Twelve-man Galway grind it out in the wind and rain

Photo: @Mayonewssport

Despite the wet and windy weather, a big crowd of over 2,500 assembled at MacHale Park tonight for the refixed FBD League game between ourselves and Galway. What they got to witness sounded like a real blood and thunder pre-season clash, one in which the visitors extended their recent winning run over us, this time despite having no fewer than three players ordered off before the finish.

It must have been touch-and-go as to whether or not this game – at the second time of asking in less than a week – went ahead at all. Heavy rain all day long left the pitch sodden, its surface laden with puddles. Following a pitch inspection at 6pm it was confirmed that the ball would indeed be thrown in.

We made three changes to the team named earlier in the day and, predictably, it was the three lads who had played against Leitrim on Wednesday evening who made way. Adam Gallagher started instead of Ger McDonagh, Shane Nally came in for Fionn McDonagh and Kevin McLoughlin lined out in place of Neil Douglas.

Despite the horrendous conditions, both teams started with determination and the umpires at both ends were kept busy. With the wind behind us we got the night’s opening score, an outside-of-the-boot effort from Kevin McLoughlin, which the visitors cancelled out via a Sweeney point.

Two super scores from distance from Shane Nally followed for us but three unanswered Galway points – from Conroy, Brannigan and McHugh (a free) – edged the visitors in front for the first time.

We responded with four scores without reply at the other end. Three points in succession from Brian Reape, two from frees, followed by Kevin McLoughlin’s second point of the night, this one from a free, saw us claim a three-point advantage.

Paul Conroy’s second point cut the gap to two but then Kevin Mc got his third score for us. Another McHugh free left two between the teams at the break.

Soon after the restart, we got the night’s opening goal. Brian Reape turned over the Galway full-back and offloaded to Peter Naughton who found the net with confidence. Cunnigham, from a Kelly delivery, then responded with Galway’s first point of the second half.

We made our first change early in the second half, with Diarmuid O’Connor coming in for Shane Nally. Damien Comer also joined the fray around the same time for Duggan, as a second Cunningham point pared the gap back to three points.

Soon after Galway were level. Sweeney shot towards goal in the crowded square and the ball ricocheted to the net. Then another free from McHugh put Galway back in front and Comer from play doubled their advantage.

Comer’s next involvement in the game was his last of the evening. As he tried to go by Kevin Keane, the hot-headed Galway forward lashed out with the elbow and got a straight red for his trouble.

Soon after young Mulkerrins in the full-back line walked as well. He pulled down Peter Naughton and got a black but, as he was already on yellow, that meant a second red for the vistors with a bit over ten minutes left.

Despite the significant numerical advantage they now enjoyed, our lads found the going hard playing into the strong wind as they tried to salvage something from the game. Galway, pouring all their forces back into defence, did a good job of frustrating the home team.

We huffed and puffed from then to the finish. We finally got a point back deep in stoppage time – our first minor of the second half – when Ryan O’Donoghue was dragged down by Sean Andy Kelly and Brian Reape tapped over the free.

That foul resulted in a third red card for Galway – with Kelly picking up a second yellow – but it was too late to make any difference. The visitors, now down to twelve men, held on for the last few seconds and closed out the win by the narrowest of margins.

The boastful duo on Galway Bay FM were a bit hard to listen to while all this was happening but it sounds like the Tribesmen were decent value for their win. From our perspective it could well be argued that, for the second time this week, we left the result behind us.

So, it’s no pre-season glory for us once again this year. Not to worry, there’s still the Rossies to look forward to on Sunday when, no doubt, more high-octane January fare will be on the menu.

Mayo: David Clarke; Steven Duffy, Kevin Keane, Jamie Oates; Michael Plunkett, Michael Hall, Shairoze Akram; Adam Gallagher, Jason Gibbons; Shane Nally (0-2), Kevin McLoughlin (0-3, one free), Matthew Ruane; Ryan O’Donoghue, Brian Reape (0-4, three frees), Peter Naughton (1-0). Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor for Nally, Ger McDonagh for Ruane, James Stretton for Akram, Fionn McDonagh for Gallagher.  

81 thoughts on “Twelve-man Galway grind it out in the wind and rain

  1. Good Turner and Cullinane were hard to bear. Celebrating like it was an All Ireland. Galway throw everything they have in the tank at Mayo and that’s it then. All said we should have beaten a team playing with only 12 players. Poor show from us….

  2. See them in May! Comer being dirty though WJ? Jesus never thought I’d see that!!!!! Clown that fella. Roll on summer

  3. It’s rather worrying that their streak against us is continuing. 1-1 in the second half is poor, Galway scored 0-6 playing into the same conditions. The 2 commentators on GBFM should remind us of our rivalry and go all out to beat them.

  4. Jason taken to the cleaners by Conroy. I think we are all a little disappointed but remember some of these lads are really young. I remember Diarmuid O Connor been written off when he made his championship debut.

    Still lots to work on no question and it is disappointing but a bit of perspective is needed.

  5. Lads will ye lay off on the comer and Galway bay fm bashing, reads as very childish, surprised ye haven’t mentioned the traffic in salthill. On the football I think the league will tell us more about these 2 teams. Mayo could potentially win it, Galway won’t. Both could be potentially relegated. Keane, Gibbons and Freeman are a huge plus to have back and could make a serious difference.PS. Safe home, driving conditions are desperate

  6. My head is fried after that commentary on galway bay…we have to beat them in league and in May. sounds awful weather in Castlebar. could Kevin Mc not be rested _ so much mileage up. Anyways Rossies will be waiting Sunday.

  7. I thought Barry Culliane was quite fair but Olly Turner was a bit ott
    both teams had a lot of new young players for the weather
    conditions it was nt a bad match

  8. I would be of the opposite opinion and see more potential in the Regan’s Ruane’s and Stephen duffys rather than freeman gibbons and Keane.
    Personal opinion but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Ruane is a star in the making a super mobile midfielder in the future but for now a no 12 who will work his legs off defensively sound aerially super good ball carrier. Him and diarmuid at 10 and 12 are two of the same.

    Ruane has a better Temperament than some. Good from frees wins his own ball strong man hope he gets confidence his talent deserves

    Duffy I think is that hardy Alan Roche type we need with speed all skills and just rigged determination

    I would go with these three over the former as they add something different

  9. Agree Big Mike . Didn’t make it down tonight but actually thought Galway bay fm commentary was entertaining and fair play for airing it . Mid west is biased towards Mayo so fair enough . Not worried about the loss . Pity the evening so bad . I’m just glad to see so many new lads getting a run .No fan of the Rossies but hope he puts out another experimental team against them .

  10. Wow Looks like Ollie Turner and Barry Cullinane have gained a lot of new fans tonight !! At least ye got a chance to have a listen to what seems like an excitng pre season fare. After all it is Galway Bay so they have to look after number 1. In relation to the game i was surprised Kevin brought in Comer and Shane Walsh but i suppose Galway have been idle since July last wheras Mayo had the All Ire in Sept. Game time is important for most of our lads. Just on the Damien Comer issue i know he has rubbed the Mayo folk up the wrong way in recent meetings but honestly he is a lovely fella , wears his heart on his sleeve and is fully committed to the maroon jersey, i know yesterday was the first anniversary of his dads sad passing so fair play to him for lining out. Its only FBD lads Mayo are still the main team in the West .. Put the Rossies back in their box on Sunday…..

  11. Weather conditions absolutely brutal again so hard to judge players but the one outstanding performance for mayo I thought was Ryan O Donoghue.great skill work rate and pace.would like to see him closer to the goal though.
    Also thought Ruane and plunkett has good moments to along with nally in ist half.

  12. One annoying thing for me is that against Leitrim, we conceded a goal when we shouldn’t have at the death to draw the game and tonight we couldn’t score a goal at the end to win the game. Its the little things like this, bad habits that are killing us, we have to improve in these areas if we are going to win All-Irelands.

  13. Why not dislike comer , this attitude drives me round the bend , so what if he gets a bit of bashing from mayo supporters on a mayo forum. I hope he gets sent into the back of the stand with a flying shoulder in 13 th of May when we beat Galway .

  14. Really hard for new players to impress in those conditions. I liked the workrate and handling of Ryan O Donoghue. He is a little on the small side but would like to see more. Adam Gallagher could be a potential squad player think he has developed physically. Michael Plunkett had his moments. The top performers for me were Kev Mc, he really is a super footballer. Shane Nally has a wand of a left foot and can do things Drake/Coen couldnt even attempt. One of the biggest mistakes our management team made last year was bringing them on as half forwards, they are adequate half backs but not scorers. Jason Gibbons worked very hard, but his distribution was very poor tonight.
    Cant be too hard on the lads, they tried manfully in the conditions

  15. Strong Galway line up. Mayo with all stars etc to come back. I wouldn’t worry about the result.

  16. After a half decent first half we totally fell away in second half. Our only shining light tonight was Jason Gibbons who worked his socks off and thoroughly deserves a return to the panel. 2 massive points from Shane Nally in first half were really sweet. Hope a few others can graduate to the national league panel but no real stand out performances tonight from any of the newer faces.

  17. Exactly lay off Comer… I met him the day before the All Ireland final… He said that wanted Mayo to win…. He got a red tonight, from 80 meters away it looked harsh… (obviously I didn’t hear the commentary from Galway Bay FM,… But doubt if it would annoy me,.. Trust me, their commentary had no affect on the outcome of the match) To me it was obviously a fatigue factor with Mayo, having to play 2 matches on such a heavy pitch in 3 day’s, can’t be done… Jason Gibbons who played the second half on Wednesday and Shane Nally who started on Wednesday and got taken off with about 5 minutes to go, they clearly tired, but both were excellent in the first half.. Michael Hall impressed at No 6 for me, great ball carrier, intelligent and good anticipation…. Still it’s very disappointing to lose to Galway, when they did finish with 12 men… On to the Rossi on Sunday, sorry to say it… But for what we have to pick from just at this moment in time, 3 match’s in 5 day’s, and to expect a result, can’t be done…. Roscommon will be realitivity fresh and of course…. We have almost 30 of our first and second choice players in Malaysia.. I think I know where I would rather be…. Do you know what I think… I think the performance versus Leitrim, would probably have been good enough to beat Galway tonight….. Should be a law against having to play so many matches in such rotten weather in such a short period of time!

  18. Conditions were terrible! Football on a night like this is a totally different game to Summer football. It’s very hard to judge any player in these conditions except maybe for his grit and determination. A few of these young lads need an opportunity to prove themselves in better conditions. I would advocate having a much larger panel until the Month of May at least.

  19. Sean . …Comer – an in your face ,physical whole hearted player who can get a goal . Don’t like him when he’s playing Mayo but like his style and attitude . Move on to hating the Rossies .its only Jan .

  20. Jaysus other than the rain and the pitch in bites it felt like a championship game in May.Galway lads mad up for it.We were very poor .I like the look of young ODonoghoe and Nally’s points we sweet.Not much else to say aabout it really.

  21. Tuamstar I feel sorry for Comer and the role that Kevin has set him. He always strikes me a guy who sets out to prove to Galway followers that he is good enough. The body language is awful if you know what I mean. I believe he is a limited footballer who relies to much on physicality, while unable to successfully execute the finer points of the game. Tom Flynn and Shane Walsh are the making of a good Galway team and Comer is not in that class. Cooke done good today but in truth it was not a day or a pitch for making any black and white calls on any young player.

  22. People being too critical about a game which is essentially a training exercise. Wheather Mayo or Galway won by 10pts has zero relevance on the league meeting between to two. Personally I think these pre season games have no bearing on Rochfords decision making, particularly in the shite conditions they are played in. Rochford and his selectors probably have 29 to 30 positions on the panel decided a long time before now and they would have a fair idea on who will fill the rest. That will be decided in how these prospects fair in training with the senior players when they return. Its nice for fans to go see some football but in reality these games hold no importance, they are just fixtures that have to be fulfilled.

  23. Interesting stuff there OOB and indeed all posters. Good to see Ruane continuing his promise. On Nally, why are management not encouraging these long range efforts all the time? Guy beside me on Wednesday kept talking about the range of his kicks; this talent isn’t getting enough opportunity. It’s as if he’s being told stick rigidly to our game plan and forget the fancy stuff – like long range points.

  24. Agree Pj and Leantimes, i think what a lot of people forget is these players went out there tonight in deplorable conditions and all gave it 100% for their respective counties. I feel sorry esp for any newbies trying to impress Stephen and Kevin in that weather and hopefully they will get another chance on a dry sod. On another note, Whats the story with Shane Nally? He scored well tonight and against the Rossies last summer he kicked two worldies. If he had the oppurtunities that were wasted in the final minutes in Salthill last summer Mayo woild have beaten Galway then. He rarely gets game time, any reason?

  25. Another miserable night in McHale park. The pitch was well cut up by the end of the match. Hard to play any sort of football tonight. Galway really wanted to lay down their marker for the upcoming season. They controlled the game towards the end and closed it out well. They kept possession for long periods and were cynical when needed. They are getting very street wise.
    We on the other hand made a lot of bad decisions in the last 10 mins. Slow build up, constantly running into traffic and being forced backwards. Unable to get the ball into Reape and O’Donoghue who actually had good games.
    The one man, Shane Nally, that could take the scores from long range was taken off. The man that replaced him didn’t really impact in the way you’d expect him to.
    I thought Kevin Keane played well throughout Despite his involvement in the Galway goal. I’d have to see it again.
    For me I think Sharoize was disappointing on the night. Didn’t really get stuck in.
    Anyway we can learn lots from that game and hopefully we will. Roll on the Rossies. They’ll be up for it too make no mistake.

  26. Comer deserved the red, I was up that end of the stand and he elbowed I think it was Gallagher in the face. Now I see why Comer done it cos he was blatantly wrapped up. Thought O’Donoghue/Gibbons/Reape/Nally and Kevin Keane stood out. Reape done really well to set up Naughton, and scored a sweet one from play in the first half. Conditions were horrendous, Galway have alot more training done, it was very evident, and to be fair, they had far more first teamers out than we did.

    My only gripe is, when chasing the goal at the end, we played lateral football, when a long high ball was needed. When your two points down on the 70th minute you pump the fucking ball in long on top of the square, does’nt matter if its January, June or September you still pump the ball in at least once. Yet we never did. Hope we play a mix of the Leitrim/Galway teams against Roscommon. Give them another crack at it, even if it means listening to the Rossies getting their usual notions about themselves….as they’ll have 80% of a championship team out on Sunday. Looking forward to it though.

  27. I had difficulty making out who was who in the second half of that game with all that mud and blood, but I have to take my hat off to all the players and the Referee and officials for a game in such an appalling night. Plunkett and Ruane in parts are good enough and I hope we continue with the young lads in the Hyde next Sunday.

  28. God. Conditions tonight were horrendous. Very difficult for lads to impress. In saying that I thought Ruane, O’Donoughe & Gibbons impressed. I was disappointed with a few that I had high hopes for but because of the conditions I’m not writing them off just yet.

    the entire defense was completely disjointed. Clarke had no one to kick to but I suppose allot of these lads don’t have the experience yet to make runs for him.

    Did Ger McDonagh come on? I didn’t see him.

  29. MayoDunphy… If you were at that end of ground, I’m sure your saying it as you seen it,.. From where I was sitting it looked like a hand off…. But there was a definite Red Card not given, straight in front of me… Couldn’t tell you the name of the Galway player in question, but Adam Gallagher was the recipient of a straight elbow, at the beginning of the second half, right in front of the stand… I don’t blame the Ref… He gave out 3 yellow’s 2 to Galway Players and 1 to Jason Gibbons following the melee afterwards. But I do blame the linesman.. He was in the perfect position to call it,… In general it is a problem with the GAA, sometimes linesmen and umpires turn a blind eye.and sometimes you get an excellent team assisting the the Referee as was the case in the Replay with Kerry last Summer ..Wasn’t 2500 an amazing crowd on such a terrible night.

  30. Ya he came on in the second half wearing the number 8 jersey. Gibbons is a real option for midfield in the summer, could keep Seamie in reserve till the 50th minute or so. Could make a massive difference. Have to agree with a poster above, why is Nally not brought on in the last few minutes, with a left boot with that power it doesn’t make sense. [Deleted].

  31. On Gbfm commentary – it’s local radio lads what do ye expect.
    Have ye listened to Martin Carney on Mid West last summer? Oh my God!
    Ollie Turner has an excitable style – he’s like that commentating on minor club games.
    Anyone who listens to gbfm would know that.
    I listened to it – Barry Cullinane was the analyst.
    He was from over excited or celebratory about the result.
    To be saying that the lads were almost celebrating winning an FBD league game is frankly bullshit.
    I’ll leave it at that.

    On the game itself – result was irrelevant really.
    We did well to hold on as we were only 2 points up when we were reduced to 13 and there was another 18 minutes played after that.
    I don’t think either team will be reading anything into this game

  32. Leantimes, He deliberately swung back with venom and connected to the face with elbow/lower arm. To be fair Gallagher had him wrapped up when he seemed clean through. It was a bit harsh on Comer as he was just frustrated but he shoukd of kept his cool. As it was a guraunteed free in and yellow card.

  33. MayoDunphy – that’s a downright stupid, unfair and wholly inaccurate remark about a named player. A spell in moderation will help to make you think a bit clearer before you post again here.

  34. – Pitch a mess really not quiet as bad as the Hyde on Easter Sunday 2016 but not far off
    – Gibbons good first half, Nally put his hand up again and I think Gallagher and ODonoghue both worked hard were gritty and Gallagher in particular not afraid to throw himself about and got a high elbow for his trouble.
    – We lost mid field badly in the second half and that cost us the game
    – Still cannot figure what the three guys with forks thought they could achieve at half time. God loves a trier….I suppose

  35. Leantimes . Your view from the stand does not mean the same as linesman or ref’s view . Could be 2 players blocking their view – not having a pop . Dont think SR will lose too much sleep tonight and will be glad to see the new lads in a competitive match even if it was in muck and rain

  36. Adam Gallagher was in the wars tonight. Got clocked twice……but got up both times and didn’t make a fuss

  37. FF line impressed for me, O Donoghue the least physical but classy and great work rate. Nally’s experience gave him an edge, Gallagher has great self belief and tidy solo runner, definitely an impact sub come championship time. Ruane promising more to come from him.
    Akram picked up good positions in space but was generally not spotted by comrades who played short passing game rather than throwing out the odd long pass which would have brought him into the action. A lot of intelligent off the ball running too from Akram, I would certainly keep the faith in him and improved conditions later in year will help his game.

  38. DecM… It was right on the sideline(where it once was) … The Ref couldn’t see it, the linesman should have been able to see it.. And of course, none of us could actually see the sideline or any of the other lines.. They were well washed away long before the end of the match last Wednesday.

  39. Didn’t make it to the game so was glad to listen to the Galway Bay FM lads! @PJMc, I think Comer has plenty of football in him to go with his physical attributes. If Mayo fans dislike him it’s only because he’s quality.

    Can’t really comment on performances since I wasn’t there but would like to echo the Shane Nally plaudits. I cannot fathom why he wasn’t used more last year. I think he only got 5 or 10 minutes of championship game time in total, but scored 2 points! Maybe Rochy doesn’t trust him as a man marker in defence but surely he would be a great second half option at midfield or half forward?

  40. Have to say, no problem with gbfm commentary. They had a right to be excited. Sure they love getting the better of us. We love getting the better of them too. That’s the way it should be. They did well to hold on, bit dissapointing though that we couldn’t reel them back in when we needed to.

    I hope we stick with the young guns again for the rossies. Regardless of the result give them another chance. It’s probably easier to pick out the players who are performing well when the team is made up of novices at county level. Think for a young lad to shine when the national league starts and the real deal are put back on the pitch, well it’ll be extremely difficult for the young lads to impress or even get the chance to when the league kicks off.

    It’s only the FBD but still great experience for the new lads. If he can pick out 4 to bring on to the senior panel and work on them then the FBD will have served a good purpose.

  41. Absolutely terrible conditions out there tonight and thanks to all involved for a hearty but very tough physical game. Very difficult to assess where the ball was going to land so it was difficult for players to make judgement calls. Players on both sides gave a tremendous display and no doubt playing to impress in difficult conditions. Have to say enjoy watching Comer play, he is very traditional player who does make an impact. Fair play to Adam Gallagher who got stuck in and if I am correct was instrumental in getting both men sent off tonight.

  42. Even without all of the rain the pitch in MacHale park is not in good shape and i’m sure down the line a new pitch will be laid. What should have been done was to keep matches away from that McHale Park pitch until the spring time. Will be no such problem with the Hyde park pitch on Sunday as the rossies got a new pitch last year and this Sunday will be first game played on that pitch since Intermediate Connacht final in November i understand.

  43. I wonder what team will be picked for Sunday? Surely anyone who played the full 70 tonight won’t be involved with less than 48 hours recovery.

    There will probably be a good chunk of last year’s panel brought back in, although possibly not all starters. Would like to see Eoin O’Donoghue have a run at corner back. Kirby at #11 too.

  44. It’s a pity we only get a chance to judge some of these lads in shocking conditions. I felt sorry for Sharoize Akram who was basically assaulted by Brannigan for the first 5 or 10mins and never really got into the game after that. I think Brian Reape gets a pass because conditions didn’t favour kicking. Although, I don’t know why he kicked a point in the 4th min of 4 added mins when we were 2 down… 35mins without a score is not encouraging either. And still no plan to attack the “Blanket”!

  45. Surprised to see people complaining about Galway radio commentary, what did they expect? I was just glad they broadcast the game so could follow it. Can’t read anything into performance at this time of season, game time for different players is all that matters. Good to have games happening again, wets the appetite for coming months

  46. Just a comment on Nally and why he didn’t play much last year. It’s obvious Rochford likes the hard running athletic type footballers. Nally slack of pace and mobility is probably the main reason he didn’t get much game time in championship last year. Unreal kicker of the ball though. No one better in the panel.

  47. Too many “snowflakes” here…so what if Galway bay get excited or not. I take it as a compliment they love beating us…Connacht title or not we are still the standard bearers in Connacht. Galway are looking to get up to our level in championship.

  48. I would like to see a few players discovered with the mentality and ability to close the deal when the line is in sight in the games that matter. Something the current holidaying crew have not been able to do. For example the type of player who will not hit the post from a relatively easy free when the line is in sight or stupidly get sent off when the it is time to start landing the killer punches. All positions are at all times up for grabs. You are as good as your next game. Management should be able to spot that mentality regardless of performances on a wet January night.

    As for the two the characters on the Galway radio station I would say they are most likely old enough to know what it is like to celebrate their senior county football team winning an AI. Something not many contributors on here including myself know anything about.

  49. Atrocious conditions for both teams. Mayo going nowhere playing lateral static keep possession. Two great points by Nally in first half. Where were the onfield leaders when we had a numerical advantage

  50. We would have been knocked out of the championship much earlier last year if it wasn’t for Cillian and Donie. Maybe keep that in mind Berry!

  51. Berry we might not have memories of winning all ireland like u say those 2 characters on GBfm last nite but by God do we have memories never to be forgotten in Croker going back nearly
    a decade now. I wouldnt swap it for their All Ireland win (when was it again…..

  52. Mairead, I think most bloggers here are old enough to remember Galway’s two senior AI wins in 1998 and 2001. Not too long ago. After all, their very good manager was a Mayo man…

  53. These Fbd games are only shadow boxing this time of year it will be well forgotten about by May and August. I think Rockford knows well who to take into the league panel after the FBD I think there’s a few good young lads work giving a chance too like Akram Reape Ruane Tracey Carr to name but a few

  54. Happy with my clubman Naughton performance. Great cameo to level on Wednesday linked and showed well yesterday involved in lot of first half scores gathering ball getting man to commit and timing offload well. Made one or two mistakes but worked hard ro recover for tgem. Took his goal. Fielded ball high only to be floored for scored free. And was taken down for second red. And not day thought would suit him.
    Lads tried hard in atrocious conditions. Feel some posts harsh on not getting wins at end with etc. Men. Incisive play hard when being pulled to ground.

  55. The fbd league is not about winning, its finding up to five players all under the age of 22 to join the develompent squad for 2018, not playing for the seniors but training with them, Most of last years develompent squad Ruane, Reape,Cunniffe, Carr and Gallagher, will hoping to be added to the senior squad, if they are it means five of last years panel will be dropped. Thats the way forward new faces each year to keep it fresh.

  56. Norris, id agree young players introduced are playing for a place on the development panel. I have posted about this previously regarding additions to the championship panel, I think Reape will take Dillons place, its the right time to introduce him to the setup. I really cant see anything like 5 additions to the panel, thats not going to happen, Stephen isnt going to replace that many players. Personally id like to see Douglas and Gallagher introduced but that means two will have to step aside. Add to that Freeman, Keane, Gibbons being available. Stephen is not going to make that many changes to a panel that lost by one pt in the final. So alot of young players are going to have to bide their time for another year and big names coming back are going to be disappointed.

  57. Agree, mayomad, dont think all five will be make it but would say Reape, Ruane, and Gallagher, will be added pointless having a development if no movement upwards, room has to made for the next bunch in the development squad, thats the way forward for Mayo football. The days are gone for someone to jump from playing club football to the County team.

  58. I couldn’t make the game, but listened to GBFM. Of course the commentary was biased, but the thing is, Galway supporters have had so many false dawns over the last number of years, and so, are investing a lot of stock on these new players. Although I didn’t witness Comer’s tackle, first thing, he is a nice guy, but unfortunately, is prone to swinging back. It’s one of the nastiest tricks in the book. It’s also very dangerous, as most times the player on the receiving end is not guarded – and usually very open. It definitely spoils his reputation as a player, as besides that, he has loads of heart and energy. Similarly, you will remember Cillian swung back at Rory O’Carroll in a final a number of years ago, and caused a serious facial injury. Don’t get me wrong, like Comer, Cillian is a decent lad, but is also liable to play on the edge. Of course we all like tough competitive play, but I think most Galway/Mayo supporters know when it goes beyond hard and goes into dangerous territory. Best of luck on Sunday.

  59. I agree with last poster it’s about movement upwards, and to go from playing fbd to summer training with the first team is certainly a move in the right direction for any young player.
    Of the more established players, I do thing gibbons still has a lot of work to do. Got on the ball frequently enough but distribution was very predictable. There were times when he played the ball back into congested areas when a switch into open play was the required movement.
    Frustrating night for Akram in that he took up good positions and made incisive keegan type runs. Unfortunately Gibbons or others were not alert enough to spray the ball out to him…..

  60. Mairead, those memories are unfortunately of losing on the day that matters. I believe Mayo deserves better. Maybe I could try setting my sights a bit lower, but I think at this stage the bar will stay where it is.

  61. Closest to the matchday 26 I think will be Ger Mc, Jason Gibbons, Matthew Ruane, Neil Douglas and Brian Reape.
    Ger Mc deserves the senior club player of the year award and is quite simply the best full back in the county by a distance. If he is injury free he has to be our full back.
    Jason Gibbons/Matthew Ruane – our four current midfield panellists are going to be 28/30/31/31 Jason at 29 and Matthew at 21 (December will be 22) are necessary to not fall off a cliff in cover over the next two/three years in the critical area of midfield.
    Neil Douglas – simply playing well enough to be involved.
    Brian Reape – will bring a physicality and goal scoring to our matchday panel that we miss. Can also bring others into the game with his quick thinking.

  62. Berry your comments on cillian an Donie ere out of order an ur dig about them being on Holiday as well. Do you not think they deserve a holiday? Those lads put their life on hold an body’s on the line every year for the love of Mayo football. There isn’t a player in mayo good enuf to lace cillians boots never mind fill them. You seem to forget all the frees he scores an the late equaliser against Dublin the year before. no mentality or ability problems there!

  63. Agree with a lot of that JP. Bit disappointed with some of reapes decision making yesterday. But may be forcing it bit to make a point. Is Evan Regan injured or still involved. Would have thought he’d be getting time to see how shows

  64. JP, in theory I see what your saying but in reality cant see it happening. Its all well and good saying players should be on the panel and the players you mentioned are good enough. But who from the matchday 26 is going to step aside for them, Mayo is a hugely competitive group to break into. For McDonagh to be selected a player with a number of years training will have to be dropped, its either McDonagh or Keane as two defensive players from last year wont get dropped. Gibbons wont make the panel, its him or Kirby and Danny is more versatile, covers a number of positions and is a better scoring threat. Reape I think will make it and will take Dillons spot. Douglas deserves to be there but that means Regan and Freeman miss out, no other forward player will be dropped from the panel. Ruane will most likely have to bide his time until next year when there is a strong posibility of retirements. I just cant see that many changes being made, Rochford has some serious decisions to make but I think he will opt for last year panel + Reape and maybe one other change(possibly Douglas)

  65. @Mayomad. Those five will get closest to the 26 is my view. Some might be the 34 and one or two might not make it at all.
    Ger Mc will make the 26, he’s simply ahead of everyone else, it doesn’t matter how long others have been training. I think he will actually get the 3 jersey.
    Brian Reape will make it I think as well.
    Neil Douglas is a long way ahead of any fringe forward bar Conor Loftus and Brian Reape. He’s mobile, strong and in form.
    Matthew Ruane I agree it might not happen yet. In truth Jordan Flynn has started to put his hand up as potentially our next midfielder. But still being u20 I think a bit early for him. Flynn looks so strong at u20 you can almost think how he’ll be next year.
    Jason Gibbons, we’ll see. Just think he’s in his best ever form with a bit more bite to his game now. He will pressure Barry Moran for the midfield cover for sure.

  66. @Sean Burke, I think it depends on his fitness (strength/size really) and obviously form.
    If Aidan is moved out of 11 to midfield it helps Loftus by freeing up a spot.

  67. Look we can not stand still 30 players in senior squad at least 6 with a very limited game time. no good feeling guilty because Dublin wont .Lets be ruthless new faces or else be left behind.

  68. Look with an open mind,best gaa site by a mile by wj and this from a die hard rossie right on mayo border but it is january and as a rossie I believe mcstay is doing brillant with our team that is so young and learning game by game,mayo are an experinced great team that are top 3 and for a player to break into that team or matchday panel should not b judged in atrocious weather in january,rochford is a gentleman and trust him in croker in summer,he hasnt let ye down so far only for that bit of luck which we all need in life

  69. The important thing for these guys is they get on the senior panel of players, be it 30 or 40, from which the match day 26 are selected. Their hats are in the ring then and presumably will be selected if good enough.

  70. Contrary to Stephens comments in the media recently, I do think he’ll look to bring a few in from the early FBD panel. He knows he has to begin the transition with a +3yr view. There are a number of players who’s performances have not exactly been of the highest standard over the past two years or simply are not showing the rates of improvement needed to hold their place. You’d have to think that the likes of Conor O’Shea, Evan Regan, Barry Moran, Danny Kirby, Donal Vaughan, David Drake, Caolan Crowe, Ger Cafferkey, Rob Hennelly will surely feel some pressure over the coming weeks.

  71. I would love to see David Drake now that he is stronger converted to a pure man marker role. You could see him lined up on Dean Rock or Enda Smith. He’s one of the quickest in the panel, listed in last years program at 6’1″ and 13st 10lbs. Anyone with speed at that size has to pack a fair hit in a shoulder/tackle. I’v always viewed Keith Higgins on Dean Rock as a bad match up. He’s simply too small to mark Rock.
    I don’t think Donal Vaughan will be under pressure. Has performed well in most Croke Park games and brings a power and stamina others will lack.

  72. Vaughan nailed on part of the 26 . Like JP says above id like to see more of drake , hopefully he is given league games. Regan is another guy id like to see more of in the league , people are quick to dismiss him saying hes had his chance but lets remember he was taken out of the equation by the big red buckley in 15, had a very decent league campaign in 16 and has started to bulk up a biteen, hes a citog also, something we could do with.

    Out of the others mentioned I agree, Conor o shea, ger caff and rob hennelly will be feeling the pressure now.

  73. Donal Vaughan is under no pressure in terms of being dropped from the panel 45. Would agree with the other names but I think Caolan Crowe could be a real option for us this year if given more minutes…

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