Tribesmen test up next for us

Image: @MayoGAA

It’s definitely time to close the book on last Saturday night’s defeat to Kerry and look ahead instead to our next match in this year’s League campaign.

In Round 3 this coming Sunday we face newly-promoted Galway at Pearse Stadium, where throw-in is 2pm and where the LGFA match between the same two counties acts as the curtain-raiser at 12pm. In the lads’ match the ref is Anthony Nolan from Wicklow whom we encountered most recently in the All-Ireland quarter-final replay against Roscommon last year.

We’ve been seeing a bit of Galway of late too. Championship last summer, an FBD clash for the first time in a good while as well last month but we haven’t met in the League since the neighbours were last in the top tier. That was back in 2011, James Horan’s first year as manager, and we crushed them by 2-14 to 0-12 in Tuam that February on a day when senior debutant Jason Doherty banged in two goals.

Galway got relegated that year and were slumming it in Division Two until last spring when a determined push saw them at last gain promotion back to the top tier. They finished top of the Division Two table in 2017 on eleven points, having won five, drawn one and lost one of the seven matches they played.

They started out with a draw at Pearse Stadium against Cork and then a week later had six points to spare over Fermanagh at Brewster Park. They beat neighbours Clare by eight points in the next round, at Salthill, but after that they suffered their only loss, going under by a point to Meath in Navan.

They were back on form in Round 5, though, banging five goals past Derry as they waltzed to a nine-point win over the Oakleafers at Tuam. An eight-point win over Down in Newry followed and then a one-point victory over Kildare at Pearse Stadium confirmed their table-topping finish and promotion back to Division One.

I saw them in action at Croke Park in April where they faced Kildare in the Division Two final, which was the undercard to the Dublin/Kerry Division One final that day. That curtain-raiser was a contest devoid of any real excitement and it only came to life in the closing minutes. Galway’s victory in it, by 0-18 to 0-16, was, though, significant as it marked their first win at Croke Park since Nebuchadnezzar was a nipper.

I didn’t have long to wait to long to view Galway up close again last year, as we came head-to-head with them at Pearse Stadium in the Connacht semi-final in June. Keith Higgins tickled Comer’s rocks and got a red card for his trouble, they pretty much collapsed in a heap in the final quarter but we squandered a hatful of chances to get the scores we needed to win the game, instead slumping to what was from our perspective a hugely dispiriting one-point loss.

But Galway failed to build on this unexpected win and instead, at the same venue four weeks later, were thumped by Roscommon in the Connacht final. That defeat saw them paired with Donegal in Round 4 of the qualifiers where, to their credit, Kevin Walsh’s team righted themselves smartly and cut the Hillsmen to bits, knocking four goals past them at Markievicz Park and winning by fifteen points on the same day we had that heart-stopping extra-time win over Cork in Limerick.

That win booked them a place, for the second year running, in the All-Ireland Series. On what was an historic day for the West at Croke Park – with Galway, Roscommon and ourselves in All-Ireland quarter-final action on the same day – the Tribesmen, however, flopped once more. Kerry barely had to stir themselves in anger at all that afternoon as they ambled to a 1-18 to 0-13 win.

I have to say that performance stirred within me a small bit of disdain for the neighbours. The only rational explanation I could come to about how they had got the better of us – for the second year running in Connacht – was because the bloody fools had targeted our June encounter as the one in which to peak for the year. How else could one explain their subsequent no-show in the Connacht final and their complete collapse against Kerry?

That may have been completely wrong – and it most likely was, as it failed to factor in their demolition of Donegal – but why Galway, a team sprinkled with so much natural talent, could simply fail to perform at all when the going got tough last summer remains a bit of a mystery.


All the more so when they came out swinging once again against us in the FBD League last month. Loads of handbags, plenty of snarling confrontations, lads being wrestled to the ground, all manner of pulling and dragging like a bunch of rabid Kerry lads (joke! joke!) and all to prove a point in a pre-season kick-about. Slightly odd, you’d have to think.

That said, Galway seem to have their heads screwed on back in Division One of the League. They began this year’s League campaign in the best possible fashion, beating Tyrone in an ill-tempered match (when is a League match involving the Red Hands anything else?) at Tuam by four points at the end of January and then they followed this up with a one-point win over Donegal in Letterkenny last weekend.

Two wins over Ulster opposition isn’t to be sniffed at for anyone at this time of year, still less for a team adapting to life back in the top tier after a too-long absence.  In footballing terms, Galway are starting to build a fairly decent case to support the proposition that they’re back.

And now, of course, they’d like nothing better than to ram this point home further by beating us next Sunday. A win for them would all but guarantee top tier survival after having played only three rounds of matches while giving us mounting worries regarding the same topic.

But the League is never really wholly about the League at all. Sunday’s clash comes at a time when both of us are thinking ever more about our pivotal Connacht quarter-final clash at Castlebar in May, a match neither of us will want to come out the wrong side of.

The bookies view Sunday’s match, to all intents and purposes, as a toss-up  – Paddy Power prices us at 10/11 to prevail in it. But what say you? Will we get what is now an overdue win over the Tribesmen in this one? Let’s finish with a vote on that very topic.

How will we go against Galway?

  • Win (47%, 182 Votes)
  • Lose (39%, 151 Votes)
  • Draw (15%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 391

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147 thoughts on “Tribesmen test up next for us

  1. That book should have been closed a lot earlier in my opinion. A lot of whingeing over Kerry tactics which we should have employed and a lot of whingeing over Mayos performance. We have often started a lot worse. Remember Cork a few years ago! We need to stop playing the victim role.
    I believe that Galway will be strong the next day and there should be a huge crowd. As someone from the border area it is important for us that we beat Galway on Sunday. It will be a long February and April if we dont!

  2. If we don’t put Brian Reape on Sean Andy then we’re not really paying attention.
    Ger McDonagh needs game time. Club footballer of the year with no gap that I see in terms of size, strength, fitness or football.

  3. I was really disgusted at their performance against Kerry in the Quarter final last year. Shame on Walsh and his team. It felt like they let the West down that day. Its something we cannot say about the Rossies. They came in their thousands and brought colour and a sense of occasion to the quarter final and subsequent replay. The county that lit up the summer for sure and got us started on a long summer run. Personally hope the Rossies return to Croke Park again this year.

  4. What to do about Comer though? He’s a wrecking ball, and a lynch-pin player for Galway. What’s more concerning for Mayo is that he’s also in form. Who do you put on him? Man marking him is important of Mayo continue with not playing a traditional full back.

    This is not a game to be losing for a couple of reasons, 2 points from 3 games and facing the Dubs in the next round is not a desirable position to be in. Winning is a habit – this is particularly true in relation to local Derbies.

    Honestly, this looks too close to call. I’ll plump for a Draw, and I’d be pleasantly surprised to see 30 men on the pitch come final whistle.

  5. If the same midfield partnership starts Sunday we can kiss the 2 pts goodbye.
    Also Rochford has to broaden the panel and if he doesn’t try the likes of Ger McDonagh during the league he won’t use him during the summer.
    Just give new guys a chance!

  6. In my view Ger McDonagh is the man for Comer. Ger has twice been visibly much stronger than Cillian and Cillian is fairly strong.
    He’s taller and longer limbed than Kevin Keane and coming off of serious form.

  7. Good man Wille Joe, excellent summing up, facts figures and details, u just jogged my memory in the most enjoyable way. Ur an encyclopedia of knowledge, and a big thank you for that, and all the minute details, had forgotten a lot of it. Yeah we move on to Sunday, a 1point win will do nicely, anyone know if it’s been streamed live? Thanks.

  8. I wouldn’t get too worried about the result. This is a game of cards where we are missing a few aces and we don’t want them to see our hand come the game in May anyway. Keep the focus on bedding in the new lads and if we get a win and a performance that’s a bonus. If they beat us on Sunday they’ll be smelling themselves and we’ll have plenty of motivation from the hurt of defeat. This Mayo team is far too experienced and cute to let defeats in the league to likes of Galway demoralise them come the championship.

  9. There has been no sign of Kevin Keane in the match day squads for either of the league games so far. Has he picked up another injury or is his absence due to him working back to full fitness after the cruciate injury?

  10. Kevin Keane is a prime example of the staleness of the Mayo squad – before his serious injury he hadn’t started a championship match in Croke Park since the 2012 final. Yet here we are 5 championships later wondering why he isn’t back in the match day squad. The only other recognised full back used in all that time is Ger Cafferkey who hasn’t started in Croker since 2015, again a serious injury. Both good honest players who have given their all, but at what point does Rochford think he might just try someone else….

  11. Great news that Cian Hanley is coming home he will be a serious addition. It’s not a rumor I seen it on his Instagram today

  12. No it’s not check his Instagram he’s coming home and I for one am delighted I only hope he can convince Pearce to come with him

  13. Cian Hanley would be a great addition alright. I presume there would be no issues with registration/eligibility?.

  14. There is more than comer to worry about. Galway have a few very good footballers. I’m looking forward to see if Diarmuid can put in another good display. He looked against kerry that his form was coming back. We’ll need him back to his best this year.
    I’d like to.see us getting the ball forward quicker. If our passing and shooting improves over.the last days display I’ll he happy enough.

  15. Agree about Diarmaid Revellino. He made one great run towards the end, with Kerry backs trailing and crossed into the goalmouth, where, well where nobody had the wit to track the run and anticipate the cross. A certain goal was on, and this time I can’t blame Kerry (note that Gamechanger10!).

    More of that needed on Sunday.

  16. Mayo Vikikng, Yes, i think. On TG4 live or you can have it
    STREAMED for 10euro. Check TG4 Gaa Sports.

  17. Was great to see Evan out and about in Ballina. Hopefilly wont be too long before he is back on playing field.The game on Sunday will be a huge test for us .Both teams will want to lay down a marker coming into the Championship. If we can get a perforamce out of lads I’ll be happy enough with that.

  18. Would hold off on the celebrations concerning Cian Hanley- recent history has shown the AFL returnees aren’t always the better for the experience (remember Tommy Walsh?).

  19. No one is celebrating we are just welcoming him home and wishing him well but in my opinion he will be a serious addition to the Mayo panel if he chooses to play Gaelic Football

  20. And if nothing else I’d rather be reading messages about a returning all ireland Minor winner than Spectres essays on the Kerry game

  21. Hanley would be a welcome addition if he was able to play again. Why not? This weekend we need to see some lads like loftus starting, the result does matter as Dublin will be hard beaten with their year round fitness.
    On Evan Regan, best of luck to him and hope he’s back in time for Mays big game.

  22. Yeah, of course we’d all welcome him back if he did return on a permanent basis. Can you link the comment from his Instagram account btw? Had a look but didn’t see anything, last I read he got special dispensation in November for another year on an international rookie contract with the Lions.

  23. Was Hanley on the 2013 minor winning side, incidentally? Thought he was captain the year after.

  24. Returning to the game, we definitely need to front up against the Galwegians next Sunday. We’ve been horsed out of it in the last couple of encounters with them, this _can’t_ be allowed to happen again.

    Would be happy to see Ger McDonagh in at number 3 in this sense.

  25. It Means Nothing To Me – Cian was injured in the 2013 Semi final and was ruled out for the final, collarbone I think.

  26. It’s a tough match for Mayo right now, Galway are in great form and will want to enhance their recent record against us… 6 point’s for Galway from 3 match’s and they will be looking to a possible league final…. 4 point’s for Mayo and we will be resting easier as regard’s possible relagation, and Dublin in our sight’s… As Tuamstar said on a different thread, Comer will play Full Forward but go roaming… A few name’s throw out there to potentially mark Comer.. Ger McDonagh and Kevin Keane.. Both would have the physicality to challenge Damien Comer… But what about another player, Paddy Durcan,.. He too would have the nessary physicality, is like Comer in great form, and if he dispossessed Comer out the field.. He has the ‘Turbo’ that his ex county and club team mate, Tom Cuniffe would be jealous of… It’s a tough one…. , I will travel to Salthill, like the trip to Monaghan, more in hope than confidence… Mind you, I was very confident leaving the car, as I listened to the Radio and only minute’s left in Paris last Saturday evening of two things… One was that Ireland would lose the match in Paris, and that Mayo would win in McHale Park… I won’t be changing my name to ‘Notradamus’ any time soon.. That’s the joy of sport!

  27. Backdoorsam I can’t find anything on his insta.

    This is an unfounded rumour that I believe to be false and against the site rules.

  28. Cian targeted deliberately by Monaghan in that QF and got a broken collarbone.

    He would be a very welcome addition IMO, notwithstanding Tommy Walsh fizzling out somewhat in 2015 for Kerry.

  29. At some stage we have to stop worrying about holding on to div 1 status and start focusing on the panel of 26 it takes to win an all Ireland. We’ve had our fair share of luck in our passages to all Ireland finals in the past two years but the best sixteen players in the country will not get us over winning line… let’s see Adam Gallagher and company get their turn…..
    Cian Hanley great addition…will need plenty of action but come championship time he’ll be as good as the best…is he a free taker?

  30. Galway got a very poor return from their own kickouts & we should target this. A win will take the pressure off us.

  31. @Sean Burke, I don’t know. It was mentioned on here he was a sub.
    I don’t personally see how he is not making that team.
    He is the best goalscorer in Mayo club football.
    7 goals in championship. Beat Westport with his two goals in league, 2 goals v Ardnaree, it’s rare that he doesn’t goal. He plays a series of games and he will guarantee you goals at a phenomenal rate.

  32. Lads we dont honestly believe we will see Cian linjng out in the green and red this year ?

  33. Look it Brian Reape was involved with Moy Davitts in October and November during there long Intermediate campaign and probably didn’t train or play with DCU in there League then so Niall Moyna didnt favour him for the Sigerson.
    But Reape was in my opinion definetely better than 3 or 4 of the forwards that started for DCU yesterday.
    Wouldn’t be too concerned about it hes one of our best forwards backs it up in that he was our best under 21 player v Galway last year roasted Sean Andy the Galway full back that there raving about and he was the top scorer in the intermediate championship in Mayo last year.Deserves his chance the next day.

  34. That link isn’t working properly anyway it will probably be a story that will break in the next few days in the meantime let’s concentrate on beating Galway. Apologies Willie Joe if I broke any house rules posting that link.

  35. The other thing is that Sigerson tends to be blankety. I’m personally not a fan of Sigerson.
    Brian isn’t suited to a role of tracking back into defence. He’s a pure inside line player. Could be another angle on it.

  36. Mid west radio sport twitter have posted that they understand Cian Hanley is to return home this month. This makes it a decent possibility.

  37. Mayomaningalway,
    Anything is possible, though this fella has some injury issues over in Oz so he may be done with sports altogether. Best of luck to him whatever way it pans out.

  38. Diarmuid o Connor was interviewed recently and asked which current player would he like to transfer into Mayo? His answer… Cian Hanley from Brisbane

  39. He was I believe injury free last year and played in their reserve league. Seen a bit of him playing and he was moving well.

  40. Looks like Hanley is coming home at the end of th month. Sad that it didn’t work out for the lad but would be delighted to see him back in our colours.

  41. The last few times we have played Galway we have got off to very bad starts and had to play catch up after that, so you’d like to see us get off to better start this time.

  42. Yeah it would be nice to win the throw in, and try and engineer a free or a score to settle the nerves, keep the faith, HopeSpringsEternal, We might just play out our skin, and shoot the lights out, we certainly owe them1

  43. Am available to collect Cian H at airport if needed!! great he is back and wish him well no matter what he does. As usual it was the posters here that had the news first!! Looking forward to Sundays game. The obsession continues!!

  44. Re Puckout. I wouldn’t leave all the blame on the Kerry defeat on the midfield pairing. JG broke a lot of ball and there was no Keegan or Boyle type of player to collect breaking ball. . If you say we can piss goodby if we select the same midfield pairing, the same can be said for backs who conceded 1-14 from play and forwards who only scored 1-3 from play. Also our kick outs the last were very poor. Some of them way up in the air, and more a way to short for the intended target. You say Ger McDonagh will do a marking job on Comer, l don’t think he has the qualities to be a good fullback. What happened to Cuniff? Mc Donagh is around as long as Keane and I would prefer Keane to do marking job on Comer.. We need a team running on all cylinders , and a team who are all training toggeather. We sure as hell will win this match, provided we don’t have a bollix of a referee and officials like we witnessed in Castlebar.

  45. Yeah The mayo viking, Galway seem to be a bit of a confidence team, you notice in the games that they go behind in early, they usually get well beaten.

    In saying that, they looked sharp in their first few games and should have an edge on us fitnesswise, so we’ll see how it goes!

  46. @True Grit. Ger McDonagh just won Mayo Senior club player of the year playing full back and has held Cillian scoreless from play in their last two championship meetings.
    He stands 6’2″ and is around 14 stone, isn’t slow and is a decent footballer skillwise. I’m really struggling to see what qualities he lacks to be a full back.

  47. @True Grit: Tom Cunniffe went to New York a few years back, having delayed his career progression by several years due to his football career in Ireland. He’s still not even 32, mind.

  48. Re JP. Just because he won a senior medal with Castlebar and kept Cillian scoreless , he did very little else after that. Even in The FBD games . I may yet be proved wrong. Supporters were complaining about Ger Cafferky against Kerry, When you centre half back is destroyed as was against Kerry and you had 2 players like Sean O Shea and Clifford coming at you what would McDonagh do? Let me know and I will be confident of playing him then.

  49. My team for Sunday
    1.David Clarke
    2.Brendan Harrison
    3.Ger McDonagh
    4.Eoin O’Donoghue
    5.Colm Boyle
    6.Patrick Durcan
    7.Sharoize Akram/ Shane Nally
    I feel Ger McDonagh is the only man for the job to man mark Damien Comer, Ger Caff is far too nice and looked well of the pace on David Clifford Saturday nite.Paddy Duran would be the man to mark Walsh to match his blistering pace.Sharoize Akram looks to be pushing hard with his DCU performances.Shane Nally hadn’t his best of games the last nite , but still think he can come good if we persist with him needs to get on and demand the ball more has loads of ability .Stephen Coen lacks pace and makes to many basic errors.

    8.Tom Parsons
    9.Aidan O’Shea
    Our best midfield partnership in my opinion and we need them back for Comer and Cooke who are playing really well at the moment plus Fenton/MaCauley 2 weeks time

    10.Kevin McLoughlin
    11.Conor Loftus
    12.Diarmuid O’Connor
    13.Jason Doherty
    14.Brian Reape
    15.Cillian O’Connor
    Conor Loftus and Brian Reape now deserve there chance.
    Conor loftus plays his best football at 11 he can be a playmaker give him a chance like Eamon Fitz is giving Sean O’Shea.Reape has roasted Sean Andy in there last 2 battles .Hopefully we also get to see Ciaran Treacy and Adam Gallagher get some game time to see what they can do,now is the time to give our young forwards there chance.

  50. @True Grit.
    Ger Mc was in decent form in his limited time in the Fbd. He’s three years younger than Ger Caff and far stronger with much more aggression.

  51. As Hanley was only in Australia a few years you would hope he has not have lost his GAA footballing abilities and would not take him long to readjust back. He could be a serious addition.
    I could not see his brother readjust for example, like Tommy Walshe

  52. True. HopeSpringsEternal, as u say lets see how it goes, but im confident we will win if we go for it, and get an early score, comer and the other danger men, will need to be marked tightly, but im sure our warriors, won’t be found wanting,

  53. The rate of improvement that we’re going to be able to make in just one week is anyones guess. Expect that Galway will have targeted this game from a long way out and will be planning for another MMA skull rattling symposium in Salthill on Sunday, hosted by none other than Captain Comer and his bunch of merry men. Big balls needed to take home the 2pts from this game.

  54. True Grit,.. I have great regard for Kevin Keane, but since his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury.. I don’t think he has got the nessary football into himself just yet…. Ger Caff didn’t really get back to his best last summer, but certainly showed great form in Monaghan.. Marking Damien Comer well just now is a task that is beyond most full backs in the country… So Ger McDonagh is a tough physical type of a player.. He could be our best option… I wouldn’t mind seeing Paddy Durcan on him either…. Ger Caff doesn’t have the necessary physicality (and might still be carrying a slight injury following last Saturday night)… Vaughan, Barrett, Higgins, Keegan are all unavailable…. So for me it has to be, Durcan or McDonagh!

  55. Cian Hanley would be a serious addition. No comparison with Tommy Walsh. Tommy nevrer recovered from his horrific injury, it wasnt ability he lacked. Only concern would be registration, remember the Gavin Duffy Fiasco a few years ago.

  56. Pat 75′ . I like your team . You have put Parsons and O! Shea at midfield, and this is looking forward to the Dublin match. Well Galway or Dublin midfielders won’t be losing any sleep over this partnership. They have played this duo a few times and definitely the Dubs will love this, Why? We all know O ! Shea has not the legs to run after those boys, To be honest we have tried O,Shea nearly in every line and he still has learned nothing.We have played him centre forward and I don’t believe he has scored in many matches, If you look at Comer and O,Shea at the moment both are built alike. That where it ends, Comer is fast , powerful, and can score . O, Shea, sluggish, powerful ,and cannot score. Those are facts. Look at recent history . We need a team who can kick a ball and stop this passing the ball back and over and players who are not afraid to kick the ball over the bar. Joe Brolly wrote a piece last week about a midfielder in Derry who at club level cold kick a ball forward to any player and when he was put on the County team he was not allowed to do this, The reason given that all the half forward were back defending and he had to wait to pass the ball to them. If this player could give a accurate foot pass why does managers not have a plan for this. We have the same problem in our County
    If we learned anything from last Saturday night you can see why Kerry Scored 1-14 from play. They were not passing the ball back and over, or up and down the field. They took their long range points from 30- 40 mtrs out. Also when Cillian came on he demanded that it was his given right to take all the frees. Again this is typical of some players that they have a divine right and others are told what to do. Doherty was doing well on the frees and he would have probably have scored the ones that Cillian screwed up.. I sincerely hope we learn from our mistakes last Saturday,

  57. Mid West had it Mayoman but it will be true when he steps off a plane.
    11 always seemed his best position. Realistically it would be 2019 before he would really show well if he returns.

  58. Well I tell u one thing True grit they certainly wont be losing sleep about the Barry moran/Jason gibbons partnership.
    Come here rerun the 1st half of the All Ireland last year and come back to me .Parsons and Aido absolutely cleaned out the Dubs at midfield and was one of the main reasons we came so close.Darragh o’Shea said it was one of the best midfield performances he had seen against the Dubs.It was our shooting in the 1st half and our weak bench that let us down.I do not buy into Aido not been pacy enough for the Dubs without him we would not have contested 2 or 3 All Irelands in my opinion.

  59. Pat75. Yes Parson and O’Shea in midfield. I would agree with that. Our best midfield partnership. O’Shea in the half forward line does not contribute enough to the scoreboard despite his trojan work. We need men up there who can shoot and score. EG Loftus.

  60. Could we all lay off Cian Hanley let him settle back into the country first and get used of the shit climate we have and after that let him go back playing with his club Ballaghadareen.
    We all seen what happened to Tommy Walsh in Kerry when he was rushed back into the county setup.Hes only 21 or 22 ,I am sure if he performs well for Ballagh then he will be brought in by Stephen Rochford in due course.

  61. Was at the Sigerson match yesterday between DCU and UCD and have to say that Stephen Coen played very well. There was a lot of talent on display and Stephen had a fine game at centre back for UCD.I think this guy will come good, be patient

  62. If the Mayo panel was picked by contributors from this blog we would have a totally different looking Mayo team. Pat Falllon, Richie Feeney and Alan Freeman would hold permanent pensionable positions on the starting 15. Some of the leading lights would be Brian Reape, Cian Hanley and young Irwin. In the real world the Management will take a quick look at a promising player who is making the first team regularly with his club and is showing a bit of form. From then on it is not up to Rochford or anyone else for that matter. It is all about ambition. The person who possesses this vital ingredient in spades will be successful. He will make his selection easy and inevitable for those in charge. He will forge a new standard for himself and those around him. I could give you loads of examples like the starting 15 in last years final. I was pleased with some of what I saw in those games after Christmas. I will follow their progress with great interest in the up and coming club championship keeping my eyes peeled for that vital ingredient as I am sure Mr Rochford will.

  63. On Cian, if there’s any risk on registering I’d say get it done fast. He won’t get a run in the league because hasn’t been with the squad but wouldn’t rule him out of championship panel. My recollection is he played no 12 or maybe 10 in the winning AI team and was fast and athletic, perhaps even more so than Diarmaid. Aussies rules means he’d have S&C in the tank so main issue would be drills and scoring as a forward. Also the passing at championship pace is frantic. Reckon will definitely feature in 2019 but wouldn’t be sure 2018 isn’t too soon. Hopefully not.

  64. On the Aido bashers, he set up Diarmaid for the goal last day.
    Besides that Kerry targeted him for turnovers and for sure he was coaxed into some blind Alleys.
    Aido definitely a top midfielder but perhaps works better there as a dropping no 11. His marker gave him slip for few scores the last day so definitely could be more fit this time of year but come summer expect a dangerous animal. On balance despite a few breaks bit below par last day but expect him to make big impact in some league games.

  65. On Gibbons I would agree he broke some ball that Mayo team mates were not alert enough to. Barry probably not mobile enough, hope I’m wrong there but FF a wildcard option with his hands.
    Nally could also be given more game time in midfield. I doubt Kerry CHF as good as he was made look. Kirby’s best positions CHF and FF not midfield where he hasn’t played much. Again has he the mob? These big men can be used in FF line but only with a support plan and good passing in.

  66. Pj McManus you be should be Rochys assistant and chief scout of the county we know nothing.nobody mentioned Richie Feeney and Pat fallon!! Why read the comments and comment on the blog if u don’t rate the posts.

  67. Two main areas next day are quality of passing to forwards and winning a lot.more breaking ball. Do that and we’ve good chance. Any FB without pace will struggle on Comer so would use P Durcan. Don’t know enough about McDonagh. However Shane Walsh needs watching too as does Daly if playing.

  68. @PJMcManus You do realize your preference Caolan Crowe doesn’t play fullback for his club?
    Your second choice Paddy Durcan would simply get ranover by Comer. He’s not big enough for Comer.
    I thought it was against house rules also to just dismiss a player with no factual basis.

  69. Thanks for info Paddy in Dublin. Interesting that Coen proved the pick of Mayo players on display. I firmly believe he will step up to the mark this year for Mayo. We may have to wait another year for Akram.

  70. PJ McManus, Comer might simply run over allot of defender’s but definitely Paddy D, if you think about it. Kevin McMananon is very like Damien Comer, and we all know young Paddy D cleaned him in an All Ireland final.. Going into that final Kevin McMananon was favourite for PotY.. Durcan was Mayo’s MotM.

  71. Mobility is Mayo’s biggest problem and it makes all the difference in tight matches. Kerry beat us last Sunday because their young forwards had the pace to beat their marker and pop over points from distance. We just don’t have that pace in our team right now, as we seem to be way behind in our speed work and this could be our undoing against Galway. If you look back at our League form in recent years we only managed to survive in Division 1 by the skin of our teeth and usually, we’re depending on getting something from our last game or depending on other results to go our way. Have a funny feeling it could be the same again this year.

  72. Paddy is deceptively strong. I watched him in club championship last Autumn and he was just bursting through tackles. I think he would do a good job on Comer when he drifts out from full forward. Let Crowe/McDonagh (I haven’t a preference) mark him on the edge of the square.

    Loftus has had a lot of injury problems the last few years so I would let him finish Sigerson before starting in the league. Give Reape a start and Treacy and Fionn McDonagh some minutes too.

  73. Galway are a young side and with young sides you are inconsistent. What a lot forget about the AI quarter final v Kerry was that Galway cut through the Kerry defence at will and were unlucky not to score at least 3 goals and in that game Kerry showed enough flaws that they were going no further that summer. Lastly Galway have beaten Mayo in the last few games because they held Mayo to a low manageable score in order to win.

  74. I’d prefer to see Paddy Durcan marking Shane Walsh, i.e. put Walsh on the back foot. I’d rather to see Paddy making headway towards the Galway goals rather than chasing back towards our own goals. I don’t think that Paddy would be able to compete with Comer in the air. When you think about it, last year Stephan Rochford used Aidan O’Shea at full-back against Kerry to mark Donaghy because he felt that no one else in our squad could beat him in the air. In saying that Galway wouldn’t use the long ball as much as Kerry would when Donaghy is in their team. We also used Aidan to mark Michael Murphy in the league against Donegal last year. It will be interesting to see what plans Stephen has in place to deal with Comer.

  75. PJ McManus – I’ve just seen your comment from last night now. You’ve been posting here long enough to know that you can’t simply dismiss a player with a claim that he’s “not good enough”. If you want to criticise a player or make an argument against his inclusion you have to back it up with specifics to support your argument. Just dissing someone by saying they’re not good enough is, well, not good enough. Also please don’t refer to other contributors in such tones – that’s just guaranteed to get others’ backs up.

  76. Padraic Cunningham if playing will need watching also … hope Kevin Keane back on Sunday to mark Mr Comer …

  77. I see the Independant has the story of Hanleys return and.say he could be home by as early as this weekend. Hopefully he will settle back well and we might see him in the Mayo jersey sometime this year if he decides to.throw his lot in. How promising was he as a minor ?

  78. All in all, a seriously good test for Mayo on Sunday, but with scope to give newbies significant game time. The added pressure of Mayo having to win adds extra spice to the game. Most importantly, it is well refereed. Weather forecast not looking good.
    We will have the cynical exercise of naming a team without subs later in the day. Are Galway at the same nonsense or have we news there.

  79. Ger Bohan Think you were unfair there to Backdoorsam on the Cian Hanley issue. Indeed I was a bit dismissive myself in my first post.

    Fair play Backdoor, good spot in the first place. A scoop for the blog Willie Joe; your intrepid posters ferreting out the real news that lay hidden to others!

  80. Change the record, Ontheditch. It’s what we do, it’s what many other teams do as well when announcing line-ups. Including both Galway and Roscommon last weekend from what I recall.

  81. @Revellino, he was a minor that looked like he would go on to play senior. Could solo run, pass, shoot from distance and usually one of our better players in each game.

  82. Thanks Catcol it’s grand tho
    No need for any apologies tho I was a bit giddy at the thought of Cian Hanley coming back I wanted to post it here I knew about it for a few days but kept Stumm didn’t want to break any house rules or announce it before it was out in the public donmain. Anyway let’s all get into Salthill early on Sunday and roar on the boys. I see in the Indo the stand is sold out so there will be a big crowd

  83. Backdoorsam apologies. I thought you were posting rumours. i see it was a different instagram account to Cian’s that posted the news.

    Great to think he will be involved on Sunday

  84. It’s a bit of a stretch, Ger, to imagine he’ll be involved on Sunday! He might, or might not, play senior this year or next, depending on how things go.

  85. I think if Cian decides to play football he will have a tough slog making it on to the team. He’ll get his chance if he’s good enough but I wouldn’t be expecting him to waltz on to the team. He’ll earn his chance just like all the other lads after he proves himself.
    Galway supporters looking forward to Sunday. They are eyeing an all ireland semi final spot this year. I think they are definately on the rise so if we could manage to get the points on Sunday it would be a big result for us in terms of staying in this division. We’ve had enough squeaky bum episodes over the past 2 league campaigns. I know a defeat isn’t the end of the world but a win would be more than welcome.

  86. Galway’s optimism is beginning to resemble Roscommon’s. Irrespective of how Sunday goes, they have won SFA of late and on the basis of last year’s QF they have a long way to travel. Yet, after the victory over Mayo in June ’17, I saw Johnny Tobin of all people predicting an All Ireland for Galway no less.

    And speaking of Sunday and online booked out, could someone please tell me how exactly you get into that stand? Is it on the basis of your party political affiliation or something similar?

  87. Sorry WJ and to one and all that I may have offended, but offence was not intended. Sometimes the words come out in the wrong order.The point I was trying to make was if our manager is running with 35 + players year on year since 2011 and we see little change in the starting 15 in that period it is not a reflection of the manager who ever he is.

  88. Catcol they have won SFA, but unfortunately so have we despite our great wins over the years.

    What they do have is minor and u21 success, like ourselves. They are a bit further along in terms of development, and have guys ready to push us over when some of our older guns step down.

  89. Catcol are you speaking on behalf of Galway people in relation to optimism? Trust me we are not getting ahead of ourselves, but SFA? Last 3 Connacht minor titles, under 21 , division 2 title last year, even Connacht senior 2 yeats ago. Now consistency is our problem but hopefully a season or two in div 1 and maybe then we can get optimistic. But dont be presuming that we expect big things just after 1 or 2 good results.

  90. Tuamstar, Ger B and others, I am not denying underage progress in Galway (though like Mayo, they too failed at the final hurdle in minor and U21 recently).

    I am really referring to Galway seniors at the business end of the championship, when they had chances and should have done much better: Donegal a few years ago springs to mind. And, though Mayo have not landed the big one, these players have been tested at the very highest levels, and if they have been found wanting (and many of them haven’t), it has been against the ‘greatest team of all time’.

  91. I would say Catcol that Galway at senior haven’t finished out their recent championships at the level they should be capable of achieving. They could and should have given kerry a better game last year. I do think though that k Walsh is doing a fine job with them. They have some players that any county would be happy to have. Galway have had their spell in the mediocre department and have had to wait for some talent to.come along but you have to admit.they have some very talented lads on the team now. They’ll be improved again on last year so I expect.sunday to be a tough day for us. The one sided games we had with them up until a.couple of years ago are long gone. We will have to.put in a.big performance at the weekend to come home with the points. If our backs don’t dominate on Sunday I fearful.

  92. Agree with much of that Revellino. Our backs need to make a big statement on Sunday, but at present it’s advantage Galway – kind of.

  93. Your season ticket should get you into the stand, Catcol. Galway GAA advised yesterday that they’re expecting the stand to be completely full by 1.15 or so.

  94. Not sure how Galway GAA can predict the time the stand will be full. No matter how many tickets are sold you don’t know what time people will turn up.

    Can’t imagine many will be interested in the ladies game given the general very small crowds that follow them. It’s PC nonsense really playing it on Sunday and telling us all that we are interested, when most don’t really care

  95. Our backs really need to up it for this game.Kerry forwards so far ahead of our lads when ball came in time and time again.If Comer goes then he is gone.

  96. Colm Keys stated in the Indo today, and I had to read it twice, that Mayo were “ruthlessly dispatched by Dublin” in last years AIF! Does that paper have at least one decent GAA journo?

  97. debating will I go down from Dublin sunday now…

    Willie Joe — do you fancy a bit of carpool??

    We could do carpool Karaoke – I know Green and red of Mayo, Clare Island , boys from the county Mayo to name a few………….wed have the craic

  98. KOB – That was the league match Colm Keys was talking about so he wasn’t wrong. He’s a very good GAA writer, by the way.

    Ger Bohan – easy up there on the swipes at the ladies match. You’re forever bitching about that topic. They’ve every right to share the same billing with the men.

    Mayomafia – car pooling’s not my thing I’m afraid!

  99. KOB think Colm Keys was referring to the league match and ruthlessly despatched would be an accurate description there.

    Thanks WJ for advice, though believe it or not, I am not a season ticket holder!

  100. I have vote against us winning on Sunday. I think our management have to choose their targets and May is the right target. Lets show them nothing. Test more young players. If we win it will be a nice bonus, but not the main aim on the day. We owe them one, but a victory in February wont be enough.

  101. I see a lot of ye are worried about Comer. A fine player. But he’s also toiling with NUIG at the moment so he has a lot of football played recently. Besides our best forward in my opinion (Michael Daly) is missing this with injury. I can assure any Mayo people that Galway are definitely not getting ahead of ourselves. Two narrow wins to start us off in Division 1 is a good start. But until this team start to produce in at QF/Super 8 final stage in the summertime then the jury will remain out. Our main issues have been defensive, I’m still not convinced that Kevin Walsh fully trusts the Galway defensive unit. O’Cealligh has potential and Kerin is developing into a very tight marking corner back as well.Having said that, being back in Division 1 is a good start to rectifying the inconsistency that this young team has in them.

    Without somehow not landing the big one, this Mayo team have been there and done that and have a wealth of experience to call on. Another loss to Galway won’t upset too many Mayo players in the wider scheme of things.

  102. Noted Willie Joe. I do think it is another example of admonishing opinions that do not agree with yours but so be it. It is the one negative of this site

  103. You won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t accept that, Ger. I pass no heed all the time on comments made here that I might disagree with. My problem with your comment was the lack of respect expressed in it for the Mayo ladies team, which was why I pulled you up on it.

  104. Question(s)for you Willie Joe ? Looking at the voting to predict the outcome of the Galway game I am struck by the low confidence among the supporters . There have not been many games I’d venture where the Pro Mayo Win % age has been so low .

    I was wondering what is the lowest Pro Mayo win percentage pre match where we ended up winning the game ?

    The natural other question then what would be what the Pro Mayo win percentage that translates into an “ almost guaranteed win “?

    I am wondering why people on this site are erring towards a Galway win ? Galway are big lads – and getting much bigger much faster than most -and can play a bit . But ,as has been pointed out here , they can only play if they are allowed to play.

    I think the game could be massed defence on both sides , as you might say yourself “ a cagey affair” with counter attacking at pace .Low scoring overall ,lots of cynical fouling . Right now , going man to man would be suicide ( as they are clearly bigger and fitter ) and psychologically bad for our team imo if we lost .

    At any rate Willie Joe I’d be curious about your thoughts on the voting .

  105. The voting reflects the current mood amongst the supporters and team/mgt. all soundings from camp are that they are building for summer days. Galway will want to put the foot on the Mayo throat and would love nothing better than consign us to Div 2. My own opinion will be a very physical game in testing conditions that we might just get a draw from.

  106. After seeing Galway in action after our own efforts last weekend the voting is reasonable enough.They have hit the ground running with two wins on the trot and full of confidence.I’ve given up trying to predict how league games in particular will go for us..We could hit back like a scalded cat on Sunday ..Who knows..

  107. What I’m seeing is how much our offensive minded half backs are missed. On their own the Mayo forwards seem to be having trouble putting scoring moves together. Lee keegan keith Higgins Colm Boyle really change our whole method of play when their playing together. They bomb forward and put defences under pressure and this opens up everything for our forwards. So far our.forwards as a unit aren’t really opening up defenses.
    It might help if midfield let the ball in to the forwards much quicker. The slow build up we saw in our 1st 2 league games seems to stagnate everything. The slow build up play is not the way forward. The lads need to really speed up the ball in to the forwards. If we worked on that and then add the speedy half backs later in the year I think we would trouble any team in the country again this year.

  108. I think it might have been Jaden that mentioned it but it would surprise me if there aren’t a few red cards flashed on Sunday. Neither team wants to let this slip, regardless of the time of year.

  109. Sure Mayo season ticket holder would nearly fill the stand alone. Expecting a big crowd. Something on in the cathedral which the president is attending so allow plenty of time as traffic will be chronic as usual.

  110. Wecandothis. I do not expect us to win on Sunday but you can never rule it out either. We had enough on the field to win that game last weekend but we looked flat. Not surprising since we have only been back a few weeks. No need to panic. We should keep the powder dry for Dubs in a fortnight and Galway in the summer. The strategic goal has not changed and 6 points will be enough provided we stay competitive and pick our games like we did last year. Looking forward to seeing the Ladies team without Cora

  111. I would put Cian Hanley in at centre forward (assuming availability)in a couple of weeks and see how he goes.

    Would also try Paddy Durcan at wing forward and Loftus should play the rest of the league we’ve got to get a couple of more options to deepen the panel out a bit have to get to the point where 20 lads of the standard needed can be called upon.

    also think O’shea needs to operate between the two 40s and be left there

  112. Mayo Ladies play at a very high skill level and have the support of all MAYO football fans. [Deleted].

  113. Will team be announced tonite? Hoping Conor Loftus, Brian Reape, Ciaran Treacy and Sharoize Akram get game time and Tom Parsons makes his return this weekend, be nothing better to beat Galway to get momentum back after last week.

  114. No worries, Mike, I don’t either but I’d already dealt with it.

    Pat75 – we usually name our team around nine on Fridays and I tend to amuse myself by starting to write the blog post on it before the team is named just to see how close I get to it. I’ve mine picked anyway!

  115. I’ll be shocked if the team named isn’t the same one that started last week. That’s usually the way of it!

  116. 10 times since 1956, Galway have gone to HQ and brought home either Sam or Liam, they have a habit of stepping in after a Mayo period of dominance to collect the big catch. Their current team is been built on the back of a minor success and two U21’s, they also have the players from probably the best club team to ever to come out of Connacht to come back yet. As for the greatest team ever that is Kerry 1975 to 1986… we will judge the Dubs in that bracket if they do 9 titles

  117. I’m seeing snow for Galway on Sunday on my Weather App. Anyone down there got a feel for how bad it might be? One Galway/Mayo match overboard this year is unfortunate, but two might be careless.

  118. Regardless of football, hopefully Cian settles back in Ireland okay. I’d imagine it’s difficult going from being a professional athlete in Oz to working or over here.

    Does anyone know what the registration rules are for him out of interest? Would he have to play a club game before he’s eligible for county? Do a Seanie Johnston on it!

  119. Definitely nobody around my neck of the woods getting carried away by two wins in the league in January & February!
    We are building a new team slowly but surely.
    IMO the problem with this team is the same as over the last few years – when we hit Croke Park we will be found out defensively because the pitch is so big and our defensive unit just isn’t on a par with teams like yourselves and other teams.
    If we had the defensive solidity that ye have we would be a serious prospect for anyone to deal with.
    And there’s a huge difference between defensive solidity on the smaller (and just as crucially slower) provincial pitches & Croker as we well know.
    As regards the game on Sunday – no idea how it will go & it doesn’t really matter anyway in terms of 13th May. Different ball game then.
    I think Comer will play on Sunday but I think he should be rested personally.
    He has played a lot of football in recent weeks and needs a break.5 full games in 15 days and a Sigerson semi final to come next Wednesday.
    If he plays on Sunday & Weds that will be 7 games in 22 days – absolutely crazy.
    Asking for an injury & he can’t perform at his best.

  120. Galway have started well and surely the aim is to retain Div1 status and build. A win over Mayo would almost assure Div1 football next year. I dont think we can win the all-Ireland this year but am looking for an improvement from last years poor display against Kerry. A Galway win on Sunday will heap pressure on Mayo for the knockout match later in the year.

  121. GAAloopy. Corofin, best team to ever come out of connacht? Maybe the most consisent over time but the crossmolina team of 2001 were a serious outfit. Yes Kerry were the greatest county team. They won their all irelands with very little change in personnel. How many Dubs started in last year’s all Ireland that would have also started in the 2011 all Ireland. Not many. They have to keep recreating. Kerry did most of their winning with a core group. They were simply brilliant.

    This however will be Mayo’s year. Slight improvement on last year and.we’ll be difficult to beat.

  122. Revellino, every member of the starting Corofin 15 that won the All Ireland bar Lundy had an All Ireland medal at Intercounty Senior, U21 or Hogan Cup. They beat Slaughneil by 10 points on the final, beat the Champions Vincents in the semi and hammered a fancied Ballintubber in Castlebar, no star player, but team will beat indiduals everyday, they have now beaten everybody in Connacht, they will do six in a row in Galway and will win Connacht again next year… Crossmolina had a one point win over Nemo with some very wayward shots from Kavanagh and Corkery on the day and a late miss fom O’Brien who carried the ball from midfield. Crossmolina had a super team but I think Ciaran Mc, Peadar G and Nallen would not have beaten Corofin.

  123. I suppose it’s hard to gauge GAAloopy.Corofin had a barren spell from 1998 to 2007. They did reach 2 connacht finals in that time span but were beaten in both. Brigids in 1 and Crossmolina in the other 1 – 10 to 5 points.

    The Crossmolina team I’m talking about won 3 Connacht in that period and I remember Ciaran McDonald’s smashing a penalty off the crossbar in another connacht final against salthill who went on the all ireland that year.

    It wasn’t a 2 man team either. I remember 5 of the.crossmolina team playing for Mayo in Castlebar in the national league including Corofin ex manager and Mayo’s current manager Stephen Rochford.

    Cossmolina did beat 7 time all ireland champions Nemo Rangers to lift their all ireland and.I believe could have repeated that feat in 2003 but for a.clash of heads early in They were also beaten in a semi final by I think it was Dessie farrells na fianna.

    Corofin beat Slaughtneil and Erins isle, neither of which have won the big one.

    While Corofin have had great success over the years I wouldn’t be guaranteeing that they are the best team ever to come out of connacht.

    Dublin could.go on to win another 10 all ireland titles, I.don’t think so and hope not, but if they did I still don’t think that any of them teams would have beaten Kerry at their peak.

    I think Crossmolina at their peak would have given Corofin a run for.their money any day of the week.

  124. The Corofin team that won the AI a few years back were the best functioning club team I’ve seen despite not too many stars. Lundy was at his young peak and Sice was a solid county player. Both would struggle now to make the Galway team.
    However despite not being at the peak of a few years back Ian Burke has improved and they’re in with a fairly good chance. Probably as good a chance as the other provincial champions.

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