Tyrone thoughts

Right, our trip to Tralee is in the past and coming down the tracks rapidly at us now is a northern expedition on Saturday evening. Tyrone are our opponents in Round 4 of this year’s National Football League and Healy Park in Omagh is the venue for a game that throws in that evening at 5.15pm. Brendan Cawley of Kildare is the ref and the match will be shown live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player, with radio commentary on Midwest as well.

The last time we played the Red Hand County on their patch was two years ago. Then, like now, we went into the game on the back of a one-point loss to Kerry in Tralee. Then, like now, we’d started our Division One campaign in fine form and so had no relegation worries when we hit for Omagh.

The two-point loss we suffered that chilly March evening was, though, an unsettling one. It also presaged what came after for us that year, with Kerry hammering us in the National League final, Galway beating us in Connacht, in a game we never got going in properly at all, and then Kerry walloping us in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

We played them in the League last year too, of course, at a time when we were in a fine vein of form. Too fine, as it subsequently transpired last summer.

We put four goals past Tyrone that February night at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, Enda Hession’s dummy-and-shoot being the pick of the bunch. It really looked like we were going places then but, of course, Championship form in February counts for little when the real action starts. As, in its own sweet time, we found out.

Tyrone’s Championship campaign last year bore an eerie resemblance to ours. Beaten in Ulster first day out (as we were too, by the Rossies), then finishing third in the All-Ireland group stage and going on to beat opposition from their province – Donegal (as we met and beat Galway) – in the preliminary quarter-final. Then a lacerating loss in the quarters to Kerry, the same way we got pummelled by Dublin. They lost by eleven points, we went down by twelve.

This year we’ve made slightly the better start in Division One. They, like us, won in Round 1. They beat Roscommon up in Healy Park, winning that one by three points. Then they suffered a six-point defeat to Derry at Celtic Park before losing by a point to Galway at Omagh last weekend.

With just two League points in the bag from three outings, Tyrone are just above the relegation zone and so are likely to come into this weekend feeling slightly nervous but so fairly hungry for a win.

After our narrow loss to Kerry down in Tralee last time out, we’ll also be eager to get back to winning ways at a venue we’re done okay in over the years. Before that 2022 loss, we beat them there in both 2019 and 2017.

But let’s leave history to one side as we finish up, as usual before a match, with a poll to test the thinking about how Saturday might go for us. So, what do you reckon: how will we get on against the O’Neill County this weekend?

How will we do against Tyrone?

  • Win (70%, 510 Votes)
  • Lose (21%, 153 Votes)
  • Draw (9%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 732

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48 thoughts on “Tyrone thoughts

  1. We need to name our strongest side for this one get 2 more points and hopefully that keeps us safe in division 1.

    Think we will win but Tyrone will be eager to after loosing to Galway could make for a good match hopefully.

    Every time I think of Tyrone 21 comes annoyingly back to the memory of course. We owe them one or two.

    Any word on paddy durcan?? He’s a big loss.

    Mayo by 3 or 4.

  2. I think between the journey to and from Tralee along with the tough game and the journey to Omagh I feel like we could struggle on Saturday intensity wise.
    It could be an idea to change 3/4 to freshen things up.

    Any form of victory by any means possible is what’s required. Performance irrelevant for me.
    Would like to see Hession and Cillian start. Cillian coming on when the game is nearly over is a waste of a generational talent who needs football to sharpen up.
    Also think Towey can consider himself very unlucky to not play the last day after two good performances. With a wind with us second half it was crying out for a shooter yet we persisted with Tommy when it clearly wasn’t happening for him on the night. A positional switch to wing forward required to get him back into form.

    Up Mayo

  3. Team I’d like to see Saturday (very much doubt it will be the team
    Hennelly, Coyne Brickenden McBrein, Plunkett,Callinanan,Hession, D.O’ Connor Carney, Conroy;Boland;Flynn,Towey, Cillian, R O Donohoe

  4. Interesting game ahead. Tyrone have greater need for the points…..just. They will have the Canavans back if they wish. They gave them half a game each last week after their Sigerson exertions. Tyrone are in transition at the moment but have lots of good young footballers and I would expect them to be a force again in a few years, but hardly this year. A win would give us a 4 point lead over them and beating them head to head so it would be close to guaranteeing our status in Div 1.. Some tricky games to follow, Roscommon who enjoy their trips to Castlebar, an all conquering Derry and of course the perennial survivors that is Monaghan. I’d like to see us get the job done on Saturday

  5. @Richie duck

    If we send that team out on Saturday and we have Reape, Durcan ,Ruane ,Eoghan Mc, AOS, Touhy, Carr and Donnacha Mchugh in the background then we look to be in a good place to me.

  6. Tyrone are beatable but was surprised they never gave up at any point V Galway. Beat themselves by not getting a shot away at the end. if we have a plan for Morgan and keep the Canavan’s relatively quiet I’d say a win by 2. Goals are key here. Agree with @Clubman 51 on all points. Would like to see Cillian start.

  7. Good team Richie. If Cillian or Aido start I’d insist they do not cross their own 45. I have only seen bits of tyrone this yr but the last day there were 30 players in the galway half a few times. All 30.
    Why let Morgan dictate? Plant one of the 2 boys in the square and now they have to re shuffle.
    100% want to see Tommy in the hf line but running directly at them towards goal, not down the line, that leads to lateral stuff.
    Big game Saturday. A win and its happy days, pressure off for a while. A loss and we could be 3rd from bottom with the rossies coming looking for another scalp.

  8. Id rather Mayo go all out to win this one with our strongest team and get us to 6 points.

    If Galway (home v Derry), Tyrone (home v Mayo), Monaghan (away v Roscommon) and Dublin (home v Kerry) win then we will be dragged back into a relegation battle.

    We will be joint 3rd – 7th position going into our last 3 games.

    We then will need to pick up 2-3 points from Derry who will want a league final, Roscommon who are fighting for survival and Monaghan who are fighting for survival.

    Its not too long ago we all thought we were in a good position in the round robin of the championship after beating Kerry away on the first weekend and Cork put an end to that fairly quick.

  9. A win in Healy Park and we’re in the exact same position after 4 games as last year – a league final in the palm of our hand with a must win against the Rossies next up.

    I’ve been vocal about how a trip to Croker for a league final would benefit us for the year, but almost everyone else has been firmly against a League Final.

    It’s less than 8 weeks to championship. We don’t have the room to experiment that people seem to think we have.

    6 points is not guaranteed to keep us up, but 8 points or two home wins will, and should also guarantee us a three seed.

    This weekend is not important. Roscommon in two weeks is.

  10. Just after listening to Chris barrett on off the ball, he’s a player u would nearly forget about since he retired as he’s never been in the media but what a player he was could player anywhere in the defence, his performance in the 2017 final was unbelievable.

  11. I wonder what Diarmuid will do Saturday, he’s manager of St Geralds and there playing in Ballyshannon at 2pm

  12. @Paddyjoejohntom: Luckily enough it’s a co-manager setup with David Joyce (also a member of the Mayo backroom team, but we wouldn’t need the athletic performance team on the ground in Omagh) so he wouldn’t be as missed as much as could have been the case if he is away.

    If you’ve caught any of the interviews with Joyce he’s highly impressive. You can see the professionalism he’s brought back from his days in the EFL & the experience he’s built up with Roscommon/Mayo under McStay. Former Geralds pupil here way back in the day and wouldn’t be at all worried about ‘Mr. O’Connor’ taking a step away from the lads for that one if he does (gonna be an incredibly tough game mind. It’ll be a real battle).

  13. Apologies, the St Geralds game is actually on Sunday, so no complications for Diarmuid, thankfully

  14. @moose79.i was thinking of the same plan for Morgan but i would leave Tommy on the edge of the square when Tyrone attack and see what Tyrone do. Would they chance leaving him 1v1 with Morgan or bring back a defender thus leaving Tyrone with less players than they’d like in attack and if they were turned over Tommy would have the speed to make use of the open space in front of them.

  15. Most important game for Mayo could end up being the St. Geralds game. Getting a school through to a Hogan cup final would be a real tonic.

  16. I’ve watched Tyrone twice so far and based on all known evidence from both teams to date we shoud win this with a few to spare. They are not the Tyrone of old and are in more or less of a rebuild. I think we can expect a few changes more as a result of knocks / rest than anything else. We should not fear a league final if the panel is in good health come the last league game..

  17. I imagine omagh are very fancied to beat them jp , won it last year and six players retained too . Wouldnt of made a classic double header for sat

  18. Predicted Team (updated)

    1.) Robbie Hennelly
    2.) Enda Hession
    3.) Padraig O’Hora
    4.) Donnacha McHugh
    5.) Stephen Coen
    6.) Michael Plunkett
    7.) Eoghan MacLaughlin
    8.) Matthew Ruane
    9.) Diarmuid O’Connor
    10.) Frank Irwin
    11.) Darren McHale
    12.) Jordan Flynn
    13.) Cillian O’Connor
    14.) Aidan O’Shea
    15.) Diarmuid Duffy

  19. Is o hora and ruane fit .very unlikely that Aidan and cillian would start together.Tyrone very strong physically in midfield with Brian Kennedy and con kilpatrick so we will need someone in midfield that can compete in the air

  20. Underestimate Tyrone at your peril.
    A hard physical game against Galway.
    Used their Sigerson players more cleverly than us last week.

  21. I do appreciate your positivity frosty, but if that team took to field in omagh, we would have some emotional damage after the result.
    Tyrone can’t be underestimated or indeed disrespected , aim to start out best team but freshen it up with men who’s put their hands for starting spots like Darren mchale at 13, hession at 4 or 7. Maybe try tommy deeper , all in got to respect these lads or they will enjoy throwing us around like rag dolls .

  22. @Frost The hammer Ryan O D needs to start diarmuid Duffy has huge potential I think and should get some game time but not a starter v Tyrone.

    Tyrone are definetly beatable but our strongest side needs to be named and I think mcstay will name a strong side get the 2 points in then experiment however you want after that.

    Hopefully we’ve paddy Durcan back to boland also to start again is what I’d be hoping for what a mistake it was to drop him last year.

  23. We were flying high this time last year without him @Clare. Let’s hope he brings his form into championship.

  24. @2hops we were flying high without him this time last year and then flopped come championship as we all know ha. But I just don’t get why he was dropped in the first place tbh.

    Let’s hope he does come good championship but so far he’s proven himself.

    Any word on paddy durcan?..

  25. Ruane would be a good boost. Plunkett was to be tried at 6 last week, maybe he’ll get his chance now.
    Tyrone need the points, we can expect to be fully tested and that’s what we need. While our defense looks a solid unit, I would like to see them tightening up when opposition is in the scoring zone, the Canavans will punish us if given space . It’s going to be a tough one

  26. any kind of win, in Healy Park will do. After this game expect, more work in trying to fix thing that need fixing. Improving our Kick passes, improving retaining ball kicked in forwards, While Ryan doing brillantly, need more forward on score sheet. Agianst Dublin apart from ROD, other forwards P Towey, B Tuohy, F Boland got a point apiece. You could say a little better against Kerry, apart from ROD, F Boland (0-3) B Tuohy, J Flynn, D McHale (0-1 each). Not counting Galway game, as they were shocking. But here the scorer from that game, J Flynn (0-2), F Boland (0-3), B Tuohy (0-1)R O’Donoghue (0-2, two frees), P Towey (0-2), C O’Connor (1-0, penalty). I know AOS get mentioned alot for not scoring, but sometimes I feel he get a hard deal, as usually does alot of work that other benifit from. But I will say he not playing well at moments and not retaining 50/50 balls going into the forward line. So that a worry. From 3 matches ROD, Fergal Boland, Bob Tuohy have scored in all 3 of them. No scores from AOS, Tommy Conroy and alway seem to another forward each day who does not score. So that half your forward line not scoring on any given day.
    Midfield, and Kickout strategy need to be worked on.
    On positive side of thing, so happy we have not been giving too many goal chances away, and that a major reason we sticking in match even when not a best.
    Thing mentioned above, can be improved, and great to see player like S Callinan, and other relativily younger player going at it, and hopefully can drive us on this year.

  27. RichieDuck. I like the look of your team. It won’t be far off that team. I won’t say that the team FrostTHammer has up/ or predicted has a hope of starting. But Towey and Plunket deserve a chance.

  28. Clare, I think its obvious at this stage there’s no word on Paddy-relax!.We’ll know on Sat eve.

  29. @FrostTHammer .. I doubt thar team will start but personally I wouldn’t mind seeing it .
    Give as many of the lads on the panel a run as possible.
    I’d like to see Mattie get game time midfield.
    For all our qualities, if I was Tyrone I’d push up on our kickouts and make us go long.
    We are weak in the high fielding department…..

  30. Tyrone are nowhere near good enough at top level they say players to come back including Cathal mcshane when was last time he played a decent game was good but not now some tyrone players are overrated made an average galway team look good

  31. So Mayo have abandoned sweeper.. discuss?
    Also, mayo “naive” for letting dclifford near the ball at end…discuss? Also for kicking mark and not playing 2 mins of keep ball discuss?
    I don’t know… we could have tried all that and got turned over / conceded free ( ref was easily triggered) and looked like muppets.. so what are the key learnings for later in year?

  32. Catcol,that should be required reading for all the experts and critics,it really shows the amount of training and preparation that goes into getting our players prepared,that is why I gave up criticism of our players and management many years ago,because I know how much is done to get everything right,perhaps it will stop some criticism of our players and management

  33. So inter county teams use video analysis.my god a startling revelation.who would ever have come up with that and lee keegan revealed this to the country this morning .Jesus everyone will be at it now

  34. @Rakestreet: Wouldn’t say ‘abandoned’. We’ve used a man v man setup in the 3 games so far. Nothing to suggest we won’t employ a +1 again in the future. The only role that changes dramatically is for the +1, with slightly higher workload on forwards having to deal with way more 2v1s from the spare man left free at the back. Ability to change between the two setups give opposition a few more questions to consider when facing us so great options to have.

    “Naive”? Sure. Harsh, but sure.

    Down to 14 men, looking short on legs from early in the game and after making a big push to get back level I’m not sure I’d be overly critical on it. We could have fouled a bit more aggressively outside our 50. We could have left a low % defender free and doubled DC but it’s one of those plays where everything looks amazing/awful depending on how it pans out. On another day Jordan gets the turnover on Ryan (or the free in) or Brick gets the block on DC (great attempt at a block, unlucky DC was intelligent enough to know it was coming and swing the shot wide with more curl) and everyone is praising how brave Mayo were (like happened at the end of the Dublin game with the Ryan/Fergie combo).

    We got plenty of positives out of the game (possibly higher there than against Dublin) and loads of negatives too to work on.

  35. Better we learn errors now around things like options with the mark, using the clock, preventing a late point etc.
    Tyrone are a decent side. Well capable of beating us. Tyrone took after their best forward to rest him post Sigerson with the Galway game hanging in the balance.

  36. Clare, calf related injury Paddy meant to have so will take a few weeks most likely.

    1985 the video analysis software is so impressive and easy to use now, you see most clubs now with the VEO cams on sidelines with telescopic pole. Veo is great in that you can tag individuals in a clip and send just to the specific individuals. All players have accounts on it so can easily share. Camera has 180 degree range so takes in full pitch and automatically follows the ball.

  37. That is why I realised many years ago that the management knew far more than the critics,so hopefully now a few more people will realise it,perhaps even agree that the management are in charge

  38. I heard an interview with Kevin Moran a while back. He was talking about his move from being a gaelic footballer with Dublin to a professional soccer player with Man Utd. He said Dublin used whatever video analysis that was available at that time and he introduced the idea to Man Utd and they sarted doing it then.. so video analysis around a long time and the GAA a innovation leader…who would have thought it!

  39. Thanks @TsuDhoNim, appreciate the response, i have very similar thoughts … the “naive” comment is coming from second captains ( Paul Flynn I believe) and prompted me to post.. i never had a smile on my face when Mayo lost at final whistle before.. it’s was almost the ideal result for us

  40. Ryan McCusker believes that McStay may be overly loyal to some of the more experienced players in his squad. Namechecked COC, DOC, and AOS, on RTE gaa podcast. If Mayo are to do anything this year, I would imagine DOC, will be central to it. I also think we need AOS/COC to be a tag team this year. Need at least one of them on the field, but definitely not on field together

  41. @mayotillidie

    I expect McCusker’s comments may be shared in some of the squads WhatsApp group – Classic dressing room wall stuff.

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