward line has room for improvement.

  29. Re Towey, I thought it was just a pity things didn’t work for him last night. It wasn’t an absence of ability.
    The replacement two minutes into the second half was odd.
    However, what I thought at the time was:
    – this is a crucial moment now (start of second half)
    – we’re almost tied with our opponents
    – the game can go away from us here (Dublin Quarter Final 2023; Tyrone last week, Dublin 2019).
    – we have to act decisively as a team
    – that means everybody.
    – Paul hadn’t scored at all in the game, hadn’t affected the scoreboard.
    – Let’s ensure we get a return from this forward position so we can push on.

    Tommy came on for Towey and it was clear to me that Tommy’s introduction changed the game at this time. His pace in that defensive area caused fright among the Roscommon players. We won two frees in quick succession from his play. ROD scored them both (I stand to be corrected). We added on more points then as a whole and extended our lead. Pace and speed seemed to be hallmarks of our play in the second half.
    Towey’s replacement was tactical – relating to a specific time of the game. There was no time to rest on laurels or be complacent at the start of the second half with the game poised like that. We needed to impose ourselves.
    I really hope we see a lot more of Paul Towey in the next few games. We need his scores and his accuracy – they too will be a *crucial* asset to us, for example against packed defences.

  30. Towey and Cillian in similar parts of town based on impact at the moment (in fairness that’s based off watching on the TV, very hard to comment on the impact of off the ball movement / forward play) – hopefully they can both get some decent time to see if they can make more of an impact.

    Did anyone at the match see if Loftus had much of an impact?

    Seems like improvement / form re points most likely to come from Flynn and Tommy at this stage.

  31. As another poster rightly said, subbing Towey with Tommy won us the match.

    I can’t understand the point people are making about Towey. He was poor last night and deserved to be hooked. Get over it.

  32. Thanks Willie Joe, Glory and Bate the Blamket for the good wishes. Much appreciated.

  33. Loftus not on long enough to make any impression, looked lively, starting with clean slate after management got it so wrongbwith him last year. Assuming he is sloted in at half forward, can he score from distance and can he hold up an attacking half back (like Flynn did so well last night) will define his season. I’d be more interested in seeing more of Darren McHale, take up a lot of good positions, needs more time to sharpen up.

  34. A lot of teams play at least one defensive wing forward who spends most of his time tracking back and killing space. Is there a role for a Conor Liftus type player to come forward from wing back and play fast passes into forwards and kick points from 30 yards.

  35. That’s basically what the Conor Loftus role was intended to be last year but none of the things listed actually happened

  36. @Southmayo Exile: Room for him to play a big part for sure, though I’d expect far more active tagging (he did a decent job on Johnny Heaney and a very solid one on Dara Moynihan from a more defensive role last year in the two games he wasn’t sweeping) than as a +1 or killing space.

    We’re ‘relatively’ limited on options. We’re picking 4 (2 midfield and 2 wing forwards) from ~9 (Carney, Flynn, Tuohy, Duffy, DO’C, Ruane, Reid, Loftus & Irwin – you could technically throw Coen, McLaughlin, McHale, Conroy or the likes in here too, but we haven’t tended to use them in that way yet beyond the last 5 or 10 minutes of a game). The fact we’ve normally been picking 4 from <7 (some combination of Ruane/DO'C/Reid/Irwin/Loftus have been missing for various reasons) so far this year shows how they'll all have the room to make vital contributions depending on how injuries/form/needs play out.

  37. Are mayo definitely safe? If we lose the last 2 could we not still be in bother?

  38. Not mathematically safe yet Moose, but there would have to be an unbelievable amount of bad luck to end up going down now when you look at the fixture list. Based on a combo of head of head and points difference.

  39. @Moose79: No. Nothing guaranteed mathematically yet. Scenarios where we go down with 6 points do require multiple highly unlikely upsets strung together, so while it’s not mathematically sure it’s highly likely (though we all know how the NFL loves to throw up those scenarios).

    We were ~5% chance to go down on 6 points before this weekend’s games started. I’d imagine it won’t shift too far from that after the games today and the models/bookies update.

  40. Carney has taken over the loftus role. He distributed the ball with authority and directed the play with maturity last night. The number 10 shirt is up for graps. If we could get something similar to Flynn at 10, we’d be flying imo. Frank Irwin, Darren McHale, Conor Loftus?? Remaining league games may decide

  41. Very strange game in Clones, Monaghan seem to be doing all the hard work and yet they are six points down. Give some of the Galway forwards half a chance and they will punish you, this is without Comer or Walsh.

  42. Would like Frank Irwin to get 2 games at wing forward now. Dunno why he dropped off the panel before throw in last night.

    Ruane is another man who needs 2 full games

    Obviously James Carr too provided he’s fit. There’s a starting place free for him if he grabs the chance.

  43. Quayman – I would put 2 of the goals down as Monaghan howlers defensively and the ball coming back off the post is just unlucky.

    Fair play to Galway for capitalising on the mistakes though.

  44. Quayman. A good few Galway supporters will be delighted with Rory Cunningham in that first half scoring 1 2. He got his chance in the development league in the Dome and impressed.
    Has had to wait until today to get his first game and has taken it..
    Plays with intermediate club St Brendans..

  45. Tuamstar – I heard one or two on about him alright, fair play to him. Wide Ball – definitely a couple of freak goals from poor defending, Monaghan would want to come out like men possessed to get back control. I’d imagine its curtains for them if they don’t get something out of today.

  46. Monaghan very poor no reason we shouldn’t pick up 2 points against them even with resting a few players.

  47. Tubberman,

    If you are going to be critical of Towey at least have the decency to be accurate.
    Yesterday you stated that “He was given a few minutes in the second half and could not make it count”
    not true, he got two possessions, the second one he passed it to Boland who got a point from a punch.(in fairness he had a lot to do), but Towey was substituted within a minute, what he did in those two minutes had no bearing on the substitute decision which was made at HT.

  48. If the League finished today. Are Mayo in 2nd or 3rd place. RTE have Mayo in 3rd spot even though they beat Dublin. Both are on 6 points.

  49. Joyce will be pleased to have 5 points missing so many of our best players. If Roscommon lose to Kerry its Division 2 for them. Cunningham with 1-3 was very good and O Currain played well when he came in. The pieces could yet fall into place for PJ in time for the Championship.

  50. @Blond64: There’s 3 teams on 6 points at the moment so the H2H doesn’t come into it (Kerry should be ahead of us on H2H and behind Dublin while Dublin should be ahead of Kerry and behind us…. H2H can’t work in that scenario).

  51. Agreed chesneychet – a lot of it will depend on what state your players come back in. Same for us with our absentees.

  52. Predicted table;

    Exactly the same as the present one. Everyone to pick up a win over the last two weekends.

  53. Are the winners of the roscommon v mayo/ new York semi final, at home or away to galway in the final?

  54. Sorry Joemamas, I don’t really see what point your making. What’s the grievance – that Towey was substituted at all, or the timing of the substitution? Maybe he could have subbed at HT, maybe he could have been given an extra 5 mins, either way was unlikely to have made a lot of difference.

  55. Is there any update on the injury list? I haven’t heard about players like Conor Reid or Eoin O’Donoghue in a while.

  56. Considering Monaghan’s point difference, if Kerry beat Roscommon before we throw in against Derry, relegation is off the table even if we lose the last two games.

    It’s possible to win both of our remaining games and still not make the final if the Dubs or Kerry win their remaining matches.

    Barring an outlandish series of draw results, we have to win at least one of our remaining matches to make the league final.

  57. Plunkett.
    WJ posted a comment on the blog yesterday evening about the two changes to the starting team. He also mentioned that Reid was in the 26. Replacing Frank Irwin.

  58. We are not going to judge towy on 40 minutes of football in the rain in march. Give him a.few games. Jesus Loftus has bulked up. He s an option. At one stage aos was in possession with 3 men approaching him. He looked up. There was a pocket of 20 metres of space between him and full forward line just to pop off a pass over the converging roscommon men. Nobody ran in there. Dublin do this regularly. The question I want to ask is. After 5 games can anyone tell me what Rochford s mate .. canny is doing with our forward s. Can anyone see any change from before. I cannot. We are totally over passing it. Keeper you have had your warning also management. Please stop the stupidity of letting the keeper out the field.

  59. @nephin.that was conor hunt from aghamore @williejoe was referring to replacing irwin. Conor reid looked impressive against Galway and I’d like to see him in a couple of league games if he gets over his injury problems. It’s hard to see Galway picking up any more points with Dublin and Galway facing them and i think monaghans score difference could be their downfall.

  60. Asking a stupid question here – does Willie Joe’s comment mean Conor Hunt is back fit?

  61. I thought last night that Mayo played very much like Corofin,on the front foot all the time,just like when Stephen Rochford coached them

  62. Maybe I need to take my own advice. I meant to say Galway have to face Dublin and kerry.

  63. Apologies WJ. Of course you’re right. I should have checked again before I posted.

  64. @Plunkett
    Kevin Mcstay said after the game on interview that Paddy and David Mcbrien should be back in the squad for the Derry game and if not the Monaghan game. Diarmuid is a bit behind them.
    He didn’t mention James Carr although he did say previously that the aim for him was the Roscommon game. Hopefully Carr makes the squad for the Derry game.

  65. I wasn’t aware Conor Hunt was injured, Catcol, but that’s not to say he wasn’t either, as I could have missed that memo!

    Mind the House – Kevin did mention James Carr in his post-match quotes on the pod. He said he’s back in training and will be pushing for inclusion for the Derry game.

    No doubt – I don’t understand that wine reference but, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m eyeing a beer or two before the night os over.

  66. @Digits: Well spotted.

    Hadn’t realised we couldn’t end up on a 2 team 6 point tie with Monaghan (with Monaghan v Tyrone still to play). That’s great news.

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