Tyrone 1-15 Mayo 1-11: McCurry-inspired meltdown

Well, that’s one problem sorted. It looks like we won’t have a League final to worry about this year.

After tonight’s abject second half collapse against a youthful, energetic Tyrone team, however, a whole host of other issues have emerged for us. One of these, naturally, is the spectre of relegation, which, though still unlikely, will become a real and present danger if we fail to beat the Rossies next weekend.

Such was the manner of our second half surrender tonight, you’d wonder about our capability to beat any half-decent team any time soon. It’s not as bleak as that, of course, but it’s equally true that a significant improvement will be needed for our meeting with the neighbours next Saturday night.

What tonight demonstrated was that when you take the likes of Paddy Durcan, David McBrien, Diarmuid O’Connor, Ryan O’Donoghue and, yes, Aidan O’Shea out of this Mayo team, we suddenly look like a very ordinary outfit. In the second half tonight we were rarely better than mediocre.

With the four changes added before throw-in to those in the named team, this meant we started tonight’s game with eight changes from the one that had lined out in Tralee. The quartet who were sprung before throw-in this evening were Michael Plunkett, Matthew Ruane, Cillian O’Connor and Conor McStay, replacing Donnacha McHugh, Jack Carney, Aidan O’Shea and Ryan O’D onoghue.

Barely five minutes had been played when we were forced into another change. Diarmuid O’Connor limped off with what looked to be a muscle injury and Jack Carney came on for him.

We had the bulk of the possession in the first half, as Tyrone were content to sit deep for the most part and watch us handpass the ball over and back mainly out of range of their posts.

It was an odd enough half. Tyrone went a full twenty minutes without a score and had only posted a single point from play at the short whistle. While once again we’d put in another laboured opening half, we were in a strong position at half-time, where we led by a goal.

Cillian O’Connor had done the bulk of our first half scoring, all from placed balls. Two of these were close-in frees and he also expertly converted a penalty awarded when Jordan Flynn was felled as he bore down on goal.

Our two other scores, both from play, were bagged by Stephen Coen – a fine effort from way out on the right – and Conor McStay, who clipped over having taken a pass from Mattie Ruane.

Darren McCurry was in the team named in advance of the game but he didn’t line out. He was one of two subs Tyrone brought on for the second half, however, and his introduction turned this contest on its head after the break.

Within three minutes they were level. McCurry scored twice from frees and, sandwiched between those two scores, Darragh Canavan, who gave Sam Callinan a torrid time all evening, got one from play.

We hit back when Rob Hennelly landed a cracking long-range free. That put us briefly back in front but it was the last time we’d lead this evening.

McCurry curled over a sweet score off his left and then they hit us with a goal. The long, raking ball into Canavan was perfectly timed and he collected it, headed for goal and buried it. There was only one team that was going to win the game after that.

We rang the changes soon after the goal. Ryan O’Donoghue – whose absence from the start was a real head-scratcher, unless he’d got a knock during the week – and Eoghan McLaughlin came on, replacing Conor McStay and Michael Plunkett.

But the tide continued to go out on us. They scored the next three points, two more coming from McCurry, who was now in rampant mood. At this stage they’d outscored us by 1-7 to 0-1 since the resumption and they led then by six.

From then to the finish we steadied the ship a little, reducing the margin of defeat to four points. We got some nice scores in that final quarter too, a brace each from Fergal Boland and Ryan O’Donoghue, with nice ones too from sub Bob Tuohy and, right at the death, a long-range belter from Rory Brickenden.

The main men on the night, though, were Tyrone’s Darragh Canavan, who ended the night on 1-3 from play, and Darren McCurry who weighed in with an astonishing eight points, having only played one half of the game.

There are precious few positives for us to take from this performance. Once the pressure came on early in the second half we folded alarmingly and the really worrying thing was that, as Tyrone tore into us, we appeared to have no leaders at all on the field. They made us look very ordinary, we made them appear almost exceptional.

All we can do now is move on to our next challenge, with Roscommon coming to Castlebar next Saturday night. After tonight’s meltdown, we’ll need a major reaction in that one, or otherwise a League campaign which has turned sharply negative will get still worse.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly (0-1, free); Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden (0-1), Sam Callinan; Michael Plunkett, Stephen Coen (0-1), Enda Hession; Diarmuid O’Connor, Matthew Ruane; Diarmuid Duffy, Fergal Boland (0-2), Jordan Flynn; Cillian O’Connor (1-2, penalty goal and two frees), Tommy Conroy, Conor McStay (0-1). Subs: Jack Carney for Dairmuid O’Connor, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-2) for McStay, Eoghan McLaughlin for Plunkett, Bob Tuohy (0-1) for Ruane, Darren McHale for Duffy.

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

  • Fergal Boland (23%, 469 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (12%, 247 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (10%, 217 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (9%, 179 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (9%, 179 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (8%, 164 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (5%, 110 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (5%, 109 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (4%, 89 Votes)
  • Rob Hennelly (2%, 52 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (2%, 50 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (2%, 47 Votes)
  • Diarmuid Duffy (1%, 29 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Conor McStay (1%, 25 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (0%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,043

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25 thoughts on “Tyrone 1-15 Mayo 1-11: McCurry-inspired meltdown

  1. Agree Willie Joe that we are at nothing without the 5 players you mention. However year in year out we persist with other players who do their best but just lack that bit extra that’s needed at this level. We should be looking at younger players and give them more of a chance. Dublin brought in a few young lads tonight and they fitted in like veterans. Their coaching is obviously much better than ours. Our forward play is pathetic. We don’t know what to do. Too lateral and no proper movement. Reminds me of Donegal under Rochford. Compare that to Dublin. They are not afraid to shoot and when it’s not working for them on one day they will come back the next day and keep at it. They were magnificent tonight. Imagine Cillian O Connor having a scoreable free and he doesn’t take the shot on. It’s as if they are told unless you are 100% sure you are going to score don’t shoot. All I want is to
    Have a go and if we are not good enough so be it.

  2. Terrible third quarter collapse but won’t define our year no more than the Dublin win will. Commentators here don’t care about winning the league and want to blood new players. That’s what we got tonight with Duffy and McStay. As mentioned was an almost complete replacement of the line out and O’Shea didn’t get any minutes. Posters here got what they wanted. Penalty was soft and black card was harsh. McStay complained about big calls going against us but had no bearing on the final result. Kick-out strategy poor and not enough penetration upfront. Midfield cleaned out in the second half. Thought Stephen Coen did well and Fergal Boland making the most of his return. Nowhere close to the worst hammerings we’ve taken from Tyrone over the past decade and likely not the last. Can’t see us being relegated.

    Hope Kerry had an off night. Otherwise the Blue machine is well and truly back

  3. Not a great 2nd half. But hardly our championship 15 took to the pitch. Kerry got a lovely trimming from the Dubs and I doubt they r themselves written off the some in Mayo are discounting our boys. It’s early days. McStay and co are testing potential championship players and working to understand our strengths and weaknesses. A loss in Omagh today is not the end of the world. I’d like to see an uptick in performance next weekend at home. Get a few points there and keep oreparing for championship after that. Don’t forget we’ve done for galway and Dublin already and just lost to Kerry’s best 15.

  4. Mayo beat Dublin by one point, loss to Kerry by one point and tonight Dublin beat Kerry by 10 point. League football as unpredictable as ever.

  5. Good experiment at least we found out who our number 1 goalkeeper is tonight. Let the management pick the team too many people telling them them who to start all week. Robbie was great in the past but not at the same level now. 2 more points needed so I think they have enough left in the tank to get those 2 more points

  6. Hi Willie Joe. Let’s face it Mayo we’re a totally different Team Tonight than what played against Kerry last week. I think there was 8 changes overall. So let’s give these Lads a bit of slack. Matties first game back he should get better, a look at others like Mc Stay and Duffy. This Team have not played before. Mc Stay has to try out players in these Matches it’s here where you learn so much. This is the League not Championship. Let’s remember we won the League last year probably peaked too early and then were dumped out by Dublin. The League is about staying in Division 1 and sorting your first 15 and bench for Championship. Posters on here need to cop on to themselves. When we win we are wonderful and when we loose we are useless.If you are a true supporter then support the lads and Management . Obviously we can criticise but let’s do it objectively. These lads give up so much to wear the Green and Red so let’s get behind them next week against Roscommon and Roar them on.

  7. Well beaten and a lesson for us all tonight, management, players and supporters.First of all would you really fancy Mayo v Tyrone in a relatively important game. I wouldn’t. I said it in 2021 re All Ireland and I still say it. Secondly hopefully it’s an eye opener for us all. When you remove a number of the better Mayo players we have little chance. Take Durcan and McBrien out of defence, Diarmaid out of middle third and Ryan and AOS out of forwards and we will struggle. Did I mention AOS, the fella loads on here wanted dropped. Well you got your wish. Sam is a good lad but Canavan is too good for him. No shame in that. Canavan is excellent. A big fan of Rob but those short kick outs are a disaster and Rob did not have a good game. Wish we would kick it in longer, Tyrone’s goal came from quick delivery. We have no forwards of the calibre of McCurry and Canavan, with the possible exception of RYan. Tommy C still not playing well. But it’s February folks and these games don’t really matter. Kerry got absolutely hockeyed tonight v Dublin and even the mighty Clifford had an off night. Will people blame Jack O C or will they just accept Dublin were better tonight. When we lose a game in Mayo some think it’s the end of the world and blame everyone. The fact is we have lost against a team who were better than us on the night. We are not as good as some people expect us to be. We are not too bad either but we need to accept that Dublin Kerry, Derry are better than us and Galway, Roscommon, Tyrone and Monaghan are our equals and could beat us on any given day. Some here may not like to hear that and will blame management etc but I am afraid that is the case. From 2012 to 2017 we were in the top two in the country. We are not in that bracket now

  8. 4 league games, 1 comfortable win, 1 squeaker of a win, 1 squeaker of a loss, and 1 comfortable loss.

    Nothing to panic about tonight, a lot of changes made, the team was disjointed.

    Rob was an exemplary ‘keeper for a few years, but those days are behind us. When the goalie is having an off-day, that can rattle the rest of the backs confidence a bit. We were wide open at times. Reape and McBrien re-instated in the team should fix that.

    The back 6 is fairly young/coming back from injuries, and yeah, that 3rd quarter was a killer, but hopefully it’s a good learning experience for them.

    I’m worried about our midfield without Diarmuid. Whatever combination of Carney, Flynn, Coen we use isn’t a patch on Kerry, Dublin, or Derry’s midfield. And Matty Ruane has great flashes in some games. But they are merely flashes. Great midfielders need to be all over the place in games, and he has never been that. I don’t know where he would fit in best on the team. Possibly an impact sub for the last 15-20 minutes with his long runs into goal.

    The forwards, besides Boland and ROD, worry me. Combine those together from the start, and they’re good for 8-10 points a game usually. It’s the other 4 forwards we need more from. I think Conroy is finally getting back into form, I just hope the scores follow soon. Flynn, although a great all-round player, is hit and miss in front of the posts. We need another couple of reliable scorers, just chipping in with a couple of points a game.

    Have to say I’m delighted to see Conor McStay and Diarmuid Duffy start and play the most of a tough away game. The young lads need minutes and experience. Would love to see Towey get a run of games, but we can’t always get what we want.

    Hopefully Kevin McStay keeps giving the young lads minutes.

    3 out of 4 decent performances in the league so far ain’t bad. A bad day, but we’ll have them. Onwards and upwards from here.

  9. Regarding the previous comment. I’d say take 6 of
    The best players out of any team and it’d become fairly ordinary.

  10. Very worrying, one thing over the years, is we not been bullied. But physically in second half that exactly what happened. We didn’t lay a hand on their kickouts. Good to see Mattie back, but God he should have been taken off at 40-45 minutes, as could see he was not match fit. I did think Tommy Conroy played better tonight. Cillian didn’t look too bad either. But again worried were scores coming from without ROD, and our back roaming up field and scoring. Not overly worried about losing. But if Monaghan win tomorrow, and we loss to Roscommon, serious air let out of tyres, and looking big danger of drop.

  11. Making 8 changes against Tyrone in Omagh was madness.
    Coen is very underrated by Mayo supporters.
    Sam Callinan is great going forward, but can he defend.
    He may be fine surrounded by defenders.
    What does young McStay bring to the table?
    Cillian is not a 70 minute man any more.

  12. One things for sure we wont have to worry about booking a room in Dublin in July.Looking like a Dublin Derry final
    Alot of people whinged about Horan but we have fallen further since he left.

  13. @JR totally agree with you there I agree we needed to try out players give fringe players time etc but you don’t do that against Tyrone in omagh who just lost to Galway the previous week.

    Still think we will be at the business end come summer even if we only get to quarters but that’s with our starting 15 and Reape is the number 1 I think we’ve learned that from tonight hennelly has been great but reape is the future.

  14. Hopefully Derry have targeted 8 points and then give a few a rest……Hopefully…
    At the start of the year there was 2 league games I wanted to win. Galway and Roscommon. Not from a neighbour thing or any of that but purely from the point of view they are the games we need to win in connacht. I felt, win those 2 and maybe pick up another one and that will do. We won the league last year and we were applauded in the media and then bang, a week later the knives were out and we believed our own hype…
    I still think next weekend is big. Rossies don’t fear us. Not many do any more let’s be honest. They will come hopping particularly if they win tomorrow.
    We need to show there’s still fight in us and we will be ready come championship.
    Tonight was very disappointing but look at the size of some of the lads we put out tonight and then look at the new Dublin lads…
    We go with a full team next week now. No trying stuff. Full tilt. Fight in the belly. Championship levels. In their faces. I have a funny feeling that is the plan from a long way out.. fast and furious.
    I know around the middle is very worrying but we are at home, the crowd need to lift the lads next week. Win that game. Never mind whats going on elsewhere, get the points on the board but also say, we aren’t going away….

  15. One positive- and I don’t know how we did it. Getting it back to four when it could have been eight or ten helps our points difference which could come into play at some stage – say a draw against Monaghan in a relegation battle.

  16. Who are the leaders on this Mayo team?

    The lads who can turn it in your favour. Like Durcan did against Dublin (we’d have been well beaten without him 3 wks ago), like Diarmuid in Salthill last summer (we were being cleaned in midfield and he was the only one winning ball for us). Ryan has leadership qualities, but I see no one else doing that. I referenced Ger Loughnane in a previous post, his famous line ‘Men Needed Now’. Again, it’s only the league, but I’m around long enough and have enough football watched and it’s plain to see we are just not at the level yet in the middle third; where most matches are ultimately won and lost. That’s the area I’m quite concerned about moving forward this year for Mayo. When the pressure comes on, who will stand up!? I’m not convinced we have enough ‘men’. Time will tell…

  17. Where has Rory Byrne gone to, he should be our number 2,and a young up and coming keeper as an understudy,any forward thinking management would do that.We haven’t got the physicality of yesteryear, how is Owen O Donohoe not been looked at,a very robust defender and a good footballer to boot.We have too many defender’s that run up the pitch with their heads down,have to play with your head up.In my opinion we were only missing four players, any player who lines out at full forward for eight consecutive games has no business on the panel never mind the pitch,for some reason he gets a free pass all the time. Tyrone were also missing some serious players as well, Michael Mc Keirnon, Keiron mc Geary and Mc Curry didn’t start. We have too many athletes and not enough footballers. Need to get at least 1 big powerful midfielder, maybe there not there, but are they being looked for.Staying with the same few is not working when it comes to the business end of the year, were being found out around the middle third time and time again. Diarmuid O Connor is not a midfielder, he’s one of the best half forwards in the modern game, it’s ruining his game by playing him there, him Boland and Flynn would make a great half forward line.

  18. Nobody new put there hand up tonight. Look at our forward play tonight. It’s Rochford all over. Pot passers. Don’t take it on unless your 5 points down lads. Look at the fine points boland landed second half. First half he wasn’t even thinking of going for them. Back to the possession based game. Dublin are a joy to watch. Always moving the ball forward. Thought aos would start and stay at midfield. Ref was kind to us first half. Mcstay eluded to the form players in training… well that’s where they left it… at training. Towy has notched 3 points in the league. No start. Big concern is diarmuid o Connor s injury. The rest I’d put down to a bad night at the office for most players and management whoever that is. Having said that.. now is the time for these things to happen. Coen did well tonight. Tommy needs to be moved to the half forward line.

  19. Fergal Boland to some degree is new as he never had a settled starting place. He had a good game. Rory Brickendon was decent.

  20. Some very truthful posts here lads, no doubt. There’s nothing to be gained from over analysing Gaelic at the arse end of February in my opinion. Mayo are on the same point as Dubs, just ponder on that and breathe in. The only issue I have a minor irritation with is how Mr McStay can sometimes infer that whatever has gone on has no bearing on him. He’s very intelligent and very Machiavellian. Four points from four games, what about it? The Dubs have as much work to do to survive in the league too.

  21. Very very poor display from Mayo. Tyrone looked like a division 2 team in the 1st half and we made them look like league winners in the 2nd half. We have no kick out strategy. No point kicking it long when there is nobody out there to catch it. Goalkeeper is a big problem. Mcstay should not be bringing Rob back he should be building for the future. Hallinan is not a corner back. We have no structure. Mccurry and Canavan destroyed us and Mcstay was looking in from the sideline and done nothing

  22. 8 changes from the Kerry game was ridiculous unless you were trying out the like of Frank Irwin and Paul Towey or some other promising lad to see if they could improve our scoring power which has long been our Achilles heel. Add to that the complete implosion of any supposed defensive strategy makes the whole exercise a complete waste of time and if anything it will hurt confidence.a bad night and management should be looking at themselves primarily because the result may not matter much but that performance was woefu.

  23. That third quarter from Tyrone was outstanding. It is obvious that they attacked the third quarter, and very little Mayo could do about it. The penalty call was a very fortunate call for Mayo and if the referee had applied the same rule when Hennelly foot tripped Peter Harte, Mayo would have been in deeper trouble.
    Canavan on this form is unplayable.
    It is only February. This was a poor night for Mayo but no need to be carried away at this stage

  24. A hugely disappointing display from Mayo. Our new defensive structure imploded completely in the third quarter. We leave ourselves too open at the back and are very vulnerable to a quick counter attack. Forwards afraid to shoot in first half when we were a man up. Tommy spent most of the game running away from the Tyrone goal. Someone should have been tasked to shut down Morgan and not let him hit those long balls into the Forwards. Fair play to all the Mayo supporters who made the trip to Omagh. It was a 7 hour round trip for me after an overnighter in Tralee last weekend. Rossies match now a relegation battle.

  25. Problems: No forwards, sideways and backwards, scores are from frees and penalties, no leaders, no mid- field, no goals, kick-outs 50:50, still no answer to a blanket defence after all these years and different coaches.
    Answer: mcstay and team to discuss the definition of ‘Forward’. There is a clue in the word. It means your main priority is to score because of your location on the field. Aim is to score more than opposition. If your not good at kicking points and taking goals, your not a forward. How many of our forwards consistently score from play?
    Refer to northern teams to learn how to take points from around the D out to the 50. Are we Coaching players how to take scores under pressure or what’s being done at training. Are they doing video analysis of the sideways and backwards and avoiding taking a shot on goal. Need some leaders to consistently drive through into scoring positions and just put it over. It saves time and energy if you just shoot instead of 3 minutes back and over.

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