Two losses and a draw

Photo: @MayoGAA

I think it’s safe to say that the weekend’s results for the three county teams that were in action didn’t go the desired way.

On Friday evening the Minors went under to Sligo in Round 3 of the Connacht MFC, losing out at Markievicz Park by 0-16 to 0-12. It was our lads’ first defeat of the campaign, as well as a first win for Sligo, and the result blows the race for provincial honours wide open.

Roscommon had a big win over Leitrim in the evening’s other match and so they’re still in the hunt for advancement as well. Like ourselves, Roscommon have two wins in the bag at this stage, while Galway and Sligo have one each.

Ourselves and the Rossies have, though, just one match each to play while Galway and Sligo have two matches to come. Both of them still have to play Leitrim so you’d have to assume they’ll both win that one. The crunch matches will be our game against Galway – at MacHale Park on Friday, 14th June (throw-in 7pm) – and Roscommon’s meeting with Sligo the following Friday evening at Markievicz Park.

Yesterday afternoon the county’s U20s finished up their Development League campaign. The team came into yesterday’s match on the back of two wins in this tournament but that run came to an end as they lost out to Tyrone in Omagh by 3-9 to 0-11.

The defeat ends their pursuit of the Philly McGuinness Cup and so the focus for them switches now to the Connacht Championship. In this they’re up against Sligo in the semi-final at MacHale Park on Wednesday, 3rd July.

That might sound like a soft draw but it’s anything but. Sligo recorded three wins from three outings in the other Development League group and so now go forward to contest the final of the Philly McGuinness Cup. The young Yeatsmen are, then, likely to be tough opponents for us in that provincial semi-final in early July.

Photo: @MayoGAA

The Sligo hurlers also gave us as good as they got in the Nicky Rackard Cup yesterday at the Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence. Indeed, at the halfway stage in that game it looked as if they were on course to give us a right whipping, as they led then by 2-13 to 0-7.

Our lads staged a gutsy comeback after the break, however, and a late goal saw the Mayo stickmen salvage a dramatic 1-19 to 2-16 draw. It wasn’t, though, enough to avoid elimination from the competition, as the draw meant Sligo topped the group while Tyrone’s win over Louth clinched second spot for them. So that’s it for the hurlers for this year.

I was back on the road myself today, as I was in Clones for the Ulster SFC semi-final between Cavan and Armagh. This was the second road trip to an Ulster Championship match that myself and the young lad have undertaken in the last few weeks and, like the last one, today’s game ended up going to extra-time.

There was an ulterior motive for today’s trip as it enabled us to assemble the Mayo News football podcast crew to record an episode in and around this afternoon’s game at St Tiernach’s Park. While this will feature a bit about today’s dramatic draw between Cavan and Armagh its main focus will still be on our lads and what’s facing them as they get set to embark on another tilt at the qualifiers. That podcast episode will be online at some stage tomorrow.

25 thoughts on “Two losses and a draw

  1. @Willie Joe, Your effort’s on behalf of GAA fan’s have to be applauded…… Look forward to the Podcast!

  2. Austin Garvin and Tom Morley said on Midwest that it’s Ballina. Tom Morley asking that more come out and support them

  3. The Connacht GAA website (here) shows that the fixture has been set for MacHale Park on 14th June (not 4th as I mistakenly first said in the post – corrected now) with a 7pm throw-in. The Roscommon game was, though, switched to Ballina so this one may be too but there’s no official confirmation of this as yet (certainly none I’ve seen).

  4. Well we might reckon we had a bad seven days but spare a thought for Waterford. After losing by double scores to Tipp they lost by treble scores to Limerick yesterday. There are lots of similarities between Mayo football and Waterford hurling. Two extremely passionate GAA counties. We have 3 All Ireland’s, they have 2. A poor return for both of us. We both contested the All Ireland finals in 2017, with the same outcomes. We also both contested this years League finals with different outcomes Both counties had player ” revolts” in the not too distant past them in 2008 us in 2015. I expect we could see another one from them this year if management don’t step down. Both counties players feel they are quite good and are desperate for progressive management, hence the coups. Having said that I think it’s important to acknowledge that Mayo players never down tools when on the pitch as Waterford have done in the last two games. We are lucky enough to have players who give 100% whether in victory or defeat. Even the biggest critics within our county and outside cannot question the efforts of our players in defeat to Roscommon or last year v Galway or Kildare. I suppose what I am trying to say is that this Mayo team genuinely represent the attitude of most of our supporters in good days and bad and that it’s important that we acknowledge that and are not so scathing of them when we suffer the disappointment of defeat as happened v Roscommon last week. It is also crucial that the very best preparations are in place to give the best possible chance to the team to succeed. Waterford played to their maximum under Derek McGrath. He got the best out of players who wanted to play for him.It’s clear that their present manager Fanning is unable to get the same response. The likes of Brehony in the Indo should bear this in mind when he refers to the 2015 coup every time we lose a game. Donal Og Cusack referenced the relationship between players and management as being crucial last night. It is vital that our players believe in JH and what he is trying to do. I think that is the case. His 4 years in charge 2011-2014 and winning the League this year surely gives him that. We as supporters must be willing to give him that recognition and have faith in him also.

  5. Excellent article in today’s Western People by John Cuffe. Hits the nail on the head in so many respects and challenges Horan to make the tough calls that are necessary. Unlikely it will be allowed as a link on this site given the censorship here re criticism but we can hope……

  6. Mayo67 – if you cared to read through the raft of comments posted here you’d see there’s plenty of criticism in what’s posted. The rules that operate on the blog are solely there to ensure that what people say is fair and doesn’t stray towards the unacceptable. It’s only those – including, more than once, yourself – who fail to abide by these reasonable guidelines seem to have a problem with this. Oh and, by the way, the Western doesn’t make its content publicly available online so it won’t be possible to link to that piece here but I suppose you’ll ascribe that fact to censorship too.

  7. Fair enough WJ I didn’t know that about the Western. Did you read that article yourself…what’s you view on it ?

  8. Willie Joe, The allegation from Mayo67 that criticism is not allowed on your blog is totally unjustified and you are quite right to shoot him down. Regards John Cuffe, he regularly gets under my skin. Why I cannot say precisely but he does and it’s not all down to his GAA comments. I did once challenge him at lenght on a politically charged piece he wrote with a letter to the “Western” but of course it was ignored.
    Regards the results at the weekkend I wonder were the minor and hurling results partly down to a bit of complacency? The minors had two good wins and Sligo have never struck terror into Mayo teams at that level. That and the loss of Frank Irwin may shed light on the defeat. Incidentally some poster on this site said Irwin was injured early against Roscommon without it’s affecting the team in that game but according to the “Western” match report it was very close to the end before he was substituted. Re thee hurlers, theyhave been operating at a higher level than Sligo for several years now and complacency may also have been a factor. The fact that they were able to make an almost great comeback would suggest that they should have been capable of winning with the right approach.
    Re the U20 championship I would not read too much into Sligo’s reaching the final as their section, Sligo, Leitrim, Longford and who else I can’t recall would normally be much weaker than Mayo’s group. Now there’s that complacency again!!!
    Finally my last bit of late night/early morning meanderings. Does Castlebar suit Mayo’s open, running style of football? It is one of the tightest county grounds in the country and I think it suits a blanket type game much better than Mayo’s. I thought that Roscommon were very well coached in judicious fouling in our last outing, esp. given our difficulty with long range frees. They also seemed to double up in fouling making it diffiicult for ref to implement the black card.

  9. Fair enough, eh, Mayo67? There was nothing fair about what you said originally. I’ve no desire to engage in any direct discussion with you.

  10. In defence of John Cuffe even though he doesn’t need me to defend him at the end of the day he is only giving his opinion in the Western People which we are all entitled to do. In time whether it be this season or next or whenever James Horan will have to rebuild but to be fair to Horan he has brought in a lot of new players during the league and you have to get the balance right between youth and experience. As regards Joe Brolly and excuse my French he’s only a shit stirrer but as of last year clubs are employing him to speak at their dinner dances etc, he came to Belmullet to speak
    Last year and insulted the daylights out of everyone present including the family that brought him there and treated him like a King. He should be ignored and not be invited to speak at clubs in my humble opinion. As for Breheny he was irrelevant in 1985 when he worked
    In the Irish Press so I wouldn’t take much notice of him now either

  11. Opinion it is fair enough. But John’s opinion in the past has failed me and many more on this blog. I wouldn’t count on it even it got to the Western. My opinion for what it’s worth is that JH is a great leader and manager. Someone I have a certain faith in. People closer to him are of the same mind. The glass is always half full, always.

  12. I’m away to see if the western is in easons after work . This piece has me intrigued.

  13. I’m not a great fan of writing off 2019, clearing the decks and getting rid of older players in favour of younger fellas just for the sake of it. For me the young fella has to wrestle the jersey off the old guy. If the likes of Andy Moran, Keith Higgins, David Clarke and Colm Boyle or others are willing to get stuck in for another year and are good enough, even for 30 minutes, then there is no argument. Let the young guns prove themselves in training first.
    Interesting on the Mayo4Sam, I reckon all of the above lads still believe we can win Sam this year. At least they did in January when committing to another year. For them it’s the only success that really matters. It’s what keeps them going again and again. Whether the defeat to Roscommon has changed this or not I’m not sure but I reckon we will find out soon enough.
    I reckon we will do well this year. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we made the final. But I don’t think we (or anyone else) is capable of beating the Dubs.
    Living in hope as always!

  14. Never understood why people have an obsession with clearing the decks and putting in a load if inexperienced players. There are too many stopped clocks that have this notion that it would resolve all the issues. It won’t. If we are to win an All Ireland in 10 years time they’ll claim to have been right however.
    How these people get columns in papers is another thing entirely, particularly if they’re getting paid for their musings. I recall seeing one column where Rochford was referred to as a “lucky General” having gotten Mayo to 2 all Ireland Finals and won the Club All Ireland with Corofin.
    Such horsemanure is used to fill column inches, but paper never refused ink I suppose.
    If a player is good enough, they’ll get on to the team. If they’re not good enough, or they are not up to the commitment required (and there are examples of this) they won’t. Looking to replace old with new for the sake of it is a fools errand, and it’s easy to write such things without having to put them into practice and be proven wrong.

  15. So that’s the end of that then.

    Although I just like to ask do ye not think there is some value in the point being made by a lot of supporters that the trio of Diarmuid, keV MC and Jason doc were not contributing much at all v Ros and should of been taken off before Regan for example who as you know is more reliable from a left footed free taker pov .

  16. A lot of the current players peaked as footballers in 2017. Look at out championship results since 2017: beaten by Galway last year, conceded three goals V Limerick, very lucky to beat Tipp after we scored a fluke goal, beaten by Kildare who went on to lose all three super 8 gamesr, kicked 18 (?) wides out in New York and lost to Roscommon. If people think this is good enough – that’s their opinion. These results have been achieved under two different management teams – are both management teams wrong. I think we need to be playing lads like Eoin O’ Donoghue, McCarmack, Carr, Treacy. To me they have showed enough in the games we have seen them in to justify a decent chance. Some of the current squad are the best footballers we ever had in Mayo – it doesn’t mean at this stage of their careers they should be picked to start in every game.

  17. South Mayo Exile – I’m sure James Carr would have played the last day if he was fit to do so. Where would you play James McCormack out of interest? He would probably have to take either Lee Keegan or Paddy Durcan’s spot on the team which would make no sense whatsoever. Eoin O’Donoghue probably deserves a chance after the last day but I didn’t see anyone crying about his omission before the game. IMO if we set up so naively again it won’t matter who is in the full back line anyway. I wouldn’t have Treacy starting but he should have came on early in the 2nd half with the way Diarmuid and Jason were playing.

  18. Sean, by all means sub them from the game if they’re not performing on the day. That’s not a good enough reason to dump them off the panel altogether which is what is being suggested by some. For what it’s worth I’d have taken Jason off earlier as he didn’t look right after going over on his ankle, but I’m not sure Kevin Mc “was not contributing very much at all” unless you were watching a different game to me. I would agree Regan was unfortunate to have been substituted, and I’d argue that Diarmuid was below his usual influential self but I’d be mindful of the substitution of the Captain and wonder who you might put on in his stead. Again the change for the sake of change seems to be what a lot are asking for, I remain unconvinced that unless it’s to achieve a better result, it’s not worth it.

    South Mayo Exile – that fluke goal must be the highest scoring shot in the history of GAA given we won that game against Tipp by 8 whole points, which Tipp failed to answer to, but that story about a fluke goal being the difference between the teams keeps doing the rounds for some reason.

  19. The Cuffe article is a crock. Full of metaphors and examples from soccer about how removing experience from squads actually works…but no suggestions on who should be brought in if and when we do this mass clear out. He says we need to do this clear out NOW. Who is going to come in? Who is going to replace all these players he wants rid of? No suggestions, just that it HAS to be done. That’s the thing with these big talkers about squad clear outs – all they know is that they want certain characters out of the team, but no solutions about how said characters are going to be replaced. Talking about players being untouchable and saying how Jim Gavin would never let it happen…Bottom line: we do not and never have had the squad Jim Gavin has. We can’t do what Dublin do. We can’t rotate the squad and act like we have a conveyor belt of talent because we simply dont.
    The fact is, you take out the O’Sheas or O’Connors (and let’s be real, this is who they are talking about when they talk about “a cabal”) or wheover from that squad, and it’s very bare indeed. In fact, a huge factor in us losing the other night was the fact that a key O’connor was not on the pitch. People love saying this one and that one should be dropped, but there are no like for like replacements either in the squad or up and coming. That’s the truth.

  20. Well I certainly wouldn’t agree about dropping any of the mentioned players . Things escalate at a mad pace in here .

    Original point was let’s say if we draw Leitrim next week , surely it’s a great opportunity to blood some of the new lads .

    I also stand by saying management put in a poor shift v Ros bar the inclusion of Darren Coen and Regan , which were both good tactical selections for Roscommon game ,Coen for long distance shooting and Regan for citog free kicks. Both had a purpose , why he decided to pull Regan when it such a tight game knowing a free kick could swing it is really beyond me.

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