Bank Holiday weekend matches

Well, it looks like summer has finally arrived in these parts but, don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be hammering down with rain again by the time the Bank Holiday weekend comes around. Whatever about the weather, though, it’s a weekend with some football action to look forward to.

I’m planning to head for Croke Park with the kids to catch the double header on Saturday evening and it’ll be interesting to see if Kildare (who play Offaly) and Dublin (who face Westmeath) produce the same kind of fusillades that ourselves, Cork and Kerry opened our championship campaigns with over the last two weekends. With the entry of the two Leinster heavyweights to the fray this weekend, this means that by close of play on Saturday we’ll have seen what are likely to be all the serious contenders for Sam in action at that stage so we’ll have a better idea then about the cut of their respective jibs.

For those who are interested in how we’re shaping up ahead of Connacht semi-final against Roscommon, Monday’s challenge match against Cavan at James Stephens Park in Ballina (throw-in 1.30pm) is a good opportunity to assess how the land lies. Top of the agenda in this regard will, I guess, be to see what kind of attacking formations we try out now that Cillian O’Connor is unavailable for at least several weeks. It’d also be good to see if a few of the other recent casualties are ready to return to action and it’ll also be important to see what the plans are in relation to freetaking.

James Stephens Park

Photo: ballinastephenites.ie

Cavan should provide lively opposition on Monday, having themselves started their Ulster championship campaign in such sparkling fashion with their confident dismissal of Armagh on the same afternoon that we played Galway. We tend to play each other regularly enough on the challenge match circuit, though we haven’t clashed in earnest since that meeting at McHale Park in the qualifiers back in 2007.

Elsewhere this coming weekend, there are clubs from the county taking part in the annual Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta National Finals which this year are being held in Ring, Co. Waterford. Kilcommon will represent Mayo in the Junior Finals and they’re down to play Donegal champions Fanad at 12.45pm on Saturday while Kiltane will be in action in the Senior Finals where they’ll take on Naomh Aban, the Cork champions, at 7.30pm that same evening. The Comortas Finals are live on TG4 on Monday with all games live on RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta over the weekend.

61 thoughts on “Bank Holiday weekend matches

  1. From the high of Salthill to the low of losing COC it’s a huge task for JH to come up with a reliable free taker for the remainder of the championship. Most of the first choice forwards have tried their hand at free taking with limited success. We’ve all seen the uncertainty and discussions on the field as to who’s taking which free when COC is not there, it was a shambles. At least there’s 10 weeks for someone to nail down the job, hopefully starting with the Cavan game.

  2. On the issue of a free taker. Usually the first free offered by a ref is a relatively straight forward one. I think whoever is taking this should take it off the ground (ala the old style). It gets them used to kicking the free off the ground on the day and makes the longer ones easier as they’re a bit more used to it.

  3. I hope we learn from Tyrone the last day. Asking that young keeper to keep taking them from such long range when things went against him possibly cost them.They should have started to move the ball short and quick once they saw his sights were off a bit. That way they would have kept the pressure on Donegal. Deliberating over an unsure kicker gave the Tir Conall men time to regroup and mark up , it also sapped the energy from Tyrone. Deep down Harte nearly got it right, long range shots are one way to beat them but they have to go dead or on target. The two Cavanaghs, the two McMahons went for distance but were off. Get that aspect of the game plan right and Donegal have to come out but then again thats just one of a hundred suggestions.

  4. Terrible news on Cillian O’Connor, once again we start the long climb to Championship a man down.

  5. As we know cillian is a massive loss, but we have to get on with it now and we will see now once and for all if doc,s up for the challenge , dont know if he,s fit to play monday or not [any 1 any info. on that ] I dont think with andy out was why we lost last years all Ire. no doubt it woud have helped but it was our own downfall in giving the dunnys a 2-1 start and left us with two much to do, granted if we had nailed them couple scores afta halftime it was game on, same with tyrone las sunday, reminded me of past mayo teams , loads of possesion and scoreable chances, but when you miss them chances against a team like donegal thats very unwasteful, its gonna come back to bite ya…………i still think donegal may get caught in ulster though………So roll on the rossies into town and hopefully o connor be back for the serious business in august , if not we,ll get on with it someone else has to step up to the plate…………C,MON MUIGH EO…..

  6. I think Mayo should plan without Cil,regardless of scan,and if he’s back,then its a bonus and(even though we’re all rootin for him) I really think he should be left in peace to recover-noone in Ireland will work as hard to get back to the top as that kid-here’s to a successful year

  7. I would think that it would be in Cillian’s best interest to forget football altogether until he is 100% healed. Healing is by it’s nature is a slow process and even though it can be speeded up by different means Nature knows best. He will be targeted by everyone he plays against and unless he is healed it will happen again and again. Surely it would be terrific to have a stronger, fitter Cillian back next year.

  8. Hello All, Yes, I like what Joe Mc says. Cillian is a huge loss. He was so reliable when in possession and surrounded to get the ball to colleague and brought that extra strength to the team. in every situation.

    If he could be back for the Final, that would be great, but next year will come too!

    May the Spirit heal the wounds.

  9. What the story with Cillian really unlucky hop he does not come back to soon and let the shoulder heal

  10. from what i hear re: cillain . surgery is not required on shoulder. he faces a 6-8 week lay off. so he can train away in a fortnight without physical contact. aug 1/4 final is the target

  11. fair play to you glasshalffull you are on the ball!

    That would not be a bad outcome at all and means that we have to concentrate fully on the Ros match, where developing a competent alternative free taker could be vital.

    I think Doc fits that bill if he can be got right. Freeman had a mighty game against Galway but his free taking has been erratic in the past.

  12. That’s absolutely fantastic news if it’s confirmed, glasshalffull!

  13. Really hope that is true regarding Cillian. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster over past two weeks.
    Having said the above, I really hope he heals fully before he attempts to come back, he is way to young to have his career affected by an injury.
    Like a lot of Mayo fans, I believe that if we can avoid major injuries, we are firmly in top four in country and a bit of luck could see us as All-Ireland champions.

  14. That’s good but is it too soo for him did anyone hear rte this morning jimmy mcgunniness was good by the way Donegal to beat the dubs

  15. Hope the prognosis on Cillans shoulder is as good as the rumours of 6 to 8 weeks, as to have him back for a potential quarter final would be massive.

    I am 90% sure Evan Regan will be fit to play( heard form a very good source) in the challenge match on Monday and while he takes frees mainly from the left he has a range and success rate similar to Cillian. Hopefully he can get his knee right to give us another option to Doc , Kevin and Varley!

  16. Honently dont think you can compare Regan and O Connor, (Regan at this stage is way behind, was very dissapointed with his play or lackthereof V Dublin in NFL semi, hopefully he will develope in years to come)

  17. I would say Regan is very close to where Cillian was at the start of the championship 2011. I don’t think you call single Evan out at the league semi final cause there was a lot of lads starting and coming on that day he looked pretty poor/disinterested. I would look to Mayo v Kildare where he stepped up and took respomsibilty to kick a monster free which kept us in the game or his peach of a point at the start of the same game. Evan has nowhere near the creative range of passing that Cillian has but in terms of dead ball ability he is mighty close and he is an out and out scorer for the fulforward line.

    His main problem has been a persistent knee injury which I have no doubt is the main reason he hasn’t featured more this year. While he individually is definitely not the answer to filling the void left by Cillian he certainly(if fit) could be a very valuable part of a solution to deal with life without our first choice 11!!!

  18. If what glasshalffull says is true, it’s great news , couldn’t have hoped for better. I was beginning to think we really are cursed, but not by the men of 51 with Andy last year and now Cillian hurting our chances. We can manage till August, but wouldn’t it be great to have a fully fit panel from there on.
    Maybe there is a God, and surely he couldn’t be so vindictive .

  19. In terms of immediate replacement, don’t forget Coen (not sure about his free taking). I liked the look of him against Galway.

    And, just browsing through old programmes this evening (yes, sad isn’t it), I noted that he got 3 points at full forward in the minor semi v Tyrone in 2010, in which Mayo played fantastic football, should have won, but took their foot off the gas and it was one that got away.

    The full forward line was lethal that day, with Jack McDonnell prominent on the right, and on the left… Cillian O’C, who was devastating.

  20. Even at this early stage of the Championship, it is not unreasonable to assume we will make it through to the quarter finals, where at this point the eight best teams in the Country will be still standing, namely, the four Provisional winners, which in my opinion will be – (Dublin, Donegal, Kerry and Mayo) plus the four teams who will have come through the back door -(Cork, Down, Kildare and Tyrone. As these matches are nine weeks away and assuming the information coming out this evening regarding Cillian is true, and I sincerely hope it is, then we should have him back in good time for our first real test of the season. Fingers crossed…..

  21. Hard to know with the qualifiers top sides can be drawn against each other and teams that came through the back door recently was Laois,Tipp,Limerick would be no harm to the image of Connacht football if at least two teams from Connacht reach the last eight this summer.

  22. Can anyone confirm what the story is regarding Cillian’s scan, really hope its true that he doesn’t need surgery

  23. I wouldn’t get my hopes up over Cilian O’Connor for the remainder of the year. Even if the rumour is true and he doesn’t required surgery, his shoulder is still in very bad shape. Not to mention the lack of being effectively out of the squad for physical training, A v B matches and the remainder of the Connacht championship.

    Plus you have to factor this being national news. Should he return later in the season he will be certainly be targetted by the more physical teams. I’m not saying he is not required. I think his loss is as big as Andy Morans last year but I think its premature yet to expect much at this stage.

  24. He didn’t get surgery on his last shoulder injury and was out until March.

  25. Spare a thought and a prayer this evening for Great Mayo gael Frank O Toole seriously ill in hospital.Our thoughts are with you Frank.
    Frank regularly ferried the Mayo players from Dublin to Castlebar in the 90’s and indeed to league matches all over the country.
    Frank would like nothing better to see Mayo lift Sam but his own battle must come first for now. Clubmate of Cillian and James- our prayers are with you.

  26. I think we should slow down a little lads….6-8 weeks is sounding a little crazy to be up to championship pitch after such a serious injury.Reality needs to kick in chaps and girls

  27. Ohara says Westmeath need to start well.Thats some analysis.Spillane no better.We deserve more

  28. Will Cillian need surgery or is he out for the summer. What’s the story does anyone know

  29. Yes Cool Hand I am saddened to hear of Franks battle at this time He is one true Mayo man who has followed and helped the cause down the years as you say.
    our thoughts are with him.

  30. Some serious performances at weekend ..Kerry and Dublin and Down.Would not underestimate any of them. I believe Kerry have hunger back now and I would place them well ahead of Mayo.Hard to hear but thats what evidence points too.I know Mayo folk dream of bigger things but Kerry and Dublin and Donegal ahead of us now.All our optimism based on beating a poor Galway team.Even a good win against Roscommon wont change thst but I will be surprised if it is not closer than many think.
    Isee Mayo with many weaknesses..full forward line not there yet ..doubt over half forwardswith O Connors injury…even midfield a problem if Barry not fully fit.Vaughan fouls too much and even Keith gets himself into poor positions at times.
    Cafferkey a good plus at moment but is Cuniffe better than Keane…is his substitution a knee jerk reaction to goals conceeded inAll Ireland one of which was not hisfault.
    Everyone looked good against Galway who were woeful.
    Plus for me is that Horan does not buy into hype but a lot of work to be done.Rampant optimism has had its day.

  31. Hello, Darren Coen has just followed a point with a goal after Cavan scored first point. See mayogaa twitter

  32. Borntolose – you say our optimism is based on beating a bad Galway side yet you are putting Kerry ahead of us because they beat Tipperary and Waterford?

  33. Borntolose! very apt username.

    Mayo can only beat whats put in front of them. Cillians injury is a setback for sure and does hamper our chances further down the line but all the other positions you touched on with negativity is not justified.

    Seamie o Se had a stormer v Galway, as did Enda Varley. The only player who didnt impress me to the extent he should of in a match where the opposing back line was so weak was Freeman, i watched him with close inspection from behind the goals we were kicking into in the first half, he doesnt move enough to shrug off his marker, he leaves it too late and is ponderous then . He did make a few successful passes in the first 20 min but imo didnt make hay while the sun shined and as we hopefully go further down the line the hay will not be as easy got , just like the real stuff.

  34. Sean

    You said it yourself.Seamie did well v Galway as did Enda.Hardly the litmus test.

    Dont confuse negativity with reality.same type of optimism to the fore after we beat Leitrim last year.

  35. cavan eight points scraped crossbar. mayo 1gl 5pts. Richie Feeney with 2pts. neatly halftime.

  36. goal 4 Andy – fist. Mayo back in front. Murphy on for Carolan. Walsh for Cunniffe. S EE :mayogaa twitter

  37. Bormtolose,
    I would bet that there are clubs in mayo that would beat Waterford s senior team, so let’s not go mad about Kerry being great or well ahead of mayo.
    likewise for Dublin, Croke park is worth 3 or 4 points to them when they are playing a weaker side like Westmeath. And Kerry are not the force they were a few years ago.
    I would be confident that this Mayo side would give the “big teams” a good run anyday on any pitch.
    That’s not to say Mayo are champions elect, but they will definitely be pushing hard in 2013/2014.

  38. Crickey thats some scoring, challenge or not, 4-12 is mighty stuff.so far

  39. Goals galore a good sign for long summer ahead can someone post the starting 15? sounds like plenty were rested.

  40. Sounds like Cavan might have changed their entire team at half time. We only had half our first team out and a lot of our subs were players. who are on the fringes in terms of selection. Other than that we have a deeper panel than Cavan, Andy seems to be in good shape and Murphy seems to know where the goal is, there mightn’t be too much to be read into it. I wonder how we dealt with frees – was there one set free-taker?

  41. Evan Regan came on sometime in second half replacing Andy, i wonder did he take the frees, need a report from someone that was there.

  42. KOM
    KK SMcH TC
    JB DV CB
    AOS JG
    KMcL RF CC
    AM AF DC

    That’s a quick run through the starting team. I’m sure someone else will have a full breakdown of subs and scorers.

  43. As far as i can make out, we only scored two points from frees one freeman and the other Kev Mgloughlin and one 45 from O Malley.

  44. “I would bet that there are clubs in mayo that would beat Waterford s senior team, so let’s not go mad about Kerry ”

    Maybe , maybe not. Did Ring from Waterford not beat a Mayo club side yesterday in the Comortas Peil na Gael? Maybe we need to look at our own clubs, not since 2005 has one got to a Club senior final. Between 1994 and 2005 on average we were making them every second year. Got a feeling that our own standards at club level might not be what they should be but then again I could be wrong. Expected Kiltane to get to CPG final but they didn’t, Gweedore their conquerors last year did though.

  45. Just heard a scoreline

    Mayo 5 .12
    Cavan 16

    Andy got 2 goals, it’s a great thing to be scoring goals, that’s 9 in the last 2 games. You would get the feeling that Mayo would go a long way if they could score a couple in all their games, they score a lot of points in the big games, a couple of goals would work wonders if added to those points.
    The thing is that Cavan in a challenge are not Dublin or donegal in Croke park.

    Any word on Cillian o Connors shoulder injury? Did he have the scan? I understand he will be out for a few months, any chance he would be strong enough for a game in Croke park?

  46. Great to see Mayo flying against Cavan and yes no one will take it for more than it was – a challenge match with neither team showing their hands too much. Yet players have to keep competitive and this is one way to do it though no doubt a training A v B match is probably a better gauge of who is where.

    How good are Mayo? Truth is noone knows including themselves and fact is season will be viewed as a failure if they do not go all the way. Good performances of little comfort to top sides.

    I do not fear Dublin . I think they are largely unproven with this team and I dont rate Mannion and McCaffrey or McCarthy that highly at all. Dean Rock is average player in my opinion but maybe I am underestimating them.
    I do think Kerry look good and to suggest a club side would beat Waterford or Tipperary …..well I dont see it . A club side would not beat Galway either.
    I think Donegal are a serious otfit again and COrk have not gone away.

    It is all to play for but Mayo will have to be ferocious in training and management will have to be fully focused and ruthless and put the papers to one side.

    Sincerely hope Roscommon provide a good challeng or Leitrim or London….we need it . I think Dublin playing in Croke Park is a joke ..whats wrong with Parnell Park or making them travel.

    We will keep the head and once again fly on the wings of hope all summer!

    Thanks for the site- Willie Joe

  47. My point was, Kerry clattering waterford is no indication that Kerry are all that good, certainly not the gods people think they are.
    Kerry’s hurlers would find a few clubs in Waterford that would give them a fair run, another way of saying it.

    Does anyone know how c o Connors shoulder is?

  48. Was at the game today. Darren Coen looks like a real option excellent scores off both feet big and strong! Thought the final score was a bit more than 5-12 there seemed to be more points than that scored!

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