Tyrone thoughts

It’s Tuesday night and so the time is ticking down rapidly to Saturday evening in Castlebar and the arrival of Tyrone. Our NFL Division One Round 4 match against them throws in at MacHale Park that evening at 7pm, Noel Mooney of Cavan will ref it and it’s being shown live on TG4.

With three rounds of matches already played in this year’s National League, we’re perceived to be riding rather high – though not as high as the Rossies – in Division One whereas they’re seen as struggling. Indeed, Stats and Solos GAA reckon (here) that we’re most likely going to finish top of the division while the Red Hands are projected to finish bottom of the pile.

In reality, however, we’re just two points above them in the table so a win for the visitors on Saturday night would leave us in the same boat as we head down the closing straight in this year’s spring campaign. And, based on recent evidence against them at MacHale Park, an away win wouldn’t exactly count as a shock.

You want a shock? Try this for size: the last time we beat them at MacHale Park was back in 1992, a full 31 years ago.

The most recent time we played them at MacHale Park – during Covid in October 2020 – they relegated us, in 2018 they hammered us by twelve points, they had four points to spare over us in 2015 and a single point in 2013, we drew in both 2009 and 2006 and they humbled us by nine points in 2004. The game before that was the 1992 meeting, which we won by 2-12 to 1-11.

Most of that is, in footballing terms, ancient history. All the same it’d be nice, for a change, to get a win over them on home turf.

Since we played them last, losing by two points in hugely frustrating circumstances up in Omagh last March, they haven’t exactly been ripping up tree trunks.

Still the All-Ireland champions, they finished last year’s Division One campaign by going down to Killarney and yanking Kerry’s chain, coming away with a one-point win. That guaranteed them mid-table safety in the division.

But that was as good as it got for them in 2022. Ulster proved short and rather painful, with a preliminary round win over Fermanagh followed by an absolute thumping by Derry in the quarters, the Oakleafers winning that one by 1-18 to 0-10.

Worse was to follow as they had the bad fortune to be paired against Armagh in the first round of the qualifiers. Their vertiginous fall to earth from the giddy heights of Sam Maguire success the previous year (over us, let’s not forget) was completed as the Orchard County prevailed at the Athletic Grounds in early June by 1-16 to 1-10.

Fast-forward to the end of January this year and the O’Neill County became the first side to feel the rough end of the rising Rossies. The home side cut loose at Dr Hyde Park that day, blasting in three goals on their way to a comfortable 3-11 to 1-12 win.

Back at Healy Park for Round 2, Tyrone righted themselves against Donegal. Eight points separated the teams that day as the Red Hands eased to an 0-16 to 0-8 success.

Defeat was, though, once again their lot last Sunday. Their clash with Galway at Tuam was a closely-fought one but even without their heavy-hitters up top, the Tribesmen won out by 0-16 to 0-13.

Which brings us, neatly, back to Saturday night. Will we bag a second win on the trot at Fortress MacHale? Or will they, yet again, beat us at our own gaff? Let’s end with a vote on that.

How will we do against Tyrone?

  • Win (78%, 529 Votes)
  • Lose (12%, 81 Votes)
  • Draw (9%, 64 Votes)

Total Voters: 674

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60 thoughts on “Tyrone thoughts

  1. I am nervous for this one but looking forward to it also. I think people wantbto prove ot after last year & 21 espcially. You never know with Tyrone and they are under pressure atm.

    I sti do thibk mayo will win it by 2 or 3 home crowd and we have momentum atm and energy back.

    Maybe I am being optomistic but mayo for me.

    Hoping to see Tommy conroy & Padraig o Hora named on bench..

  2. A csvan ref ah jeez ..thats a bit ridiculous now!!

    Sorry for typos on comments sometimes stupid phone ha..

  3. Had Cillian been fit in 20 they wouldn’t have relegated us. If we eased off the trottle v Kildare last year and lost, we would have returned the favour and avoided a hammering in the League final.

  4. Really tough game ahead. Tyrone will be another great challenge. I went for a draw . Would be great to get a few more minutes into Paddy D and Tommy off the bench would be a welcome sight but expect he will be rusty as competitive game against Tyrone very different to training!!

  5. I went Mayo x 5 v Kerry and think same again this weekend. Tyrone seem to be at 6’s and 7’s currently. And while likely to be more physically testing than Kerry was last weekend based on their results to date we should have enough.

  6. Think we will have enough to beat Tyrone to mayo by 3 or 4 much more physical as others have said then kerry but another good test for mayo.

  7. Tyrone are at their most dangerous when their back`s are against the wall. I would be happy with a 1 point win at this stage, we are still in early day`s of our development and no better team than Tyrone to bring somebody back down to earth as we learnt the hard way in the 2021 final. They will propose a different challenge to what we faced to date and if we can overcome them we are in a very good position for the season ahead.

  8. Well said JKEL88 no better team to give a wake up call than Tyrone. Tough task ahead Saturday evening all teams fighting for points with only 2 points separating all bar the Rossies. So hopefully Mayo come out on top Saturday Many positives to take from games to date hopefully Saturday will see that trend continue. A win should ensure our division one status and a chance for Management to try out players who haven’t got a run to date

  9. This would be a nice win. I’m of the view there is something to historical trends. They’re worth breaking out of a losing patten, they ingrain confidence in the opposition the longer you don’t right such trends back in your favour.
    It would also give us a betrrt than usual McHale Park track record. That’s important with the new championship structure.

  10. I’m no mathematician but there may be one good reason to target this match. Tyrone are one of the teams on 2 points, therefore it may be better towards the end of the league if we beat them now.
    What I mean is, we don’t want to be going into the final match still unsure if we need points or relying on other results… there’s a lottery element involved then. So better to keep as many teams down as we can if that makes sense. Let the lower teams slug it out. Target certain matches accordingly.

  11. Your spot on @williejoe when you imply a defeat brings us right back to the pack again. Way too early for people to be thinking about a league final place. With only 2pts separating 2nd from last any team can finish in the top 2 though not every team showing that form. After last weeks defeat Tyrone will be chomping at the bit to get back on track and i expect a closer and more physical game but would expect mayo to stop the trend and not stretch to 32 years. If mayo really go at it and try reach or get nearer the safety point then i think we’ll have 2 or 3pts to spare at the end.

  12. You could say that every team is still in the mix for league final and indeed relegation (rossies should be fine with 6 though, but Cork went down on 6 points before). So this weekend is key.
    Tyrone in Castlebar is always a sticky wicket. We’ve often went to Tyrone and won, while playing poor in the games prior to it. And we’ve often being going well and then had our bellies tickled by Tyrone. So form means very little in these games.

    Tyrone will make it difficult. Its a good challenge for us. Can we break them down? McCurry & McShane are a serious test for our defenders.
    Up Mayo

  13. If the 3 Ulster teams were to beat the 3 Connacht teams, things would get very sticky..

    It’ll be interesting to see who’ll go midfield with MR if DOC isn’t available. Its an area that we need to be developing.

  14. Go hard for a win in this match and a strong showing v Roscommon (but drop aido for it – keep him for championship). Aim for 7 points to be safe, then experiment for the final two games – get a bit of heavy training in to the legs and minutes for fringe players with a month to go before the championship kicks off. Think that would be the best way to approach the remaining league

  15. I’d be in agreement. A win at the weekend,then freewheel down the hill with the smell of championship in our nostrils. If that takes us to a league final.then go and win it. Entering championship with our tails cocked.
    Mc Brien/Mc Shane. Hession or Coyne/Mc Curry. Tasty.

  16. As mad as it sounds, I’d be happy enough to see Mayo lose on Saturday night.

    No harm learning a few lessons this time of year but my main reasoning is I don’t want to be next nor near a league final.

    A win on Saturday would have us on 6 points with, in my opinion, the four hardest games done and the three softest games to come. We could play badly against Donegal and Monaghan and still find ourselves on 10 points.

    This is not me talking up Mayo, I just think Donegal and Monaghan are, and will be, very poor this year.

  17. @Unstopable wouldnt agree can see your point in a way but a loss would dip the guys confidence and Tyrone are always a hard test and we need to be able to beat them at this stage and not fear them.

    I would rather not be in a league final either . A win this sat hopefully and then were safe and try out more players rest of the league.

  18. I reckon it is better to take the longer term view with this game. It is better to learn more about how our new set-up fares against their system and develop some tactics for a summer meeting. Come July (hopefully), nobody will care if we beat Tyrone in February.
    We should focus on testing some plays to break down their defensive structure and learn what plays they depend on for scores and learn to counteract them in the summertime, even if that means losing this game. We should be testing matchups and not give away our best gameplan.

    Naturally, everyone is on a bit of a high after the weekend fun but we need to focus on the longer term goal.

  19. Go all out for Tyrone. Safety first.See how defensive teams deal with Aido and how we deal with strong fast forwards and fast attacking play after turnovers or tactical kick outs.

  20. Hi James, yes I do, can you post your email address and will send them over to you this evening.

  21. Its crazy saying not to win games , get into habit of winning and keep winning, and field your strongest available team in each game. Players want to play and if they are winning games they will enjoy their football batter and if they are enjoying playing football they will be winning more, enjoying and winning its the way to go.

  22. We’ve Peter Canavan on this week’s Here Comes the Weekend pod, with Mike and Billy Joe. It’s being recorded tonight and will be online for club members on Patreon tomorrow.

  23. It’s longer since we beat Tyrone than it was Kerry.

    They’ve burst our bubble a few times recently, time to return the favour and push them closer to the cliff edge of relegation.

    Then on to a top of table battle royale clash with the Rossies

    Two weeks off after that to assess where we’re at, and if there’s a sniff of a league title go for it imo. The confidence we’ll get from winning at croker and plenty of time to recover before the real stuff begins

  24. If I were McStay I would target Tyrone the weekend and get the 2 points, then a fairly strong team against Roscommon but to not show our hand , and then go with a second string against both Monaghan and Donegal to make sure we avoid the League final and see can we put pressure on both Tyrone or Kerry to see one of them relegated.

  25. Probably better if Tyrone are beaten this weekend, this years League final will have at least one new team.
    Let them struggle it out for survival at the bottom of the League.
    We know what Tyrone bring to games at this stage.

  26. Tyrone are masters at bringing you back down to earth. Expect a very different game on Saturday evening. We know how good they are at choking up all the avenues and bringing ferosity to the tackle when their backs are to the wall. My big worry would be injuries to key players out of this game. A big test of our younger players and certainly a new type of division 1 experience for them. Beware the dark arts !!

  27. The GAA top brass have manged to create a competition where half the fecking teams are undercooked and wondering where they can get the points to stay up while the other half are trying to figure out how they can get enough points to be safe but not enough to reach the final. It’s a funny old game.

  28. I don’t know why we should try and avoid a league final, and people are worrying about us actually getting to a league final?… We have only 4 points in the bag, and the idea that we can’t go down to Div Two is not a mathematical certainty ,..In my opinion we should try and win every match as they come up..It wasn’t good getting to the league final last year I grant you.. But that’s because we were collectively terrible versus Kerry in the league final last year and had absolutely no real workable plan to deal the thread of David Clifford. ..If we are able and good enough to win every match, that’s what we should do..It didn’t do Kerry any harm getting to a league final last year…At this stage it’s a possibility that we reach a league final and if we do hopefully we win it…The league final is well worth winning in its own right for whoever wins it and as in 2019 it’s a treasured memory, the Green and Red of Mayo blazing out in Croke Park..I know that the timetable isn’t ideal for both ourselves and our Rossie neighbours.. But if either of us could win it, that team would have serious momentum for the upcoming championship..After the first 3 League games, I’ve been very impressed with what Kevin McStay and his management team have brought to the party…A number of players have been in outstanding form, especially Aiden O Shea, who has rejuvenated and played out of his skin v Armagh and Kerry..Conor Louftus, James Carr, Ryan O Donohue and Jordan Flynn all have been flying… Keep the pedal to the metal!

  29. Saw Tyrone in the flesh Sunday and honestly I think Mayo will win this comfortably.
    Tyrone seem to be rudderless on and off the pitch, the scoreline in Tuam flattered them as honestly Galway were by far the better team.
    Tyrone tactics were confusing and there seems to be something not right within the camp..
    Galway subdued Mc Shane and the two Canavans fairly well. The intensity and fitness levels of Mayo should see Mayo through this with a bit to spare..

  30. Can’t agree with the people looking to get to a league final. 7 days recovery to our first championship game is a nightmare scenario. Roscommon, like ourselves, haven’t played Donegal or Monaghan yet so in all likelihood at the moment it will be a Mayo-Roscommon league final. The stupidity of this scenario just beggars belief to be honest.

    Last season the league final ruined our season. The tempo upped and lads either got injured or lost all confidence. I know for a fact we didn’t want to make that final last year and unfortunately fell into it on the last day with Armagh losing.

  31. @ FrostTHammer Peter caravan asked the question what club are you from?
    Excellent listen Willie joe,fare play.

  32. If Mayo and Roscommon were to make the league final is it likely that the league final and first round championship would be made into one game ala Limerick v Clare in the hurling a few seasons ago (made league final and first round Munster championship one game)?

  33. It’s all speculation as there’s a long way to go, but if there was a combo of the fixtures (highly doubt it) and they played it in Croke Park I could live with that. Appreciate the arguments for keeping the revenue in Connacht, but getting some of the new members used to playing there would be handy.

    Anyway, no chance I’d imagine.

  34. We’ll stop for chips in Roscommon on our way home with the cup… leave them a bit of revenue that way.

  35. @All41n14all

    Called out by a legend lol

    I’m a kilmovee man but never really been involved.

    Not sure if I should say that before I listen 🙂
    Busy with work stuff today, so that will likely be tomorrow

  36. In every competition you go out to win, yes if we got to a league final with Roscommon the following week so what it’s games the players not extra training.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to win the league and then beat Roscommon because we failed to do that in 1970, 2001 & 2019.

    Anyway that a story for another day, Tyrone is a must win as I want to make Castlebar a fortress and we haven’t beaten Tyrone in Castlebar since 1992.

  37. Hear what you’re saying Tuamstar, but Tyrone are capable of picking themselves up, dusting themselves down, and starting all over again – with extreme prejudice! Psychologically, this is set up for Tyrone. Posters here talking about our likely opponents in the final; McStay will need to work overtime to erase complacency in the camp. Tyrone will be coming with a must win attitude, whereas Mayo may be slightly off the boil. One thing in our favour is that Tyrone have a long journey for the second week in a row. If it wasn’t Tyrone, I’d feel sorry for them.

  38. Just remember thisTyrone team and Management destroyed the Mayo team and Management in the All Ireland Final just 2 yrs ago.

  39. @Culmore destroyed? You’re having a laugh. They beat us by 5 points and deservedly so. But we missed 4 clear cut goal chances, including a penalty, so to say we were destroyed is a bit much. And we have a new management team

  40. Oh hesus don’t start goin on about the 21 final , it’s just one final I never want to think about .

  41. Lets start the same team as against Kerry , Would like to see if they could replicate that performance again . early subs if we can afford to do so

  42. They’re people on here worrying about getting to a league final and facing Roscommon twice. Come on it is Roscommon we are talking about here!! There current crop of players have never even got to an All Ireland Semi final. They can play some nice football and have a few nice players (Smiths, Murtaghs etc) but we all know when the heat comes on they melt…

    If we have any serious ambitious this year we should be able go out and beat the Rossies twice in a week if that’s what needs be! Our b team should be able to beat them in the league final. Then roll out the calvary the next weekend in Castlebar!!

    Lets not forget what a former Roscommon player said about McStay when he was there manager…

  43. @Driveitlong@hard…a bit over the top as regards the Rossies and that we Mayo (or anyone else for that matter) should be expecting beating them with ease as often as you suggest…At the moment it’s at least 11 National League matches in a row for the Primrose and Blue without defeat, 9 wins and 2 draws…2022/2023 ..Including in that time, 3 league defeats of last Summer All Ireland finalist’s Galway..So in my opinion for any the top three in Connacht, a victory any of our rival’s cannot be taken for granted. y Connacht is now as competitive as Ulster and that’s a great thing really!..I agree with you as regards that we should be trying to win every game possible,..let’s try to beat Tyrone on Saturday first!

  44. Rossies definitely not a soft touch , last time they came to castlebar in the championship they beat us fair and square .

  45. Sean in that game in Castlebar Mayo were much better then Roscommon but it was one of our worst forward displays ever with 19 shots either going wide or falling short into goalies hands. Plus we had no recognised free taker on the field.

  46. Giz team is named – Two changes Bob actually meant to be starting this time. Carney out. Coyne in brickenden out

  47. Leantimes – you seem to be missing the point I am trying to make. I said Roscommon are a nice team they are capable of winning league games. But as I said leantimes when there is a storm brewing Roscommon are first to head straight for the bunker!

    They bet Galway twice in the league last year. But as soon as the temperature was upped in the championship they absolute butchered it. They missed an unmerciful amount of chances in that Connacht final.

    Let’s get one other thing clear leantimes Clare knocked them out of the championship last year!! Clare! No heavy hitter knocked them out. We all know what Derry did to Clare after that. You can win all the league games you want. But its all about championship

    They are ranked 11th favourites for the All Ireland by paddy power. Monaghan and Donegal are all ahead of them! The bookies don’t back them one bit even though they are top of the league.

    We should able to go out and beat the Rossies twice in a week if needs be is all I’m saying. A nice few warmer up games to get us ready for the serious business later in the summer

    And send Frankie Dolan home with his tail between his legs!!

    God bless

  48. We have lost competitive games to a team that played division 2 or lower that season only twice since Longford. Both were to Galway in seasons they were promoted.

    Ease is stretching it but we really should expect to be able to win 2 games in a week against anyone outside the top three or four teams. The Rossies are just outside that bracket for me ATM

    With that said, we haven’t done it yet this year in competitive games, hopefully that changes tomorrow

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