Was this one the anomaly?

As we, not without difficulty, alter our focus towards Salthill, where on Sunday we face a do-or-die meeting with Galway, we’re being forced to confront more than a few painful home truths.

Where has our great form in the early part of the year gone to? Is our National League success going to be followed, not for the first time, by crushing Championship disappointment? Are we ever going to learn how to defend in the way that every top level team in the modern era has been doing for years?

These questions and many more will continue to rattle around in our heads between now and Sunday. They’ll have plenty other uncomfortable ones to keep them company too should our inter-county season end, as it very well could, once the final whistle sounds at Pearse Stadium.

The shift in mood since last Sunday has been swift and fairly brutal. Going into the match against Cork, we knew exactly what we needed to do to make direct progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals and, having beaten Kerry and Louth respectively in the first two rounds of the group stage, we also knew we’d already done most of the heavy lifting.

We also knew that the Rebels were no mugs and that, if we allowed them to stay in the game, we could be in bother. We knew about the Kevin Walsh angle and we knew too about Steven Sherlock.

Whether we actually knew all this or not ahead of the game is now a moot point. Cork turned us over, in large part thanks to the worst twenty-minute period any of us have seen from Mayo in over a decade. It was a capitulation, it was a meltdown, it was a systems failure: how on earth could this have happened?

Two pieces on us I’ve read today, however, tell a different story. One that suggests at an even more uncomfortable home truth for us.

Billy Joe Padden, writing in this week’s Mayo News (here) wonders if Sunday’s abject display wasn’t out of character for us at all and instead muses if the win over Kerry was a flash in the pan. Ciaran Whelan, meanwhile, speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast (report on that here), hints at a reason why this might be so by questioning if, when the pressure comes on, we have on our team “people who can stand up”. He suggests that, the Kerry game aside, this lack of leadership has been apparent for a while.

Billy Joe casts his gaze back over the last six games we’ve played and, taking the Killarney game out of the equation, argues that our performance in the other five was “either fairly ordinary or poor.” This leads to his suggestion that it was the Kerry game that was the one that was out of ordinary for us.

While I’d quibble with his inclusion within that list both the Monaghan game – for which we rotated the team significantly – and the League final against Galway, which saw us win the title for the 13th time, I think the point he makes remains valid even if the list of games is pared back to four.

Sure, there were also extenuating circumstances about the loss to Roscommon but the manner of that defeat and, in particular, the way we panicked coming down the closing stretch bore similarities to what befell us against Cork and which also occurred, to a lesser extent in the Louth game. Echoes of the same trait were, in fact, observed as far back as early February against Armagh.

Thinking back again to the Kerry game, I recall our trepidation as supporters heading into Fitzgerald Stadium, fearing that a pounding along the lines of 2019 could well be on the cards for us. It was only when Eoghan McLaughlin bagged the game’s only goal with ten minutes to go that it finally begun to dawn on us that we were going to claim a historic win at the famous venue.

There was a dreamlike air to the win that day, so much out of character it seemed, both from our perspective and from Kerry’s standpoint. Especially from their point of view, in fact, given how desperately poor they’d played that day.

Since then they’ve recovered very well and our slip against Cork enabled them to claim their expected top spot in the group, while we’re where, in all honesty, we expected to be, with a preliminary quarter-final to get through if we’re to make it to the All-Ireland Series proper this year.

If this is where we’d thought all along that we’d end up then how do we explain the win in Killarney? The more you think about it, it really does seem that that special day in Fitzgerald Stadium was an outlier, a performance so out of the ordinary that it didn’t give any kind of accurate read on our rightful place in the scheme of things this year.

The great thing about this year’s Championship, though, is that the narrative has tended to shift significantly from game to game. We’re not the only ones to see our stock slide in recent days, with Galway in the same predicament as well. It’s not, then, beyond the bounds of possibility that the prevailing wisdom about us – one freighted with significant doubts this week – could find itself altered beyond recognition once more next week.

Heading to Salthill, however, we’re stuck with all the uncertainties that are currently swirling around about us. It’s up to the team on the field, as well as the management team on the sideline, to alter that narrative on Sunday. Time will tell if this is something they’re capable of doing.

149 thoughts on “Was this one the anomaly?

  1. Galway lost by a last minute point to Armagh. We got blown out of the water by Cork who hit us for 1-6 with no reply. No comparison. The exact same would have happened against Louth, if there even had of been 2 more minutes left.

  2. Galway by six/seven points. I never believed we had an All-Ireland in us this year but also didn’t expect us to fold like a cheap suit any time pressure comes on. Galway are in far ruder health than us overall. Depressing end to a year that promised more.

  3. I agree with most of what you say,Willie Joe.. Kerry were poor in Killarney. They improved slightly against Cork and were fortunate to win . Their win over Louth is of little significance. We were poor against Louth but i’d put that down to over confidence. Last sunday was a day to forget . We delayed too much in our kick outs.Our constant hand passing around the centre gave Cork ample time to set up their defences and kicking into the corner quite often resulted in sending the ball back out to the centre. Absolutely awful stuff to watch . Keep OShea at the edge of the square and kick the long ball into him. Sorry for the rant. We can still win on Sunday

  4. We are too nice on the pitch, too passive. Let us play the lovely football we can, like Kerry did and we are very hard to beat. Drag us down and we are ponderous.

    Passive. Reference point, first half last Sunday, Cork clearly target Ryan due to his importance and size. Aidan left along as he’s a big man. Ryan gets cleaned out of it a few times and the team don’t engage. I’m not saying get into handbags but we let Cork dominate us. They set the physical tone.

    Go 6 points up, lose focus immediately from the kick out, let them run from centrefield to the square, no direct physicality to stop this. We run beside players, we don’t kill the clock. We don’t play smart.

    Leadership, critical and it was severely lacking last week. As it was v Ros as we got bullied, like with Cork. We are soft.

    We beat the blanket last week by showing patience but it’s energy sapping, the team defending saves energy. We were on our feet at 70, Cork then ran at us like Louth did. Like Galway will.

    I don’t want us to win playing a beautiful game, win by being clever, being aware, being aggressive and be confident kicking scores.

    Who knows what Mayo team will turn up on Sunday.

    We can win but the time being passive must stop. Start the best 15, Hession, Conroy.

    And how good will be to knock Galway out in Salthill.

  5. We can talk about a very good performance been an outlier, but it does prove that we can put in a very good performance on our day.

    The thing I would worry about most though, is the apparent total lack of energy in the closing spells of the last couple of games.

    With quite significant leads, even a managerless team should be able to spoil a game and hold on to that lead.

    When you are 6 points up, it shouldn’t take Einstein on the sideline to work out a master plan to hold on to that lead.

    Cork had 15 players last weekend and so had we. We are training all year and there is no excuse for not been physically up to the challenge.

    Where did Louth and Cork get all that late game energy and where does all our late game energy go.

    Been 6 points up with 10 or 15 minutes left was great work and a great position to be in. It should be an automatic win at that point of the match.

    To concede 1-6 at the end of the game is not the fault of 1 or 2 players. It takes a team effort to crumble like that and concede that amount.

    If we don’t sort out why we have no energy in the last 10 minutes of games, its materless how well we play in the first 60.

  6. The core problem is this….We’re not as good as we think we are.

    We have no full back line, no proper CHB, no midfield and just Rod and Flynn up front.

    Do you know what I find very interesting? Horan was criticised for not kicking in direct ball and instead had players running in to tackles, going sideways in attack, getting turned over..and not taking on shots at goal!

    Is there anything different now folks?

    Btw, we lost leads to Roscommon and Armagh in the league and something similar has happened against Louth and Cork.

    Look also at our form in our last 6 matches?

    How can you have real hope when you don’t have a functioning defence, midfield or forward line?

    2 starting forwards scored the last day…and we didn’t score in the last 19 minutes.

    Finally, as in the past, it never really works for AOS at FF against the better defences.

  7. The Head coach at the famous Italian Soccer Training facility says that when a coach arrives here and says, “My philosophy is this…”, the first thing I have to do is press the reset button, because you can only execute your game plan with the players you have at your disposal. There’s a few lucky coaches who can select players at their will, but at normal clubs you have to work with what you have.” He proceeds, “There’s an old Italian saying of ‘Arrangiarsi’ – it means to make do with what you’ve got.”
    Sunday is going to tell us whether our Mgt is up to the task or not. We have a good ball winner at FF and 2 very fast and excellent footballers in the corners.
    So it’s not rocket science to get proper ball in quickly and if Aido doesn’t win it cleanly they can pick up the breaks. Other times we can use the corners and Rod and TC won’t be found wanting.
    What we don’t want to do is for the defence to run up the field and be caught on the counter attack.
    Kick passing will insure we are not left open at the back.
    While I have preferences as who starts I’m more concerned that we play to our strengths and play the game on our terms. If that’s not good enough so be it.
    The Dubs always play their “process” and so should we. If we do that we will come out on top.

  8. I think its a bit harsh myself.
    The Monaghan game we would have won had we not made the changes.
    The Galway final we did win but at a price.
    The Roscommon game ridiculously scheduled the week after the final we were missing Mcbrien and Carr from the final. Still no Hession,O Hora and limited minutes from Cillian.
    Kerry game we won although I read everywhere it was only because Kerry were so bad.
    The Louth game we won. 5 points up should have seen the game out easier than we did
    Cork – 6 points up. No excuses for the capitulation but we shouldnt have left that behind us. I will say that Cork were mighty unlucky not to beat Kerry in Munster and the Dubs in the league.

    We go in on Sunday with hopefully a full panel apart from Harrison and Plunkett. If we can get through and avoid injuries then I wouldn’t be rushing to bet against us in a QF against either Derry or Armagh if we got a bit of luck with the draw.

    We’re not sunk yet.

  9. @Tommy+Joe ah no it’ll be a close call but Galway won’t get a 6 point win they failed to get 5 goal chances passed us in a league final they badly wanted to win yes only eague but still matters…

    Regards to what ciaran whelan has said he’s never been that complimentary of mayo anyway to be fair.

    We’ve every bit of chance going into this happy to let Galway be ‘favourites’ who beat a 13 man Tyrone struggling team by 3 points and lost to Armagh with out their main star Rian..

    Its all to play for and mayo are just as good as Galway ( better in my opinion) our guys will have no fear v galway and they will come bouncing at them whatever happens bring it on ….

  10. Makes very sobering reading as I would rate billy joe as a pundit.can’t imagine it can be a fitness issue or is there a deeper lying issue.The decision to place Conor Loftus at centre back is akin to switching ciaran McDonald to centre back because he could kick pass the ball accurately.the honeymoon period is certainly over and the way we are lined out on Sunday will be the most scrutinised selection ever

  11. The one thing I can’t workout was the reluctance to pump high ball into Aido in the Louth and Cork games. Get him taking marks of his left boot in the right hand channel. Hard to defend but the ball in needs to be right in the first place. We barely tried it at all.
    The Cork defeat I am hoping was the kick up the backside we needed.

  12. @mindthehouse if we ever needed a kick of the backside cork was definetly it have a feeling we will see a totally different mayo team come Sunday.

  13. Sorry, meant to say ‘no half back line’ in earlier post – full back line is ok.

  14. If there was one thing I would show the team to learn from in the league final it would be John Mahers goal chance.
    Sean Kelly bounced off Ryan into midfield – fair enough it happens
    Kelly kicked the ball into Cathal Sweeney – fair enough it happens
    Sweeney popped the ball off to Maher and our trouble starts here. Maher has run from deep and the players tracking him are too busy ball watching and looking at Sweeney and haven’t followed the Maher run.
    The same happened for the Louth goal. Too many eyes drawn to the ball and too many runners not tracked from deep.

    A bit more speed in the HB line might help. Enda and Eoghan Mc.

    Mind the House at all times.

  15. I certainly wouldnt be pumping high ball into Aiden, .. Sure look both teams will be jittery at 3PM on Sunday, Galway certainly will be after a league final defeat to us and throwing away the one point lead, nothing like as bad as ourselves throwing away a six point lead in a final quarter fade out. If Cillian is fit enough Id start him. DO or DIE it could easily be the last game or second last game for all the preliminary contestants, with Dublin, (Kerry and thats a real sickener for us) Derry and (Armagh equally just as sickening for Galway )all licking their lips, smelling easy prey after their well rested Gladiators have a nice rest for themselves and hoping that whoever they draw on Monday has had lumps knocked out of them . Its in both ours and Galways interest if Sean Hurson decides not to let rough house antics go on Sunday. I hope the Rossies overturn Cork, the Rebels got away with murder, not saying that they didnt deserve to win ,

  16. I think I would tend to agree to a large extent with Billy Joe and Whelan. One is a Mayo man, the other is not yet they share similar views. With the exception of the game v Kerry the last really decent performance was v Donegal who were rock bottom at the time. I wouldn’t pay much heed to the Monaghan game, but we almost squandered a big lead to Ross in the league and Armagh also scored the last 5 against us in the league. We were adequate in the league final but far from excellent. We started well, got an early lead which is so crucial v Galway and then we’re really reliant on a good goalkeeping display to win. We were poor v Ross in championship, quite average v Louth for about 70 minutes and quite average v cork for about 60 minutes. We are not scoring goals, only 2 in the last 5 games. I am not sure that we should be over surprised with our patchy form. We have quite a number of new lads and have lost two top quality defenders who I am sure would have steadied the ship in the fraught closing moments v Louth and Cork, We still have a chance on Sunday regardless of how mediocre we have been of late. We will have to be brave, avoid mistakes and hope for the rub of the green and a ref a little better than the chap who reffed on Sunday last.

  17. I think Billy Joe is spot on and hit the nail on the head. I feel we were blinded by our results, tho’very welcome, in the league, which probably owed a lot to our higher early season level of fitness compared to our opponents and also defences tend to be looser with less intensity and less of the dreaded blanket. The results may have papered over the obvious cracks, especially the gaping hole in the middle of our defence, with the result that these problems have not been addressed. The fact is that, apart from against Kerry, we have not played well in the rest of our championship games. We will need to drastically change that on Sunday or it’s curtains.

  18. Cork were well prepared for last Sunday’s match. We were not. Homework and preparation were not done. Mcstay is to blamey He has to take responsibility and make amends. He’s a nice talker but we need fire and brimstone now. His job should be on the line and it is up to him to save Mayo and his own skin.

  19. Mayo of the past have only played their best when it was knockout. We will know more Sunday evening if this is the case with this Mayo Team. In 2016 and 2017 with that great Mayo Team on the way to the Finals we were very nearly beaten by much lesser Teams . Derry 2016. Cork extra Time . Plenty of examples where even that great Team underperformed. No one knows how MAYO will play in any given game. We had plenty of supporters on here predicting somewhere between 6 and 10 point wins over Louth and Cork. We had Tyrone beaten in 2021 before the final and then were astonished that we lost . Why?. Tyrone had beaten Kerry in a very tough game in the Semi Final and we had not won Sam for 70 years . Don’t think Tyrone were overly worried about us before the game. Treated us with respect yes but I found our reaction to that final loss over the top. Horan had done great to even reach a Final with that Team . As Mayo supporters we have no balance. We have only two mindsets. 1. We are unbeatable when we have a unexpected win as in the case of Kerry in Killarney. 2. We are useless when we have a bad result. Cork . We should stop all this nonsense predicting easy wins in advance of playing what we perceive as lesser Team and treat every opposition with respect and we only have a game won when the Ref blows the Final Whistle. As regards pundits predicting Mayo’s results they know no more than anyone else. If they did they would be in the Bookies every time Mayo play

  20. There are four trends when you look at the entire season so far:
    1. We are unable to hold a lead. This is not a 2023 problem, it is a 70 yr old problem. We are unable to shut a game down and frustrate the opposition. We keep the opposition in the game and they all know if they stick at it, Mayo will give you a chance to win the game.
    2. The team are inconsistent, cable of getting a run on a team but equally capable of coughing up 5 or 6 scores in a row. If you watch Dublin or Kerry after they score a goal, they will usual get the next score. Mayo nearly always cough up a goal chance after scoring a goal. That’s a mentality.
    3. We never play with an extra defender and are unable to play an effective blanket defence when needed. We have one way to play. High press and attacking half back line. If the intensity of the high press drops, we are open all over the place because only the full back line are true defenders in nature and usually one of those is a converted half back.
    4. We don’t have any reliable long range shooters. That inability leaves the opposition safe in the knowledge that they can site deeper than v Kerry or Dublin, because we have to get to the D to score. This limitation means the blanket defence is even more effective against Mayo than others. When we are behind in the last ten v a blanket defence and they tighten up to stop goal chances , we just kick wide after wide. It happened v Roscommon, Kerry last year, every time we lost to Galway since 2016.

    You know exactly what you are going to get with Mayo. Keep it tight, stick with them until the last ten and make sure you have a shooter on at the end when you get chances on the break.

    The worst lead for a Mayo team with ten minutes to go is a six point lead. Complacency takes over, the high pressing stops and the defence is left wide open. The only time I’ve seen a Mayo team saunter to victory is with a ten point lead (and even that isn’t comfortable some times like Dublin 2012).

    We change management and still have the same traits. It’s in the Mayo football DNA. The same trends are in our underage county teams.
    We don’t select really hard nosed defenders (Keegan was tough but also a quality footballer)
    We are over flowing with runners who love to solo the ball (the solo was invented in Mayo ffs).
    We have “mercurial” inconsistent forwards who lose confidence easily (bar Cillian).
    We don’t have a killer instinct with goal chances, and love to take a fisted point when a goal chance was on.
    We don’t have an outfield player who can kick a long range free.
    We don’t have players who can reliably kick long range points.
    Everyone on the team takes a solo as their first play, they only look to pass when they have no space to run into themselves. Instead of kicking into space, we carry the ball until the space is gone.

    The type of player we have is actually suited to playing a defensive system. They can all tackle and run, if we hit teams on the break they would struggle to keep with the sheer number of runners we have.

  21. Galway couldn’t even put away an Armagh team without Rian o Neill , bar a flash in the pan all Ireland final appearance last year scrapping through on pens , they have been rubbish for 20 odd years .They’ve had two opportunities to drive a stake through the heart of Mayo football and officially announce the change of guard out west in 2019 and 21 and failed to do so on both occasions in limerick and croke park .

    Just trying to balance up the negative Nellie stuff .

    Anyway look there’s no denying some of the points made by Billy Joe padden on our own performance level.
    I’ve personally been so amused by the talk of how great Galway are in general all year I’ve joined in on it . I’ll just go on record now to say I genuinely don’t rate Galway and think we will run out convincing winners n Sunday .

  22. Losing leads has been a feature of Mayo Football for ever and in the last 10 years…….
    Dublin 2012 semi (got out the door)
    Kerry 2014 (should never have been a draw in semi)
    Cork 2014 QF
    Cork 2017 Qualifer
    Louth 2023
    Cork 2023
    This isnt new and you could add Armagh and Roscommon in the league this year…God forbid I mention 96!
    However we won the league…….it was’nt an accident either
    We do have the players at least to win on Sunday and its important that we do.I think we have guys on the sideline to do it also.We are fully fit and everyone forgets that Tommy Conroy came off the bench with a goal and a point.
    As well as this you have to say if the win in Kerry was down to them being appalling…..well it happens to the best of us and Kerry are the best right now.
    I have no idea how to fix it or why it happens.
    I would love to ask Colm Boyle the question as he was on the field for most of those above…….

  23. Jesus Sean.. you have completely changed your tune….
    Convincing means a 7/ 8 point win for Mayo?

  24. I’m usually always very positive and look at things realistically and don’t usually fall into the we win we’re amazing and we lose we’re useless trap I’m usually on the fence and take the positives and negatives out of each individual game but Jesus for some reason I’m fearful of us for Sunday can we really just flick a switch and come up with a performance for the first time in a long time I’m not so shur , only way that might happen is if the positional changes we all no that need changing take place if not Galway who are not so hot either will grind us down and eventually fade us out really really hope I’m completely wrong and we burst into them lead by 4 with ten minutes to go and close it out properly shur here’s hoping

  25. I don’t mean this in a bad way but I hope the players take charge v Galway and rise themselves.
    Better for management to take a back seat for this one, too many Cooks etc.

    If they get that fight it will drive them on to win, but it could be costly with a few injuries picked up also.

  26. I read billy joe paddens article and very difficult to disagree with anything he said.The very fact that we haven’t tried anything different against theese massed defences is very damming.because even though yes we had got ourselves into a winning position in both games the method we used was energy sapping and totally lacking in any imagination.we are now being compared to Rory mcilroy.what is the story with the management.is there to many chiefs and not enough Indians.surely the players will be stung by the criticism and react in some way but the structure to play in has to be in place.is there time to do that now

  27. Darragh O Se’s comment on today’s Times about a lack of leadership on the field last weekend was on the money, in my view. It’s in those aspects, as much in the defensive element, that we are missing Mullin and especially Keegan. We’d become even more reliant on Lee to show the way in adversity in recent years with the retirements of other on-field leaders.

  28. I give Galway and PJ criticism as good as any one Sean Burke but rubbish for 20 years is a bit of a stretch. That was the end of a golden era for us.
    Galway football is in a good place at the moment no matter what happens Sunday or what anyone says.
    We’ve just won Connacht back to back for the first time in 20 years, were in our first AI final for 21 years and have won All Ireland Minor and U20 titles in the last 3 years. A lot of these younger guys are being brought through and I actually believe Galway are building. PJ will be around next year regardless of what happens Sunday guaranteed and has everyone’s support.

  29. @ InTheCity Darragh O Se also made the excellent point that the only winners here are Kerry and Dublin.
    Despite this for me its knockout from here anyway so potentially nothings changed. We probably need the extra game before the QF to iron out the kinks. Galway and Mayo are on a par for me in terms of squad depth and overall performance for the year. Hopefully its a Titanic battle and may the best team win. Cannot wait. Hon Maigheo.

  30. @Big Mike you’ve a big point to prove got to a final the easy route last year ye beat us last year to half with it mayo team by that I mean we were a broken team in spirit after 21 we also had an insane amount of injuries . I also think Ryan o D went off injured to and ye only beat us by a point even then .

    Your not rubbish the last 20 years but I wouldn’t fear ye and throughout the years mayo have been the better team . This is PJS year to make or break for this Galway team.

    May the best team win( mayo hopefully :p ) haha should be a cracker !

  31. @Inthecity thats why cillian o Connor is vital to us I rate him highly as a leader to the younger guys

  32. Who ever wins this game will be well set up for a tilt at Sam
    Nothing like a Mayo or Galway victory to set either team up.
    It has the added advantage that it is almost a home venue for both teams with no overnight..
    No team will want to meet the winner of this one in the quarter finals.

  33. In the three decades or so I’ve been watching Mayo, we’ve proven ourselves adept at losing leads, all through the age groups and right up to senior level. Doesn’t matter if it’s seven, eight, nine or ten points, we always let the opposition back in to the game.

    Personally, I put it down to a lack of tactical acumen within the county, plus a cultural tendency towards playing open football, no matter what the circumstances. You will seldom see an Ulster team doing the same, usually, once they build a significant lead, they go into shutdown mode and just keep the other side at a distance.

    Well, feck the beautiful game at this stage, it’s all about winning now. If we have to go cagey to win this thing, let’s do it. At all costs, we cannot allow Galway to run at us and wave them through like friendly policemen, as happened down in Limerick. There needs to be a better defensive structure and a lot more aggression.

    I would suggest also starting Tommy Conroy, if he is anyways fit at all. He scared the living daylights out of Galway in the league final, once he came on, and if he has 50 minutes in him, it might be better than having the usual slow and lateral build-up we’ve come to associate with our forward play. You need pace to beat the sort of defensive system that Galway have, and otherwise we seem to be missing it in our forward line.

  34. Billy Joe’s analysis is spot on. It tallies with a lot of the comments on here since the match. Was the Kerry game a flash in the pan? Our poor displays against fairly average teams would lead to that conclusion. The facts are that the Rossies, Louth and Cork are not serious allireland contenders by a long shot. We were physically bullied by the Rossies and Cork which is just not acceptable for a team with our ambitions. I know the lads are hurting and will raise their game on Sunday but it will be a huge ask to turn this mess around in 7 days. Win, lose or draw on Sunday, it is hard to have any real optimism about the remainder of the championship journey from here.

  35. I believe we have the potential to win Sunday IF the necessary tactical changes are made. New CHB and sweeper system, more intensity and fight from the players and no switching off. If these changes don’t happen, we will lose make no mistake about it. Management may as well be brave, they’ll cop less flack if they lose trying something new rather than same old tired shite brainless football

  36. Tirawleybaron, for me, what you wrote here is really central:

    “…4. We don’t have any reliable long range shooters. That inability leaves the opposition safe in the knowledge that they can site deeper than v Kerry or Dublin, because we have to get to the D to score. This limitation means the blanket defence is even more effective against Mayo than others. When we are behind in the last ten v a blanket defence and they tighten up to stop goal chances , we just kick wide after wide. It happened v Roscommon, Kerry last year, every time we lost to Galway since 2016.”

    I was worried about this before the Cork game and for me this will continue to be the case for Mayo against blanket teams – that we cannot take a lead for granted. It’s that teams find it easy to score against us and we find it very hard to score ourselves. This is CAT at the end of games, a very bad scenario for us. We’ve been deflated often enough and that’s a deflating recipe.

    We need to be serious about our lead and train ourselves in all scenarios to keep it *especially against these defensive teams*.

    Against those teams, we cannot ‘do a Mayo’ of old and play to the last second on the clock, grabbing a score when everyone loses composure at the end. Rochford used to say that the game is not over til it’s over. That was before the presence everywhere of the blanket defence. Since the Dubs have regressed, other teams have started to use it again as a main plank.
    Look at the League game versus Donegal in 2018 when Kevin McLoughlin saved our bacon *to get a draw with the case kick of the game*.
    Against these defensive teams we cannot take our lead for granted in the closing ten to fifteen minutes. It’s too risky. And for me, that is a fact.

  37. That piece by Billy Joe in the Mayo News is now online so I’ve added the link to it in the post and it’s also here. For those who haven’t yet seen it, it’s definitely worth a read.

  38. Interesting to see Billie joe so scathing in that article. He is generally on the more positive, sympathetic,non critical pov. Hard to argue with a lot of it though.

    As the week goes on I am feeling more confident I must say.

    We do tend to produce our better performances in past few years when we are cornered and it’s do or die.

    Also even if Kelly, comer etc start they are bound to be diminished by the recent knocks, 1 week won’t bring them on much.

    Will need conroy and cillian to get us through this one. This racket of playing lads who don’t score in the full forward line needs to stop.

    I believe we will come through Sunday with the win after a battle and possibly ET.

    …but in terms of the bigger picture I don’t think either ourselves or galway are AI contenders now given the brutal run we have left ourselves with.
    You might beat a galway/derry/kerry/dublin in one off game but no chance of beating all 4 tbh

  39. That was a hard read WJ but maybe its where we are. Take the learnings from it and leave it behind us. We have shown enough versatility and decent play over the year to give me hope that we can get a result on Sunday.
    Hopefully the players and management feel the same and will truly click into place. Either that or it will be a long few weeks especially if Galway go all the way. But what if we go all the way……

  40. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I belive McStay set out to firstly build the panel with retirements and some other players getting on and once things started going well in the league we went for it and why not, it’s silverware. We had some very enjoyable wins in that league and let’s relish them. I think we have a big panel and are not overly reliant on 1 or 2 players like some teams but lacking enough marquee forwards as Darragh O’ Se has said. We had 3 inexperienced players at the back the last day and while they all did fine, it would be preferable not to have all 3 on the pitch closing out any future games we get in the championship and in fairness Management did take at least one off in every championship game, often 2. Of the 3, I think McHugh loses out the next day as a starter. He is tall and fast but also very light for his height and young, no doubt a future star who’s been improving but I would think his game time will be limited going forward. In the forwards, we got the ball in early to Aido and Ryan vs Kerry and it caused them all sorts of trouble. The Galway corner backs especially McGrath are foul prone.. after one brilliant steal from Campbell he went on to give 2 soft frees away in the crunch stages of the game. Way to short in height to mark AOS in the air. Galway have no one to mark him if we use the tactic and even Kelly had some problems with Clifford in the air in the final last year. If Kelly does play and he’s moved to the corner to mark Aido, it leaves them short in the middle and we can throw another tall man in e.g. Jack Carney or Diarmaid O Connor or James Car might start (I think he won’t but let’s see).
    I’d agree with the pundits we haven’t enough players giving that leadership in the later stages of the games mentioned so I’d say it’s important to have both O Connors, Stephen Coen and Paddy Durcan on the pitch on the 70 and Aido aswell if we play a game that doesn’t run his legs off as he’s very cute and knows how to win frees in the end game. Ryan OD is another we identify as showing leadership and you’d have to say Jordan Flynn showed it the last day and several times in the last 2 seasons. Conor Loftus is also vocal and organises positions, if dropped from 6 which many are asking for , he could be brought on in midfield or CHF if needed.
    The other side of it is to pre plan what we do with a lead coming down the straight. Roscommon showed us how it’s done, pack the defence and battle for your lives to fairly (not give away frees) win the ball. Some players possible thought we could still cut through Cork and score almost at will despite losing our lead (maybe believing our won hype). I think we have enough to get through Galway (it’s 50 50 and could tilt to either team depending on injuries) and maybe even an Armagh or Derry in the QF (but not Dublin). If we survived all that, it would be dependent on how much each of the players have learned from the experience in particular the new ones. I wasn’t aware of some of the Tyrone platers in 21, you’d have to say these guys grew through the championship. I think without that (learning from experience on the go in this championship) we couldn’t beat either Dublin or Kerry but capable of beating the rest on our day.
    On Conor Loftus’ role, as I recognise he identifies danger and tracks players and is one of the best picking up loose ball and getting it safely out of defense but is never going to do a Colm Boyle esque hard hit tackle as he’s a converted forward (albeit playing CHB for a while for his club). The last day despite being no slouch he was outpaced by the Cork runner for the penalty, his teammate McHugh overtook him to get in the tackle deemed illegal by the ref. In the tackling stakes he’s capable of slowing opposition momentum but not stopping it. In moving the ball forward he’s alway looking up and seeking the good pass but I think opposition are extremely wary of his kicking and tighten up on their men. He doesn’t do the kick and hope if it’s not on and that’s the correct call.
    So there’s pros and cons. I would concur with others we’re too open down the middle, not sure if he’s the root cause or it’s simply our setup, more so the setup I would think so that needs to be changed. Galway put a lot of focus on keeping things tight through the middle and don’t concede many goal chances. It might be better to use Loftus as a sub for midfield and CHF position so we can revert to a pure natural defender in the 6 position. Not that management should capitulate to fans desire but we need to do something to block the channel and it’s the most obvious switch there and if it’s the correct call, do it.

  41. We really are a curious mix at the moment the Mayo team. We’re a team that needs the opposition to play relatively open and give us an advantage of height physically and then we’re flying it. But, I mean that’s long gone naivety to be a plan of action in 2023.
    The positives, what we have.
    1. We have enough of a strong core of players, division 1 level.
    2. We’re well resourced.
    3. We’re experienced on and off field.
    4. We’ve got bundles of stamina…. When we don’t blow that in the warmup, sorry but I did athletics competitively in middle distance and I’m convinced we are blowing up our stamina in the warmup. I never seen a runner work up a blowing sweat pre-race for any distance and running is more advanced in thinking about stamina than Gaelic football.
    5. We’ve got three shooters, Ryan, Tommy and Cillian.
    6. We’ve finally found a full back (huge plus)
    The negatives
    1. We’re very predictable and patterned. We’re average at those patterns. We bring nothing at all left field.
    2. We are dying off in games in the last quarter.
    3. We simply struggle for enough scores.
    4. We give up big leads in games.
    5. We lack explosive pace in our forwards and our counter attacking.
    My top five things we can do in priority.
    1. Solve the stamina die off issue. Selection, warmup, tactics. We cannot enter the final quarter fading.
    2. Leave a set defence, don’t have all our defenders attacking up so high into the full forward line.
    3. Do some left field things. Bring on Cillian on 25mins. Replace Aidan with James Carr on 65mins. Put tall fielders in the half backline like Diarmuid, Fionn or Jack Carney. We win kickouts by getting more well over six foot players into the middle eight. Stop playing players like Aidan to the very last minute when they are exhausted and then being suprised we die off late on.
    Put a shooter like Paul Towey in very late on with everyone on message for a play that sets him up for a point scoring opportunity.
    4. We’ve got to have Ryan O’Donoghue at 11, he is the best playmaker in the team.
    5. We’ve got to play for more marks. 2-3 marks per game.

  42. A few shorts weeks ago we were riding high, favourites for a lot of people to go and win it, now, we are sixth in the pecking order with the bookies.

    Looking at the match again, some relatively straight forward fixes jump out:

    1. Stretching the play to the wings and moving the ball quickly side to side is a must. No solo or hop, move it to the next man. Explore down to the corner of the pitch and recycle if required but at pace so the blanket can’t reset. We did this in spurts against both Louth and Cork and appears to be something we are working on but we get impatient and run into tackles instead of recycling and moving. If we are turned over high up, we need to be clever with our “tactical fouling” and slow down the counter.
    2. Teams are going long against us, mix the press with conceding the kick out. If conceding, the opposition need to work through our hard tacklers. If forcing to go long, we need to ensure we stay goal side and have a back on the goal side for breaking ball. Foul if required to stop momentum.
    3. Pace, pace, pace. Half back line of Durcan, Callinan and McLaughlin needed with Hession and Conroy hopefully in the half forwards. This pace allows for runners off the shoulder. Carney goes to midfield with Diarmuid (if fully fit) and Flynn moves to CHF. ROD and Conroy can also rotate in and out during the match.
    4. Callinan at CHB should be tasked with sitting in as a sweeper, whenever Galway have a slow build up he needs to drop in and protect the D along with Hession to prevent a pop pass over defence into acres of space. In the first half Cork were in for a goal if the handpass to their midfielder hadn’t skidded away, we need to be defending facing away from goal not sprinting back trying to get a hand in.

    None of the above seems difficult to implement in a week, although, I don’t think the calls on players out of form, or who would give us a big lift from the bench (Mattie) will be made.

    Also don’t like the tactical fouling element but all teams do it and we need to start. The only way the GAA will cut that out is when the ball is moved forward 50 metres i.e. man is fouled, other players prevent a quick free then ball is moved forward 50, in the majority of cases it will be in scoring range and will fairly quickly stop the cyclical play and teams slowing down the game.

    Anyway, hump day has landed and I’m starting to feel a lot more positive, I think I drank the same water as Sean Burke.

  43. I actually disagree with the long range shooter theory. Cillian OC will play a part even if only in the 2nd half, Mattie Ruane has kicked some excellent scores on the run, James Carr is another with a big range and has kicked some boomers and we’ve seen Jordan Flynn do it too on multiple occassions. Ryan OD is also accurate but inside forward line tends to be short on space, if we had to bring him to the 40 he can do damage there. Both Carney and his logical replacement Tuohy have kicked some nice scores from range. Bar Paddy we don’t have anone on the backs doing it. Conor Loftus is capable and has good range but right now he’s not doing it. Most of his chances are just a bit far out so I don’t blame him not lining them up and playing the %. In the past we were more reliant on the backs, to bail us out and some people were complaining. Diarmaid has kicked some great long range scores over the years especially with the outside of the boot but is so busy up and down the pitch he’s not the one likely to get these chances. Subs Doherty and McLoughlin are also good shooters. I’d rate our lads just as good as the shooters as most top teams have. It’s disengeuous to suggest we don’t have that in our ranks.
    I think the problem is actually more finding the space for the long strike. The Jim Gavin Dubs had a lot of patience probing to find the holes before shooting, that patience frustrates the fans of most counties as some in the terraces will be baying for players to shoot when it’s not the sensible option but it never affected the Dubs and in any event Croker is so loud they can’t hear individual fans shouting. Nevertheless some Dublin players like Niall Scully have a poor return from range and they’re not as robotic as they were which gives the rest of us a chance.

  44. I’m very torn by everything. We hadn’t really felt the loss of Oisin or Lee until Sunday. In those last 10 minutes, you can be damn sure Lee would have come up with some big moments. A true leader. But frankly, we had very few who stepped up in that period. And that’s a worry.

    But we have a new goalie, who is doing very well. He is effective at sweeping & thus negates the needs for a full time sweeper in a lot of instances. His kickouts are solid and he can bomb them much longer than we are seeing (perhaps something being kept in reserve)

    We have 3 new players in the backline (McBrien, Coyne & McHugh on Sunday), plus Callinan & Hession who are young & inexperienced. So the future for those lads is looking good.

    Half back line is just not functioning at all. Not winning ball or offering much in the attack.
    Midfield and half forward line the same.

    I would love us to shake things up against Galway. Move Tommy & Ryan to the half forward line & put them on the back foot. Carney & Jordan in the middle. Diarmuid, Swan or Coen to 6 & Mattie off the bench.

    But we are so open from counterattacks, it’s ridiculous. I know you “need” to add numbers to an attack when the opposition just camp in their own 45. But there isn’t much point in adding lads who have no intention of penetrating or taking on a shot. Maybe I’m old school, but I think there is actually more logic in working a low percentage shot & letting fly. Make sure it goes dead & hey presto, you are fairly well set for a kickout. There is probably a better opportunity to score from turning over that kickout than there is from the previous passage of play of mind numbing keep ball.

  45. Ah sure what ever happens v Galway will happen.
    I think many of us saw the problems from the Louth game.
    The players just looked tired to me v Cork even in the 1st half, no tackles going in etc

  46. I actually think it would be fairly disastrous for Mayo to lose this. Galway will likely be down their 2 best players in Comer and Kelly while their other best player, Walsh, is in indifferent form at best. Comer might end up togging out half fit, but from I hear there is no way Kelly will play. Missing Silke and Molloy already, Silke arguably their pure defender. Galway will be down a significant amount of talent on Sunday most likely.

  47. JP I did athletics too but I can see the merits of a vigorous warm up. The first few mins of a game it’s so helter skelter you’re totally out of breath and struggling for air. If ye can get the heart pumping hard before it starts, it actually helps a good bit. There’s probably a balancing act. The drills are for getting the mind sharp. Certainly no need for the subs to do the pre game sprints it as they won’t need it until just before taking the field. I’d be interested to see how much this benefits the first 5-10 mins of a game. A good start is half the battle so I wouldn’t dismiss. Comparisons were made with soccer and their light warm ups but with a smaller pitch they don’t go on lung bursting 40m runs form the get go. There’s more running in GAA. Diarmaid and Tom Parsons were clocked up doing massive Kms in some of our games (more Km in 70 mins than soccer players are doing in 90).

  48. I don’t give a shit what the pundits say either local or national.
    It is what is said at team meetings by the players that is most important.
    They are in the best position to analyse what is going on on the field with vour system and our fading out of games.
    Here in Meath there were lots of mouthpieces on the eighties team but when Liam Harnan spoke,which was seldom he spared nobody from goalie to corner forward and management including his own performance you could hear a pin drop.
    Have we a player like that.

  49. Stranger things have happened than Molloy featuring… played a full league game last Saturday

    If kelly and McHugh are out he may well have to chance Mulkerrin or himself

  50. Good articles in the Mayo by Billy Joe and in the Irish Times by Darragh O’Shea questioning Mayo ability to compete for 76 min! It was a terrible performance in 1st half and last quarter. I see that out team are now compared to Rory McElroy- struggle to close out games! I Cannot understand why Towey, McStay McHale and indeed other subs are not used. I know we sprang Paddy, Eoin and Enda v Kerry but what about the other lads? Serious questions must be asked of management! God knows there is enough of them on the bloody sideline!
    Let’s hope they get it right for Saturday v Gaillimh but will await with bated breath!!
    We only used 4 subs and Cork used 6! Same thing happened against Louth. I was there and it was clear that Carr and Doherty were struggling big time ( heat was a factor) and they waited until 13cmin in the 2nd half to make changes – too late! Unfortunately, until we win Sam we will be called chockers/loosers etc. This is not easy for all of our fans! However as Sean Burke said above let’s get behind our team for Saturday ! Le cunadh De bheidh an bua againn!
    Mhuigeo Abú

  51. As a long time Mayo supporter I have seen us losing big leads over many years,ninety six comes to mind,on the odd occasion we have actually finished matches strongly against Dublin especially,I remember the matches against the great Galway three in a row,I have seen criticising players as long as I can remember,even Joe Corcoran was left behind for a trip to America,Robbie got savage criticism,even Willie Joe for criticism C McDonald got criticism,now C Loftus is the shipping boy,very unfairly in my opinion,hopefully he will prove equally as valuable as the other players I mentioned,I don’t ever attend a game expecting us to lose I am always optimistic,and when I post that I expect a easy victory it is banter no more,no less ,I don’t believe that either our team of the opposition read or pay attention to banter,anymore than when Kerry supporters say that they will wait until the final,I am expecting a victory on Sunday,Mayo for Sam

  52. Some great thought-provoking contributions here today.
    Mayo has form when lumbered with favouritism – they usually disappoint & usually loose.
    They seem to crumble when encountering setbacks & lack the togetherness to re-assert themselves – it’s then, ‘everyman for himself’.
    I expect a resounding win on Sunday because they are not expected to win.
    I expect an all-hands-to-pump mentality because of the jeopardy (knockout) factor – after that, it’s anybody’s guess but I’ll take that today.

  53. @batetheblanket The Mcstay way – have us super fit and peaking for rounds 4 and 5 of the league. Out on our feet by the time championship football gets even close to the business end. Serious change needed with this planning for next year

  54. Reading Billy Joe’s column this morning, I felt like he had read my every thought in relation to the debacle on Sunday.

    My overriding feeling after the game was pure anger. I simply couldn’t understand the collapse in the last twenty minutes. It was a total systems failure from back to front. No one on/off the field seemed to know what to do to arrest the capitulation.

    We couldn’t get our hands on the ball. When we did we gave it away. We couldn’t slow the play down, kill the momentum, win a free etc. It was pretty desperate stuff from a side with serious aspirations and plenty of experience.

    You don’t often hear Billy Joe vent in those terms, but in this case I think it’s entirely justified. I am struggling to see a way out for Mayo this Sunday. I’m just not sure we can turn it around in a week. The performance at the weekend was so abject, can we really expect to fix enough of the defects in time?

    It’s a game of ball so there’s always hope, but it’s going to take a monumental improvement for Mayo to prevail. We have enough good players to make a stand in Salthill, and that has to be the starting point.

    I need to see a bit of fight in them. I saw us get physically bullied and belted around on Sunday. That cannot happen again. We can talk about formations, sweepers etc but all that comes after standing your ground.

  55. @Roxk your spot on I def think our guys do need to give a bit more of a fight we got bullied around the place v cork . Sometimes I think we are nearly to nice on the pitch ha

  56. I asked a question on here a few months ago about the role Conor Loftus plays for crossmollina and was it as an orthodox centre back or the same role he is asked to play for mayo.I got some smart Alec answer back .i see now suggestions of him being put back in midfield.well I don’t recall that being a resounding success either.Loftus is his early days was a terrific finisher who wasn’t afraid to go for goal when the chance arose as shown by those two terrific goals in under 21 final and against Derry in 2017 but unfortunately alot of this sort of spontaneity is being coached out of players now .there well be some role for the lad but trying to ram players into positions they are not suited to physically for a start is doomed to failure.i would absolutely love to be totally wrong about this and I hope he has a completely blinding game on Sunday.there is no attempt on my behalf to scapegoat any player but you can only comment on the evidence you see in front of you

  57. I fear for Mayo this Sunday, has a feeling of inevitability even despite the fact that Galway are without a good few certain starters versus the All Ireland Final. Might be end of the road for more long standing Mayo players. Galway appear to have more coming through with success at underage and more consistency in the seniors than we have.

  58. Billie Joe is normally so pragmatic that it is a bit shocking when he is that scathing of the team.

    I thought we were very average in the first half, very good in the third quarter, and then a complete mental collapse in the final quarter, similar to the Armagh league. No doubt, this team are very mentally fragile compared to the last 12 years of Mayo teams. That is because we have so many inexperienced players (half the team by my reckoning) – also the half-back line is totally unbalanced. From the last day, some pluses and minuses;
    + Conroy and Flynn looked very sharp. Conroy needs to start.
    + Galway in Salthill should get Mayo going in a way that Louth and Cork didn’t – hopefully like the Kerry game in Killarney. That urgency was a big reason we lost to Cork.
    + Cillian will play. His experience is worth 1-2 points easily.
    + We have very few injuries to key players, whereas Galway have lots.
    + We have the personnel to change it up. Cillian, Eoghan, Hession, Tommy, Sam could all start and make a big difference.

    – I actually thought Ryan (similar to many of his games this year) was very poor in possession. I counted four attacking turnovers from him, 3 in the first 10 minutes. That is not good enough.
    – Loftus and Coen are passengers. No attacking threat, losing possession, slowing the pace of the game down when we require the opposite.
    – We have had a major problem all year with an inability to when high ball at mid-field. Ruane has no influence here and Diarmuid only a bit better. I genuinely would play Bob Touhy here, a brilliant fielder, well able to look after himself, good passer, great engine and not afraid to shoot.
    – We are incredibly mentally weak, as mentioned, if Galway get a run on us we are cooked.

    I have hope for a win at the weekend. Management have a huge job on their hands though to turn this around in 1 week though.

  59. @1985, he was never a standout forward. Liam Irwin had a bigger scoring influence in that U21 final. He lacks pace and aggression to start in the forwards. Definitely not a number 6 either but I can see why management tried it.

  60. @GBXI in fairness to Ryan o D he was targeted by cork many times and handed pretty rough tackles like they were trying to take him out nearly. He did set up the goal for conroy in fairness.

  61. I always considered MR a great athleate and could take a score. However bar the Kerry game his form has been really poor. Removing MR and DOC for the throw in undermines them both. It is management saying ye are just work horses and not real centre fielders. ROD JF TC and Carr can kick from distance but seem to be coached not to have a go. Without the ability to kick from distance we are too easy to beat.

  62. Darragh Ó Sé’s column today is really excellent. That’s not always the case with him – he often ladles on the stage-Kerryman show a bit too thickly – but he’s bang on the money about us in this one. It sits nicely as a companion piece to Billy Joe’s column and makes for further uncomfortable reading for us.

  63. I didn’t say he was a standout forward .I said he had the nerve to go for goals when the opportunity arose unlike the punching over the bar cop out taken by many.i agree the centre back experiment might have been worth trying

  64. Would like to see Durcan played as a 3rd midfielder on Sunday to bring a bit more aggression to the area.Would put him on Conroy.

    Changes must happen at 6 also

  65. Tirawleybaron and Shuffly, yes – I mean to add a bit of nuance on the long range shooters/strikers. I think we have some and could have more with practice.
    My thing is that management hasn’t seemed to nominate this as a tactic when playing against a packed defence. I understand what Shuffly said about space. Space can come. It’s management identifying it as a tactic we need and then it’s distance and accuracy we need. And also to put the ball dead out over the endline.

  66. @Clare, the rough-housing of Ryan is totally overstated. The shoulder charge I’m still not sure if it was a free or not, I’m leaning towards that it was perfectly timed. The tackle around the neck was a foul and yellow, it was lazy, but Ryan is a master at ducking into these tackles and winning frees. His form is a worry but maybe Galway will sharpen his focus.

    @1985, yes Loftus has never been afraid to shoot but few Mayo players are afraid to shoot in general, only Aidan and Coen that I would add to that list. I like to see Diarmuid shoot more often because he is so accurate.

  67. Willie Joe – hard to argue with anything billy joe or darragh o`se is saying based on our performances in the championship to date.

    Whilst i cant see us winning an all Ireland this year, the narrative around who will win the all Ireland changes week by week and i have seen enough from Mayo this season and over my lifetime to know not to write them until we are knocked out of the championship.

    Every game from here on in is a 50/50 or 60/40 (Kerry & Dublin) knockout game.

    This is the stage of the championship where your Mayo`s and Tyrone`s usually come to life and show why they have been consistently competing for all Ireland`s over the last decade .

    It might be all over for us on Sunday but if Mayo teams and especially Stephen Rochford mayo teams have thought us anything over the past decade it is when we need a do or die performance we will give one.

  68. Agree Willie Joe – insightful piece by Darragh Ó’Shea alright.
    Funnily enough, it still looks all to play for in this championship. Everyone has had a wobble.

  69. Karen – I’ve deleted that reference you made to another contributor (along with the replies). It’s play the ball, not the person, here so going after another contributor in that way isn’t allowed.

  70. What a strange qualifier group all teams have come through, I remember the first round of the super eights in ‘18 we played Galway in Croker on the same day as the World Cup final and the place was totally devoid of atmosphere. I remember that post the game everyone was trying to get a handle on the flatness of Kerry considering the importance of the game. Over that winter with a lot or retrospective reviews by many in the know the consensus was that without the knockout element and the knowledge that we could still qualify even if we lost the first game is what cost Kerry the necessary focus and rootlessness in such a campaign.

    Facing Mayo this year I don’t think that this was the same situation as galway in ‘18, I felt Mayo licked their wounds after an unfortunate loss to Roscommon and totally focused on Kerry as a must win game both as an opportunity to lay down a marker as real All Ireland contenders and perhaps in the whole teams psyche as a reminder to Galway and Roscommon that they had gone nowhere.

    Mayo hit Kerry so fast and so hard that we were reeling and immediately tried to gain control of a game that was simply passing us by such was the excellence of the relentless and ever changing Mayo attack. Perhaps Kerry were a little too cocky as I know I was, I expected a belter of a game but I felt we would wrestle a result with home advantage and we also has a taste in our mouths from the trimming we received in Castlebar. We has the excuse of a late return to training and the added comfort of knowing Mayo were at it hammer and tongs from late autumn of ‘22. These were handy pocket excuses to pull out and add to the mix when we would discuss and surmise the apparent lower than expected altitude of the AI champions in their fight to gain a back to back title.

    Louth play a game that doesn’t suit a fast attacking team like Mayo so ye had to eek out a win the ugly way and ye did so with great effect, it was a tight tit for tat game with a point or two between the teams and towards the 60th minute ye stretched it out to three or four with the fitness and experience starting to show. Mayo went five up with two mins of extra time remaining and dropped their concentration and Louth snuck in for a goal but in my opinion but Mayo were in control of that game despite the uneasy finish.

    Cork on the other hand are a different prospect and are a ballsie confident team that will keep going to the bitter end. That said ye had the advantage with a great goal at a critical time in the game and were it not for a fortuitous peno to Cork I think ye would have held on comfortably as a goal like that gave them momentum and Mayo were suddenly on the back foot with little time to restore a footing in the game.

    Kerry have been much maligned since the tattooing Mayo gave us and our performance against cork was not something that made us comfortable to put it mildly but in the greater scheme of things Cork inadvertently did us a solid by beating ye and in doing so handing us an undeserved quarter final spot along with a two week window to recover and prepare.

    The draw on Monday morning made everyone smile in anticipation as this is the game neutrals could only dream of. I don’t care who wins the game as I have great time for both teams as Mayo and Galway play the game in a positive front foot style which is a great thing to see in the age of negative tactics being hailed at genius in places like Derry and Tyrone. To be honest all four games this weekend could go either way so they are hard to call due to the knockout factor but it should be a good weekend for our games. I hope no player gets injured on Sunday and I hope both teams go out to win the game and are not effected by the prospect of loosing to their greatest rivals which would result in an anticlimax for all the salivating neutral supporters who just can’t wait for this game.

  71. Gamechanger I know you mean well in praising Mayo for beating Kerry a few weeks back but as much of a factor in that game was the flatness of Kerry as much as the intensity of Mayo. Nice to beat the champs on their home turf but at the end of the day it didn’t matter, yee still topped the group and we finished third due to our own mundane flat performances. Keegan and Boyle would have never stood for such flat performances

  72. Our time has come – we had plenty of flat performances during the Keegan/Boyle era as well.

  73. Fair enough wideball but Sundays lack of heart and apathy from all was a new low since the pre-Horan era on my opinion. No pride whatsoever in those last 15 minutes. My point was keegan and Boyle were never bullied

  74. From watching the highlights at the weekend, its as clear as day, that fitness levels were way off against Cork which at the end of the day are a team floating around in div 2 for a while. In 2016 Roscommon fitness were through the roof for the league and they were dead on their feet come championship – same is happening with Mayo. Our game against them on Saturday will really show where Mayo are at

  75. Sure what have we got to lose at this point, hopefully management pick a team for this particular game, forget about systems etc, doesn’t matter now, it’s do it die.

    I’m saying that things should be mixed up completely for this one.

    Start Conroy and Cillian.
    A O Shea to midfield to get even with Conroy or even to fullback to lay into an injured Comer.

    I hope the players leave their mark on this game.

  76. Ole. Only just read that Billy Joe article now, it’s brilliant. I think that needs to be stuck in the dressing room at training this week.

  77. Well said Gamechanger,we certainly will know where we are at on Sunday,I always enjoy your posts

  78. Ticket sales desperate slow , very hard to fathom why supporters are not attending this one . Possibly the last game of the year . You can still bill buy 10 whilst the rest of the games have gone down to 8 already . That’s the way I’ve always gauged it maybe it’s the wrong way , they’ve also separated stand and terrace now and the stand not even filled yet with rain promised you’d imagine that would be full by now

  79. Joe2 – a few short weeks ago Mayo ran Kerry off the pitch. Kerry players seemed stuck to the ground compared to our lads.

    I don’t buy there’s any fitness or training issue. When a team gets a run on you it can seem they’re fitter, but that’s rarely the case.

  80. Interesting poll results…

    The gas thing is I’d say if you pick the last 5 good Mayo performances they were probably all when the poll was nearer to 50/50 or in favour of the opposition!!!

    Not liking (or buying quite frankly!) this new optimism 🙂

  81. Looking at how leggy we looked last Sunday, is it possible that we were doing heavy training with the next 2 weeks penciled in for tapering on the assumption that we were to make it through on top of the group? If that was the case and this week was pretty much reserved for video analysis and light training we may see a different team on Sunday next… just a thought…

  82. Our time has come – recency bias can make it seem worse. In 2016 we had a very experienced/talented team and played division 2 Galway in connacht championship.

    We were sleep walking through the game just about in the lead until Galway got a goal in the second half. Although we had plenty of time to regain the lead there was no reaction.

    So I don’t think it’s fair to say if Keegan, Boyle etc were playing last weekend things would have been different.

  83. Christ it’s awful negative stuff . We still have a good squad of players. Good enough to beat Galway on Sunday. I woul agree to play Loftus midfield or half forward and but Coen at 6 .
    Is this the same Galway we beat in the league final ??
    Think our bucks will be licking their lips on Sunday for a crack at the All Ireland contenders …

  84. I’m staying positive that we have the players and can make the necessary adjustments for this one. All will be up for this one and no stone will be left unturned. This is what its all about this is knock out, its Galway they’ll be frothing at the mouth for this. They’ll want to win in Salthill. As i said yesterday we need 3 of the following starting TC, COC, E Mc, EH, SC….and all 5 getting game time. Move Jordan to midfield and Mataie to HF as needed..that can be the left side move!

  85. There has been – understandably – a combined 12 references to Comer and Kelly in this thread, and only ONE in relation to Shane Walsh

    Its almost as if he’s been forgotten but this same player is genuinely capable of winning this on his own

    I just have this inkling he’ll typically put in a huge performance on Sunday. The only saving grace is a huge Walsh performance generally takes away scores from elsewhere, as other forwards play second fiddle.

  86. I don’t buy the fitness business,players do a block of heavy training and then just maintain fitness.
    Perhaps a heavy night after a win if time permits to knock the celebrations out of guys.
    Both Comer and Kelly will be named to play and perhaps withdraw before the deadline to keep Mayo guessing.
    What pshylogical affect will the loss to Armagh have on Galway,we are all in the same boat .Better to travel to Galway then overnight somewhere.
    All to play for ,shit or leave the pot.

  87. Just on the match data in my view based on quite a few matches Conor Loftus isn’t offering enough threat or pace. So, I don’t see the sense in accommodating at midfield of half forward.
    We need selection changes that give us performance improvement.
    The same selection again doesn’t have enough threat, pace or power to beat Galway.

  88. Interesting stat there Tuam Star – presumably regarding (correctly) Connaught as not knock out.

    Are we using up a lot of energy in the early stages of games? Our possession game requires a high level of fitness and running. If we don’t build up a lead we’re vulnerable on the counter, and vulnerable in the final phase when teams are coming at. us.

    I’m surprised that Towey and Tuohy haven’t got game time. They are exciting talents, can fetch and score – something we’re getting nervous about if the Louth game is anything to go by. Jason Doc, Kevin Mac, Cillian, and Aido are vastly experienced and have roles to play, but not on the same fifteen imo.

    Weather is shaping up to be nasty and windy in the Windy City on Sunday, which will require a different strategy again.

  89. During the 1960s, when Galway always seemed to beat us by 1-2 points in Connacht and then go onto 3 in a row there’s no doubt who the arch enemy were? tbh I think we now can be a bit ungracious as Mayo supporters – Roscommon always put it up to us, and their supporters can get carried away, but they usually support us fully at the semi and final stages. Likewise Galway – the one team in Connacht who don’t choke in finals!. I agree with what Big Mike says: just want a good game and really don’t care who wins – as long as it’s Mayo of course!! Maigh Eo Abu!

  90. Mayo have played Galway 3 times in straight knockout since 1998 all played in the last 4 years.very little significance in the timeframe

  91. @ John Martin,
    While Galway have treble our All Ireland finals (with a 3 in a row), they also have lost 14 finals including their first 3 in a row (losses) in 1940,41&42 so they are not that much better than us in finals.

  92. Fair point Crete Point – but in our living memories Galway cope better with tag of favourites on the big day. I now live in the UK and rugby union followers from the other nations here used to say Ireland had a great rugby team. but they gave up in the later stages- it took a New Zealander, Joe Schmidt, to instil some self-belief in the rugby team. James Horan got awful stick but by God you should have suffered through the 1970s to realise just how much good he did. I’m convinced a lot of Mayo’s habit of caving in and throwing away precious hard-won leads is psychological – we’re habitual runners up in the Championship – not in the League – makes my point. We just down tools – do we want it too much and then not enough? – I think so.

  93. GO ON Kevin McStay, Co & the Mayo team go for it.
    This house is behind ye 100%, thank u for your efforts & good times todate.
    Won the league, beat All Irl champs & still there all in 1 st year. Well done!

    Failure is success in progress…
    Being positive in a negative situation is leadership.
    Every one of you give it your best, we can ask no more as supporters ???

  94. How many finals have we been favourites in John Martin? I’d say 2021 marginally.
    Whatever the issue, that isn’t it.

  95. Like most supporters I don’t know how good we are. There is a narrative developing that the win in Killarney was a flash in the pan and that our form against Louth and Cork is nearer to our real standard. Rubbish !
    You cannot dismiss beating the All Ireland champions in their own back yard. And we could have humiliated them if we took a few more of our chances.
    So what is the story? I don’t know but I have an idea. Is it possible having beaten Kerry we became totally complacent against Louth? The Cork game – firstly Cork are good – they nearly beat Kerry – again I think complacency set in big time after we went 6 up. We collapsed!
    I mentioned very early in this debate that we peaked in the League because of very preseason training. It showed on Sunday.
    How good are we? Very good but very tired and not experienced enough to know that complacency kills!

  96. Is the stand next Sunday first come first serve- or is it reserved seating.
    There are numbers on the tickets – but I read somewhere it was first come first serve.

  97. We’ve been favourites in all recent games since League & you know the story there. Mayo at 6/5 – good bet now.

  98. diehard – we looked in peak physical condition against Kerry a few weeks ago. I’m not buying that we’re suddenly burnt out now, at least no more than other sides.

  99. The more I think about the league final and our poor slow start compared to Mayo I think it will be critical not to be 5-6 down to Mayo after 20 mins. If we are level at Half Time and not chasing I would fancy Galway to win. The incredibly poor start Galway made to league final was our undoing not the goal chances most of which were just straight at Reape . I will be watching for us to start much quicker and take Game to Mayo.

  100. Wide ball I hope you’re right and we probably are in good physical shape but a collapse like that and apparently running out of steam suggests there’s something not right. Mental fatigue possibly? It’s been a long time since training started preseason . Maybe we peaked against Kerry? Can we recover? I’m not so sure.

  101. We could go out and beat Galway this weekend and then lose the quarter final proper in the last quarter the following weekend. It’s our inconsistency in recent years in particular that I find most frustrating. I thought when we went 6 up against Cork that we were managing the games out well but our implosion from there on was a real eye opener. Irrespective of what happens against Galway we are no where near winning this thing out sadly

  102. Reading that Bj Padden piece it’s clear he’s not even talking about the game this coming weekend.
    He means that he can’t see Mayo winning Sam
    now. It’s hard to argue with him.
    I can’t see either Galway or Mayo going all the way either regardless of what happens on Sunday.

  103. Chesneycat – we’ve been slow out of the traps pretty much all season.
    Seems to be our style of play at the moment where we have been able in most games to grind it out eventually in the last 20 mins. Will that work against the better teams though? I’d be doubtful

  104. @chesneychet disagree it was totally your missed goal chances that lost you the game but then again we have to top class goalie. You can’t blame the slow start for losing the league final sure then mayo could blame have the games we lost over that to .

  105. We look so slow at times but evidently we are not slow but pacing ourselves with ponderous build up play. Its boring as feck at least in fairness to Mayo they give it a lash and are more exciting to watch. Its all about winning Sam and the game is suffering due to teams just not risking it even when they need a score it stays slow and laboured. I will hope for more than that Sunday but teams will just cancel each out out and scoring average will probably win it. A long way from Michael Donnellan or indeed Mr Paddens eras.

  106. Clare the shots at Reape were brutal efforts for ic players. Slow as feck start we were almost asleep for first 20 mins

  107. @chesneychet no one to blame but yourselves for that though can’t be blaming slow starts as to why you lost the game some the goal chances were flukes alright but one or two of the chances comer looked like he couldn’t believe they didn’t go in if you had got even 1 in ye would have won it so can’t be blaming the slow start for your loss as @galwayman said ye have been pretty slow all year. Mayo have the pace and thats why we started quicker but it’s always been our running game .

    Anyway league final done & dusted May the best team win on sun though might have to emigrate if ye do :p haha

  108. Agree that Galway were brutal in that first 20 minutes of the league final. That’s where they lost it. They were the better team for the rest of the match IMO. They won’t be as bad in the first 20 this weekend, thats for sure.

  109. I would imagine it is critical not to be 5 or 6 points down after 20 minutes in any game.obviously it gave us a platform to stay in front for the remainder of the game and was a huge factor in the win .If Galway got in front they would have killed the game .same applies this Sunday.We had 5 goal chances in the 2021 final and took none due to poor execution the same for Galway in the league final.you would often hear it over the years at different games we have a great team but we can’t score!!!!!!!!!

  110. One of the head scratchers for me is Tommy Conroy.

    Smashing player and how he’s not starting Is strange.

    Ah Ref had the following stats from games so far from Mayo starting forwards.

    9 points from play against Kerry.
    4 points from play against Louth.
    5 points from play against Cork
    2 points from play against Roscommon.

    I think Tommy needs to start on Sunday and if not you’d have to be asking serious questions.

    Mayo have come back from other setbacks I’ve no doubt they can again.

    If you told me having a pint above in Mayo in Feb that you wouldn’t have made the QF I’d have laughed at you.

  111. Seems an easy way to criticise McStay by saying his teams are fit for the league but fade for the championship. Now most people with a small bit of knowledge about sport knows that when a new manager comes in he or she decidedly wishes to get off to a good start so yes their teams tend to be more motivated and often fitter than their opponents earl doors. . Yerra Jack’s team won every competition they entered last year. He decided to give them a bit of a rest this year and got some amount of flak for a disappointing league followed by defeat to Mayo in Killarney. While Mayo finished poorly v Cork and to a lesser extent v Louth, I doubt it was down to physical fitness, more likely mental weakness, a shift in momentum and possibly a bit of complacency. I’d say there are a small few posters here who will be rubbing their hands in glee on Sunday night if we lose as it will justify their dislike of present management. Personally I always prefer to support the team as they represent my county and we have been lucky to have had a number of good managers who have facilitated our county team to do themselves justice. Of course when we don’t win we hear it “was lost on the line”. a charge that was thrown at Horan, Rochford, Maughan and no doubt the present incumbent. A very valid point made earlier about Shane Walsh. He is a class player and just because he has not been outstanding up to now doesn’t mean he won’t be the big danger on Sunday. We have a tendency to judge players on their last game. If that is the case a lot of Mayo lads are under pressure. But form is temporary and the likes of Walsh and Ruane and Ryan etc might all blossom on Sunday. Sean Kelly is a top class player, Comer has always caused us huge problems and seems to love playing v Mayo. If out they would be losses but I expect at least one and possibly both to play. Matthew Tierney is top class (though quiet on Sunday) while McDaid (excellent player) Conroy and Cooke are three huge guys who will fancy dominating us around the middle. Despite all the names mentioned it is Galway’s defence that is their foundation. May not have big names individually but collectively they are very difficult to break down. They concede few goals and not a whole lot of points either (average I think is 13- 14. We have a big task on Sunday but it is a game we can win. Huge concentration from first to last whistle, a bit of luck and a favourable bounce of a ball. Maigh Eo Abu

  112. From a Connacht point of view the record in finals is atrocious. Last 50 years
    Galway Footballers 7, won 2
    Galway Hurlers 16, won 4
    Mayo Footballers 11, won 0
    Roscommon Footballers 1, won 0
    That’s 35 attempts and 6 cups crossing the Shannon.

  113. There’s really not much between mayo & Galway hard one to call but the pressure is more on Galway then us as a lot have us written off already haha

  114. There is no glossing over how poor Mayo have been in the past couple of months. The Kerry result was the anomaly. Mayo’s scoring has fallen off a cliff. 0-14 against Monaghan, 0-14 against Galway, 0-10 against Roscommon, 0-14 against Louth, 1-11 against Cork. That’s 5 of the worst performances from Mayo in the last 12 years. Play has become ponderous and truth be told, very boring. Please God on Sunday, the lads will throw off the shackles and return to the swashbuckling style of play that we had become accustomed to. I don’t believe the players have become poor players over the past few months, but they just might not be enjoying the style of football that they are being coached. My money is on Durcan, DOC etc. to bring back that spark this Sunday.

  115. You’re right Chesneychet. Most games now would bore you to death. The whole thing has gone too tactical. It’s soccer but allowed to use the hands. God be with the days of Donnellan and Willie Joe. Maybe not as good technically, but it was far more exciting. I’m an auld timer and I wish I was watching games like those lads played in.

  116. Mayo were 8 points up against Roscommon in the league in the second half maybe even more, Roscommon nearly won it with the last kick. 5 up against Armagh, draw. 5 up against Louth, 1 point win, 6 up against cork, lose. Billy Joe’s Article needs to look at our defensive structure as does Whelans. The forwards had enough work for these game to be won more comprehensively. Our defence strategy at the moment is shocking. Management review the bloody games and get your act together

  117. Stand tickets are now sold out for Sunday but a blog reader, Pat Keeley, has kindly offered two stand tickets to anyone who wants them. This is a first-come, first-served offer so if anyone is interested, shout now!

  118. True enough its boring as feck Nephin its more about reducing mistakes than taking a chance. I would rather lose to Mayo in a classic attacking game than lose with the most disgusting word in GAA a “mark” in a dour slugfest. Time has moved on though but some rule changes are needed to make it a bit more exciting. Yes Clare league final is well over and Mayos victory is in the record books.

  119. There are a few people here who definitely have an axe to grind with McStay. Saying his teams peak for the league and fizzle out in championship.

    I was in Armagh for round 2 of the league. First half was a tough watch. We had loads of possession but little penetration and went in behind at half time. Then came an outstanding 3rd quarter where we blitzed Armagh but we some how gave up a 5 or 6 point lead towards the end to draw. Sound familiar? Similar story for the Roscommon league game although we got a win there.

    If we were peaking back then how did those teams get a run on us?

  120. Sound, Sean, they’re yours. I’ll mail them onto you now and let Pat know they’ve gone to a good home.

    Everyone else – those tickets are now gone.

  121. @Clare, just take one line alone half forward. Cooke Heaney Tierney v Flynn Carney McDonagh (an other) . Galway boys can all score from distance and way more experienced.

  122. Yes Chesneychet, for a start bring back the third man tackle. Why on earth did they get rid of it and get rid of the stupid Aussie rules mark.

  123. We may have been winning matches in the league but the warning signs were there. We were coughing up goal chances when attacked through the middle.(v Rossies).
    Our midfielders our full back, the whole team are starting to feel the pressure of an unsound defensive system

  124. I can’t call the game this weekend, but contrary to all the naysayers here, who I hope won’t be travelling to Salthill due to the negative impact they will have on our players, I think our lads will give a far better account of themselves this time around. I think our defensive frailties and habit of throwing away the lead when we’re in a strong position (if we find ourselves in that scenario again) can be remedied. It obviously won’t be perfect, but I’m pretty sure there will be an improvement in those departments. As a poster mentioned above, complacency seems to have crept in once we went 6 points up. It was almost as if our players were taken by surprise that Cork didn’t bend the knee once we found ourselves in that position. I also think a bit of fear crept in and we retreated into our shell, which is worrying, but I hope we have more experienced players on the field in the final 20 minutes to try to organise things a bit better.

  125. Nothing wrong with our management, players must step up,the most open All Ireland for years.
    If we win on Sunday nobody will want to meet us,the same goes for Galway.

  126. I have absolutely no axe to grind with Kevin McStay. Maybe others have. I was delighted he was appointed and that he had Rochford and Buckley on board. My observations on our current situation are merely trying to explain why we seem to lack energy in the latter stages of our games against Louth and Cork.
    We performed well during the league, winning it in the end and it seemed we were much fitter than most of our opponents. I think we did a lot of pre-season training which is typical of newly appointed management teams.Early success is seen as important for their credibility and this is understandable. Im not sure we peaked in the league but beating Galway in the final was a peak of sorts. We probably hit a slump against Roscommon the following week which is also understandable. We then had a long break and put in a storming display in Killarney. Perhaps this was such a high profile game that we peaked for that. And then a slump…..?
    This is not a criticism of management- just trying to understand what might be going on with the team. Hopefully Sunday will see a big turn about in our fortunes! And it just might.

  127. I’ll happily stick my neck out and say we’ll win on Sunday. I’ve had the impression all along that Mcstay has adopted the softly softly approach with regards to injuries hoping we could get to the QF stage before picking his best team. No chances have been taken with Tommy,Enda,Eoghan Mc and Cillian. Perhaps it backfired against Cork and bar Cillian they all should have started. Mcstay doesn’t have that option any more. He will have to select his best 15 irrespective and hopefully everybody is available.
    I read somewhere earlier unofficially that none of Galways ‘injured’ players trained last night.
    There will be no hiding place on Sunday for anyone who is not fit.

  128. I would take Galway’s AI final record. Sure, they have lost some, but ‘98 and 01 aren’t that far back. Hurlers should have won more, but they have won recently, and 87/88 is not in the mists of time.

    Mind you the Galway’s (football) sixties three-in-a-row, is pretty much in the mists of time now.

  129. @chesneychet sure I’ve seen Galway use the mark to I’m no fan of it though either sure we all no mayos history records :p

    @Mayo45 agree with you..

    @ontheditch never said they couldn’t score from a distance did I? I said you can’t blame the slow start Galway had in league final for their loss if so mayo could blame every game we lost on that to ha.

    Also don’t think the Galway way line are ‘way more experienced then ours’ cillian o Connor? Aido? More experienced then the likes of them ? Also the galway/ mayo teams are around the same age groups to so hardly ‘way more experienced’ then ours.

    Good luck to our guys sun safe travels to all .

  130. “I read somewhere earlier unofficially that none of Galways ‘injured’ players trained last night.”

    very much par for the course at this stage of the season. There would be a few Mayo players who didn’t either

    On the record in finals, in fairness Galway have been underdogs in their 4 finals in recent memory, won 2 and drew one. Came very close last year. Clearly traditionally adapt to the big day better, however I would place the hurlers (since the 80s) on a par with Mayo – in the end they essentially fell over the line in 17 against a very ordinary Waterford team and missed some great opportunities against KK who were past their best and Limerick in 18 who weren’t close to their peak

  131. JR, so you’d be happy with the defensive system we have in place currently?
    Our speed of change when things aren’t going well?
    Our variations in tactic when blanket deployed?
    Our non selection of Cillian on bench the weekend despite him being fit enough to score 2-6 the night before?
    Our lack of game management when ahead e.g. not slowing things done to get settled

  132. Re Connaught teams record in All-Ireland success, there is one very big anomaly which needs to be accounted for and that relates to Galway hurlers. Prior to Galway joining Leinster, they had no games & straight into the All-Ireland semi-final – cold. That they were able to occasionally turn over a Leinster or Munster champion is to be commended…however essentially arriving into All-Ireland Finals with just one competitive game under your belt is a huge disadvantage and I thing goes some way to explaining why they didn’t win more Finals.

  133. Spot on Ciaran – Galway def traditionally adapt to the big day better. The French have an expression for it “La peur de gagner”(the fear of winning) – panic sets at the thought of actually having to win. And yes, Galway hurling supporters also get dragged through the mill as leads are thrown away and the players fold under pressure! Still n all, Up Mayo!

  134. @Gizmobobs it one thing scoring against Ballinrobe, enough said
    Players must step up to the plate and if not happy with tactics voice their opinions at team meetings
    After our goal someone should have gone down injured to bring us down from our high.

  135. @JR so obviously not good enough for the 26 man panel in managements view…..in my opinion if we have six starting forwards and 3 substitute forwards better than cillian then we have quite a team…..
    I also think you being disrespectful to Ballinrobe

  136. Oh silly me….I forgot look at the high scores we are putting up recently..we don’t need him……
    I can’t believe nobody went down injured or started a row to kill momentum after the penalty either
    We so naive really

  137. JR that last free well inside 45 not to wide of right post would he have parcelled it over if available?? As a sub was he not worth a spot compared other lads management clearly have no intention of playing?

    Ah Ref had the following stats from games so far from Mayo starting forwards.
    9 points from play against Kerry.
    4 points from play against Louth.
    5 points from play against Cork
    2 points from play against Roscommon.

  138. JR that last free well inside 45 not to wide of right post would he have parcelled it over if available?? As a sub was he not worth a spot compared other lads management clearly have no intention of playing?
    From games so far from Mayo starting forwards.
    9 points from play against Kerry.
    4 points from play against Louth.
    5 points from play against Cork
    2 points from play against Roscommon.

  139. I honestly think complacency has crept in since the Kerry game. We simply did not bring anywhere near the same levels of intensity to the Louth or Cork games. We upped it in the 3rd quarter v Cork and when Conroy’s goal goes in I think we all thought job done, including the players. Complacency is the most dangerous thing in any sport. Once you realize it’s happened it’s too late. Next Sunday is impossible to call in my book. Anything like we showed v Louth and Cork then Galway will win pulling up, regardless of whether Comer or Kelly play. It’s a test of the ability of the management team to get the group right again but it’s also a test of the character of the players. There is enough experience in that dressing room to set the tone and drill home what is at stake and what is required. The very least we expect to see on Sunday from Mayo is energy and intensity and if that isn’t enough then at least we die with our boots on.

  140. Heard from club down here that its unreserved seating (first come first served) in stand lads.. Thats why prices for tickets are the same across the board. Was the same in Carrick last wknd apparently

Leave a Reply

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