Mayo 1-19 Down 1-16: status secured despite late meltdown

NFL Division One final table

Image: GAA.ie

Bloody hell, we made hard work of that. Despite the many permutations about how Division One might finish up, a win for us today against Down at MacHale Park was always likely to keep us up. It was a win we got but the way we fell asunder in the final quarter almost resulted in victory – and our top tier status – being snatched away from us. But at least we managed to steady ourselves right at the finish to see out the nerviest of wins.

It should never have got to that. We were seven points up midway through the second half but we still couldn’t shake the Mournemen off. From what I could gather from following this one on the radio and online, the bulk of the blame for our failure to close the game out efficiently was an overly accommodating backline. For once, it appears our much-criticised forward division wasn’t in the firing line.

It was announced today that this match was our 100th to be played at MacHale Park and we started it off in confident enough fashion. We got the first two points of the day – from Alan Freeman and Chris Barrett – before Mallon opened the Northerners’ account. We got the next three scores, two frees from Evan Regan and one from play by Aidan O’Shea, as we took a firm grip on proceedings.

As was to be the case all day, though, we didn’t build on this dominance. Instead it was Down who got the next two scores to keep them in touch.

We did manage to bolt clear after that. Evan Regan and O’Hare swapped scores from frees, then Cillian O’Connor pointed from a free after a foul on Jason Doherty. The Ballintubber man – captain for the day – got the next score too and a significant one it was as well. Evan Regan was fouled in the square and Cillian fairly wellied the spot-kick to the net:

This was the moment to push on and put the game to bed without any fuss. But we didn’t as Down got three out of the next four scores to stay alive in the contest. Alan Freeman responded by pushing our lead back out to five but they then bagged the final three scores of the half to trail by just two at the break.

The As It Stands table at this point had Monaghan in the jump seat to Division Two, as they were losing to Donegal, but not by much. Cork were also losing but also still in touch against Kerry so coming out for the second half our lads would have known that securing a win was an absolute prerequisite for us in our quest to retain our top tier status for another year.

Like the first half we started after the break like we meant business. Three pointed frees, the first two from Cillian and the other front Evan, restored our five-point advantage so once again we looked comfortable.

And once again we let them back into it. Points by Dornan and Devlin pared the lead back to three.

When we stretched the lead out to seven – Jason Doherty from play and frees from Cillian and Evan (2) – that should have been the end of it. But then the scores dried up for us and they bagged five on the spin to claw their way right back into it with time running out.

I was following results elsewhere and could see that Monaghan had pulled level in Castleblaney. If our meltdown in Castlebar continued, I could see we were heading right for the trapdoor.

With both Cillian O’Connor and Alan Freeman both subbed off by now, the free that Evan Regan shaped up to take on the left-hand side of the posts was a harder one for us that it really should have been. Fair play to Evan, though, as he popped it over confidently to give us some vital breathing space.

Into injury time now and a goal for O’Hare at the other end threw the contest right back into the melting pot. David Clarke had batted away the initial goal attempt but we failed to clear our lines and O’Hare made no mistake at the second attempt.

Our lead was now down to a point and Monaghan were winning. A draw wouldn’t be enough for us at this stage.

Down, sensing blood, poured forward in search of the scores that would secure their first league points. This time, though, our backline held and instead it was sub Andy Moran – whom Midwest said was equalling James Nallen’s record for most appearances in a Mayo jersey today – who knocked over a precious point into the Bacon Factory End. Evan Regan followed up with another free – his ninth score of the day – to complete the recovery from that late wobble and seal a three-point win for us.

It goes without saying that the result – and our survival in Division One – was all that mattered today. It would have been great to have done the job with a bit of panache but I guess panache will have to wait for another day.

The bottom line is that, despite losing four out of our opening five matches in this League campaign, we’ve done enough, yet again, to stay in the top division. Who would have thought on that awful day in January when Cork whipped our asses that it would be them and not us to lose their place at the top table come April?

In the final analysis, and despite the various bumps on the road we hit along the way, this League campaign – Stephen Rochford’s first – can now be chalked down as a success. He was, after all, right about it: it was all about survival and survive we did.

Job done, time to move on. Summer football here we come.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Kevin Keane, Chris Barrett (0-1); Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Shane Nally; Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea; Conor O’Shea, Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-1); Evan Regan (0-9, seven frees), Alan Freeman (0-2), Cillian O’Connor (1-4, penalty goal and four frees). Subs: Paddy Durcan for Barrett, Alan Dillon for Freeman, Barry Moran for Seamus O’Shea, Cathal Carolan for Conor O’Shea, Andy Moran (0-1) for O’Connor.

MOTM poll now open:

Who was our MOTM against Down?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

117 thoughts on “Mayo 1-19 Down 1-16: status secured despite late meltdown

  1. Work to do on our defence and our transition.
    Evan Regan was top class today.
    Our transition is too slow. Our defence then push out with the ball and we get caught on the counter. Team is behind in terms of playing to a new system. If Regan was out today we would have lost.

  2. Job done? At the start of the campaign safety was crucial and we achieved that. Down gave a good account of themselves today as they scored some lovely points ..so I guess we found a partner for cillian fair play to Evan regan and congrats to Andy what a servant he is to us

  3. After the gloom of the Kerry game we would certainly have taken no. 5 in the table. It’s funny how it works out, would not have thought it likely for Cork to be relegated. But it just goes to show we need to be careful, too many times we have got out by the skin of our teeth. We won’t always be lucky. Had Down put in another goal we would have been in bother.

    Had to listen to it on the radio, sounded scrappy at times, half forwards were all over the place and Down ran through the defence far too often. But when you’re missing players like Caff, Keegan, DOC etc you can’t expext a complete performance. On the bright side our best offensive performance by far and young Regan has come on leaps and bounds since the start of the league.

    Job done and hopefully a long summer to look forward to

  4. Evan Regan was out standing to day well done Evan roll on London but 7 weeks of hard work two be done mayo for Sam 2016 please god

  5. Sounds like Regan is really staking a claim for a berth during the summer. I was a little apprehensive going into today as Down had been improving and could set out with no pressure other than to lay on a performance. We’re safe though and start preparations for London in earnest now.

  6. Terrible performance today. We have a lot of work to do before the start of the championship

  7. Great to get a win but far too close for comfort..not a scoreline I would have predicted this morning ..regan was super..great to see cillian back popping frees over the bar..very frustrating watching mayo play at times today..lots to work on..

  8. Interesting to hear Rochford say after the game that the panel will be cut to 35 ahead of the championship. I think we could see a few of the longer standing squad players being cut. There are about 30 players who I’d say are nailed on for the squad. However I’d like to see the last five places kept for members of this year’s under 21 panel who we haven’t seen at senior level yet.

    A lot can happen in three or four months and I’d rather see those lads given a shot instead of some of the fringe players who are still on the panel but have never kicked on despite being there for a number of years. There are four or five that are generally there or there about but have never really threatened the first 15, why not give some new blood a shot instead.

  9. Interestingly Kevin Keane was out from defence and put boot to ball to setup a score. One of the rare occasions it was let in early. Team still plays pretty much like in 2012-2015.

  10. The main problem today was the ease at which down sliced us open through the central channel.
    CHB position too easy to penetrate.

  11. Listened on Midwest. Well done to the lads but they make it hard on themselves. According to Midwest, Down have not win a competitive game for a year now in either competition and almost caught us out today.If Mayo are to have any hope of Sam the goal will need to be minded a whole lot better than it is being minded currently, this is not being heard by the players on the field , today down had a few goal chances that teams like Kerry and Dublin won’t miss when they meet us. This is our biggest problem and it will break hearts again if we don’t address it. For now, division 1 in 2017 is very welcome

  12. Evan put up a very good score today and was outstanding with free, especially the one on his wrong side. He must have kicked 8 points today?

    Job done. Plenty to be learned. Onto London now

  13. Come championship that won’t be the case JP . Very poor showing today by the lads almost as if they took Down for granted . Only seven wides today witch must be said is an improvement but still seven more then we should have had. Down were like a knife through butter through our defence today we need to tighten up. Good idea in shortening the squad to 35 give 21s a chance . It will be the longest seven weeks to date but hopefully worth the wait . Maigh Eo Abu come on the yew.

  14. Well said JP. What has changed??? Same shite, different day!!
    John Maughan was scathing about carrying the ball into tackles and not putting fast, long ball into Regan and Freeman. He reckoned Mayo would have walked it, if they had done that. He also mentioned arrogance and over confidence. Waiting for the flak!! 😉

  15. Job done but very frustrating game to watch. Attitude was all wrong and there was no game plan from what I could see. Again passing the ball back and across the field, players not looking up, head down running into cul de sacs, holding onto the ball too long, making good runs and stopping on the 40……this is happening again and again.

    I don’t often agree with Maughan but he didn’t say a lot wrong on the radio after the game. Let’s all hope it’s a very different Mayo in the championship as Rochford has promised us or I think it will be another year of disappointment. Was talking to a friend on the phone who was at the Kerry game….Kerry very impressive by all accounts.

  16. Just home from a cold Castlebar, delighted with Regan, but listening to the lads on midwest radio on the way home, i could not agree more with the lads on the show, it’s time to promote the likes of B.Reape and F.Duffy (the future stars of our team).

  17. How many times did Down cut through the middle of us, and we looked a bit clueless in trying to stop it. Clumsy and careless in losing possession at times. Good performances by Nally and Regan, and we still have Keith Higgins, Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor to bring in. Clarke made a great save shortly before the Down was scored but I thought some of his kick outs were bad choices, hitting men who were isolated. Cillian showed some good passes in first half when he moved out the field, and should be an option for the number 11 jersey.

  18. Mayo were very poor, they were playing at training ground pace. Defence were terrible, Caff sorely missed for organisating the defence.

    On Midwest John Maughan said there are 3 or 4 players on an ego trip going on solo runs into contact and trying to force their way through, I would have to agree with him as its the same individuals that get caught in possessio, this has o be sorted out now, On the few occasions we did move the ball at speed we looked dangerous.

    Regan was the only brightspot on a poor day out, he never stopped running and was at the root of all our scores.

    Also agree with previous poster, there are playerson the panel who are there for years but are not getting game time. Why not bring in the young players to the squad ifthats the case.

    Alot of things to work on for June.

  19. A win but a very frustrating performance. We seemed to be in the wrong frame of mind – doing barely enough to get over the line. I agree with John Maughan (for once in my life!) about some players carrying the ball into contact and holding up the play. There was very little by way of running off the ball, support play or quick movement of the ball into the danger zone. Our work rate was well below par as well. Apart from Evan Regan there was very little to get excited about in this performance.
    Now is when CR will earn his corn – in finalising the panel and in imposing a style of play that every player buys into. Some hard talking needs to be done as far as I can see or we will come unstuck earlier than we think in the championship.
    We have great players but our play isn’t great! Hopefully we can sort this sooner rather than later but on present form none of the other big boys will worry about us.

  20. Agree with forever the optimist, bring Duffy and Reape and some of the u21 team in ASAP and drop the guys that have been on the fringe for do long. It’s doing nobody any good. I heard that mc entee is training the Dublin based Mayo senior players and that the Dublin based u21 lads are training with him at the same time, a good move.

  21. Delighted we won lots to work on but 7 weeks before were out again so we are not in a bad place we know our weakness and can work at them have to tip the hat to Evan Regan he did really well again

  22. Reape, Duffy, Irwin, Akram and Kenny are all players from the 21s that would be worth a look for the extended 35 man panel, even if it’s only with a view to the future and getting their S&C up to standard (I’m assuming that DOC, Coen, Hall and a fully fit Loftus will be there anyway).

    I’ll maybe leave it to others to say who should drop off but the names mentioned by FtO above have been there a long time without doing much of note.

  23. What’s concerning most is that we don’t seem to have improved at all that much throughout the league. Our defence has been loose and opened up too easily (the dub game aside and that’s cos the weather was shocking).

    Our transition from defence to area is equally concerning. Slow..lateral…looks like no plan. I know management have to try players and different things but this league has been poor.

    Look like a team who just wanted to get thru it and move into the summer. That’s what I’m hoping!!!

  24. Congratulations to Andy on matching James Nallen for appearances. Talk of getting rid of “dead wood” seems a bit premature and disrespectful.I remember people on this site wanting rid of Andy 3 years ago!

    I hate seeing ball carried into tackles and lost but often we do not have players forward. Kicking the ball away is a greater sin. I would be interested to see any stats on just how many turnovers we concide from tackles compared to ball lost from misplaced kick passes.

  25. Forever the optimist – I’m sorry but you can’t name specific players and refer to them as “deadwood”. I’ve excised the offending bits from your comment.

  26. Great to get the win .A lot of work to do.That game was still in the balance right I to injury time in second half.Frustrating when we had the game but didnt push on snd even more frustrating because we are having difficulty closing games out.We do that in Championship we will end up on loosing streak.That said nice to stay at top table.

  27. Hi All,
    Well done today and no matter how you all look at it you guys did the business and retained League 1 status. I have to say that whilst I didn’t go to Hyde Park (or Carrick-On-Shannon) for the Dubs game today the Roscommon County Board are a disgrace and must be made pay for their massive error. I have a friend who brought his son on the train from Kingsbridge to Roscommon only to be told the venue had changed and the lad is in a wheelchair…its a disgrace. Apologies for my rant….and please God we will talk soon ..

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  28. Apologies Willie Joe, should not have named specific players. ‘Deadwood’ was a poor use of phrase from me

  29. This game was over after the penalty, 6 pts up with Regan causing havoc. Instead of keeping going with what was working we change tac and AOS goes too ff and 3 or 4 mail mary passes and one guilt edged chance later we go in at half time 2 pts up.

    Now there are times when it is a good idea for AOS to go ff but not when our forward line were on top. This totally took the impetus out of our attack.

    Caff and Robbie were missed, Keane and Clarke are fine players and didn’t do anything wrong but the other two imo organise the defence better and the kick outs are a little quicker and a little more accurate. Harrison did well and has nailed down the position. Barrett substitution unbalanced the defence as Boyle moved back and was missed at the heart of the half backs. Worrying that we dont have a replacement corner back. Agree with midwest that zippy will be further outfield this year.

  30. Congrats to Stephen Rochford and his management team on finishing fifth in Division 1. After having such a late start in terms of been allowed to get his management reign underway and having to deal with missing so many players, to achieve his first objective is a notable achievement.

    With our U21s also crowned Connacht champions this weekend, we have a lot to look forward too. Thanks and well done to all involved with both our senior and U21 teams!

  31. In our 3 wins against Monaghan, Roscommon and Down we were well clear and should have put the game to bed but ended up hanging on at the end each time. Bad habit to get into.

    We seemed to have the attitude today of “just turn up and we will win”. If we turn up in London with that attitude we could be in trouble. Is there not somebody on the backroom team who’s job it is to ensure the players are in the right frame of mind going into a game and approaching it with the right attitude? Arrogance and over confidence should have been detected before the game and any player displaying those attributes should not have played. It would not happen with Cody in Kilkenny.

    Anyway it seems we have secured the owl division 1 status for another year. Though a bit of confusion over who actually got relegated with Down. Some said Cork and others said Monaghan and even 1 fella saying Mayo before changing his mind.

  32. Ya , poor performance ,, anyway ,, got to try lots of new faces in the league and stay up , Here’s my championship team 1 hen nelly fullback line of Barrett caff Harrison
    Half backs Keegan boyle Duncan ,mid field , parsons and Seamie , Half forwards diarmuid aiden and Keith h ,full forward Kevinmc cillian and regan ,

  33. The thing is if we let ball in early today we would have goaled twice. Our full forward line were winning at least 2/3 of kicked in ball.
    Similar to u21 we need to stick to a simple gameplan. We lack quarter backs like McGloughlin and Higgins with the instruction to the team to give them the ball to kick it in.
    Im not faulting effort or bravery levels.
    But at u21 and senior it is still carry the ball football with some of the countries best forward talent idle inside.

  34. Could write all evening but it would be repetition ….has all been said! Down had more notion of team work. Old man passing out at end said ‘they never make it easy for themselves!’

  35. Well. Bit of a mixed bag alright but people should give Down a bit of credit too. I thought they played very well and never gave up. We probably had this game won two or three times but also thought we were in third gear a lot of the time. When we upped it we looked very good. Regan was excellent and Down double marked Cillian so Regan was one on one a lot of the time. There was a lack of physicality in the defense and it definitely was a end of league match. At the end of the day it all means nothing. We say up and move forward knowing we have lots to do. U21 doing great and will boast the panel. Would love to see one or two of them get into starting 15 and push the rest of the lads. All to play for.

  36. It’s often easy to blame the player in possession of the ball when they loose it.. and yes there was a lot of lateral passing, kicking the ball backwards, soloing down down blind allies.. and all that type of thing.. but more importantly there was no intensity to the game, it was lackadaisical, there was little or no support play at times.. no players running into space and creating an overlap. It’s an easy thing to pass to someone calling for the ball and who’s hare-in into space.. its much harder, having no other options but, to put the head down and try and break the line.. at least that guy is trying.. the guys standing still are not. We did play for 15 minutes of either half today (and when we did we were far the superior team) but at times it looked like we just needed to do enough and we did. Down are no great team and we were just going through the motions today. I wouldn’t read to much into this game in how the over all year will pan out for us.

  37. One of the big issues is that our half backs, some of our most legendary performers are not great kickpassers.
    I would wager McGloughlin Keane Higgins would have more of an effective contribution under current intended system. They have big 50 yard boots on them. They can pick men out on the wings with a 30-40 yard kickpass.

  38. Win is a win. Seems like out team adopted same attitude as supporters just turn up and we will win. Anyway the important thing is we stayed up. Talk about getting rid of some of our established players yet again makes little sense. Yet again Andy got crucial score for us. Promoting U21s is fine but if we had lost last night as we could easily have done would we be all for this wholesale promotion.. I think not. We are in quite a good place. Have plenty of work to do between now and championship but thats no bad thing. Galway blew it again today but will be a threat in June but as it stands we are in pole position in Connacht and can look forward to a decent summer

  39. At the end of the league we still have not decided on the spine of our team. Surely this is a priority now. Time for experimenting is nearly over. I would go with Hennelly,Caff, Boyle,Sheamie ,Parsons ,,Cillian Freeman. Boyle would have to stick back and mind the house. we also need a sweeper.

  40. We seem to take leads of 5 or 6 points and then at this stage when we find we have built up a lead we then change our style of play and keep 13 men in own half to try and defend this lead. We end up slowing the game when we have the ball and end up passing it sideways or even back ways as we have not enough options upfront. We did this last Sunday and again today and it is not working. In the last 7 or 8 minutes it was Mayo players 20 and 30 meters from their own goal who lost the ball by bad short passes as when we had 13 of our own players within 30 meters from our own goal then Down also had 13 of their team within scoring distance of the Mayo goal. What we should be doing is pressing on with what is working and when we let the ball in quickly to Regan and Freeman we were scoring or we were fouled. Some players are still running into traffic instead of letting the ball do the work.Keegan seems to be under instruction not to attack. IMO he should be let play his natural game but have a midfielder drop back to cover when he attacks

  41. Very poor performance today and one which almost cost us our Division 1 status. Transition from defense to attack once again was slow with the same names yet again unable to resist the almost Doogle-like temptation to carry the ball into contact as often as possible !! We have learned nothing here and unless Rochford brings the bags of doggie treats to training for some of these bright sparks over the next few months little will change. Galway will beat us put the gate of we put in a showing like that in June…

  42. I thought today our midfield was very poor ,staying static resulting in Clarke having to kick it out the middle

    Ger caff was badly missed , Keane was way off the pace

    Patrick durcans ball handing was very poor and gave away the ball for the second goal, he solos into tackles to much

    We were lucky to hold out … Great performance by regan

    I think we can be optimistic about the months ahead

  43. Ya, job done for sure. The last twenty minutes and the mini pitch invasion had me rollin me eyes to the Lord. I won’t repeat what my fellow fans were saying. All in all for me a frustrating game and campaign. No real consistency that I could see building from game to game. That leaky defence still seems leaky to me but here we are still in division one and again a lot to look forward to in the summer. And Evan Regan. Also, there seems to be a real competition for places and we have options in different positions. The challenge now maybe is how to manage the resources we have and make the best of our players. Ramble over. Mayo for Sam.

  44. Freeman hardly got a mention today but scored from as much from play as Regan did and more than Cillian.(not a bad freetaker and can kick a 45 aswell)

  45. Our game over the last 4/5 years was based on a running game which brought us a lot of success but not the ultimate success. We are now changing to a more direct long ball game it is said. Is there just total confusion about what style of football we are supposed to be playing ? you have all these strong running athletic half backs, midfielders and half forwards who are not suited to the direct ball game.
    Is this a real problem for us or can you have both styles ?

  46. Struggling to beat down tells its own story . They are terrible. We conceded a huge score again and I haven’t seen anything different in this league campaign to give much hope for an attempt on Sam. The majority of our scores today same as all league were from placed balls. We are not getting near enough from our forwards from open play. Regan did play well but with 2 men on COC was expected with all extra space. Defense all over the place today and could just as easy could lost it. Overall a poor campaign with only 1 decent performance up in Monaghan . Roscommon played a dummy team and we only won by 3. Let’s see what happens come championship.

  47. Job done in regards to division one survival. I suppose thats the most important thing.

    But so so much to be frustrated about at the same time. We were sloppy and careless and despite the fact that this was a hugely important game, we seemed to be lacking in motivation.

    We really seem to struggle with being the dominant team in a match and when we go more than a couple of points up, our foot goes off the gas and we relax making sloppy mistakes with lose passes, poor marking and half-hearted tackling.

    We don’t have that killer instinct to kill a game off despite having the quality to do so. It seems to be a team wide issue at times with very little go-forward ball. This to me is the key issue we have, not our lack of scoring forwards or tendency to leak goals.

  48. The important thing of today was not the performance but the result.
    Take the 2 points, play in Division 1 next season #jobdone.
    7 weeks to prep for London (and beyond). Onward and Upwards.

  49. ‘Galway will bate us out the gate if we put in a showing like that in June’ – you mustn’t have seen much of Galway of late, honestly I think even today’s effort, which was maybe 20% of what these lads are capable of, would beat the current Galway team. They’re in a bad place at the moment.

    Just to clarify RE the under 21s – I’m not for a second advocating ditching our established players – it’s a few of the not established ones I’d be looking at. And I’m not talking about throwing a load of under 21s into the first team either – I’m talking about them being in positions 31 to 35 on the panel instead of the players who are in positions 31 to 35 at the moment. If any of them kick on to make the 26 or even the 15 even better, but I think there are lads on the panel at the moment who are filling the numbers for A v B games and no more.

  50. well done to the lads on preserving div 1 football, with injurys and castlebar boys missing , was,t a bad league and easily couda ended up in semis, we finish level with the dunnys on 6 pts, great to see regan beginnning to prove him self as a top foward after some tough injurys , remember seen him playing in ballina 3 years ago in fbd ans said to myself , this fella has got something and with young oconnor , durcan and others , we,ll take some stopping again this year and who ever does or can will prob. win sam….onwards and upwards for ruislip………also fair play to our u21s, looked bad early on at 1-4 down , but great comeback and we badly need this connacht title, not only for our selfs as a county but also to put a halt to the rossis gallop in this grade ….the minors also starting to prove them selfs after that opening round hammering to rosscommon………again well done to all the lads on the 3 teams and panels ……muigheo abu……………

  51. Our major problem today in my opinion was that we decided to concede almost all Down kickouts by giving them a free man in their full backline and let them build from the back. This had to be a management decision.When Down did kick long we did quite well in winning possession but that did not happen too often.
    our ball carrying tactics are becoming old hat at this stage and teams know that they can depend on Mayo to carry the ball until they are stopped around midfield 50 m. Full forwards, knowing the ball will not be let into them come out to that area further congesting it so that a breakdown is almost inevitable. An incident in the second half today illustrates that. Aiden O’Shea won a ball in the corner under the stand, looked up but could see nobody inside or even making a run in. Result was he had to pass backwards and the ball ended being passed around in midfield 30 seconds after we had it on the 14 m line. Early on the ball was sometimes delivered in and our full forward line were doing quite well but for most of the game we tried to play keep ball around the middle.

  52. A lot of negativity on here this evening look if someone told me last January below in Cork after we were to use “45” words beat out the gate that Cork would be relegated and we wouldn’t id be very happy. Look it wasn’t pretty today but it was pretty effective we got the job done we have seven weeks to prepare for London and no disrespect to them a further 3 weeks then to prepare for Galway I wouldn’t panic I think we could do very well this year take it one game at a time

  53. Christ lads relax with the panic a bit. Today was a lackluster performance. It happens. There is, in my opinion, zero chance that we will play any championship game with the level of intensity shown today. We had a hard slog last week on a pathetic excuse for a pitch, don’t forget that takes it’s toll too on the legs. Was it a good performance? Not particularly, but we still scored 1-19. Was it terrible? I’ve seen worse, frankly. Job done? Yes, absolutely. Will any of this matter in May/June? Nope, not one jot

  54. Well said MayoMark.
    Also I tought that fetch by Evan Regan over the defenders head was a bit special.. the lads not that hugely tall but he fairly got off the ground. He had a nice cross field kick to Freezer too.

  55. Agree on Freeman…he was lovely today when on the few occasions we kicked fast direct ball in. It’s not about hitting the panic button on one league performance but going back the past seasons….we simply don’t play the ball up the field fast enough. But hey maybe we are holding back….we don’t know what level the team are at yet this year but we look leggy in the final 1/4 which suggests fitness training has a few notches to go yet.

    One thing that annoyed me today was one or two of our bigger players going up for a ball with one hand….they are big enough to face and reach up with two hands.

  56. I think today was all about getting the win and thats what we did.To score 1-19 is also an improvement.
    Fair play to Down who didn’t just turn up to give us 70 minutes of football.They came to win and have showed a slow but all too late improvement as the League went on.
    The crowd were very quite for much of the game and probably it was only the last 10-15 minutes when they began to clear their throats and get behind the lads.
    A few indifferent performances from some today but one player I will highlight is Jason Doherty.
    The amount of ground he covers during a game is astonishing.He has come in for more than his fair share of critisism but watching him today he put in more than his fair shift. There was also a number of occassions when he ran into open space but sadly none of our players found him.Because he is more known as a scorer I think a lot of people tend to give out about him if he only scores a point or two but the amount of ball he wins and cleans up is what keeps him in the team.
    Evan Regan looks to have booked his place for the Championship and will pose defences plenty of problems this summer.
    Well done lads we have Division 1 football in 2017. Some players to come back from injuries and 7 weeks before London to iron out tactics.

  57. Regarding Doherty, he seems to be the latest player to be at the butt end of abuse from Mayo supporters. Where I was today, he was subjected to some ridiculous criticism. Why people think that could possibly help is beyond me. And there’s no doubt in my mind the players heard absolutely everything today.

    It was Andy Moran once upon a time, and he’s an absolute hero now. I expect Doherty to be a big part of our plans this year.

  58. I agree MayoMark this won’t matter a whit in June.
    But surely we need to be perfecting our style of play and using a game like today as a dry run for the championship. For the life of me I cannot see any clear and effective patterns of attack emerging. It all seems to be ad hoc……make it up as you go along stuff! But then what do I know! I’m only an ordinary 5/8th.
    But as as an ordinary 5/8th if I was in charge I would develop an attack based on:
    1. a mix of hard off the shoulder running from deep ( like we used to) plus
    2. early accurate ball into the ff line with our most accurate kickers taking the shots at goal.
    Maybe the fact that we haven’t been using the same players consistently has contributed to this and yes we needed to experiment. Maybe injuries and absences etc have contributed but somebody needs to stamp their authority on this and soon. I know laying down the law for a group like this who have so much experience is a real challenge. And I’m sure there are very large egos in that dressing room – and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But it is a huge challenge for a new manager in his first year in IC management.
    Strong leadership needed now in the weeks leading up to hopefully a clash with Galway.
    But as I said above what do I know!

  59. I think Doherty is so under appreciated because he is one of those players that does so much off the ball work – tracking back, making runs, providing options. I don’t think he’s been up to his best this league (carrying an injury maybe?) but definitely an important player for us and he played well today I thought.

  60. We survived by the skin of our teeth. It’s hard to draw anything out of that performance other than we need to improve. Time is a great thing and I know that we know a thing or two about time. We have the time to improve and we need it. Mental strenght and a savage relentless belief in our own abilities will release the true potential that has always been there waiting for far too long now. Time will tell it always does. We are still in division one that’s an undeniable good thing. Let’s see if these lads really believe…

  61. I remember us staying up in 2013 on the last day & our performances in the summer were very different. I think we’ll see major improvements come June/July

  62. Division 1 secured which is very important in the long run.

    Mayo = Over confident, no central defence, slow in attack, had to win so under pressure, heavy legs from playing in swamp last weekend, deserved to win BUT so lucky in the end.

    Down = Big physical presence in key positions, ran at Mayo thru the centre, under no pressure, can score long range points, can kick pass.

    Good performance by Regan and Harrison, Parsons good 20 mins then faded completely others passable, Barrett roasted but substituted in a timely manner.

    A lot if work, thinking and planning required over next two months.

  63. We ended up our league campaign this year pretty much in a similar position that we have in the last few years. We finished on 6 points this year. Last year we finished on 7. Last year we had a management team in place a no. of months before we had this year and we also had a lot more players available to us. Also under James Horan, we finished on 6 points a number of times. Again we had a lot more players available during those years and we had started training earlier in the season.

    So at the moment you’d be thinking are we any further ahead or behind where we were in the last few years, we are pretty much in the same position. What we do have at the end of this campaign though is a no. of players like Brendan Harrison, Michael Hall, Shane Nally, Conor O’Shea, Conor Loftus and Evan Regan who have seen a lot of game time. That’s three extra defenders and forwards to add enhanced competition for places and we shouldn’t forget players like Diarmuid and Paddy Durcan who will be big players for the future. Stephen Coen should be pushing for a place in the match day 26 also. The future looks bright!

  64. We mixed the sublime with the ridiculous today. That game should have been dead and buried numerous times, but we’ve struggled to kill teams off throughout the league….even on the days when we’ve owned midfield, though we didn’t dominate like usual today. Aiden is a wrecking ball at centre forward, and we are much more fluid when he is deployed there as opposed to full forward. Regan showed some real class today

  65. A lot of negativity around here despite the fact that we’re after winning a match and retaining division 1 status. The circumstances surrounding this league campaign were far from ideal – a whole host of injuries that seemed to crop up one after another, a late start to training, a new management style to adjust to, a new playing style to adjust to, experimentation with new players (which will have more than paid off if Evan Regan and Brendan Harrison go on to have a terrific summer). A great league was never really on the cards given the situation we were in, so I’m more than happy with the fact that they’ve done enough to stay in division 1. Now, the real work begins can.

  66. Happy with the win and staying in division 1. Thought Barrett and C O Shea were well of the pace today, I lost count the amount of loses of possession conor had and management should have substituted him earlier. Down got alot of scores driving right through the middle of us.

    Thought we lost our shape when we got to the 1/2 back line, no real movement up front and alot of lateral passing. We looked good when we burst out at pace and we should have done more of that. We should have put Down to the sword in the first half, if Aidan had scored that goal in the first half i think that would have been the case, but we still see Mayo not finishing out a game and nearly gifting Down a win.

    I noticed Downs tactic where there were 2 men in close proximity of the down runner. The down man passed to one of them and continued a looped run behind the mayo defender who was closing down the down 2 attackers and passed over his head to the down man on the looped run. A good tactic and it yielded plenty of scores. Rochford take note.

  67. Ah Doherty is a very good player, a lot of ignorant, overly emotional people at matches Mark – that’ll never change.

    Best I’ve seen Regan play, his confidence is up and I hope he carries that into the big summer games. I think we’re short of good corner back cover but hopefully we don’t have any important players injured there come summer.

    We actually might have a problem with fitting players into their best positions come championship – for example, the more I watch Cillian, as lethal a finisher he is and he is the best out there, he has zero pace and I think 11 is his best position given his excellent vision and passing. However, it seems more and more likely Aidan’s best position is also 11. Then you have Higgins and DO’C and McLoughlin who all have to start in the half forward line. We could do with a bolter from the U21s, someone like Reape coming in to take up a corner forward spot.

  68. That was a nervy one and a very frustrating one to watch but at the end of the day the lads got the job done – just about. Big credit to Stephen Rochford and to the lads for retaining Division 1 status in what has been a difficult campaign from the outset, in terms of the late start, the extent of the injuries we were carrying and the fact that team and management had to get to know each other in the middle of competitive action.

    While there were no standout games this campaign in terms of team performances we have strengthened our panel quite a bit. Brendan Harrison in particular has shown great consistency and reliability, and obviously the fact that Evan has made such progress has been a big boost. Shane Nally too has been a great addition. And in recent years Andy seems to be taking slack simply for being part of our panel – today, not for the first time his experience came to the fore and I would prefer to have a guy of his calibre on the bench any day than not.

    I would agree with bringing in 4-5 of our U21 players as per what Declan says above – and I’m not saying it because they won yesterday, I’ve been saying it all along. Would love to see Fionan Duffy in there, as well as Liam Irwin, Brian Reape, Sharoize Akram (though he seems quite light). Matty Flanagan will be our No. 2 goalkeeper next year, no question.

    It’s striking what a big loss Diarmuid O’Connor was today – he is fast becoming indispensable. Ger Caff was a loss too today, and he has had an excellent campaign, underneath the radar as befits a gent like Caff. I think today’s game would have really suited Kevin McLoughlin. And of course there’s Zippy to come back – that’s four key players. Credit to Down who kept battling and took some lovely scores – they were far from useless.

    We’re castigating lads above for carrying the ball into contact – I didn’t feel that was a major feature of our game today. Rather I felt that when we were in posession between our own 45 and the half way line we had no options at half forward because the lads had dropped back so deep. I can only imagine what a frustrating day today was for Alan Freeman and Cillian O’Connor – the supply they got was pitiful.

    I agree with AndyD and am beginning to sound like a broken record at this stage when it comes to our attack – time and time again we build from the back only to find when a ball goes out to the wing there is no-one inside or near the square to collect it. This has happened 2-3 times in every league game this year and similarly in championship last year and seems glaringly obvious – yet it keeps happening.

    Anyway, looking at the bigger picture to me the negatives aren’t overly concerning at this point of the year – it has been made abundantly clear to us that the focus of this team is Championship. As per last year I don’t expect to see us in full flight until at least July (yes, I fully expect us to beat Galway, after a battle).

    Seven weeks to London! If you haven’t secured your match tickets yet I’d strongly recommend you get on it this week – there will be a serious shortage given the demand they are in.

    Maigh Eo Abú

  69. DreamySnooze….will you tell me quick what’s the new playing style and management style they have to adjust to? It surely must be rocket science after all, and I thought all you needed was a pencil and paper. Forty years ago when you passed a ball you went inside for the return and you were nt playing for the county!

  70. Hi Mayo.Mick do you save match photographs on here or at Club 51 or elsewhere.. wouldn’t mind a browse

  71. It is not true to say there has not been a marked improvement during the league as some people seem to think. A lot of things went right for us. A win over Down of any kind is always a bonus. We have always found them a difficult team to master and today was no different. But Down were good today and nobody can say they were not up for it. They play an exciting brand of football, and we matched them all the way. We cannot blame our lads for their good performance. Today we played some nice football we got some great scores with lots of honesty and endeavor. If you want to knock your team when they are successful, at least have the common sense to acknowledge what they done well..

  72. Made the pilgrimage – up and down no delays.

    What do you say? 1-19 – best score of the league and we almost blew it.

    Heads I felt weren’t right. Good spells, and then the mentality seemed to be, now Down take that lie down and lets roll you over completely. But Down were having none of it. Rochie could do worse than look closely at the Down part of this video. They were very good, really knew how to operate a blanket defence in the last 20 minutes and by God can they break at speed, and by God have they the confidence to score. Don’t have their wide count on me just at the minute, but they missed damn all.

    We just couldn’t handle their thrusts from defence to attack and could have conceded another couple of goals. Add to that, we just kept walking into tackles, timing completely off, hesitancy in offloads – Shane Nally responsible for at least 2 scores.

    Still, we did very well after that goal, and operated a proper blanket and made good transitions whence Andy and Evan did the business.

  73. I dunno I’m reserving the right to remain concerned. I think our style of play at senior and u21 hasnt really moved on. It requires big effort levels and our full forward line over performing on limited n late supply.
    Diarmuid has been using that 800m runner physique to lift the workrate in closing down, blocks, winning 40:60 ball, being an outlet. How long is that feasible him diving head first into 30:70 ball? Him emptying the tank game after game. With him missing we lost our best middle eight defensive player.
    If we could play with boot to ball more Diarmuid won’t have to cover 14km a game. Defence can remain more set and he wont need to come past his own 45 as much.
    I have yet to see us in any year in terms of playing style be much different in championship versus league. We have improved in championship of course but never had an efficient playing style to win the big one. We have players who are more suited to a running game. That was some of their instinct before Horan took over.
    Who is consistent with kickpassing?
    – Barrett
    – Higgins
    – McGloughlin
    – Cillian
    – Diarmuid
    In my view we are not specific enough about who will quarter back the ball as the kickpass of our counter attack. We need Kevin McGloughlin left Keith Higgins middle and Diarmuid right when we are countering. Right now we are counter attacking randomly based on sheer talent and physique. It’s not accurate or efficient.

  74. I’m only concerned because its a lot of the same mistakes we are making. The build up is very frustrating to watch. Its one negative to our game.Why can we play more direct like Dublin or Kerry ? Either go play fucking fast direct attacking football or kick the ball up the field. I also thought we defended very deep inside our 40 yard line instead of pressuring further out from goal.

  75. I think JP if we had been able to start out earlier in the season with a fully fit squad and results had been a little more favourable earlier on we would have seen Rochford experiment more with quick counters by Kevin, Keith and Diarmuid as you have described but we only saw the smallest of brief glimpses of this before we eventually had to revert to type, rightly or wrongly, in order to just maintain our Div 1 status. The running game has brought us a very long way but in games, like the replay against Dublin, we just can’t maintain that high tempo and we don’t have the same calibre of bench Dublin have. So as Rochy say we will be seein a different brand of football come Championship which you have rightly described will be more accurate and efficient. The only concern I have is the risk of trying to fine tune a quick counter attacking kick passing game in the Championship cause there aren’t many opportunities for error.

  76. +1 toe to hand
    That’s my concern also. The FBD and the league are where you rehearse your strategies. I hope they have a good schedule of challenge games coming up.

  77. The following statistics must say something :
    1In the six previous league games Downs average score per game was 8 points and
    today they scored 19.[1.16]

    2 In those six games their average losing margin was 10 points and today they lost by 3.

    3 Against Roscommon in the first half ,with 60/70 % possession and the wind Mayo led
    by 2 points at the break.

    Does this mean we cannot put teams away and that we are miles behind Dublin and Kerry?

    Everybody hopes not but it does not look great.

  78. @toe to hand I have all the match photos up on my website. Click on my avatar link . On mobile in pub celebrating all our Mayo gaa wins over weekend

  79. We are miles off the likes of Kerry and Dublin at the moment and sadly will be in September also. If its not the backs its the forwards. We are doomed unless we adopt the work ethic of Donegal circa 2012, that is an average team driven by a massive desire and hungry with only one goal in mind and win through any means. Are our boys up for it?

  80. Average team my backside. Some of the best players in the land play for us . Not sure where some of ye have been these last few years but I’ve been watching the best mayo team in my lifetime ,I’m 37.

    Today’s performance was lack lustre ,no big deal IMO . We survived and that was all that was needed . What did we gain , a new corner forward who has the ability to be the messi of Gaelic football IMO (laugh all ya want ) .

    Under 21 game was a sweet victory , thought it was a bad turnout from Mayo support . Really needs to be an effort in getting supporters to travel for semi v dubs

  81. Very nervous at that game didn’t like the way we were sliced open at times was just like the Cork game! would love to see us scoring more from play, hopefully all this will be worked on in next few weeks and everyone stays injury free!! To Martin the Dub: not often(never actually :)) have I felt sorry for Dublin supporters but I did yesterday very bad form from Roscommon Gaa it’s not easy making plans to go and follow your team especially for you friend with his son but when the venue is being chopped & changed as much as yesterday’s one was , it must be so frustrating and then to get charged for the complimentary bus ! A few lessons yet to be learned from all in Roscommon !!

  82. Yes, Sean Burke, maybe the best Mayo team in your lifetime but we still can,t bring home the bacon. Avtually I,m proud to watch this team but we,re still average until proved itherwise. We flatter to deceive andvI,m eatching Mayo football since the early seventies.

  83. very hard to judge where we’re at game plan wise. I’d have liked to have seen more of a solid defensive pattern to have developed by now, but to be fair, the mgmt have been somewhat hamstrung by what players have been available. We looked to be in a good place on that score after the Dublin game? Have we taken 1 step forward and 2 steps back? The half back line and half forward line are the two big areas of question for me. At this point I only see Lee, Boyler, and DO’C as nailed on in either line with an injury free Zippy likely to come into the half forward line? I don’t think the other contenders for Sam have anything like those question marks in the middle third and that’s a concern, albeit an addressable one, especially if Aido can find some form at 11 which I’d be quite confident that he will. A lot to work on but if you’d offered me us being in this position after the Kerry game I’d have bitten your hand off so congrats to the players and mgmt team for grinding it out. I’m hoping we’ve got through it in third and 4th gear and 7 to 8 weeks of fine tuning with a full deck from now will have us humming. And lets not forget we look to finally have an inside forward who is capable of sharing the burden with Cillian. Regan has all the tools and plenty of headroom to develop and grow on the inter county stage. How long have we been waiting for one of those?

  84. It’s Monday and I’ve cooled the jets a bit!! I’m still a bit frustrated BECAUSE we have a great team with some of the best footballers in the land, well capable of winning an all ireland or two but we play stupid at times. All I am saying is to get a system of play going that suits our players, that maximizes our return from dominance in the posession stakes. We scored 1-19 yesterday which belies the point I am trying to make but we could have put up a monster score entirely as indeed we could have against the Rossies.
    All that said we play Div 1 next year and that was whT was most important. Oh and we have developed the panel. Talking of which I tend to agree that some pruning is needed but I would wait until after the dublin game before making too many judgements about the u21s.

  85. A small enough crowd of Mayo supporters at that cracking U21 game. We were seriously outnumbered by the Ros support. I was really impressed with some of them young Rosses. As we made off to the Hyde last week we were staring down the wrong end of both barrels. Today we are still in Div 1 where we deserve to be. Some of the posts on here have not accounted correctly for our come back even if we got a bit of help from the kingdom along the way. I was at the game yesterday and as far ads I remember we led from start to finish. We achieved what we needed to achieve. It is still early April, sit back and enjoy the league final and a return to the club scene.

  86. I would not be putting any names from our U21 team in to any squad just yet. They are a long way off the senior standards. Some guys worth another look maybe in the future. I would be far happier promoting some of the Rossies to senior status.

  87. The Rossies were cute enough if you appreciate that sort of cuteness with the last minute change. It meant the businesses in the town got the benefit of the Dubs on Saturday evening and night instead of Carrick. Personally I dont have much time for that sort of carry on but thats probably why I have a strong dislike for our neighbors.
    On that front, it has been a fantastic 7 days, we put the noisy neighbors back in their box twice, although it is hilarious to listen to them justify it all, we won a Connacht U-21 championship which have been rare enough these last few years, and won it with a very brave gutsy performance, and we maintained our Division 1 status.
    Lets take some satisfaction from that for a while, I’d hate to see what the reaction here would be if any of those 3 results went against us. Although i have come to believe that there is a portion of the Mayo support that for whatever reason are only happy, if you can call it happy, when their worst fears have come true. “See I told ye” is the contented refrain of that type of Mayo I dont know if its a result of the past few years near misses or if its bred into some of us but some lads are never happy unless the reality of the situation as regards results matches their glass half empty outlook on all things Mayo.
    Its been far from perfect but we have survived a major upheaval off the pitch that put other counties that were in similar situations back years. We are still competitive and have got through our first big test. Yes there are things to work on, but as someone already said we have been here before and kicked on from it.

  88. Totally agree with Sean Burke on the messi of gaa reference, we will see a lot more this summer no doubt.

    The league wasn’t a success nor a total disaster.Some positives and negatives for summer.

    Negitives
    1.Started poorly (but had many key players injured)
    2.Gave away to many scores to the worst team in the division.
    3.We seem to still have the old habit of gaining big leads then losing them in the last 10/15
    4.Panel needs tweeking , few under 21 lads need to be taken a closer look at.

    Positives
    1.We were not relegated despite our injuries at the start.
    2.I think it’s become aparrent AOS is best where he belongs in midfield.
    3.Tom parson’s consistency .
    4.Harrison looks to be a key player for summer.
    5.Evan Regan is without doubt going to be a key player and teamed up with Cillian will wreck havoc to any defence this year.
    6.Diarmaid O’Connor is equally as capable as his brother and our forward line up is in a very decent place as long as diarmaid isn’t having to do so much defensive work.
    7.With all our players back at full fitness , I believe we can definitely challenge for Sam.

  89. I dont agree that our stronger u21s are a long way off. They might not be 15 or even 26. But theyre snapping at heels for the 26 a few of them.
    Diarmuid starting obbiously.
    Coen will probably make the bench.
    Hall panelist.
    Reape Irwin Duffy depending on the Dublin game will be coming into picture in managements heads for the 26, at least one of them. There isnt a size or strength gap for those last three. Irwin and Duffy are bull strong. Reape is big and explosive fast.
    Now personal choices come in with lads maybe having university and not feeling ready till next year or not wanting senior pressures yet.

  90. @eastcork,

    It’s easier to be negative constantly, point out what’s wrong, pose problems rather than solutions, that way if the hurt comes your prepared for it. I think it’s a defence mechanism a lot of Mayo supporters have adopted over the years. Personally I wonder why a lot of people even go to games, you could win by 47 points and you’ll hear some doomsday merchant saying “good win, but” going out the gate. I suppose it’s a side effect of years of knock backs. Don’t agree with it, just saying it’s a mindset many appear to revel in.

  91. @Liam. I had to vow never to attend again with a supporter I know. 70 minutes of actual chronic stress. No doctor could possibly recommend this as leisure activity 🙂

  92. Agree re mindset of some supporters. There is something comforting about thinking your not good enough.

    People have to learn to accept the positives and that things can go right, while also being able to look at the negatives square on.

  93. Yesterday our midfield were cleaned. Our half forward line was the worst line on the field.
    And why? Seamie again trying to bulldoze his way when he gets a ball. Parsons has a brain and ability and is able to give a good pass. Seamie will always be Seamie , run into a cul de sac and as usual is robbed and the pressure is back on us again. Our half forward line of Conor O Shea, Aiden O Shea and Jason Doherty was the worst half forward I have seen playing for Mayo since 2010. Only when we brought Cillian out did we take a bit of shape. I would love to see Mayo play a game without any of the O,Sheas. But as Buckley is there that won’t happen. Aiden is strong and powerful and that is his input. We are still shouting about his great game against Sligo last year, when the young Sligo full back was only playing his 2nd game there. Again yesterday he missed a open goal. Would Michael Murphy miss it, you bet you life he wouldn,t. A team I would love to see playing, Clarke, Harrison,Cafferky, Higgins, Keegan,Boyle,Nally, Parson,Gibbons, DOC, COC,Mc Loughlin, Regan, Freeman, Andy( for cuteness and crafty).

  94. @kmf I refer your logic to the counter logic of the barstooler.
    “They were above in Croke Park and they couldnt kick the ball over the ‘uckin(silent f) bar. You will then be regaled about the Knockmore lads in 96 and how Rochford has lost the dressing room!!!

  95. This isn’t an average team. This is the best Mayo team I’ve seen in my lifetime. I think they are slightly caught between 2 stools of playing more of a direct kick passing game and then going back to their more natural running game. There’s that and the unsettled nature of the team with all the changes throughout the league but this has to be done to blood new players. I think when the rubber hits the road we’ll be a force to be reckoned with again although wether we’ll be far enough down that road to beat Dublin I don’t know.

  96. @TrueGrit not one of Aidan and Seamus best games I agree. Talking of dropping Aidan altogether a bit out there.
    The previous game they were both releasing the ball earlier.
    Conor is improving but another year will do a lot for him. Seamus had some nice passes to the wing first half versus Roscommon.
    Jason Doherty, is not quick, he is not slow either. Around inter county pace. Bear in mind inter county quick often comes tallied with underage sprinting medals.
    You are being overly harsh, Aidan sticks that goal we walk it. On chances offered Aidan has done fine on goals/points of the bigger men on the national scene. He’s certainly the quickest of the big men and the firmer summer pitches will suit him.

  97. Mayo played some nice football yesterday. A few diagonal balls into full forward line payed dividends. CoC quick thinking found regan and he won penalty just as he did in ballybofey. Johnny giles said on tv one night “when the ball goes dead u come alive”. Alertness is quality.

    A few weeks ago we were crying our freetaking was cruel. Yesterday we nailed all of them ( i think) and some of them were spectacular. Thats a great improvement. Cillian only half fit. in fact his fitness over last few years has been questionable. So a fully fit Cillian will be some asset. Regan coming on well. conor doin well. so we have blooded more forward talent which we again were crying out for. Our u21s are a gutsy talented bunch and a few more of them might challenge for spot in the panel. I think a bit of transition needs to take place and that always takes time. In defence Nally Harrison Coen and hall will spice things up for places.

    had aiden converted that goal chance it would have knocked the life out of down and we may have won by cricket score. then we would all be saying that all is well and were back on track. As it turned out we now know we have alot to do and i for one would rather find that out in april than next august.

    Our worst performances are now behind us? lots of competition for places and in truth were gettin ready for galway so we have loads of time to right the wrongs.

  98. Ah Jazuz! True Grit that’s going too far altogether. Aidan and Seamie contribute hugely to Mayo despite their tendency to hold onto the ball too long at times. All they need to do is make a small adjustment to this aspect of their play and no one will manage them. Good coaching!

  99. True Grit – while I admire your uncompromising directness, you don’t make my job easy on the moderation side! I’ve left in most of what you’ve said (though some of it is close to the edge) but the bit where you’ve named two players and claimed they’re not good enough I’ve taken out.

  100. I would describe the Donegal team 2012 as an average team who pushed themselves through sheer work ethic and good planning to deservedly win an All Ireland that year. We can talk all we like about our great players but if this group can’t push on to win the ultimate prize in September(any September) we, as supporters will be denied the pride and satisfaction that has been enjoyed by Galway, Armagh, Tyrone, Dublin, Donegal, Cork, Meath and Kerry in the last 20 years. After all, by their actions last year, they have put a certain amount of pressure on their own shoulders so lets hope they can push on from here and find the means and the method to attain the objective. Unfortunately the clock is ticking and not only for the players.

  101. I think what Aidan and Seamus need are dropped back in the pocket quarter backs.
    Imagine if playing four up front with incoming runs from Aidan and Diarmuid we free up Keith Higgins and Kevin McGloughlin.
    Diarmuid moves across their 45 with Cillian. Freeman and Regan inside.
    – Heavy cover pop to runners to attack 45
    – Lack of cover pop the ball to open near or long to the inside.
    Thats exactly the thought process of a quarter back. Now what does a quarter back need to do, avoid getting sacked while reading his options. Escape pressure like a ferret in a phone box.
    I can think of none more suited than Keith Higgins and Kevin McGloughlin.
    Diarmuid has those skills but he has a bit of longer release n kick than Higgins/McGloughlin. Diarmuid is taller n languid and comes close to being blocked sometimes as a result. No critique its a natural consequence of his height.
    Higgins almost never gets crunched and neither McGloughlin. Both have that bullet ball that can travel 70 yards if it hits the ground.
    Gaelic Football being tactically close to American football if they cover heavy the inside line you have two smart players who can ignore the inside line and work in runners and options on the wing/45.

  102. I’m with you there, Liam. I’ve certainly noticed an increase in negativity among our own support over the past year. The Kerry game was, I thought, the worst I’ve heard yet – I was over on the far side under the TV tower and I was close to screaming at some of our fans sitting nearby. Constant bitching and moaning from start to finish, mindless yelling of ‘drive it in, drive it in’ and every foul committed apparently a black card offence. We played poorly that day, I know, but it’s on days like that one that support is really needed and it was in short supply around where I was sitting that day.

  103. pocaimora, Donegal finished 6th in the 2012 league with 6 points, winning the last game by 3 points against Armagh thereby keeping themselves up and condemning Armagh to Division 2.
    Could you have predicted that they would then go on to win that years All Ireland? Doubtful so whos to say we wont travel the same path this year?

  104. When we do play well we look like a well oiled machine. There were some scores yesterday that were aggressive in their team play. Pass – pass – shoot and a score.
    Cafferkey will come back and lead the defence with Boyler and Higgins. You have Leeroy then as shutdown operator, depress you as you lace up your boots worry yer going to get wiped out in chief.
    Thats what Leeroy has going now. Forward pre-match lacing the boots with those doubts “This guy again, this will be tough”.
    Aidan Seamus Tom Tom Parsons will be a top level midfield trio in summer.
    Cillian will be fitter.
    Regan will have few more games under his belt.
    Diarmuid an absolute championship performer.
    So what is left to win the big one? 🙂
    1. Sort the bench and 6th defender/forward
    2. In my view add a bolter from the u21s up front to the 26.
    With the u21s finished we will have good competition for the bench spots.
    I feel Mayo 2016 champuonship team will be our best team yet.

  105. While we danced a little closer to the fire than I would be comfortable with, we should be reasonably happy with our League overall.
    Rounded it off with 2 wins, lots of players got game time and we managed to stay up.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we have been plagued by Injury and absences this league and in the early part you could have fielded a good starting 15 with the ones that were not available.

    There does appear to be a lot of negativity in some of our support and while our performance yesterday will have fueled that, I’d much rather figure out our failings in April than August. We were still missing a few first choice starters for the game, and the positions they would fill would have reduced Down’s tally quite a lot I would imagine.

    Anyway – onwards and upwards. We have London to play on the last Sunday of May, its then the real games begin.

    And for the love of God if you’re at a game will you please roar on the team like your life depends on it. Too many times I’ve been to games where we have huge numbers of fans who just don’t give it the level of noise that can be the lift the team needs.

  106. Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I have had the misfortune of sitting near a pig ignorant individual with an obvious set against a particular mayo player..now this player had an off day but sweet lord the name calling was brutal..

  107. Regina. I was a newspaper photographer for years in Longford so i was always on the sideline taking action shots, thus hearing everything, abuse at the ref, abuse at the players, all the time.
    One Sunday, at a club match, one asshole was shouting and cursing all the time, kids and everyone in earshot. Finally, i couldn’t take it anymore, so i turned around and in my best Wesht of Ireland accent, at the top of my voice, advised him in no uncertain terms as to my sentiments about his boorish behaviour and told him how wonderful he was. There was a stunned silence from the crowd, everyone of them knew me!! Then, i got a huge round of applause from the crowd!! He shut up. What i still can’t understand as to why nobody will challenge them. They are cowards, and will shut up..

  108. Joe, very true and same individual was eventually cautioned by a guy in front..he kept his gob shut after that!

  109. FDBinashui I must find you and sit near you for the next game so I have some company 😉 I thought at stages yesterday I was at a funeral, so quiet was the crowd. So quiet in fact that after half time I got a text from Mayo Mark saying he could hear me shout “COME ON MAYO!” ………… from the opposite side of the pitch!

    We have this name for being “the best supporters in the country” – until we are needed. Then we disappear en masse. James Horan said it in 2013, and it happens to this day. We go quiet, or we turn on our players. One exception springs to mind – the drawn semi-final against Kerry in 2014. The noise level in the Cusack that day as we roared the lads on was off the scale and it still gives me a shiver down my spine to recall it. I have never known an atmosphere of sheer defiance like it from a Mayo crowd – it’s a pity it’s such a rare exception.

    Joe Mac, you’re right – people abusing players from the stands need to be challenged. I’ve gotten into my share of barneys with people who are abusing players – or the ref – on the pitch, but it would never deter me from doing it again (it’s the redhead in me I suppose). I say come back when you’ve even thought of about giving a tenth of the commitment of those lads out there – on either side.

Leave a Reply

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