Time to concentrate on Kildare

It seems like aeons have passed – in blog years at least – since we played Monaghan. The upcoming match with Kildare seems to be somewhere out in the far distance too, with all the focus over the last 24 hours (aside from the great exploits of our U17 team) on the decision to fix the game for Croke Park at 6pm on Saturday.

I get that this has annoyed many and, for sure, a provincial venue would have suited most supporters better. That said, Croke Park works for those based in and around the capital – in the way that Castlebar doesn’t! – and I’d say it definitely works for James Horan and his team. As it does for Glen Ryan and Kildare as well.

The reality, for many people, is that it suits to go to some games but not to others. We’re all doing other things in our lives and over the course of a summer, football matches don’t always get highest priority.

That’s as true of me as it is for anyone else. I missed four of our Championship games in 2019 – the New York trip clashed with club commitments involving one of the kids, I was at a family wedding the day of the Roscommon match and we were away on holidays when two of the Super 8 games were played – and, you know, the world didn’t stop spinning then.

Regardless of which side you sit on the issue of Saturday’s scheduling, the one thing everyone can agree on is that the venue isn’t going to change at this stage. The match will go ahead at HQ on Saturday evening and in it ourselves and Kildare will battle it out for a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final. With only five days to go till then, it definitely makes sense to switch the focus squarely to the game.

So it’s Kildare we’re up against, a team we played as recently as the end of March when, in Round 7 of the League, we won a high-scoring encounter at our home-from-home in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada. That result earned us a place in the Division One final, which we didn’t really want, while defeat for them relegated them from the top tier, which they most definitely didn’t want.

The Lilies were, in fact, very unlucky to suffer the drop. If you’d have told them in advance that they’d draw with Kerry and beat Dublin, it’s not a fate they’d have expected. But losses to Donegal, Tyrone (an agonising one-point one) and Armagh, combined with Monaghan’s late, late win over Dublin meant that they along with the Dubs went through the trapdoor.

Malachy Clerkin made a very good point on the podcast prior to Kildare’s Leinster final meeting with Dublin, where he said that Glen Ryan and his management team knew that their team simply had to back up the win over Dessie Farrell’s team in Newbridge. Not necessarily by beating them again – though that would be the obvious priority – but definitely by avoiding the shellacking that has become standard practice when Dublin play anyone in Leinster.

But, of course, they failed in abject fashion to do this. Dublin hit them with five goals in the opening half – which should raise hopes in our ability to bag a few majors, notwithstanding our penchant for butchering goal-scoring chances at every single opportunity these days – and chased them off the field on a scoreline of 5-17 to 1-15.

Before then, the Lilies beat Louth by 2-22 to 0-12 in the Leinster quarter-final and they accounted for Westmeath by 1-21 to 2-15 in the semis.

There was, I heard, a bit of nervousness among some Kildare supporters ahead of the Louth match, on the basis that, no more than ourselves, they might struggle against a well-drilled Ulster-style defence deployed by Mickey Harte’s charges. Those fears proved groundless, though, as Kildare blew the Wee County away without too much fuss.

Westmeath bagged a goal right from the throw-in in the semi-final but once Jimmy Hyland responded in kind for Kildare, they led from then to the finish. The Lake County came with a late charge but they came up short by three points at the finish.

Ever since the qualifiers were first instituted, it’s proved very tough for losing provincial finalists to make progress via the back door. After the thumping Kildare suffered last time out, it would be easy to assume that this trend will continue on Saturday, as they’ll surely view us as one of the teams they’d have liked to avoid.

That said, the shortened qualifier campaign this year means that those who lose early in their province don’t have the same chance to build up a head of steam before meeting a provincial finalist. All we’ve got to show for our efforts from this back door run is a wobbly enough performance against Monaghan.

We’re the favourites to do it but tipping us these days can be a hazardous business. They may be down but they’re far from out and, just the same as us, a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final is there to be claimed.

As usual, let’s finish with the usual pre-match poll: will we win this one?

Will we beat Kildare?

  • Yes (78%, 973 Votes)
  • No (22%, 279 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,252

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136 thoughts on “Time to concentrate on Kildare

  1. I think we will beat Kildare if we play consistent football across the 70+ minutes and we can get our forwards scoring from play.

    We won by 8 points in the league and were missing Enda Hession, Paddy Durcan, Eoghan McLaughlin and Cillian who are all likely to start the next day. Diarmuid was just back from injury and came off early.

    The one worry is that the two lads who scored our goals in the league encounter are unlikely to start on Saturday (Jordan and Ryan) and Daniel Flynn did not play much of a part in that game either, i think on his day Daniel Flynn is a top 5 forward in the country and is due a big game.

    Mayo by 3 but it will go right down to the wire.

  2. Great post Willie Joe.

    The Lillies should not be dismissed, but neither should our win over Monaghan. All observers regarded Monaghan as a tough nut to crack, and because pundits got it ‘wrong’ doesn’t mean that their pre-match analysis was wide of the mark. We had an awful lot of negatives going into that game, but after 76 minutes, we had a fair few positives.

    We do seem to have developed, or redeveloped an alarming habit; going to sleep in the third quarter, and Kildare will be targeting that. I think they’ll try the frustration tactics in the second half, maybe even in the first half too. Our play tends to go from slow build up to fast movement, but the fast movement comes undone a lot of the time. We need space for that game, and Croker will give it to us.

    I would as near dammit, start the same team. James Carr didn’t make an impact the last day – next Saturday is the ideal time to rectify that; he’s a very good player. Bryan Walsh was coming back after a long lay off, and I felt he was rusty. Jordan may well be able to play for longer on Saturday, and that will be a bonus.

    As many posters have pointed out, Kildare have a lot of good players, and their under-age structures are now seriously impressive, so the quality is there, and from their point of view, Mayo offer an ideal opportunity to put things on an upward curve.

    I’m positive, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

  3. A bit wary of Kildare despite their recent defeats (rem 2018 dare I say it!). The open spaces in Croke Park is definitely to our advantage – even when defeated in Croke Park, by the most successful GAA team . in history let’s not forget, Mayo put in some mighty performances in contrast to that disaster in Newbridge and their performance in cramped conditions in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick – or in Castlebar too for that matter over the years. So onwards and upwards!

  4. Rory Byrne; Lee Keegan, David McBrien, Brendan Harrison; Oisin Mullin, Aidan O’Shea, Rory Brickenden; Jordan Flynn, Matthew Ruane; Michael Plunkett, Jack Carney, James Carr; Diarmuid O’Connor, Jason Doherty, Ryan O’Donoghue.

    That was our team in the league where we won pulling up and were never in danger. Kildare almost had the same team for the Leinster Final versus us in the league.

    Even accounting for our injuries we will be stronger on Saturday with COC in. I hope Doherty starts (if fit). Add in our Croke Park experience the reality is if we don’t win this one comfortably then we don’t deserve to go any further.

    Mayo by 8 plus.

  5. Jordan played for Crossmolina on Sunday. Maybe ideal preparation for him before Saturday?

  6. Does any of the following really mean anything, probably not but I’ll throw them out there anyway 2-12 of our 2-22 in the league encounter came from players that didn’t start against monaghan.
    Most of our scored came from around or inside the D.
    A lot of theirs were picked off from further out the field.
    It was only the league.
    Kildare outscored dublin in the second half in the leinster final.
    We stumbled past monaghan but to me anyway never looked like losing once we got ahead.
    Both teams re-entering croke park after heavy defeats there.

    Don’t think there’ll be much in it. Think croke park will suit both teams. Looking forward to a cracking game of football.

  7. I think we will have too much for Kildare.

    There were several top class displays from our lads last weekend.
    O’Shea was brilliant as was Lee, Paddy, Eoghan the O’Connor’s were good as was Hession and Mullin.

    The only thing missing last weekend was maybe a bit of continuity or cohesion.

    If Eoghan could develop his finishing a tad bit more, every opposition would be quaking in their boots at the thought of facing him.

    It has to be a Mayo win, and hopefully something a bit special if they gel a bit more this week.

  8. Kevin McLoughlin has been a great servant for Mayo down the years and saved the day on many occasions. Alas he’s been off the pace of late – the sight of him giving the ball away to a Kerry defender when both were unmarked was not the Kevin of old. His game was based on speed and precision.

  9. I am still wary of Kildare, whose players can score and are mobile. I think we relied on ROD and Jason to score well for us in the League.
    If we leave our shooting boots at home, we could run into difficulty.
    That said, if management and players are focussed we should be able to prevail.

  10. I’ll be ran for saying this but I think we will beat them handy , they are so vulnerable to an athletic running side . It’s a match made in heaven for mayo’s style .

  11. We are probably being a bit unfair on our forwards last week. Yes we need more invention and scorers there however Monaghan set up very defensively on a tight pitch so there’s only so much you can do against that. I think people are forgetting that.

    Another thing! People keep saying that AOS is no longer a 70- minute player …remember we were saying he should be brought on for second half of matches. Well, he’s been very good in both championship games thus far and seems capable of lasting the 70 minutes.

    One annoying point about 2018 match…they had lost to Carlow only 3 weeks beforehand and have done nothing else since in the championship.

  12. So going off topic here, but I’d love to see Cork win the next round and draw Dublin in the quarter final. And demand the match be played in Parc Ui Caoimh.

  13. Paul
    Dublin could play Cork in the saturated bogs of Ballycroy and still hammer them.

  14. Anyone having trouble with the bring a friend option for Season Tickets? It will let me redeem the season ticket seats alright, but I can’t see any option to add more tickets like in previous years?

  15. Had a look though the archives and was surprised to find out the win over Kildare in March was Horan’s first against them in 3 attempts (lost 2 league games to them in his first stint)

  16. Kildare are a very good team and have history with us. Daniel Flynn is a serious operator as are Ben McCormack and Jimmy Hyland. They’ll certainly take some beating.

    Having said that I reviewed the Monaghan game and ( as is almost always the case with Mayo)we were much better than I remembered at the time.

    I was particularly impressed with Robbie whose kickouts the last day were superb. Great range of kickouts, with arrows mixed in with nuclear bombs. Also his long range frees are very consistent now.

    I was impressed with Aidan O Shea who had his best game in a long time ( notwithstanding that suicidal back pass at the end )He’s well suited to the role he had the last day – that’s where I’ve said he should be playing – for years. He’ll need to be in the exact same position next day to be a sweeper with the aforementioned Daniel Flynn in mind ( who I believe can not be marked by any single player of ours)

    I was impressed with Carney too who looks like he could be a serious forward threat and / or focal point for the attack. His point was a great example of top drawer attacking forward play. I’m encouraged for our future forward combinations involving R’O’D , Tommy Conroy,James Carr,Carney. Contrary to what has been said many times here there is a slow trickle of serious young forwards coming on for Mayo. There is serious forward coaching going on imo.

    Our running game is alive and well and with Aidan in defence makes it a safer option for Mullin ,Hession,Durcan,Eoghan McL et al to bomb forward. That aspect of our game also has the added benefit of knocking the wind out of the opposition forward line. Note what a bad day at the office McManaus had from his frees. The much vaunted Monaghan full forward line was well contained.

    Many on here point to those twenty minutes at the start of the second half when we did not score. But we attempted 1-3 or 2-2 .. we just lost our accuracy. Eoghan’s goal chance- had it gone in looks like it would’ve opened the floodgates.It’s important also to note that Monaghan were equally woeful / fatigued during that period so they weren’t able to capitalize. Maybe their forwards were chasing our runners?

    One thing everyone can agree on is that our half forward line does not seem to function well. If we were (able to)for example to field a trio of D.O.C,Jordan Flynn,Fionn McDonough maybe that would help but maybe as a former player said , the way Mayo play is not good for traditional half forward play. I honestly have no clue how to address it other than through Robbie finding them for kickouts.

    James Carr has become a great team player with very unselfish play. He assisted with a lot of plays and when he ran at their defence scared the bejasus out of them. He is developing into a great player. We have yet to see the best of him. Watch out!

    Overall I saw a team who are very solid with a properly structured approach that plays to our strengths snd keeps the opposition forwards gasping. We are not world beaters yet but we are good. And imo we could catch fire at any time. The return of Ryan and Jordan makes that an even greater possibility.

    I’m encouraged by this performance tbh but please if anyone is saying “ well we won’t win the All Ireland playing like that “ please stop. You never know with Mayo.

  17. I thought we moved really well against Monaghan, especially in the first half. It felt like we were primed to explode if we had the right runner in the right place. I was thinking if we still had Donie Vaughan he would have been on the end of a few goals. If Jordan was fit enough even for a half he would be a great addition.

    Regarding the venue, cant go myself but it might be a good option for some fans to look at staying in or around Tullamore and use the minor match to our advantage. Shortish spin down the road from Croker Saturday evening, just enough time for a small feed and a few pints before a lesiurely breakfast and a few more points before the 2:30 minor throw in.

  18. Anyone know why season ticket holders have to pay full price for these tickets, considering we used to get a 5 euro discount every other year for all games leading up to the final? This is on top of the increase in price of the season tickets. Ourselves and our other 4 regular match goers are giving this one a miss!

  19. Kildare made hay against us in Carrick when they went long on their own kickouts.
    Could not figure out why they went short against us in the 2nd half . Ryan O D was the difference between between the 2 teams that day .
    Not too confident but we should have enough to beat them.

  20. @Food4thought …’Arrows mixed with Nuclear Bombs’. Great line re Robbie Hennelly, I hope the United Nations don’t call for us to disarm.

  21. @williejoe. They must have used aussie rules goalposts for the westmeath game with that scoreline. Looking forward to a good open game and would expect mayo to come through. Wouldn’t be bothered if the same team starts again but would prefer to see 1 or 2 changes in the forwards

  22. Interesting that Jordan Flynn played for his club on Sunday.That means he must be pretty much ready to go

  23. Fully agree East Cork. There were some signs of improvement in first half certainly, but we were just short that final pass/runner/play. Tentative signs to be encouraged by. I’ll reserve full judgement until 7.30pm Saturday evening though.

  24. Good post Willie Joe, a good synopsis of Kildare to date.

    Id also agree with what Foodforthought has posted above. Aido played very well all game, and it proved their is still a role for him in this team. Looking to Saturday, I feel Hession will come alive for us again, the extra bit of space in croker will suit him bombing forward. Flynn and Hyland are the real dangers, I just hope Horan doesn’t leave Oisin 1 on one with Flynn. He’s a seirious operator and will need some form of sweeper helping out Oisin. My other fear is that they’ll pack their defence after shipping 5 goals to Dublin. I cannot see them set up the same way again, especially against us. On the plus side, Paddy, Robbie, Mullin and Cillian will be even sharper now after Monaghan. The lads will have a nice week, probably 2 training sessions tops, with all focus on recovery.

  25. Would just love to see our forwards throw off the shackles and score more from open play this weekend. Just take the shot on. 2-3 players with a nice few scores from play would be great.

  26. Ben McCormack is Kildare’s best forward and he gave us the most trouble in the league. He will move between 11 and the full forward line too so not easy to decide on a match up. Stephen Coen wouldn’t be suitable anyway. Daniel Flynn is a super athlete but very hit and miss with actual end product (famous last words perhaps).

  27. “Dublin could play Cork in the saturated bogs of Ballycroy and still hammer them“, this comment gave me some laugh!

    No doubt I was thinking the same thing about the scoring – although it wouldn’t quite add up!

    We will have enough to beat Kildare but I don’t see it being any kind of 6-8 point margin as suggested. We concede too many soft scores and generally keep opposition in games until the end.

    I’d like to see more of the forward play Jim McGuinness talked about from our first half again this weekend.

  28. I think we should be able to handle Kildare if we don’t suffer any major losses before the game (not a given in 2022!). It would be great to have ROD back as he links the play together very well and gives us an element of pace that we might be missing otherwise.

    I see that a few posters have referenced the Newbridge or Nowhere game in terms of a potential shock, but honestly IMO they were different circumstances. Yes, we also had an injury crisis at that time too, but the big thing was us missing our first choice midfield pairing at the time, even if Diarmuid put in a stormer on the day. Throw in the “Newbridge or Nowhere” campaign, expertly orchestrated by the Kildare setup (forgetting that they happily cede home advantage every year in the Leinster SFC), and the conditions were ripe for an ambush back then.

    I’m sure Kildare will be hurt after the Leinster final thrashing by the Dubs and will rally, but it’s very difficult to fix a porous defence like that in a matter of weeks. If we can keep Jimmy Hyland and Daniel Flynn relatively quiet, then I would fancy us to do it.

    We do need to show a little bit more smarts in terms of game management, though- Aido’s overcooked back pass and Robbie’s short kickout in the final moments of the Monaghan game were crazy, given the circumstances. Boot the ball into the heavens or find a man out the wings when three points up, deep in injury time.

    Shame that the GAA couldn’t manage to bundle the minor and senior games together, for the benefit of both sets of supporters.

  29. Really good post, Food4thought. I like it and think you’re right. (Hurray! And please God, it’ll move along nicely).

  30. Is this a game where we could see stephen coen start on the bench and padraig o`hora come into the starting team ?

    Neither Stephen or Padraig started the league game v Kildare although Padraig was introduced early when Brendan went off injured.

  31. The right forwards need to be on the pitch for them to throw off the shackles that
    is the problem.

  32. My major concern would be scores. Kildare score heavily even in defeat and, with the exception of the league game against Kildare ( a day where ROD flourished), our scoring rate is pretty anemic.

  33. Oisín Mullin appears to be free of injury now. It would be great if we could start him at chb and make his runs from there. Diarmuid has to go to chf and I think Hession would strengthen that line also. Boland as first sub in forward line. AOS and Ruane are a good midfield pairing. I wouldnt think jordan Flynn could be back to full fitness. How did he play at weekend?

  34. Foodfotyhought and others, I too have noted Aido’s contributions, against Galway, and Monaghan. He, and Cillian did most of the spadework in the lead up to the goal. Very hot too on Saturday; it will have cooled off by six this Saturday, so I think he will thrive.

  35. Just on that point, Catcol, I remember Aidan worked his socks off in Newbridge against Kildare in 2018 (in major heat). He was absolutely Trojan that day.

  36. I’d be more concerned about Ben mccormack at 11 than Dan flynn, flynn can be spectacular I’m moments but is inconsistent and erratic. Mccormack on the other hand consistently scores heavily.
    Keegan easily put manners on Hyland in the league

  37. Am I the only one who actually thought carney at ff showed some promise on Saturday, in that 1st half I thought he showed well, kicked a good score and laid off good ball when it was kicked in, but for some reason we abandoned that approach totally in 2nd half completely. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again

  38. Fergal Boland who was not introduced on Saturday scored 9 points for his club on Sunday. Just saying

  39. Supermac , I agree. Carney is potentially a very good focal point of the attack. Really good footballer. Took a great point.

  40. @ Grainne Uaile. There you go. Incredible he doesnt get game time for Mayo. Monaghan game was a grest opportunity in second half

  41. Yes,Carney named at ff and actually played there which was a surprise for me.He did very well in the first half and was making good intelligent runs.He was also pushed to the ground which was a blatant penalty but that penalty shout didn’t get as much airtime as others.
    AOS was immense the last day and we wouldn’t have won without him.In the open spaces of Croke Park I’d like to see him come on at 45/50 mins but we don’t have that luxury at the moment as Flynn is not ready to start yet imo.
    It’s a big IF but IF we can beat Kildare and avoid injuries we’ll have a full deck to play with (minus Harry,Tommy and Plunkett) for the QF.
    Things might just be about to get interesting.

  42. McCormack is dangerous. Flynn , Hyland & Kirwan also. They will score heavily if they are let. We need to start well & put it to bed early. Dublin ruthlessly despatched them….they smelt blood & went for it early.
    We should have too much for them, but with us you just never know

  43. Carney did well at ff and is improving, gaining confidence. Surely Boland is worth a few mins on Saturday, based on his eye for a score?

  44. Ah jees @Grainne Uaile, that’s all I needed to hear! Beggars belief that he doesn’t start every game for Mayo.

  45. It will be a good game of football anyway which is something to look forward to. Kildare have good forwards with pace. Their defence is dodgy. We should play a sweeper as otherwise we could get opened up especially if Stephen Coen starts. Apart from the legal foot block he was anonymous against Monaghan. If he does start and he didn’t in the League he could play sweeper. They will surely play a sweeper if they learned anything from the Dublin match. Hopefully as Enda McGinley thinks the Monaghan game will bring us on a lot.
    The match should be at a provincial venue and give the minors of both counties the chance to play before a big crowd. But of course the most important thing to the GAA is not players and supporters but money.

  46. Time to concentrate on Kildare. Back in 2018, during the Newbridge or Nowhere fiasco, Kildare GAA rightly backed themselves and their management team and their fans by refusing to move their game because Croke Park top brass decided to hit their cash cow (us) for a few more euro. They came out with all sorts of excuses and downright lies (fear of violence on the streets of Newbridge) to get their way. Kildare stood firm and the game was played in Kildare. I can understand the top brass hitting their cash cow (us) again this year, while not condoning it. I can’t, however, understand our own county board. The comments from our chairman today were nothing short of disgraceful. It was tone deaf and in very poor form.
    I’m going to miss my first Mayo game in an awful long time. There have been some I’ve missed out of necessity but this one I’m giving a miss in protest. I’m leaving my money in Mayo this weekend, where I’ll contribute to the local economy.

    I know I’m off topic for this article Willie Joe, and for that I really and truly am very sorry. I’m just incredibly sick of people being called whingers or moaners over this decision. People are genuinely making choices now between travelling to different parts of the county now, let alone the country, due to the cost of travel. I realise that doesn’t apply to everyone but it applies to a lot.
    Again, apologies for the rant and I wish our lads (senior and minor) the very best of luck for the weekend. I’ll be shouting at a TV but shouting nonetheless. Up Mayo.

  47. Completely agree Tommy+Joe. €30 to get into Croker, €25 for the qualifiers outside Croker. On top of the other expenses of the day. I just wonder what size crowd do they expect on Saturday? 40k in total? Why aren’t our county board pushing for a double header with minors and have a great occasion for the minors of both teams? I agree his comments today were disrespectful, it’s all about getting the maximum amount from their favourite supporters.

  48. IF we win, and quarter final to be played on either Saturday 25 June 2022 – Sunday 26 June 2022, with the provinces winners last out May 31st can imigine at least one or two unexpected result going to qualifiers winners. Not saying that will be us, but would say those most of thoes games could be competive anyway.

  49. @tommy+joe.i think the cashcow could be nearly dried up this weekend because of protest and inconvenience /prices.
    They would have sold out a provincial venue for a kildare v mayo minor and senior and in doing so probably take in more money. I’m not whinging or moaning just would like to see a bit of respect shown to the fans. Apologies also Willie Joe for continuing with this.

  50. Is Fergal Boland the new Richie Feeney? Gets better everytime he doesn’t play. A fabulous score taker but just for balance I would say there is a question mark about his defensive tracking (see Kerry goal in Tralee) and his ability to get the ball out of contact once he goes into contact.

  51. @ viper. I have to disagree with you regarding the value of supporters to the team winning. I have been told by three different mayo players how important loud vocal support is from the terraces and the stands. We supporters who are travelling on Saturday really need to be very loud in chanting and cheering on the team to make up for supporters who cannot travel on Saturday. I CANNOT understand the mindset of supporters who are not going in protest because the game is on in Croke park. If ye had lived during the barren years of the 1970’s where we did not get to Croke park between 1969 -1981 i think ye would have a different outlook on supporting MAYO. Lets stop this rubbish and go to Croke park and support the MAYO football team. I am very confident MAYO will beat KILDARE on Saturday .COME ON MAYO.

  52. @Digits.

    We have more than one player who solo in to contact and end up in trouble. It would be a big improvement to the team, to coach the players who hold on to the ball too long and if they could get rid of it before the contact.

    As regards Fergal and tracking. Kerry scored 3 -19 against us in the league final. There must have been a lot of lads not tracking that day.

  53. I doubt if theyre putting uz in Croke Park for the financial aspect. Id say they’d get bigger crowds and more money at provincial venues. On the matter of money I cant understand why GAA have ditched replays. Imagine the crowd they would get for a replay between Limerick and Clare and all the extra money. Crushing in all the fixtures so that the inter county season is over by July is not a good idea in my opinion. . They say the split season is to benefit clubs but most clubs have been on the go for months. League games and challenge games and loads of training. On the Kildare game, it is a very valid point that they score heavily even in defeat. They have really good forwards who will enjoy Croke Park. You would expect after conceding 5 to Dublin they will have worked on their defending. Remember Tyrone conceded 6 in the league to kerry last year but conceded none to Kerry or ourselves in championship.. Anyway it should be a good game and I expect if Mayo and Kildars playersand management had any say in the fixtures, they would have opted for Croker.

  54. I think we will win handy enough on Saturday. Loads of squad players got club game time on Sunday so looks like injury list is getting shorter. I hope ROD is named as sub this weekend and then 2 weeks to get sorted for the quarter final.

    Not going to bother going to it Its not so much the venue – more the time of the game.

    Just reading the season ticket email re opt out and its just a matter of not buying for the game. It seemed to read that this can be done for any game. Even though I plan to go to the quarter final I am curious if season ticket rules have changed there also. Old way was you could opt out of one game but if I understand now you can opt out of all games. Dont really agree with it if thats the case. But not surprised!

  55. Looking forward, You can only opt out of one Championship game. Any more than that and you Dont qualify for All Ireland ticket

  56. Fair play to Seamus Tuohy….Co wring the cost for everyone traveling up to Croke Park Saturday. What a shambles of an interview…again!!!!

  57. @jimbo, I think it’s fair to say that Mayo fans have outnumbered the opposition in all the finals they’ve played in the last decade, didn’t we even manage to sneak a few boys in to Croker in 2020, did it make a difference, no.

    Kerry fans would always have been looked at as not travelling in big numbers, mainly because it’s far, they have won over 20 All-Irelands since 1951, we haven’t won any.

    With Mayo, the fans go quiet when the team isn’t playing well so it’s not the fans who kick start the team, it’s the team who kick start the fans, if it were the other way around I would agree with you, but it’s not.

    You say you cannot understand the mindset of supporters who aren’t going because the game is on in Croke Park and you say this after reading the countless posts on the subject where the reasons have been clearly outlined.

    I would have thought it was pretty clear at this stage and this debate was done and dusted by now, but basically many have decided not to go because of the costs, distance and throw in time, after all it’s a qualifier game against Kildare, so it is not a protest because the game is in Croke Park.

    I’d like to go to Manhattan every weekend but it’s not practical and would cost too much, you get my drift.

    As I outlined yesterday, those suggesting that fans who do not go are somehow any less of a supporter is a red rag to a bull to the thousands of supporters who have spent millions and millions in the last decade and without them then you would be still back in the “barren years of the 1970’s”.

    Family first, going to Dublin to see Mayo play Kildare in a qualifier, second.

    I’m glad you are confident Mayo will beat Kildare, even though not as many will go to the game as hoped, it copper fastens my point really, the amount of Mayo fans wont make a difference to the result.

    Enjoy the game.

  58. @Digits, I appreciate the attempt at balance but that’s a weak argument! There is definitely no issue with his tracking, works as hard as anyone else. Might not be the most powerful in the tackle but his competition is Loftus, Orme, and Walsh. Loftus I’d argue is the weakest of the 3 in the tackle. Boland nearly every time he has played has done well (he was our form forward before the Covid break) which is basically the polar opposite of Walsh. He also stands out a mile for his club, unlike the other two he competes with for a place.

    Despite all of Horan’s achievements, he has a habit of making strange decisions over the years and the refusal to play Boland over lesser options is up there.

  59. At the 2012 AIF it looked to me that Donegal significantly out numbered us. But every final since has been majority Mayo.

  60. I think the greatest danger on Saturday is ourselves. We can’t go into the match complacent. I hate been the favorites. There is no pressure on Kildare and will have a good go at us. We need to take them seriously and apply ourselves and remain focused. I think we will win but it wont be a walk in the park. Mayo by eight if we take it seriously.

  61. If we were blessed with scoring half forwards I could barely newsstand Fergal Boland not getting game time but we are not.Again he scored 3 points v Kerry in the rain and I don’t think he was on for the full 70…9 points for him in a club game given our half forwards are not ripping up trees tells me he deserves a start.It not as though he didn’t score when he was playing….and I know people will say he played shit in Omagh but if David Clifford was playing for us that night we woulda kept him scoreless

  62. I think Mayo can and will win at the weekend, but I don’t see us winning it by 8 points.

  63. Digits
    Richie Feeney was a great servant and I don’t ever remember him doing much wrong.
    Maybe there is room for a forward who just wants to score and not track back…. we certainly seem to have room for forwards who track back and don’t score.
    I am not saying you can have 6 like that but maybe we never have prolific forwards because we don’t allow them to just score and nothing else

  64. Donegal outnumbered us 2 to 1 in 2012,Dublin outnumbered us significantly in the 2016 replay and to a lesser extent in the drawn game,that’s half the finals we’ve played in the last decade (not including Covid final)
    The poster doesn’t let facts get in the way of an agenda and I’m beginning to doubt goes to games at all so I’m mot sure why I’m wasting my time but hey ho.

  65. Paddy and Lee both have 2 attempts at scores
    Last weekend. Eoin must have had 4.
    The entire half forward line had 1 attempt (an Orme wide)
    Why not play two more defenders in the half
    Forward line if they are not going to
    Shoot or Score anyway?
    At least we would concede less

  66. Donegal didn’t outnumber Mayo 2 to 1 in 2012, might have looked that way as they were the ones waving the flags and boy did they bring some flags, colour and banter , doesn’t matter if Mayo had 10 times the Donegal crowd, Jim McGuinness was well prepared and was never going to be beaten by Mayo.

    Hard to believe same manager still chasing it 10 years later.

  67. MAYBE there is something wrong with me but it is inbuilt in me to support the Mayo team through thick and thin and to give loud vocal support to the team especially in knockout championship games. If some people are not going on Saturday that is fine but will ye stop posting that ye are not going in protest because the game is fixed for Croke park. It will be an advantage to the MAYO team in the quarter -final if they beat Kildare on Saturday to have played this qualifier game in Croke park.

  68. Any suggestions who you’d put in instead of James Horan, Viper? For me I don’t see any suitable candidates who are available.

    In his current tenure he’s after bringing the team to two consecutive finals (and one league final) yet you’re implying there’s someone far better.

    We’ve been over this debate so many times and I’m not looking to reignite it, but last year we created the chances to win, those scoring chances fell to our best players, so what more could a different manager have done? If you attend Club matches you’ll know that the best players in Mayo are in that squad. James can’t kick the ball over the bar for them.

    So kudos to James for working his ass off 10 years later to still chase that dream. Little thanks he gets for it.

  69. Tipperary’s Derek O’Mahoney confirmed as the referee for Saturday’s game – what is his form?. Personally I thought
    Barry Cassidy did a good refereeing job against Monaghan – refs come in for lots of undeserved criticism.

  70. Ah Jesus,…thought morale on the blog would improve with the win at the weekend and a “could be worse ‘ draw against Kildare….

  71. btw – well said Liberal role in the tie regarding James H – we were delighted when he returned in 2019!

  72. The damning stat .. out of 6 forwards.. I think 2 points from play. Where is Darren coen. Boland. Both scoring forwards. Even Mark moran. Orme and Walsh won’t put the shivers up anyone. What’s the point in having carr and carney in there if we are not going to kick in to them. Carney whelen on the Sunday game is right.. no real scoring forwards. I know it’s the first game since a 6 week lay off but the problems are obvious. Kildares forwards can score and yes defensively against Dublin were torn apart by direct attacks. But we don’t have a costello or con o callaghan. Not in the absence of Tommy and Ryan.

  73. The “protest” wont be as significant as the internet would lead you to believe . i dont believe it makes you a lesser supporter if you decide not to go for whatever reason though . Id hazzard a guess 98% of mayo supporters are of the same mindset and just want the best for the cause and we all feel it the same way in the end bar the agenda brigade whom think they are personally bigger than Mayo GAA itself . the green n red will fly regardless .

  74. @Liberal role in the tie, little thanks ? Are you kidding me.

    We cant analyze a game like that and say if we scored this or that we’d have won, Tyrone missed chances as well as have other teams that won All-Irelands but the difference is they won, if you are two points down and you miss a penalty deep into injury time, only then can you say with any degree of certainty that had it been scored you would have won.

    There is not one poster on here that wouldn’t want James Horan to win an All-Ireland, not one.

    You don’t need a new dog if your old dog can learn new tricks.

    Failure should be a lesson learned, but is it ?

    I’d expect Andy Moran to be Mayo manager in 2025 and start all over again.


  75. Agree with you there Viper on all counts. Ridiculous there wasn’t a clear out in September.

  76. In fairness to jh. Players like Ryan and Tommy don’t grow on trees add plunkett to that after a v good league. Dublin without con and costello got relegated. No manager can afford to lose top top players

  77. Richie Feeney was a good solid player for Mayo, he had some great days, I was actually a big fan of his. That was not the point I was making. Those of a certain vintage here on the blog will remember how he was repeatedly brought up, for several years as a player who should be playing but wasn’t. The purpose of such arguments, whether they are right or not, is less about the player or tactics or strategy and more about having a go at the manager.

    There were a couple of others as well and now it seems that Fergal Boland is the next one to be latched onto. I think Fergal is a very good player, a brilliant striker of the ball, always good for getting a couple of scores. He’s got a few important ones over the years in the league. But he has been knocking around the senior team for five or more years now and hasn’t nailed down a starting place. Are people suggesting the reason for that is managerial bias? And the argument is that he doesn’t play more because what, James Horan wants us to score less? In the last five years, leaving out the Sligos and New Yorks of this world, he has scored something like seven points in the championship total.

    I’m no great supporter of James Horan – I believe I once commented that if we were ever to win an All-Ireland when he was manager, it would almost be by accident. But for all our sanity, there has to be some perspective. There are plenty of people here who never have a good word to say about him, or anything for that matter – it’s becoming a depressing read. Some people point to the Alan Freeman dropping / substituting as if there was something irrational about it. This is one of those things where, unless they know something the rest of us don’t, what people are really doing is just showing their bias against the manager. The attitude that unless the cup comes home, Horan or any manager deserves zero or minus credit is all too commonplace. The idea as well that there are all these profilic forwards out there in Mayo if only the managers would let them play is not rooted in the real world.

    Someone has to provide some balance somewhere. Let me ask the question – if you score 2 points, but don’t track your man several times which results in the other team scoring four points, was it worth it? Net result minus two points? Is that better than someone who scores no points but makes sure the other team don’t get any scores off him either? Net result, even? I would hazard there are a fair few here who would still pick the player who scores the points than one who doesn’t.

    Would I pick Fergal Boland over Bryan Walsh? Probably. But at least I can see why someone else wouldn’t. Every player has their positives and their flaws, what they bring to the team as a whole and what they don’t. And because every manager puts their team out to score more than the opposition in a certain way, some players are better suited to their game plan than others. People all have a different vision, but that shouldn’t prevent people pulling together rather than pulling apart.

    But I think all involved deserve better debate than having things boiled down to X player is good, he will score more, Y manager is bad, I deserve an All-Ireland and now I’m not going to get it.

    Also, Orme is certainly off form and Conor Loftus is going to find it difficult to track players who are faster than him (see league final). And while I think there is too much taking the ball into contact unnecessarily, it seems to be a major part of Horan’s gameplan for better or worse, as is tracking and hard tackling, which Boland isn’t naturally suited for.

  78. Puckout If Dublin had beaten Mayo in the semi final would you have also called for a clear out. Genuine question or was it just our poor display in the final that merited the clear out.

  79. That’s a good balanced post @Digits. If you watch back the game at the weekend Bryan Walsh and Diarmuid O’Connor were playing a very defensive role. Basically auxiliary midfielders. There was one stage in the first half where Walsh intercepted a Monaghan pass in our half back line, offloaded to Hession and started a counter attack. Considering our defenders are so attack minded, you need other players to cover the defense when they attack. I’m sure Horan will point to us only conceding 12 points and say that worked well.

    Many will disagree with Horan’s tactics of course, but it’s not a simple case of playing Boland/Darren Coen instead of Walsh and suddenly we start playing better.

  80. @Jimbo, very well said. I have another way of looking at it aswell. Its quite possible we could lose to Kildare, which could mean its the last time we see Lee, Aido or K.McL in our beloved green and red. I want to be there to give them absolute hero’s a standing ovation just incase. They deserve that if one or all of them decide to call it off this year.

    I live in Northampton, and travel as much as I can to see our boys play, Eastmidlands to Knock is a God send for me. Countless other Mayo men and women in the UK do the same. Im not trying to guilt anybody, im just lucky to be given the time from herself at weekends, to follow my County.

    If people don’t want to go for whatever reason, thats fine. If people can afford to go on Saturday, just go. People were pining for Croke Park during lockdown, and now we get a summers evening in June, with the prize of making the last 8 and you’d swear the game was fixed for 3am in Southern Yemen!!!!.

  81. Not kidding Viper, I’m dead serious. I’m glad you’d like to see James win an All ireland with them, so until Andy’s in place in 2025 it would be great if you could get behind the current set-up and drop the negative tone and your disbelief that James is still there. At least he’s trying, and may I say making a damn good stab at it.

  82. Good points wideball,

    I’m sorry digits, but I don’t agree,
    There always seems to be a player supporters constantly
    Think should play or hard done by.
    Richie was decent , but there was better at the time for sure.
    Boland, is ok but he has had many chances including championship games and I don’t think he is at that level.
    We’re limited options wise at the moment.

  83. Whatever hurt people felt after last years All Ireland Final, it needs to be filed away now. The players have moved on and I’d venture they were hurt a lot more than anyone on here. Its time for some cop on. A lot of cop on. Apart from exposing your own frailties ,this sh*t is boring , tedious and repetitious to the point of nauseating. It’s smearing this fantastic blog. If the players have moved on then please keep whatever hurt you feel to yourself because honestly it’s unlikely to be due to Mayo Football, the players or management. Your problems might actually be bigger and closer to home than that and I wish you well having them resolved. By yourself.

  84. To win just once: yes I probably would. The problem I have is that after his first stint I felt Horan didn’t have the in game management skills to win an all Ireland. September certainly confirmed that. So do you think if we were to play Kerry in the final this year Horan will pull a master stroke and outfox Kerry? 2012, 13 & 21 were lost on the line, end of story.

  85. Saw Darren Coen playing for Hollymount-Carramore on Sunday. He kicked a few frees and mabye two from play – but also kicked 4-5 either wide or into the goalies hand – the kind you cannot afford to miss at the top level.
    Like a lot of the players we are calling for to be played – the less game time he gets the better he becames in our eyes.

  86. Think we’ll need a citizens assembly after this season to assess where we have now moved to and what is the heartfelt views of a broad spectrum of the gaa family (and not just a couple of journos,m and pundits). Seriously the views of many here re the fixture mess should be heard when the dust settles because we are now moving at pace at last to bring about change, some of which took far too long to arrive and some of which is very very questionable. Tailteann cup at long long last but can it be improved on next season. A club and county divide but at what cost. All Ireland now 7/8 weeks earlier but than 3 years ago – where are the positives and negatives? Well 2 big flaws alone from last Sunday 1)for certain sure a replayed Munster championship would surely have netted €1.3m plus if allowed down in Thurles next Sunday and forget the extra time soccer mimic crap – is it really necessary to cull such mighty replays out of our dna? And 2) Leitrim knocked out of the prospect of what they so long yearned for, a semi I’m croker, on poxy penalties, a ridiculous scenario in our gealic games?
    Irish people don’t really do protests, we just move silently away and if we allow ourselves to keep moving silently away from one of the greatest bonds we have as a country, our sheer pride and joy in an amateur sport, then out Gaelic games will loose so much at country level anyway in a very short few years.

  87. @Lineball 2.0..
    Please don’t be giving the CCCC any ideas about playing the game in Southern Yemen, although with flights there and hotel cost’s probably work out much cheaper than a hotel alone in Dublin.. Anyhow isn’t a war going on in Yemen? that means it cannot really be ‘Neutral’.. Croke Park is ‘Neutral’.. not alone it’s Neutral it’s ‘Carbon Neutral’ as well, and every other type of Neutral…Now Hill 16 is ‘Dublin Only’ according to some who wear the T-shirts on display there, (a minority, but a minority that Croke Park or the GAA have never tried to do anything about, imagine they read ‘White Only’ ) . But Hill 16 is Neutral as well. Anyhow Neutral Hill 16 is closed for the weekend.. And another reason it can’t be played in Yemen,.I don’t think you can eat any Ham in Yemen, it’s forbidden.. And the good people of Kildare like to give us poor starved creatures from Mayo, some delicious Brady Family Ham Sandwiches and we provide the Mayo. Ger Loughnane the one time Clare Hurling was prepared to play a replayed All Ireland hurling semifinal in one very exotic place, he said ‘If it’s midnight in Madagascar, Clare would be there’.. but Yemen is out of the question!

  88. Looking at the first Leitrim penalty. Dit it cross the line when it came off the post??

  89. South mayo exile that’s s valid point. We don’t know what form some of these players we want to see are in. One thing for sure we need men that are going to strike for the target more than just becoming link players

  90. @Digits I remember the Feeney debates well but I didn’t have a strong opinion on him. Felt he was an excellent club player but Mayo had prime Alan Dillon and Kev Mc on the wings at the time, it was less of bug bear of mine back then. Our problem then was lack of scores from the inside line. It’s different now because bar Diarmuid, our half forward line is so weak, meaning I can’t understand why you’d turn down such a natural scorer as Boland. I mean the great and good of analysts agree Mayo are excellent, if not the best in Ireland 1 to 9, but we haven’t won an Ireland recently because of an over reliance on scores from 1 to 9.

    Obviously I don’t think Horan has a conscious bias against Boland (or Freeman before) but I do think he might be overly wedded to his style of play, which is to maximise the running ability of our 1 to 9. And I like that I don’t have inside knowledge because I judge Horan only on the results/performances in games – which is all that matters. His Freeman substitution was irrational and the non-selection of Boland is too. Like by all means start Walsh at 10, but play Diarmuid 11, and Boland 12. Let the first two spend all their time covering back and watch the damage Boland would cause.

    Also, it’s too simplistic to say Boland doesn’t track back enough and Mayo lose out overall despite his scores. I mean I could just flip that and say Mayo lose out because Walsh covers back all the time but provides no threat at the other end.

  91. Also, before I get thrown into a category of posters who just say that whomever isn’t playing should have played and would have made the difference, I’m absolutely not doing that! My only issue of players not playing is with Boland. I wouldn’t have D Coen near the squad. Way too erratic with shooting and not fast enough in an already slow forward line. I had hoped Towey would be knocking at the door by now but doesn’t seem to be happening for him for whatever reason.

  92. – The 2021 AIF sowed the seeds for the divisiveness both on here and in general with regards to Mayo GAA
    – We have so many splinter groups now…pro Horan, anti Horan, pro County board, anti County board, Mayo based supporters versus Mayo supporters outside of the county/country…pro Croke Park as Venue, anti Croke Park as venue..pro GAA in general, anti GAA in general, pro/anti McHale park pitch and on and on
    – When will it all end and how will it all end ??
    – For now we have a very winnable match against Kildare in Sat to focus on (I am on the side of the argument that this match should be in Tullamore.)
    – Can we park everything else and support the team whichever way you can until such time as we are out of the 2022 championship whenever that will be…

  93. @Liberal role in the tie, no I never said it’s hard to believe he’s still there I said it’s hard to believe he’s still chasing it 10 years later, in other words it’s hard to believe he hasn’t won one yet with all the attempts he’s had at it.

    I believe James Horan can be his own worst enemy at times and I have no doubt that if he fails to win the All-Ireland he will in time regret some of his own decisions.

    We saw the carry on last September, some aspects were like it was our first rodeo.

    That’s what’s maddening, because a better chance to win an All-Ireland may not come along for a very long time.

    Maybe the pressure for him in finals is just too much and that’s why I firmly believe that outside voices are needed in the preparation for finals, provided they are listened to and considered of course.

  94. whats the story with Mark Moran , played against Galway in League and looked like the answer to all Mayos problems, and then never seen again.

  95. @Liberal role in the tie, Just to finish on that subject, it doesn’t mean that the next manager won’t feel the same pressure in finals either, at the moment it just happens to be James Horan but in a few years it could be Andy Moran losing finals so it’s nothing personal against James.

    When you think about it all the Mayo managers who were Mayo men have been accused of making poor calls in finals.

    When Mayo last won the All-Ireland they had no manager at all !

    Maybe it’s an outside manager that’s needed, no emotional baggage.

  96. @ Olive Kerrigan, I will tell you when and how it will end.
    When Mayo finally win Sam.

  97. Agreed, Olive. Let’s get behind the team. A house divided cannot stand and all that.

  98. @ Olive,

    Don’t forget the pro Southern Yemen and Anti Southern Yemen Brigades.

    I’ll tell yea, they wouldn’t drag Southern Yemen to Limerick for a semi final.

    Would they feck.

  99. Perhaps, Viper, but that’s one of my core points, that it’s the cumulative pressure that really impedes us in finals. And as you say, regardless of what manager is there the outcome has been the same. How to overcome that is the question. I’ve always believed we’ve had the players, and indeed the managers but I accept your point that pressure can get to the manager (including Horan) as well as the players on final day and this can contribute to the eventual outcome.

    It’s a fair point to suggest an outside manager with no baggage could work for Mayo. Player buy-in then becomes key, but that’s then down to the players. Buy into it, or, off you go. It would take some individual to commit fully to such a management project and to succeed. Time will tell.

    When it comes to Mayo Gaa, an unorthodox solution may be the way to go. It would be fitting!!

  100. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boland starts on Saturday, Kildare backs are fairly passive so game would suit him.

    Great to see Aidan O’Shea back to form, as someone posted earlier when Kildare with long on the kickouts in the league they looked dangerous. We will need O’Shea to be at his best as I’d say they will go long more on Saturday. I’d keep him
    and Ruane at midfield and if Flynn is fit enough to start have him at CHF.

  101. How did the other county players fare with their clubs over the weekend? Jordan Flynn in paticular.
    Let us all get behind our Mayo team and management going forward, we are all striving for the same objective but the weight of these objectives falls on only a few.

    Up MAYO

  102. As everyone else, I am hoping for a good performance and a win on Saturday, but, with the best will in the world, I can only see us making a semi-final, at best this year, especially, with our injury problems. There are still areas we need to address next year. Full-back still remains in need of strengthening-apart from that, we are probably okay up to midfield, with Jordan stepping up and, hopefully, no further retirements, Lee especially. With Tommy back, and Cillian, Ryan, James and Jack, we will have 5 decent forwards, but we need more scoring forwards, with the ability to hurt defences, on their own, so I would hope to see us use the League to try out various options. It is obvious the the half-forward line is our biggest problem area, with only the again in form Diarmuid a nailed on starter. Lots of people are putting forward their own preferred solutions, Boland, Walsh, Loftus, McDonagh etc, but, in fairness, all have been tried, and none of them have really grabbed their opportunity – McDonagh is the biggest disappointment for me-maybe he will come good, if he is given another chance and Mark Moran was hailed as our next big thing-what is the story with him now? For the present, I would seriously consider Enda Hession there, as he is a good footballer, with bags of pace, alla Keith Higgins. Hopefully, we will get a good few off the U20’s next year, Callinan, Irwin, McHugh and, maybe, more and no retirements.

  103. I see the poor Kerry boys are whinging in the media that they arent been tested enough Tommy Walsh today in the examiner and it could cost them the All Ireland, but they still voted against championship structure reform at the end of last year ,Jack O’Connor is whinging too that they have to wait 4 weeks while qualifier teams have an ideal 2 weeks and thats an advantage against the winning teams. He must have forgot Mayo had to wait 4 weeks for the All Ireland last year while Tyrone had only to wait 2 ,didn’t hear him complaining then, did Dublin get tested much in Leinster when they won 6 in a row, dont think so yet it will affect the mighty Kingdom with there 37 All Irelands. Really hard listen to Kerry whinging in the media constantly and the Irish Examiner, they have got numerous chances to beat Dublin since 2009 and have failed everytime but never seem to get the same slack as us, cause there the media darlings with there top class forwards and rich history.

  104. A bit off track here but after listening to the latest Patreon Podcast it struck me as strange that we have a seemingly endless supply of top drawer pundits like Billy Joe, Nigel Reape, Stephen Drake etc etc and yet RTE manage to fill their studios with mostly tired, boring, out-of-touch has beens. Keep it up lads.

  105. Does anyone know if there’s a special train being put on for the match.

  106. Would be interesting to know where the team want to play on Saturday. I know it is not ideal for the supporters but we had the same debate going on before the Connacht Final last year. I would think the team were delighted that was in Croke Park and will be equally happy it is in Croke Park on Saturday. It is their 2nd home so hopefully they go out and show yet again they are a Croke Park team and are then set up nicely for their QF in Croke Park.

  107. Thanks, Joe – the pod is certainly hitting a chord alright. We’ve a simple aim of making the best content available using a variety of knowledgeable contributors and we’re lucky to have so many we can call on in this respect.

  108. Fair enough Puckout but personally I find it a bit tiresome hearing about all the All Irelands we lost on the line. Seemingly John Maughan lost it on the line in 1997 and Stephen Rochford lost it on the line in 2016 as well. While I am aware that managers have a big influence games are won and lost by players. J H got huge credit when we beat Dublin last year but that game was won by some great player performances in last 15 minutes and extra time. Jim Gavin was a great manager but Dublin usually managed to beat Mayo because of the outstanding depth of their aquad. Mick o Dwyer was possibly the greatest but look at the Kerry players at his disposal. If Mayo were to meet Kerry in AI final this year would JH pull a master stroke you ask. No matter what strokes he would pull it wouldn’t matter because at this moment we dont have players like Clifford, O Shea etc who kick scores for fun. We have good honest players and some top notch players as well but without top class forwards we won’t get over the line regardless of who the manager is. Tommy C and Ryan offer us huge hope but Tommy gone for season and not sure of story with Ryan. Cillian has been outstanding but only recovering now. The other forwards play a big role in game plan but score infrequently so we are relying on our defenders and even goalie to keep scoreboard ticking over.

  109. to win just once, Rochford didnt lose it on the line. In fact only for him we wouldnt have got as close as we did. Coming up against one of the best teams of all time, and still only losing by a point is what lost us for it.
    Donie Vaughans daftness could be pointed at as well but there was still plenty of time for a few more twists at that stage anyway not to be solely blaming him.
    JH is guilty of not reacting to the oposition or having a tactical plan. Its been his achilles heel for years unfortunatley

  110. Good luck on Saturday and I hope Mayo win the game, Kildare are a good side and their management team will have been badly hurt by their naivety in the way they set up against the dubs. I think Mayo will have to be very careful not to turn the ball over as Kildare will look to get quick ball into the forward line and with mayo’s running game ye tend to have too many players committed to attack. If Kildare have managed to get their heads in the right place they will be very dangerous as they have a few lethal forwards that can take hold of a game like this. I said earlier I hope ye win but I’m not very convinced ye will, this could be a very tight game and with your injury list ye may struggle but I hope I am wrong.
    Safe journey to all and good luck

  111. John West, i messaged Irish Rail on twitter Monday evening. In fairness, they responded quickly. They said they’d review it as the week goes by. That doesn’t answer your question, but id be hopeful there would be a special. Especially with 3 of the counties involved, on the route.

  112. To Win Just Once is right on the forwards. Cillian out last year was always going to trouble us and unfortunately his loss was immense in the final. A game I’m convinced we’d have won with him on the pitch. Another hard luck tale…

    We don’t have enough ‘proper’ forwards to allow us lose one of them and still maintain as much threat to opposition. Tommy being out is a massive loss, even if he had his patchy days and has room to improve. We simply haven’t shown that we have enough firepower up front to win an All Ireland when Tommy, Ryan or Cillian are missing. Walsh, Orme haven’t produced the goods yet. McDonagh is always injured. Carr has class but is inconsistent. Moran injured and his cameo in the league in Tuam is so long ago its irrelevant. Doherty is strong but so many injuries of late can he really be expected to be at his best ? Diarmuid at 11 is a huge threat if played right. I’d even be confident that at 14 he could do huge damage, but that has never been tried it seems. There are others…boland, mchale, coen…. no one getting consistent game time and/or showing enough when they do get a chance.

  113. the biggest probem we have is scoring from play , plenty of forwards have been tried all hard workers but none of then have scored a few points per game from open play.. Plenty of very good defenders , so far next day bring O Hora back in defence and try one of the halfback as a half forward. Maybe durcan or Hessin or even McLaughlin. if we cant score from play we will never win the big games.

  114. Although its only wednesday, looking at the seats available for both season tickets and normal online purchases, it will be a seriously low attendance at the weekend. It wont feel like championship knockout football for the players or the spectators, whether looking at the TV or in attendance. Pity because a double header in Tullamore / Roscommon would be great for both minor teams and both sets of fans!

  115. I cant rever recall a Mayo half-forward line being a scoring threat – last Sunday’s trio lived up to that. Would like to see Boland & McHale at 10 &12. Carney at 11 and Darren Coen at 14.
    Good luck to all.

  116. The last time we played against a non blanket defense or at least a sweeper was against kildare,we scored 2-18 from play.

    If kildare play man on man we will have plenty of pace and firepower,if they decide late in the day to adopt a blanket which they don’t usually play I’d expect us to find a way around it in Croke park and grind out a win that way.I would be a bit worried with the scoring power of the kildare forwards but we should manage the majority of possession so hopefully they’ll be living on scraps.
    I agree with Mayonaze that you can’t take 2 of the 3 of Cillian, Tommy and Ryan out of the equation and expect us to win Sam.Hopefully we can get over the line against kildare though and have Ryan back from QF stage onwards.
    Things are looking up,we’re beginning to build a small bit of momentum and the injury crisis is beginning to right itself,win the next day and the whole thing opens up.

  117. After listening to Donie Vaughan on the podcast he leaves us in no doubt as to where the players would prefer to play if given the choice and that’s Croke Park. The pace it adds to a team being a major plus in his opinion…..funny the fastest pace ever recorded on Boyler’s gps was when he was running on to the pitch there to replace Donie,such was his enthusiasm for the job at hand.
    On players coming back JH did say that players not involved so far are now back in the mix…the fact that Mark Moran played club at the weekend ,he could be one to figure on Saturday

  118. 2 hops that’s what I would have thought so lets get behind the lads on Saturday and hopefully they will do the business yet again in Croker

  119. What is the feeling on ROD , is the general consensus that he won’t make match day panel for sat ?

  120. From reading the Kildare GAA forum, some of them feel they have a real good chance of beating us on Saturday. One guy saying we are a pale shadow of former Mayo teams and we have no scoring forwards, despite scoring 2-20 against them in the league. Reading it really got me in the mood for Saturday. We owe them one after 2018!!

  121. A drastic change in tactics required and try to play forward s that might actually score. Or we are going nowhere. Did we kick one ball into carney in the first half. No point in having a full forward line if we don’t engage it

  122. We kicked at least 3 balls into Carney in the 1st half,he kicked a great score from one,caught another cleanly and was fouled for what should have been a penalty,he was lively and making runs all day.I was down the Albany end so had a great view of all this.I couldn’t be so sure the 2nd half,my excuse being I was far away from the action at the other end.

    @craggy boglands,whats your excuse for not having a notion what happened at either end?

  123. Loads of different comments on forwards.
    My tuppenceworth is simple; have at least 1 forward loitering round the square, order the others players to shoot from within the 40 when they have a chance at all. Consequences …I. it goes over, 2. it goes wide 3. we win a free 4. they win it and attempt to clear it. Remember we MUST have at least 1 forward loitering round the square who will take a defender (or 2 ) to mind. No more of this crack of playing it back out again.
    When we are there attacking in their space…let us keep it there.

  124. On the road again – I don’t think we owe Kildare one but we do owe it to ourselves to right the wrongs of last Sept in croker and Saturday offers us the opportunity to make a start on that.

  125. I think we do owe them one. Although it wasn’t their fault, we were made scapegoats in 2018, caught in the middle of something that had nothing to do with us really, it was an ambush

  126. Fw . No need to be so smart. We got very little ball in to the front line. We spent most time playing around the forty from what I seen on sky. Problem was the TV was spooling and I missed some of the action. I’m not in the country otherwise I would have been there.

  127. Irish Rail saying it “not possible” to add extra trains on Saturday evening. So if everything Mayo supporter expect to drive to Dublin?

    Could be the smallest Mayo crowd in Croke Park for over a decade. Tullamore double header with the minors was the more suitable choice.

  128. @On the road again: Yeah, I saw those comments too. Although there are probably as many there saying that they’ll get hammered. Maybe their support base is as pessimistic as ours?

    I think if we are tuned in we can win this with something to spare; if not, it will become another dreadful, turgid battle.

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