This weekend’s matches

The warm glow of victory in Killarney hasn’t yet subsided properly – although Jim McGuinness’s asinine nonsense in the Irish Times this morning about our “lack of a marquee forward” injected a stab of grumpiness in my mood today – but already the focus is shifting towards this coming weekend and more Mayo matches.

It’s a weekend off for the Seniors, though not for their opponents on Sunday week, as Louth have a Round 1 group stage game against Cork this coming Saturday. That match isn’t being broadcast or streamed live anywhere and so, if anyone wants to catch it, the sole way to do so would appear to be to head to Páirc Tailteann in Navan, where throw-in on Saturday is 3pm.

The next phase of the LGFA Championship, meanwhile, has yet to get going. Indeed, there’s no word as yet on the make-up of the various groups, though we appear to know we’re in a three-team group with the beaten Ulster finalists and, most likely, Laois. At least, I think that was what Michael Moyles said to Mike on the podcast the other week.

The hurlers’ inter-county year is, of course, already over. Their loss to Derry up at Owenbeg last weekend completed their Christy Ring Cup campaign, with defeat in all five matches confirming their relegation to Nicky Rackard Cup level for next year.

That leaves the county’s Minor footballers and the Camogie team, both of which are in Championship action this coming weekend.

The Minors, fresh from that thrilling one-point win over Roscommon last weekend, are up against Galway at Tuam Stadium on Friday evening in the Connacht MFC final. Throw-in at St Jarlath’s Park is 7pm on Friday and the match is being shown live on TG4. Tickets for the game are available to purchase online here.

Then on Saturday, we’re in action in the opening round of the Premier Junior All-Ireland Camogie Championship. This year we’re in Group 2 along with Armagh, Limerick and Offaly and our Round 1 fixture on Saturday is against Armagh at Westport, where throw in is 3pm. Tickets for this game are available to purchase online here.

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

330 thoughts on “This weekend’s matches

  1. Don’t forget the Masters, WJ…championship v Galway Wednesday night

    Several pundits, one’s I’d generally admire have certainly tempered any notions over the past few days that we might have had…McGunness as you’ve noted already..

    Peter Canavan said if Galway and Mayo were to meet in an All Ireland he thinks Galway would win (rte)

    Oisin McConville said today he thinks Galway will win the All-Ireland (

    I’m surprised they are still 5/1 in bookies!?!

  2. Good luck to all the Mayo teams involved in action this week. Galway for me too are the team to beat at senior level, looking like the complete team for me, no obvious weaknesses, solid and reliable. 5/1 are great odds. On form, they have the three best players in the country; Kelly, Comer and Walsh. They will be very hard stopped this year, fully expect them to easily top their group. They’ve also shown they can win big games in Croke Park, something they struggled with since 2001, Armagh and Derry last year were huge in building a winning mentality.

  3. Galway I fear will indeed claim Sam this year and I will be crawling under a rock come end of July. Mayo are fantastic and will always be my love but having been burnt so many times I have seen how this story ends so often. Please please prove me wrong but I fear once again.

  4. @way out west
    Galway can win big games in Croke park.
    They just lost the league final to Mayo a couple of months ago.
    When did Galway last win a Big game in Croke park ?.

  5. I’d call a championship semi final much bigger than a national league final…? In fact, any knock out championship game in Croke Park is a big game.

  6. It’s amazing when galway lose 3 finals in 12 months they’re world beaters and when mayo lose they’re chokers. Galway will be hard to beat alright but for me their 3 top players mentioned above by someone never all play well on the same day and their bench isn’t good enough yet. Hopefully I’m right.

  7. Galway definitely look like contenders , certainly not a shoe in they’ll win it though . Dublin seem to be forgotten by the expert pundits , let’s see how they fare against Ros the weekend , first proper test for Dubs this year albeit they made light work of Derry in div 2 league final . Kerry are not out of it either but they have made it more difficult for themselves by losing the weekend , they will be hoping for a handy draw in preliminary if as expected we can plough on and top the group. Mayo are in good fettle after the weekend , if we can navigate our way to the knockout stage without injuries we have as much chance as any of the above mentioned. Derry , Armagh and Tyrone are not a million miles away either . Has to be one of the most open championships in a long time .

    As a fan base I think we have to let the nightmare of 21 go (I’m including myself in this ) , we seem to have been damaged by it . It’s like we are afraid to admit we are back in the mix out of fear of disappointment ahead. We will have to start enjoying it again and taking it in our stride .

    It doesn’t have to be mayo4sam nonsense, we can simply embrace the notion we are in with a shout cause we have a very decent side .

  8. Jim mcguineas would want to be concentrating more on his own county how have Donegal been doing lately ! Maybe he should be writing articles about them instead of writing immature articles about our team!

    Dubs as others said let’s see how they do against a division 1 team!

    Looking forward to the louth game as others have said we can’t take louth for granted and let our guard down after the big win in killarney!

    @way out West don’t buy it that Galway are unbeatable they only beat a poor Tyrone team struggling to find form by 3 points and that of 14 man team Tyrone!

    They said they were going to win Sam last year and bottled it lost the league to us and also they lost the previous league final they were in to the rossies ! They will go far but they won’t win Sam. Its mad how they loose a couple of finals and people say they are huge contenders still where we we loose we are called bottlers ! Amazing haha .

  9. Way Out West – do you actually believe Kelly, Comer and Walsh are the 3 form players in the country? What is that based on?

  10. Also walsh is not playing in fork that was clear after PJ took him off after 5 minutes in the previous match to the Tyrone one so hardly the 3 in form players in the country

  11. Walsh is a serious talent as proven in last years final but might be slightly easier to nullify or at least limit his impact on a game than Clifford . Walsh would need to rediscover his form quickly and not end up like James on donoghue ala 2014 only to never reach them heights again .

  12. Hopefully the Galway for Sam declarations will continue.they probably are contenders but I struggle to see how it’s become so glaringly obvious to the experts .personally I wouldn’t cross the road to watch this Galway team .their style of play bores me rigid and we will see attendances drop off even more if teams continue with this mind numbing safety first attitude.Galway haven’t beaten any of the big guns in croker over the last few years to my knowledge

  13. Our Kerry review pod went up on Patreon last night, after my bedtime though I had it for my early morning walk. Mike has Colm Boyle and Marc Ó Sé on it and it’s a great listen – two gents who really know their football.

  14. @Wide Ball, on their day, they’re three of the best players in the country, (phrased my sentence above incorrectly), Kelly is a fantastic footballer, often gets on the end of of Galway’s attacking play and has an eye for goal, Comer is a clever footballer who also has the conditioning / power that is very hard to stop, Walsh is Walsh, probably the best footballer in the country on his day, like David Clifford, he can do things that others can’t do. Galway have balance all over the field, a very settled team who seem to know how to grind out important games, the league final means nothing to Galway, I’ve heard some of their supporters refer to it as a ‘friendly’. Sam is the only currency in Galway’s minds this year.

    @Mike H, the Derry game last year, they were in trouble early on in that game, they settled themselves and won it well in the end, the sign of a very good team. People forget that they were level with Kerry on 65 minutes of last years final, a soft enough free swung it in Kerry’s favor.

  15. @Way Out West – Sean Kelly is a great player but Paddy Durcan on his day is even better.

  16. Are we a sunshine team?

    If I’m not mistaken most league games were played in dry, mostly calm conditions; we thrived. Ballybofey- bad weather that day, but I was at the front of the stand, and felt the conditions weren’t that bad for the duration of the match.

    Come Championship in Castlebar, different story. Killarney on the other hand was balmy.

    Will we struggle in Castlebar on a lousy day, playing with a bar of soap? Soap-a-dope isn’t so easy. Add in a division 2 team that parks the bus, and you have a nasty mixture. Add in further, the need to give players game time, and the wrong team could be on the field. The plus at the moment is that we get a chance next weekend to see our next two opponents tear into one another. Or we would if the match was getting any TV cameras.

  17. “Marquee forward, marquee forward, marquee forward”
    I’d consumed too many beverages at my first Witness but luckily I’d good people to safely march me in to the marquee to watch The Kings of Leon before they were famous.

  18. Sean kelly is ridiculously under-rated on this blog.

    Its always interesting to see opinions of Galway on here, they always seem to range to such extremes 😀 they’re completely overrated or else the favourites to win Sam. Good old tribalism!

    In truth they’re neither of those outlier extremes but they’ve won something like 8 in 9 championship games now and are definitely a difficult side to beat. Contrary to what seems to be popular enough belief they were underdogs in 3 of the matches they won on their “easy” run-in last year. I don’t think many appreciate how close the final actually was either. That very dubious call near the end was an absolutely massive swing in that match. If anything they’ve bolstered their squad even further this year, Maher, Ian Burke and Cooke are all great additions, while McGrath and Sweeney have improved a lot.

    In all honesty I’m fairly certain they would have beaten Kerry at the weekend also, probably not as emphatically though. They do have a tendency to keep the opposition in games – I thought they had been getting away with things a bit – but they’re winning too many of them now to well and truly debunk this myth.

    It’ll take a fair side to beat them. Kerry should be a different proposition in a few weeks, and if that transpires I think they would take Galway in a semi or final – Galway would have a better chance in a quarter imo. I don’t think Galway match up well to a fully firing Dublin either. If kerry don’t improve and if Dublin continue their inconsistent form then anything is indeed possible for them. They’re not really liable to upsets anymore which is huge for them – you could end up with a scenario where its a case of “last team standing” given there’s no real outstanding team as things stand

  19. Some of ye are fairly blowing Galway up altogether.
    Seriously guys, Tyrone held them scoreless with 13 men.
    Comer and Conroy were out of their depth in last year’s final, the game bypassed them.
    I can see a few areas where they will be exploited further down the road this year.

    When the chips are down for them they only have Walsh to get the scores.
    Same with Clifford in Kerry.
    One thing than no management team should ever allow is one forward to get many points from play, we long Mayo supporters have seen this before, 1997 final, if I remember the same defender was left to mark Maurice Fitzgerald for the full game, I would give it 10 minutes in an underage game before making adjustments.

    They are motoring well but there’s a long way to go in the championship.

  20. Disagree on Galway, thought they didn’t do great in spells vs Tyrone but did nothing particularly wrong either and were 5-3 ahead and the better team when Tyrone lost a few men. The weather definitely impacted and Tyrone are underrated, have lots of fine players and the rain didn’t suit Canavan but McCurry looks good in all weather. I would have them close to favourites as they are good in all lines bar maybe GK / kickout strategy. Conroy didn’t perform big in AI but Moran was subbed at HT that day too. In 97 we had the right man for Fitzgerald (Kenneth Mortimer, the best defender of his generation) and chose to play another player on him.

  21. Galway are a good side, but some people on here seem to be a bit overheated by them. They beat Armagh on penalties and Derry last year to get to All-Ireland Sunday, whereupon they faded in the last ten minutes, allowing Kerry to win by getting the final four scores of the game. If that had happened to us in a final, you know what would be said. But Galway won a couple of Sams 25 years ago, which gives them a pass.

    IMO they have a significant amount of quality, particularly when they turnover the opposition and hit fast ball into their full-forward line, but until they beat one of the top sides in the latter stages, the jury’s out on them. Dublin are my favourites for the All-Ireland right now, the annual cakewalk through Leinster has them purring nicely.

    I agree with Willie Joe’s grumpiness about the lack of a marquee forward gash from Jim McGuinness this morning, who is someone I usually have some time for. The all time top scorer in championship football isn’t top rank? How about Ryan O’D? Mayo’s entire forward line scored against the All-Ireland champions down in Killarney last weekend.

    It’s just the usual lazy commentary when it comes to us.

  22. There is a lot to like about Galway as a team and Sean Kelly is the best defender in the land. I really don’t think there is much between Galway and ourselves at all. People will point to their missed goal chances in the league final. James Carr arguably had the best chance of the lot. We have a bit of a habit of looking at other counties players and going all starry eyed and weak at the knees. We have a bloody good panel this year and if we can get Cillian back it will strengthen us further. We saw in Killarney the benefit of options from the bench. You can’t have enough of them.
    One thing I would say about Galway is that they look as though they can protect a lead and would be a tough team to reel in. Same as the Dubs in that respect.

  23. I have know issue with folks talking up Galway or fueling the Galway for Sam fire. It all works in our favour, no attention, focus’s the mind and gives us extra motivation should we meet. So lets hear it ‘Galway for SAM’ …ouch her indoors just hit me wit the frying pan…

  24. Very good article in todays IT allright Wllie Joe. I happend to be at a garage so grabbed a copy an had a read. Some interesting observations there, like – no ‘heat’ being put on the Mayo long range kickers (something Mayo should also look at imo), and Jack O’Connor only picking form players. O’Se also referenced 2009, when Kerry were well beaten by Cork in Munster, struggled v Sligo and Antrim in the qualifiers, yet by the end of September we’re again All Irl champs!
    They’re not top guns for nothing..
    Keep up the good work WJ,,
    Up Mayo!

  25. Looked back at the Kerry game and they were definitely not as bad as people think in 1st half. Kicked a few uncharacteristic wides – Clifford Moynihan and Sullivan. If they scored those it was very close bar our goal chances. The one thing that stood out is the brilliant running from deep of Ruane to make some of those chances. He covers ground at some pace. He was annoyed at Carr for the 1st one as he was on the other side of the parallelogram half marked but fancying his chances from an offload. The 3rd save from Carr was brilliant as it was headed with huge power to the roof of the net. A 1 in 5 save I’d say. It was a bit like our game vs Ros except we were 100% up for it (bar one or 2 stray passes) and Kerry just a few % off us. However us winning puts Kerry at huge jeopardy of getting dumped in the QF. If they scrape through that it’s game on for them.

  26. Pure running contest with our best athletes available is it only Dublin can match us?
    We’ve a lot of players like Diarmuid, Mattie and Jack Carney who I’d say are just naturally way above average in that repeated 3/4 pace ability.
    I don’t think you can be chunky and quick and also have that repeated run stamina.

  27. On the running game, I thought Jordan was tremendous at the weekend, particularly looking back at the video. Rolls Royce comes to mind. I felt he was somewhat off in the league final and against the Rossies – seemed tired. On Saturday, he just blew the opposition away and he was at the heart of all the good stuff we did.

  28. All this talk about the free Kerry got in the All Ireland. Galway got a joke of a free a few mins before which kept them in the game. Kerry were better than Galway, end of. Only just, but they finished the game much stronger.

    Galway are a contender this year for sure. But by God they are putrid to watch. The ends justify the means I suppose, but it’s puke football.

  29. I don’t know why posters downgrade our win in the league.ut was an excellent competition and we were winners. I’m sure McStay reminds the players, they are winners.
    The Kerry win puts us in the mix, the last 12, no more no less.
    Mickie Harte knows McHale Park full well and will pack his defence to close down space.
    The way to beat that is fast counter attack to beat that. We have players with pace to do that.
    I don’t know how well or defensive structure will be tested by Louth. Their game v Cork is of great interest

  30. Why is everyone talking about Galway? We’re unlikely to be playing them any time soon, so forget about them until we need to focus on them.
    We have enough to be looking forward to without worrying about how they’re getting on!

  31. @Ontheditch: Quick transition on counters and restarts is great and something you can see we’ve worked really hard on this year but there are times we’re going to have to hit the set defence. Especially in games where a team like Louth or even Galway in the league final could frequently abandon a press and set the defence before a restart is even made.

    Very notable how much we’ve improved the attacking set defences part of our game too. The constant movement up top, often at an incredibly high pace and usually including quite a number of our defenders rotating in and out, is well ahead of anything we were doing in the last ten or fifteen years in those types of positions. We’re creating roughly the same number of opportunities per game but they’re in considerably better positions and under less pressure from the great movement.

    Being able to hurt in those positions helps a lot in enabling quick transitions too. Teams watch those stats closely to see if they should be dropping off restarts or going for the press. If you’re hitting +0.4 or 0.5 points per slow transition it puts a lot of pressure on teams to press up and, in those situations where you have decent long restart potential (Carney’s darts to Reape’s right wing have been a thing of beauty this year), greatly increases your chances of being able to hit them with a quick transition and punish with goals (stats from @somearagaa had “Mayo scored 0.75 points per KO quick transitioned, 0.46 when not. Kerry 0.61 on quick transition KO , 0.25 when not!” to give some examples on it. The difference in performance around the set defence a good illustration on the differences between the two sides, though it doesn’t quite illustrate why those numbers were so different and Kerry getting heavily outrun/outturnovered/outtackled in the middle third). Be very interested to see what our points per attack against the Louth set defence looks like. I’d be hoping for a solid 0.5 or slightly higher if we can be clinical in front of goal.

    Not nearly as afraid of meeting a blanket as I might have been previous years. That said, every side will be playing their own version of a set defence to give them the best chance of winning and they’ll all have some blanket adjacent qualities at times. Ourselves included.

  32. @Ciaran – Nobody is underrating Sean Kelly, he is one of the best backs in the country from an attacking perspective, however, he isn’t one of the top defending back`s in the country which is his primary job at full back.

  33. Wouldn’t say sean Kelly is the best defender in the land now haha I see a lot of Galway ones going mayo for sam across social media maybe trying to stir up the mayo for sam bandwagon and hoping we fall flat on our face maybe again? Haha

    Anyway we should be concentrating on louth and how to break the blanket defence which I’m sure they will bring to that game and not be talking so much on Galway haha!

  34. Anyone else listening to Off The Ball last night? Brian O’Driscoll sniggering at the mention that the current Leinster team being compared to Mayo. Found it quite condescending especially coming from a top sportsman knowing how hard it is to get across the line and to be honest it is a fair comparison – losing a semi final and 2 finals in a row by the slimmest of margins to your biggest rival.

  35. Mayo are in a better place right now in the forward line than in 2016 and 2017 finals, no question about it.
    When will Conroy get going to add to it ?

  36. @RPMurphy,I was at the 2009 semi final and finals.
    Meath had the better of Kerry for long periods in the semi final, they waste alot of ball on the wet surface in Croker.
    In the final v Cork,
    Nicholas Murphy the great Cork midfielder was taken out of the game at the very first throw in, Cork were going well but Kerry got a bucketful of soft frees that were converted by Colm Cooper and made by him also.

  37. @Mayoman89: I didn’t hear the interview with O’Driscoll last night, but if your summation is correct, then his attitude has definitely changed. I’ve always found him fairly complimentary to GAA athletes in general and he has praised Mayo in the past (seem to remember he lauded their relentlessness in some tweets when we were under James Horan).

    @Mayo88: I suppose Tommy C will have to work his way back into the side, they have been going very well in his absence. I guess he’s still not 100 per cent back to his best?

  38. @Mayo88
    Regarding Tommy C. He came on and made a difference in the league final (won a couple of frees) and he made a difference the last day against Kerry. With the injury he had the softly softly approach was our only option especially with the heavier ground early in the year.
    He has left a few scores behind him but I have no doubt he will ignite. Hopefully he will catch fire just when we need him to.
    I think at the moment his current role from the bench is probably the right one. I wonder in a do or die game how we would play it. If they were all fit could we afford to leave 2 of Cillian, James Carr ,Aido, Tommy or Ryan on the bench? I watched the Kerry game again last night. Ryan could play at centre forward no doubt about that.

  39. @It Means Nothing to Me, The Presenter followed up saying Mayo would go down as a great team in GAA terms but O’Driscoll disagreed saying because we never went the whole way he wouldnt consider us a great team, we hadn’t achieved greatness. Maybe the defeat at the weekend was still a bit raw for him as he couldnt see the parallels between the 2 sides.

  40. Wouldn’t worry too much about what many national GAA pundits say or think about Mayo (they might not believe what they say themselves at all) ..They (some of them) above all need to keep themselves talked helps to talk about Mayo because from the Whitehouse to the whitelines of McHale Park Mayo is talked about, we reach the places other Counties don’t .. Still most of the Football Pundits are now running to catch up with Hurling Pundit Donal Óg in terms of getting himself talked about more than the outrageous high quality of the Munster Hurling Championship, by both football people (especially Colm O Rourke who like George Lee might soon welcome a path back to easy street, aka RTE) and hurling people ..It’s not that easily done but maybe Donal Óg has been studying Roy Keane on SKY?..The Ante has suddenly been upped in terms of getting yourself national attention !

  41. Didn’t hear the interview very condescending from Brian o driscoll though we do have a great team that come back year after and always usually get so close just because we haven’t crossed the line yet .

    you could say the leinster rugby team aren’t considered a good team as they lost the Heineken Cup two years in a row then he should grow up a bit ha.

  42. Lot of discussion on our chances. I was disappointed by forward play against Tyrone but noted Michael Meehan said conditions were very bad indeed. I dont think Galway are favourites for Sam. On current form Mayo are favourites but need to see Dublin and Derry out as they are two big contenders. Kerry are also contenders although they do appear to be struggling for another gear but would you bet against them finding it. Its as open as its been in years with of course final group placings giving a clearer picture. Also how Mayo would do where a team isnt wide open like Kerry is interesting, will ye be able to break through with players like Ruane or will ye be forced back into the slow, lateral playing style that makes so many games hard to watch.

  43. @Mayoman89: If that’s the sum of what he said, I wouldn’t disagree with him. We definitely left one behind in 2021, to a Tyrone team who have been very, very poor since. Great teams win the biggest trophies, more than once. We are a good team IMO.

    In fairness, Leinster have won four ERCs in the past fifteen years or so, it wouldn’t be a good comparison with our situation. Maybe his tone was a bit dismissive, would have to listen to the interview.

  44. Kerry won last years all-ireland final because more of their players stood up to the plate in the last 10 minutes. Galway ran out of steam and their leaders visible wilted going down the stretch (some long before this). Shane Walsh who single handedly kept them in that game was gassed with 5 minutes to go. Where were Kelly, Comer, Conroy and Teirney when they were needed in those last few minutes? They were either sitting in the Hogan Stand or on the pitch chasing green and gold shadows, gasping for air. Like the Rossies I’m not going to worry about them until we met them again, whether it be this year or next.

  45. Never mind one-trick-pony McGuiness, just another voice trying to stay relevant. My Mayo cousins told me months ago to stick a tenner on their beloved county, and I did. It’s between Mayo and Galway I think to take this All Ireland. Dublin are on the decline despite the pundits’ claims, and Kerry looked a tad tired last game. There’s always the possible turn-up for the books, and should it occur, I’d be watching Tyrone to provide the surprise. Otherwise, nothing to stop Mayo only Galway.

  46. Why are ye bothered about it,
    Leinster Rugby are a Professional outfit, with players receiving full payment for their Sports.
    Leinster tactic is to keep the good players so that the other Provinces couldn’t get them, a few years ago they have 3 outhalves with only Sexton getting regular games.
    Well done O Gara.

    Gaa is Amateur, players don’t get paid, they do get a vehicle, have regular jobs, YET, the Gaa main men and women get full time Salaries.
    The Juvenile Referees in Dublin even get paid per game.

    It’s the players that get little or nothing.

  47. Some very interesting posts on this thread. I do beileve Galway are seirious contenders. They have the “system” in place. The defensive system is designed to mask their weaknesses where a one man sweeper system can’t. In tight games Galway need to keep their opponents in front of them and clogged up at the 45, if they dip behind and have to open up the game it becomes a lottery as their backs are not comfortable without the cover their natural shape provides them.

    Its easy to defend in packs. With the exception of maybe Kelly, Galway don’t have those 1 on 1 defenders like a Cooper, Keegan, Harte who can be trusted to take out an opposition danger man. For this reason, Galway will never press too high up the pitch for long periods as the system is robotic and at all times protects their defence. I feel thats why they never pushed on against Tyrone even when they had 2 extra players. I think their too cautious and it could catch them out in a big game this summer, if they go behind by a few points in the forst quarter…a bit like the league final.

    Im delighted that alot of pundits are tipping them, keep it up I say lads. Whether Galway fans like it or not, every mamagement ticket hits a peak in their cycle, theirs no doubt Joyce is in his peak now, this is his 4th season with them, its now or never for the Joyce regime, the age profile of the big players is against him.

    Im delighted McGuinness is knocking our chances, lets lap it up and quietly tip toe along and see where we get.

  48. Who gives a shit what O’Driscoll or McGuinness think of us? Paper doesn’t refuse ink and they are only doing their jobs. We certainly should not care one bit what they say because it is matterless. Neither of them have a clue what’s going on inside the camp and their view is completely worthless. Will their opinion help us on Sunday week? Will their opinion help us in an AI Quarter final? No, it won’t. So pay plenty of no heed to them. O’Driscoll knows as much about Mayo football as I do about Leinster rugby, which is ziltch. McGuinness is trying to stay relevant in GAA circles after having dirtied his bib with the whole fiasco in his own county.
    Personally, I couldn’t care less what people think of us. The only thing that matters for now is beating Louth and getting 2 more points on the board. Everything else is bluster and bullshit.

  49. There’s nothing new about national pundits sniggering at and condescending to Mayo. I grew up reading Eugene McGee, Jim Carney and plenty of others doing the same. Of course they’re going to do it, because we haven’t finished the job.

    There’s only one thing that will shut them all up: win Sam.

    So whether it’s Jim, Darragh, Brolly, Spillane, Breheny or whoever else, it’s not going to stop until Mayo senior footballers finish the job in an All-Ireland final.

    It’s not fair, or even reasonable, but that’s the way it is and there’s no point complaining about it.

  50. As pebbles says , who gives a damn about what these people say . Nobody tipped Mayo to beat Kerry last week and you would of been laughed at if you suggested we would ate them alive . All very well in hindsight saying ahh Kerry are off it yet , sound yeah but nobody knew before hand . My point is nobody really knows and furthermore I’d argue a lot of supporters know a lot more about their own county than a lot of these folk giving opinion . To totally understand that journey of 2012 to 2017 you’d have to be on the journey , what would Brian o Driscoll know about any of that journey bar maybe watching the odd final .

  51. A lot of posters seem to be worried about blanket defences and our ability to break them down. It’s important to remember that any team that relies on this tactic must also attack themselves and score more than us. (I cannot for the life of me see Louth scoring heavily against us).
    One of the key things in overcoming the blanket is to make sure we concede very little ourselves. Eventually, the blanket will fold as the opposition come in search of a win. That’s the time to tear into them and put up the scores. So it’s about patience and discipline to a certain extent and game management. I know this leads to boring, dull football but i think the blanket succeeds best if we allow ourselves to become anxious and frustrated. Get ahead and stick it out!

  52. If cork beat louth and we beat louth… does that make the cork match a dead rubber for us if whoever tops the group goes on a head to head

  53. The “what is a great team” argument seems to be very fashionable at the moment, they had one on SkySports about a Liverpool team who won the Champions League and Premier League in recent seasons. If they aren’t a “great” team in their field then Mayo from 2013-2017 have no hope altogether!

    To be fair to O’Driscoll he’s far from the worst and I expect this was just a side tangent to a much broader conversation. Leinster have obviously achieved more than Mayo (and maybe that’s why a comparison may tick him off a bit) but Leinster have more advantages that you could throw your hat at, with a full international side, no salary constraints like English teams, the luxury of picking and choosing what players play when, and can’t win a European competition that is treated as an after-thought by several of its participants, particularly those from the same country as Saturday’s winners. La Rochelle will actually play more important games in the next few weeks as the league is king in France

  54. @Craggy boglands: If Cork beat Louth and also beat Kerry we’d be fighting Cork for top spot in that 3rd game, so depends on the other results.

    Your general idea is right, though. If only one team can catch you on points and you have head to head advantage on them you’d be guaranteed first going into the last game. If Cork lose to Louth, Cork lose to Kerry and we beat Louth the result of the final game between us and Cork is irrelevant for us topping the group and them coming last.

    This has already played out with Limerick (1st) and Wicklow (4th) in the Tailteann. They go into the final round with a dead rubber, neither side can change their position regardless of the scorelines in their or other games.

  55. Tsu. Thank s for that. I thought they scrapped the super 8 s because of the dead rubber match s. Back to the drawing board I think

  56. I prefer the knockers to the boosters – overall McGuinness is a pretty good analyst, though yesterday’s piece was below par. We suffer from too much kindness from journos over the years, some who really want us to win the big one. They are more dangerous than the Brolly’s, because fans/players even management can get sucked in to their blandishments. The critics can give us a point to prove, particularly when they’re unfair.

  57. Craggy if I have it right and ourselves and Cork beat Louth and assuming Kerry beat Cork and Louth then if we lose to Cork 3 teams are on 4 points and the head to head goes out the window. So the last game may not be a dead rubber. Plenty of football to be played first.

  58. @Catcol.. Great descriptive that word “Blandishments” I might add that one to my lexicon . I’m reminded of the day a Mayo man lost his job as leader of his Political Party. Charles J Haughey was in his office for the last time, speaking to Brian Lenihan Snr who only a few months prior Haughey had sacked as Tainiste, possibly costing him the Presidency as well.. Anyway as Albert Reynolds and his County and Western gang moved into Government office’s .. Lenihan said to Haughey,…”there they go the Bland leading the Bland” .Of course Haughey was a great Mayo supporter, on occasion, .. Dublin on occasion where lived, l, Kerry where he had an Island and when it suited one day in a Connacht Final, actually forgetting easily about the County of his birth, he landed in his helicopter at Tuam Stadium and lauded the Galway team and Galway people, easily forgetting Green and Red were about to take the field versus the Maroon and White. There was a by election in East Galway.

  59. Agree with recent comments on pundits, interested to hear their opinions and sometimes find those who are more critical better. Ultimately, pundits are not the reason we have not won out so not bothered either way.

    Wide open for SAM, Galway have a chance, I wonder will their conservatism come against them in the key game/s. Sometimes fine margins make the difference so hard to predict who will win out across maybe 5 or 6 pretenders. WJ, It might be interesting to have a poll here to see who we would predict to win outright once quarter finalists are all known.

  60. Wouldnt worry about Brian O Driscoll who i actually think is a very decent guy I know himself and Amy visits Westport a lot. I was supporting La Rochelle because Ronan O’Gara’s mother is from Bohernasup here in Ballina and is a frequent visitor and I heard ROG give an interview a few days after Mayo lost the final against Tyrone he stated he was sorry for his mam that Mayo lost he said she was very disapointed

  61. Galway in a quarter final, semi final, AIF – we have a pretty good record against them in Croke Park, esp in finals.

    Galway are lucky they didn’t leave that quarter final behind them last yr – I went to the bathroom and they were 8 points up with not long to go – end up winning it on penalties.
    They might might have been level with Kerry at 65mins but never had the feeling that day that they weee going to beat Kerry.

    All we can do now is beat Louth and Cork and then let’s see who comes next . . . . .

  62. Think my phone is broke thought I hit Mayo Gaa Blog and ended up here on Galway Gaa Blog ( it seems) . Sorry for the intrusion

  63. Galway stand by my point will get passed group stage but won’t win Sam as others have said this is PJS year if any to win it.

    I just can’t see them doing it . Players are off form don’t buy that they have the best on form certain players in the country Atm. No way .

    This year is as wide open as it ever has been in a long time.

    Seriously don’t get how Galway are serious contenders and that a lot of people rate them way above ourselves even though we beat them in league drew to them in the first game in league still apparently they are miles ahead of us when their best forward is far below his top form they had 3 or 4 goal chances against us in league final and reape saved them all ( top class goalie we have )

    Just find it hilarious that Galway loose finals still serious contenders above us and we loose finals bottlers !

    We shall see come a few weeks if Galway really are serious contenders or not but my opinion don’t buy but each to their own sure !

  64. Jkel88 Sean Kelly has kept David Clifford scoreless from play on a few occasions in the past.
    Anyways , I don’t see Canavans point regarding Galway beating Mayo etc ..
    Based on last weekends displays Mayo would win it..
    We are doing enough to win games 1 defeat in last 8 but our form is still patchy… unlike that blistering display in Killarney last Saturday by Mayo..

  65. Thanks still dreaming. Best scenario so would be louth to beat cork and mayo to beat louth.

  66. @Tuamstar didn’t see caravans point regarding that they would beat us agree with you ! We were on evens with them with bookies pre kerry win but now have jumped quite a bit ahead in odds after the win but sure let people think we are behind Galway does usnp harm haha

  67. Claiming that any team is ahead of anyone else at this stage of the championships is almost futile. Any one of 4 or 5 teams could possibly come good yet and string together a couple of outstanding performances. How many outside a few hard line supporters would have predicted the result in Killarney? As with a lot of games it’s ‘on the day’ to quote a well worn cliché.
    The only thing I would attempt to predict is that there might well be one or two upsets along the way – there nearly always is.

  68. I know this isn’t the podcast thread but my god didn’t Tony leen have the prediction /scenario spot on for the game last weekend. It was like listening to a review of the game.

  69. Our win in Killarney should not be played down though , in terms of qualification to the qf and the position it puts us in to win the group , we are in a fantastic position to reach the semi final stage .odds mean very little for such a prediction but we are now odds on @1/2 to reach semi final because of win in Killarney .

  70. He sure did, No doubt! Prescient is the word. Tony is always full value on the pod and he was really good on that one. Marc Ó Sé is superb too on the review pod, no yerra there either.

  71. Are the season tickets for the Louth match stand tickets in McHale Park? Mine have Section GA1on them and also
    Entry Info
    General Admission.

  72. @ TsuDhoNim. Yes I agree, our ability to counterattack at pace has if anything improved or got more potent, despite the loss of Keegan and Mullin(gl to Oisínn at weekend). And it’s the main reason we are creating goal chances. Pace and wide overlapping ‘wingers’. McHale is that bit tighter but pace is the key. Only Coen and Loftus are sluggish from our back 6 and they tend to rely on lateral passes with very occasional prods forward.


    Canavan keeping our expectations in check and probably no harm either. One advantage we have gained over Kerry is a much easier route to the semis. Assuming they win their last 12 game their QF is full of peril with 1 week rest.

    Regarding us and Galway, I think there’s nothing in it. Goal drills are important in training as Galway unlikely cough up too many goal chances and the same goes for Derry and possibly Tyrone if we come across them. Could be a Connaught AI final yet, not inconceivable anyway.

  74. @shuffly deck not surprised journos always have us written off well a lot of them anyway amazing we beat kerry out of the odds to and than them and Galway would still bate us haha as you say its no harm we don’t want the favourites tag anyways better to be tip toeing a long haha

  75. The latest Pod with Marc O Se and Boyler is excellent listening fodder too. Keep em coming WJ, Edwin, Rob et al.

  76. Great stuff from Canavan, and to be fair he’s spot on. Anyone who writes off Kerry is foolish. We just need to fully focus on Louth, and by reading the comments on here no one is getting carried away at all.

    Whether people want to admit it or not, we play our best football away from MacHale park. A team as defensive as Louth will frustrate us big time. We really need to be professional and patient in our approach, that includes the fans aswell. No panicking as seen against Roscommon, it will take time to break through their blanket, but on all known form we should win.

  77. I don’t understand this notion we have that we “struggle” against the “blanket” defensive.

    By my estimation the last time we were dumped out of the championship by a blanket defence was Donegal 2012

  78. The one thing we have not had before when the blanket has been presented to us is a big target man up front.
    We now have a target man and he showing his best form in years. The one thing Aido is doing really well is occupying multiple defenders which is leaving space for others. Ball into that right hand channel and Aido taking the mark on his left foot is difficult to defend. it gives teams things to think about. What if he comes short? What if he stays close to goal. Would they gamble and leave him 1 on 1? He is wily enough now to mix his play up.

    I fully expect Louth to have 15 behind the ball a lot of the time. They went toe to toe with Dublin and it didn’t end well for them. We will have periods in the game where we will be frustrated but patience is the key. We have the long range shooters and speedsters off the bench and I expect us to get the job done.

  79. @FrostTHammer: All-Ireland final 2021?

    Best of luck to Oisín Mullin at the weekend. Geelong must really rate him if they’re throwing him in there after only a few VFL games.

  80. I wouldn’t describe Tyrone in 2021 as very defensive at all. They gave up loads of goal chances to us, and Kerry in the semi final.

  81. Louth will be targeting the Cork game I’m sure for their route through so our game with them may not mean a whole pile to them being a week later. Mickey will want to ensure safe passage to the next round as his priority.

  82. I’d agree with Wide Ball. I don’t think Tyrone were implementing a blanket defense. If they were it wasn’t a very good one, and breaking it down was certainly not an issue for us

  83. I’d agree that Tyrone were not defensive in 21 they just played much better then us and we just fell apart and lost our nerve our guys were very young a lot of them who were playing I remember a commentator saying mullin & a few others for mayo looked very nervous on the walk around the pitch compared to Tyrone.

  84. Great pod again lads. Would loved to have heard Tony Leens take on the game considering he predicted what was going to happen even down to a 5 point margin.

  85. Thanks DejaVu – that would have been good alright but it wasn’t possible on the day. Definitely like to hear him back on the pod again soon.

  86. There is still way too much football to be played for anyone to be getting excited about semi finals or finals. At this stage, there isn’t a team in the country that has a fully settled side, injury free and in great form. These next two games are about tip-toeing through the group with an aim of getting top spot and emerging fully fit and injury free. Only then can we get a little excited.
    As for the potential runners and riders…..
    Kerry will not leave their ful back line as exposed again for the remainder of the championship, as they did last Saturday. We should have been more clinical in front of goal and had another 1-1 or 1-2 on the board at half time. Yet, Kerry could easily have scored two goals in the third quarter which would have blown up an entirely different game. So, the margins are not as wide as they seem. Kerry have not become a bad team overnight, they will tighten things up and still be a force come the business end of the season when the Cliffords are in a better place mentally.
    Galway have a winning momentum behind them, are building a deeper squad and have big, powerful, mobile men in the middle third. They are not the incisive, polished attacking force of their ’98 side (then again, not many were) and I think that is where people see a conservatisim in their play. Joyce does not have the silky, attacking threats of the team he played in, so he’s mixing and matching in other ways. Yes Tyrone did very well against them at the weekend considering they went down to 13 men, but Galway won. And Galway have developed a mentality that has seen them win in tight games. They won’t shoot the lights out, but they won’t let you shoot them either. To beat them you have to be as dogged as them, out muscle them and get +80% efficiency in front of goal because you are not going to create many scoring opportunities.
    Dublin are the least of my worries. They have played nothing in the last 12 months, have conceded big scores to poor teams and have had to rely on former players to come back to the fold to pad out the squad – not a good sign. They no longer have the fear factor and once that fades from a team, then everyone has a go at them. I don’t expect them to be our main threat.
    For us, all that matters is Louth. Failure to get a positive performance and a win in this game, means that all the great work done down in Killarney will have been for nothing. One step at a time.

  87. In my view, we HAVE tended to struggle against teams who build a lead and then double down strongly on a mass defensive system.
    Going back to Tyrone in the League in McHale Park during Rochford’s time, we found them hard to deal with.
    The reason – our DNA is as a fast moving team. Speed, break. Part of this is that didn’t seem to prioritise using or training for precision shooting from distance over the years. We could beat a blanket with some confidence if we could lop over scores from distance when we felt like it from various angles.
    But we were hampered there.
    Of course, we could still play against a defensive team but the play was very slow. Scores came very very slowly this way – too slowly to influence the scoreboard.
    If the opponents are ahead, we enter ‘headless chickens’ territory eventually, or ‘crossing your fingers and hoping for the best territory’. It’s hard to influence a result then. We’re not in the driver’s seat.
    AND, even if the game is more even in score, often the opponents, a Galway, for example, have the confident distance shooters to score more often, more easily while we have tended to (i) get the scores slowly or (ii) maybe score, maybe not.

    In addition, often teams got their scores much more easily against us on the counter attack in these scenarios because our defensive division was not set (too many forward?)

    However, I have confidence that we’re working on this scenario and I feel the blanket won’t be such a great tool against us as we move forward.

  88. On the 2021 final, 2 things:
    Tyrone were defensive but mobile. They concentrated on closing our men down throughout the field. They stuck like glue.
    Our management did not effectively plan, in my humble opinion. They relied on their own game and were open fodder for the opposition management team, who simply targetted our style of play and closed us down. We were rendered toothless.

  89. To clarify Craggy Boglands if Cork beat us and Louth the group will likely be a 3 way tie and so the Cork game is not a dead rubber. The ideal result in Cork v Louth is a draw.

  90. Swallow Swoops – the point is every team will struggle if the opposition build up an early lead and then sit back. Galway didn’t look nearly as controlled or confident in the league final when chasing a 5 point deficit.

    I think over the years Mayo have shown to be better than most at coming from behind to draw or win games.

  91. Wide Ball, if there is a two point deficit, and Galway is behind playing Tyrone, I’d back their shooters to recoup that deficit more easily than us.
    Over the years, if Mayo were chasing the two points it would take us longer during which time the opponents, e.g. Tyrone would get further ahead.
    I’m not talking about a five point lead. I’m talking parity or a small lead.

  92. Have you any evidence of that, or is it just hypothetical? When have Galway done that?

    Against Kildare last year we came from behind vs a defensive team to win. Against Monaghan last year we managed the game well vs a very defensive team, held possession etc.

  93. Great points Pebblesmeller, Louth in the crosshairs is all we need worry about at the moment. Coming up against a blanket at this stage and working how to break it down could prove vital later when we are up against a Derry parked bus.

  94. Wide Ball, that example is hypothetical. I base what I said on general observation and trends in matches where I’m willing Mayo on against this type of opposition. I consider the factors and compare it to other teams I see playing, for example, Ulster teams playing each other.
    I’m encouraging anyone interested to look out for these factors in upcoming matches.

  95. By the way, Wide Ball, that game you mentioned versus Kildare last year is an excellent example of the type of game I’m talking about. Just want to say thanks for mentioning it.
    I’m not talking about right or wrong or oneupmanship or anything – just a good example.
    We were lucky to come out the right side of that result.

  96. The positive for me, is that we’re starting to look like a team you don’t want to go a few points down against.

    We’ve beaten two of our biggest rivals in successive games by taking a lead and holding onto it.

    The cynic in me is thinking that we might see a number of lengthy opposition injuries around the 22nd minute of our games

  97. Fair enough, we’ll agree to disagree.

    I think there are loads of examples of Mayo sticking in games when behind and eventually getting a draw or win. Of course sometimes you lose games, same as every team.

  98. I saw Louth in the flesh against Offaly. They scored 27 points, and got 6 in extra time. It’s not their blanket I’m concerned about, it’s their shooters. Downey (7 v Offaly) and Mulroy (a slew v Dublin), are lethal if given space. They kick from distance, back themselves, and usually score. We need to wrap a blanket around them, or a straitjacket preferably.

    Their game against Cork is hugely important- can they recover from the mauling they got? Sligo did. This game will tell us a lot, if we can see any of it.

  99. I don’t see any point dredging back over past games past teams and past management. It’s all about where we are now with current set up. And it’s one game at a time. Mayo supporters should be glued to Cork v Louth and evaluating what they have to offer against ourselves.
    The positives from Mayo. We appear to be managing leads better. We created goal chances v Kerry. (But don’t get too excited!!). We have a very ‘difficult to defend against’ counter attacking strategy based on pacey defenders not giving opposition a chance to settle into blanket defence. It’s high energy stuff that relies on a strong bench and we have that.. though it would be dangerous to assess us on one performance against an off colour Kerry(the Blues kit doesn’t really suit them.
    But we have negatives,areas of improvement…..

  100. Really disappointing that Cork Louth game isn’t getting any TV/stream coverage.

    Anyone familiar with the better local radio options in either county to stay up to date with that one?

  101. Walked into the bookies today and put 20 euro on Roscommon to beat the mighty Dubs. My reasoning? The Dubs form line this year has been very inconsistent with poor displays in a number of div 2 league games and most recently against Kildare. Like Kerry they have been struggling to get up to speed. I watched them against Derry in the league final and while they finished the game out strongly, they were very dependent on Kilkenny, Fenton and McCarthy to drag them over the line, notably when Conor Glass had gone off injured. Also I think Roscommon like ourselves have had a decent break and I’m sure Davy Burke and his very savy backroom team will have them primed to smash into some of the Dublin hero’s of yesteryear. Dublin have been waning since the 6 in a row. Instead of blooding new players and bringing young talent through they have made the fatal mistake of parachuting lads back who dropped out a couple of years ago. If you look back over the years, say even to the great Kerry team of the 70 & 80’s. Their players will openly admit that they stayed on too long. It took Kerry 10 years to recover. I have heard Paddy Andrews openly admit that they never took the Rossies seriously over the years. Motivation wont be a problem. They have also shown a hard edge this year, tactical know how, and that they can play a bit of football as we found out to our disgust back in April. The trip to Killarney cost me 150 euro. I am fairly confident I will have it recouped this Sunday evening.

  102. The Cluxton move is definitely an interesting one, but to call bringing back Mannion and McCaffrey, only turning 30 this year, a “fatal mistake” is fairly pushing it now. Both have loads to offer. Its hardly bringing back two 35 year old has-beens. This isn’t in the top 100 of issues they’ve faced this year

    I do think it’ll be a far closer game than many expect however, a Rossie win is fairly stretching it though

  103. Yea, both 30 years of age. Mannion has really struggled with injuries the last few years playing with his club and has missed some of their biggest games. Jack hasnt got a solid run either since he got back because of persistent niggly muscle injuries. He had to go off before half time against Louth. Clutching at straws in my opinion to expect them boys to turn back the clock 4-5 years and drive Dublin to another all-ireland.

  104. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Roscommon win a championship match in Croke Park, can’t see that changing against Dublin. Dublin will bate them pulling up.

  105. If Roscommon are still in it on 60 minutes they will ask serious questions of Dublin but can they stop Dublin scoring early goals. Kildare got within a few points of Dublin yet drew with Sligo who Galway hammered so form lines are skewed. I hope Roscommon win.

  106. If 30 is old nowadays there’s no hope for any of us… 🙁

    Luckily no-one told Aidan O’Shea that on Saturday – 3 years their senior

    A “fatal mistake” would imply the bringing them back is literally going to affect the team negatively, I’d say that notion is quite fanciful to say the least. There wouldn’t be one Dublin supporter who would prefer to be without them

    Mannion has looked fit enough to me so far anyway, inter county managers can’t really be dealing in hypotheticals when it comes to injuries

  107. I would say it would a big boost to the Dublin dressing room to have Cluxton,Mannion and McCaffrey back involved.
    I saw the Derry final and Mannion made a big difference in the second half. Whether Mannion and McCaffrey could do 70 minutes is one thing but even at 75% fitness they would be better bench options than they have already.

  108. Didn’t realise Aiden took 3 years out of intercounty football and came back injury free to terrorise the Kerry full back line last week. Also can’t remember saying that 30 was too old for intercounty football at any stage. I’m sure Davy Hanlon is very positive about kicking his heals in the Hogan Stand at the moment. Nothing beats bursting your arse training all winter, playing well in all your league games and then stepping aside to let Clucko take your place in goal. Makes all your hard work worthwhile. Time will tell if my fanciful notions are realised.

  109. New pod up now on Patreon. Rob, Billy Joe and Ed looking back on the Kerry game and chatting about what the performance tells us about Mayo.

  110. Best of luck to Oisin on his debut match with Geelong on Saturday The Cats gain is Mayo’s loss.

  111. Shufflydeck. I’d be thinking louth beat cork hopefully and kerry definitely will then if we beat louth we would go in to the cork match on 4 points and cork on 0 points if kerry and louth do the business. Then it would be a dead rubber because we would top the group on a head to head with the kingdom

  112. @Maroon River – good spake and bang on – not nice to lose your job to the returning Cluxton. Here is another angle – there is strange goalkeeper stuff going on this year. I reckon the Galway goalkeeper could be targeted – Armagh showed that last year. I am not sure yet about the Clucko experiment. Plus Cluxton has deposed a consistent new Dublin goalie. Could this affect morale with the newer players? Comebacks sometimes never really materialise – lets see how he goes.

    Goalkeepers are now travelling away from home a lot. I would like to see the stats from the many games where goalkeepers had to run back at speed to an exposed goal. Some have been caught out. Not all these guys have a cool head when they go for a wander and turnovers occur. There is a potential free goal per game here. It just requires a bit of practiced opportunism and alertness.

    Watch this goalie story unfold.

  113. I think its all an act of desperation from dessie bringing back the likes of cluxton & co. As others said hard on the younger guys .

    Would Dessie not be better off concentrating on re building a team for the future ? Those guys won’t be there next a year and they will be back in the same position maybe even worse as the younger guys I’m sure will be fuming & lost confidence over being dropped liked that .

    Let’s see how they so against the rossies! Proven last weekend that you can’t judge kerry hammering a lower division clare te sane like you can’t judge dubs hammering louth.

  114. Exactly, Mind the House – pretty sure most of the criticism leveled at Dublin last year (perhaps rightly so) was their lack of bench options. Certainly makes sense to me for dessie to look into any way possible to bulk up their squad, being able to call upon two of the finest players of their generation is some bonus. Call me old fashioned but I’d be of the mind each season you look to get the best 30 footballers in your county involved, regardless of age, if some opt out certain years then that’s life.

    Interestingly I don’t see near as much mention of Galway bringing back Ian burke, the exact same age as the Dublin two. I guess everything in Dublin gets scrutinised to a much higher degree, price of being serial winners I guess!

  115. Why would dessie care about the future though?

    Anything less than an all ireland final this year, and he’s out the gap

  116. @ciaran why wouldn’t he care about the future ? If he didn’t care about the future of dublin gaa then hes not a good manager is he !

  117. Also horan cared about the future of mayo gaa that’s why he brought in young guys and we have a lot to thank Horan for as he did help this current mayo team a lot . So a gaa manager should be caring a lot about the future and helping to encourage younger guys in it by giving them a chance not dashing their confidence by bringing back all stars passed their prime for one last all Ireland in my opinion anyway!

  118. @Ciaran
    I was sat next to a Dublin fella for 4 hours through both of the league finals. He couldn’t believe we were in a league final after all those retirements. His exact words were ‘I thought ye were gone. Where did ye get this lot from?’ This lot meaning the young players. He said there weren’t many young players coming through and they were reliant on the same old faces.
    It is of huge credit to those involved that we are still at the top table after the 2021 retirements. Far from being an ageing team the majority of our team have their best days ahead of them.

  119. Amazing that Oisin is getting his debut already. What a fantastic sportsman, the ability to adapt to a new game that quickly is phenomenal.

    Also amazing was Rob quoting me on the pod! Come on Rob, let’s move on…

    Note, I have watched the game about six times again and did listen to the latest pod too! I guess us fans can bask and enjoy it but McStay and co are no doubt plotting for Louth.

  120. Dessie will be judged on one thing only this year. His remit isn’t to get Dublin winning again in 3 or 4 years – if that’s indeed what happens while I’m sure he’ll be as delighted as any other Dub at the time, he will get zero thanks for it. If a county like Dublin are giving a manager leeway to “sacrifice” short term glory for future seasons – with the resources they have – then the county board need to be absolutely ran out of the place. Dessie rightly is picking a panel of players to win an All Ireland this July, not next July or the July after.. he can look towards them when the time comes. By the way, I’d be shocked if mannion and McCaffrey aren’t around next year, so I do disagree with the pluralised “those guys won’t be there next year?” Cluxton maybe, and maybe guys like Fitzsimons or McCarthy (probably unlikely with the latter though who still has years left in him – what a player) but there’s zero evidence Mannion and McCaffrey won’t be sticking around for a few years to come yet

    I’d highly doubt Peter Keane is as happy for Jack O’Connor winning as he would be if he did it himself. managers are selfish – completely understandably – sure aren’t we all to an extent in the jobs that we do?

    Dublin are literally the worst example anyway. Statistically no other county is more likely to produce players from nowhere given their demographics. They will be regularly at the business end of championships for as long as most of us live. They could bring the full team of 2013 back this year and still pick a younger team from scratch next year who would walk Leinster and sail into the latter stages

    Hands up – and be honest now – who would say no to Lee Keegan if he offered to return to the Mayo panel next year? I’d say there are plenty who wouldn’t even say no to Pearse Hanley!!!

  121. @ciaran we will agree to disagree so ha bad form the way he is treating the younger players in my opinion! @mibd the house totally agree with you!

  122. I’ll have a word, MayoMayo1! Definitely moving on today – two new pods coming out, one a left-field bonus one and then the Final Whistle pod after this evening’s Connacht MFC final.

  123. Ciaran, agree with you. Managers live in the here and now, they nearly all the same.
    Take our own for example, and not saying it’s a fault. But how many new lads did our new management genuinely give a good trial to? 1, Bob Tuohy.
    Sure other fellas got dragged in for FBD games to make up numbers, and gave the optics of new blood being given serious shot at it, but how many of these lads were even training with the panel?? They likely got a program to do on their own before being sent off again.

    I wouldn’t be to worried about lads taking a year or two out either, especially when doing so when fit and healthy.
    We have Harrison in, and until recently Murray on the panel. How many games have these lads even played in last 2 years?

    It takes a 2-3 years for most players to get get up to the S&C level of the top inter counties players, most managers don’t want that work if can avoid it.

  124. If I was ever in charge of picking guys for Gaa jobs in Mayo ( will never happen) this would be my list, with those guys left to do as they please, no interference from power driven Officers that no sweet fuck all about the game and just love the control element of their jobs.

    1, James Horan, Chief player Development manager, Underage etc, ( getting guys ready for Senior level).
    How many players did he bring through in his two managerial terms, add Westport to that also

    2, Fitness Coach, John Maughan, I would say guys would run for hours under his watch.

    3, S & C, I think he is there currently in the Senior team, but should start at U15 level as per Rugby.

    The Dubs are focused on winning the All Ireland this year.
    Can Ros upset them ?, can they defend in Croker, we will find out soon.

  125. Id say its Farrell’s last season with the Dubs, along with Rock, McCarthy, Cluxton, Fitzsimons and Daly. One last push before a major rebuild next year with a new manager. I think Roscommon will get a reality check on Sunday. They caught us in the perfect storm (literally) and its obvious now our lads were empty after that league final. The fact lots of pundits are giving the Rossie’s a seirious chance will be music to Farrell’s ears. Dublin will eat them alive, but it will take 50-55 minutes to fully pull away from them.

  126. Interesting article Clare.
    The thing with Dublin is that when you hit that best team ever level like they did it somewhat reduces for a good period of time the number of new young players you need to add on.
    One new player every year will be enough for quite a while.
    Lee Gammon looks a very good addition for them.
    The huge issue for them is maybe two years away. That will be close to the end or the end for most of the remaining six in a row team.
    Brian Fenton.
    James Mccarthy
    Ciaran Kilkenny
    Dean Rock
    John Small

  127. @Mind the house: That’s the odd thing with Dublin… you’d have thought those solid young players were there. Obviously not quite at the generational level of O’Callahan, Kilkenny or Fenton but absolutely at a very competitive pushing for places level. Those lads have just fallen away. Worryingly (if you’re a Dublin fan).

    They won the 21s in 2017 (for the 3rd time in 6 years) and were in finals of the 20s again in ’19 and ’20 (with Ciaran Archer breaking all sorts of records along the way – he was the next big superstar for a good few years).

    Difficult to know how much of that dropoff is natural and unavoidable attrition and how much a lack of pathways to the county side played a part. In either case you’d be concerned about it.

  128. You have a point Ciaran re: Dessie and his selfish desire to push ahead with the older brigade this year. He’s under serious pressure to deliver an all-Ireland. You also make the point that statistically Dublin more than any other county have the demographics to produce young talented players who could get to the business end of the championship. Or I’m I reading you wrong. I don’t think it would be that simple but it sort of reinforces my point that the Dubs should look forward not back. I’m sure young Dublin players in their professionally run academies and their coaches are rightly pissed off at the current situation. Anyway I would love a crack off them this year as I believe our younger legs, dynamism and enthusiasm would put the final nail in Dessies and the greatest team of all times coffin.

  129. I don’t know was much expected of their 2017 team, O’Callaghan was fairly carrying that side. Galway took out the roaring favourites Kerry and like many young teams were unable to back this up in the final. Kerry had beaten Donegal at the minor final in that grade (I remember cos it mirrored the senior final the same day). The Under 21 side of 2014 was much higher rated (probably the best under 21 team ever given what went next)

    They have 4 starters on Sunday in the 2-9 positions who they’ve brought in since their last win. Whether they’re ready to make the step up is the next question but without thinking about it too deeply I’d say the age profile of this outfield starting team would be fairly similar to Galway’s last Saturday

    That forward line still looks fairly scary to me, on paper anyway!

  130. You read me correctly alright, Maroon River, and as you say it certainly isn’t that simple in practice (thankfully!) but simply due to playing numbers alone they should always be well stocked with players coming through. I’m sure it’ll go in cycles but its unlikely to be too long surely before some top players emerge again. Its not up to Farrell to manage this or worry about this though, this year is now or never for him

  131. @Ciaran: Watching their Leinster Minor semi-final against Offaly, bagging 6 goals while missing a penalty and scuffing a few other solid chances (it could have been 9 or 10), they might not be waiting too long for a couple to emerge.

  132. Dublin have advantages but also disadvantages. The pull of other sports is a huge factor

    How many of the following would be involved in football if they were from Dublin?

    Bob Touhy – track and field
    Eoghan MacLaughlin – cycling
    Ryan O’Donoghue – boxing/soccer
    Lee Keegan – rugby
    Andy Moran – soccer

    And I’m barely making any effort with that list

    A good question here, how many Dubs are playing Aussie Rules?

    Dublin had an advantage ten years ago wrt the quality of players they were bringing through. The average player, not the exceptional ones, but that advantage has gone. Connacht looks like it is now the standard bearers at least for the moment

  133. I’m with Ciaran too. Managers, at the elite level of intecounty, only care about the next game. Senior intercounty football is not a development squad, you’re either good enough or you’re cut. Simple.
    Dessie is a dead man walking in Dublin. He either wins this year or he is gone and that’s the standards and level of expectation they hold their managers to. Likewise Kerry. Peter Keane won 3 All Ireland minor titles but was ran out the gate (before his term ended) once they knew O’Connor would come back in. They did the same to Pat O’Shea and he won an All Ireland!
    We should have done likewise with Horan after the Tyrone All Ireland. By not doing so we showed a lack of ruthlessness and a weakness that Kerry or Dublin would never tolerate. An abject, clueless performance that rankles to this day, and one which the sideline was largely responsible for. No plan to deal with the direct ball inside when the world and his dog knew McShane would feature. No plan to deal with Morgan when he came out the field. Add a ridiculous use of the bench with players coming in on the 78th minute and you have a shambolic performance that should have resulted in calling time on Horans reign. That’s why intercounty managers should only care about the next game, because they are always one bad performance away from criticism. As for Horan bringing young lads in and him producing these players? He didn’t, their clubs did. The very clubs that Horan threw under a bus when it came to restricting squad players to play with their clubs.
    While Mayos record of All Ireland success at underage is very poor, we probably have the best record for bringing through top quality, highly motivated, competitive players to Senior level. That’s initially down to the clubs, then the development squads.

  134. We’ve gone from the galway blog to the Dublin blog. I may as well join in. Can’t believe people are critiquing mannion and mccaffery being back. They’re rolls Royce players and any team would’ve delighted to have them. Mayo brought back Mcdonald to great acclaim and I’m sure many more examples around the country.

  135. I’m also interested in the Roscommon versus Dublin game. If the Rossies get a good start, I’d give them a chance in this game. I don’t think this result is a forgone conclusion.
    Why couldn’t they start well and then dig their teeth in for the rest of the game? They have the tenacity. Do they have the stamina to keep up a high tempo until the end? We’ll see.
    By the way, there have been some super posts above. Ye are flying!

  136. Horan did bring through players even if the clubs did bring them a long horan went to the club games and scouted them out did he not ?

    Wouldnt say Horan through clubs under the bus horan did a lot for mayo football in general. Yes he definetly had flaws and I think mcstay is a much better manager all around but we have to thank horan for a lot of the young talent in the squad today . Yes the clubs produce players but at the end of the day it’s the inter County managers who go around and scout for young players and make them into a team that will last for a few years .

    You keep bringing in younger guys and mixing them with the older experienced guys so you always have a top team and that’s why mayo have always been a top team for that very reason we have a mix of young & older guys helping each other out and encouraging each other.

    Dubs might win Sam this year but mark my words they will be in trouble for the next few years for not encouraging younger players and relying on the old guard!


    Great analysis there from The GAA Performance Podcast on how Kildare effectively minimised the damage Dublin/Con could do in the Leinster semi. Getting the matchup and positioning (marker and teammates/sweeper) right for these types of situations going to play a big part for Roscommon at the weekend.

    They’ll be looking at Mulroy hitting them for 10 points in the final and fancying Smith and co being able to do some damage too. Should be a fun watch for (us) neutrals.

  138. Not fully true Clare, it’s the development squads in my view that bring the players with the raw material onto another level.
    From Under 14 upwards.

  139. @Mayo88 yes very good point of course the development squads are vital is well in bringing through younger players!

  140. Ah here Pebbles. Horan was a master at identifying diamonds & improving players too. Bob Touhy was in with the Mayo seniors before he had even played a senior championship for Castlebar. Donnacha McHugh didn’t stand out in the u20s but look at him now. Horan had flaws but if he didn’t take the reins in 2010, there is not a chance we would have had the brilliant decade that followed. And the effects of this are still happening. If we ever get over the line, Horan should get plenty recognition.

  141. You could argue the following players were exposed to a “development squad” under Horan, they were all part of Horan`s panels while still U20 and training with Seniors and have now broke into the Mayo team / Match day panel while most are still 23 or younger.

    Enda Hession, Jack Carney, Eoghan McLaughln, Tommy Conroy, David McBrien, Jack Coyne, Sam Callinan, Paul Towey, Donnacha McHugh

  142. From what I’ve seen, Roscommon are amongst the best in the country at retaining their own kick outs.

    IMO that is an excellent base to work off and should make you competitive against most teams

  143. Regarding the younger players you will never know how good they are until they get a run of games. Our hand was forced with the retirements and Dublin will be the same.
    I look at that back line of Coyne,McBrien and Hession. That could possibly be our back line for the next 10 years. Add Callinan and Mchugh and potentially you almost have a full back and half back line.
    I was downbeat after the Kerry defeat last year. Not any more I’m not.

  144. Pebblesmeller – Peter Keane was not ran before his term ended. His 3 years were up. If Kerry are so ruthless how come Keane stayed on after losing to Cork the previous year? Same with Farrell in Dublin after 21 and 22?

    Also, the senior manager plays a huge role in developing young players. If it’s all down to clubs and development squads, then how do you explain Mayo underage results (apart from a couple of exceptions) over the last 10 or 12 years?

  145. There are a lot worse bets than Roscommon at 7/1 in a 2 horse race on Sunday.

  146. At the rate we are finding these new defenders we’ll have a brand new top quality full back line in a year or two

    All joking aside, I have been massively impressed with Donnacha McHugh but is he a starter with everyone fit?

    Given that we’ll very rarely be in that everyone fit situation Donnacha will get plenty of game time but looking back on our last decade you are looking at Donnacha probably corresponding to someone like a David Drake, and not to disparage anyone, that seems like a big step up

    And this is just one example, we seem to be developing this kind of depth all over the pitch.

  147. I’d agree Clare, Horan deserves huge credit for the development of players, anyone who disagrees with that I think is blinkered in their views based on results in finals.

    Mind the House it’s interesting odds in a two horse race and I have had a small flutter on it but I don’t think the Rossies are as good as many think. I looked back at that game recently, some decision making coming down the stretch cost us the match coupled with tiredness from the final.

    Great news on the podcast front, will make for good listening Saturday.

  148. Both McHugh and Tuohy have a bit to go in terms of S and C imo, before they take on a tough seasoned look. But valuable on bench, intelligent and will give you ‘legs’
    Dreadful we don’t get to see the Cork Louth game

  149. Roscommon’s most recent Championship win in Croke Park was 43 years ago, over Armagh in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final. I’m not saying they won’t do it this weekend but if they do it’ll break a long losing sequence at HQ, not to mention what a shock it would represent (even if Roscommon had a very solid spring in Division One while the Dubs were in Division Two).

  150. Well done on that nugget WJ.
    Rossies, 3rd in league, tough bunch and not short of talent either. It wouldn’t come as a major shock, but a good performance will keep heads up for remaining games. Hon Connacht..

  151. All games in Dublins group are televised somewhere, in fact Louth Cork is about the only game excluded from coverage.

  152. Willie Joe, that’s a fabulous bit of information there. I’d really like for them to do it this weekend. I know it’s a challenge but if things were to fall in their favour they have what it takes to stick in. In my opinion, Mannion and McCaffrey are gamechangers for Dublin. Deal with them and that evens things out a lot.

  153. Best of luck to the Primrose and Blue versus Dublin this weekend. They had five weeks to prepare, (although they couldn’t have known until a few weeks ago that it would be the Dubs in their own identify fluid home/neutral Croke Park. Probably need a different game plan than saw them victorious against Mayo . Since their last Championship Victory in Croke Park, 43 year’s is a long stretch by any measure, it would be a great time for a breakout performance .. Co’mon the Rossies, “Get busy winning or get busy trying”!

  154. I would be very very surprised if Roscommon beat Dublin this weekend in Croke park. If they do then they need to be taken as serious contenders for the all Ireland.

    Dublin by 10+ is more than likely the result but who knows maybe Roscommon are the real deal and will shock us all.

  155. I can’t believe the Rossies haven’t won in Croker since the semi final of 1980 in the championship.

    They went down to Meath in the semi final of 1991, I remember watching it on TV during a break from work.

    I don’t think they got to a Semi final since that.
    Ros had some brilliant players throughout the 1980’s and Mayo had their fare share of trouble against them.

    Some here may not like this but hope they beat the Dubs, win their group and go to the Semi final and be beaten by Mayo or Galway. Who knows what this new format will bring.

  156. @MayoMayo1, so what are we to judge our manager by then, if not performances in AI finals? There in stands my argument about a lack of ruthlessness and a weakness in our county board and the levels we should expect. Horan contested 4 All Ireland finals and lost them all, to 3 different opponents. In my opinion, to be blinkered to the reality means you give him another year in charge, which is what happened. Would that happen in Kerry or Dublin?
    Btw, I am not saying he isn’t entitled to credit for building those sides, but I feel his contribution has been greatly over estimated. Those players were there and developing regardless who was in charge, he just shaped them into an excellent side.

    @WideBall, Keane stayed on after that Cork game because his remit was to bring through the 3 time winning All Ireland minors he managed. In 2019 they lost the AIF in a reply to Dublin. Got caught cold in the Covid season of 2020 which undeniably was a strange one (Tipp were Munster champions!!) but it was a 1 point loss after extra time to Cork that did for them that year. In 2021 they waltzed through Munster and only lost by 1 point to Tyrone in a Semi Final that went to extra time. And we all know what Tyrone did to us thereafter. By comparison, his record was better than Horans but he still got the bullet.1 point losses to the eventual Champions in 2 of his 3 seasons. Only 1 other Kerry manager lasted 3 years without winning Sam Maguire – Eamon Fitzmaurice, but he won it in his 1st season. For Christs sake they were going to get rid of Micko in ’77 after Dublin beat them in consecutive years. He then went on to win 7 of the next 9 All Irelands!
    Technically, Keane wasn’t shafted. But by being made to reapply for the job he was, effectively, put on notice that others were going for it and he wouldn’t win. A diplomatic way of firing the bullet.

  157. Bonus pod is up on Patreon now. In this one, Rob chats with Clare Islander Olof Gill about this weekend’s All-Island football Championship which takes place on Clare Island.

  158. The Dubs will beat the Rossies 8 or 10 plus I would say the rossies will for sure test them but I agree with other comments rossies aren’t as good as some believe. They caught us in a really bad day in the office where we were flat off the ground after league final and also the weather had a huge part to play awful conditions. If the Rossies met us last weekend would have been a totally different outcome .

    I think Davy and the Rossies will get a reality check over the weekend can’t see them beating the Dubs

  159. Horan resigned immediately the two times our championship results regressed.

    His own attitude to failing to maintain standards as Mayo manager was pretty cutthroat. I think we’re possibly lucky he stayed on for last. Given are the difficulties we had last year it would have been a difficult year for any new management team.

  160. That bonus pod about the all-island football tournament is now up as a freebie on all podcast platforms and can be listened to here on the blog too.

  161. Good luck to the Rossies this weekend against the Dubs. Anything that brings on Connacht football and raises standards is a plus….even if it makes life hard for us now and again!

  162. That Roscommon stat Willie Joe, reminds me that, from 1966 (Connacht) and 1968 (Ulster), until 1996 (Connacht) and 1991 (Ulster) no team from either province beat a Leinster or Munster team in the championship. This confirmed a suspicion in the eyes of many (even to this day), that these two provinces are weaker. With some, Leinster’s appalling situation (bar Dublin) has yet to sink in. However those 23 to 30 barren years, were real, and hard to take for Connacht and Ulster people, and I feel, have left some psychological scars.

  163. @Clare

    Dublin should win by about 3 or 4 points I’m thinking but the rossies have been competitive in all Div 1 games this year and were against Galway,Mayo. Are the current Dublin team better than Galway,Mayo? how would they haved fared in Div 1 this year would they have finished 3rd like the rossies did, in leinster thus far they played Laois who couldn’t get out of Div 4 and Kildare lucky to avoid relegation Div 3 and Div 2 Louth who strangely Mickey Harte chose to take Dublin on one on one.

    I think Dublin winning by 8 to 10 points would be Roscommon playing their worst match this year and not sticking to their current system of play more than anything else.

  164. @Mayomagic Dublin are better then Galway yes for sure and maybe a bit ahead of us to and ahead of kerry they are favourites for sam in that they are pushing for one more all Ireland with the likes of cluxton & co they are also in championship mode now but sure the rossies will give them a good test but I can’t see the Rossies winning .

  165. @2hops delighted for the mayo minors so good! And great to get goals as goes to show gpals win the games ! Fair play to them : )

  166. All debatable Clare but what are Dublin better than Galway based on to make you so sure? Dublin was playing in Div 2 for a reason this year and weren’t overly impressive in a number of those games or the recent championship match against Kildare. Mayo beat Dublin in the last league and championship games in Croke Park and Mayo are probably better now than then.

  167. @mayomaguc maybe I just the 6 in a row has me fearing the Dubs when they get going haha the trauma of all those years haha

  168. ‘the Dubs in their own identify fluid home/neutral Croke Park’

    What do you mean @Leantimes ?

  169. Mullin inches away from his first goal in AFL..

    A fans favourite already. Some great possessions so far

    Would warm the heart

  170. Great to see mullin out there after the awful year he had but pity we loose great talents to the aussie rules but no one can blame them it’s high time the gaa starred paying gas players but will it ever happen? Highly doubt it

  171. @RP Murphy,. Croke Park although an inanimate sport’s stadium with no opinions of it’s own at all. Accepting the prefixes powerful people in the GAA attach to it..For all the world , they would have you believe that it was “Neutral” for Dublin when it suits who ? (The Dubs) or a home venue when it suits the Dubs (except it’s not their home venue either) .. Tomorrow for example, in a Leinster Hurling match versus Galway, Croke Park will identity as a (Neutral Venue) immediately afterwards it will identity as a “(Home Venue) for the footballers versus Roscommon. The next game the Dublin footballers will play versus Sligo, (Croke Park will identity as Neutral, versus Sligo) it’s amazing. Dublin County Board don’t even pay for the cutting of the grass in Croke Park, but have because of the Gaels of Ireland acceptance of such an unfair and ridiculous”Status Quo ” ..Of course according to some regulars in Hill 16 and their choice of Match day attire they would have you believe that Hill 16 is (Dublin Only) ..The Dublin County Board is further advantaged by so seldom having to pay the outrageous price’s of Hotel overnights should their team actually travel to a real neutral venue or an away venue in comparison to the vast majority of other counties. In the 23 year’s if this century so far Dublin have only played a total of 5 Championship match’s in the home venue of their opponents. 3 times in the Leinster Championship, 2010 v Longford in Longford, versus Laois this year.I forget the other game. And in the Super Eights Dublin twice have played Tyrone in Omagh.. However on both occasions in Omagh it was conveniently the third game and (Dead Rubber game) of the 3 game round robin series. Some will argue about the need to hold the crowd’s.. but in December 2020 when no Crowd were allowed to attend..Did Dublin offer to or the GAA demand that Dublin actually play in a Neutral Venue like for example versus Cavan in the All Ireland semifinal. No they didn’t, King Charles would bow to a commoner , before Dublin or the GAA powers that be, demand a more level playing field for all. I’m old fashioned in that I have this quaint notion that sports should be fair!

  172. Louth are a very tempting price at 9/4 to beat cork .

    Dublin re croke park debate is farcical , only in Ireland could such a thing take place , a country where unfairness/ cheating /blaggarding /cronyism is seen as a bit of craic or even praised ,

  173. Caught the Geelong game earlier, very solid debut from Oisin, the commentators and Geelong fans both had high praise for him, and its clear he’s already making a huge stir over there – every time he touched the ball there was a serious buzz in the stadium. He’s a freakishly good athlete with an excellent footballing brain on him. Very unlucky not to get a goal and had some brilliant interceptions and passes. This was only his 4th ever Aussie Rules game

    If he keeps this up I can’t see any hope we’ll see him in a Mayo jersey any time soon, and I’m absolutely delighted for him personally – I can’t think of a much better way to spend your early 20s, training every day, living with a few lads his own age and enjoying the life of a professional athlete and all the kudos that comes with that. Please God he stays injury free – he has all the hallmarks of becoming a serious hit down under, and – along with his footballing prowess – his good looks and infectious personality will certainly do him zero harm in attracting endorsement gigs, and in increasing his popularity. All the best to him, lovely to see a success story like it

  174. @Leantimes, very real and detailed description as to how things are re the Gaa / Croke Park.
    The power brokers in the Gaa are Dublin based.
    Some of the main Referees over the past few years actually work in Dublin and / or use their “home County” as their identity and may live in and around Dublin at the same time.

    The Gaa motto is simple, look after the Gaa football powers first and foremost, that is Dublin and Kerry.
    Give hope to the Mayo’s, sure they are hungry for a win, have big support and will attend Croker no matter what, BUT don’t give them a handy All Ireland title, maybe the Referees do actually assist in the outcome of the winners on the day.

    All in all it’s a very much Conservative Organization, little change in the way of thinking and ideas.
    Did ye ever wonder what exactly is the tole of say two / there or four Selectors on a team ?

  175. Cork leading by a goal , listening on lmfm , Cork seem to be in control .

  176. Donegals motion to change Dublins status was badly worded but could this not be revisited with a more defined proposal.the idea that Dublin don’t get a huge advantage from playing every game in croker is farcical.lee keegans black card in the 2016 final was a direct result of the hill baying for blood and Maurice deegans pathetically weak refereeing

  177. The very idea that Dublin are playing at a neutral venue that is Croke Park is beyond farcical. As if they didn’t have enough of an advantage already.
    It would be like Man Utd playing a cup final at a neutral venue like Old Trafford. Madness.

    I always thought that likes of John Small and Darragh Mcauley got away with murder in Croke Park particularly off the ball. It is one thing acting the hard man in front of the hill but i’m sure they wouldn’t have been so brave in somewhere like Omagh or Cork at 5.30pm on Saturday evening.

  178. Louth were trailing by 6 points and have clawed their way back in to lead by a point , about 15 mins to go , all level now as i type.

  179. A draw in cork louth game would be perfect for us..beat louth next week and we top the group regardless of what happens against cork

  180. Cork win it in the end , exciting finish in fairness. Louth will find it tough to get going next week , i think we will manage them handy especially with only a weeks recovery for louth .

  181. We still shouldn’t take louth for granted but we should beat them cork might throw an upset or two in the group !

  182. The game against Louth is more or less a dead rubber now. Provided Kerry beat Louth, a win for us against Cork and we top the group. Winning against Louth, means we would stilk have to win, or draw against Cork to top the group.

  183. High scoring game…Has the blanket been abandoned by Louth and Cork? Would suite us just perfect..,

  184. @KMacLegend wouldn’t be surprised if louth brought the blanket defence back for us sadly .. but as I said we should still beat them if not we’ll.. ha

  185. Was anyone watching the Armagh Westmeath game? Should Westmeath have had a penalty at the end for the cynical foul and black card inside the 21?

  186. Posters wondering about value of Tailtean Cup.
    Last year’s winners, Westmeath, put in a great shift and will feel hard done by.
    Home to Galway next for them. Could be interesting.

  187. Roscommon absolutely threw away chance to park that terrible record last year when losing to Clare. Its hard to know where Dublin are but we will have a better idea tomorrow evening after they play 3rd in Division one. Some interesting results Monaghan drawing with Derry, Armagh scraping past Westmeath, Donegal winning so who knows how many more “interesting” results will be thrown up in next few weeks. Dublin last of provincials to take pitch with Kerry underwhelming and no x factor from Galway and Derry. If the Dubs beat Rossies by 10 pts they cement favourite tag while a close game keeps a fair number of teams in mix for Sam.

  188. Agree Chesneychet, some interesting results but may be driven by different reasons. I think that the gap might begin to widen in future matches although there should be some tasty matches in 2nd round. I actually think that the format is not bad.

    I am really interested to see how the Rossies do, this is a test for Davy Burkes management, he comes across as being confident but can he instill that confidence into the team for a game against the Dubs in CP? From a football perspective I think that the Rossies could give the Dubs a rattle, I would not be convinced yet that the Dubs are clear AI favourites but if the Rossies turn up and still take a good beating then I may have to start to change my mind.

  189. @ontheditch totally agree taltean cup is a great cup and great for the lower ranked teams to encourage them it’s also great for the game lower ranked teams must get fed up with the top 4 or so teams and loose heart who can blame them so taltean cup is a great idea think they should get rid of provicincials though so disheartening especially munster&leinster they are absolutely pointless as proven just look at mayo & roscommon mayo just didn’t want to know about it not saying they didn’t want to win but hunger was not there for mayo but was for the rossies as no matter what Davy says rossies are a much lower ranked team then us the rossies interesting to see how they go against the Dubs today !

  190. @Clare. Seems they take provincials very serious in Ulster. Justifies holding on for a bit. I think seeded draw in other provinces would make for a better final. And also a truer reflection of ability for league format of championship.(Sligo, Louth are hardly no 2s)
    Our defeat to Rossies had much to do with conditions on the day, the narrowness of McHale making it easier to close down skillful pacey players, and injuries to key players Hession in particular who is a master of McHale Park.
    I’m not totally convinced about Dubs, I’d say it’s Farrells swan song but let’s see what they do today. Connacht abú

  191. I think yesterday’s games will be good for management to focus the lads. There are still 2 games to be won. Louth have good forwards and stayed with Cork to the end. Cork countered at pace so neither team will be a push over.
    On the Rossies, I heard Davy Burke being interviewed during the league and really liked his attitude. Okay, his comments after our game were a bit OTT but that was probably emotions.
    Rossies fans are often critical of us in CP so today will show us where they are at. I fancy them in their other two games so all is not lost today so they can have a go.
    I won’t be writing off Dublin. They are still very well looked after, I’m just not sure if they are as strong up front. We will see.
    Main thing I’m getting so far in these games is nothing is a given…
    Delighted for the minors. Seemed very determined and that was a good Galway team. Things will be a bit more calm this year I feel.
    Right, I’m off to do the hoovering so I’ll be let watch some sport…

  192. @ontheditch yes ulster do take them seriously probably the only province that does and conditions did have a big part to play in why we lost to the rossies and the fact that we had the league final week before but we were definetly better off for loosing it with the break last weekend proved that fact that we wre better off with the break. I still think munster & leinster championships are pointless haha

  193. I think Roscommon will give Dublin a real tough game of it, they don’t fear anybody & will not allow Dublin to run through them like Louth did going man on man marking, that move backfired big time, I think the Rossies will use a tough blanket defence & try to catch them on the break, they won’t let Dublin run up a big score & have the game won on 50 minutes.
    There could be tight finish to the game & who knows what could happen, let’s hope the Rossies do themselves proud.

  194. JKEL88 it’s Puke football watching it but obviously works for the rossies they are really frustrating the Dubs Atm

  195. I reckon many of ye are happy with the Rossies at half time.
    Puke football or not it’s all about winning in the end.
    Keep it up Rossies.

  196. @Mayo88 course it’s about winning but its awful to watch can thank Jim mcguinees for that style haha

    Hope the rossies do win the Dubs need a reality check haha

  197. Correct me if I’m wrong but were Dublin not made All Ireland favourites after we bet Kerry. I’ll have some of what whoever decided that is smoking, first time they’ve played a division 1 team in about ten months. And look pretty average

  198. @Willie Joe that’s very true Mickey harte should definetly be on that list haha!

    Surely the Dubs can’t still be favourites after today if they loose?!

  199. Am not watching the match though following updates with interest. I think the Rossies are about three points up just after half time.
    That’s an interesting scenario, isn’t it?
    I know we (Mayo) struggle with the blanket and now it seems the mighty Dubs do too.
    I’m sure Mayo are watching and taking note.
    How fabulous if someone could take one corner of the blanket, give it a good pull and a swish, and capsize it.
    Hope the game opens up and becomes a real contest that Ros can prevail in (though they actually don’t need to do so – they can just try to stay ahead).

  200. Regardless of the result today, I didn’t see Dubs as favourites this year. I don’t think there are favourites.

  201. I spoke to soon dubs coming back into it Atm but I think year for sam is wide open again after seeing the Dubs today!

  202. What a performance by the Rosie’s that will give them some believe. Open up a possibility of Mayo meeting Dublin QF QF though..

  203. Winning the group might not be that big of an advantage after all. Potentially, Derry,or Dublin finish 2nd in their group

  204. @Lahanman mayo could definetly beat the Dubs I’d we do meet them in quarters judging by display fro the Dubs today

  205. The Rossies didn’t believe they could win in the end.
    The Referee let a few thygo the Dubs way in 2nd half,
    The Rossies didn’t get a free when the defender jersey was held by Costello and the gave a close in free to Dublin.
    There seemed to be a foul in realtime for the Dublin goal, was the final pass a throw?
    The Rossies were not given a clear point in the final 6 minutes.

    I now know the All Ireland final make up, provided they don’t meet before then.

  206. That is a very interesting result. Well done Roscommon! I think it’s great for their confidence and development.
    I didn’t see the game as it was on GAAGo.
    I presume Ros used a mass defensive set-up for a lot of the game. They also got ahead early.
    I’m interested to know how they made it work so well in Croke Park with its wider spaces.
    Could Dublin not break it down?
    Did the game open up towards the end at all? If yes, did Ros go toe to toe with Dublin and did they fare well there?

  207. Dubs very relient on old stalwards and some key players picking up injuries. Very unusual to see them lose a two pont lead with three minutes to play. Not sure the heart is in them for a tough tough battle. There’ll be none of my money going on them. They are still the more likely to top the group but they need to go up a gear, quickly

  208. Good draw for the Rossies, they had the winning of the game but a couple of players missed crucial shots & that’s the difference between winning & getting a draw, if they had to win, it would leave them nicely set up for the quater final, but they will be hard to beat now.

  209. See exsuces coming out from the Dubs already haha fair play to the rossies! I won’t be putting money on the Dubs either not sure who will win Sam now but it certainly won’t be the Dubs anyway ! Just goes to show that the leinster & munster championships you just can’t Judge kerry or dublin after they hammer a much lower ranked team then them!

  210. @ swallow swoops, Rossies are a better team than we give them credit for. It’s wide open. Great for second tier counties who are determined to build decent squads. I think Gaelic football will be in a better place for this new format. Rossies and Sligo can qualify for knockouts

  211. I’m old enough to remember people on here saying there was a “top 3” in the country and we weren’t part of it.

  212. Roscommon didn’t really play with a packed defense. They kept possession really well, and had Dublin performed like Roscommon did first half, we’d be saying that they were back to their robotic best. Roscommon had multiple periods where they kept the ball for three or four minutes, and they got scores at the end of those

  213. @Swallow Swoops, I saw the game in full.

    No Hawkeye used today as it was faulty during the previous Hurling game.
    The Referee was changed at halftime due to some injury.
    The Dubs are not a contender this year, the Rossies probably left the win behind them.

  214. So so interesting, all. Thanks for the feedback and information on the game.
    Well done, Rossies!
    Very interesting to hear that it wasn’t a game using a packed defence really..
    They’re a tough, determined and skilfull bunch, these Rossie neighbours.

  215. Well done Roscommon. If they were in the habit of winning in Croker n the summer they’d have won that today you’d think.
    Mayo are in the best shape this year so far from what I’ve seen.
    Long way to go though

  216. It’s strange to see what used to be the strongest bench in the country become probably less than average. After watching Dublin v kildare and roscommon i don’t think they can flick this imaginary switch and step up a gear. I really think they have no improvement in them though I could be made eat ny words later. Roscommon impressed me the way they held possession so well and probably should have won.

  217. Imagine if the rossies won Sam don’t know if that’s worse then Galway winning it haha!

  218. The Rossies did pack their defense in the 1st half but it was well disciplined defending, the 2nd half was more open, the Rossies gifted the Dubs with the goal.
    Rossies missed easy scores in the 2nd half, and made a mistake by not letting their goalkeeper take the final free in the last seconds that would have won the game for them.

  219. Keep ball worked for the Rossies in the first half as Dublin stood off. Second half Dublin pushed up all over the field. Stupid needless turnovers cost Roscommon a famous win. They should have showed more bravery and ran at Dublin after half time. It was only when they were 2 points down in injury time that they pushed forward with intent. Not worried about Dublin now, they are a pale shadow of the past.

  220. Just saw the Dublin goal on news .looked like McCarthy threw the ball up and passed it with the same hand .the fact is that the Dublin and mayo teams of 2013 to 2017 were miles ahead of any of the contenders now .Dublin have shown nothing this year to suggest they are favourites although Paul Flynn insists they are holding back something.they never did that in their 6 in a row years.

  221. @1985 agree with you there ! They never said that during the 6 year period did they ! They won’t be winning sam this year it might go out west but to where in the west is the question ha!

  222. How many times did I say this on the blog
    The Dubs get the most big decisions on the big days in Croker.
    The Dublin goal was a fouled pass.
    Ros defender jersey pulled and held by Costello, no free given than a few seconds later a 20 metre free given to the Dubs for a very soft score.
    Ros had clear point waved wide at around 65 – 70 minutes, no Hawkeye used.

    I don’t much in realtime during games.

    There was no apparent injury to the 1st Referee during the entire 1st half, what brought about the change of Official for the 2nd half?

    There is one clear way to beat the Dubs and it’s not mass defending.

  223. 1985 – in fairness during those years we lost to Galway and Roscommon got a draw against us in Croke Park. We also had several very narrow wins back then.

  224. Mayo88 and The Maroon River, thanks for those detail on today’s game.

  225. I know this is not a Rossie forum but I am so proud how we did today. It’s not a bad result when you come out of Cp disappointed with a draw against them. Also want I want to thank the majority of Mayo supporters who posted positive things about us this week. Up the west

  226. I was talking to a Rossie friend last night. He was very downbeat about the match against Dublin. I told him don’t be surprised if they put the dubs under pressure! If the match was played in the Hyde, I’d nearly bet on them beating the dubs! I haven’t seen the match but I think they could have won it?

  227. Biggest winners today are Galway , Pádraigeen will be rubbing the hands with glee tonight knowing that both the dubs and Kerry are very beatable .

  228. Good on you guys, Joe2. It’s a well deserved step up for Roscommon and it will help the confidence, which is so important.
    Ye have had a lot of talent over the last few years and ye have stuck in, kept going and kept believing.
    That attitude is admirable.
    Davy Burke has brought some extra grit and know-how this year and ye are all in it together.

  229. Joe2, I know some of what I said might sound strange as Ros are high in Division 1 and Dublin were in Division 2 this year. It’s just that this outcome today feels meaningful and feels like moving forward.

  230. Can’t see Galway winning sam this year they had the chance last year and blew it and the league final also actually think the Rossies are looking better then Galway Atm. Also Shane walsh is still really off form and he’s meant to be one their best forwards a lot of games to be played yet but kerry & Dubs way off the pace of being favourites but I bet they still will be by the bookies haha

  231. Hi Joe2,
    Congrats to Ros. I know it means so much to you all. Hope you have many more such days.


  232. I feel Galway are real contenders for Sam. They have all the makings of a serious team who can perform.
    Mayo are somewhere in there too.
    Those Rossies – we better keep an eye on them too!
    The games in Ulster looked good yesterday. Armagh and Monaghan impressed.

  233. @mayo88.regarding the ref it was obvious he was injured. We commented on it a couple of times watching it. As for galway winning the all ireland as i posted b4 they’re definitely hard to beat but it’s painful watching their system. As someone said to me last week i wouldn’t cross the road to watch that shite.. After round 1 of the group i think if teams were being graded 1,2 and 3 would probably go to mayo, roscommon and sligo.

  234. It is what it is @No Doubt, teams are all playing in a certain safe way, but when an All Ireland is won, thats the result at the end of the game is the one that counts, people remember the winner not whether how good or boring the game was.

    Hopefully there will be a new winner this year and maybe two novel pairings in the final, good for the game.

  235. The Rossies are very well coached. They are better than the sum of the their parts given they don’t have many, if any, top players. Donie Smith looked like a junior player. Cox will be disappointed he missed that free at the end, I’d say he gets 5/10 from that distance. Their point before half time where they held onto the ball for 5.5 minutes before cutting Dublin open was stunning. It also summed up how far Dublin have fallen – James McCarthy got skinned. Roscommon will be a tough nut to crack for any team and are easily as good as Derry.

    Dublin look so average based on their Kildare and Ross performances. Mannion anonymous, Kilkenny quiet, McCarthy not the player he was, Fenton looking very human. The two form teams right now are Mayo and Galway.

  236. Imagine of it was a mayo/ Galway final though what an atmosphere that would be! A lot of games yet to be played though fair play to the rossies great for the game and great for connacht

    The Dubs will regret not sticking with the younger guys an encouraging them , giving them proper game time and rebuilding for the future I was shocked when they brought back cluxton those guys were top class players in their prime but they are well passed their prime! Act of desperation on dessies behalf and I’m sure the younger guys he drooped are fuming still who can blame though…

  237. Congrats to Roscommon, I didnt give them any hope. Dublin are 100% finished. Rock, McCarthy and Kilkenny look like the last 3 bucks sitting at the kitchen table morning after a house party – shudda took the lift home at 4am…

    All Ireland winner will be either Mayo or Galway.

  238. Not overly surprised by the Roscommon result and performance. They finished 3rd in Div 1 and just missed out on the final, won in Castlebar and but for a lucky Comer goal might have beaten Galway also. Had they lost today they’d be left to kick themselves as thy gifted 1-3 alone to Dublin 2nd half but did well to claim the draw in the end.

  239. @GBXI harsh to say Roscommon don’t have many if any top players.

    Lack of coaching and poor strength and conditioning has been their biggest issues especially against the top 10 the last number of years. The talent of the likes of Brian Stack,Niall Daly,Murtagh brothers etc has never been in question. One player/forward that didn’t score for them today was McKeon and was probably MOTM. In Carroll (Galway man) they seem to have finally found a good modern day goalkeeper.

  240. We can pick the form teams at the moment and say they should win it out but really until quarter finals on it’s impossible to judge. When the safety net goes and it’s knockout stuff that’s when players’ attitudes change and the winning mentality kicks in. So Dublin look sluggish atm, Kerry maybe likewise but they have pedigree so you can’t either of write them off imo.
    Mayo just need to take care of business,stay injury free and get a bit of luck and see where it takes us.

  241. Just looking at the 2019 team from last championship game and it’s a credit to mayo that with 13 players from that day either retired or not participating yet they are serious contenders. In lots of cases with that turnover of players teams would be in the tailteann Cup.

  242. Just looking at the 2019 team from last championship game and it’s a credit to mayo that with 13 players from that day either retired or not participating yet they are serious contenders. In lots of cases with that turnover of players teams would be in the tailteann Cup for years to come.

  243. @2hops fair point but kerry this time last year were blowing teams out of the water and clear favourites for sam the Dubs when they won 6 in the row where Miles ahead of where they are now so I think you can pick the top teams even now and who might get to semis/final stage …

  244. Don’t get me wrong @Clare …I hope you’re right but much too early to be getting giddy is all I’m saying….and this is not aimed at anyone, just a general point.

  245. @2hops ah totally get you very early days and kerry or dubs could and prob will bounce back at some stage and we shouldn’t be writing them off but just don’t think they are as good as other years tbh !

  246. @MO2023 I just watch Ross and only see C Murtagh and E Smith as stand out players and Smith just doesn’t impose himself enough (though I’d love to have him in Mayo). Maybe Murtagh is a top player. Even Derry have 2 top class players. Anyway, it’s not meant as a slight more that they are really well coached now. Looking forward to seeing them in the quarters in a knockout game and hoping it’s not against Mayo.

  247. As average as they looked today I would find it hard to write off the Dubs.Fair play to Rossies..Felt they had a great chance of getting a result ..Davy Burke has done a serious job with them..

  248. Agree 2hops, all results up until the quarter finals won’t tell us much, unless last round games of some group in this mad set up we have now comes down to wire and games actually matter.
    We hammered Kerry, Roscommon gave us a good doing. Roscommon and Dublin drew. This doesn’t make Roscommon and Dublin better than us.
    I have gone from thinking it’s a 4 horse to 3 horse race (ourselves, Dublin, Galway). Not sure Kerry have the hunger to go again after all they have being through recently and Moran’s retirement has left their Midfield even weaker. They also appear to have lost their defensive system. With Clifford they always have a chance mind.
    Dublins habit of not losing hasn’t really gone away. First game against decent team in top tier, in a long time and despite being well done early second half they don’t lose. Good way to burn dirty diesel out. They are not the team they were but they aren’t gone away either.

  249. @seanburke. 6 points would be right 2 each mayo and Galway and 1 each sligo and roscommon. Connaught unbeaten in the 1 round. Is that getting carried away?

  250. Oh Christ I put the Rossie down as a win in my head for some reason , apologies

  251. No problem Sean. It’s a good haul after the first round. Let’s see of course what happens next. Mayo need to be very focused against Louth. Results this weekend show how the whole championship, hurling and football, is swinging wildly.

  252. Strange how the mind changes from day to day .we went from Roscommon being beaten out the gate to being half beaten out the gate to never going near the gate at is very difficult to tell the true form of any team at this stage but the signs are that is an all Ireland to be won now by any of 4 or 5 teams who can get their act together.Dublin and Kerry don’t look the part .Galway might bore the living daylights out of everyone to win it .could Tyrone pull themselves together.we know that they know how to win them .on the basis of our last performance we look in reasonable shape so could the stars finally align for us

  253. @Gizmobobs, there is no way at this juncture that Dublin can be considered ahead of Kerry. Kerry are not the team of last year but Dublin have really fallen back. Also, Kerry have Clifford. Did you see Fenton’s shot at the end? Rock’s missed free? The handling errors? The reliance on James McCarthy in the middle of the park? At least Mayo stuck Keegan back in the full back line where he wouldn’t be shown up for pace. I actually think Dublin are there for the taking in the quarter final if they draw someone like Armagh, Tyrone, Monaghan. It’s an incredibly open All Ireland, the first since 2010 and before that, probably 1998.

  254. The 2 learnings I took from this weekend is I under estimated Rosscommen and over estimated Dublin. I had Dublin as favorites for the AI but cannot see that happening especially as they now have an injury list also, with potentially 5-6 starters out (or struggling). Galway and Mayo are the form teams and look a small bit ahead of Kerry, Dublin, Roscommon, Derry, Tyrone as things stand. I think Tyrone and Kerry could be a threat and I wouldnt right them off – not to down grade Mayo’s win but I thought Kerry under estimated us maybe and if we met again could possibly set up very differently.

  255. If Mayo dont beat Louth with ease next day, i.e. 6 to 8 points, them we know Kerry took us for granted and we are reading too much into that win in Killarney.

  256. Anyone else get the feeling though there’s more scope for Dublin and Kerry to improve than say Ros who might of hit top gear yesterday . I just get the feeling in hindsight now of course that both Dublin and Kerry will move through the gears and be different animals come knockout

  257. My grandson 5 was at the Dublin game and couldn’t understand how Roscommon passed the ball from one to another and Dublin made no effort to take the ball off them.
    He asked his father if it was a training session or a match.

  258. Kerry are just not going to win back to backs this year not sure who win will in it but its great not knowing instead of always knowing 1 team is just is going to win it like the Dubs 6 in a row actually stopped watching the final in those years haha

  259. @seanburke, that is not going to happen with Dublin. They are in decline. Of course they could play better than yesterday but so can Roscommon. Also, Ross have a system and they are all bought into it. As I said, they are greater than the sum of their parts whereas Dublin could take a beating from an organized and tactically aware Galway or Mayo, or Kerry for that matter. Mayo and Galway have much stronger panels and are, man-for-man, better than Ross, in my opinion.

    Kerry, yes they can improve but I think they have regressed on last year and could now end up playing Galway in a quarter final, for example. Who do you think would win that?

  260. @ Sean Bourke. I agree but in Dublins case, when you have to bring players out of retirement, it’s not a good sign. You’re a shrewd gambling man, I don’t think you’ll go for Kerry or Dublin.
    There’s a big game in Galway, classy all over the field but like every other county, keeping injury free will be the challenge.
    Who are the stand out Louth plyers we should be looking out for?

  261. Both Mayo and Roscommon got their tactics and setup right from the start, and as a result had excellent first halves.

    Dublin and Kerry both got it wrong (and you can argue badly wrong) from the off.

    Flip those starts out and those games could have gone very different.

    Kerry have one of the most successful managers of all time, and I wouldn’t bet against Jack. Dublin are a different story but you have to ask, how would that game have gone had Dublin started by playing keepball for the first 5 minutes?

  262. Again I say to you ‘be careful not to underestimate Dublin or Kerry ‘. How often have we ourselves played poorly in the earlier rounds only to put in massive displays in the final (albeit unsuccessfully against a truly outstanding Dublin).

  263. Is it possible to consciously move through the gears.Kerry in 2009 seemed to be going nowhere when suddenly they clicked and anihalated Dublin.our own startling change of form between draw and replay with Roscommon in 2017 seemed to come out of nowhere.with the structure of the current championship could a team be deliberately holding back .I’m not so sure

  264. If it wasn’t for David Clifford & the kerry goalie that game would have been finished well before half time . Yes Jack is a good manager but I find him kind of childish at times I think they underestimated us greatly and just thought they had to show up. Kerry probably will bounce back a bit but can they win Sam again? No chance this year just can’t see them doing it!

    @GBXI Galway would definetly beat kerry if they met the the quarters

    We shouldn’t underestimate louth though do you think they’ll bring a blanket defence ? Wouldn’t be a bit surprised of they do !

  265. Definetly would not under estimate Kerry but feel Dublin with their injury list I think will struggle and cant see stacks of improvement in them. Tyrone would be my dark horse – lots of talk of trouble in the camp and off form players etc. but i wouldnt take to much heed of any of that. They could be a different animal in a few weeks. Also agree with above I’d like to see a comfortable win next weekend to cement our form line

  266. Great post, FrostT.

    I also agree with diehard above not to underestimate, Kerry or Dublin. Do so at your peril.

    That said, I just don’t feel Dublin are at the heights of before and they are fragile at times. On the latter, it’s up to teams to exploit that, to press that. Can they then rebound? This is where the chance lies against them.

    And it’s important to contain Con.

    I agree with FrostT that if a team gives them a good start, it can be a harder story.

    Kerry are better than the game in Killarney. And they are proud. There’s more to come from them.

    Galway, to me, are dangerous. Their fallibility is in their strength (I sound like Yoda…; not intended) – the blanket defence. Remove that, upturn it, have an effective plan against it and it’s a different game.

    If Mayo can simply play game by game, that’s our best strategy.

  267. Kerry definitely have scope for improvement. I watched our game back at the weekend and it was very noticeable how timid and lacklustre Kerry were around breaks and contests in the middle of the field. Not one belt or big hit by a Kerry man for the whole game. Jack won’t stand for that against Cork at the weekend or for the rest of the championship. Dublin on the other hand are in a bit of trouble. They looked a mile off it yesterday. A couple of years ago a Dublin team 2 points up with 5 to go would have seen the game out without any fuss. Yesterday they squandered possesion, good scoring chances and lost kickouts along with concession of soft storable frees in the last few minutes. Their injury list is growing aswell and with games coming thick and fast they will struggle to get players back at 100%. It’s Galway, Mayo and Kerry with Derry/Armagh/Rossies/Dublin/Tyrone in the chasing pack. It will all depend on quarter final draw.

  268. Can mayo draw the rossies in the quarters ? Wouldn’t fancy that one much they really frusted us in castlebar ha

  269. Clare – Yes Mayo can draw the rossies in the quarters provided only one of Mayo and Roscommon top their group.

  270. Some of ye are forgetting that time moves on, players get older, slower etc, I mean the Dubs here
    I say move on from 2017 and the 2021 final defeats and win the fuckin thing.

    This idea of ” is all on the day ” is rubbish, it’s all in the pre planning for the games and the rest will follow on the day with a bit of luck also

  271. I said it ages ago – Dublin won’t win the All Ireland this year. Galway are the team to beat. They have made themselves very difficult to play against and are controlling games, playing everything on their own terms and at their own tempo. They’re mentally stronger now than they’ve ever been. If they all stay fit, it will be hard to turn them over.

  272. Could we have a repeat of 2001 when three different Connacht teams won the national league, Connacht championship and All Ireland?? – Mayo have already won the league, Galway Connacht championship – however its still hard to see Sligo winning SAM.
    Regarding possibly drawing Ros in quarter final – I think there is proviso in there that repeat championship meeting will be avoided where possible.

  273. Really don’t get the whole Galway thing they beat 14 a man struggling Tyrone team just by 3 points we beat them in league final yet they are still the on to beat? Time will tell if they really are the ones to beat I think Derry could be a surprise

  274. @Clare, they are the team to beat. We were pox lucky to beat them in the league final. They figured out the Rossies much easier then we did and actually beat them in the end. And that Tyrone win was a very good one against a potential banana-skin in tough conditions. They have also added depth to a panel (Cooke, Burke) that competed well in the final last year. Derry have shown nothing in the past two years, especially this season, to suggest they could win the thing – their panel lacks depth and they are highly reliant on Rogers and McGuigan, as well as being wedded to their defensive system.

  275. @GBXI we shall agree to disagree so haha we were deserved winners of the final reape made some excellent saves wouldn’t say we were lucky to win the final we were the better team .

    I think Derry as I said or Armagh will be the teams to beat when they get going the dark horses maybe ha!

  276. @Southmayo Exile, didn’t I mention the very same thing here on the day of the league final.

    Yes Galway are a better outfit this year than last year, but so are Mayo, Roscommon and maybe Derry.

    All to play for this year.

  277. Let’s concentrate on Louth, word here in Navan is that the ref rode them.
    A great game by all accounts.

  278. Can someone explain to me how Dublin are still clear 9/4 favourites for the all-ireland. On what basis are they still ahead of Galway, Kerry and ourselves. They scraped out of division 2 where they struggled in games against Limerick, Cork and Derry. They made hard work of Kildare and struggled again yesterday. Am I missing something or are my middle aged brain and eyes deceiving me.

  279. Yeah think I’m falling into that way of thinking , it’s all about Galway this year , best chance they’ve had in donkeys , seem to have a very rigid system which is very difficult to breakdown. Kerry will give them a lash though if they can find last years form somehow .

  280. Also Galway had longer break then us playing the rossies we played them straight after a 6 day turn around let’s not forget that played a huge part in the outcome of that game Galway just got back from their hols and were flying fit against the rossies no wonder they figured them out quicker then we did!

    Though if Galway don’t it this year you’d imagine that PJ will hang his boots up and move on? Though in fairness to him hes brought Galway football back to life.

  281. Tsu – I see that now.
    So we could draw Ros in the quarter final ok – but if we both get to the semifinal we will avoid each other where possible. Why the GAA haven’t the same rule for the quarter and semi finals is beyond me – another thing to add to the confusion.

  282. And spare a though for poor old Joey Biden this weekend… he’ll be beyond conflicted.

  283. On ourselves it’s still hard to gauge , can’t help feel a lot more positive though than I did at the turn of the year when Mullen and keegan went . I don’t think we are quite good enough yet , just a bit shy of development but you’d have to be positive for the seasons ahead ,24 & 25 we could well be primed .

  284. Kerry’s issues look fixable. Dropping a forward and playing someone at 6, would you’d imagine paper over a lot of cracks, and at least give the likes of Clifford the chance to get winning scores. In O’Beagloch and Murphy they’ve two very obvious candidates.

    They don’t have the time imo to implement this to the highest level and I’m not sure they’ve the personnel to fix their midfield issues. Will be interesting to see how they approach it. I don’t think cork can beat them if they keep their Munster approach, so I’d maybe get the two points on the board and look to change styles in the final game.

    I also think they’ve a lot of scope to improve the work rate of their forwards but don’t have the time to do much more than a kick up arse.

    I definitely wouldn’t make Kerry favorites atm

  285. any news on tickets for the louth game. would love to see TOMMY and CILLIAN starting on sunday , but i have full confidence in our management team and in the players they pick . GOOD LUCK MAYO. 2pts and no injurys will do me fine.

  286. See some saying we lost the rossies game on purpose as much better off now and shouldn’t be awarded for loosing haha we hardly went out to loose it now we were just dead flat off our feet !

    Looking forward to the louth game at least that one is free to air should be a good crowd in castlevar for that one !

  287. With only one provincial winner winning the opening game of the round robin, is this another significant step towards the demise of the provincial chships? Probably better off to lose early and have a few weeks preparing for the groups

    That said I expect Dublin will still get a top seeding as they’ll likely hammer Sligo by more than Ros will. Pity Ros didn’t bate them

    This has been a really strange chship with surely a few more twists to come yet

  288. It’s potentially a different Roscommon this year but on the evidence of previous years you wouldn’t expect them to beat both Sligo and Kildare.

    Where those neutral games take place, is suddenly massively important to the Rossies. If Dublin were to play Sligo outside of Croke park….

  289. GBXI, yes Dublin have fallen way back, but it’s the sad reality that the teams with the money are they teams that will be competing at the end, ourselves, Dublin, Galway, Kerry Despite their regression they will be in they mix at end I feel. They have few injuries to come back in to play. Fenton’s shot was not characteristic, but these games do not matter much when you just have to be in too 3 of 4. They let Roscommon keep ball as well, something they would have done themselves to us many a time.
    You can look at Kerry and say they didn’t defend v us. Didn’t put in hits or protect D like last year.
    I’ve no doubt in knock out stages they both will be doing this, it will come down to if they can do it well enough at that stage.

  290. Fenton’s shot was not characteristic of him, but it was in keeping with the game. Both teams were knackered at that stage, a hot day and both sides had put in big shifts.

    That Dublin didn’t have a fitness advantage over the Rossies is the most worrying thing for them imo. Roscommon even seemed to get more energy from their subs. Dublin of old would have had it in the tank to close out that game comfortably. Even last year they surged back against Kerry

  291. Kerry can make exsuces about the game against us that they didn’t play well etc they had their best players on the pitch maybe they will come back better in knock out stages but they were outclassed for the 2nd time by us .

    I just can’t see it they prob will bounce back but they are not gonna win Sam.
    David Clifford keeps that kerry team ticking and made them what they are today !

    Really think I would fear Derry more then the Dubs or kerry even in knock our stages..

  292. Clare you’ve been right more than wrong this year to date so respect of your opinion is a given . But we are looking at the modern championship a few years now albeit this is a new dawn per structure and I’d add a little caution to anyone thinking both Kerry and Dublin won’t be targeting qf to up the ante , I understand and agree it’s not the same Dublin panel of quality that broke our hearts in recent times but if we listen to gooch last night he made a subtle suggestion along the lines of what my line of thought is . Different management teams will have different ideas about how and when to peak this year , let’s see how it all pans out . We got our victory in Killarney and personally I think it was vital we got that , injury free is as important now to the top 6/8 as anything . Love to see a bit of cillian this weekend .

  293. @sean Burke thanks and fair enough guess we won’t know how teams really go until the knock out stages ! I think it’s great for the game that it’s soo open and there’s certainly been a few twists and turns makes it exciting !

    Yes I think kerry victory was vital to needed that after the
    Rossies game!

    In saying that about kerry really have to give David Clifford respect what a player for them !

    Yes hopefully cillian is back this weekend he really is such a key player !

  294. The big thing to take out of the last two weeks is that no team should be taken for granted. Kerry were expected to beat us, Kildare were raging hot favourites v Sligo, Dublin we’re going to beat Roscommon out the gate, Derry were supposedly much better than Monaghan, Westmeath hadn’t a hope v Armagh etc etc. This new format is interesting and has thrown up good games with surprising results. The fact that it’s not exactly do or die might be a reason for that. Interestingly Galway were the only provincial champions to win and that was against a decent Tyrone team. While it is early in the competition I feel that Galway are in the strongest position. They are winning games without being spectacular, have a very strong defensive structure in place, have a rake of big powerful men in the middle third and have some top forwards who haven’t hit form yet. Anyone writing off Kerry needs to look at the roll of honour and also realise that in previous years they had some shaky moments early on before going on to win All Ireland. I remember Longford and Sligo putting them to the pin of their collar one year before they hit form at the right time. Too many good players to write off. Can’t figure out Dublin but we must remember Roscommon are the first Division 1 team they have met since AI semi last year. Ulster teams are potentially dangerous but none look outstanding ( nor did Tyrone in 2021 but then won the bloody thing) Roscommon have had an excellent year, third in league, knocked us out of Connacht and now drawing with Dubs. Connacht football is going well. As for us we have done extremely well, winning the league, beating Kerry away so maybe we can dare to dream. However based on all the disappointments before I am not daring to dream very much. I still feel we have potential issues at the back and still reckon we will struggle v blanket defence, but having said that there are lots of reasons to be optimistic and we have done really well so far. Louth next, followed by Cork. No arrogance or looking down our noses at them. Just go and beat them and top our group. Let Galway, Dubs and possibly Derry top their groups as well and avoid them for the quarter finals. Still think the most likely final(as long as they don’t meet earlier) is a repeat of last year between Galway and Kerry. Hope I am very very wrong and that it’s us v the dubs and revenge for 13, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20. Think we owe them one alright.

  295. Now I wouldnt bet on it personally but Dubs continue to drift to 5/2f with Kerry at 3/1, Mayo 4/1, Galway 9/2, Derry 11/1, Tyrone 18/1, 20/1 bar.
    Not so long ago Kerry were 7/4f.

    The bookies are taking no chances as most likely winners remains Dubs and Kerry but Kerry lads I know genuinely dont rate their chances but Jack O Connor has proved people wrong in past. The Dubs jury still out as Roscommon by far strongest team they have played this year pity the Rossies didnt get the win but look good for a QF slot. Peaking at right time is of course the aim but can you just flick a switch in such a conjested fixture list. Lot of talk of provincial winners sluggish in first game so we should see a improvement from Kerry, Galway, Derry and the Dubs in next match. Outsiders to watch now are Roscommon and Monaghan and even interesting to see if Donegal have turned a corner.

  296. Seen the difference between Louth and Roscommon in the matches against Dublin, don’t need to be worrying about who is ref for Sunday’s game in MacHale Park

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