Thinking about the team for Tipp

It’s only Wednesday and we’re not likely to release details of our starting fifteen for the Tipperary game until Friday evening at the earliest but the team we field at Semple Stadium on Saturday is surely of increasing interest to us at this stage. It’ll be the day itself, of course, no more than an hour ahead of throw-in, before we know for sure what the starting team will be but that’s the drill nowadays and it’ll be no different, I expect, for this game.

Stephen Rochford and his selectors have a number of choices to make for this one. Mike Finnerty in his match preview in the Mayo News (here) lays out what these options are, pondering whether or not the big guns – in the form of Lee Keegan, Diarmuid O’Connor and Andy Moran – will be deployed from the throw-in or if some, or all, of them are held in reserve.

Of relevance here will be whether or not to persist with Cian Hanley and James Durcan, both of whom made their championship debuts down at the Gaelic Grounds the last day. I thought both lads, despite looking a bit raw, did well and there must be a temptation to give them another start in the wide, open spaces of Semple.

If the likes of Diarmuid and Andy are being considered for starting places in Thurles then the two tyros would be the obvious ones to miss out, though Evan Regan’s place is surely under scrutiny as well. Evan won a load of ball against Limerick but, despite some good work on assists – in particular for Cillian’s opening goal – he didn’t produce much in the way of end-product.

If Lee is going to line out – as he could well do, not least given the threats in the Tipp forward line that need minding – that means somebody’s going to lose out in the backline. Both Eoin O’Donoghue and Ger Cafferkey did well in Limerick but if Lee slots back into the side then it could be that one of this duo will need to make way.

I’ve no idea how these choices will go and, as I’ve already said, it’ll be no more than an hour from the start on Saturday evening before we find out what the team to play Tipp will be. It’ll be Saturday soon enough, I guess.

In the meantime, here’s some more reading to keep you going. There’s a piece by Mike Finnerty with Alan Dillon in this week’s Mayo News (here), where the Ballintubber man backs his club-mate Diarmuid O’Connor to fill Tom Parsons’ shoes in midfield. Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. The same paper also has a few articles of interest on Sunday’s U20 Connacht title win – Mike with Mickey Conroy (here), who also appeared on the podcast this week, and Mike (again) with a feature about the U20s and the 1992/3 senior team’s jubilee appearance at Hyde Park on Sunday (here).

From the other side of the ditch there are a few short pieces worthy of perusal, all from the Nenagh Guardian. There’s an interview with Tipp manager Liam Kearns (here), a match preview (here) and an interview with their captain Rory Kiely (here). These are all just tasters for longer articles that appear in the paper itself so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to go that route for more detail there.

The route for all of us takes us to Thurles on Saturday, which I’m really looking forward to as Semple Stadium is a place I’ve yet to stand in. I’m looking forward to putting that to rights then and seeing the lads continue to put this championship campaign back together again too.

Support the team as they gear up for their next test in the qualifiers. Play the Mayo GAA Lotto here

43 thoughts on “Thinking about the team for Tipp

  1. Great whetter of the appetite there, as usual Willie Joe, thanks. Not sure if “whetter’ is actually a word but you get the gist.
    Thinking ahead as to how we, as supporters, might approach the game, there’s been a caginess to our support the last two games, I feel. Little if anything in the way of the famous “Mayo” chant yet. So let’s, as a group, express our joy at the prospect of winning as much as our fear at the prospect of losing. We don’t want that other famous chant of “Tipp, Tipp, Tipp” to be heard over our own. Days like Saturday are to be savored for those of us lucky enough to be there. Maigh Eo Abú!

  2. All going well drake gets a good run out and maybe it’s time for a guy like conor o shea I recall his great goal against tipp a few years ago .Cafferky after his excellent performance against Limerick should be the man for quinlivan

  3. Greetings from sunny Spain 28c.

    Going to miss this one I’m afraid and the one after, if Saturday goes well.

    Hon Mayo!

  4. If I was Rochford I’d go with Durcan instead of Evan I was impressed with Durcans pace the last day and his work rate in the first 25 mins especially. I like Evan but I don’t know I think Durcan is the better bet and will eventually offer more of a scoring threat. Of course if the Under 20 match is anything to go by they are only keeping the position warm for Ryan O Donoghue and a few other starlets that appear to be coming through so now is there time to show what they have got. I don’t think we’ll see the best of Hanley in this campaign but time is on his side but I hope he isn’t one that slips away like James Gill someone who had enormous potential but never seemed to realise it.

  5. Good man WJ, thanks for all that. Some are saying that Tipp aren’t as good as they were a couple of years back, and that we aren’t as good as we were at this stage in 2016, but i hope Rochy treats this game as a potential banana skin, as i’m sure he will. Make no mistake, Tipp are smarting from not only being defeated by Cork, but by how they have been treated by the munster council, having to play two games within 7 days, and on top of that they will want revenge for that defeat to us in ’16 too, so they are a team we have to respect.
    Being at home and considering all of the above, incl the fact that we are far from being at full throttle yet, makes Tipp a pretty dangerous oponent for us i think. I hope Rochy puts out a strong side and not to experiment much for this game.
    As far as i remember Semple is a big pitch that should suit us, and saying all of the above, i feel we should prevail here, and as far as i remember, Semple is a big pitch that should suit us.
    Although it broke my heart when Tom P got injured, i am getting excited by us again – with guys returning to the fold, and with the new guys showing some nice touches, so this is prob the right tie for us, developmental wise, at this stage.
    On top of that, the U20s warmed the cockles big time with that display last Sat, so things bode well for the future – some super talent in that side.
    Good luck to Stephen and the Mayo team on Sat, and following a good test, i expect us to win and have a few to spare at the end.
    Maigh Eo Abú

  6. I would start with Durcan and Hanley for sure.
    We simply have to give these lads the chance now. If not, and if we still overcome Tipp, we’ll come up short at some stage during the summer relying on the same old troopers. This is where we need to find out if Hanley and Durcan can handle the heat. Raw is a good word to describe their limerick outings. Nothing wrong with that though – give them games and the rest will take care of itself.

  7. Quinlivan and Sweeney, are two brilliant forward’s…. Any defender that can match either is something else…. I think the best way to go is for our variety of forwards to score more than the Tipp dynamic duo… Easier said than done… But on this big pitch and perfect sod, it’s the way to go… Be positive, expansive and outscore your opponents…. Now that we are visiting the historic birth place of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Thurles in famed the ‘Home of Hurling’… Let’s remember that the birthplace of’ ‘Hurling ‘.. is actually in Mayo…. The first ever recorded hurling match was played, (possibly fought).. In the’ Battle of Moytura ‘..between the’ Fir Bolog and Tuath de Dannen ‘ near Cong Co Mayo… In the’ Pre Gregorian Calender ‘.. Year of the World calender 3303.. On the 11th of June last Monday week was its anniversary, but I don’t know how many year’s ago it was..

  8. If I recall correctly, when we played Tipp in 2016, we deployed Barry Moran very effectively as a sweeper in front of Quiniliven and Sweeney. Might be an option again as they are both big men and pose a serious threat to the Mayo full back line.

  9. start the younger fellas better to start them and bring experience off bench if needed.

    would start AOS and DOC at MF with SOS coming in

  10. Clarke







  11. Would start as close to our strongest team as possible. If we give Tipp a headstart and a big lead we could be watching the Super 8s from the armchair This is not Limerick we are playing. This is a serious team with the hurt of a poor performance v Cork to motivate them. Our record this year is poor. 3 wins in 12 games this year is a cause for concern.I still think if we hang in there for the next few games we will be ok but it’s these tricky early qualifiers I worry about so no taking chances. That means a return to the old brigade so while Regan, J Durcan and Hanley were ok v Limerick a return of 3 points out of 5 18 against a Div 4 team is not all that impressive. Also full back line v Sweeney Quinlivan and McGrath need to be seriously on their game. Tipp don’t know the meaning of inferiority complex so they will have absolutely no fear of Mayo. They are looking forward to it and so are we. Would be terrible after all the great teams we have played and beat since 2011 including the dubs Kerry cork Donegal Tyrone Galway etc if our great era was ended by Tipperary, no offence to them but that would be a bitter pill for us.

  12. I’m not sure that all this referring back to 2016 is very relevant. Tipp had a poor year in 2017 as well. How they failed to beat Cork, who were atrocious in the first half of their Munster semifinal, was a mystery. They then failed to make any impression in the qualifiers. It may have been second year syndrome but they do not seem to have recovered their mojo since we last met them. Of course we need to be careful that they do not recover it on Saturday.

  13. Strongest team please.

    Many see this as a formality. It’s massive challenge if Tipp play to form. We are wobbling and starting guys with no training, significant game time or experience is too much of a risk

  14. Surprised there hasn’t been more on here about Adam Gallagher’s decision to leave the panel and head to the US for the summer as per this week’s Mayo News. Personally I’m very disappointed to hear he has left. Always thought we’d see him become a key player at senior level – was the stand out player of the 2012 minor team and was the only one I saw that worked himself into the ground in the U21 narrow loss to Galway in 2013. Was delighted to see him get some game time during the league and thought he did enough to get himself at least onto the match day 26 for championship. Not sure why he fell out of favour in recent months – I know pace has come up for discussion before but he is a quality player and a rock solid free taker – a skill that we don’t exactly have in abundance on our team currently. Shame to see him go really.

  15. Def start with Durcan he may be impact sub later in year. Wouldn’t mind to see Conor o Shea starting either. Also Crowe. . Personally I’d be giving Adam Gallagher more game time but that’s not going to happen.

  16. Mystified as to how Gallagher hasn’t become a mainstay on the panel. I thought he played very well throughout the League, especially against the Dubs he really showed well for the ball.
    He was omitted for the Galway game strangely.
    Good luck to the lad he might be right to head Shhtateside and enjoy himself.

    Maigh Eo Abú

  17. Jaysus Up Mayo, cant wait for ya to come out from behind your key board and lead us to a 3 in a row…..

  18. Best of luck to Adam Gallagher if he has left the panel. Its very understandable in tbe context of Durcan and Hanly coming in and getting straight into first team. It obvivouly put his chances in perspective. Fergal Boland is another that seems to have slipped out of contention.

  19. Pity Gallagher is gone because he has plenty of football in him. Some players more tolerant than others of being outside the 26. James Durcan jumped the Q, but he’s been around since Christmas so deserves his chance. Cian Hanley has been sprung a bit and could see some fringe players being a bit put out. It’s a decision of being hard nosed and patient vs tolerance. Adam might struggle to get game time next spring because of leaving but that’s the risk ye take. He’s a young man and colleges cost money.

  20. For defensive challenges I would suggest Aido might be the horse for this particular course backed up by a ball playing sweeper. Aido has more all round ability than Barry who can’t race up the pitch. His role in 2016 was very much a holding one whereas we needed our free defender whoever that was to be changing up the pitch.

  21. For forwards there’s only 2 places for grabs, Jason’s and Diarmaid’s. If Aido deployed outside forwards there’s a 3rd. Of all the emerging options Nally is the one who could make the biggest impact as he a real good footballer. Diarmaid has great work rate but how clever is his overall game? Perhaps as Dillon suggested midfield might be a good role for him with his mobility. Whenever he gets the ball run the legs off the Tipp midfielders. Get them going backwards.

  22. Backdoorsam work rate should be a minimum requirement for a county player. I feel Durcan is a bit off yet. Needs to work on his scoring touch. Might be a good lad to bring on with his pace. I would stick with Regan and hope he has a better day with the frees than the last day.
    Very hard to know what to do with the fullback line. They were all very good against Limerick. Along with Quinlavan and Sweeney they have a McGrath lad too in the full forward line who can score.
    We will need to step it up again and deal with these problems. Hopefully another big game from COC. I expect us fully to be in Mondays draw.

  23. @New York Tommy.. The game is live on SKY in Ireland, throw in 5pm Irish Time…. Hope you get to see it.. It won’t affect me, I’ll be there!

  24. You hit the nail on the head about Regan willie Joe. He needs to add a finishing touch to his game. I would love to see his stats on shots per game and scores per shots. Very low I’d say

  25. I take your point Clubman but I still would go with Durcan even though Evan can win his own ball and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line he just doesn’t score or score enough. If we are to win Sam we need forwards playing and scoring like Ryan O’Donoghue did in the U 20 Con final.

  26. I agree with you there BAckdoorsam. The under 20’s seem to have some really good scoring forwards. Colm Moran Westport is an outstanding talent only coming back from injury. Don’t know too much about Ross Egan but he has put up some big scores. Ryan O’ Donoghue impressed me in the FBD against Galway. Seems like a tough lad too.
    For me James Durcan doesn’t seem to have the scoring touch. He does have admirable attributes and from his club form is well worth a look.

  27. James Durcan is not an inside forward in my opinion hes not a heavy scorer a man that hits 3 or 4 points every game.
    This current championship campaign and next years League campaign will tell alot about certain forwards futures in the Mayo setup.
    Evan Regan, Jason Doherty, Neil Douglas, Conor O’Shea, Shane Nally, and Danny Kirby will have to start performing and with Andy turning 36 I expect names like Ciaran Treacy ,Ryan O’Donoghue, Conor Diskin, Ross Egan, Brian Reape , Peter Naughton and James Carr who are all well able to score from play to put serious pressure on places for next years panel.

  28. It was interesting that, in the interview after the Limerick game, Cillian name checked Regan a few times in terms of his ball winning/retention/distribution. Now I’d like to see him offering more of a scoring threat, and I believe he has the ability to do so, but maybe this was the role asked of him for the Limerick game?

  29. chatting to a friend in tipp says pitch will be made smaller for the weekend. wud like to see hanley and durcan start the next day they will run the legs of the tipp lad for 40mins then bring on Doherty and andy.

  30. @ Backdoor Sam – O’Donoghue scored 1-0 in Connaught Final, from a pen. Lets not start talking up U21’s now and let then prove themselves at that level first. The last few years people have been baying for AI winning U21 forwards to be shoehorned in….yet to date only DOC has made it (and he was there anyway). Its a different level altogether

  31. Agree KL.. Galway won two u21 all Ireland’s in the last six or seven years yet a combined total of just four players from those teams started last Sunday against Roscommon. It’s a huge step up and very few make it.

  32. TH, Jason Doherty has been performing for years, he’s not a heavy scorer but he’s a strong ball-winning, ball-carrying half forward.

  33. You have a point KL but we have to Have an eye on the future too. I think the future is very bright but sometimes it’s frustrating watching some of our guys not being able to put it over the bar especially given all the commitment sacrifices training time and energy they put into it. I’m heartened though to hear Ciaran Mc D is involved with the U20’s we might finally sort our Achilles heel as I perceive it.

  34. Ciaran Mc D is not involved with the 20s. There as a supporter only and close to a few of the players.

  35. 5 of the 6 starting forwards in the u20 match last Sunday did not score a point from play. The other forward scored two points – not exceptional scoring I am sure everyone agrees.

  36. Would like to hear anyone elses thoughts on the pitch being made smaller? Surely thats not actually happening?

    The large pitch in thurles is a real benefit to this mayo team….

  37. That’s OK Willie Joe. You are the boss.
    I sincerely hope I have to eat my words.
    But as an avid follower of Mayo for over 70 years, I see what I see.
    We can do it this year, with a little luck for a change.
    Up Mayo wherever you go.
    Keep up the good work.

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