U20s draw with the Rossies

Mayo’s Connacht U20 Championship campaign got underway this evening, with an opening round-robin clash with Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park. We led by seven points at one stage in the first half but a determined second half fightback from the home team saw this contest finish all-square.

Our lads got off to a fast start this evening. Darragh Beirne got our opening point and this was followed by a goal from Niall Hurley. The same player then added a point from play before the home team opened their account with a point from Shane McGinley, who then bagged a goal, deflecting a long ball in to the net, to cut the gap to the minimum.

We hit back with two goals in quick succession, the first from Finbar McLaughlin and the second from Darragh Beirne. Two McGinley frees helped to steady them before Niall Hurley, from play, got our final score of the half. They then scored three points without reply to cut the deficit to three at the break.

Darragh Beirne opened the scoring again on the resumption, his free cancelled out by a similar effort from McGinley. David Dolan then landed a ’45 for us before they responded with one from play by Ryan Conlon.

The points trading continued. Sub Oisín Cronin got one from play for us, then McGinley pointed another free for them before the Balla player got his second of the evening. Bobby Nugent then responded with a free for them, once more leaving three points between the sides.

With the scores having dried up for us, Roscommon came with a fourth quarter push. Two frees from McGinley bookended one from play by Conlon to haul them level, with ‘keeper David Dolan now off on a black card. It finished all-square on a scoreline of 1-13 to 3-7.

Next up for our lads is a home match against Galway. That takes place next Wednesday evening back at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.

Match highlights from Connacht GAA here.

Mayo: David Dolan (0-1, ’45); David Slattery, John MacMonagle, Lorcan Silke; Jack Mulchrone, Paul Gilmore, Yousif Coghill; Diarmuid Duffy, Conal Dawson; Finbar McLaughlin (1-0), Cathal Keaveney, Tom O’Flaherty; Darragh Beirne (1-2, two frees), Niall Hurley (1-2), Darragh Reilly. Subs: Eoin McGreal for Coghill, Oisín Cronin (0-2) for Reilly, Tom Lydon for McLaughlin, Brendan Collins for Mulchrone, Dylan O’Brien for Dawson.

We’ll have a Final Whistle podcast from Hyde Park up on Patreon a bit later on this evening.

40 thoughts on “U20s draw with the Rossies

  1. Good competitive game and a fair result in the end. Mayo played their best football in the opening 15 scoring 3-2 of the 3-7 only 5 points after that will leave question marks for management. Impressive development work on Hyde park and should be ready in time for the big senior championship match on April 21st.

  2. Hopefully just opening day nerves but they’ll have to be more clinical in front of the posts. Some of these forwards are the lads we’re pinning our hopes on for the years ahead

  3. Doesn’t look a great score line. 7points isn’t exactly impressive even if we did bag 3 goals. I didn’t get to see it. Anyone stand out?

  4. These guys are only young it’s under 20s I would be to harsh on them not a bad opening result for them.

    Still think Niall hurley and Diarmuid Duffy are really talented young players.

  5. We are Mayo. Sorry, let’s have standards. Drawing with Roscommon is not acceptable for us. Have ambitions for ourselves or we’ll rapidly lose our competitive reach to likes of Tyrone, Galway and Kerry.
    We have a much larger pick than Roscommon.

  6. @JP totally get that we need to have standards but I’m just saying that these guys are very young still and only developing hopefully we get better v Galway..

  7. @Mayonaze: You could see flashes (as always) from Niall Hurley. The radar never came in for his normal long range shots but still a constant thorn in the side for them. Probably our pick of the bunch for me, though I’m sure he’ll not be over the moon with it himself. Beirne, McLaughlin, Duffy, MacMonagle, Slattery, Gilmore and Cronin (when he came in off the bench) all had some great moments.

    We left behind a pretty kickable 1-6 or so (and another 5 or 6 poor shot selections that could have generated a few more potential scores), so not a terrible lack of decent chances leading to the low point tally. That said, we hit some issues with size/physicality/power (memories of the ’21 minor game) in the middle third that put us under a lot of pressure, especially coming down that closing stretch. Fortunate to hold out in the end.

  8. I won’t get into names but there were big physical lads in the extended panel. Would be suprised one or two of them not able to contribute even from the bench.
    I’m really really sceptical on our SnC when I compare for example Tyrone and ourselves.
    No player hits the field with the Tyrone seniors without being physically explosive. They had a movement coach at underage.
    I’m seeing this year with 2024 SnC knowledge widely available players with our seniors with very little evidence of leg strength development. Like I’ll give a pass on upper body, but you don’t hsabe the ability to be competitive without sufficient leg strength.
    Look at Dara Canavans explosive development since his pretty mediocre schools B final and look at the power of his brother Ruairi.
    Something is wrong when it’s a consistent dataset trend.

  9. Im glad you said it JP ,we are twice the pick and should nearly always beat Ros , but fair play to ros cause whatever way they coach their players the last 10 odd years, its working , they play a lovely brand of football up top , they are never pushed over in s&c , id say its 2017 replay since we gave them a right thumping at any level . I had high hopes for 20s this year , biteen dented after tonight . Disappointing not to see clarke nor maheady , i assume theyre injured long term reading posts in here .

    (Apologies for my mayo for sam infantile drunken post the other night , wj ) i shouldnt be let near a device whilst intoxicated . Cringe stuff .

  10. Lucky enough to get a draw in the end and the last score for Roscommon could have been a penalty instead of free in as the denied goal scoring opportunity and the rules nowadays states you don’t have to be in the square for the ref to give a penalty.

  11. Very disappointing points return from a highly rated forward line. Like the seniors the Rossies seem to score easier than us.

  12. All evening long the Rossies were left unmarked in the left half forward position. While one could blame the right half back; what the f……k were the sideline contingent up to?

  13. No mention of the open goal missed at a crucial time in the second half that would have settled it. Some very poor shots taken on when possession should have been retained. Poor defensive structure left us wide open down the left in second half. Physically beaten in some exchanges. Including a player who is in the senior set up. If we can’t beat an under strength Roscommon team it does not bode well for the next day against Galway.

  14. We do a fair amount of whinging in fairness. Last year it was all Maurice Sheridans fault because of the type of football we were playing. Now after one game we are questioning the management already.. Agree that 5 points is a poor return in last 45 minutes but scored two excellent goals early in the game. And we don’t have a divine right to beat anyone Roscommon included. We have to earn that right. Population does not dictate who should beat who as regardless of the size of a population of any county, they can only put 15 on the field. Last year Sligo won Connacht by beating Mayo, Galway and Roscommon ( all away from home) and beat Kerry for good measure in AI semi. Great work being done at underage in lots of counties

  15. Agree with you JP on Tyrone. I was at the league match in Omagh in 22; arrived there very early and Tyrone were doing a pre warm up routine and I was up close and personal. I couldn’t believe their conditioning. I’m no expert but anybody would know straight away that, physically, these guys were standing out a mile. Don’t think a lot of our fellas measure up.

  16. Yep , we seem to be togging light a while now , whatever has happened there . Id agree with you jp but would go further in saying we also lack upper body strength too in a lot of cases . The reason Cillian , aido etc are able to win a lot of ball and shield it better is a lot to do with their strength , i know aido is a big unit but look back at 2017 team , jason doc , even andy , they were hardly ever pushed aside despite up against a seriously well oiled powerfully explosive dublin side . There is something missing from development on this issue , something has been over looked or else we havent evolved with the latest as id hazzard a guess its a part of developing atheltes that evolves in modern method .

  17. WJ…this discussion around S&C has arisen numerous times here over the past two years in particular… perhaps a worthwhile Podcast discussion ‘Do Mayo have the right S&C programmes in place from 16-21?’ That’s when it’s required. Too late after that. It’s a massively important element of player development. Boyler is always on the podcast and being at the coal face of the u19 set up he should know first hand what’s going on. In detail. There was a podcast interview with the head of the academy a year ago or so (sorry I can’t recall his name) and it was all very nice and positive but no critical analysis.

    It would be a very interesting and worthwhile podcast.

    If Diarmuid Duffy , Jack Coyne, Donn McHugh and Bob Tuohy (you could add Carney too I think) were from Tyrone or Dublin even, you’d think they’d be looking different. Bob in particular. It’s his 2nd season at senior and muscled off the ball several times during the league.

  18. One interesting nugget. A crucial aspect of Colm Boyle getting back in Mayo was in the period where he got dropped a person he knew was expert in SnC. Colm got a program from that independent person and came back much heavier and much more explosive and quick than when he was with Mayo.

  19. @JP, I actually hadn’t heard that story but doesn’t reflect well on Mayo GAA albeit that’s a long time ago. But to the eye, and seeing players/matches it doesn’t appear as though our S&C is where it needs to be. I’d love to hear Boyler’s opinion but also a podcast focussing on this really crucial component to player development. I’m no expert but it’s fairly widely known now that the mid teen to 19/20 phase is massively important for strength and speed and that playing catch up post-20/21 doesn’t work for most regardless of the efforts put in then.

  20. When’s the last time you saw a Mayo underage team and thought ‘those are big lads’? It’s a long time.

  21. Trying not to be an old high stooler here waiting on the racing channel a pint and throwing out crazy nuggets of wisdom 🙂
    Do ye recall the 1999 minors?
    Those were big lads, in my personal view they didn’t balance out defence with a few big lads also and Down cut through them with Coulter.
    That 99 team had a few well built lads well over six foot. The best 15 of 97 98 99 era would dominate the best 15 of any three year minor tranche now. They’d be just too tall, strong and powerful. 13 stone was pretty common on those teams, even allowing the extra year 13 stone is now uncommon.
    Now, a lot of those lads were the sons of big broad shouldered farmers and grew up on farms or they played rugby. So there was some genetic, social and other sport factors.
    Kevin McLoughlin is not a big man but you can see he had that wiry farmer strength from being out working.

  22. I’ve watch the the game and the 2nd half twice to see why we seem to fall apart in. Only 4 points from play, 2 each from Hurley and Cronin. 8 wides half if those from Hurley. Totally beaten out of it in midfield, our keeper overshot them time and time again with kickouts, his short kickouts seemed to work better in the first half. Don’t believe Dawson nor Duffy is suited to midfield, yes on paper it looks like 2 very mobile players but in reality it didn’t work. Hopefully Duffy is recovered from that shoulder he took that knocked him for six. Mulroy and Moore were 2 midfield options on bench but not used and like someone else said the is a few more on the extended panel that can beef up that department. I would actually like to see Dawson on the half back line where he played for us at U17 and recently for UL Freshers and move Duffy to half forward line. Hurley wil have better days and is a talent.
    As for S&C, Tom Mulderrig was in charge of a new U19 programme last year to help develop players 17-19 no panel was ever listed not sure how many is on the current U20 panel, question is – what was this programme about if not helping to develop them.

  23. Nail on the head with kev mc but i think thats just in ya or not if youre that size of a buck ,just a hardy hoor . Also lets not forget we won all irelands in 13 at minor and 2016 under 21 , weve had a decent return from that 16 team but oddly not the 2018 team that got to the final . It was touched on during the podcast about the 2006 21 s team having such a magnificent return to senior players and important central roles . Would i be correct in saying without checking we had a very good return out of 1983 under 21 team too leading to the senior final in 1989 ?

    It does seem to be a pattern with mayo which makes it a bit concerning that we are not getting good results in recent years since 2018 atthis grade

  24. You can lose a seven point lead by struggling on kickouts by not having players comfortable to compete physically in the air with big physical opponents. Fiachra Cruise and Oliver Armstrong are two players that I’ve seen be comfortable to go up in the crowd and field kickouts. That is either there or not by this age.

  25. Does anyone know why Ronan Clarke from Moy Davitts isnt in the Mayo panel currently? Is there any specific reason, Soccer? Injury? Or loss of form?

    Also Could McStay bring in Niall Hurley from Claremorris once the Under 20 campaign is over ,hes the best natural scoring forward in the County including ROD.

  26. My view is we should bring in some of the u20s but none of them to play, unused subs or panellists. I’m a fan of waiting till the players are 21 and they’re more mature physically and mentally. So the one or two years not really playing on the panel is more about becoming acclimatised to all that is involved around training and matches. I’d have them on a lower volume and attendance program also. They’ve a lot going on in their lives. They don’t need to be on every session.

  27. @Achill75: It was mentioned on commentary last night that Ronan was out with a significant injury.

    His form for Davitt’s was exceptional last year (probably just behind Duffy and slightly ahead of Niall Hurley and Feeney, though all 4 were fantastic, from the ’22 minor side taking their first steps at senior) so no issues on form, talent or progression from what we’ve seen and heard.

    On 20s joining after the championship….

    – Could by rules? Yeah. Absolutely. Still can’t play both in the same rolling 7-day window (the 60 hour exlusion period not brought in yet), but can hop between the two grades freely besides that exclusion.

    – By time/availability? Yeah. Even if (huge IF, not expectations here for such a young side) the lads were fairly successful the u20 Championship ends in Connacht by the 5th May (same time as the Senior Connacht Championship) and then jumps into a crazy running weekends for SFs (11th/12th May, Connacht vs Ulster) and AIF to tie it all up in mid-May (weekend of the 18th/19th May). So even if they went all the way, the 20s would be finished up in time for ~Round 2 (potentially even for R1 if we don’t win Senior Connacht) of the group stages.

  28. I was at the game last night and have been at most games with this group since they were u17 and lost to Roscommon by 7 points in the first round of the Connacht championship. Interesting to look at the squad on that day in July 2021 and the starting team last night,

    “QUARTER-FINAL: Roscommon 4-13 Mayo 2-12 (Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon, 23/7/2021). MAYO: Tiernan Burke; Lorcan Silke, Jack Walsh, Brendan Collins; Cathal Corless (0-1), Jack Ferguson, Conal Dawson (0-2); Seán Morahan, Diarmuid Duffy, Seán Neary; Fiachra Cruise (1-1), Tom O’Flaherty; James Maheady, Ronan Clarke (0-5, frees), Pierce Deane (0-2, one free). Subs: Anthony Browne (0-1) for Silke, Ben McHale (1-0) for Neary, Conor Mulroy for Duffy, Adam Beirne for O’Flaherty, Brian Breslin for Collins, blood), Seán Sweeney (for Deane).”

    Only 4 of the u17 2021 team started last night….2 of which are underage again next year. My point is that this is a good Roscommon side, and I understand age wise they had a significant advantage with most on the age so their physical advantage was evident as the game went on….and in particular when they pressed in the second half. This Mayo squad is a combination of a smaller number of the 2021 , u17 lads, with some unfortunately injured such as Cathal Corless, and Sean Morohan, Fiachra Cruise recovering or not available, and most of the 2022 group that are available with notable exceptions due to injuries (Ronan Clarke, Dara Hurley, James Mahedy) or the leaving cert commitments, and a smaller number of last years squad notable Dara Beirne and Rio Mortimer. From what i observed over the last few months most if not all of the other lads that were part of these squads got opportunities in training, trial or challenge games also, so we are looking at the best group available in the circumstances. Remember this competition is being played with the leaving cert on the way for many of last night squad or college exams with lads spread out from Limerick, Galway, Letterkenny, and a few travelling down mid week from Dublin for training also.

    I think last night was a steep learning curve for these lads, they are all good footballers , however will be challenged on the S&C side given that 11 of last nights starting team are underage again next year. Lets give them time and get behind them next week in McHale Park against Galway. This is going to be a very competitive championship which is what’s needed at under age in Connacht and all these lads will benefit greatly in their future development as a result of having 4-5 tough championship games over the next 6 weeks.

  29. @Mayo for Sam: It was interesting hearing Peadar speak about the (easily missed/forgotten/ignored) new impact of the mid-week games & travel on lots of the lads. With so many off at College now – 11 lads in Limerick, 2 in Letterkenny and 3 in Dublin the morning of the game – that’s a whole new challenge for them compared to catching a full team bus together with teammates for an away game on a Friday evening many might have had at minor.

    Interesting topic of the choice to run 20s on Wednesday and minor on Friday given the disproportionate impact mid-week has on older lads away from home (missing a full day or day and a half of college rather than an afternoon). Wouldn’t have ever considered that as a major factor… but obviously a huge one once it’s mentioned.

  30. Two good posts TsuDhoNim and Mayo for Sam, I also looked at the Galway 24 man panel that played Leitrim and found only 2 players starting from 20 players that played in the 2022 All Ireland win and 2 more on the bench and one of those being the goalkeeper. Roscommon beat Galway in the semi final in 2021 and out of 20 players that played that day Galway had 6 players starting(2 of those underage in 2022)and 2 more on the bench. So Galway seems to have the same turnover in players.

    Young Clarke has been unlucky at this grade thus far missed last years game against Sligo with broken wrist, and again ruled this year with not the same issue.

  31. Why aren’t the u20 games not been played on Saturday afrernoons to suit lads away n college

  32. Unfortunately I’did’nt get to see the game. Can someone please tell me if there was any discernable system and style of play? Please tell me it wasn’t anything remotely like the awful possession based negative dross that we had to endure for the previous two years.

  33. @GllasagusDearg: Nahhh. Plenty of nice flowing attacking football out there. We’ve a strong attacking side (despite what the scoreboard suggested) and they’d looked to play to those strengths.

    Lads working hard all over the pitch so usually got 13 bodies back when in set defence and freed up a sweeper (think it was Paul Gilmore most of the time but wasn’t watching too closely for tactical nuances). Roscommon’s power eventually started punching some holes (& tactically they were able to pull us out of position to consistently open up space down one side) but even then the lads work rate did a solid job limiting the damage. A few too many soft frees given away which helped the Rossies efficiency a lot. Partly a little overexcited you’d imagine, a few times questionable technique & mostly where they were trying to compete with physically stronger lads & pushing for every edge.

    Up front they’d a lot of freedom & created great chances. Along with the 3 goals scored they’d opened Roscommon up for another 1v1 with the keeper, a couple of other decent half chances & lots of the wides coming from high % locations (we missed a fair few +70% shots). Bad day for the shooting boots but no obvious concerns on the system, style of play or the personnel up there. Those all looked great & we know there’s tonnes of talent in some of the lads who’d quite days.

    Odd result (part poor given our wides & part robbed Roscommon given how strong they looked at the end), poor conversion %, questions on living with physically powerful sides, lots & lots to work on but all sorts of positives to take away from it too. I’d imagine we’ll see a very different side next time out at home in MacHale Park with a crowd behind them.

  34. @TsuDhoNim, fully agree , this Mayo side went out to play attacking football and the overall stats show it with I made it 25 chances created, with 10 taken…..so work to be done on the shot selection and conversion rate. On another evening with the football we played for most of the first half we could have been well ahead at half time…However credit to Roscommon they are a big physical side and good team and will be well up there in the final shake up for a knockout game later in the competition. Also there were clearly first round nerves for many of these lads, playing in the Hyde and for the older lads having lost there at u17…so overall plenty of positives to take away….and to work on for the Galway game. Considering we were under serious pressure for the most of the second half we only conceded 7 points… with 3 or 4 of those from frees and still managed to score 4 ourselves on the break and was it 5 or 6 wides and a big goal chance? Our defensive set up was impressive despite being possibly overly aggressive in the tackle, with a few borderline frees when we got 2-3 players in the tackle around the Roscommon player in some instances and debatable overcarrying in some cases went against us… but that’s football… Really looking forward again to next Wed in McHale Park under lights at 7pm . Lets get behind these young men and be the extra man on the night for them against our noisy neighbours.

  35. @TsuDhoNim,thanks for your comprehensive response. It’s looks like the new management intend to make the best use of the players talents and abilities, so, hopefully we can look forward to a more positive and entertaining brand of football.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *