Tyrone 0-11 Mayo 0-9: another hugely frustrating loss

It’s just as well, you know, that we racked up all those League points as early as we did in this campaign. After this evening’s hugely frustrating defeat to Tyrone – coming hot on the heels of last weekend’s one-point loss to Kerry – it appears our ability to close out winnable matches has deserted us.

Because, make no mistake, this match was one we should have won, just as the Kerry one was too. We were poor tonight but Tyrone were no great shakes either and, once we closed the gap to just a single point on the 50-minute mark, we appeared to have all the momentum. But then we stalled completely, adding just a single point before the end, and our chance of taking the points evaporated into the chilly Northern air.

We made one change ahead of throw-in. Rob Hennelly had been named to start in goal but he wasn’t togged and so Rory Byrne started his second match of the campaign, with Colm Reape added to the bench.

We made a dreadful start tonight. Fergal Boland got caught in possession in our half and once Tyrone got the ball they broke rapidly, Burns firing over the opener. Then Paul Towey’s kicked pass went straight to a Tyrone defender and seconds later Harte was pointing at the other end. Then we lost the restart and they scored, via Meyler, from that as well.

Canavan from a mark put them four up after ten minutes. We hadn’t worked the ball further than their ’45 at this stage and our first shot, an effort from the right-hand side that Fergal screwed wide, didn’t come until the 15th minute.

A full 24 minutes passed until we posted our first score. Aidan O’Shea was fouled as he thundered forward but Maurice Deegan – who was as bad this evening as he always is, as he always will be – waved play on. Fergal grabbed the ball, then he was fouled and this time Deegan awarded the free. Ryan nailed it.

Meyler responded immediately but we hit back with our first score from play. David McBrien joined a fast-running attack, offloading to Jordan Flynn who clipped it over. 

Harte knifed through our backline to get the next score. Fionn McDonagh then went down, with what looked like hamstring trouble. The Westport player hobbled painfully from the field, Jack Carney coming in to replace him.

Another Harte score – his third of the half, this one after a superb double-dummy, stretched the home team’s lead to six. We cut the gap to five at the break, though, with Ryan pointing a free after Matthew Ruane was hauled down as he burst forward.

We were clearly in bother at that stage and it was no surprise to see that we’d made two changes to the team when they trotted out for the second half. Enda Hession replaced Donnacha McHugh in the backs, while Kevin McLoughlin came in for Paul Towey in the half-forwards.

We now had the benefit of the tricky wind that blew diagonally across the pitch. In that third quarter, which was the best period of the game for us, we used the wind to good effect.

They got the half’s first point, though, when Aidan O’Shea was turned over and they broke quickly to score. 

We then reeled off the next five points without reply, cutting the gap back to just a single point. Twenty minutes to go, all of the momentum was now behind us.

Mattie started us off, with a trademark effort on the run, fed nicely by Aiden Orme. Ryan then belted over a cracking score from distance and Jordan Flynn did the same, following a great burst forward by Aidan O’Shea.

Jack Carney bagged our next one, Fergal providing the assist for this one too. We then turned over the restart, Ryan pouncing on it and getting fouled. We should really have got more than the 14-yard free – Tyrone could easily have had a player black carded and is that rule about it being a penalty if a clear goalscoring chance is prevented by foul means still in force? – but from the free Ryan made no mistake and the gap was back to one.

And then, of course, our forward momentum stalled. The only other score we got before the finish was a free from Ryan ten minutes later. Tyrone fared little better in front of the posts but they did enough to eke out a two-point win.

From our perspective, this loss was an annoying one, far more so than last Saturday’s defeat to a much better Kerry team. Tyrone – despite the strong team they named – were barely better than they were against Dublin last weekend and if we were any way properly organised, we’d have beaten them.

Instead, what was a positive League campaign is petering out in underwhelming fashion. We entertain Kildare at Carrick-on-Shannon next weekend, another game we won’t be too bothered about against opponents scrapping for survival. 

Will we see more of the same? Or will we start to perform in a way that we know we’re capable of? After tonight’s disappointing display, your guess is as good as mine.

Mayo: Rory Byrne; Lee Keegan, David McBrien, Donnacha McHugh; Oisín Mullin, Aidan O’Shea, Stephen Coen; Jordan Flynn (0-2), Matthew Ruane (0-1); Fionn McDonagh, Paul Towey, Fergal Boland; Aiden Orme, Jason Doherty, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-5, four frees). Subs: Jack Carney (0-1) for McDonagh, Enda Hession for McHugh, Kevin McLoughlin for Towey, Darren Coen for Doherty, Conor Loftus for Boland. 

Who was our MOTM against Tyrone? Pick your top three performers

  • Ryan O'Donoghue (26%, 507 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (25%, 490 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (15%, 289 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (9%, 177 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (7%, 136 Votes)
  • David McBrien (5%, 99 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (3%, 63 Votes)
  • Rory Byrne (2%, 30 Votes)
  • Oisín Mullin (1%, 25 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Aiden Orme (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (0%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,031

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100 thoughts on “Tyrone 0-11 Mayo 0-9: another hugely frustrating loss

  1. Ok, serious issues, Oisin is not functioning in the half back line. He needs to slot in the half forward line along with Diarmuid and either McLough or Boland.
    The full forward line is still a mess, if Cillian is not fit, then it’s Ryan, Orme and the Doc. The problem is that there’s not a lot of backup. I like the look of Towey, a smart footballer. But we’re running out of time.

  2. I would start Carney at 14 next day.
    Otherwise it hard to tell.
    The team is so experimental that everyone plays below par.
    We might still be in the league final if Armagh lose.However without Clifford’s and OShea I can see Kerry losing

  3. Not too bothered by the result as I presume the same for JH.
    Think Horan wanted to see who he could rely on if big names are absent.
    Fionn picking up a hammie sees him out of the picture…..shame.
    Full back line did ok and McBrien worth another look.
    Half forwards were overall poor.
    McDonnagh never got going
    Boland too hit and miss
    Towey not good enough
    Ff line . Orme still showing good and poor.
    Doc. Not at the races.
    Ryan O’Donoghue showing once again how good he is!

  4. Mayo looked very ordinary this evening as we did last weekend. Not our best 15 started but still big worries. I never thought we would win.

  5. Tonight shows our problem..nobody up front other than ROD. We have a simple problem …there does not appear to be players who can score up front other than ROD. Conroy out and remember COC will not be the same player if he comes back- at leat for a whilst.

    We did not field our strongest team true; however the absentees were more in defence.

    We’re fine from 1 to 9 but after that…

    Also, disappointing to see fellas not taking on shots when they had the chance..and what about the new kicking game that we espoused after the Dublin game?

    It’s a reality check..and there’s no real solution in my opinion.

    It’s the real curse of Mayo…the lack of scoring forwards. Spillane will have a field day!

    Neither should people decry this as doomsday stuff after a league defeat. It’s not – it’s a long-term structural issue that cannot be passed over.

    Is Hession really doing it btw..haven’t seen anything special of him since Dublin semi last year?

  6. One positive – I thought O’Shea looked very comfortable in defensive duties at 6 and had a good game tonight.

    Negatives – too many to mention, but the forward line is completely dysfunctional. Lacking in physicality and pace, and too many afraid to take the shot on. We don’t have reliable forwards apart from O’Donoghue at the moment. He can’t dig us out of every hole. Also, Oisin Mullin is out of form atm and needs to be played in a more attacking role. The awful form of Stephen Coen continues too, which is a concern. He hasn’t played well since the final last year.

  7. When you consider that the likes of Harry, O’Hora and Plunkett were all on the bench and unused, we must conclude James Horan was in full experimentation mode.

  8. Not bothered by the result either our focus is on getting things in order for Galway in April. In terms of blooding some lads into the set-up then mission accomplished. What concerns me is the way our scores have dried up – no menace and no goal threat apart from ROD. We don’t need to be in.league finals at this stage – we need to be working hard on the training ground working on team shape and maximising our scoring potential with that Galway defence in mind.

  9. @williejoe I hope that was tongue in cheek about another game we won’t be too bothered about. I want them to go out and beat kildare and try get to Croker for another game. If mayo beat kildare then armagh will have to beat kerry and Donegal to finish ahead of mayo. Another loss next week would be 3 losses in a row going into the galway game not ideal at least a win against kildare and a run out in Croker would be ideal prep imo.

  10. Dreamysleepy, I agree, I thought Aido did well and I was surprised to hear Billy Joe in the pod saying that he struggled.

  11. Now that maby emotions have subsided a bit because in all fairness some supporters should take a 2 hour break and breath before putting up comments on all media pages because we win games were outstanding and we loose we’re useless and then there’s the middle ground, fair enough this was a below average performance but a few factors definitely have to been taken into account, Tyrone needed to win way more than us which gave them way more urgency , we definitely looked like we were heavy legged probably due to heavy training, and call a spade a spade we had a very experimental team out and in reality probably 6/7 of the team will start against Galway, our forward play was definitely toothless and our unwillingness to shoot is frustrating to watch no point mentioning players that didn’t play well because it’s a bit harsh but maby horan is weeded out the players that might not be up to it our hf line is still the most bothersome with diarmaid at 11 it’s still unsure who will be beside him but still we beat Kildare and we’re possibly in a final and then experimenting needs to stop and the championship 15 needs to be nailed down but over all not to disheartening we still could have won playing brutal maby that the one bad game out of the system

  12. We had Many problems tonight but
    AOS was not one of them.
    The forward line is a total mess.

  13. Liberal, was also surprised to hear that on the pod. Totally disagree. I thought it was the most comfortable he’s looked in a while.

  14. I saw Mark Moran was with the team today and travelled on the bus, hopefully he gets a run out next weekend.

    Team i would like to see v Kildare assuming diarmuid, eoghan mc and paddy are still carrying knocks. I would also rest lee, ryan and mattie maybe give them 20 mins off the bench.

    Rory Byrne (Needs game time)

    Harrison (Needs game time)

    S Coen
    Oisin (Needs game time)

    Jack Carney (Need a plan B if Mattie gets injured)
    Jordan Flynn

    Enda Hession (Needs game time)
    Kev Mc (Needs game time)
    Frank Irwin

    Aidan Orme
    Jason Doherty (Needs game time)
    Mark Moran

  15. Lots of pessimism about tonight but there are positives as well:
    We have been below par the last 2 weeks but Kerry could have had no complaints if we had won last week and the same against Tyrone tonight.

    All this without some serious players missing and James trying to experiment.
    I think we are going along OK. Backs and midfield are doing fine.
    Cillian and James Carr would give us some punch in the forward line if we can get them back. Even one of them would make a big difference. We need a bit of luck with injuries the same as everybody else.
    I still wouldn’t back against us being around at the business end in July.

  16. That was as bad a Mayo performance as I’ve seen since last September.
    Very few positives, although I thought McBrien looked right at home. Matthew Ruane and Jordan Flynn battled bravely. Outside of that? Nothing. Decision making was poor and the execution of even the most basic skills (pick ups, bounces, solos and passes) was shockingly poor.
    You can say we don’t want to make a league final, which is nonsense. More competitive games at a high level is exactly what JH et Al should be aiming for. If they’re not, there’s a problem.
    People saying we had an experimental side out – did ye see the Tyrone team?
    We’ve hit a bad patch of form and we absolutely have to be winning our last game. No point going into Galway game on the back of a defeat.
    I’m not a fan who is pressing a panic button. I just fail to see how anything has been learned from last year. Thought maybe JH, so slow to act in the final, might have spent six months coming up with a plan to play Tyrone. Obviously I was wrong.

  17. We didn’t get out of the blocks quickly enough. You cannot let Tyrone get a such a head start. They are the masters at strangling teams with the suffocating blanket once they get ahead. They’ve got form for such play against us in McHale park but was not expecting it in Omagh. The first quarter was dire. The first few points conceded were down to turnovers. The Aidan O’Shea experiment in the half-backs was certainly a failure, in the first-half at least we looked completely listless in the backs. Could barely get the ball past midfield in the first 20 minutes. We lacked pace and ball-winning strength up-front. All the forwards struggled with no scores from starting forwards save for ROD. Jack Carney made a difference when he came on. Aiden Orme looked short of confidence at times. Subs did not make any impact, Kev McLoughlin had his poorest show for Mayo in a long time. I was surprised Horan used only four subs. Surely Plunkett and Harrison were worth bringing on?

    Tyrone were no great shakes. Peter Harte’s class and Mayo’s profligacy flattered them in the first half. They were certainly there for the taking in the second half but we just didn’t have the firepower up front to drive home.

    It’s been a positive league so far and two losses aren’t the end of the world. I don’t buy into this narrative of not wanting to play a league final. Hopefully results go our way and a victory against Kildare next week will see us into the final. We need as many competitive games as possible before the big one next month

  18. Let’s face it ,Tyrone were very average.
    They gave us loads to chances to win the
    game, but we couldn’t execute the basics.
    That was not a Tyrone master class

  19. Tommy+Joe – we clearly did have an experimental team out. Tyrone were almost full strength apart from McKenna who is 50:50 to start.

    Having said that Tyrone were pretty terrible tonight after the first 20 minutes. It was there for us to win after getting back to a point behind.

  20. If one more person puts this loss down to heavy training, I’ll have to sign myself in.
    No excuses, we were the second best to a team that looked a shadow of themselves from last year. We were a shadow of ourselves due to team selection, they were shadow of themselves due to repeatedly giving us the ball back under no pressure (very un-Tyrone like) and keeping us in the game. So much so that the game was absolutely there for the taking in the last 10. That’s where the disappointment lies, we had the possession but apparently not the quality on the pitch to finish the job.
    Imo we really need to go out next week with our championship team, blow Kildare away and qualify for the final. But what’s our championship team, who knows, I certainly don’t, and I doubt anyone else here come name it correctly either.

  21. Byrne – solid, but didn’t have much to do. Doesn’t have the variety of kickouts like Rob. That has a knock on effect to our forward play.

    Keegan – got the better of McCurry. Good on the ball as always.

    McBrien – looked comfortable. Nice to have a tall athletic option to play full back.

    McHugh – struggled a bit on Canavan.

    Mullin – struggled on Meyler. He’s better marking a more physically imposing forward.

    O’Shea – did well I thought. However, we don’t need another half back option.

    Coen – did okay, but no more than that. Considering the options we have in defense, will be under pressure to keep his place.

    Ruane – very good as usual.

    Flynn – the main positive of the league so far.

    McDonagh – didn’t happen for him while on.

    Towey – see above.

    Boland – see above.

    Orme – unlike Towey and Boland he is physically up to senior intercounty, but isn’t scoring enough.

    Doherty – won some good ball, but couldn’t get free to take on shots.

    O’Donoghue – not his best game, but easily our best forward.

    Subs – Carney improved things, at least he’s willing to take on shots. McLoughlin had a nightmare, but I wouldn’t worry about him. Hession was meh. Loftus couldn’t make any difference.

  22. Ahnow – I don’t buy the heavy training excuse either. They were in Tralee last Saturday and Omagh tonight. There would have been very little intense training during the week.

  23. It will be a struggle to pick 3 for the MOTM poll
    Can we pick King Maurice of Deegan for implementing his own version of the advantage rule 😀

  24. That comment you made about Deegan Willie Joe could be used to describe the majority of our forwards tonight and recently in relation to their scoring ability. Like last week, if we had quality scoring forwards we would not have lost.

  25. Fumbling, if we hadn’t we would have won, kevin Mac needs game time, his judgement in passing was off, towey nice player but not no 11

  26. Poor performance from both teams, bit like last week. Only difference is that Mayo are really looking to strengthen panel for championship.
    Think there is serious under current agenda against JH amongst some here and certain sections in the Mayo media.
    I’d agree JH and Co didn’t do well at all on the line in the all ireland final but they are obviously using the league to strengthen the 26 so I’d be inclined to stick with them and bar Rochford I’d like to hear of alternative management before ye sharpen the knives. Win Connaught.
    Anything possible after that.

  27. The most man we missed most tonight was Diarmuid O’Connor.. He gets through a mountain of thankless work to keep us in the game. Indeed, so does Cillian. That was a hugely experimental team tonight. Even Seán Canavan acknowledged that this could have influenced the result

  28. Not great performance at all but still could have drawn/won.
    We missed Robbie in goal for both kickout and long range points.Aido did very well as a sweeper (great to see that Horan can play a sweeper if needs be)
    S. Coen is not in good form,I hope he can shake it off, midfield is motoring nicely
    Boland looked to get on a lot of ball but it just didn’t happen,I’d stick with him.Orme needs to shoot when he’s in the position, Ryan was top class (he’s probably our most important player now) If we had Paddy and Diarmuid I think we could have beaten Tyrone.,they’re no great shakes.Wouldnt be too worried,we’ll beat any team on our day and more so when we have big names back.
    Onward and upwards!

  29. were without our punch running from deep (or runners, )
    bad execution of any long kick passed in
    we seem to be subject to opposition’s gameplay, not imposing our own.
    looked like a game that had to be played.
    as scattered as we looked, it could have been worse.
    there’s a bit left in the year though

  30. Positives
    Byrne is a good sub goalie
    New full back looking good
    Backs overall playing well
    Midfield playing wel

    Forwards were desperate excepr oDonoghue
    Boland just not srrong enough
    Coughed up too much ball

    We still only lost by 2

  31. Anyone know the mark rule. I thought the player has to call the mark? Deegan was blowing for the mark when several times the player didn’t signal for it and ignored the whistle from Deegan for a mark

  32. Disagree with the comments towards the end of the audio, WJ. Still very much possible that a league final will be in our hands going into the Kildare game. I see JH going all out to win that game with the aim of getting to the league final (a more experienced team at least).
    Also don’t see it as a mistake by JH going with more experimentation tonight. The game was not a must-win. He could afford to try newer players and they got minutes in against some of the top players in the country – great experience albeit a poor performance.

  33. Statements like ‘Horan not interested in a league final’ and we were ‘experimental’ are cop outs- most of our forwards don’t appear good enough. With Conroy out and COC still injured, what real options do we have? People refer to Carr but he hasn’t really been pulling up any trees either in the last whilst.

    Remember that we weren’t great up front against, Monaghan, Dublin or Armagh and we rely a lot on midfield and the half backs to assist.

    Now people are on about Mullin and Hession in the half forward line…sounds like shuffling around deck chairs on the titanic!

    No myopic excuses please …instead let’s face the reality that with Conroy and COC our there are no great scoring options bar ROD up front…irrespective of Horans’ mindset, training schedules etc.

    Ruane and Durcan score more than most forwards put together …bar ROD!

  34. Deegan is right to blow the whistle every time for a mark. It’s then up to players to raise their hand and claim it.

    Only thing I’d question the referee on is for one of Ryan’s frees in the 2nd half. Looked a blatant foot trip by McKernan yet no black card. Having an extra player for 10 minutes could have swung the game. The black card for McLoughlin at the end was borderline in comparison.

  35. It was a crackers team selection to begin with, why we couldn’t start with the strongest team possible and get control of the game and then introduce a few of the less experienced lads in the second half is frankly mind boggling.

    Had we beaten Tyrone it would have left them in serious relegation trouble, which could be beneficial to ourselves down the road, ah no the nice lads from the west don’t think that way.

    I suppose the team to face Kildare will be named tonight, no medals for being a buachaill maith.

    Kildare and Galway will beat us unless there’s a serious sup of cop on in the coming days.

    I don’t agree @Brendan Lynskey, because had we taken tonight’s game seriously we would have won it without a shadow of a doubt and could possibly have made a final this weekend so it’s next week the experimenting could have been done.

    JH has put the cart before the horse I’m afraid and made a serious boo-boo.

  36. @Spotlight, how do you explain that we are up there in the top 3 of the scoring charts.

    We have more of a spread of scorers than most teams so don’t get bogged down in this “we don’t have the forwards”, if we had Clifford some would moan we don’t have defenders.

    We have been doing ok in the scoring stakes as the data clearly shows.

    If we could cut out the soft turnovers it would be as good as having a top class forward.

  37. Or put another way , if we had scoring forwards we would be sitting on a few all Irelands and raging hot favs to win this years championship . Even getting cillian back would mean we would still have a serious cut at it and that’s with the loss of Tommy taken into account . But I just can’t see how we can push on from last year in the present form . Top three isn’t worth a flying fook to mayo gaa at this stage , number one , name on the big cup is the only show in town .

  38. Obviously you can’t dwell on injuries but we were missing Cillian, Tommy and Diarmuid today. That’s 3 of our top 4 forwards. No team in the country could deal with that.

    Unfortunately at this stage, Diarmuid is the only one of those likely to start vs Galway.

  39. We definitely did not want to win this game. The body language from our side line for the entire game told as much. I suspect it will be the same next week. Not certain that is a good idea but if we beat Galway it will be forgotten about.

  40. Very disappointing.Scoring just 9 points bad enough but deduct Ryan O’Donoghue’s 4 frees leaves us with just 5 points from play simply not good enough.Im generally optimistic but left Healy Park tonight feeling very despondent.

  41. I think if you go back to Horan’s first stint as manager, you’ll see his track record when it comes to leagues. Doesn’t seem to care – nor should he. I think he’s right not to be concerned with the league and I do think they looked like they’d had a big week on the training pitch. Weren’t at the pitch of it at all.
    It’s all about Galway.
    I’m disappointed Harrison has played so little. Clearly not an option now for Galway. Same with Cillian. He needed game time, now really can’t be seen as a good option. Doherty looked quieter tonight as well. More football could see him come good as a target man – but time is running out.
    Boland looks an option going forward. He’s a presence, more noticeable than Walsh or McDonagh who have been given plenty of chances. But the reasons he hasn’t been on the team the last few years are still there – just lacking in physicality at times. I do think he’s one of our best options there at the minute.
    Kevin Mc needs more game time. He was poor when he came in tonight but still offers a good option off the bench. Thought Aido did reasonably well. He’s not going to be a centre back in the championship but got on a lot of ball and dictated matters at times. When Mayo have to chase games and up the pace, that’s when he gets lost a bit. Coen did well in the first half, holding up the ball but completely disappeared in the second. His form is not great at present and with plenty of options now in that half back line, he could do well to hold his place. Kudos to Byrne who looked fine tonight and has gotten two games in this league that he needed. His performance in the FBD league wasn’t great – he’ll take confidence from this and the Armagh game if he called upon come the summer.
    I do think Mayo have their eye fully fixed on Galway – they’ll need to. Galway are coming for them and Comer is ominously back in form.
    The line up for Kildare will be interesting. I think Horan will put out a strong team – it’s real countdown territory from here on out until the Galway game – he knows this. It wasn’t a good performance today but I’ll wont’ be losing any sleep just yet. The real test is yet to come and everything I’ve seen tells me Horan and Ciarán Mac think similarly.

  42. Bad, bad, sad.
    One score in the last 25 minutes. Tyrone looked comfortable riding out the storm, sorry, puff of wind. Big teams have us sussed: get your men behind the ball, push our attackers to the wings, let us spray it around till we turn it over, then hit us with lightning counter attacks.

    Forwards chosen were too small. Oisín’s form a big worry – no manager is quaking at dealing with him.

    McBrien a big plus tonight. Jack Carney useful too.

  43. Very frustrating match tonight. Lots of good opportunities with the wind but lads afraid to shoot. Tyrone cynical and we’re constantly running the clock down with ‘head injuries’. Wasn’t obvious from watching game back. No ball boys to be seen and Mayo looked a little jaded. Deegan with his usual calibre. We may have won that with Geogh reffing. Lots of unforced errors and turnovers cost us in the end. Positives were Flynn and ROD but ‘‘twas a Long drive home….

  44. Forward line I’d start against Galway if all fit
    11-O Connor
    15-O donoghue
    It’s not as bleak as people are making it out to be

  45. Ah well, Have we taken the learning’s from our poor All Ireland final display, and learned what NOT to do versus Tyrone?. Very frustrating to watch this game.. I didn’t think Tyrone were any great shakes either, even with their near full strength selection. I don’t know if James Horan is overly concerned about the league?. Personally, I’d like Mayo to win the competition. I don’t buy what many are saying that it’s all about Galway, a poor performance in today’s league match does absolutely nothing to enhance our chances in the championship, starting with Galway, in 5 weeks time, wherever that game will be played… If some people had their way, we’d be losing enough league games to stop us making the final, because we might pick up more injuries in the final, and/or give them some insight into how we might play. They also might want us to play all our home games in someone’ else’s home. But you need to factor in the possibility of getting injuries, training, or A v B game’s instead of a League Final, where our Team and our Supporters might get some glory, and maybe hear the “Saw Doctors” belt out the “Green and Red of Mayo” once again.. One argument certainly counter’s the other. I know the option I prefer if I had any choice in the matter… Still plenty of player’s have gotten a chance for some intercounty action, hopefully this experience will bring them on and stand to Mayo in the future.. At least we’re safe from the drop, and we still have a chance at making the league final, sorry to disappoint some of ye. If my memory serves me right, Ryan O Donoghue has played all 6 league games do far, and has been excellent.. But I have a worry.. At the beginning of January, many of us all hoped that our full forward line, would compromise of Tommy Conroy, Cillian O Connor and Ryan O Donoghue. The player we most can’t afford to lose to injury now has to be Ryan.

  46. Look we don’t have a massive scoring forward line who are fit.However like Viper says if you stop silly turnovers and resulting scores you are going to give yourself every chance.
    This was evident in Kerry and yesterday too also against Armagh.
    Another thing in the last 2 years we have never played 70 minutes of football.The established pattern is play shit for firsthalf then struggle to recover and scrape through.
    We should be aiming for Winning the league final in 2 weeks time.

  47. What’s really concerning is the lack of coordinated team .moves in how we attack. It’s the same formula on repeat. Run hard down the wings, shovel the ball back and Yesterday lots of kicking it from advanced positions all the way back to midfield.

  48. Are people really convinced that Oisin Mullin is a good footballer or are people allowing 20 minutes of the 2020 final to blur their mind? He is a great atlete which gets him out of trouble. Poor kicker, solos up in the air, handpasses go to ground when under pressure and he is prone to some amount of clangers…he doesn’t have any sense of danger. ball watching when the ball hit the post against Galway in 2021, stopped for Cons goal in 2020, poor for McShanes goal in 2021. Roastwd by Clifford last week. Roasted by Darragh Canavan in the last league game of 2020.

  49. While I am not into over criticising a poor performance or getting too excited when we perform well, this was quite worrying but it confirms what we know or at least what we should know, The bottom line is that we do not have the forwards who are good enough to win us what we want, That was the case last August and unfortunately that has been the case for a long time now. Sure they are willing, competitive and committed but will they get us the crucial scores when the need is greatest v? I think not. Cillian has been the exception. His loss last year was disastrous and his continued unavailability is a major concern. Ryan O Donahue has been outstanding in his absence. He has stood up so well for us especially in the last two games, has been excellent from frees but has just one point from play. That’s not a criticism by the way. Tommy Conroy another potential match winner but he’s gone now as well. Diarmaid another very honest guy who can be great on his good days, but will he chip in with 3 or 4 scores No. After that where do you go. Guys are tried, play ok one day, not great the next. Consistency is the key to success. Boland got some good scores in Kerry, but poor last night. Carney looks like he could be ok but hard to know. Jason and Kevin Mc have been brilliant for us down through the years. Last night was bad for both. People call for James Carr, but he has not played this year. Orme looks ok at times but does he have the physicality to mix it with the big boys. Towey started last night but subbed at half time. Bryan Walsh got a fair bit of game time in the league. Honest and willing, but a major score getter . No. In contrast Kerry have O Shea and Clifford, Armagh and Kildare have a few lovely scoring forwards as do our neighbours in Galway which should be our greatest concern. So how do we compensate and give ourselves a chance to win? Same as always with our strong running half backs and midfield, Down through the years Lee, Boyler, Keith, Vaughan, Paddy etc have chipped in with crucial scores. Paddy seems the only real threat from that area now. In fairness Mattie Ruane and to a lesser extent Jordan Flynn have done their stuff for us. We need a strong running half back line with Oisin playing to his potential and a midfield chipping in with a few scores if we are to have a chance to progress. Mayo will be tough to beat. We will be competitive, brave and resilient. But will we score enough consistently to win against the better teams? If they stop our runners from deep as Kerry and Tyrone did the where will we get the 20 or 21 points needed to win the biggest games?

  50. Great post, to win just once.

    It’s a long shot, but maybe the likes of a Mark Moran might stay injury free and be an asset during summer. Sure, he hasn’t played, but all we need is a lad to get 2 or 3 points. Surely he’s good enough for that. He’s definitely a natural forward. Catch, shoot, score. Easy, eh?

    We’re incredibly weak in the forwards right now. As you say, lack of consistency is the thing. Lack of physicality might be a contributing factor too, for instance, a player can get away with it for a match or two but will be found out against a meaner defence.

    On yesterday’s showing, I’d be surprised if we see Jason Doc again this year. Looks like injury issues. Another hope possibly gone.

  51. Is it not time to have settled on the strongest team by now and give them playtime to gel. I agree with Viper. Put your best team out initially and replace players as the game progresses. The Galway game is fast approaching and we need to have settled on a first fifteen. Don’t think Aidan O’ Shea is a first fifteen. He is not quick enough and reflexes are slow. Horan should know his first fifteen by now and has to play them against Kildare. Enough experimenting.

  52. An awful lot of our season hinges on whether cillian gets back and with his form of 12 months ago . If results went our way today we will have to lose next week to avoid a final , surely you couldn’t purposely lose ?

  53. To win just once
    Agree with all that but we do have a spare of scorers when Diarmuid and Paddy play.Flynn and Ruane both score we can get it done.We need someone inside at FF to win high ball or give a physical presence.
    OShea, Oisin etc carrying forward to the 45 is fine but then you’re bottled up and turned over.You need a mix….its not either or but opponents need to be uncertain when we get beyond halfway about whether we will kick to score from 45 yards run it orpla a high ball in.
    At the moment they don’t have that uncertainty.
    Look if we beat Kildare we might get to a league final…can we win it …….yes…..but we need to show up…and stop all this…..don’t worry about the result bollicks…..its about winning every game.
    You could see Sean Cavanagh as a competitor couldn’t figure our approach out last night.
    If we don’t think we can beat Kerry in a league final then we can’t think we will do it in July.
    We might as well lose to Galway and go home

  54. Armagh will win today.
    Kerry have no interest and would not want to gift us another chance to take them on and win.They don’t do hope in the kingdom.
    We could have relegated Tyrone last night…
    I see Dublin winning their next 2 and getting into the championship in a positive frame of mind.
    Look it’s not the end of the world Tyrone got hammered themselves by Kerry last year and I am sure they didn’t feel great afterwards.
    With DOC, Paddy OHora it’s a different side
    However you just don’t have the faith that Mayo can actully take “the learnings”….whatever the hell the are after that

  55. 1989 if we lost to Galway, we may be heading home soon after because the qualifiers this year will be rammed with good teams. No soft touches anymore, they will be going into the Tailteann Cup

  56. @Viper- Third in the scoring charts is a case of ‘lies, damned lies and statistics ‘. A lot of our scores comes from ROD aided by Ruane and Durcan.

    One score in the last 25 minutes tonight with a stiff breeze….we dominated possession against Kerry last week in the opening 10 minutes yet were 4 – 1 down because we had no penetration in attack.

    A classic case of our problem is players like DOC, Orme and Carney. Good workhorses…but their not scoring forward.

    I believe Horan does want to make a league final but is trying out a few players also.

    A league final would be of far better benefit to us than not qualifying..because a game in Croker against Kerry will tell us a lot about ourselves- more so than any training session. There’s 3 weeks to the Galway game so ample time for recovery.

  57. we should be grateful for our good health and the fine footballers who represent our county. Just listen at 10 to Miriams program on radio. She features Pierce Higgins .

  58. A lot of people (myself included) posted here in the wake of last September’s showing that they very much doubted that the manager will take any learnings and apply a different approach in his final year in charge. That realisation is starting to unfold. Experimentation is one thing but fielding players who are afraid to take on the shot that is within scoring range and with the wind to your back really leaves you wondering what is going on. Horan is in no position to be turning his nose up at the league. It could very well be the last chance of winning a national title that he’ll have before he’s out. As it’s currently shaping up this team is looking too incomplete to beat Galway in April. Just look at the quality of scoring forwards that Padraig Joyce is developing by comparison. Lose that game and it’s down into the snakepit that is the back door competition. James might be best advised to have fielded a slightly more balanced team and have gone for the one piece of national silverware within sight lest it all ends in tears.

  59. Wishing Fionn a speedy recovery from his hamstring injury. It looked a serious injury. Remember all these lads are going out to do their best. These lads are all training as hard as the regular starters. If Horan didnt give the panel players some game time now in the league – these lads would be very unhappy and rightly so. By playing panel members he knows a lot more about them now. Would like to see Towey getting some game time at corner forward. I know he wasn’t great last night but he has s bit of pace. Also any time he got the ball last night he was looking to give quick ball in and create things- however it looked like there was nothing happening in terms of movement inside

  60. At Least Darren Coen will have a crack when
    An opportunity arises and will score more
    Often than not. What is the point of Orme at
    Corner forward if he is not willing to shoot

  61. Having taken a breather and resisted the temp station to plough straight into commenting I watched the match back again this morning. 1-9 we really are in great shape, there is great competition generally for places. McBrien at full back also looks like someone who could develop nicely injuries permitting.
    Keegan at corner back is still an absolute waste of his talents. When he comes forward he offers us so much as an attacking threat. Could you imagine Tyrone dropping Harte to corner back?
    As noted by others, our forward line is a problem and I still believe a lot of it can be fixed by quick movement of the ball into the forward line. Contrast our speed of transition with that of Kerry or Tyrone and it’s light years away. Without pacy forwards we need to allow the ball do the work, similar to how we played against Dublin.
    It would seem that Ryan, DOC, Carney and probably Walsh (if fit) are guaranteed starters against Galway. Orme is likely to be the fifth and that leaves one place still up for grabs. I’d expect that will be filled by Jason Doherty, another game against Kildare will help bring his fitness along.
    A lot of work needed in the next four weeks though and I feel that necessary tweaks to let the ball move quickly enough will not be implemented in time.

  62. It’s really difficult to gauge what the difference between ourselves and Galway will be . I looked at the Connacht final from last year again two nights ago , they had us killed in the first half , we simply couldn’t catch Shane Walsh , even paddy Durcan lost him for one score but our S&C superiority was telling when the game was there to be won . So will galway have improved in that context and will we have a more potent plan in place to halt a 70 min Shane Walsh . Roscommon are no pushover either .

    Five weeks today and still no word on venue , that can’t help for planning either . If I were mayo cb and was full sure mchale would be ready I’d put out a false flag rumour that it won’t be and we’d be going to salthil . Hinder Galway’s plans a little .

  63. Dreading P Spillane tonight when he brings up his “No Scoring Forwards” rant. The problem is he’s right. We might stumble over a Galway but after that we’re going nowhere unless we think totally outside of the box and play any 2 of 3 Eoghan / Oisín /Paddy in half forward line cos apart from Ryan the rest just not doing it apart from maybe Carney.

  64. While Galway have good forwards their backs are terrible

    Easy be a good forward against some of the Division 2 back lines. Some of their forwards are not the bravest.

  65. Jesus the doom and gloom here would sicken your hole. Its a cesspit of negativity game after game. If we lined out at full strength yesterday i would understand it.

    We have tried more players than any other team in division 1 and are safe from relegation, come May/June/July last night is irrelevant. Nothing is ever won in these months we learned that ourselves in 2019. We have taken more learnings from the last 2 games than the previous 4 games.

  66. @Spotlight, it doesn’t matter who’s doing the scoring does it ? Rob Hennelly isn’t a forward but has scored some crucial points for us, are they worth less because he’s a goalkeeper ? No they’re not.

    I think Durcan has scored 2 points in the league, Ruane 7.

    Our approach was so ponderous last night that even David Clifford would have struggled had he been wearing that pathetic Mayo regalia last night and we expect players who are nowhere near his level to do well.

    We have what we have, and you cant criticize that but what you can criticize is not making the most of what you have in order to win a game.

    We had the players to beat Tyrone last night and be within touching distance of looking forward to taking on Kerry in Croke Park but instead of that we possibly saved one of our rivals from relegation and sowed the seeds of doubts about our whole set up in the collective Mayo mind.

    Let no man tell me that was smart.

    We must be the greatest county for pressing the self destruct button and reaping what we sow.

    The logical thing to do was field a strong team last night as Tyrone were there for the taking, see how the result would go today and if Kerry were to beat Tyrone then give a few of the less experienced lads a run against Kildare, look forward to a League final against Kerry which would have been a great prep for Galway.

    Nothing too complicated about that for most people, it’s what’s called logical thinking.

  67. Imagine if we were to meet Kerry in Croke Park this Summer they will anahilate us. Jack O Connor will be telling his defenders to squeeze our fowards that they are yellow and afraid to take on their shots and push them back out the field where they will be robbed and Clifford and Sean O Shea crucify us at the other end. We cant blame Horan and McDonald for all our forward failings its an age old problem in Mayo. If players wont take on their shots they shouldnt be given the jersey

  68. Joeyo – Oisín and Eoghan are not forwards. Neither are great point kickers and would be even less likely to score with a defender on their case constantly. Paddy is similar. His strength is timing his run to get space.

    Viper – which players that were available yesterday evening, would have made a difference to the result? It was forwards that were struggling so the likes of O’Hora, Harrison or Plunkett wouldn’t have turned the game.

    As an aside, I don’t agree with people saying this was a carbon copy of the All Ireland final. Back then we created the goal chances to win the game, similar to Kerry last weekend. Yesterday was just a bad day at the office with an experimental team.

  69. Brendan Lynskey and TommieK. When you see our lack of scoring ability in the past 2 matches from play against better opposition, how can you ignore that? Like the 37% scoring conversion rate from play in the final last year? All of those games were there to be won and we couldn’t do it. But sure lookit, it will be grand.

  70. @Wide Ball, we are back to this lazy analysis once again of “we need forwards”, like a poor tradesman blaming his tools.

    Not a mention of tactics at all or an understanding of how to increase the scoring return of the forward line.

    If you are asking who would have made a difference then you are saying that we put out our strongest team available last night, that’s simply not true and I think most people acknowledge that.

  71. Plenty of daftness on here. The first of these is not wanting to win the league. It’s more a case of JH setting priority, which a league final is not…. this was exactly the game for experimental lineups as we are safe and management needs to see what we have. Some experienced players were poor notably Kevin Mc who has huge credit in the bank, I wouldn’t worry about him to start or come on. Sure if we make league final pick a strong team and go for it but it’s still massively about championship and the league is for building.
    The 2nd is dismissing talk of heavy training. Again it’s exactly the time for heavy training when you don’t need to win games. Unfortunately though this can lead to poor performances and most teams have bad off days in the league. That said I thought we didn’t fade, it was more a case of poor decision making and a few bad wides. A mental issue we can and should address.
    While I agree with some posts on forward options, we still have the option of converting a back of which we have a surplus. Hession, Oisin, Plunkett, Lee and Paddy are all extra options for a half forward slot. Tyrone have successfully mixed it up in the past moving Mattie Donnelly and Peter Harte into the forwards and the McMahon brothers into the backs.
    For FF line I’d be hoping for a bolter aside from our pack of good but not quite good enough that we have, maybe Irwin or Mark Moran. The other option there which hasn’t worked consistently is Aido. But it gives opposition something else to worry about. If Jason doesn’t click against Kildare I would push Aido up. Jason can also play half forward with Fionn Mc injury although will probably be Kevin Mc at RHF for balance being a lefty. We could start Darren Coen the next day to give him confidence. At least he is a proven sharp shooter. He won the last free yesterday. I think Towey is a corner forward and Boland is a half forward at this level… if giving them more chances we should play them in their best positions. I am a fan of Orme but agree with others that his scoring stats aren’t yet high enough. That will come and he will definitely get game time this championship but we need 5 or 6 options in FF line. We need guys who firstly win ball and then score or lay off to support player. Most have some but not all of these attributes.

  72. The problem last night wasn’t about the Mayo players selected but more to do with how to get through the Tyrone blanket defence, this has proven very difficult for this Mayo team.

  73. I wouldn’t write orme off , his reluctance to take a pop last night was a worry but hopefully he can learn from it when they look back at it

  74. Viper – I think we had our best available midfield and forward line on for the 2nd half last night. Unfortunately McLoughlin in particular had a nightmare. Fumbling ball into him, hitting passes over the sideline and missing a good point chance. Boland also missed a chance that he’d usually nail.

    Paddy and Diarmuid would have made a difference had they been available, but they weren’t. Harrison and O’Hora are out and out defenders. A few months ago people were saying Plunkett was lucky to be on the panel at all. So I don’t see who else could have played instead.

  75. It looks like we saved the worst til last.
    Still not able to win breaking ball we are as well to play without wing forwards because thats the primary role of a half forward is to get in among the breaks.
    We talk about forwards but as I have stated before at this level it’s all about the goals. I know we struggled to kick points but no attempt at goal bar Carney’s effort which hit Flynn on the way out for a wide. Ironically if it had gone in we would have won.

    Similar to the Monaghan game last night, the difference we scored a goal. Kerry last week scored a goal and yes they beat us.

    For all our pace up front running at goal weaving the ball quickly between players might suit us better that passing round in circles and back out the field again only to cough up possession. This happened for two of Tyrone’s three second half points!
    This reluctance to fire in front of the posts seems to be down to instructions to keep the wide count down. Instead the instruction should be around the D and inside the 21 yard line is the scoring zone, so score.

    A player who I think a question mark hangs over is Hession. One half against Dublin last year but nothing since.

  76. Watched the game again. It appears to me that we were mentally and physically exhausted
    Did we use the bank holiday weekend as a training weekend with all our players off work?

  77. I forget, one huge issue I had with last night’s game was the absence of a left footed shot by Mayo players to take a point from play, time and time again this was evident, the worst case was Hession failing to try and score with his left and only 15 or 20 yards from Tyrone goals with no Tyrone defender in his way.

  78. @Wide Ball, I’d suggest that anyone saying Plunkett is lucky to be on the panel know nothing about football or how to spot talent.

    And what do “out and out ” defenders do, they help stop the likes of Peter Harte running riot.

    There’s an attitude among some who blame everything on the forwards and they conveniently forget that it’s all about the margin at the end of the day.

    Tyrone scored 11 points, we may have kept them to 8 had we shelved the “experimenting”.

  79. @kickhams man, yeah I too was wondering what the status is with Hession, was really expecting him to be nailing down a starter spot this year after a promising debut year and very good club championship, he is back from injury a good while now so its curious he is only getting cameos at this stage

  80. OMG. I can’t believe galway are trying to win games. There 10 pts up against derry and not even half time. Why doesn’t Joyce put out his reserves surely the league couldn’t matter to galway

  81. Agree Viper.
    Yeah no doubt what the hell are Galway at ruining their chances in the Championship…..

  82. beat me to it viper , no shane walsh and they put up this kind of score against a decent derry side albeit no mcgaugin.

  83. I do think Mayo88 has a point above. I feel it’s a case of the tough Tyrone defence making our forwards look very ordinary and toothless. I repeat that phrase – “making our forwards look very ordinary”, no spark, no go, bland. Same as in the AIF. Tyrone’s work rate and style of play did that. It’s a Tyrone thing.

    Contrast versus Dublin – against a different defence two new lads, Orme and Carney, looked very knacky, full of beans, decisive and brave.

    I noticed Orme on one occasion last night hesitating to shoot but it looks as if people *were* cautious about shooting against that packed Tyrone defence. We’ve been crucified by them years ago in the League on counter attacks and we know this Tyrone team feed on counter attacks too. There’s a lot of risk there. We need to nail a way to play them and get the better of them. Dublin used to be cautious shooting against them too back in the day.

    Positives – I thought Aidan played very well at the back. He provided great stability there and was a pivot, directing our play.
    It was a low scoring game in general – our backs held well and restricted them to points. In contrast to the AIF, no goals were conceded. We learned that. Not conceding goals, I think, has to be a major plank of how we play Tyrone in the future because they are so hard to score against themselves.
    Tell me what ye think, but I didn’t think Morgan and the Tyrone midfield had the same influence last night as they had in the AIF in Sept. They killed us that day. Maybe Aidan at 6 had a part in this.
    I’m sure ye saw this too, but on the attack side of things, both Mattie and Aidan showed that high energy, brash charges forward into their forward lines can yield dividends. It’s very high energy but I liked that you can unsettle them with it, make them sweat, make them uneasy, challenge them. Last night we hadn’t the personnel around Mattie or Aidan to support and steal a score but we could have.

    This is something half learned for later in the year.

    I thought Jordan Flynn also showed that fierce, high energy determination to charge forward last night.
    Tyrone are a team that are hard to break through. Maybe a few different factors need to be considered to beat them.
    Maybe we succeeded in nailing some of the factors last night. What has us all sad is the lacklustre scoring in the last ten to fifteen minutes. I think that is a system thing more than a Mayo personnel thing. Find the system to unlock Tyrone and then you might have a chance to score.

  84. kerry 6 points to 1 up and without ronaldo and messi still kerry radio boys not happy at all with proceedings

  85. Galway with two more scores in a half than we got the full game yesterday.. and without one of the top forwards in Ireland

    Fair play to them they’ve absolutely tore up division 2 and have serious momentum, with a fairly settled team now

  86. I’d say there’s a fair bit more than simple squad rotation going on and it’s unfair to say there’s been no learnings. Definitely an issue that some forwards were afraid to pull trigger but in the last few seasons Mayo have been way better at retaining and recycling possession, there’s been some (clearly key) players taking scores off either foot,
    more of a focus on getting quick ball up the field through kicking (which can result in more lost ball when getting used to) and a sweeper was deployed yesterday. That doesn’t sound very “Horanball” to me – do get concerns around tactics for the forwards but still feels like the team are trying to add strengths. Might be we have the obvious problem of lacking the same quality of forwards when a number of our first choices are injured

  87. I don’t see any mystery in what the management has been doing in the league. It is crystal clear and whether you agree with ith it or not is a different thing. If you have an agenda, then it is very easy to pick holes in the plan. Horan is trying out 4/5/6 of his fringe players in the division one environment to see how they react in fast, tough, down to the wire competitive action. All these are good players, all have been lauded here by various contributors and the ideal environment to test the mettle is one the pitch. This has required a careful juggling of the usage of key players, Keegan, Ruane, O’Donoghue are vital so that there is continuity and enough “good” players to give a platform for the fringe fellas to shine. Of course, some haven’t shone and as pointed out the forward situation has not thrown up any certain additions, Kearney and Orme perhaps the ones with the best case. Personally, I’m a fan of Darren Coen(impact sub) Towney, Boland but they haven’t set the world alight. Despite these eperimentations we are, incredibly, still in the hunt for a final place. The obvious thing to do now, will I expect, be to put out a strong side v Kildare and in the final if we make it. From a preparation point of view, this would be as good as Horan could possibly have had it. Six close games with usually only have our regulars is some going. I don’t agree with going flat out against Tyrone and then putting out an experimental side in a nothing game v Kildare, nothing to be learned there. All this will mean naught if we don’t gain any new starters from it but I fail to see any other credible strategy.

  88. Well said Mattd.
    Fresh legs for next week beat Kildare and honestly think we have the beaten of Kerry in croke park.
    Some lads got their chance last night and unfortunately for them they didn’t take it.

  89. Mattd , thats a very well thought out post , everyday is a school day and i learned from that post.

  90. The conspiracy theorists will be out in force this week , If Kildare beat Mayo, Tyrone beat Kerry, and Donegal beat Armagh then both Dublin and Monaghan will be relegated . It would be good for a season if Dublin spent a season in division 2.

  91. Some “supporters” here would want to have a good look at themselves when commenting on individual players. None of the lads go out to play badly.

    Horan was hardly going to go out and show his full hand at the weekend, especially against Tyrone.

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