Kerry 0-10 Mayo 2-11: nothing black about this start to the new year

Mayo v Kerry Feb 15

Photo: @MayoGAA

There was a point midway through the second half of today’s National League opener with Kerry when it looked as if we were in a bit of bother. Our six-point half-time lead had been cut in half, substitute Tommy Walsh was winning everything at midfield and we were being pegged back into our own half. But then we finally got the ball into the danger zone at their end and within seconds a screaming shot from Kevin McLoughlin had the ball in the net and the match was won.

What was most satisfying about today’s seven-point win was how much we looked in control of proceedings once we’d hit the front through Alan Freeman’s excellent goal 25 minutes in. That ten-minute period of Kerry ascendancy in the second half aside, we had a comfortable and confident demeanour for long stretches and we never really looked liked losing.

It was also good to see the lads getting well stuck in and taking no crap from a side that crossed the line repeatedly between tackling and fouling today. Maurice Deegan is, as we all know, a useless ref and he did nothing to stop the home side’s rugby league approach to tackling. We stood up well to this, however, kept the ball moving and kept our heads too.

Watching a match on TV has several disadvantages but one of the plus points is that you get a good chance to get a proper view of noteworthy incidents. As soon as the replays showed the way that Evan Regan hit the ground neck first, after what should have been a harmless aerial collision with Johnny Buckley, it was obvious that he’d done damage.

It’s since been confirmed that the unfortunate Ballina man is being treated for a suspected broken collarbone as well as concussion. Hopefully this won’t keep him out of action for too long but the important thing now is that he recovers fully. Get well soon, Evan.

The injury, and the long break in play necessitated by it, maybe explains why this contest took so long to get going properly. We still had only one point on the board at the 20-minute mark – a nice one from play from the now departed Evan Regan – and when Kerry got their third score of the day the first hint of alarm started to sound from our ranks.

Those feelings were quelled in short order, though, when we finally began to motor as the second quarter progressed. A long-range Jason Doherty free started it and then Alan Freeman, showing superb aggression and a single-minded focus on goal, burst in from the end-line, made space for the shot and proceeded to rattle the net.

Alan Freeman

Photo: Inpho

We didn’t sit back and admire the lead we now had either. A storming upfield burst from Keith Higgins created an opening for Michael Conroy – who’d replaced Evan Regan – to fire over from well out. Donal Vaughan then knocked a trademark boomer over to stretch the lead to five.

Keane got one back for them but we kept the pressure on from then till the break, with another Jason Doc free and two nice points from play by Mickey C giving us a six-point lead at the interval.

Kerry needed to do something in the second half and that something was to bring the returned Tommy Walsh into the side at midfield. He had an immediate impact, winning primary possession several times around the middle and feeding his frontline a healthy diet of ball.

We’d got the opening score after the break – a fine point on the run by Seamus O’Shea – but then they hit four without reply and our nice big comfortable lead no longer looked all that big or all that comfy either.

The arrival of Aidan O’Shea into the fray was, however, a major boost for us just when we needed it. He got well stuck in straight away – the Kerry lads swinging out of him with impunity as they’d done down in Limerick last August – and the home side’s hold on midfield was never the same once the Big Dawg was on the scene.

Shortly after Aidan’s introduction came the score that swung the contest sharply back in our favour. Aidan instigated the move, lofting a free into Mark Ronaldson who offloaded sharpish to the in-running Kevin McLoughlin who buried it.

From then on, we looked increasingly comfortable, especially at the back where we never looked remotely like conceding a goal. On the edge of the square Kevin Keane was putting in a performance which earned him the TG4 Man of the Match award, but the whole backline looked solid and uncompromising.

We kept the scores ticking over too, with Jason – a really strong performer for us today – knocking over another free and Mickey C – who put in a livewire showing, finishing the day on four points – adding points as the contest began to peter out. Our final score of the day was pretty special – Keith started it with a sudden dart upfield and sub Diarmuid O’Connor finished it, guiding over a sublime score with the outside of the boot.

I wasn’t at Fitzgerald Stadium today and so can’t really say too much about individual performances. Players who caught my eye on TV included Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins, Patrick Durcan (who had an excellent inter-county debut – this is a young man we’ll be seeing a lot more of), Seamus O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Alan Freeman, Mickey Conroy and Aidan O’Shea.

It was, all told, a fine team performance and an encouraging start to the new Holmes/Connelly era. A loss wouldn’t have been a disaster but it’s definitely far nicer to finish the day at the top of Division One, with our first ever win over the Yerras in Killarney in the back pocket. And I think we’ll keep those nice new jerseys too.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Stephen Coen, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett, Patrick Durcan; Seamus O’Shea (0-1), Donal Vaughan (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (1-0), Adam Gallagher, Jason Doherty (0-3, two frees); Evan Regan (0-1), Alan Freeman (1-0), Mark Ronaldson. Subs: Michael Conroy (0-4) for Regan (blood), Diarmuid O’Connor for Gallagher, Aidan O’Shea for Freeman, Mikey Sweeney for Conroy, Colm Boyle for Barrett, Enda Varley for Ronaldson, Barry Moran for Seamus O’Shea.

79 thoughts on “Kerry 0-10 Mayo 2-11: nothing black about this start to the new year

  1. There was no love loss there today on or of the pitch.Very impressed with how we managed the high ball.Not so impressed with lack of ball winning around centre field. Some lovely attacking play on occasions. Another bad day for Deegan no consistency at all.Sweet trip back to Galway .

  2. Really good start to 2015. Love the cut of Kevin Keane and the way he goes about his business on the pitch. Keith Higgins is simply the Rolls Royce of footballers. Aiden OShea looked like the schoolyard bully when he arrived, which I loved. Forwards showed well, just hope Evan Regan’s injury is minor. That apart, nothing but positives to take from our journey to the Kingdom.

  3. Good win.
    First and foremost, I hope Regan makes a good recovery. He was brave going in for that ball and just unlucky, seeing as how he got a great first point.
    It was was a very physical and quick game. It was very obvious we badly wanted to win it. And the two goals were crucial, the first one to put us into the lead, the second to ward off the Kerry challenge which was really in gear at that stage, thanks in no small part to Tommy Walsh who was superb until Aidan O’Shea came on.
    Really though, it was the old heads that saw us through. Keane got MOM on TG4 but I thought Higgins beside him was absolutely superb from start to finish. Seamie, Conroy, Doherty, McLaughlin (after a very slow start), Aidan O’Shea were all superb. Of the new guys, I thought Durcan fared the best. Coen probably isn’t a corner back, thought Barry John caused him serious problems. Might fare better out the field though. Ronaldson got on a good bit of ball without any real impact on the board and Gallagher wasn’t really at his best. They should all be given more time in the next few games, though I wouldn’t really be in favour of putting Coen in the corner again if he’s not suited to it. Thought Durcan played well all day. Seemed strong too, took a few good belts for his trouble.
    Interesting to see some of the tactics in play. Clearly, the wing backs were to hold the line a bit more than usual, don’t remember any of the backs even having a shot on goal.
    Good win, roll on Tyrone. Lovely kit too!

  4. Looks like we have a full back! Well done Kevin Keane. Was brilliant as a minor so class doesn’t go away.
    Hope Regan is ok. Nasty looking fall.

  5. Widely reported on Twitter that Evan broke his collarbone and was concussed when he fell. Hope to see him back in action for the championship maybe. Fierce unlucky.

  6. Two hard fought points in the bag, unlucky on Regan wish him the best.
    Thought Jason Doherty had a very good game, tough competitor.
    Great to see KK get MoM and us keeping a clean sheet for a change. The usual suspects showed well.
    Some hard hits taken and given and nice to see us standing up for ourselves.
    Great start for H&C and the new colours, let’s hope this will be the continuing momentum for the rest of 2015.
    MaighEo Abú

  7. A good solid performance for Mayo. Not going to get too excited about winning in February against a depleted Kerry team who lacked bite up front but at the same time if we can maintain this standard for the season the omens are good. Doherty had a massive game, kicked over some belters. McLoughlin worked very hard and his goal was a screamer. For the most part the new lads did well, though Gallagher was quiet enough it’s still important that we keep blooding the players and get that extra firepower we need up front. As Pat said on the radio it was advantageous that we got Kerry for the first game, the best time to play them is always at the start of the league. You can only beat what’s in front of you though and the lads done the job today.

  8. If Kerry sent out 15 minors a win would still be good.

    Just good to win, good to get two goals and good that KK had a stormer, though I thought Mickey C really did it with some great scores.

    Thought Kerry got away with murder again. Walsh red card after 1 min on.

  9. It’s nicely satisfying to be a Mayoman in sunny Killarney today, even if this won’t matter come championship. Most of what I saw has been covered above. Coen is clearly not a corner-back. Mayo don’t seem to have one midfielder capable of outfielding David Moran (or Tommy Walsh, or Johnny Buckley). But they found a way to win, dealt with the high ball into the square, and didn’t give up a goal. A decent start.

  10. So very frusrating to watch kerry continue the same fouling as last year and nothing the comment about animals put back in their cages..very apt..

  11. Great to get 2 points in the bag, im not gettin excited because that was a poor kerry side. But nice to win all the same. If we can get 4 points from our home matches that should see us stay up, which is the main aim really. Thought coen did well for a 19/20 yr old in his first competitive start, kk will grow in confidence after that…which is great. Heart goes out to regan. Gallagher seems well off the pace. Doherty was immense along with higgins. Next stop Tyrone.

  12. Good win ,,,, think our bench was stronger ,, Kerry won’t panic ,, keep on rolling ,,, great support as always ,,

  13. Have watched a snatch of the Cork v Dublin.

    Absolutely no comparison between the cameras at that match and those at ours. Iphone would have been as good. TG4 are a great outfit, but a lot of the coverage is shoestring stuff.

  14. Good win for mayo. Well done. Tommy Walsh was throwing punches as soon as he came on but turned out to be human in the end and was taken off injured. No gods in kery, only the ones they pretend to be.

  15. Delighted with the win. Best defence we had for years. One thing nobody has mentioned. Why on earth was every single ball kicked out high to a towering Kerry centre field pairing who caught every time. Why, oh why, oh why??? Otherwise grand.

  16. I was thinking the same Joe Mc, but lets be honest, it was only a league game. Im sure if it was championship that tactic would of changed after 15 mins or so. I think pat and noel are keeping their cards close to the chest.

  17. Fair play to mayo played well in spurts how lucky are we to have a player like Keith Higgins prob will go down as the greatest footballer to ever wear the green and red.. kerry were poor prob a bit of a hangover but I don’t give a shit upwards and onwards

  18. A very respectable performance today.
    And I think there is nothing wrong with a bit of rivalry and that, but I think the cheap
    shots and name calling directed at Kerry as a result of last years semi is something we need to let go off. Its not healthy and doesn’t reflect well.
    Lookit our lads got stuck in and gave as good they as they got today.
    Job done! can we leave it at that and move on to the next one.

  19. I never planned on travelling to this one with the Younger Fella, but just some things that were noticeable from the TG4 coverage:

    – As mentioned above, it was noticeable that our backs were not charging up the field during the game in the same manner to which we have become accustomed over the past 3 or 4 years. The commentator mentioned a few times that Lee Keegan had a quiet game going forward. Maybe a tactical change from the last regime.

    – Jason Doherty has become a really important player for us. I said it after the quarter-final against Cork last year that if he was playing against us I would regard him as a real pest, his workrate is immense and he is now chipping in with the scores that he promised when he came on the scene.

    – Aiden O’Shea is a beast. Kerry just couldn’t take the ball off him when he came on. It seemed like he was told to just sit in front of the half-back line and plus up the middle. We sacrificed Freeman at full-forward to bring him on, but it’s that sort of tactic taht might have gotten us across the line against Dublin in the league last March, and in both of the game against Kerry last August.

    – Patrick Durcan will be a class interocunty player.

    – Such a pity for Evan Regan. He put in a good display for Sligo IT during the week on a snowy pitch in Belfast. down to the other corner of the country today, hits a lovely point and I’m thinking we have a scoring corner forward on our hands. Hopefully this knock won’t put him out for the entire league, as its hard to get back in when the championship starts.

    – Kerry need to be refereed by a strong ref. Deegan isn’t one of those. Walsh should have walked after 30 second of coming on. If that’s what he learned in Australia, he should have stayed out there.

    – its 2 points at the start of the league, it will mean nothing in August and September. But its 2 points better off than we were at this stage last year. Onwards to Castlebar next Sunday. I hope that the knocks taken during the game, Regan’s aside, aren’t too serious. Conroy on this form is a handful for any backline and it would be a shame if he can’t get a run of games that he deserves.

    – Kevin Keane, take a bow.

  20. Who cares if it’s the league imagine the backlash if we lost like we did against the evil empire last year winning breathes confidence throughout the panel and all involved.. this bunch of players have given the county pride and we should never forget over here in America for 15 years and believe me 90% of lads from diff counties wud love to be in our postion

  21. well done lads made us proud,i know its along year but we are showing we have balls already ,roll on sept

  22. Aragh fair play to them boys, made of stern stuff indeed. If there is one thing we have learned since Horan came on de scene, it’s how to compete physically and how to keep going and never give up
    Kerry were winning possession stakes 60-40 1st 20 mins and to me, after dey scored a class pt on end of a good move looked like dey might begin to pull away.
    But Mayo had different ideas, upped de gears and went in 6 pts up at de break.
    Shame Regan be out for a while after a nice early pt. I was hoping to see him feature in games ahead.
    Negative was we were.out-fielded in middle for long periods. Also bit disappointing with some of de balls played in too fifty-fifty on a few occasions (SOS bit guilty here). Adam Gallagher fairly anonymous but he will get other chances.Best 2 for me were Mickey Convoy and K Keane.
    Jaysus Conroy still showing such industry after all these yrs!

    Not too concerned yet, in Feb, with “putting dem bk in their box – Croker in a few mnths will be the time for this job.

    U just have to admire de way these boys are always willing to work so hard for us.

  23. Well done the team and management. That will have cleaned the pipes and readied the players for fixtures ahead. It was particularly pleasing that they stood up to the posturing, but didn’t overreact. Like the All Blacks, they focused for every minute with the win the sole aim.

  24. P’s – I have to say I agree with Yew-Langer above. A bit early to be on about referring standards. Was a good tough physical game, both sides got stuck in.
    Last year is gone, this is a NEW YEAR!

  25. Great to get the win. Great to keep a clean sheet. Great to see plenty of new players get a chance. Great to see changes being made quickly. Great to get goals at the right time.

    We can now forget about Kerry for the time being. Getting our own house in order over the next months is the most important thing.

    Tyrone lost last night so they’ll be coming to Castlebar next Sunday really looking for a win. It should be another tough match. Roll on the next game!

  26. Great to be back in the thick of it, I know it’s only Feb but a win is still a win, loved the new jerseys and was it my imagination or have a lot of our lads bulked up. #thisyearisdifferent

  27. Really intense and physical game for Feb1. The league is improving every year: Few Points:

    -Very physical display by Mayo. Real grit, unbelievable work rates, good turnovers. Teams must really hate playing us (which is great)
    -Keane, Higgins, Durkin, So’Se, Doherty, Conroy – all very good
    -Kept a clean sheet – I don’t actually remember Hennelly having to make a real save.

    -Kick-outs – A repeat of the replay in Limerick. David Moran was Kerry’s best player again and we kept kicking the ball to him. ???
    -Full Forward still TBD for me. Freeman scored a great goal but I think he should be played in the corner rather than at FF. The tactics still seems to be diagonal balls played to the corners for pacy CFs to gather. Direct ball to FF just not working for us.
    -S o’Se’s distribution – he actually had a very game, wins so much dirty ball but foot passes to forwards were no that great.

  28. Always Mayo. Noticed that alright. Vaughan?! et al. Great win from our boys today. Hard fought though. Seemed “Maureeeese” hasn’t changed much. Inconsistent. Anyway, nice to be going home with two in the bag. Safe home to all and to Evan also.

  29. Good win today guys, two teams that had at it and Mayo were asking all the right questions. I hope young Evan Regan makes a full and speedy recovery, he took a very dangerous fall so while a fractured collar bone is nasty it could have been a lot worse so thank God he will be ok. Keane looked good minding the house and AOS bossed the game when he came on, Christ he is a bull of a man. Safe home to all and I hope ye enjoyed the hospitality in the Kingdom, we will meet later and we will take out our best silverware ???? to show our appreciation to ye !!????

  30. Fair play lads.. Great to get first points on the board 🙂 have to say after today my opinion towards Kevin Keane have changed! Fantastic display from him in full back today. Really commanded the edge of the square, and deserved man of the match.

    Absolutely gutted for Evan Regan!! Took a serious knock.. Fingers crossed we will see him again before the year is out!

    Bring on Tyrone next weekend. It won’t be easy, especially after them losing last night.

    Oh.. And the new black jerseys are just beautiful 😉 another one for me to add to my xollection !

  31. They wont lose too much sleep in Kerry over this one, but we played well, won and didn’t concede a goal.

    While its important to keep the lid on things, winning breeds confidence and Its important that we keep our Division 1 status. Tyrone didn’t look great last night, need to beat them on Sunday.

  32. Hi All,
    Very well done today a good win and I hope Evan Regan is ok as he looked like a great addition for the few minutes he got to play. We didn’t fair so well but well done to Cork and like Mayo today we have a score to settle on Saturday night in Croker v Donegal, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  33. Agree with Joe Mc as regards our strategy or lack thereof of kicking high ball out into the welcoming clutches of one Tommy Walshe. It was the obvious place not to put the ball given his physique and experience. We simply must learn to be more streetwise and tuned in.

  34. Did anyone notice the amount of high balls Kerry played in to the Mayo goal? They were playing a completely different Mayo defence but didn’t cop on most of the game.
    I have to admit it was the first game in years that I wasn’t crapping myself every time a high ball went in.(Forgive the wording Willie Joe, anything else would be worse, am trying hard to be cultured, but i have problems).).

  35. Couldn’t really ask for more.
    Mayo beat kerry by 7 points in Killarney!!!!
    Try saying that 3 times without smiling. Impossible! Soooooooo happy!

  36. I think today that win was for the supporters and you could tell that it felt good leaving Killarney.Not really overly concerned that we kept kicking ball down the middle but would have being nicer to have had won more ball or even dirty ball.Nevertheless there was 2 to 3 attacking moves that really impressed me first game out an all.I know some people don’t get to hung up on league results barring staying in the top flight but for me success breaths success.I thought Vaughan looked bigger and so did the mickey Conroy.Only disappointment for me was how poor Maurice Deegan was.Consistently inconsistent you could see it was annoying players.

  37. One thing we really need to look at for the games ahead is, how do we get the ball to Alan Freeman. When he gets the ball, he has a very good ratio of scores to possession. I’d like to see us try and play some more high looping balls into him, as he has a great leap. That is one of his main strengths, catching those kinds of balls in the air. We need to see some more balls going into him, almost like the ball David Moran kicked into Donaghy for the now infamous catch against us in the drawn semi-final last year.

  38. Just echoing of the previous comments, great start to 2015 and beating those shower in Kerry,
    just to note why Hennelly kept kicking long even though we were getting cleaned ,
    Holmes/Connelly need to be quicker dealing with this, that is what Horans downfall was!!

  39. SOS, Vaughan and AOS is potentially a good middle trio. If a game needs closing out that is serious tackling.
    Young Durcan will benefit hugely from a full league campaign, likewise Coen.

  40. Gamechanger10 . . Thanks for your great hospitality . We had great craic with the Kerry folk on Sat night . Although we knew Gooch , Donaghy & Cormac Reilly were going to be a loss to ye but as you said ye ll take out the best silver or our next get together so roll on Aug/Sept .

  41. A positive opener, well done to the panel and all supporters who travelled. Watched it on the box myself. It was mighty to see Kevin Keane get MOTM – John Maughan’s words after the 2012 final immediately struck me today when he predicted then that this ‘young Covie’ (or words along those lines) will be back as an important player for Mayo at some point. That point in time may be now… Well done Kevin.
    It has all been said in the above posts and in WJ’s piece but it’s important to reiterate the importance of the aggression within the rules we showed today. Aido typified this when he came on. I was also impressed with Jason Doc – he does seem to be getting that bit more difficult for defenders to handle and to dispossess. May this curve for him continue and I’m sure he will take up where he left off from last year.
    Of course we all agree that we are realistic of the context of today’s game, and while it was a good win, it’s simply 2 league points. That is all. I am more heartened about the way we performed and the attitude of the boys coming off the bench.
    Roll on Tyrone next week. Come on Mayo!!

  42. What was most encouraging for me was the appetite all our players had for the game and their determination not to leave the points behind them. No question of any lack oof spirit in the camp.
    I had the impression that Coen played most of the game at centreback having been exposed badly by BJ Keane early on. I am more convinced than ever that he is not and will not be a corner back. Overall I thought he played well as did most of the team Gallagher was not prominent but I expect he will have other chances. While Keane played very well at full back and dealt confidently with the high ball it must be remembered that Paul Geaney is no Donaghy.
    One thing I noticed, not for the first time, was the amount of times Mayo forwards were denied possession because a Kerry defender was close enough to get a hand or fist in and knock the ball away. Mayo defenders rarely get that close to an attacker and if you are not close when the ball is delivered you will rarely make up the ground. A defenders primary job to ensure that his opponent does not gain possession. If all defenders do that few games would be lost.
    I hope Evan Regan is not too bad, He looked lively and took his point with confidence.

  43. Great conditions for a match on 1st Feb., pitch in good nick, light breeze but blinding sunshine !.
    – Solid display by Mayo team and management
    – Good that Coen and Durcan were left on for the entire game to give them much needed match practice at this level. Durcan in particular was very aggressive which is great to see. Coen did okay and has a lot of potential, I hope both are started again next Sunday v Tyrone.
    – AOS stopped the momentum that Tommie W had when he came on, it was a timely substitution by Holmes/Connelly. We were beaten well at mid-field for most of the game though. David Moran showed again why he is a top class mid-fielder, tall and physically difficult to match.
    – Ronaldson was very busy and won a lot of ball deserves another start next Sunday
    – Freeman great goal but he needs to get high ball right into the square as he can usually field them. We do need to use long ball into our full forward line at times.
    – Diarmuid O’Connor’s point was sublime, I was on the terrace (with all the Yerras and Google Translator !!) and the angle of that point was brilliant.
    – Well done KK on MOM performance.
    – Maurice Deegan was appropriately clad in yellow (two big birds on the field at the end)
    – Gamechanger, I wish you had given some tips on how to beat the traffic because the traffic congestion was unreal. I would hate to be trying to drive out of there with a crowd of over 40k in attendance.

  44. Agree with you HopesSprings, we need to get the ball to Freeman as he has the kind of strength and directness that we need in the FF line. Believe he’s a confidence player so we should stick with him at FF, he made the goal chance out of nothing and took it very well. Getting him on the ball more will yield dividends.

    McLoughlin’s goal in the second half was sheer class. Many forwards in that situation would have taken a point – a common failing with Mayo forwards, not going for the jugular ! He was calm, saw the chance was on and scored an excellent goal that effectively killed the very real Kerry revival.

    Durkan and Coen look like they’ve real potential while Regan was very unfortunate as he was shaping very well.

    A good solid start to the year and a perfect example of how goals win games.

  45. On the subject of hennellys kickouts. I know it’s annoying but the likes of Vaughan needs this in order to develop as a midfielder. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is why he continued with this tactic because it’s not quiet the same as on the training pitch.

    Something else I noticed from looking at the team photo. Jason Doherty is an absolute beast. The shoulders on him. People talk about Vaughan and Keane but Doc is a tank compared to them.

  46. The hospitality in Killarney has never failed us and they did not disappoint us this weekend either. It was my first time inside the ground. Its just 2 league points at the end of the day, but better to be looking at them than looking for them. Keane did not surprise me he just done what he does for Westport all the time. I agree that Doc in turning into a class act. This was a very physical contest and we gave as good as we got. I would’nt expect any less from H&C teams. Of the newcomers Durkan surprised me the most, as I had not taken much notice of him up to this. Micky C, SOS, Keith, Ronaldson Coen were immense IMO. Tyrone will be tough next weekend.

  47. There was a mighty crowd of Mayo supporters there which is great encouragement for the players. It gives the young lads that very special feeling and puts renewed energy into seasoned limbs. Well done to all who traveled. These lads deserve every bit of support they can get.
    Delighted for everyone especially Kevin Keane who must still have nightmares after the Donegal final. Also for Mark Ronaldson who deserved a chance and did well. I was hugely impressed with Patrick Durkan. It was a very good performance for a new lad who is still u21. I hope Evan Regan is ok. He was very unlucky but in truth it could have been much worse. A broken collar bone will take a while to heal depending on where the break is and on what complications exist. What a pity for the lad himself and indeed Mayo. He was shaping up well for the length he was on the field.
    Keith Higgins was my man of the match. He is pure class and is getting better if anything.
    Roll on Castlebar.

  48. Gamechanger, Thanks for the kind thought but I hope that you won’t have to bother with the best silver next time we are in your area as by then it will hopefully have moved up the west coast to Nephin country.
    Speaking of the traffic on the way home, I thought Claregalway had moved south but it proved to be a place called Farranfore. How come it escaped the attention of Jackie Healy Rae?

  49. Perhaps h+c are looking for a new corner back. Any word on cunniffe rejoining the panel? Great win. Good solid performance. Delighted for KK, looked solid and wow serious thighs on yhe man!!

  50. Good performance considering this was the first real competitive game of the year. It is obvious that the new managements tactics will be to protect leads when we get them which is why aiden o Shea came on as a sweeper in the half back line. It worked today and I think it’s a system we have to use more as we threw away so many leads last year

  51. It’s an odd feeling to be relying on updates and texts/tweets from afar rather than being in the thick of it on the stands but every message today was a welcome one (apart from the news about Evan, of course). Great to hear such positive reports, particularly about our newer faces.

    Sounds like despite Moran playing a blinder in midfield (he is such a talent) we managed to make the changes necessary to cope with the threat, which is good to hear. I’m delighted for Kevin Keane, I must say – people who know the game better than I have been insisting for the past 18 months that he has had far more to give – and it looks like he is on a mission to prove them right. He is a serious tank of a man as well.

    Excellent too to hear about our levels of aggression – the Mr Nice Guy Mayo seems to be fading well away into the background, and I couldn’t be happier to be rid of it. If refs aren’t going to penalise poor behaviour from teams like Kerry, it’s unfortunately up to their opposition to give better than they get.

    No-one will get too carried away with this one – it’s important only in the contact of the two points we now have in the bag – but it’s a start to the year that will encourage players and supporters alike as we set off on this long road again. Roll on next Sunday in Castlebar.

    All the best to Evan – he must be fairly shaken after today – and here’s to seeing him back in the green and red before too long.

  52. I love having a gander through Kerry GAA forums. This was my favourite quote
    “Was it the Jerseys by Mayo or did Vaughan and Aidan O Shea look absolutely HUGE!!!!”

  53. It sure was encouraging to see Mayo defend the lead when Kerry were coming good and a goal would have been disaster for us had it came. Higgins and Keane were top class, Keane looks like he has bulked up a lot and will only get better if he’s given a few more games to get the mind 100% tuned in.
    I thought freeman was nicely aggressive for the goal, he’s a big guy and if he gets the ball near goal he should keep doing what he’d one today, fling them out of his way and head for the net. Mcloughlins goal was the exact and only answer to kerrys comeback, it was beautifully placed and took a fair bit of skill under such pressure.

    Well done to all, and I can only say that Evan Regan was unfortunate in one respect but 100% very fortunate in the other respect, he could have been paralyzed by that fall, game over before he even got his chance to bring Sam to Ballina this September.He will recover and be back before summer and will be a contender for a starting jersey IMO
    Get well soon

  54. Andy D
    Ha ha ha your concerns are equally shared by all the North Kerry folk who had to make the journey home through that bloody place, and we were wondering how so many future prospects failed to show their hand when offered an opportunity to wear our Green and Gold Jersey.
    In truth defeat stings and victory can be somehow blinding in relation to identifying possible weaknesses. I think Mayo came with a number of agendas today and it was clear the way they tackled and harassed every Kerry player when they had possession, it was a bloody fantastic overall effort. Next week ye have a weakened Tyrone team and ye should nail another two points. Ye then have another three home games to secure two points and then ye can stretch the teams legs and see what ye can do with the possibles. This is a great place to be and will only bolster knowledge in the overall management team and confidence in the embryonic support players.
    With respect I don’t think that Championship winners will be identified here today as there are so many unmeasurables it is impossible to even contemplate what Captain will be finding a quiet rom to gather the thoughts to construct a decent speech.
    The thing that struck me today was the level of speed and efficiency that Mayo were operating at, great to see but this is the first day of spring and any serious team needs to be cautious in relation to preparation. Mayo clearly have intent and we all know how skilled they are but I would respectfully suggest that they keep an eye on a timely and targeted performance level, the new managers are under pressure to justify their selection I know and that can be very uncomfortable but they have to marry their early acceptance with the light at the end of the tunnel.
    We learned many lessons today butt I am not so sure that Mayo left the Kingdom with as many jigsaw pieces on the table as Eamon Fitzmaurice has tonight. He is a smart guy and he has quiet a few aces hidden in his back pocket, I sincerely hope ye enjoyed your time here and I wish ye the best in the remainder of this campaign. If Kerry can stay in Division one I will be happy but so many of our big guns are being rested and some of the elder gentlemen are having the barnacles blown off their hull. The real dance starts in May so we will see ye then, good luck and bye for now,,

  55. Gamechanger, dont worry about Mayo, youre the ones that have Sam Maguire and defending that will be enough for you to worry about

  56. Its interesting to note that the last 9 times we have played Kerry in the League, we have won 7, drew 1 and lost 1. While our record against them in the Championship is the opposite, in our last 9 games, we have lost 7, drew 1 and won 1. So that kinda puts things into perspective as well. In saying that you could not have asked for any better as a first day at the office for Noel and Pat. I heard a Kilkenny player say that nothing drives a player on more than when they see another player in a jersey that they feel they own. Look at the way Michael Conroy played when he came on. Also I’m sure Colm Boyle and Aidan O’Shea were determined to do well when they came on after seeing players don their jerseys with such gusto. It was great to see Diarmuid O’Connor do so well when he came on too. Having all players feeling that they have a big part to play in Mayo’s destiny could be the key to us doing well this year. Us supporters feeling the same way too, is no bad thing either.

  57. Good win against an understrength, unfit and unmotivated Kerry outfit. Still sets us up nicely for Tyrone next weekend. Some people on here really have a chip on their shoulder about Kerry. Move on lads.

  58. This was one of those ones that, now we have won, it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone in the wider public (except ourselves of course), but turn the coin the other way and we lose and its suddenly been a very important game. “Mayo are in freefall”, “Cute Kerry inflict more pain on Mayo” etc etc. We all know that yesterdays result doesn’t really matter a damn as regards who’ll be winning anything in 6 or 8 months time, but its a very very important win for the new management, the development of the team, and for the fans not to have to listen to insufferable shite today and for the next week.

    Was listening to tommy Carr and P Joyce on Radio 1, like the stretch in the evenings that comes in April its great to see some things never change. RTE’s punditry will still be as bad as ever this year populated by people with little actual knowledge of the players, management and what’s actually happening, but full of tired clichés and “analysis” that is as relevant to the modern game as the bishop throwing in the ball.

  59. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe that Diarmuid will be a better player than his brother.
    I couldn’t be happier with the 2 points, I had Mayo to win by two but I’ll take seven as well!! This win puts us in a great position as our last three games are Dublin (h), Cork (a) and Donegal (h) so with a bit of luck our division one status will be secure before we play those games. As important as the two points from yesterdays game is, of equal importance is the exposure we gave to the new players, i.e. Durcan, Coen, Gallagher, Regan (even though his time was limited) and Ronaldson (I know he was around 4 years ago but he can be considered a new addition). When you add a number of players playing in different positions, i.e. Vaughan & Barrett, it gives the squad an “unpredictable” look about it.
    The real pleasing thing for me was the reaction and decision making on the line when Tommy Walshe was making inroads early in the second half. Freeman off, O’Shea on and instructed to sit behind the midfield and shore up the defence. A clean sheet was a priority coming in to this game and this adjustment helped, as did reigning in the attacking tendency of our half back line.
    Great stuff from all involved and hopefully a speedy and full recovery for Evan Regan.

  60. Wouldn’t read anything into this match. Was interesting to hear Keane discuss winning a league title after the match. Sounds like they want it.

    On the match itself a few things:

    1. Hennellys kick outs were as badly planned yesterday as they were in Limerick – I hope this is a con job and something better is planned for the championship, if not – take him out of there he gets way to much air under the ball which suits David Moran in particular. Hennelly won him his all star out of him last year.
    2. Donal Vaughan is not an intercounty standard fielder of a football. Might suit playing Dublin but not Kerry
    3. Our kick passing needs a lot of work (particularly from midfield) if we are to develop an effective alternative to our running game
    4. Geaney is no Donaghy/Michael Murphy so lets not think our full back line problems are sorted, but he did what had to be done.
    5. We need to convert another wingback to wing forward (as we did with McLoughlin)
    6. Badly in need of a old school footballing centre forward
    7. Regan looked like he could be a good addition, hopefully he gets a few more chances before the all Ireland quarters.
    8. Half backs have definitely been reigned in. Would prefer to see Sheamus O sea drop deep to allow Keegan push on. Don’t want to limit such a good attacking weapon

  61. Was hoping this year would be the year of the “Anorak guy” some coach or backroom statistican on at least one channel (Setanta, TG4, RTE or Sky Sports).
    Imagine a tv panel of an ex-player, Donal Buckley (or other skills coach) and a stats/anorak type.
    Ex-players are grand but the analysis does tend to drift into:
    – “I guess you’re wishing you were out there ”
    Then repeating ad nauseum, “Mgmt will be looking to find 2 or 3 players”.
    At this stage players should be analysed in terms of pass completion, turnovers, tackles made etc. Like if a guy makes 5 turnovers during a game, that’s a pretty interesting point of discussion. That’s a big imapct on the game.

  62. An aside… Doesn’t Michael Collins look as hard and as tough now as he did in the late 80’s / early 90’s? I remember in the ’89 final and Barry Coffey was THE star forward in that great Cork attack that included Dinny Allen, Dave Barry and Larry Tompkins. Coffey was going “to do a job” on Collins. After 20 minutes Coffey didn’t know which way he was playing never mind what he was meant to do! Cork put 3 different men on Collins that day and none could better him.
    One tough, hard hoor of a defender. Socks pulled all the way up too!

  63. There were seventeen midfield possessions to Kerry and twelve to Mayo! It seemed M were demolished there for most of the game. How often is it the other way round only to see too much ball not wisely used? Mayo’s performance showed much to be admired in Killarney. We have a bunch of right tough nuts at long last. It’s hard to imagine that they
    Will not reap their just rewards but nothing is written in stone. Also, it’s so pleasing to see Mayo’s brawn complimented with not a little style and grace. Is it wishful thinking to believe that we have accumulated the necessary ingredients for a very exciting future?
    Best wishes to E. Reagan in a speedy recovery.

  64. Yea Micheal was teak tough in his day. I agree with much of what you say Gamechanger. We are famous for getting ahead of ourselves in Feb. Still a big enthuastic crowd on the first day is no harm as long as someone is keeping an eye on Salthill in June.

  65. Pjmcmanus to be fair I think that wont be a problem, they are two seasoned bucks and they have done it all before. Mayo are clearly a few weeks down the road ahead of Kerry regarding training but there were quiet a few young players starting for Kerry that have aspirations of donning the jersey, what was disappointing from our perspective was the attitude or lace thereof that they showed. The opening three or four games are a massive opportunity to put themselves in the frame because after that the more senior lads will muscle their way back in and relegate them to the bench. If they don’t put their hand up now what does it say for their long term chances.
    The new kit is very striking and it enhances the physique, the Mayo lads looked almost like a rugby team when they came on but I think they should have a flash of your traditional green and red somewhere on the jersey. Regardless I don’t think the good folk of Mayo GAA will be too bothered once they get the right result.

  66. I believe the idea with Vaughan is that he will help out in defence and attack. Vaughan should manage to have a bigger impact on games than Gibbons/Barry Moran from midfield. Obviously AOS will be back, so on kickouts AOS will be helping out his brother on aerial duty. Vaughan made a lot of tackles yesterday, scored a point and completed most of his passes. He was also not far away with another effort for a point.
    If we need to close out a lead it will be really valuable to have SOS/AOS/Vaughan across the half backline.
    Vaughan also has an incredible engine so he’s still full of running in the last minute of games. I believe he was competitive nationally in cross country in secondary school. He’s very good at crossing the opposition 45 and laying off an accurate handpasser to another forward. Simple, effective play done really well. Which I guess is Vaughan all over.

  67. I’m now questioning Vaughans ability. I am simply pointing out that he is not suited to midfield if Hennelly is going to balloon the ball up in the air for fielders to compete.

    Vaughan would be to Mark Michael Dara McAuley.
    McAuley works for Dublin because of how quick Cluxton takes the kickouts and because he puts topspin on the ball.
    Hennelly cannot kick the ball like that so Vaughan will be found wanting against Kerry, Donegal, Galway etc, as he waits for the ball to drop with a better fielder standing beside him.
    Its not Vaughans fault we got beaten at midfield yesterday. We have tried AOS, SOS, Moran, Parsons, Gibbons and Vaughan at midfield against Kerry and David Moran has beaten the lot of them.

    We have tried changing the personnel, maybe we should change the kickout strategy. Belting it harder down the field doesn’t seem to be working (strangely).

  68. Always nice to beat Kerry, so well done to all involved.

    Well done to all the Mayo supporters who went as well, ye made some noise and it sounded like we outnumbered the locals. Particularly noticed it with the cheers that greeted AOS and Boyler.

    I was intrigued watching this game on tv, trying to work out what has changed from Horan’s time in charge.
    As has been pointed out, the main thing that was noticeable was the lack of attacking intent by the half backs. While we don’t want to stifle this means of attack completely, we should persevere with this. It’s something we need to look at when defending a lead particularly.
    Also noticed that we mixed up our play a bit more, there was more foot passing (not all accurate to be fair) and less of our running game (this can be related to the half backs attacking less).
    This is all positive. We need to have a few tricks up our sleeve and be able to mix up our play more. Our running game is probably the best in Ireland along with Donegal, but we need a plan B when the opposition find ways to restrict it.

    Heading over for the Tyrone game next week, so looking forward to seeing in the flesh the other changes to our style of play.

    Someone mentioned that our lads looked bulkier. Thought that too, but wasn’t sure if it was just the new jerseys.
    Vaughan, Doc and Barrett in particular seemed to have bulked up.

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