U20s storm to provincial success

Photo: @SportRnaG

We might be forgiven for feeling a tad glum this afternoon, bystanders the lot of us as Galway and Roscommon contest a third successive Connacht senior football final. If so, today’s curtain-raiser at Dr Hyde Park provided the perfect antidote, with Mayo’s U20s blowing Roscommon out of the water, winning the first-ever provincial title at this grade by a whopping 3-16 to 1-6. The kids are alright.

With the wind at their backs in the opening half, Cian McKeon opened the scoring for Roscommon after two minutes and the same player doubled the home team’s lead from a free a few minutes later. After Conor Diskin – who’d lined out instead of John Gallagher – narrowly missed a goal chance when fed by Ryan O’Donoghue, Ross Egan opened our account from play.

The Aghamore player levelled it up from a free soon after as Mike Solan’s team started to settle. Roscommon found themselves pinned in as we turned them over four times in succession, eventually getting some reward on the scoreboard via a second Ross Egan free to edge us in front for the first time.

Another attack saw corner-back Johnny Maughan claim possession high up the field and he was fouled when playing it into Ross Egan. The attack came to nothing but the free was given for the foul and Ross Egan pointed from it.

We kept up the pressure. Another ball won out the field found its way to Paul Lambert whose solo effort ended with a score by the Westport player.

Roscommon finally lifted the siege, McKeon pointing from a free after the ball was brought up after the whistle had sounded. Not long afterwards, Aidan Dowd went on a run, the cover failed to keep him out and his shot skidded off the turf and into the net to put the home team back in front.

We then fluffed a goal chance, Conor Diskin opting to palm the ball goalwards rather than catch and shoot but his effort was well read by the Roscommon ‘keeper.

We continued to press forward and eventually Ryan O’Donoghue was hauled down in the square, Roscommon’s Lorcan Daly picking up a black card for the infraction. Ryan O’Donoghue took the spot-kick and the captain buried it low into the corner.

We had a chance to add to our lead in injury-time but messed up a training-ground routine from a free. The half-time whistle sounded soon after, with the Mayo lads leading by 1-5 to 1-3.

The teams’ respective goalkeepers traded frees from placed balls to start the second half. Aaron Brady from Roscommon got the first, with Mayo’s netminder Patrick O’Malley responding in kind with a ’45 at the other end. The Rossie ‘keeper then planted a ’45 over the bar against the wind to cut the gap to one.

Our next attack ended with Ryan O’Donoghue getting hauled to the turf twenty yards out. Ross Egan knocked over the resultant free. We made our first change soon after with Cathal Moran coming on to replace Oisin McLoughlin. The Westport player made an immediate impact, ending a fine run with a nice score.

The hardworking Oisin Mullin then picked up what looked to be a nasty enough shoulder injury, Joe Dawson coming on for him.

Roscommon missed a free, following which a super long-range restart from Patrick O’Malley opened up the home rearguard. Mayo broke quickly, the ball ending up with Conor Diskin who crashed it to the net.

The lads now moved in quickly for the kill. A point from Evan O’Brien came first and then straight afterwards Tommy Conroy found the net. Now we were out of sight in this contest.

Ross Egan and McKeon then traded frees, the latter score giving the large home crowd now starting to build at Hyde Park something to cheer about. But our lads continued to pile on the pain at the other end, Paul Lambert thumping a truly delicious wind-assisted effort over the bar off the outside of his boot.

We were now in bench-emptying mode, with both John Gallagher and Stephen McGreal being given a run-out. With Rosommon reduced to fourteen men, we pushed on with Ross Egan bagging his sixth point (another free) while Cathal Moran got his second.

Paul Lambert struck for another spectacular effort from out on the right as Mike Solan’s lads closed in on an impressive provincial title victory. Points from Ross Egan and sub Stephen McGreal pushed the winning margin to a yawning sixteen points.

So, the inaugural Connacht championship at this level has been won by our lads. It’s a welcome development, for sure, not least given the paucity of provincial success we’ve enjoyed at any level in recent years. I was told by an informed Mayo GAA source the evening the seniors lost to Galway that this team had the potential to go far. Today at Hyde Park they provided the first proof that this could well be the case.

Photo: Mayo Advertiser (Sportsfile)

Now it’s onto the All-Ireland semi-final in four weeks time, where the winners of the Armagh/Derry Ulster final will provide the opposition. In the meantime, Mike Solan and his team have a short while to celebrate an impressive provincial title success, while at the same time turning their thoughts to the next challenge facing them in this championship. Well done to them.

Mayo: Patrick O’Malley (0-1, a ‘45); Johnny Maughan, Brian O’Malley, John Cunnane; Paul Lambert (0-3), Oisín Mullin, Cathal Horan; Jordan Flynn, Evan O’Brien (0-1); Nathan Moran, Ryan O’Donoghue (1-0), Oisín McLoughlin; Conor Diskin (1-0), Ross Egan (0-8, six frees), Tommy Conroy (1-0). Subs: Colm Moran (0-2) for McLoughlin, Joe Dawson for Mullin, John Gallagher for Conroy, Stephen McGreal (0-1) for Diskin, Sean Óg Tighe for O’Brien, Brian O’Neill for Cunnane.

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Photo: @LadiesFootball

On a separate note, huge congrats to the Mayo ladies U14 team who today captured the All-Ireland U14B football title this afternoon. In a high-scoring decider played today at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe, the Mayo girls came out on top by 7-10 to 3-14. Here’s the moment where their success was confirmed:

So, it would seem, that the future looks good for the county’s girls as well as for the guys. Style on them.

111 thoughts on “U20s storm to provincial success

  1. Mayo just love Hyde Park. What a happy hunting ground. Dont suppose we can move our home games there?

  2. Well done! A mighty result. Roll on Semple Stadium next Saturday. Great to see the Mayo bandwagon hit Thurles!

  3. Also Tom P on Sunday Game tonight. Looking forward to hearing his analysis.

  4. Well done Mayo. What an emphatic victory. The importance of this Connacht title cannot be underestimated. After the appalling series of performances at minor over the past three years, this title is a huge fillip to Mayo football. Also begs the question of the Mayo County Board of the minor management appointments of the past couple of years. There was obviously good young talent there that just wasn’t been properly developed in any way to the standard required for their three consecutive championship games against Galway. Well done yet again to Mike Solan and his management team for getting the best out of these young footballers.

  5. Excellent win lads. Very heart warming alright.
    Can’t beat having good forwards which this group has.
    Important to keep ahead of the local rivals.
    Be interesting to see how Galway get on later. Not convinced with them yet.

  6. Well done our bucks, fair play.

    Galway, with the breeze, three points down to the Rossies at half time.
    The Maroon Balloon to be popped… . . . .

  7. 45 i agree its a great win. It seems though that the County Board never get a break. They seem to get critical when tho he go wrong but when it goes right they never get praise.
    If they made bad appointments at minor level and caused our failure then surely they should get praise for the appointment at U20 level when we win.
    All the talk these past few years is that they have invested nothing in under age but yet we come good. Do they deserve any praise for that.
    In the past 5 years we have won minor and U21 all Ireland’s and been in 5 senior finals since 2012 almost winning them on every occasion.
    We are the only County to never have been relegated to Div 2 in league.
    Surely the CB must get some credit for this or is their only role to take the blame for all that ever goes wrong.

  8. Thanks for that report WJ, what an important result for us. We really needed something from underage. Away on the alcoholidays and could only follow on Twitter. Delighted to get the lowdown.

  9. The only thing worse than Galway’s performance in the first half is the shite being spouted by O’Rourke and Brolly. They’re pathologically incapable of analysing the game in front of them, so far past their sell-by date it’s not funny. It’s not just the presenter of The Sunday Game that RTÉ should be changing.

  10. 45 a bit unfair on the minor management’s I think. Difference this year is the confidence gained by the Westport lads in winning the club all Ireland and the good coaching at rice college Westport,Colman’s in claremorris and ballinrobe community schools. Damien Egan did massive work in ballinrobe and has 5 of that team on the mayo under 20squad. That management continuity is paying dividends.

  11. I’d be much happier seeing us successful as the age brackets go up. No point beating everyone in sight at U17 and not been able to compete at u20. This is a massive result and will be a big boost to the seniors knowing that there are reinforcements on the way. Congratulations to the the entire squad and their management.

  12. Pat,
    Before you dislocate your shoulder patting the CB on the back, remember Mike Solan was appointed because John Maughan withdrew his name. Mike Solan is there by accident, he was never going to be appointed and anyone who says different is lying. I’ve no problem with giving praise where its due, but your not going to try and rewrite history here by telling us Solan was given the job by a forward looking CB.

  13. Pat – the appointment of Mike Solan has turned out to be a great one. However, lets not forget that it was a turn of fate that we got him…..the dumping of the Senior players of H&C upended plans for the intended appointee. Credit is due but wouldn’t say it was exactly hatched from any CB master plan.

  14. Well yours truly got into the Hyde today and there was no problem getting tickets outside.

    Fantastic win and hard fought despite the score line u til the goals starting going in the second half.

    Really impressed with Lambert and Colin Moran was excellent when introduced.

    Talk that the Mayo underage concert belt has broken down was wide of the mark.

  15. They blew it badly, Mark. Desperately poor shot selection in the second half. Nobody will fear Galway in the Super 8s after that kind of performance either.

  16. Hard to watch Comer lifting the Nestor cup.Hopefully we get a 2nd crack at them in Croker to see who really is the best in Connacht.All I know is Lee would not have made Shane walsh look so good today.

  17. I’v never done it before and I won’t again 🙂
    But I told ye from a long long way out months and months ago that we had top class attacking talent coming through and that we had a good u20 team.
    Brilliant today. The most impressive underage team performance by a Mayo team in modern times.
    This panel is proving what I’v been preaching about. The two years after minor with clubs like Westport, Claremorris, Castlebar and Belmullet beats any centre of excellence elitist model.
    If Claremorris and Westport sat back a few years ago nothing approaching todays result would have occurred.
    Today makes me believe further that I’m right in my assertion some time back that the Mayo squad is going to get stronger. I was told I was crazy on here 🙂
    I will be proven correct 🙂
    This squad n the u21s n next years u20s – U18s combined with the current senior squads u29s will bring home Sam 🙂

  18. Mayo, even at half steam would have taken out either of them two today. Horan was right. The gulf between Mayo and the rest of Connacht is widening.

  19. Well done to Mayo on u20 success – doesn’t surprise me, as Gerald’s have had great colleges teams for the last number of years. We made heavy weather of beating Ros. IMO the lads were too tentative, and afraid to go for the jugular from the get go. Suits us nicely though, as “manly” fools like O’Rourke will continue to write us off, as they also did in ’98 and ’01.

  20. Getting a bit carried away there .JP.. we’ve beaten Roscommon and Leitrim , the two counties to preform as bad or worse than us at minor in the last 3 years. Even Sligo reached 2 minor finals.

  21. @Jay, this was an u20 competition. Roscommon beat Galway. Today I am loud and on the money 🙂 Gimme today? 🙂

  22. Ross Egan, Conor Diskin and Ryan O’Donoghue were very impressive today a few Mayo Senior forwards will have to step it up big time in the next few weeks because these lads are going to put serious pressure there involvment in Rochys 2019 panel.

  23. Fair play to ya JP , you’re on the ball. You have more info on players than most of us in here put together.

    Hup Mayo for tonight .

  24. Well done the Mayo u 20s big win Just listening to the Gooch and the rest of the panel
    they reckon Galway will make the semi if not the final this year if they just
    make a few tweeks I thought Galway did nt play to their ability in the first half but in the
    second they made some brillent passes and took some fine points Their fowards are class
    Shane Walsh must be one of the best forwards in the country at the moment
    Any ways im on my way back to Limerick after Clare game dissapointed again we were hoping
    to get to Munster final Im afraid its looking more like Galway s hurling title again this year
    I wonder whats the odds on a Galway double be worth a few bob i think

  25. Hope you’re right JP. Superb winning performance today and very proud of them but let’s wait and see how these boys fare outside of Connacht. I want All Ireland winners, not also rans. A winning mentality is key toward future success.

    I agree on your point re Coleman’s Rice and Ballinrobe. Would like to see more from the castlebar schools and what has happened to ballina in recent years?

    Just to add weight too to Solan’s appointment. He certainly wasn’t first choice but he’s doing a solid job and has brought in a very progressive and ambitious team of management around him. Well done to them tonight but hope they press on now and win their next two games.

  26. I agree with you too Wj on Joanne Cantwell today. Brings everyone down the same crap cul de sacs and just a Pc appointment.

    As for the games it is shocking to miss another final. Galway are good and we have allowed them get bettwr.

    Mind you I never tire of Ros being humiliated and when we do it all the better. Well done Mike Solan and lads

  27. As predicted, Galway beat Roscommon, I thought the margin would be over 7 – 10 points, Mayo to improve via the back door, the Rossies will be beaten in the qualifiers, they wont make the Super 8’s.
    Belief is everything in sport, see what happened to Germany v Mexico today. Mayo v Galway semi final.

  28. Regardless of further success this year, a number of this team will be in the senior squad next year and will inject serious competition and energy into the panel. I agree with JP also regarding the players developing better when they’re playing senior/intermediate football with their clubs as oppossed to the elitist model. The two lads in our club who were on last years U17/Minor team have progressed hugely playing senior football this year. One of them was involved in this years U20 panel but left to focus on his LC, he had 3 years left at the grade anyway. Diskin, Cosgrave, Lambert, Horan, these are all serious players and what’s more, James Horan has taken over Westport at the perfect time to develop the young talent in the club.
    P.S. I certainly don’t think anyone is criticising Mike Solan Mayonaze, we’re just pointing out that he’s there by accident, not design.

  29. What a great feeling to see those young lads lifting the trophy today. Rising tide lifts all boats they say and hopefully, this win will inspire our senior’s to a good win over Tipperary next Saturday.

    As for the senior final, Roscommon will be having nightmares this evening. Imagine after playing such controlled football in the first half to fail to score even one point from play while playing with the wind in the second half, is unforgivable – Galway can count themselves very lucky to have won this one.

  30. No Stephen. If they line out for the seniors, they’ll be ineligible for the rest of the U20 championship.

  31. Cheers wide ball,just thinking down the line,if we keep winning ,injuries will possibly arise,would be great to dip into that squad if needed.

  32. You misunderstand me, Ger Bohan – it wasn’t Joanne Cantwell I was alluding to, it was Michael Lyster, who has given the Three Stooges free reign to engage in their angry-old-fart analysis. Joanne deserves a chance and the way she pushed back on Brolly the other week would suggest she’s not going to let them continue to roll out the same old blather ad infinitum. She could well turn out to be a good appointment and I wouldn’t be writing her off just yet.

  33. Schools football is the key to producing top footballers and we seen this today.Its been done in Kerry and Tyrone.Making sure schools in Mayo have teachers that have done coaching courses and providing schools with quality training pitches can go along way.
    A school team has more contact time with a player than there local gaa club.I know in schools like Colmans ,Geralds, Ballinrobe and Rice college they train all the teams from first year to Senior every school day at break.Not so sure about the smaller schools around Mayo.The County board should help schools with providing more full time coaches to schools , particularly the smaller secondary schools around the County.

  34. Galway sat back way too defensive which made Roscommon look good but when push came to shove we stepped it up a gear in the last 20 minutes and they had no answers only bad wides. We have now regained the title and are in the Super8 which were the aims all year so job done. Plenty to improve on but sure thats where you want to be and im sure most Mayo people would prefer to be in Galways position tonight rather than facing the uncertainty of the qualifiers.

  35. Well said JP, you were dead right. Would love to see them win it out now.

    Jaysus the rossies are some bottlers, they just shrunk when the game was in the melting pot. I still think Galways fb line is weak, would love to get at them im Croker. Who knows, maybe its our destiny to beat them in the final and end the pain?.

  36. Roscommon paid too much attention to Comer (looked to be triple marked at times?) and not enough to Walsh, the amount of space and time he got on the ball was criminal. In fairness he managed to make his own luck as well, that interception he made in the first half before popping over was top class. All those wides seemed to knock the wind out of Roscommon and once Galway got going in the last 15 minutes it was game over.

    Galway three games ahead of us and Roscommon two. This new schedule will take some getting used to

  37. Good point reamon, it would be the first choice of Mayo to be in the super 8 today, however, it nearly suits Mayo to have the qualifiers games as these are good fast games on good ground and I think are a help in sharpening a team like Mayo that likes to play open fast football. I could never get around Conor mort saying one time that Mayo weren’t a qualifier type team. Why would you bother training if you thought you couldn’t win or at least compete? There was something in his words that were not what the current guys would listen to. Today’s team seem to enjoy the journey and it’s dangers.
    And a big congrats to the u 20 team, keep working hard and practice the shooting, anything is possible in 2018.

  38. Dave, bottom line – Horan through sheer stubbornness or pride was unable/not prepared to manage Mort’s talent, which would surely have got Mayo over the line – eventually… For a county whose Achilles heel has always been a lack of natural scoring forwards this was certainly a crude lesson in “cutting off the nose to spite the face..”

  39. As a proud Mayo supporter it was not so nice to see another connaght final without Mayo but for anyone to say Galway are weak are will not be feared in the super 8 s !! I think we need to understand that nothing but the best performance of the year from Mayo will do in Tipperary and I just hope we will be able to do that .

  40. Great result for the u-20s and maybe one or two of them might develop into fine seniors yet so it’s very encouraging. Looking forward to see how they fare in the all-ireland series. Galway have the whiff of ’98 about them but until they meet a Kerry, Dublin (or us in Croker!) at full tilt I’ll remain unconvinced. Nobody has ‘done a Donaghy’ on them since last year yet. The Rossies just seem to have such a soft underbelly – once they came out for that second half you sensed they never believed they would do it. Compton was a big loss to them in midfield but 2 scores from placed balls with the wind second half is pathetic.

  41. I honestly think all that rubbish out of McStay about “the Hyde” didn’t help them. Your the manager, focus on managing the team. Well done Galway, I fully believe there will be 3 Connacht counties in the super 8’s.

  42. U20s can join up with the seniors after the u20 concludes. You just cant play senior championship and be with u20s.
    Probably some will be called in after the u20 season finishes. Good for continuity heading into 2019.
    Just to note there is the core of a good u20 team for next year in the current full u20 panel.
    Tommy Conroy, John Gallagher, Evan OBrien, Nathan Moran, Joe Dawson, Oisin Mullins, Rory Brickendon, Basil McLeod, Pat Lambert and Stephen McGreal.
    Then Kuba Callaghan, Jack Harte, Padraig McLaughlin, Eoin McLoughlin, Fintan McManamon and Mark Moran also. If you have a good midfield and forward line you will always be competitive.

  43. I really doubt there’s enough leadership in that Galway team to go deep in the championship.

    Ros would have won the match if they had tacked on a couple of points after half time. not entirely convinced by Walsh either yet, Ros are pretty poor defensively he still hasn’t delivered in the championship against a top team also Comer looks fairly one dimensional and Branigan did nothing to.

  44. That result will keep the doom and gloom merchants regarding the future of Mayo football quite for awhile and abit. That my friends is no bad thing. Well done lads! Great comment JP. “Todays team seem to enjoy the journey and it’s dangers” was not too far behind. Thanks Dave. Roll on next Saturday. Let’s get the show on the road. I could go on here about the threat that Tipperary hold but I believe we will blow them away. No disrespect intended but Mayo have bigger fish to fry. I think Hanley will be a big player for us this year and will be the the POTY. I’ve put that comment in my pipe and I am smoking it. It tastes pretty god damned good.

  45. That’s a bit of revisionism, Man of Aran. Mort walked off the panel in a strop days before the 2012 Connacht final, a match where we stuttered to a win and where, off the bench, Conor could have made a decisive contribution and then kept his place from there on. What manager could take a player back who showed such disloyalty? That one was all on Mort, I’m afraid.

  46. Man of Aran
    It was a shame morts playing days ended so badly. He would surely have tapped a few over when needed. My point was that he said that they were not a qualifier type county, as long as you’re not knocked out of the championship you must take every game as a stepping stone to winning Sam.

  47. JP it’s hard to please some people we have been reading how bad the underage teams in Mayo are no structures you have been writing up this U20 panel based on club performance after being proved right you still won’t get get recognition well I for one would like to congratulate you on your predictions and assessment of the players onwards and upwards and the good news is Kerry and Dublin will meet in other semi and hopefully kick the proverbials out of each other.

  48. Why would anyone want to see Roscommon humiliated?… I think the Rossies threw the game away… Had it for the taking…. If Roscommon has nailed one or two points in the second half? ,… You could feel the confidence draining away from them and Galway gaining confidence with every Roscommon missed a chance…. Such is life, things like that have happened to most teams in the past, and certainly happened to Mayo teams….. I wasn’t at the Hyde today, but the camera zoomed in several times on Gareth Bradshaw, did he ever stop pulling, dragging and mauling his opposite number,… He went unpunished several times, but Galway won and deserved to win, you can’t blame the Ref when you don’t score from play in the second half. Galway took more of their chances, and the Rossi missed and kicked the ball into the goalkeeper too many times.. Shane Walsh was quite magnificent.. Congratulations to Galway and Commiserations to the Rossi, they will now need to get their MoJo back super quick if they are to make the super eight… Congratulations to the superb Mayo U20’s, Serious Result.. Probably the best team on view in the Hyde today! Ulster champions up next…if that turns out to be Armagh we might need to loan them some player’s, with an enormous number of their players suspended…. Tipperary will be delighted to see the standard of today’s Connacht Final.. Galway who beat Mayo, won the Connacht Final in what was as low quality Connacht Final. The worst since, 1993.. When Mayo won an even worse match… Didn’t Joe Brolly, who is becoming more of a parody of himself every day, say that Mayo were a bad team, without Lee Keegan?.. Poor Joe is so OTT at the moment, that the only one who could possibly play Joe Brolly in the Christmas Pantomime, is Joe himself!

  49. WJ, during John O’Mahony’s tenure as Galway manager, one of our top 3 players, without whom, we certainly would not have won in ’98 or indeed ’01 required specialist all round management. My point is some players – be it ego or whatever require different man management. Johno did whatever was required…

  50. Mother of God Ger, are you trying to get WJ lynched? I’d rather have Revenue, Hezbollah and the Terminator after me than the equality brigade.

  51. JP I doubted you and this u20 team and I am delighted to say I called it wrong. I got in my the skin of my teeth just before the throw in at13:00 hrs. I was impressed with what I saw. The Ros team looked good and they have many fine players but they were always second best today. What impressed me most today was O’Malley in goal for Mayo. He was outstanding. Anyone know who got MOTM. He would have been my choice. Rochford should be knocking here real soon. I have great faith in Mike, and well done to him and his team. We were blessed to have him. I understand it was by accident rather than by design, like many other things we get in this country. I felt sorry for the Rossies today. They had this in the bag and they let it slip.big time.

  52. What was the Gooch wearing today? he must have the same tailor as Thomas O Shea. I thought for a minute it was Austin Powers minus the ruffle shirt and glasses. Yeah baby yeah. No, it would be a mistake to take these people anyway serious. On the money JP.. I hope you’re right. You’ve said it here first. They look to have good strength and depth aswell and will need to be able to call on that in the next game.

  53. It wasn’t a question of management, Man of Aran. The player himself walked off the panel! Anyway, by 2012, he wouldn’t have been anywhere close to being one of our top three players.

  54. Congratulations to the under 20s . They probably have a good chance if reaching AL final now. Altbough Kerry are very strong at this level.
    Congratulations to Galway also on senior success. Tough on Ross but 8 scores doesnt deserve to win a provincial crown. Galway have a grrat chance of reaching semis now.
    The round 4 qualifier opposition is fairly clear looking now . Roscommon. Cork. Fermanagh and Laois. Cork toughest but if were in round 4 pot we should progress regardless.
    Round 3 is possibility of Tyrone or Monaghan but a few easy ones in there as well like clare and louth . But If we did draw one of the big two and put them out it might make super 8s a little easier.
    All this is contingent ofcourse on winning next weekend but if we get it right tactically we should have enough to see off Tipp
    In terms of super 8s i wonder is it posdible to cede home advantage and play at croker as mchale is a disadvantage to us. If we in Dublin’s group maybe we could play all our games at crocker. …

  55. Kerry U20’s will be strong no doubt but are missing Clifford and Sean O’Shea. Dublin missing their keeper Comerford as he replaced Cluxton the last day.

    Definitely a window of opportunity for an All Ireland if they put the work in over the next 4 weeks.

  56. Just after watching Tom P on the sunday game.
    He would be a good ambassador. Nice to see him get a bit of airtime.

  57. Delighted with our u20s today. Mike Solan seems to be a very good manager. JP you certainly have proved your depth of knowledge of football in the county. Well done!

  58. If I remember rightly, Mortimer was dropped by Horan because the did’nt provide enough of a goal scoring threat.

  59. Least we forget, Mort threw the Mayo jersey to the ground when taken off one time. Nobody is greater than the jersey in the playing arena. Anyway, Mayo are headlining act for Trip to Tipp 2018.

  60. Man of Aran, The problem with Conor Mort was that he was never a team player. When a ball reached him it was a prisoner. He rarely passed to a player in a better position and in the big games he was unable to deliver. Physically he was not able for close marking. Horan quite rightly refused to select him until he adjusted his game to involve other players. I think he woulld now admit that he made a bad decision in walking out and throwing a strop.
    Regards John O’Mahony, I always said that Galway would never have won an All Ireland in that era without him. Unfortunately he seemed to burn himself out in his efforts. His leaving Mayo post ’91 was a tragedy for Mayo, all of the county board’s making. The idea of a manager choosing his selectors might have been revolutionary then but it is now totally accepted. Still, I don’t think that Mick O’Dwyer or Kevin Heffernan ever had selectors hoisted on them by their county boards.

  61. Tom was excellent, Evergreenandred. A real breath of fresh air and such a contrast to the whiny, negative bullshitters who are normally given pride of place on the programme.

  62. On another note I completely agree with you Willie Joe re the RTE match football coverage. If RTE keep going like that it won’t be long before they lose coverage of GAA entirely. I find them so irritating that I now switch.away when they come on. It is a very poor effort entirely. Why on earth can’t they get a couple of fellas who will actually analyse the match itself and not engage in the bullshit we are treated to in recent years. Tom Parsons tonight and Tomas O Shea gave an excellent analysis of what happened and more importantly for me how and why the game played out as it did. More of this and less of the ‘personality’ nonsense.

  63. The all ireland semi v Ulster winners will be played on 14/15 July. The final is set for Sunday 5th of August.

  64. From the outside it looked like Horan has a particular type of team in mind, what you saw in limerick four years ago was his objective when he took over. He developed a team that for the pride in their county jersey were willing kill in defense and die in attack, essentially warriors that would continue to fight to the death.

    Mortimer was a player that looked to be the kind of person that need his ego messaged regularly and therefore would not have been part of Horans plans going forward. Mind you he was one of the most accurate forwards in the game and it is my personal opinion that horan should have done his utmost (and to be fair he may have) to man manage this mans talent despite his apparent rather elevated opinion of where he lay in the ranks of his peers. Mayo have been agonizingly close to victory so many times and they could have badly done with his guile and talent in those final fine millimeters.

    Great defenders keep you floating but you need at least two great forwards to get you over the line, by that I mean a forward that along with their own individual accuracy can burn his marker with pace thus creating disorganization and opportunity for others.

    Well done to Galway today, they have plenty of talent but could cost themselves with their reluctance to play outside of paddy tally’s ultra defensive system. They may not get to the top this year but they are on their way

  65. Here we are in 2018 coming to the end of the decade, Mayo’s goal each year is to get to another final and win it, we are on a sustained run since 2011, Horan raised the bar when he came on board and Rochford has kept the expectations to that same level, an almighty run.

  66. Diehard The RTE coverage and analysis you speak of is not what you are expecting. Sports analysis on the box is another form of a soap. People love a soap. I know some people who do not attend games or follow our team but they will miss the program for anything. I believe RTE are poor at most things that they take on.

  67. Mort walked off the panel and in doing so made it very difficult to be brought back in. To be fair to him, he more or less accepted that fact afterwards and has never (publicly) stated anything to the contrary.

    I’m not a huge fan of bemoaning players who didn’t tog, who couldn’t tog or weren’t asked to tog. All leads down the path of excuses.

  68. Well done Under 20s and well done Mike Solan. Great to get a Connacht title under our belts. Want more at senior level too, though I’m not actually unhappy at the moment. We are probably in a better place (NOW) than the Rossies. Provinical losers is a horrible place to be.

    On the Sunday Game, I’m past caring. Usually make tea or something useful during the ‘analysis’ phase. Do my own analysis with friends (most not Mayo) with whom I can have an intelligent discussion.

  69. Well done to the u20s today it was an excellent game. The future looks good. Very surprised how few people travelled to it. Finally best of Luck to Oisín Mullin looked like a bad injury but hope to see him back soon.

  70. Thought Shane Walshe was excellent today. Kept Galway in it. Roscommon looked exhausted for most of the 2nd half.
    It’s been a good year for Galway but they will do very well now to get to the semi final on today’s showing. Disjointed for much of the game and got on top of a withering Roscommon team.
    We have our own battles to fight now to get to the super 8’s but assuming we don’t put a foot wrong neither group will want us in it. It’s at this time of year that boys become men. Galway still looked like boys today. There’s men heading for Tipperary next weekend.
    Hon Mayo.

  71. Well done to the under 20s, management and all involved, and to JP as well, for ur excellent knowledge, insight, and belief in this team, High 5s goes to you, As for the senior game, Mayo would have beaten any of them today, Roscommon have only themselves to blame, kept persisting with a kick out strategy, that clearly wasn’t working, and when they got on the ball and looked like they could work a score, took the wrong options, and composure let them down, Saturday evening will see a fully focused, fired up Mayo, show them how its done. Bring it on.

  72. Hope those lads have a good nights celebrations tonight – they thoroughly deserve it after the two massive performances that they have put in over the past eight days. The manner of their victory today will be a huge confidence boost to them all going into the AI semi. I’m sure those on the panel who had represented Mayo at minor level in the past couple of years were hurting badly over the way things had panned out. Today they can put those memories behind them and look forward to taking on their Ulster opponents in four weeks time in a really positive frame of mind.

  73. Tomas O’Shea said on the SG that it was a goof game………what game was he watching?

    The fact is that GF is being ruined by players handpassing the ball sideways in the middle of the pitch and not kicking long direct passes in the FF area. It’s also terrible to watch. Hand pass should be restricted to 3 consecutive passes.

    Can’t understand why so many teams when attacking don’t have a player in the FF position.

    I wonder how many points exactly is Cillian behind Gooch in the scoring charts ……different papers giving different numbers!

  74. Re: James Horan and Conor Mortimer.. Baconfactoryend, I prefer to remember Conor Mortimer as the highest scorer in the Green and Red until last Saturday week, which is a fact… Petulance, no doubt throwing the Jersey, in the mid naughties but it’s time many got over it…. The guy had his faults, but who hasn’t,? .. It seems that Conor is deemed to be remembered by some on a negative light.. Still tough, Conor Mortimer worst ever performance against Galway would still have Mayo winning, the match Mayo lost last May versus Galway… In my (unprovalable opinion)… James Horan never had any intention of playing him…. But if you remember in a much anticipated league match) the rematch of the Fog, abandoned match, versus Dublin )in the Spring of 2012, after coming back from a year out following serious injury, Conor Mortimer was MotM and scored some 9 points, some outrageous scores from play.. That was very recent form and probably very near to Championship intensity..seeing as Dublin were the All Ireland Champions.. Other’s while playing well were often, subbed even in an All Ireland final, while one or two of the chosen few, non performers especially in All Ireland final’s continued on the pitch… No player is perfect, no management is perfect…. Some players, I like better than others maybe because of their personality…. But, playing for Mayo is not ‘The Rose of Tralee’.. You will have an impossible job, suggesting that some who constantly played for Mayo, in the absence of Conor Mortimer were as good as him… Now undoubtedly Mayo improved and imposed their collective will immeasurably better under James Horan,.. But no more than Conor Mortimer, neither are or ever were perfect!.. While Mortimer’s faults are very well ventilated by many on this blog , the small improvement that was needed for Mayo to prevail, especially in 2013, were down to management decisions on the day.. In the absence of Conor Mortimer… Management job is to manage as well as possible… Was that done,?.


    Tipperary were 4 points up with 15 minutes to go. Rochford with arms folded and his chin on his hand swept the field again with his eyes to see where it was going wrong. He swivelled sharply around, looked towards the subs and bellowed
    Drake in fairness sprang up off his arse, cleared 4 sets of seats and within 0.5 seconds was beside Rochford. He repeatedly jumped in to the air bringing his knees high up on each occasion until they battered against his chin.

    “Are yea ready Drake”?

    “Born ready Steven. Which way do you want me to play”?

    “What the fu*k do yea mean, which way do I want you to play”?

    “I wasn’t watching the game. Which way are we playing?. What goal is Clarke in”?

    “Sit down yea goose”.

    “Vaughan” Rochford roared, clearly getting agitated. Vaughan was 60 meters down the sideline warming up.
    “Vaughan, get your ass down here now”.

    Vaughan came towards Rochford like a scud missile. He was eager. He hadn’t played for months. It’s not known if Vaughan went to intentionally shoulder the 7 1/2 stone 59 year old linesman or whether it was a mistake, but the linesman is still in a convalescent home in Drumcondra. Vaughan didn’t receive a card as the linesman was unconscious and hadn’t seen anything.

    “Moran, yeah you Barry. Strip off. Your goin in full forward”.

    3 minutes later Rochford turned to give moran his instructions. Moran had only managed to get the tracksuit bottoms to 2 inches below his knees. He couldn’t reach any farer.

    “Lie down yea fuc*en giraffe” Rochford screamed.

    Rochford and a member of the medical team were working feverishly, and were making ribbons out of Morans tracksuit bottoms trying to get them over the cogs of his boots when Cillian rattled the Tipperary net.
    Mayo went on to win the match.

    This factual account should serve as a stern lesson to all who proclaim that a managers job is an easy one.
    It’s anything but.

  76. I wouldn’t pass much heed of Tomas o Se when it comes to Galway . He’s going to put a positive spin on his second team no matter what, Kerry and Galway play it the right way type of nonsense , he’s well tight with some Galway bucks too.

  77. Lot of people forgetting a huge factor in the Mortimer 2012 saga. He packed it in before the Connacht final out of frustration at not starting. The Mayo forward line at the time was very inexperienced apart from Dillon and Andy Moran, who was in the form of his life at the time and in my view was the best player in the country at that time. Better even than last year in truth. Mayo won Connacht without Mortimer and also beat Down easily in the quarters. However Andy picked up a ACL injury, and suddenly Mayo were left with a rookie forward line. Mort had already thrown his toys outta the pram but oh how we could have done with him once Andy was gone. I think we could have won that AI against Donegal with Mortimer. However I have absolutely no doubt we would have won that final if Andy Moran didn’t get injured. He was unplayable back then – another example of bad luck catching us on the final stretch. Mortimer is on record as regretting the way he left the squad and especially the way his family released a statement after. Unfortunately another sorry chapter in the house of pain!

  78. Yesterday’s win was off the back of the hard work being down by the clubs. I’ve said it before the coaching that kids are receiving within the county is as good as you’d get anywhere. Smaller club like balls and mayo gaels producing county players whiles the larger clubs like Mitchels and Westport are better than any center of excellence.

  79. Brilliant win for the u-20s (still seems odd not saying u-21s).
    Will TG4 or anyone else have highlights of it at some stage?
    I watch the Sunday Game, but only for the match footage. It used to be that it annoyed me, now I just find it utterly irrelevant.
    The best analysis program of all was Seó Spóirt on TG4 with Dara Ó Cinnéide , it was a mistake at the time to cancel it and it continues to be.
    We get excellent coverage and analysis on the radio and in the papers, RTE lets us down bigtime on the telly.
    Mark my words, the GAA have (probably) inadvertently created a ready made TV package in the form of the Super 8s. If its successful, which I think the munster hurling championship has shown it can be, give it a couple of seasons and Sky will make the GAA an offer they cant refuse for exclusive rights to the Super 8s and RTE will become even more irrelevant and its all their own fault.
    Play that forward a few more years and you will have a cohort of 4 to 6 teams getting there every year and claiming they are making the GAA all of the money and want some of it themselves. That in time will lead to semi professionalism and the gap will grow between the haves and the have not’s will grow irretrievably wider and that will eventually change the GAA utterly.

  80. Yesterday was the first time in a while I watched to the RTE coverage on TV. I won’t be doing so again any time soon.

    Brolly is beyond a parody at this stage, moaning and whining all the time about how negative the game is and completely incapable of saying anything relevant about the match in front of him. His pre-match ‘analysis’ included footage of Dublin (Joe’s favourite altar to prostrate himself in front of) and references to Derry. The guy’s an utter clown. Then O’Rourke was muttering on about how come Galway played that ould negative stuff against a team like Mayo (perhaps because they knew they’d get hosed if they did anything else?) but then played lovely grand open football against Sligo (maybe because Sligo are no damn good so Galway could afford to?) and hoping that in the match about to start there’d be more of the nice football and less of the other. Searching analysis, eh?

    Tom Parsons last night, meanwhile, casually rolled out a few stats about how Galway did on restarts this year compared to last year’s Connacht final and how their superior numbers yesterday gave them so many more possessions from which to launch attacks and get the scores to win. No agenda, no bluster, no bullshit, just some honest research presented in an articulate way. But, of course, come the big games RTE will be fielding the usual team of clowns once again. The sooner they lose ALL the TV rights, the better.

  81. I watched the game only-can’t put up with the garbage before ,half-time or after.

  82. Having spoke to some of these lads they all come back with the story that the Mayo set up is excellent. The players, all of whom are very ambitious, are very happy with the training, dietary and medical advice, tackling and tactical training and travel, food, etc.. They are also shocked at the competition for inclusion in squads and teams. It seems that you cant afford to lessen your performance levels or else someone is there to take your place.

  83. Willie Joe, don’t think I could disagree with a word you said there about RTE ‘analysts’. You really see how bad they are when your team is not involved and you are looking at them with objectivity. As I said before, I make the tea when they come on.

  84. Tom Parsons was good on the show in the small amount of air time they gave him but im also fed up of Brolly and the way he always brings Derry into the debate no matter what match is on. Its tired and staid sleepy analysis and badly needs new blood but the trough is hard to prise the pigs away from as me auld grandad used to say.

    Someone above said RTE are not good at anything they do but I think they are very good at paying themselves massive salaries out of our money. The Super8 is tailor made for SKY to offer the GAA a whollop of cash for and as said above its only a matter of time before there is a second tier on RTE and SKY have the cream. I bought the 6 months SKYSports offer at half price as there will be plenty of games on it. Interesting that someone remarked yesterday to me that the standard of the camera work is far better on SKY than RTE but I dont know as ive not seen enough SKY but it wouldnt surprise me at all.

  85. i was just looking at the football qualifiers fixtures
    mayo and every other county that keeps winning
    will be playing 5 weeks in a row thats a big
    ask what with injuries and maby red cards its goint to be a completely
    different champoinship this year going through the back door this year
    will take its toll

  86. RTE are there to entertain, capture an audience, they do this by encouraging the pundits to disagree with each other, provide a good laugh for the viewers, let Brolly do his thing / similar to Eamon Dunphy, they are prone to keeping the same people in top jobs / positions, look at Dunphy in soccer, he has been a pundit since I was a young teenager, O Herlihy RIP was soccer broadcaster for 30 years, Michael Lyster has got the pension out of the Sunday game.
    RTE have been massive critics of the Catholic Church in Ireland over the past 20 years, and were biased and were actually sued a number of times for broadcasting false revelations, but they are very conservative in their methods, pay women much less than men, give top jobs to family members, it has become a type of communist organisation. Most revenue from the TV licence goes directly to RTE.
    Colm O Rourke and Pat Spillane have been permanent pundits on the Sunday game for over 20 years.
    I embrace change for the better, ie, younger people / different guests on TV for games, new All Ireland champions, everything gets stale in life, things need to be freshened up at regular intervals!

  87. It depends on the team lim. The qualifiers will either make yea or break yea. Mayo thankfully have shown that the qualifiers can be used in a positive way and hopefully the same again this year. With players on the periphery trying to break in to the starting 15 the qualifiers are a blessing in disguise. Add that to the reality of how hard and for how long most of our current team have been at it and I would say it’s much easier for them keep the minds on the job with knockout games coming thick and fast as opposed to weeks on end of training.

    On the analysis front. I sat in the car with the radio on and a coffee in my elements listening to the u20’s match.
    For the connacht final the TV didn’t go on until 4.05 and I went out for a stroll around the house for the half time. Didn’t put myself through the Sunday game torture device.

    I did enjoy the match as a couple of the Galway lads did play very well namely Shane Walshe who put on a great show and I thought Burke was good as well.

    Most of the analysts have their own agendas and begrudgery against certain counties, and spend their time fashioning their analysis to suit their own agendas. Unfortunately as was pointed out above our hard earned is paying these clowns wages.

    I listen to the Newstalk crew a good bit. All manner of sports discussed and debated and they actually bring plenty of guests on to their shows to give their side of the story and a fair crack of the whip.

  88. Mayo 88, you should remove that comment. It’s a cheap shot that could cost Willie Joe unless you know it to be true.

  89. RTE?

    Sure their main flagship programme is still the Late Late Show FFS. Since 1962!!!

    A complete and utter dinosaur of an organisation. And then the cheek of them to put these ‘Sponsored by your TV licence’ messages up after the weather forecast…

  90. Thanks, Mayointipp – I’ve removed that as well as the reference to who it was about. By the way, it’s one of the conditions of posting comments here that those who do so acknowledge and accept that they’re fully responsible for what they post. I’m joining no-one in that particular dock!

  91. WJ et al – Does anyone know the date of NY game next year? Can’t get it via internet search. Hoping to book soon.

  92. Maybe not, Mayo88, but, on reading it, it could well have been seen in that light or perhaps worse. It’s always best to exercise caution when posting comments about named individuals.

  93. Shame on anyone who has bought the sky deal. I work with elderly people a lot of whom gave hours to the GAA from playing, to coaching to administers often giving the same if not more hours to the GAA as our current county players and officials. Their poor mobility stops them from going to matches or the pub to watch the matches. The only way they can watch their county playing is on TV. Having sky sports is a luxury not everyone can afford for a multitude of reasons. Also think of people in nursing homes where getting access to sky sports is almost impossible. The GAA is built on community and looking out for others less fortunate. The less fortunate don’t have sky and never will. As a community we should stick up for the elderly population and fight sky. We should not be endorsing it. Wj one of the pleasures of this blog is its simplicity – no registration, no fee, easy to post. Everyone can access it.

  94. Community
    There is always local radio covering matches for those who cant or wont buy SKY or would they not be fortunate enough to have a wireless either.

  95. The choice you make and saying just listen to the radio leads to the GAA behind a paywall/sky being normalised. This will eventually lead to more matches on sky and less on free to air. Back to your point, recommending a person to listen to the radio as the only means of following a Mayo match is not fair and not what the GAA is about. The elderly built the GAA, they founded the clubs and kept them going in often much harsher economic times than we currently have. Volunteering with the GAA is easy now… Most clubs have decent facilities, can afford buses, is a lot safer, there are coaching courses. Years ago it was different. The people who built the GAA should be allowed to continue watching and enjoying it from the comfort of their home. Without having to fork out between 50-70 euro a month to a foreign company for the privilege. Paying for sky or going to a pub to watch a match may come easy to you but that is not true of a significant minority of Mayo people. We should appreciate what the elderly have done for the GAA not reduce it by marginalising them from watching matches. It’s hard to believe that you’d rather pay 840 plus per year to sky and do their marketing for them rather then standing up for the vulnerable. May you never be in that position.

  96. Community,
    Whilst I agree that our games should be available to all and especially the great people who laid the foundation for the success of the organization that we all enjoy at different levels today. In saying that it’s an ever changing world and it would be like the people of Roscommon asking for a boycott because the people of Galway got a new railway connection to Dublin and they still only had the option of the motor car.

    We live in an ever changing world and realistically change will always cause upset to some. I myself have an elderly uncle residing in a nursing home and he spent his life deeply involved in his local club. I would love to see all games available to him but they simply will not be and perhaps the fact that sky are putting their claws around our games is a reflection on the great work their generation did when they had little outside of their immense community spirit to drive them on. Money talks and everything else sadly comes a poor second, I have to admit that I got the sports package so I wouldn’t miss any of the top games,. I’m not happy that I had to get it but to be honest the game analysis is far superior and technical aids available to the pundits (most of whom are recent retirees or recent ex-managers) are impressive and in a way require the pundit to step up to the mark with regard to the plays and players that are making and creating scores.

  97. Change doesn’t have to be sky. GAA Go could be a compromise or the GAA having their own channel. The GAA is a community organisation, we should not put these games behind a paywall until there are solutions to making games accessible to the elderly and those who cannot afford sky or go to the pub. GAA doesn’t have to be all about money. It wasn’t built on money. It was built on community and people giving their time and expertise to make an organisation available to all. It is the envy of every organisation in the world. Other organisations such as cricket and rugby league sold out to paywalls and where once every child knew players names of those sports now they don’t and participation is declining. In Ireland we are lucky to have the GAA, we don’t need an extra million or two a year which sky might give. We have a large grassroot volunteer base which provide multiples of this in unseen, hard graft in their community. Pundits and differences in broadcast etc is part and parcel of having two broadcastors. While I don’t like all rte pundits at least I get to watch the match and form my own opinion. RTE have plenty of ex players recently retired Tomas O’shea, Cavanagh, Dessie Dolan. Remember their audiences are different. The GAA managed fine without sky money. It built Croke Park, 3 stadiums in Connacht with greater than 20K capacity. Now you are giving sky 840per year when it costs about 50-80 to join a club. Imagine if everyone gave 840 to their GAA club
    Change should not mean the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities being cut from it. Change should include them. The iconic images of Ray Silke bringing Sam to players granddad who was bedbound. The decisions we make now will mean when you or I are in poor health or isolated we will just have to forgo our favourite hobby, our link to the community. I met a man last year who wasn’t able to drive due to a stroke. He said he didn’t care so long as he could see it on TV

  98. It’s a shame that all games are not shown on our national channels that we pay for. You can watch every game in the World cup on rte but when it comes to our own games we get to see what somebody else hasn’t plundered.

  99. Community.. I agree with you… In an ideal everything should be ‘Pro Bono’.. For the good of the community.. The idea of a GAA TV channel would certainly be just that… However with 11 intecounty Football match’s next weekend, maybe the GAA might need two channels on occasions… And it could and should be done.. I would hate to see the’ Take Over ‘ of the GAA TV rights by private enterprise… SKY, FOX, etc… But’ money, ‘talks all language’s… Where there is big money and secerecy in a voluntary community movement for well over a century…. Questions need to be asked… Not just that, why won’t the chief executive of the GAA answer as how much he is paid?… RTE’ (Brian Carty) did ask him the question in fairness….. But didn’t get an answer.. If the GAA can get a huge increase in its revenue, it could justify huge salaries to its executives… With the new hurling format, and the Super Eights, it certainly should do that… But hasn’t it really forgotten about well over 95%.of its playing members the normal club player’s, and to facilitate the God of even more Money, recent years, the plight of the normal club player has worsened… Well that’s the way it works in the corporate world… Except the GAA is built on the, volunteerism of over a century, and not just in Ireland… It’s NOT just the same…. The line between a voluntary organisations, the GAA and the Corperate world is blurring… Short comings in RTE should not blind us to that fact…. As I said, Money talks all language’s ‘Que Bono’ is another Latin phrase.. ‘Who Benifits?… (from the crime) Well if the community does not benefit, we should reject further changes in my opinion!

  100. Community and Leantimes have raised some very good points about the future of tv rights but I dont know the background as to why SKY were chosen and did RTE make a bid but lost out etc. I dont think you could operate a ” GAAtv” without it being a subscription based channel. The whole licence fee system is entering its endgame anyway with huge evasion and the youth using streaming anyway instead of live tv to view programming of their choice. Government were to introduce a “communications tax” but the water charges mess scared them off but its still there in the background but political risk is keeping it under wraps.
    RTE probably cant afford to deliver on all those outside broadcasts and SKY deep pockets give the GAA a long term platform for the games.

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