Following Mayo's footballers

New York 0-8 Mayo 4-18: heavy on the Exiles

Mayo team v New York

Photo: @MayoGAA

James Horan said in the run-up to this match that he wanted to see his team put in a seventy minute performance at the highest possible standard. By the sounds of it, today’s Connacht championship quarter-final clash at Gaelic Park was for long stretches more akin to a challenge match but that still didn’t stop the three-times provincial champions from demonstrating their superiority on the scoreboard, as they waltzed to a 22-point victory over the Exiles.

In the corresponding fixture at Gaelic Park five years ago, the home team established a surprise four-point lead before our lads got going at all. Today, however, it was the visitors who were quickly out of the traps with three points in the opening four minutes. Donal Vaughan got the first, Kevin McLoughlin added a second and then Andy Moran, after an intercept by Cillian O’Connor, put us three clear.

Brendan Quigley smashed a long-range point over the bar to open the Yanks’ account but Donie replied with his second of the day before Jason Kelly pointed a free for the home team.

That, however, was as good as it got for New York and this was in large part their own doing. The home side decided to play thirteen of their team behind the ball, leaving just two forwards in the Mayo half and this kind of set-up was never one that was going to yield any kind of positive return on the scoresheet. It was no surprise, then, that New York failed to add further to their tally before the break.

New York Mayo action shot

Photo: @MayoGAA

What this ultra-defensive approach – which Brendan Quigley had hinted at in interviews leading up to the game, when he said that they’d try to disrupt our usual style of play – did succeed in doing, however, was to prevent the concession of any goals in the first half. We did, though, manage to add a steady succession of points to our tally – three (two from play) from Cillian, one each from Jason Gibbons and Lee Keegan and a second point each from Kevin and Andy – to reach the turn nine points to the good.

Kevin had departed with blood coming from his nose by then, Enda Varley coming on instead of him. We made a second change before the resumption with Richie Feeney coming on for Jason Doherty.

We started the second half well too and our first score of the half was a significant one, with championship debutant Diarmuid O’Connor breaching the Exiles’ defensive shield by smashing the ball to the net. Andy followed this up with his third point of the day as we pulled further clear of the labouring home team.

With the result now assured, James continued to ring the changes. Tom Parsons came on for Jason Gibbons and then Alan Dillon made his first appearance since last year’s All-Ireland final when he replaced goalscorer Diarmuid O’Connor.

New York Mayo action shot 2

Photo: @RTEgaa (INPHO/Andy Marlin)

New York finally added a third point but Enda Varley responded for us and then after they got a fourth from Alan Raftery, Cillian replied with his fourth of the day.

Ross Wherity got on the scoresheet with a fisted point for them but Aidan O’Shea pointed at the other end for us. Andy departed the field which ushered in the novel sight of the three O’Shea brothers in senior championship action together for the first time, as young brother Conor joined the fray.

We pulled further ahead when Cillian became the second member of the O’Connor family to raise a green flag, this one coming from the penalty spot after Enda Varley had the legs taken from under him in the square. Brendan Harrison was then given a run-out when he came on for Keith Higgins.

Jason Kelly pointed New York’s seventh point of the day but Cillian added further to his tally, first with a point from a free and then a second goal from a penalty following a push in the back on Brendan Harrison.

With the rain now spilling down in the Bronx, Aidan O’Shea tacked on his second point after an eighth and final point for the Exiles and the bench-running continued when Cillian gave way to Darren Coen. The Hollymount/Carramore man immediately got his name on the board with a point from play before Enda Varley closed out a facile victory with our fourth goal, as we cantered to the winning enclosure on a decisive 4-18 to 0-8 scoreline.

So, job done across the Atlantic. Now we must await the winners from the meeting of Roscommon and Leitrim in two weeks time to see who’ll be facing us, and where, in the provincial semi-final on 8th June.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (0-1), Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan (0-2); Jason Gibbons (0-1), Aidan O’Shea (0-2); Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0), Seamus O’Shea, Jason Doherty; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Andy Moran (0-3); Cillian O’Connor (2-5, two penalty goals and four pointed frees). Subs: Enda Varley (1-1) for McLoughlin (blood), Richie Feeney for Doherty, Tom Parsons for Gibbons, Alan Dillon for Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor O’Shea for Moran, Brendan Harrison for Higgins, Darren Coen (0-1) for Cillian O’Connor.

Comments

  1. My ball says:

    Hi all .first time seeing our lads overseas…… Good result.. No major injuries… Thought Donnie had great game and backs seemed more comfortable with Keith back in defence,, Really think we need more natural forwards come championship ,,,, anyway let the party begin!! Happy hols 2 me..”..

  2. MayoRooster says:

    Hope it wasn’t as boring there as it sounded on MWR,I presume the 6 subs allowed on in the league is now same in championship…if not….

  3. mayomaningalway says:

    Good win.hard to take too much from it.But a pretty good score line despite a very defensive New York team.I have feeling D OConnor could be a little gem for us this championship.anyone agree?

  4. Mac's left boot says:

    Sounds like a bit of a joke game to be honest. Anyway it’s job done, now everyone get back to base and keep the heads down till 8 June

  5. JPM says:

    Well done to all. Had to listen to it MWR on 3G web (periodically going up and down) while driving back from Cork this evening. Driving was damp but then again it was damp over there as well by all accounts. As a matter of interest WJ – can you explain how we were allowed 7 subs in total? Also in report above you name 7 subs and I’m confused as well by all the names that ended up on the final tally. I hope we didn’t break any rules.

  6. Cloud9 says:

    Ya, at the game today. The big talking points this evening here are about the 7 subs as Varley was a full sub att half-time when McLoughlin wasn’t in a position to come back on. So the word is that we’re outside the rules, by NY won’t be objecting because they couldn’t afford to travel for a replay and half their players couldn’t travel?
    The other talking points are: Why wasn’t Ikey Sweeney playing? And how come Gibbons was taken off yet again before other central players?
    Great to see Dillon back in the field albeit very rusty. So did Feeney too!
    But Diermuid O’Connor did very well !
    The other talking point is a $50 cover charge to hang out in a put tonight where the players will be calling in? Going to pass on that one too!

  7. Pacar says:

    One correction WJ,(if mid west were correct the odd time they talked about what was happening in the game)D.o’Connor 1-01.I know JH has seen enough of Jason Gibbons this year to know he has to be in the first 15 but in all fairness to the lad he should have been given 70 mins.

  8. Horan's Brigade says:

    I could very well be wrong on this but is it not that Varley is deemed a blood sub for McLaughlin throughout the match, regardless of the length of time McLaughlin spent off the pitch? And teams are allowed six subs in this year’s championship (as a result of the black card). So therefore Mayo were entitled to do what they did?

  9. Pacar says:

    Don’t know Horans Brigade,is there a set length of time a team can have a blood sub on for

  10. Pacar says:

    As I only heard the game on mid west(the parts they did talk about)I do not think it would be fare to vote on man of the match,(the only game we’ve missed in three years but with three children you can’t go to them all).Ill wait to see the highlights on tg4 tomorrow evening before I decide to vote or not.Great to see Alan Dillon back,I grew up with him and anyone that knows Alan knows he has always given his best for Mayo football,hopefully his injury was the break he needed to get back to his best,wheather it is or not remains to be seen but nobody can ever doubt his desire for the cause,!!!

  11. Digits says:

    If a player has blood showing, a Temporary Substitute may be used, and shall not count as substitutions under Rule 2.4. GAA said before that “there is no time limit, or indeed numerical restrictions, on blood substitutes, who are decided, solely, by the referee”.

    Where people might be getting confused is that “When the blood sub rule was introduced, teams were only allowed use 21 players in total (including blood subs) but those restrictions have since been lifted.”

    So as far as I can see, everything is hunky dory. The last time something like this was raised with our subs, we were proven right as well, and apparently whoever our official on the sideline is knows the rulebook inside out.

  12. Willie Joe says:

    Thanks, Pacar, I’ve corrected that now. All the reports have credited him with 1-0 so that’s what I’ve done too.

  13. Mayo McHale says:

    What financial assistance if any do Mayo receive from Croke Park for fulfilling this fixture ? According to reports, it would appear the Mayo GAA hierarchy took full advantage of the freebie and travelled in big numbers on the back of some ones expense, it will be interesting to here the full story on this one.

  14. Cloud9 says:

    Digits, seems crazy that there is no time or other limits on a blood sub. In other sports, like rugby, if the player does not return to play, it is deemed a full substitution? If what you say is right, we will end up with our own ‘BlodGate’ somewhere down the road!
    Mayo McHale, I’m told the full travelling party number is close to 50 (30 players, about 10 coaching party, and the rest….. ) but that may include the Connacht Council ?

  15. Mayomagic says:

    Exhibition match over no injuries by the sounds of it and now down to real stuff. June 8th with a visit to Carrick or Hyde park what challenge games are lined up in the next few weeks or will it be mostly A vs B games which in truth more will be learnt.

  16. catcol says:

    Could any of those there (fair play to you all) tell us the full list of the subs – on the programme at any rate?

  17. rober says:

    Listened to match on MID west. OR THE BITS THE COMMENTATORS WERE LETTING US KNOW ABOUT. Large segments of game not reported on at all. what a joke. its like a chat in the pub between two lads. does any one feel the same?

  18. Cloud9 says:

    CatCool – here goes:

    16. K. O’Malley,
    17. S. McHale, – (Should have started at full back – but didn’t get a run)
    18. D. Drake,
    19. B.Harrison, (CAME ON)
    20. T. Parson, (CAME ON)
    21. R. Feeney, (CAME ON)
    22. E. Varley, (CAME ON – originally as a blood sub for Kevin Mc).
    23. D.Coen, (CAME ON)
    24. A. Gallagher, – was there in a track suit but No. 24 was in fact A. Dillon (CAME ON),
    25. M. Sweeney, – (Should have come on).
    26. C. O’Shea, – (CAME ON).

    Other besides Adam Gallagher there in track suits were Caff, Freezer and Conroy plus possibly one other?
    Barry Moran was advised medically not to fly due to a bang on his head during training about a week ago.
    By the way Kevin Mc looked fine after the game after looking poor as he was linked off earlier.

  19. catcol says:

    Cloud9 – you’re a gem. What a service you are providing WJ and your acolytes are the living proof that self-publishing is here to stay and to hell with the establishment media.

    Very interesting subs list and good to see Mickey C there too – his pace should not be disregarded.

    How DID Kevin Keane play?

  20. Cloud9 says:

    Thanks CatCool.
    Everyone is willing Keane on – hoping he’ll recover his confidence and that was what yesterday was about for him. He did well enough on a decent player, but seemed content on more than one occasion to concede winning possession to their full forward, and to then mark him tight, and prevent him scoring. And he raided forward with the rest of the pack on occasion, as Mayo dominated.
    I really wish him well but I’d have McHale as Caff cover at ’3′ for the rest of this year!

  21. Bill says:

    Job done now the real stuff starts

  22. Digits says:

    @ Cloud9, I agree with you, it does seem a bit mad. After how long a player is off should it be deemed a full substitute though? And then the ref has to manage that as well. I can see why they did away with the restrictions.

  23. Cloud9 says:

    You’re probably right Digits. But the unofficial word here now is that it was the fourth officials job to clarify the blood sub at half-time and he didn’t, so Mayo didn’t have to declare Varley as a full sub, and didn’t .
    So officials messed up? I really don’t know what the story is, except NY are not making any issue of it!

  24. catcol says:

    Thanks again Cloud9. Looking at the TG4 highlights, it looked a very tight pitch, and if it’s all weather it could have been a real banana skin if we hadn’t been prepared. In that sense I feel that giving game time to bigger guys like O’Connor and O’Shea made more sense than Sweeney.

    I thought NY looked very big and physical – perhaps they studied at the London School of Putting the Boot In as well as West Point!

  25. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    I noticed from watching the highlights that we seemed to be kicking the ball much more in this game compared to usual, maybe this was just down to the opposition and the conditions. In saying that, it was good to see our players kicking the ball into space and moving the ball quickly. I think that’s the real key for this Mayo team, when we move the ball at pace, we are at our best.

  26. Mister Mayor says:

    Hopesprings..from time to time they moved the ball quickly, and were very effective at doing so… but more often than not when the ball crossed the half way line, they would hold it up, back peddle and recycle….that’s fine against an inexperienced team like NY, but will be punished by a stronger team, a team that will have studied this and prepared for it.
    Moving the ball quickly these days is vital to success…in doing so, it gives less time for a defense to setup and defend. We can do this quite well, but I noticed we love to come guns blazing across the half way line and to the 45 before creating a pass..instead of looking up, finding your man and punting it forward…cant think off the top of my head but one of our lads did this to perfection in this game..looked up from half way, delivered a peach of a punt into Varley in front of the goal, who was then pulled down for a spotter..very quick, no running involved, but a deadly move.

  27. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    Yeah Mister Mayor, as you said when they moved the ball quickly, they were effective at doing so. You’d just love to see us doing it more often. When Kerry were at their best, they almost played first touch football, just moving the ball on almost as quickly as they received it. Holding the ball up is a real momentum killer. Lee Keegan played a great long ball into Enda Varley for his goal, some more of that would be great. That’s the way Andy Moran’s goal against Dublin in last year’s final was set-up too, Colm Boyle played the long ball in that time. Moving the ball quickly, whether by foot passing or hand passing is great to watch and the best way to open up defences.

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