Sunday match reports


The sun is shining brightly again this morning and we’re basking in the afterglow of a third straight League win. Here’s a quick gallop through the coverage that’s out there on our five-point win last night over Cavan.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Anglo Celt, Northern Sound.

Nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Mirror, Irish Sun, Times UK (paywall).

Others: GAA, RTÉ (match reportpost-match quotes), The 42, Sports News Ireland.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Inpho, Sportsfile.

Video: Mayo Mick.

That’ll do you for now. Back later on with the latest episode of the Mayo News football podcast – featuring the action not just from Castlebar last night but Tralee as well – and later again with the result of the MOTM poll, voting in which will remain open for several hours yet.

34 thoughts on “Sunday match reports

  1. Great to have collected those two vital points last night. Not a great performance overall but thankfully it was enough to grind out victory. With the quality of the teams that we face over the remainder of this league campaign -additional points are going to be extremely difficult to come by. A point from either Galway or Monaghan and we’re safe but it’s still a big ask. Don’t see us getting any change from Dublin or Kerry – both teams look to be on a different level to us from what we’ve seen so far.

  2. You’re worried about us getting one more point to guarantee safety? We should be going guns blazing to win the thing outright.

  3. Thanks WJ. First a rant. That picture of the scoreboard reminds me that there was no scoreboard at the bacon factory end, so the score, for those on the terrace was a guessing game for long periods. A bit much at €20 entrance charge.

    Thought Cavan the best team we played so far. They looked far sharper for a lot of the match, dominated around the middle, and had a lightning counter-attack. Our restarts nearly did for us. Time and again, the ball was planted on aCavan man’s grateful hands. And the messing with short kicks. Was it 2 points it cost us?

    The difference? Aidan O’Shea. His turnovers, driving runs, great point were massive. Don’t think we would have won without him. Still, this team did the business, though the balance wasn’t as good as last week’s selection. Felt Reape and Donie made a huge difference, though I liked the look of Matty Ruane, who did well and probably tired a bit due to his Sigerson exploits.

  4. Most pleasing aspect for me was Caff’s performance. His ability to stick close to his man and get a hand in, with Higgins more often than not available to tidy up, was a joy. He has taken dogs abuse in recent years and last night will serve as a vindication to him of how much he still has to offer at this level. Another pleasing aspect was our defensive structure looked real solid. Finally, the enthusiasm for continuous hard running right across the team was what won the game for us. We had players willing to bust s gut to punch holes off the shoulder time and again. It wasn’t perfect, slightly off at times, but it was the difference between the two teams, Cavan were just unable to muster the same desire to penetrate. When they did they were tracked ferociously. All in all a very satisfying result with plenty to Work on. Great place to be in mid Feb!

  5. Catcol you are spot on, turnovers, loose passes, bad misses, we had em all, AOS was superb and as usual took a hammering, Fair play Caf that should shut up the keyboard warriors for a while, mid fieild was very poor to non existent , we have just got past the poorer teams in div 1, bigger tests ahead for sure, we have some way to improve, Maigheo abú

  6. I’m glad to see there is very decent posts in here with reality attached . Roscommon beating Tyrone as I type I think adds further proof to how poor they are at present .

  7. Great start but 4 toughest games to go, obviously the Dubs will be a serious step up, I would go with some younger players again, with the Galway game key to whether this will be a good league or one just better than recent years. It is okay to lose a few matches if we are learning and players are developing.
    New players are settling in well, Plunkett is definitely adding to defensive options, and Coen becoming more confident, McDonagh and Reape definitely adding to forwards, will be interesting to see about midfield which is an area for concern which is why Ruane should get some game time versus Dublin.
    Panel choices will be really interesting come the end of the league, there is more competition for places which will drive the whole squad forward.

  8. From what I’ve seen so far, thst being the 2 fbd and 3 league games, Reape and Mcdonagh look like valuable additions up front. Reape is a decent finisher and strong, Mcdonagh an ok finisher and athletic. Diskin needs more game time.

    C Moran needs another year or two from a physical perspective and treacy might at best get a panel number. He did reasonably well against Tyrone but also seems a bit light. Dont think we’ll see him much come summer.

    McCormack had a very good game v leitrim but a poor game v Galway coming off at the break and hasn’t bounced back. Didn’t do much when introduced last night whereas mcloughlin and Reape did when they came in.

    Boland had a superb display v leitrim but hasn’t shone since and for me, the heavy conditions don’t suit him. I’d like to see him in croker and v Galway, provided both evenings are reasonably dry.

    Plunkett looks a seasoned campaigner already. Even if his form fades over the coming months you can be sure he’ll be a mainstay on the Mayo team for years ahead.

    Midfield is the engine room. With SOS coming toward the end and Tom still out (any update on him???) this is a crucial area. Donie could be a huge player for us this year. We can’t rely on Diarmuid every day and we really need Ruane to come through, and fast. For me, over the remainder of the league I see him being the one we really need to give game time too. And we could do with another option in that sector too. Any young talent coming thru in the county at centerfield? Strong, pacey athletic and can play! Doesn’t need to be a scorer.

    Would like to see Eoin OD and Chris get some game time at the back. Maybe give Keith a break for a game of two, coming on as sub.

    In my opinion, blooding players and getting championship panel right and fresh is main objective. Winning a league and talk of it being a national medal won’t cut it. Our 96/97 team won league medals in 2001 at the twilight of their footballing days. I was on the hill. It was nice to win. But with respect, it counts for nothing in the overall picture.

  9. Nothing to get carried away with yet , just got past Roscommon on a very bad night , Good win over Tyrone, and a win against Cavan without playing very well. Hard to see too many points in the next four games ,so not really safe from relegation yet. Some players have got plenty of chances and apart from an odd flash of brilliance they have not made the mark . Just remember last year we had a tired team with a lot of top players out injured or just coming back from serious injury.

  10. Would Jordan Flynn from Crossmolina be worth a look at I’m midfield? I know he lost the head in the u20
    Final with the ref and all that but I think he could be worth a look. He’s strong and powerfully built and has no less a mentor than Ciaran Mc Donald around him so if not this year I’d say he’ll be around the panel next year

  11. Jordan Flynn will defintely be worth a look.
    The other young midfielder with a lot of potential is Parkes Jackie McLoughlin. He’s springy, athletic and a decent footballer.

  12. That sums it up mayonaze . Midfield though is a massive issue moving forward . We need to be blooding players in this area for one/two years time . It’s definitely a transition period IMO, with next year and the year after in mind ,so if ruane is to be part of that I’d play him v dubs absolutely.

  13. Fair plat to Caff… To be honest I have not had much faith in him post his major injury but last night was a great performance. Hopefully more of the same to come. I think some critism of his performances over the last couple of seasons are justified and people here saying it’s great to “ram it down the throat” of his doubters are going over the top. One bad performance does not make you a bad player similarly he needs a few more stellar performances to really show he is back to his brilliant best.
    One more point…. We will not win an all Ireland any year with Clarke in goal. His restarts are such a liability at this stage its 2/3 points per game he costs us. Fantastic shot stopper but in modern football kick outs are as important and his are just not good enough.
    I know people will not like that but watch a game objectively and it’s very obvious.

  14. Oh Dear Wayne – your comments on Clarke that’ll open the floodgates.
    I don’t disagree with you on that though.

    However on Caff – I think he’s been made a scapegoat of too many times and people looking to point a finger at him when things go wrong, all too readily and usually incorrectly.
    He’d be well justified for ramming a good performance down many of his critics throats given the very nasty and largely unjustified commentary that had been made about him over the years.

  15. Clarke commands the goal area well and is a good shot stopper, however it is true that his kick outs are not a consistent strength, and as Wayne has alluded to this is critical element in the game now, just look at the impact that Stephen Cluxton has on the way that Dublin play.
    Clarke has done reasonably well in the past, but Saturday night was certainly not his best, however, Mayo are still trying to work out who will be our midfield, and what is our kick out strategy. We have yet to do well on long kick outs in the league games so far, until this is sorted, teams will push up on the kick out and make short kick outs risky.
    In my view, the keeper position is certainly one that is up for grabs this year.

  16. Interesting comments on Clarke who overall gas been a tremendous asset to Mayo. He did win an All Star too remember. You need to be a pretty damn good all around keeper for that.

    The amount of goals he stopped over the years too are crucial. Had he started the replay in 17 we may have won… remember a goalkeeping error cost us badly that day(and a simple one at that)…And our keeper/fullback didn’t cover themselves in glory for brogans goal in 2013.

  17. The new additions in the forward line are welcome. When Hanley, Durcan and loftus get back there will be fierce competition. I expect to see James Carr aswell before the league finishes

  18. Hennelly.
    O’Donoghue, Harrison, Drake
    Boyle, Barrett, Vaughan
    Gibbons, S O Shea
    Boland Loftus McLoughlin
    Deskin C O’Connor, Reape
    Subs McCormack, Crowe, Hanley J.Durcan, Slingermann.

    Tongue-in-cheek, maybe but a decent side/? And I’m sure I forgot a few.

  19. Delighted for Caff, that performance should give him great confidence going forward but the real test will come if selected v Dublin – for now, though he can walk the walk. And as per comments above re Clark’s kick-outs, I agree that in the modern game there’s more to goalkeeping than shot-saving. The game itself, where not brilliant was workmanlike and winning was the most important thing, so job done for now. Bigger tests lie ahead and points will be hard to come by from here and it will be interesting to see how James approaches team selection for the rest of the League.

  20. What is it about Mayo people?

    We wanted Andy retired in 2014. We wanted our top scorer ever dropped and taken off frees. Now we want rid of our greatest ever goalkeeper after his first game this year.

    We are a funny bunch.

  21. We are Mark, and I remember a time when our best all-round team player with the best mentality and attitude in the game nationally was only a “fuckin’ liability” that needs to be more focused.
    Funny bunch indeed.
    Not funny, ” ha – ha”.

  22. Just watching highlights of Kerry/Dublin… we have found out to our cost too many times, they can play poorly enough but still able to beat you with goals from sparks of individual class and/or your own errors……Con O’C and Paul M again.

  23. Didn’t have to, but watched RTE ‘highlights’ ( lighthighs?). Two clowns this time. Nothing about the game. Dessie Dolan talking about McLoughlin’s great contribution. Brolly on Aidan O’Shea’s position. Jesus wept.

  24. Fw. Just watched it there. Dessie Dolan described Colm Boyle as mayo’s fall guy on many occasions. Now theres one for the books.

  25. Mayomark… I am not saying get rid nor am I saying I know what the answer is.. I am definetly not going down that worm hole ?. My opinion is not just based on last night, and his two all stars are testament to his qualities.. But in all honesty.. His restarts are average at best… And have been over the last couple of years… I think we that resolved somehow. But just my opinion, the guys that want him to start every game are just as entitled to theirs and have valid points

  26. I’m finding Joanne Cantwell a bit overly aggressive and confrontational (going a bit off topic!)
    However she didn’t skip a beat when dessie said Boyle was one of the oldest or words to that effect,she cut him off straight away saying he’s only 32

  27. It’s absolutely refreshing to see the job that Joanne Cantwell is doing on the Sunday Game. Listening to opinions based on nuances rather than with any fact had been norm with Lyster, but not anymore. The ‘pundits’ bludgeon the same problems, but never the answers.

    AOS is a very high quality no.11. He offers a release ball from defence every time, his hands are soft and he is really starting to add a polished foot pass to his armour. The experiment at 14 was a failure, due to no fault of his own. The attention he receives at 14, makes us one dimensional, and thus predictable. This clogs up the danger area, reducing, rather than increasing the possibility of goals.

    It’s great to see Plunkett do so well at 6. While we have been so fortunate to have the calibre of player on that line that we do, it is very important to add freshness. To have Lee, Paddy, Boyler, Coen and now Punkett, what an exciting blend!

    After watching Monaghan, Galway, Roscommon and Tyrone today, the game in general doesn’t half need us!

  28. Discipline by Roscommon cost them today and it was a very important point for Tyrone. I expect Tyrone to improve and survive so it could be between Cavan, Monaghan and Roscommon for the trap door. Cavan could take a scalp or two before they go so there will be some key games coming up such as the Mayo and Ros games against Galway and our game against Monaghan. We should be looking at both these games as very winnable. The Dublin and Kerry games are just bonus territory.. not to lay down a marker.. but to try different things out and get experience for the newbies. But the league is a funny old one and standings can change very quickly so I’m just happy to be on maximum points right now. It’s nice for a change

  29. I have always thought Ger got far to much criticism and he deserves tho out most respect for how he came back from such a serious injury,so well done to him for Saturday night,I also believe that Robbie has suffered from criticism,as there is not much between our keepers,all along David’s kickouts have been poor,whilst I agree he is a better shot stopper, it was always clear out fowards were dropping back to the full back line to offer an outlet for the kickouts,it is something I don’t like to do is criticise a player because they put their whole life on hold to entertain us,so I will just say thank you very much to all the panel for their efforts

  30. Shaking my head here at lads touting Hennelly for the number 1 jersey: just how many crucial goals in All-Ireland finals do we have to cough up before that one is put to bed? Robbie’s dropped balls around the goalmouth in three national finals at this stage, leading to opposition majors. This isn’t something you can say of David Clarke.

    Clarke’s kickouts need improvement, but don’t forget that for all the supposed superiority of Robbie’s restarts, we didn’t win a much greater share of his punts during the NFL so far.

    He’s also a better shot-stopper and is better under the high ball.

    If some rotation is needed, then I’d be of a mind to throw in Micheál Schlingermann for a game or two, given his decent record in LOI soccer.

    As regards the Cavan match, a win is a win and there haven’t been too many of those at home in recent seasons. The harder part of the league starts now, one win out of four should be enough to see us stay up. I’d expect a backlash from the Dubs and Kerry looked very impressive on Saturday evening, so it may be unrealistic to beat either of those away from home, but a win against either Galway or Monaghan at home is achievable.

  31. Also on lads citing Cluxton, he has an abnormally accurate strike of a ball, and is seen by some Dubs’ fans as the most influential player on their team and the most influential goalkeeper ever, someone who has redefined the common perception of that role. We would definitely have won the 2013 final, for instance, without him between the sticks.

    No other team has that weapon, including ourselves.

    There were no goalies coming up the field to take frees either before he came along, now it seems like every team is at it.

  32. Beggan with Monaghan is another influential goalie who is there for his kick outs, in reality a goal keeper may end up not having to make any saves, but will have plenty kick outs.
    It is always easy to point at the goalie mistakes that lead to goals but how often do we look at the poor kick outs that lead to points conceded, or in reverse the good kick outs that lead to a team scoring.
    Rochford switched Hennelly in the replay to take advantage of his kickouts, it did not work out, it does not mean that it may not be the best option in the future. If we have a mobile midfield rather than high fielders, then quick accurate kick outs may become an important strategy.
    Anyway, I will support whoever the management select, as they certainly know more than me on this issue.

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