The weekend’s action

Fermanagh Roscommon

Photo: RTÉ

Another weekend gone from the summer and gone too from this year’s football championship are a further six counties, with the number still in the hunt now cut back to just fourteen. The weekend also resulted in the first county – Dublin – filling one of the eight slots in the All-Ireland series. Slowly but surely, we’re inching towards the business end of things this year.

Let’s start with the Connacht perspective and the contrasting fortunes encountered yesterday by Galway and Roscommon. I strongly fancied both to make it through and both should have but the Rossies imploded coming down the closing stretch and got caught by a game Fermanagh. Cormac Reilly’s latest refereeing blunder (his continuing inclusion in the so-called elite reffing roster surely demonstrates beyond doubt the GAA’s utter disinterest in officiating standards) gave the Erne County a lifeline. With a five-point lead and only five minutes to go, though, the Sheepstealers really have only themselves to blame for losing this one.

It’s a shocking – and too early – end to Roscommon’s football year, coming on the heels of very encouraging progress made (and all those hidden-away cups won) in the spring. Dessie Dolan, however, mentioned on The Sunday Game last night that he knew from his sources within the county that they’d done enormous work before last Christmas and so were firing on all cylinders far too early in the year. That’s great if winning the FBD, or even moving up in the League, is your target but if that’s the course they were following then the price they paid yesterday was a very heavy one for a team with ambitions of going somewhere.

Galway, by contrast, were flying yesterday up in the Athletic Grounds. It looked for a while that they were going to give Geezer’s lads a real thumping but their inability to score in the final 25 minutes meant their margin of victory was far lower than it really should have been. This morning the Tribesmen pulled a home draw against Derry (winners over Wexford on Saturday) in Round 3B and they’ll now be very confident of progressing to the final twelve.

The other Round 3B clash is a really fascinating one. Tipperary were highly incensed at the carry-on of Tyrone in this year’s U21 final some months back and there was no love lost between the two counties after that Parnell Park meeting. Now they’ve been paired together at senior level, where Tipp’s dash will be pitted against Tyrone’s dourness, the former having beaten Louth out the gate in Thurles on Saturday while the latter got the better of Meath in same afternoon up in Omagh. Home advantage, not to mention the desire to right a perceived injustice from that U21 decider, could well swing this one the Premier County’s way.

Yesterday’s Leinster final was interesting enough up to half-time but as riveting as watching the clothes drying on the line in the second half. Westmeath didn’t get the pasting that was feared, but they still lost by thirteen, and while they made a reasonable – though not wholly successful – fist of trying to erect a defensive shield, the price for that was their own woeful six-point tally over the seventy minutes.

What was, perhaps, encouraging for the rest of us mere mortals was how poor Dublin looked. Faced with Westmeath’s modest shutdown tactics, Dublin took a long time, in a performance laced by repeated unforced errors, to find a decisive way through. I thought their midfield looked very suspect – MacAuley is unfit and was pretty indisciplined to boot and Fenton, while talented, appears far too raw for when the real stuff starts – and their famed bench, with the decidedly average Paddy Andrews the first new man to be introduced in the forwards, no longer has the appearance of the cavalry’s arrival about it.

It won’t have done Dublin any good either to have sealed the Leinster title yesterday (no talk of completing the five-in-a-row there) at what was little more than walking pace. With almost certainly either or Cork or Kerry to come next for them in the quarters, they’ll need to prepare pronto for a very sharp spike in intensity compared to what they’ve experienced to date in the championship.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the ladies who lost what sounded like a real ding-dong Connacht final to Galway yesterday. It was a cruel loss, by the minimum margin, after a battling display where once again Cora Staunton was her peerless self, racking up 1-15 of her team’s 1-17 total. Colm Gannon’s match report for the Mayo Advertiser on yesterday’s provincial decider is here.

58 thoughts on “The weekend’s action

  1. Took a quick look at the draw there. Assuming ourselves and Donegal win on Sunday, that would mean our Q-F opponent would be one of Monaghan, Galway, Derry, Tipp or Tyrone. If we lose on Sunday, it’s a back-door game against Galway, Derry, Tipp or Tyrone.

  2. I think Derrys forwards in particular OBoyle have a height advantage on Galway. Derry are the most under managed side. They are doing well despite their manager. A manager who has exiled half the forward talent in Derry while workhorses solo side to side. OBoyle/Bradley/Lynch will enjoy the big pitch. Derry have been really consistent all year, just lots of narrow losses.

  3. – ‘sure the Armagh man was going through, what could Sice do? He had to take him down’! That’s a big win for Galway in Armagh though. Can’t help feeling that it’ll give Galway’s confidence a serious boost ahead of the Derry game. It was gas to listen to the commentators on Galway Bay FM applauding the two black cards Galway got without the slightest hesitation

    Interesting too to see on the Sunday game that Galway caused a couple of rows on the field after getting their black cards too, just to take more time off the clock, knowing full well that because the game was already in added time, the ref wouldn’t add more time on. This Galway team learn fast and although they’re far from the best around, nobody will look forward to meeting them from here on either.

  4. Sorry – first paragraph should have read:

    That’s a big win for Galway in Armagh though. Can’t help feeling that it’ll give Galway’s confidence a serious boost ahead of the Derry game. It was gas to listen to the commentators on Galway Bay FM applauding the two black cards Galway got without the slightest hesitation – ‘sure the Armagh man was going through, what could Sice do? He had to take him down’!

  5. Yes, agree with JP, I think Derry will be a different proposition to Armagh, who are really showing the ‘benefits’ of playing in Division 3.

    And Galway? Not scoring for the final 25 minutes is pretty bad.

    Yes, re other posters point on the black cards, they learned from the Lee Keegan book there, who in turn had studied the Tyrone text book on this black art.

  6. Delighted for galway ! Just picked up ticket in local centra,,,, terrace only available but would not miss it for the world ,,,,, what do ya call a Rossie on Connaught final day ? A STEWARD !

  7. Can anyone clarify what happens if Mayo win Sunday? A lot of commentators suggesting dubs will play losers of Munster / kildare. That would mean Winners of connaught play fermanagh/westmeath. Not counting chickens but Mayo need a tough test against cork in the q/f in order to burst de dubs in semi, and right some wrongs against Kerry in final!

  8. No I don’t think that’s right, Puckout. Kerry, if they win on Saturday, will play the winners of Fermanagh and Westmeath.

  9. DavyJ we can’t meet Monaghan anyway in the next round. Beaten finalists and winners will be drawn against the qualifier ganag that make it through the next round.

    It is not far fetched to suggest we could meet Galway again?

  10. I sat beside Shane Walsh in Pearce Stadium last month. As I wished him a quick recovery and the best of luck in the qualifier. He said sir w might meet again this year. He could be right!

  11. We can’t meet Westmeath or Fermanagh. If we beat Sligo, we meet one of galway, derry, tipp Tyrone, and losers of Monaghan v Donegal. That’s certain. The winners of the munster final will have a nice handy passage to semis against Fermanagh or Westmeath.

  12. Dubs are beatable, would rather someone to do it for us though, Kerry might have some chance in the quarter against them, couldnt see Cork managing it though considering there recent history with the Dubs. I just cant wait for Mayo to get back in action

  13. Mac’s left boot has it right.

    Now that I think of it, there’ll be fair intensity in the Munster Final replay, considering that the losers could end up facing Dublin in the Q-F.

  14. Nothing is certain yet. IF we beat Sligo, we can play any of the above. However, if the Ulster loser wins their qualifier, we are guaranteed to play them, as a repeat of the Ulster Final is not allowed.

    I personally think Mon/Donegal is very likely.

    If we lose the Conn final, we can meet any of the 4 qualifiers drawn against each other today

  15. I’d rather focus on the game on Sunday without getting too far ahead of ourselves. Sligo will try to make a battle out of it, and no better place to do that than in the Hyde. They have a pacey forward line, and it has been shown that the Mayo back do not cope well when they are ran at.

    One step at a time please….

  16. Speaking of Darragh MacAuley, am I the only only one who can’t stand him?
    I don’t know if it’s his snide off the ball antics, his whinging to referees or just the way he runs like a ballerina.

    This Dublin team are by no means near the level of shite-hawkery as Pat Gilroy’s gang of 2004-06, but that floppy-haired fucker MacAuley would fit in perfectly with them.

    Ahhhhhh, I find this site quite cathartic at times.

  17. Galway will have played FIVE championship games by Sat night. We play our second on Sunday. Kind of makes a mockery of our championship structure does it not?

  18. Great to see old head on young fella’s shoulders.
    No chickens for counting yet.
    A single point win on Sunday would suit me, a draw might be no harm as long as day 2 is a win.
    slowly slowly catchie monkey

  19. Steve, d championship has huge problems, but in all fairness new york and leitrim are not really matches for Galway to be preparing for, ok leitrim came closer than probably expected and gave us a big upset 2 decades ago, but New York is just a team holiday, some will disagree strongly but till New York beat a team its all it will be in my opinion

  20. Dan,

    Convert that negative energy into positive for Mayo next Sunday and if Mayo get the chance do the same for a game vs dublin. Buy a big flag and wave it in the Hyde.

  21. Dan, I think you mean Caffery, not Gilroy 😀 In fairness to Gilroy, he really shook that nonsense out of Dublin football.

  22. I can see Galway and Tipp doing the business. Galway must take heart from yesterday after an away win against a fancied Ulster side. And Tipp were hugely impressive as well and will surely put up a significant test to Tyrone especially in Semple.

    On the other side I can actually see Kildare beating either Cork or Kerry. Cork and Kerry have to play next weekend with the loser playing the following weekend again probably in Croker as part of a double header. Its not a prospect either will relish.

    Surely though the happiest teams will be Westmeath and Fermanagh with both surely fancying their chances against the other.

  23. I just hope we get through Sunday injury free. Hopefully we’ll win and Donegal will beat Monaghan, but if we lose its not the end of the world either. A 1 point win would be brilliant but ill be predicting a 7 point win in the mini league. Like others ill be rooting for Cork, i think Kerry would beat the dubs in a quarter final.

  24. Cora Staunton is still top class a pure legend scoring 1 15 again on Sunday she deserves a bit of recognition if she was a man we’d be all raving about her

  25. Interesting games next weekend. Expect Galway to beat derry at home.. Tipp v tyrone is hard to call. Tipp still seething over tyrone carry on in U21 Final but that wont bother Hartes men and I fancy they will be sufficiently clever and cynical to beat Tipp who though improving haven’t beaten any big team yet and who still operate out of Div 3. Hope I am wrong. Expect Kerry to beat cork and then have handy quarter final v either Westmeath or Fermanagh. Hope I am wrong again. Expect Donegal to win ulster and us to win Connacht. This would leave us with a challenging but winnable quarter final against monaghan, tyrone or galway. Could end up playing our neighbours again. Would they send the two of us to croker for that game. Remember galway playing Ross in quarter in Castlebar in 2001. Anyway all of that is hypothetical.. Just need to beat Sligo on sunday and see where that takes us.

  26. Colm O Rourke on radio this eve rabbit in that if Mayo are serious about Sam we need to be beating Sligo easily….I feel if we are to win Subday it will another dammed if you do dammed if you don’t result.

  27. Ah of course, sorry. It was Caffrey. Always getting those 2 mixed up.

    Pity Morrison didn’t lamp him in ’06

  28. Could care less what o rourke thinks…not enjoying the three boys on sunday game and thought they were particularly hopeless last sunday..threw their hands in the air at the suggestion of what westmeath might dø to counteract the dubs ..and suggested prayer …cue the smirking and sniggering ..really annoyed me ..sligo have nothing to lose on sunday and will be well up for game…Hope we show why we are connacht champions from the start..

  29. I sure Galway want put one up on us especially since Mayo had upper hand on Galway have to win next 2 games nothing against Tyrone nut want tipp to win especially after tipp losing under 21 title to them can’t write off Sligo either

  30. All that matters is Sligo !!! Once we know our fate on Sunday evening we can then (and only then) begin turning our thoughts to the next game.

  31. Sorry to Ross loose and I hope Gal way progress. on the team front I can’t understand why people want to sideline Vaughan .he may not be a CHB but is worth his place in the team

  32. I remember in the game against Sligo in the 2012 Connacht Final in Hyde Park, we missed some great chances early in that game and we had a goal disallowed as well. The game turned into a right battle then. If we get some early chances we really need to take them this time. Show no mercy! The longer Sligo stay in the game the more their confidence will grow. I know the Connacht council got a lot of stick for the decision they made in terms of the venue choice but you’d have to think that giving Sligo and Leitrim the choice of a neutral venue (when they reach the final), is a means to enhance their chances and creates a bit of fairness. Just look at the monster that the Leinster council have created in Dublin, due to the Leinster council’s decision to put money before fairness.

  33. Dan I agree with u MDMA is a dope. Gud player tho. Don’t understand why teams don’t target him with a bit of off the ball stuff. He bites so easily.

  34. Beware Monaghan or Donegal for whoever comes out of Connacht. Especially Monaghan, they are due a result in a quarter final.. Anyone who underestimates them would be very foolish.

  35. I fear Donegal but Monaghan hand c McManus I think his overrated thought he got a handy all star 2 years ago

  36. I’ll follow up by saying that if we beat Sligo then we really need to be on guard at quarter final stage. We’ve been in the semi final the past 4 seasons and to make a 5th is not to be assumed. I know its a cliché but this Mayo team need to treat every game like its an AIF at this point. Last chance saloon for a good few guys you’d imagine.

  37. Following A v B game yesterday, Ger Caff and Donie Vaughan pushing hard for places. Conor Loftus has a slight injury again and sat out yesterday

  38. Sligo, Sligo, Sligo!!
    Rest is all hypothetical and best left to
    think about if/when we get there.
    We have no reason to fear ANYONE in qtrs, semis, etc
    One game at a time, Sweet Jesus!

  39. One game at a time sweet Jesus, thats all im asking of you.

    I cant remember who sang it. I know its day instead of game but u get my drift.

  40. Hi, watched 30mins of Mayo v Meath 2012 under Johnno. Aidan wore 15 and punched in a goal. Jumped with the big Keeper-O’Rourke i think. CONOR Motimer came on for 2nd half and looked classy. Ronaldson also on for 2nd half. Meath got soft penalty after minimal holding up by O’Malley. Mayo looked hood until then. Trevor Mort was captain. Tom PARSONS was full forward I think and Andy Moran in half backs. Higgins slipped for 1MEATH GOAL and no one else back. Nothing new under the sun. Ciaran 2

  41. Sorry, should be 2009. Just testing to see if you are awake. Mayo by 10points on SUNDAY. Stop worrying.

  42. Hope rumours Keane out on Sunday as per Connacht Telegraph are wrong.
    Think we will need him down the line as the Sligo full forward is big and handy.
    Good to hear Regan did well but he wont be in the panel named Id say.
    Mickey Conroy will and will push for place.
    Generally I see Westmeath beating Fmanagh and I think Derry will have too much for Galway.Dont rate Tipp at all…a good or middlin club team would beat Louth.
    Kerry will beat Cork handy.
    Those are my opinions so if you dont agree you could be right!

  43. Westmeath or Fermanagh into the quarter final the rossies blew a great opportunity there but in fairness they were injury hit D Murtagh,C Shine,S Kilbride,C Daly among others out injured.

    The Munster loser probably Cork should beat Kildare.

    Galway v Derry is a real 50/50
    Tyrone should have too much experience for Tipp.

    All that matters for Mayo Sunday is winning the margin of victory means little as 2012 proved.

    Possible quarter final opponent for Mayo looks like Tyrone or Monaghan.

  44. Apparently Regan showed well in the trial game at the weekend. Great to have options to change the inside line if required. I can see Donie starting too if hes going well. He made a big impact against Galway.

  45. Donnie has to start in my opinion , would settle for 1 point win , we might never see 5 in a row in a long long time ,,,,,

  46. ciaran 2 – I watched highlights of the 2009 quarter final loss to Meath and it was a shocking defeat. We were hot favs that day too if I remember. Looking at players standing off tackles and so far away from their man it is astounding how much the game and indeed Mayo have changed in 6 years. The intensity now is a million miles away.

    We need to show that Sunday. I don’t care at this stage about quarter finals, just get over Sunday.

  47. Perhaps the posters trying to close down all debate about what might happen after Sunday should chill out a little bit.

    There’s a back-door system in the championship lads. Whatever happens on Sunday, we will have another game after that. That’s all we’re talking about.

    It doesn’t mean that we are arrogantly assuming we will win on Sunday, or that we won’t be giving Sligo the respect they are due. It’s a bit of harmless speculation, that’s all.

  48. True, and it’s only us fans that like to talk about winning things that are weeks or months away, I’m
    Sure the players know at this stage how to focus on the game coming up and seperate it away from what might happen afterwards, after the last 4 years they are experts at it. I think us fans should talk and surmise about quarters and semis and enjoy it.

  49. Think it’s understandable Davy J to think ahead regards who we might meet.
    No harm in it at all – Do it meself all de time.
    Suppose after so many disappointments I’m trying to train myself not to think too far beyond next game.
    Funny de way ur mind works as I’m not
    superstitious but when I start thinking a couple of games ahead I feel I’m tempting fate.
    But hey, I know it’s natural to think on de various permutations etc.
    In all honesty, if players properly focused, we should beat Sligo with a wee bit to spare.
    So there I go telling people not to look beyond de next game and then I go and predict de result.
    What a hippycrit I am!
    Aragh fek it, while I’m on a roll…..


  50. Hi Dan,
    Maybe Michael D Mc is not everyone’s type of player but he always gives 100% although he does sometimes need to keep a cool head. Regarding your below comment;

    “This Dublin team are by no means near the level of shite-hawkery as Pat Gilroy’s gang of 2004-06, but that floppy-haired fucker MacAuley would fit in perfectly with them.”

    Get your facts straight Dan about the Dublin manager of 2004-2006 and when Pat Gilroy was our manager etc… cheers!!

    Best of Luck to Mayo on Sunday,
    Martin the Dub

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