This weekend’s matches

The sole focus this coming weekend for most people is, understandably, the big match against Kerry in Killarney on Saturday. It’s not, though, the only game involving the county that’s on this coming weekend. Here’s your essential info on the three matches that are taking place in which Mayo are involved.

As usual, it’s the Minors who are up first. They have a huge game on Friday evening, as they take on Roscommon in the Connacht MFC semi-final, a game that throws in at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park at 7pm.

Our lads enjoyed a decisive 2-17 to 0-11 win over the young Rossies when the counties met at Dr Hyde Park in the opening round of the group stage a month ago. Both teams lived to fight another day then but this won’t be the case on Friday evening. This is because this one’s a knockout tie, with the losers’ campaign at an end while the winners will advance to the Connacht final safe in the knowledge that their place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals is also guaranteed.

Patreon club members will have heard manager Seán Deane’s call to Mayo supporters to come out in force and shout for the team on Friday evening. Having been at their last three matches myself, I can confirm that they’re a great team to follow and hopefully there’ll be a decent crowd in Castlebar on Friday evening to see them contest this all-or-nothing provincial Championship fixture.

Tickets for the game must be purchased in advance and the link for doing so online is here. The match is also being streamed live via YouTube by TG4 – the link for that is here – and because they’re doing so that way I’ll be able to embed the livestream here on the blog.

On Saturday, meanwhile, our disappointing Christy Ring Cup campaign comes to a close. Four defeats from four outings so far have meant relegation to Rackard Cup level next year but the lads have one final chance to secure something tangible from this year’s campaign when they travel to Owenbeg to take on Derry.

Throw-in at the Derry venue is 1.30pm and the link for purchasing tickets online for the game is here.

Nobody really needs any reminding about the big game on Saturday. This one takes place at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney where we take on Munster and defending All-Ireland champions Kerry in Round 1 of the all-new All-Ireland SFC Group Stage.

Throw-in at Fitzgerald Stadium is 3pm on Saturday. Tickets may be purchased online (here) and are also available from selected Centra and SuperValu outlets. The games is being streamed live on GAAGO and Midwest will have live radio commentary of it as well.

We’ll also have Final Whistle podcast shows from MacHale Park on Friday night and from Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday evening, where club members will be able hear immediate post-match analysis of and reaction to the Minor and Senior games shortly after they conclude. If you’re interested in becoming a club member to get access to this and other great audio content, the link for that is here.

The best of luck to all three Mayo teams in action this coming weekend.

46 thoughts on “This weekend’s matches

  1. Incredible score in the Westport Castlebar minor match tonight. Looked like a few of the Westport lads laying down a suggestion they should have been in the squad for the big game Friday.

  2. TsuDhoNim I presume the 5 outfield Mitchels lad on County team weren’t playing? Take that amount of county lads out of an underage team and that’s the sort of result you’ll get.

  3. @Gizmobobs: Yeah, I’d assume the same. And a fair difference missing your 1st choice keeper to missing the spine/heart of your team.

    That said, played plenty of A vs B games that wouldn’t have had that scoreline. Still a fair marker laid even with the extenuating circumstances. (Possibly all sorts of other factors playing a part there with even more Castlebar lads missing. Wasn’t at the game so no idea what either side looked like on the night)

  4. Will the team be named tomorrow with the 26 as the game is on Saturday.

  5. @Thedarkyfinn , not sure , imagine it might be Friday before team announcement.
    Hopefully they give the 26 but they may hold that back in order not to give too much away , eg Cillian

  6. A weird feeling leading into this game, I don’t have the usual anxiety I might have ahead of a game away in killarney, probably because of the lack of real jeapordy. We are getting through that group without a doubt so I can’t see myself getting too carried away with result, win or lose.

    I’ll be looking to see some kind of variation and creativity in our half forward line after the break, athleticism alone isn’t enough. Need to see big improvements from Ruane too, he’s a key man when he is good he is brilliant when he is bad be is wretched.
    I think that kerry midfield is distinctly average without David moran (who tortured us for years). Never rated Jack barry much,he can be bullied

  7. My understanding is that the 26 will be named on Friday. The option only to name a starting fifteen no longer applies, the full match-day panel has to be released, though subsequent changes to it may still be made.

  8. That’s good news WJ. Time they thought of supporters and standertising the naming of teams.
    I doubt we will see Cillian in 26 but it will be interesting to see if Harrison has made it to panel and also any indication of a tactical change by bolstering up the CHB. I think midfielders are suffering because of the burden of bolstering the CHB. And I’m sure McBrien/Harrison would be glad to see a hold up CHB in front of them.
    Mayo come fresh to the game, well capable of big performance and causing upset..but individually they will have to bring their A game. No hiding places in Killarney

  9. I agree totally with naming a 26 and picking the starting 15 from those 26 and making that information public a few hours before throw in. This naming a starting 15 and making 4 or 5 changes before throw in.. (sometimes genuine reasons and oftentimes not I would suspect) People buying match programs and having to change name’s, sort of defeats the purpose of buying it in the first place. .. Wouldn’t mind either if 30 players were named either.

  10. Supermac – Win or lose we will get through the group but if we lose we could end up playing a team such as galway,armagh,tyrone,kildare or monaghan the week before the quarter final. It would be better to top group and avoid such a fixture and get a weeks rest between round robin and quarter final.

  11. @supermac, unless they get a really lucky draw in the quarters, I can’t see Mayo winning the All Ireland without topping their group. Too many games with the likely associated injuries and then having to play a top team like Dublin or Galway in a quarter would be a very tall order.

  12. GBxi , everyone I know is saying exactly that , I don’t understand the reluctance of some in here to do so .

  13. GBXI & Sean Burke

    Any team outside of Dublin or Kerry is at least a 50/50 game for Mayo.

    We cant get Kerry in the quarters and there is only a 33% chance we will get Dublin in a 1/4 final (assuming we qualify and come over the preliminary) . If we dont finish top of our group it is not the end of the world.

  14. Sorry I’ve either misunderstood GBX or badly worded my post .

    It is my opinion there isn’t a hope in hell you’re winning the all Ireland unless you top your group .

  15. Sean Burke – Nobody outside of Kerry or Dublin will win the all Ireland if they have to play both those teams.

    There is no reason for us not to feel like we couldn’t beat Galway in a 1/4, Derry in a semi and one of Dublin / Kerry in a final though.

  16. My perspective is that one extra game isn’t to much additional loading, it’s not ideal but not a deal breaker
    In our break week during league we played a game behind closed doors. And it didn’t stop us claiming the title.
    In our break since losing to Roscommon we’ve played Kildare and Tyrone I think, two games likely more beneficial and tough than the two championship games Kerry played so far, especially when consider results.

    A good performance with a semblance of a defensive structure in place and I’ll sleep easy Saturday night regardless of result.

  17. JKEL88 – I agree with that. It’s only 1 extra game if you don’t finish first in the group. Of course you need some luck in the draw (we certainly haven’t got that so far in connacht or group). Avoiding Dublin, Kerry especially.

    There are loads of examples in the last 20 odd years of teams coming through the qualifiers and upsetting a provincial winner in the quarters. No reason that can’t happen this year to a group winner.

  18. Our Kerry preview pod is up now on Patreon. It’s a bumper one too, running to an hour and twenty minutes. Rob’s in the chair on it, with Billy Joe and Tony Leen featuring.

  19. We will agree to disagree so .

    Anyone else get the feeling Kerry are going to outnumber us 3:1 , maybe 4:1 . There’s an awful lot not travelling to this one

  20. Am i right in saying if mayo finish in 2nd place in group they will be playing a 3rd place team out of other groups in the preliminary quarter final

  21. I see louth have no game in their county in the group stages. Their home game v cork is in navan as their home ground deemed too small. Doesn’t seem right to me

  22. Surely there is some set draw for the championship quarter finals, this is how it has always been, Connacht v Leinster, Ulster v Munster.

    Group 1 winners v Group 2 Second place
    Group 2 winners v Group 1 Second place
    Group 3 winners v Group 4 Second place
    Group 4 winners v Group 3 Second place
    By Second place I mean winners of the 4 preliminary matches.

    If it’s another “open / behind closed doors draw fix to keep certain teams apart until the final”.

  23. @ No Doubt, Louth have been faffing about for the past 30 years to build a decent stadium. Politics and more politics. A new one is being built in the middle of Dundalk Town, where a green field site with Motorway access mid county would have been ideal. No one to blame but themselves. Navan would be a very familiar ground though.

  24. Has there been any indication on when date and time for the Louth and Cork games will be announced? Impossible to plan anything when they leave them so open ended

  25. I voted for a win but see more thinking we’ll lose this one.
    My logic is more based on it being set up for an ambush and our players raring to go. There will be no shortage of hunger to win this one. Lee suggested a few knocks from training which is understandable as there’s a need for hard A vs B games but that never stopped Kilkenny hurlers. We’ve a big panel and of the bigger names mentioned by McStay Cillian looks like maybe one to be rested although he might put him in the 26. On the other side Kerry likely without Killian Spillane who has been a good impact sub for them. Probably their no 1 sub gone. That said Moynihan and a few more pose a fair threat.
    On our side people still not happy about CHB role but we’ve had another 6 weeks to work on it. Loftus plays there for his club and is the best at transitioning even without kick passing he usually pushes us forward rather than laterally. An argument could be made for Coen and Durcan or match ups vs Kerry might be of greater importance than keeping specific jerseys. SOS and Paudie need marking. That said Conor Loftus has done well marking Brian Fenton in the past, not letting him break the line. We’ve some scoring subs in McHale and Tuohy as well as either Tommy or James Carr coming on in FF line assuming Aido starts so although some think Kerry might shade the bench I’m not so sure. One worry is the distance to Kerry likely means we’re well outnumbered. I recall though the Down game a few years back a lot just did the day trip, that could happen again.

  26. Nothing yet, Conor W, and there’s no good reason why these fixture details haven’t been finalised. As you say, it’s impossible to make any definitive plans for those weekends without finalised fixtures. The GAA are all over the shop on this issue right now and supporters’ interests don’t appear to be of much concern to them.

  27. Shuffle the deck,

    One think I can assure you off is there will be no ambush either way.

    We got such a trimming in Feb that we won’t be ambushed.

    Both managers are to astute for that.

  28. Just about to post something similar as WJ did there . The lack of detail in this year’s championship structure has been appalling. It’s very frustrating for supporters . Take for example the neutral games , now all known a week , why can’t venue be announced . Maybe there are reasons for the lack of a coherent transparent detailed fixture plan but I personally can’t see why .

  29. A nice day weather wise promised on Saturday not overly hot and little or no wind so conditions should be perfect. JOC traditionally likes to go for it early in a game so we need to be on top for this first 15-20mins then I think it can be advantage Mayo. Looking forward to it and I do think it will give us a good idea where we are at – nothing like a tough test to focus the mind !. Also when we hear the 26 named it’ll tell us to who is fit and well.

  30. One thing that I would say is a sly move by the Gaa is the fixtures.
    From what I have seen the Gaa quarter finals fixtures looks something like
    Group winners v Group second team.
    This reads the same for all four quarter finals.

    Is it a case that they are waiting to see what will be the 8 teams that make it to the quarter.

    The World Cup, Champions league has a definite left and right side of groups.

  31. I hope we play with a bit of ’Pep’ in our step and go after Kerry. I expect us to be very competitive after the break
    Hession vital to our chances. He knows how and when to break from defence with pace (. compare to Coen or Loftus).. McLaughlin will also give us that fast break play and we have forwards to give plenty of trouble to Kerry once they get a bit of space.
    Slowing play down and lateral passing and we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot imo

  32. @Mayo88 going by your explanation, would it correct to think the 3rd placed teams should also played as per your explanation regarding winners playing runners up. You would need a degree in mathematics at this stage with the bullshit going on in GAA ATM!!

  33. The GAA have not covered themselves in glory so far this year.

    The fixture planning is a joke.
    Added to,
    Under 20s unavailability

    To name a few…

  34. @Joe2, no degree needed at all.

    Very simple the format for the quarter, semi and final should be know in advance.
    We have it in World Cups and Champions league.

    What is wrong with something like this.

    Quarter finals
    Match 1
    Group 1 winner v winner of preliminary round, ie, 2nd team in group 1 v 3rd team in group 2.

    Match 2
    Group 2 winner v winner of preliminary round, ie, 3rd team in group 1 v 2nd team in group 2.

    Match 3
    Group 3 winners v winner of preliminary round, Group 2nd placed team v Group 4 3rd placed team

    Match 4
    Group 4 winners v winner of preliminary game of Group 4 2nd team v 3rd team in group 3.

    Semi finals

    Match 1 winner v Match 2 winner
    Match 3 winners v match 4 winner

    Winners of above 2 matches.

    I don’t like this so called open / hidden / type of draw.
    The Gaa are simply seeing how things go and will favour Dublin and Kerry, and maybe want to keep them apart until the final.

    We don’t seem to have transparency at all.

  35. @1985,
    When I see Lee Keegan on TV, it feels to me like he should be still playing, I wonder would he love to be still involved?

  36. Yea he does look like he could still be playing but lee made his decision.I would have great interest though in what he has to say as he played as both the attacking half back and the close marking corner back

  37. If Mayo have any ambitions to do something this year we need to lay down a marker this weekend. Reading the Kerry forum and the vast majority don’t appear to be worried about us and see it as a good run out/test but Kerry winning.

  38. Kerry name same 15 as Munster Final.

    Would have slight concern over our the hight of our HF line.

    Delighted Casey is starting as he an excellent prospect in the mould of Aidan OMahony and he’ll pick up OShea.

    Killian Spillane is injured but we’ve a very strong bench named.

  39. When Casey came on against Mayo in the league he spent all his time pulling and dragging O’ Shea off the ball. Let’s hope the umpires are awake this time and don’t turn a blind eye to it. Very similar to what Aidan O’ Mahony did to Michael Murphy in the 2014 final.

  40. There seems to be quite a few of these pulling and dragging type of backs with big counties that always seem to get away with it .for years we had the soon to be canonised former Dublin corner back who got away with biting,head butting ,eye gouging and continual sledging

  41. Good luck to all 3 Mayo teams in action this weekend. The hurlers will be happy to see the back of this season and hopefully they can regroup next time round.
    Hearing up early in the morning to Killarney and though the general feeling is pretty negative I’m of the belief that if we get an even break and hit form we can do serious damage.
    First off though is the U17s tonight and as usual I’m expecting a good performance from Sean Deanes team. These Mayo U17 teams are really exciting to watch these days. Although everyone involved absolutel want to win trophies U17s is really about developing players for the future. You would hope to get 1or2 each year that can go all the way so without in depth analysis I think we’re doing OK the last few years in that regard.
    2019. U17S
    Ruari Keane. Frank Irwin.
    Bob Touhy. Sam Callinan. Fenton Kelly.
    Sean Morahan. Tom O’Flaherty.
    John McMonagle. Paul Gilmore. Diarmuid Duffy. Roman Clarke. Niall Hurley. James Maheady.
    Not all will make it to senior county regulars and some not mentioned probably will. For instance of the 2019 batch I believe the likes of Paddy Heneghan, Dylan Thornton and Ethan Henry could still push on.
    Hope people don’t get upset if their favourite players aren’t included above but this is just a broad look at the great work being done at many clubs and with development squads.

  42. Says a lot for the batch of ’22 that you could easily have included another 3 or 4 more there and none would feel out of place. That could be a very special bunch.

    ’23 isn’t looking too shabby either. Meaney, McGreal, Mortimer, Neary, Lynch, Lydon and Beirne all look top tier potential. With ’24 potentially having a few absolute gems coming too.

    Massive work done behind the scenes from folks we don’t tend to praise half often enough. Declan O’Reilly, Billy McNicholas, Eugene Lavin, Eoin Sweeney, Martin Costello, Kieran Kilkenny, Denise Fahy, Michael Fitzmaurice and a host of others I haven’t had the pleasure of bumping into on sidelines to know by name have been putting in trojan work up and down the county over the last few years and couldn’t be given enough praise.

    Fingers crossed for tonight. Do or die knockout so the biggest game of the weekend for me. Hopefully we get a great turnout to support the lads on.

  43. I purposely didn’t include this year’s group as I thought it best to let the season play out. Also didn’t include any keepers as it’s such a specialised role and in any year at senior you might have half a dozen top keepers to choose from but can only pick one.
    Certainly agree with you TsuDhoNim with regards to the lads behind the scenes 3 of whom I know and they put in phenomenal work without looking for the plaudits. I’m also really looking forward to tonight’s game and anyone that enjoys open stylish football should get along to McHale Park. Pretty much guaranteed an entertaining match.

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