Mayo 2-17 Kildare 0-14: onwards and upwards


Some days just turn out to be ones to treasure. Today, for me, was for sure one of those rare, gilded ones I’ll look back on wistfully for many a day. It’s been a long day – the first half of which was spent cycling, in near perfect conditions, the jaw-dropping splendour of the Westportif and this was followed by this evening’s qualifier win over Kildare at MacHale Park. Yes, there have been far worse days than this one.

Doo Lough Valley

We finished up the 120km spin over in Westport a bit after three this afternoon. From there it was a fast dash back to the ancestral homeplace for a shower, the spuds and back out the door again. By the time we settled into our seats at MacHale Park forty minutes or so before throw-in the place was already filling up nicely. Over 14,500 punters eventually came through the turnstiles this evening.

Unlike the last evening, we were to the fore right from the start in this one. They may have won the first ball from the throw-in – and would continue to dominate around the middle pretty much for the whole evening – but it was us who got the scoreboard moving first. Indeed once we hit the front – via a delicious outside-of-the-boot effort from Diarmuid O’Connor – we stayed there right till the end.

We quickly built a four-point lead and the score-taking in this period was strictly a family affair. Diarmuid thumped over a second off the outside of his boot – this one even sweeter than the opener, the wind taking the ball and sending it shooting right over the black spot – and we followed this up with a free from Cillian O’Connor. Then it was Diarmuid again, skipping down the right-hand channel and guiding it over to send us four clear.

Kildare then opened their account with a point from Eoin O’Flaherty. A second Cillian free – a monstrous one from long-range, way out on the left – provided our answer to that.

The visitors then hit two on the spin before Paddy Durcan let fly from distance to settle us once more. Kildare continued to press, though, and two further unanswered scores cut our lead back to a single point.

They would have been happy enough at that stage, I’m sure, as they’d weathered our opening barrage and had played their way right back into the contest. But if they were content, they didn’t stay that way for long as we hit them with 2-3 without reply in blistering 10-minute spell that effectively won the game for us.

Before this fusillade occurred, the crowd were starting to get a bit agitated. It became glaringly obvious that we were going to find it very hard to get frees of any sort in this game and when two decent penalty shouts were waved away – the second one a cast-iron claim when two Kildare defenders hauled the in-rushing Diarmuid O’Connor to the turf – a chorus of boos rang around the ground. But then we just proceeded to blitz them and from then on it was party time at MacHale Park.

A cracking long-range pointed free from Evan Regan started this onslaught. Then the goal that had looked like it was coming for a while eventually did when Evan poked a loose ball home, following good foraging in the lead-in from Andy Moran. Evan then followed up with a peach of a point from play, from a delicious cross-field pass from Kevin McLoughlin.

The next score, our second goal of the evening, was something else altogether. It was nothing short of a piece of virtuoso magic from Diarmuid O’Connor who started it by running strongly at the Kildare defence, before dropping the shoulder and switching pace, catching the rearguard off balance. Before they had the chance to recover the ball was in the net off his left foot. What a goal, what a player.

We were rampant now. Evan Regan was played in again and let loose a thunderbolt of a shot that cannoned off one of their lads and spun over the bar. That could, and maybe should, have been a third major for us but the haul we’d got meant that the lads marched off – to a standing ovation – with a lead of ten points in the bag.


There was no way back for Kildare after that. They tried lofting high balls into the square but we stationed Aidan O’Shea back in there, with Donal Vaughan dropping back too, once Stephen Coen had replaced Kevin Keane. With the number of bodies back and the tigerish way we defended there was simply no way we were going to concede a goal.

Colm Boyle epitomised this uncompromising No pasaran! approach. David Clarke’s kick-outs all evening were good (his shot-stopping wasn’t bad either, he stopped one particularly stinging goalbound effort just before the break) but one went astray. Faced with the danger of a clear shot on goal, Boyler took one for the team and dragged the Kildare man in possession to the floor. The Davitts man, once he’d had the black card flashed at him, left the field with the crowd rising in unison to acclaim him.

With so many bodies back, the Lilywhites inevitably had more room out the field to work the ball up but points were all that were on offer in that second half. They got the gap down to seven at one point but although we went 16 minutes without a score during that second period we still kept the scoreboard moving sufficiently over the entire half to ensure that the visitors never managed to regain a firm toe-hold in the contest.

Once the replacements began to appear – with Alan Dillon on for Andy, Barry Moran replacing the banished Boyler, Jason Doherty for Brendan Harrison, Alan Freeman for Evan Regan and Conor O’Shea for the peerless Diarmuid O’Connor – the fresh legs put on fresh scores. Jason banged over two great points, Alan judged the wind to perfection placing one just inside the right-hand post and Conor thumped over the final score of the evening, as we closed out an efficient and uplifting nine-point win.

This wasn’t a perfect performance, far from it. Midfield is now an alarming concern for us – once again we were beaten up a proverbial stick there and I’m afraid changes in the sector are now an urgent prerequisite. If Tom Parsons is fit for the weekend after next, I’d be sorely tempted to field him and Barry Moran there from the start.

The ground we ceded to them up the middle was also a bit of a worry, as was the way we let them get too many shots off under little pressure. In the second half, though, we could afford to do this, knowing that we had thrown a cordon around our backline during a period of the game when they absolutely needed a goal.

Positives from this evening – aside from the fact that we secured a convincing nine-point win (and revenge against the visitors for 1935 into the bargain) – were our never-say-die defending at the back, the huge workrate at half-back (wasn’t Paddy Durcan far improved this evening?) and the increased amount of scores from play, where Evan Regan at last caught fire, ramming in 1-4, and where Diarmuid O’Connor – who went one better, bagging 1-5 – gave notice that it’ll take a special player to deny him a second YPOTY award. Diarmuid was simply outstanding this evening, the MOTM by a country mile.

Team before throw-in

So on we go. This Mayo-don’t-do-the-qualifiers mullarkey is finally being put to bed as we march on to Round 4B and another Monday morning draw to see who we pull there.

MacHale Park looked its replendent best this evening – even if the kids couldn’t quite contain themselves at full-time and, despite Paul Cunnane’s pleadings over the PA, dashed head-long onto the pitch – and we’ve now had two memorable qualifier weekends at the venue. These games have gone some way towards making up for our loss there to Galway back in June.

As Round 4 matches are played at neutral venues, that’s it for seeing a Mayo team line out at MacHale Park this year. Depending on the draw there’s at least a sporting chance that our next outing, on the August Bank Holiday weekend, will be back in Croke Park.

After our Connacht calamity last month, tonight it feels like our championship campaign is starting to build nicely. We’ve learned a bit about ourselves in the qualifiers – stuff you suspect we might not have picked up going through the front door – and, now into the final twelve, you get the feeling that we’re not the team everyone will want to end up facing from here on.

But we don’t care who we draw now. All we want to do is to keep this run going. Onwards and upwards, one more hurdle to get over and we’re back in the All-Ireland series. After tonight it’s clear we’ve got our hunger back too.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins (0-1); Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan (0-1); Seamus O’Shea, Donal Vaughan; Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor (1-5); Evan Regan (1-4, one free), Andy Moran, Cillian O’Connor (0-2, frees). Subs: Stephen Coen for Keane, Alan Dillon for Andy Moran, Barry Moran for Boyle (black card), Jason Doherty (0-2) for Harrison, Alan Freeman (0-1) for Regan, Conor O’Shea (0-1) for Diarmuid O’Connor.

Who was our MOTM against Kildare?

  • Diarmuid O'Connor (75%, 447 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (6%, 37 Votes)
  • David Clarke (4%, 21 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Kevin Keane (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Barry Moran (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Alan Dillon (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Alan Freeman (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 595

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111 thoughts on “Mayo 2-17 Kildare 0-14: onwards and upwards

  1. Good win. A 9 point margin is never to be sniffed at. But still lots to work on and improve.

    Positives –
    Diarmuid! The guy is just pure class
    Boyler – The heartbeat of this team. Took a black card for the team, let’s hope it’s not costly later.
    Forward movement – Much better. Andy won a lot of ball and Evan looked sharp and showed well.
    Subs – Great to see the forward subs get on the scoresheet and push for inclusion the next day.
    Defence – A few close calls, but delighted we didn’t concede a goal.

    Negatives –
    Midfield – We were cleaned out.
    Kick-outs – Very erratic. One misplaced short kick out almost cost us a goal.
    Cillian – His form is a worry. He doesn’t look fit to me. We need him firing on all cylinders, and soon.

  2. Good win, great performances from Andy Moran & Diarmuid O’Connor, midfield was completely cleaned out but defence much more solid with Higgins back there

  3. The spirit was right , the heart was visible and we cleaned up a lot of dirty ball and won most of the 50/50. This team playing it their way. Strategy was largely correct , McLaughlin was awesome ( notwithstanding Canavan’s disingenuous comments ). Clarke was magnificent . Defence was much better. Forwards very good . All subs contributed. Midfield is the worry ( along with injuries ). Many leaders today. This is the Mauo team we know. Well done lads.

  4. Obviously very happy with that result!
    First half was much better, second half I thought we sat back a little too much and conceded a lot of ball to Kildare and lived dangerously at times…BUT…we did not concede the goals and that what Kildare were hunting for.

    Using their dominance in midfield as the springboard Kildare played a variety of testing diagonal ball in, but we dealt with it reasonably well.
    I thought bringing Aido back to the FB line was very effective (Peter Canavan disagrees….sigh) because although we lost a threat on our FF line, we neutralized their threat and prevented the all important goals. That was a smart tactical move by the sideline so kudos to them.
    Diarmuid O’Connor was immense as was Boyler. I’m slightly concerned with Cillians form though..maybe he needs for time for fitness?
    Clarke was solid again…made some important saves and key interventions.
    Midfield was where we were uncharacteristically cleaned out….that MUST improve!
    Our bench made a big contribution..again, which is very encouraging.
    While we dominated the first half play, we meandered our way through the second half and for periods (~17 mins) without a single score! Overall, I’d give a 7 outta 10. Lets see who we get in the next round, could we have another home game?

  5. Memo to the players. Close your eyes and close your ears. if you start believing

    anything anything that is written or said about you, you are already doomed for the next

    game. you will be beatified. these are the same people who would spit on your stone

    had you lost. neither is correct. trust me. i`m a football dr. (of sorts).

  6. Not for the first time this year, I have to say Diarmuid O’Connor…. take a bow young man

  7. 9 point win is a 9 point win

    Keith has to go back into the fb line . End of.
    They ran down that right channel at will in the first 25 mins ..

    Keane and Harrison might be injured .. if they are out the next day that’s 5 fullback line players out .. wed be screwed .. Hopefully not

    Parsons desperately needed back

    Cillian is just not playing to the level we need him to be at ..

    Andy and regan were good ..

    Can’t win anything without a good bench .. good calls on the line today .. 4 great points from subs .. also right call to move Vaughan off
    Feely was a smart call .. he was go8ng to score a goal eventually.. would have preferred to see SOS instead AOS as an emergency fullback

    Overall decent effort .. still in there .. still big questions to be answered.

    Desperately need injured backs back

    DOC is some footballer ..

  8. Good win overall, a 7 out of 10 is right.

    -Defence looked better , did not cough up too many goal chances.
    -More intensity in tackle.
    -Diramuid O’Connor a match winner.
    -Regan showed well.
    -Subs contributed.

    -Cillians form a bit of worry, he is not fit.
    -Midfield a problem, but Parsons back will improve that.
    -Big negative to me is that Aidan O’Shea is not contributing. He does not look fit, he is off the pace. This needs to be sorted.

  9. Just on the point of us not conceding any goals today. Yes, it’s great BUT Kildare were fairly toothless. We were cut open they the middle of the fiend S few times and a better team will plush you for that.

    Kildare scored 14pts, too much to concede to a team of their standard. With respect, they are a very average side. Am I right in saying they had more shots than us today? That’s concerning.

    The two goals before the break (Regan really should have nailed a 3rd, he’ll be disappointed he didnt) won the tie for us. The 2nd half was sloppy and more like a training game than a championship outing. Pity we didn’t kill it off properly in the 3rd quarter.

    Anyway, still in it. Plenty to work on.

  10. Solid win nothing spectacular…good to see players moving positions n doing their bitm.aos was in ff cf mf cb and fb all in the one game!! Zippy moved about too into positions so did kevin mcloughlin…interchangeability is whats needed…what i liked was that we didnt go hung ho for the whole game…leaving the back door open…we played in strong scoring bursts n defended quite well at times…mf is obviously a concern but remember big bird didnt play much league..seamie injured for a while so too tom…they are a bit behind fitness wise…i think things are coming togeather nicely…seriously starting to feel they weren’t bothered by connacht this year…its the big cup they crave most…personally i hope its a draw in ulster tomorrow n for us to get the loser in next round a good hard game but against a slighly tired ulster team…wud take that!!!

  11. On the subject of injuries, some positive talk from Rochford after the game –

    With Tom Parsons on the comeback trail, Rochford expects Mayo to be at full strength for their All-Ireland SFC Round 4 qualifier against either the Leinster or Ulster final runners-up.

    “Tom hopefully will return to some training during the week and hopefully we’ll be selecting from a full panel,” he added.

  12. WJ. Maybe there should be a second poll for MOTM ex DOC. My vote would be Boyler. A man to be parachuted into enemy territory ahead of the plodding ground troops. He was savage this evening.

  13. Hello,So good. it is absolutely great that so many got playing time, moved around and yet seemed to be able to shut shop. To give Vaughan and Aidan experience playing in the full back line is invaluable.

    The oldies are buzzing.

    Also it seems the Clarke Supporters were justified. Presumably his kick outs will improve?

    BRING ON WESTMEATH. If Donegal/Tyrone so be it.

    This win will bring them to new heights.

  14. Fat Larry, Mayo would would have been better off still in the Connacht championship as there’s no guarantee they’ll win the AI. If they were in the Connacht final they wouldn’t be writing it off….

  15. Diarmuid O’Connor was immense once again. Boyler worked hard as did kevin McLoughlin.

    Midfield, however, was very poor and Cillian was off the pace.

  16. Very hard to comment on a match after only seeing it once, but after first glance:

    Vastly improved. Much more like our old selves. Intensity was up tenfold on the last few weeks and we played at a much quicker pace and far more intelligence. We got goals at vital times and the result was obviously never in doubt. Some superb tackling and harrassing them when they had the ball in the middle third.

    DOC was a colossus and I thought Andy was a great focal point in attack. More than justified his selection. Paddy Durcan much improved and Aidan worked hard. K McL is having his best season since 2012- ironically in a new role which Rochford has been criticised for implementing. Boyle outstanding also. Regan kicked some great scores after a slow start. Not the finished article just yet but certainly a great raw talent. At the end of the day 1-5 (or whatever it was) is a great tally! Doherty was very lively from the bench

    Now the negatives of which there was a few.

    Cleaned out at midfield. Cillian possibly had his worst game in a Mayo jersey. His form is a serious concern. Dillon had no impact after a promising cameo last week. Keegan gave away a few needless frees. Keane’s injury. Harrison did ok but allowed his man turn him twice in a very good position. Criminal. The defence overall looks just as leaky as last year. Dublin and Kerry would create a plethora of goal scoring chances against us.

    Definite improvement and I’d certainly fancy us for the quarters now. We’re nowhere near ready for Dublin yet though, but we’re getting better. Onto the next one now.

  17. Happy with the win . Bottom line for me is . Get well soon tom parsons ! Felt sorry for Donnie as he is not a mid fielder . Super support this evening ! Well done to all . Would love to get Westmeath to be honest .we have a lot of work to but great to be there. A friend of Monaghan text me after the match to say we were just ok but would love to be in the championship . Nuff said .

  18. “A friend of Monaghan text me after the match to say we were just ok but would love to be in the championship . Nuff said”

    Amen. It’s a results business at the end of the day. Look at portugal last week. A few intangibles go your way like a draw opening up and who knows

  19. Great to get the win and DOC, Boyler were immense. Good show from Andy and even too.
    Kevin Mc was busy and was Keith.
    Still many question marks though….midfield was destroyed and we sleepwalked our way through the second half. Aidan O Se ended up full back! McNulty was running around shouting instructions but players seemed unsure at times of positions. In the wide open spaces of croke park there are no hiding places…that said we play our best football there and hopefully parsons will be back.
    Improvement yes but still much to do.

  20. We were bet sick in midfield , which is very worrying

    Diarmuid o Connor was top class

    Was very impressed with Clarke , very solid , swept a lot of ball , one bad kick out though

    Aidan o she’a was again very sluggish , Seamie too took a lot of ball into the tackle

  21. I just cannot see any method to the madness. Far too negative. COC now plays midfield for us !! No wonder he is playing poorly.

  22. We got the win. Happy enough with that thank you. The performance wasn’t consistent enough to beat the top few teams but if that day comes we will see if there’s better stuff there, waiting to be produced if needed.
    All in all, it’s nice to still be involved and improving

  23. Comfortable 9 point win where that result was never in doubt. Kildare as I said before the game aren’t going well and most division 2 teams would have beaten them today. Lets be honest the Mayo team performance was patchy against average team whom won midfield. The form of COC is a worry as is the Keane injury.

    No need for a MOTM poll today as DOC the clear winner.

  24. in terms of full squad I hope that means along with Parsons, that Barrett and loftus will be back. need everyone back. need to play cillian closer to goal, wasted out the field. our bench is full of quality and wait until the ladt above are back to full fitness, we will be flying. wouldn’t worry about midfield when parsons is back his athleticism and power along side Seamie will give us an edge over most teams. delighted rochford has keep faith in Regan, the man is still a little raw, but a real talent love watching him play. As for diarmuid words can’t explain how good he is.

  25. A few years ago we walloped Donegal and thought we were world beaters. Tonight we beat Kildare and know we still need to improve. I like the fact that guys are able to cover different positions…much like the Connacht rugby team…cover wherever you are and take responsibility. Didn’t see the game but ‘saw’ it on radio and the Mayo support sounded terrific…well done all round. Now for the next step up…we have it in us to step it up and this team will. Well done all round…and nose to the wheel again…Maigh Eo Abu!

  26. Marybeau…and tell me this..did getting to and winning 5 con titles in a row do us any favours in ai finals? No they didnt…we won games steamrolling all over connacht only to fall at last hurdle…getting caught out with the back door open n getting caught badly…dont get me wrong…a con title is always to be cherished cos god know there were years in 60’s n 70’s we couldnt win 1..all im saying is to this group of players winning another conn title n getting sucker punched again isnt an option anymore…games like these against varied teams of styles n abilities will help them roadtest their own game plans n different formations.. going thru front or back door wont guarentee ai success…i just feel this year they decided to go the back door.

  27. Got cleaned In midfield and still won well and the lads should great spirit and it looks like we are improving all in all a good nights work well done to all involved

  28. Diarmuid O Connor is a real gem. His two early points were things of sheer beauty not to mention his goal. But it was his workrate that impressed me most. Himself and Colm Boyle epitomize all that is best about Mayo.
    I thought Aidan O Shea was excellent early with some great tackles as well. But then he seemed to disappear for a while – ironically by trying to be everywhere. His positioning at full back was interesting to say the least. It worked but is it a symptom of management not really knowing where to place him? Or what?
    Regan has a menacing look about him that I like. He needs to develop and build his confidence. I feel when he establishes himself he will be one of the very best.
    Cillian??????? I know he has had surgery and hasn’t played the league but in honesty he is not playing well at present. If we had a good free taker he might well have been subbed. I reckon he needs to be nearer to goal. I hope captaincy isn’t weighing too heavily on him.
    A nine point win and massive room for improvement. Not bad I suppose.

  29. Duirmuid was class pure fucking class. In my eyes he is up there with McDonald and may one day out pass him.Midfield is a concern thought putting OShea back was a shrewd move.Boyler played well and took one for the team.Regan was sharp and Mcloughlin too he has a serious engine.Clarke kept us in the game with some magnificant save.Kickouts were questionable.All in all im happy we improved from last day out and it wont be enough to win next game.Kildare were poor I felt overall

  30. Diarmuid o connor has been man of the match all year. What a player to have. His intelligence is far beyond his years.

    We scored 2 14 from play with Cillian no firing yet. But that’s ok guys. Other forwards need to step up and this eve they did. We need all our forwards contributing as we don’t want to be like monaghan with macmanus.

    Boyler is firing. Higgins played very well and indeed all tried hard. Players were switched here and there Ns sky TV analysis spoke about adaptability and flexibility. It was interesting.

    Steady improvement will do. The video analysis will show them where improvement is needed. Great to be still in the running. Looking forward now and not back

  31. A win is a win. But with all due respects to London I would say Kildare would struggle against them.

  32. A good team performance. Would worry about midfield and full back with Keane going off. There are no words for Diarmuid. We are simply blessed to have him. One of the best individual performances I’ve ever seen.
    McGloughlin’s positioning is giving the team confidence more and more with each game. Long may this continue. At least we are working with a plan and it is improving bit by bit.
    Keith had a great game today, tackled like a terrier in the first 10 minutes and won vital ball. We need him outfield, end of. He is turning over ball and not letting the opposition settle and build. We simply need his skills and work rate here.
    Pity Boyler got the black card….no harm for him to have a rest though. He played really well up to that, as always.
    It was another plus to see most of the subs scoring. Lots of players have now had game time over the last couple of matches and this is important given where we are at. We still don’t know our best 15 though.
    We can be sure that things are going to get a hell of a lot tougher from now on.

  33. A lot of poor handling, poor decision making. Kildare extremely poor. When Andy Moran and Kevin McLoughlin kick passed diagonally into full forward line we looked dangerous. Diarmuid O Conor and Colm Boyle excellent. Apart from that it was hard to fathom what we were doing or how this is supposed to be an improvement on what went on before. We have conceded 1-12 (twice)and 0-14 in last three games and improved or scoring rate but against better opposition can’t see us get much more than 1-12 and I doubt our concession rate will drop below 14/15 points. Worried. Our centre field was extremely poor and if Parsons isn’t fit there is no solution. A lot for Rochford to do.

  34. Professional,if not spectacular,i feel the team is coming together as a unit,bit by bit.being realistic kildare faced nothing of mayo’s calibre in the league or championship and it showed today.we sat back in the 2nd half which i was very happy to see,how many times have we coughed up big leads over the year’s by playing attacking football,when shutting up shop was the better option.we have only conceded 2 goals in four games to date which is an improvement in my book.we still have exceptional talent in our team,our management is getting the balance right which is encouraging also,great to see tony mcentee on the pitch barking orders,it’s off putting to the opposing team and alot of teams are doing it,game of inchs horan used to say.2-14 i think we scored from play and that is including the 17mins we did’nt score i know alot of people are worried about bigger and better opposition down the road,if you think any team will be licking their lips thinking of playing mayo,ye need to think again.

  35. Can some one tell me is first name out of bowl home advantage for next round or is it HQ??

  36. Team……….7/10
    K McL 8/10

    There certainly was a lot more promise this evening.I think it’s good that the progress is gradual. They will know themselves that they have it in them but it’s their business to bring it out of each other.
    The glaring downside was in midfield.Was there one clean catch? How much of the breaks did they get? Barry? What bothered me most there was this. When they saw Moolick and Feely catching everything why didn’t they at least come in and try and bather it down! They weren’t even at the pitch to do that.Cant be ever as bad
    But happy after a v good show.
    I knew they wouldn’t stay off the pitch with that announcer….. You couldn’t know what he was saying and what about the kids!?

  37. Can we just enjoy the win?!Most of us would have taken that scoreline in a heartbeat this morning. .Well done to all involved..Can’t comment any further but numerous comments on midfield clean out is a worry.. Still thinking about a line posted on the blog that these qualifiers could be the making of the team..Anyhow, back to the Mariachi band and €1 glasses of vino for me..?? (no joke!)

  38. A great performance. Still in the draw and that is what counts. The sideline had a good one also. MOTM today was the fine crowd of supporters, take a bow ladies and gentlemen. Nobody complaining about the backdoor now, that the fog is lifting.

  39. Croker today fortnight double header with Cork match I’d imagine. Both were on Sky last year iirc so hopefully the same. You’d imagine the Ulster loser will get star billing so if we draw them we’ll be the later game you’d think

    I assume we need to get Westmeath to avoid Dublin in the 1/4s?

  40. A very enjoyable evening in Castlebar with my son. It was nice to see Mayo win so comfortably. But in truth Kildare were poor and it was a patchy Mayo performance. DOC was superb and Evan did well in spells. But it was defence that won this game for us when you consider how much ball they had to deal with given our obliteration at midfield. I thought they were excellent particularly Boyle who is our player of the year. Durcan Higgins also very good. 19 scores 16 from play and should have been 4 or 5 more, some of the misses in the 2nd half were poor. A good scoring return given absence of midfield.
    So where does that leave us after beating a division 3 team who were poor. It was a better performance then I’ve seen so far this year but hard to gauge how good given Kildare so poor. I would worry about a trip to Letterkenny or Omagh and as for the Dubs in Croake Park….not just yet! but that’s all for another day…and at least my 7 yr. Son had a great night seeing Mayo win….Mhaigh Eo abu

  41. ^^^Scrap that both Provincial losers in “A” side (Cork, Westmeath) lost to Kildare and Fermanagh respectively last year and Kildare ended up playing Kerry despite beating Cork, so it’ll be open draw if us and Cork win, assuming they haven’t changed the rules.

    Best case scenario we get Westmeath and Tyrone/Donegal beat Cork

  42. I really enjoyed the match. I really feel that we are on the up. Many of the lads played really well and far better than they had till now.
    Sure we have lots more to improve on but we appear finally to be going in the right direction. Midfield was poor. We won practically none of the kick outs that came into the middle of the park.

    KevinMc is getting more comfortable in his role and is having more of an impact on the game. This is really great for us.
    No goals let in that’s great and we balanced that off with a big score against a fairly good opposition.

    Boyler took the card for his team like a man. Not what you’d want but he did what he needed to do at the time and at that time of the match. Fair play Boyler.

    I noticed that at the end of the match that all the Mayo lads made a special effort to go to Cian ONeill. #respect. #fairplay.

  43. A lot of really good performances this evening. Boyler, Kmac, DOC (OMG!), Evan Regan, AOS. Everyone saying we got cleaned out in midfield and maybe we did but we also tidied up a lot of ball from breaks there, DV and Paddy Durcan etc. Very encouraging to see the squad being used and a more fluid approach to traditional roles and positions. Over the years haven’t we watched Mayo teams let leads slip and make things difficult for themselves (and us!)and lose against opposition like Kildare? Well not this evening and we didn’t let them get a sniff in the second half. All that and a nine point win. They’re getting better all the time. Well done to all. Well done.

  44. This thread is going to end up with 100+ posts. Do yourself a favour and read post 20 by Ciaran, it’s a perfect synopsis.
    I think if young O’Connor kicks on, he really has the makings of a good footballer. I’d hate to see Bolton if he hasn’t such a strong Mayo connection, the way he kicked Diarmuid after the goal was lower than whale shite.
    Finally, I left a denim jacket behind me, if anyone hears about it, let me know.

  45. While I’m still awake, can someone calculate the correct ratio a team has to beat a lower division team by in order to satisfy the pundits. It has to be the finest margin known to man, as a point to high and you’ve learned nothing, a point to low and your struggling.
    One for the audience..

  46. Just back home [exiled] in Meath. Long drive to think about the game. Happy enough overall with the performance. Started strongly and were able to move through the gears every time it was required. And that’s an impressive feat whilst being wiped out at midfield!

    Too late to go into details but I have to finish for the time being with one thought – Diarmuid O’Connor – Wow. If his ascent continues on the current trajectory we have some player on our hands.

  47. Liam I think I heard the announcer call it out that a denim jacket had been found. Hopefully it’s in the lost and found for you…

  48. Ha ha Liam those lost jackets! Of all the jackets I left behind me throughout the night clubs of the west tis a pity I didn’t leave one of them in machale park! Well done some solid performances and Clarke really showed his experience and hunger this evening

  49. Midfield display in second half a surprise, but good that it was highlighted today and not further down the line. The most pleasing aspect was accuracy in shooting. When you can score and defend then with the success of our midfield over the past years we may be about to gel and be a match for most. And on our day, with a feck them attitude, bloody awful to face.

  50. Couldn’t get there but watched it on sky. At the risk of sounding like a moany bollix the commentary was rediculois, Paul Earlys hating on Mayo was laughable at times. If u didn’t know the score you’d think Kildare won.
    Looks like we are going to suffer at the hands of the referees association for Aidan’s dive for the rest of the season. 2 penalties not given, a good point from Aidan and a belt on COC and Emmet Boltons kick on DOC which both deserved yellows if not a red for Bolton nothing. Pathetic. We might have won by 9 but fair is fair

  51. Criticism of Cillian is a bit misguided in my opinion as the team set up appears to have him playing to deep towards midfield to be any scoring threat. Diarmuid was as always superb. Boyler is the heart of the team.

  52. Just back in the door. Overall, good win, can’t argue with a nine point win. Much better performance than last week.
    Thought Regan, Diarmuid, Paddy Durcan etc. did far better this week. Good to see the young players improving, certainly the qualifiers will have improved them no end.
    A couple of things spring to mind.
    At times, they look like a team with great players who aren’t necessarily well trained. I’ll explain what I mean!
    They got numbers back but several times Kildare still had plenty of time and space to swing over points. Granted they were making sure they didn’t concede goals in the second half but this happened in the first half as well, not to mention against Fermanagh. This shouldn’t be happening.
    When Mayo did win turnovers, they had no idea how to attack from deep á la Tyrone or Donegal in their prime. Often, they got it to midfield and then had to slow the ball down due to a lack of options upfront. Even in the second half when Kildare were pushing forward, this remained the case (until the last 10 mins when Kildare tired). When the best teams counter attack, they do it at pace and with penetration. Mayo did not do this tonight, nor have they done this all year.
    One would still have questions over their forward strategy. At times, we saw evidence of our famous running game, at times we saw lovely kick passing. But both were hugely inconsistent.
    Tomas O’Sé highlighted on the Sunday Game a few weeks ago how Donegal used to time their runs to the kick out to ensure they would be most likely to pick up the breaking ball. Not only were Mayo cleaned by the Kildare midfield, but the amount of breaking ball picked up by Kildare was incredible. Mayo simply cannot afford to lose that amount of breaking ball again.
    Now to me, Higgins, Aidan, Boyle, Diarmuid were outstanding at times. But it’s up to Rochford, McEntee and Donie Buckley to utilise these two weeks to sort out the defending and, in particular, put some structure to their counter attacking. Because if they do win their next match, regardless of who they’re playing, they’ll only have one week in which to prepare for either Dublin or Tyrone/Donegal. And if these issues are not sorted, then that will be curtains.
    But they do have two weeks in which to get things sorted. These games are bringing on players. And any team with Boyle, Higgins, Aidan and Diarmuid will always have a chance. I know Cillian is getting a bit of flak here tonight but remember he has played very little football this year. These games will bring him on and when we need him most, he will deliver like he always has. It’s great to see Mayo not so heavily reliant on him as they have been the last few years.
    Mayo’s players delivered tonight, as they have always done when it’s been asked of them. But it’s up to the coaches to now get it right on the training pitch in the next two weeks.

  53. A very positive and uplifting experience. That said, we have an awful lot to work on and improve. If we can sort out midfield and reunite the two denim jackets from the Bacon Factory End with their owners then we’ve done a good days work.

  54. Had hoped and expected 8pts return,
    Showed form which is a good thing,
    Lot to work on but our midfield will improve.
    Westmeath I hope in croker and then hopefully the Kingdom or dubs!

  55. Two surprises for me tonight.
    1. I normally only vote for motm on the odd occasion i can pick out a clear winner. Even then most people usually dont agree with me. Today is clearly the exception, doc was just sublime in his point taking early on and his general contribution throughout.
    2. By the time I get to post somebody else h as usually already made the point I wanted to. But I’m really surprised nobody has picked up on the way kick out strategy (or lack thereof) contributed to us being cleaned out at midfield. I don’t want to kick off the Hennelly v Clarke thing again but our long knockouts had no discernable strategy, and we had one short kick out in the second have to a kildare player that was worse than the one that led to the Galway goal. Likewise kildare seemed better setup for breaking ball than us, they clustered around the fielding player better while we just stood around waiting for the ball to land wherever it would. No movement, no strategy….

    And btw, did we ever pay for the Twitter storm over Aidans penalty… not a single critical call in our favour that was even remotely in doubt…

  56. There were signs of improvement for sure this evening. I think McLoughlin is starting to look like a player once again, his attributes suit his position and it’s starting to pay off for us. Andy was a threat, he mighn’t have 70 minutes in him but there’s a case for starting him. He played a diagonal ball into Diarmuid in the first half that most players couldn’t dream of pulling off. Regan looked dangerous, that game will do him good. Boyle – a warrior. Higgins was his usual self, that steal in the second half was something else. Clarke commanded his square well, great to have him between the posts. AOS worked hard and done what was asked. Great to see COS, Freeman and Doherty getting on the scoreboard, competition is starting to get fierce with Parsons, Barrett and Loftus back soon hopefully.

    Everyone has said it already but I don’t think you can sing Diarmuid O’Connor’s praises enough. One of the best performances I’ve seen in the red and green for a while but it’s not a one off, the lad is an outstanding player already and will get better. I’m looking forward to seeing his goal again, looked unbelievable.

    That was my jacket btw Liam! Bizarre that he’d announce that a feckin jacket is missing/found during the game, players musn’t have known what to think..

  57. Denim jackets went out in the 80’s I have one hanging up in the wardrobe I haven’t touched since 2003

  58. You can’t blame our kickouts,Clarke was great,midfield went missing the whole game,everyone on about cillian not being fit,out of the 6 forwards we had today aos was the worst,I don’t blame him cos he is not a no 11,I think coc would be a perfect 11 with aiden midfield,aos had today too many turnovers on his behalf,,play coc at 11,don’t think he has the pace to be a corner f but has the football brain for 11,andy Morans showing was immense,gives us a different option in attack and in doc I think we have found a great one,think rochford is learning more through the back door this year than he would in 3 years goin in the front,getting better every game,

  59. @New York tommy,

    Fair is fair now, Hennelly’s kickouts were blamed by many people after the Dublin replay last year when Mayo were being cleaned out in midfield. People said Hennelly should have varied them to ensure we regained possession. Clarke had an excellent game today under the high ball and in terms of shot stopping but kickouts were a problem, everyone could see that. We would have conceded a goal identical to Galway (when Robbie was again criticised) only for Boyle taking a black card. Clarke and the midfielders need to step up for our next outing.

    Overall though plenty of positives from the game. Our forwards were more clinical and our defence were tackling with much greater intensity. The 2 standout performers were Diarmuid, especially, and Boyle. Regan was impressive too for the most part. Fair play to the management for sticking by Durcan, he was much improved.

  60. Sorry mayo Dan but how can u blame Clarke,.i thought his ball distribution was top class,his ability under a high ball was better than hennellys,no punches,clean catches every time,our midfield was absent all day,Clarke no 1

  61. Clarke no 1 for sure, Hennelly makes to many mistakes and I’m not talking about knockouts

  62. Thanks mayo 51,Clarke was very good today,2 osheas were sluggish especially Aiden,I would of played him midfield after 20 mins,still though great game to watch,dare I say it back door could suit us

  63. Midfield by their usually standard’s was well below par today but yet our conversion rate was nearly 62%..we had days when we owned the ball at midfield and had only a 50% rate. We are improving with each game..some posters need to ease up a bit and not be so critical at times.. These players don’t hide behind any made up name to voice their opinions. They do their taking on the pitch…
    The management need to be given time.its a learning curve for Stephen Rochford and he is also entering new territory as well..
    more to come from this special team that I’m am privileged to follow

  64. -Good performance and well deserved 9 point win.
    -Agree that Doc, McL and Keith were the best performers followed closely by Boyler and Andy
    -I thought SOS was off the pace against Fermanagh and he was the same yesterday evening.
    -Kildare were not put under pressure when kicking points particularly in the first half, too easy by far.
    -While we could not make a clean catch at midfield we also lost a tonne of breaking ball there.
    -Football is really gone crazy when you end up with three midfielders in your fullback line.
    -We can control most things but not the referee and the Diarmuid non penalty was a disgrace he was pulled down and held down in the square and a free out given. I await the Sunday game analysis to see what they make of that. We have to take a stand on this as it will cost us.
    -Finally super home support again with 15k in attendance with very poor Kildare support.
    -Losers of Ulster final next please.

  65. Great win, I’ll say it again DOC was incredible. Boyler is also a pleasure to watch.

    I have to agree with Cosa Bana and MayoDan, unfortunately Hennelly just seems to get a lot more criticism then Clarke ever does. A bad kickout (worse than the the one that led to the goal for Galway) led to Boylers black card. A lot of the long kickouts were shot aimlessly down the centre of the field, with the full blame going on midfield. If it was Robbie in goals he would be crucified, as he would have last week when Clarke kick out was so short it lead to a throw up.

    The only place I heard it was mentioned in the analysis after the match today, with the pundits hinting that we have a better option in goals on the bench. Personally I would go with Hennelly.

    Anyway you would have to feel sorry for, and admire, both the keepers. Both top class and both constantly being compared and fighting for the top spot. The constant musical chairs in goals can’t be good for either of them but they never give up.

  66. Well done. They played well in stages. There not that fluid yet but they will improve. Parsons and SOS at MF will help. And also loftus in the FF line. Would be nice to get Westmeath and into a quarter hopefully

  67. Thought Aidan was solid all through.Cant have been easy for him but he stood up.
    Happy enough.Barry a better bet for midfield than Vaughan.Think Coen mops up.lot of ball and needs to start.
    Wont get carried away but you can only beat what is in front of you.

  68. As predicted beforehand, a comfortable win and a big step up in quality from where we were four weeks ago on the evening of the Galway ambush (also predicted). Never expected Kildare to challenge us severely once we got our own game together as they are a poor side. Nonetheless, it was great to see a lot more structure to our play, both in defense and in the way we attacked with runners coming through (first half mostly). As a lot of posters have already commented, midfield is a big focus area for us now and the sooner we can get Tom back the better. Its nice to be in a position now to be debating who we would prefer to draw – Westmeath or Donegal/Tyrone. One route puts us on a collision course with the Dubs in the quarter finals, the others to bruising and thorny encounter(s) with Ulsters finest…. storm clouds are gathering!!

  69. I am happy with the performance, we kicked on from last week, we are in the next round and we have some areas to work on.

    That’s not a bad place to be.

    Midfield was under pressure but you can’t view it in isolation, Kildare packed bodies in and committed to winning the middle third. But they lost the other two thirds because of this…..why do you think Moran and Regan had so much room on the inside?

    We have some work to do here, particularly on breaking ball and I expect teams will attack us here in the coming weeks but with Parsons, Moran and O’Sheas we should be ready for anyone.

    Objective 1 of the second half was not to concede any goals and we achieved this. Yes there was a few soft scores but a few soft scores were not going to let Kildare back in the game so these were a price worth paying for protecting the goal.

    The other huge positive was the impact of the bench on the scoreboard. Freeman, Doc and Conor kept it ticking over and that is not something we have had over the last 4 years.

    Plenty to work on but I have faith in the management team and players to kick on again.

  70. That ref! The legs didn’t even seem to belong to him but he might improve too in time .
    If Evan had taken those two points he would have been in line for some match laurels.The passing both from hand and foot were a welcome improvement last eve, well weighted and timed for the most part as between giver and receiver.You could see them looking for each other.However, I felt the receiver had too much to do on too many occasions. They took on their men well and beat them but v often the profit was nt commensurate with the amount of effort. That colleague wasn’t at hand quickly enough to make the telling swift scything – through impact.When they get themselves together a whit more on this point they ll be some outfit.Great to have ball and ability to beat man but v often better to have man to take return pass and away for surer easier score.Still, having said that, much to admire in that department!
    Clarke had a great day out I thought …7/10 for him too…. V commanding presence in there..adds a lot to confidence of those in front.Didnt have clear view of bloomer but looked ill advised !Hes more than a goalie back there.
    Kildare for a team beaten by nine looked at times to have some v fine qualities. They found their men very adeptly and split up the middle better than we did but lacked a bit then inside. I was looking for faster smarter transition from our fellas… It was predictable to a large degree…. Called for deliberate change of pace with man inserting surprise darting run alla Caffrey or Connolly or McHugh…!Id look to Zip,Durkan,Keenan there!
    The crowd really showed up last night when it got going ..another 9/10! But the cameo of the night was a little speck of a lad with black leggings and big pair of togs + Mayo jersey playin into the goals afterwards…an abs delight to behold…wish one had it all back!

  71. Overall, happy with improvement shown by team & management, just need to continue addressing known areas of weakness.
    Parsons is a big loss in midfield, he has been a go to person for many of our kick outs in the past. Also, while we sacrificed AOS from mf, once he dropped back to fb, the risk of conceding a goal dropped significantly.
    I would continue with the Kevin Mc/Keith H experiment, both are clever players and Kevin’s ability to pick a pass can aid the transition from defence to attack. Keith’s speed can be used to unlock defences, once a gap is created, opportunities can appear.
    Thought Andy helped change the dynamic in the forwards, holds the ball well and a good target man.
    There is still a lot to be done before we can seriously be considered as potential AI winners, but if we beat say losing Ulster team, I would like a rattle at the dubs, I think that they would be most vulnerable at this stage, in any case, enjoying the journey for as long as it continues.

  72. Mayo got the expected result. Rochford now has a window in which to stamp his mark on this team as boss. AOS and COC , great players indeed, are not firing at all this season. The other O Shea , Seamus is also struggling. Would the boss consider omitting them for the next day, either the team is picked on current form or not. That would be the strongest indication to me st least that Mayo have a manager not enthralled by big names at last .

  73. Saw the mighty Lilywhite John Doyle having the tea out of the boot (car not football)
    Would have liked to hear his thoughts on Mayo but traffic started moving.
    He looks like a man that could run up and down the Reek and then do the Westsportif before pulling on a jersey and hitting the Mayo net.

  74. How do the permutations work regarding draw now. I know we play the loser of either Leinster or Ulster, is it open draw after that or a set course. (please don’t start posting about one game at a time, it’s just a curiosity question)

  75. The criticism of Clarke by some posters is unjust. I thought He was superb yesterday, he was like a sweeper behind our full back line.

    The majority of his kick outs were very good. He got caught with one for boyler but besides that they were good .

    He is most definitely our No 1 !! No question

  76. Not giving you a smart answer but check out fixtures in it’s very clear up there

  77. Pebblemaster I still think we have taken a big step backwards from last year, lost our shape and need a number of key players to step up to the mark if we are to challenge for Sam this year. Kildare had loads of space and chances to get back into the game yesterday which we would have been severely punished by any top team. Last year we were within a kick of a ball of beating Dublin. So far in the Championship we are a shadow of that team. I don’t think we are showing much improvement game to game either. I really hope our big guns start to play and we get a shape on the team. However in my opinion we are a shadow of last year’s team based on our performances year to date.

  78. 8/10 David Clarke. He’s not that big in reality but in his role,between the posts,he’s a colossal figure!
    And a straight A to the Kildare supporter on Gaa banter for praising his team and ours and complimenting the Mayo fans for the way he and the mate were treated.

  79. The rest of our year now hinges on the draw IMO

    If we get Westmeath then the path from there I is
    1/4 final – Winners of Donegal /Tyrone
    Semi finals – Connacht winners or whoever has beaten them in 1/4s

    If we get losers of ulster path from there (if the road has not already ended )
    1/4 final – Dublin
    Semi final – Kerry or whoever has beaten them in 1/4s

  80. Just outside…. Harsh somewhat! Midfield…obvious! But rest was vast Improvemt and catching up with our best and also we know too that our best of then was not good enough either! So..

  81. Liam, Im very much a one game at a time merchant, but iv’e been looking up the outcomes of the draw just to get a clear picture of the potential road ahead..their’ll be two routes:

    A) We draw Westmeath in an open draw, while Cork then Draw Donegal/Tyrone. Lets say we beat Westmeath and for instance, Donegal beat Cork, We would then face Tyrone as Donegal cannot face them again in quarter final. Donegal would automatically be playing Dublin. Now, if we bet Tyrone we would then potentially face roscommon or galway in AI semi-final or whoever gets through that side of the draw. We would be completely avoiding Dublin and Kerry until a final.

    B) We draw Donegal/Tyrone and Cork face Westmeath. Say we win and Westmeath win, then we’ll automatically be playing Dublin….then Kerry in a semi-final. If Cork bet Westmeath, then theirs an open draw for Quarter finals, where we play either Dubs or Ulster winners.

    I think option A is the best we can hope for, so im praying to get Westmeath in the draw monday morning. But regardless of who we get, ill still be taking it one game at a time.

  82. Very impressed with the delivery of ball to the forward today, that something that’s been missing for a while. We certainly did concede midfield but still won by 9 points.
    Come back Tom Parsons, we really need you….
    Big improvements by all bar maybe Alan Dillion on the last day, but to be fair to Dillon he was immense the last day so would have been hard to improve on that. I did seem to think that Andy and Dillon were playing as link me to feed Regan and Diarmuid, a role Andy did very well.
    Cillian is playing way too deep but did deliver ball well into Regan and to his brother quite a bit.. He is always well marshalled so that’s probably takes a bit of the shine off hi sunshine cspabilities.

    Wonder what Monday will bring.

  83. Good performance but by Christ we have a lot to do we actually lost the second half 8 points 9.
    Think we played out different scenarios that we might have difficulty’s in the past.
    Also cillian is playing very deep but the rest of our forwards are scoring much more than other years which isn’t bad.listen the game was over at half time but mid field was a worry last night.
    Watching from McHale park numbers mean nothing anymore which to me is fascinating to watch.diarmuid was immense cribbin brought on to shackle him but ran out of steam himself,what a player diarmuid is and I doubt we seen all from him yet.two week break will suit but six day turn around if all goes well after that.I know its one game a time and all that but we need to plan a head as well just in case, who knows were this journey will end.
    Dare to dream
    Up mayo

  84. Boyler was outstanding drive & passion was unbelievable.
    Midfield was a major problem roll on Tom Parson’s return.
    Great to see subs coming on and scoring. Think leaving andy as sub would be alot better.

  85. Thought yesterday was an improvement on the fermanagh game but still a way to go, and hopefully that’s what the master plan has inked in for us. Thought andy was brilliant, even if the guy never gets the ball his movement alone should get him a starting place. Thought Clarke was also brilliant shot stopping and command of his box, but too many kickouts into midfield which were lost. I was disappointed that we were losing the initial ball into midfield but also I didn’t think we were battling enough for the breaking ball, this is something that we had down to a fine art with horan. Is anyone getting in position for the breaking ball anymore? DOC 10/10.

  86. One point I feel this game didn’t suit Dillon thought Carlin would have been a better option for pace maybe he’s not fully back to himself think he need some game time.

  87. I say bring on the Ulster final losers….are we not better to find out exactly where we are? We will have two weeks to plan.

  88. Also nearly forgot.
    Support was fantastic this eve we really are the best supporters.
    Kildare gaa have lovely post up thanking us and praising the team.

  89. Thanks Juan.
    That’s the permutations explained perfectly. I had looked on the GAA website as suggested, it was as clear as a 1 litre glass jar filled with 2 litres of pig shit.

  90. @yew_tree my worry with playing Ulster losers is we would have more chance of playing Dublin in quarters and only have 1 week to prepare. I don’t think we could come thru a tough battle with Donegal it Tyrone and then face Dublin in quarters with just one week rest.

  91. We will really miss Caff and Keane. They are both fine full backs but we have expected them to play in the modern game without a sweeper.Thank god that has ended now.

  92. And this is why I backed DOC with 30 euro before the championship at 80/1 for player of the year, his form in the U21’s was far too good not to have a punt.Our best player by a country mile and he never really has a bad day.

    Secondly ,very happy with Andy moran’s performance, he actually showed he’s a lot in the tank for us yet,very good at being the strong man he is and holding up the ball/ laying it off. Regan put in a good show and is lethal when he can have a 1 on 1 sprint off with his man.He’s obviously better when he gets cross field balls into him.Clarke showed he is worthy of no.1

    The one thing I’ll say is Rochford might have serious decisions ahead. Would he dare drop Cillian .All he has done this year so far is score free and get put off against London.If Loftus was fit in time I would love to see him start ,Doherty is a better option than Cillian at the minute although he is lethal with the frees and for that aspect alone we would really miss him.

    Where do we go from here? It’s either going to be a huge challenge or a reasonably easy draw.I’d actually rather we got the ulster losers then Dublin/Kerry route. Small chance of a Galway/Mayo rematch in croke park(can someone clarify if that is technically possible I’m not totally sure on that one) would be a beautiful way to do it if we somehow overcame the Dubs and the kingdom.

  93. I don’t understand the criticism of Clarke. I thought he did very well aside from one kick-out going astray. He is assured under the high ball and made some very good interventions. The reason we didn’t win midfield had very little to do with him and more to do with our midfielders.

  94. I want to see the game again! This bloody Sky business is sickening. Is there ANYWHERE it can be seen? I don’t have Sky.
    Thinking back, it now seems to me we were both brilliant and awful at different times during the game. There were times during the first half when I would have backed us to beat anyone and then there were times when we were the same as against Galway – flat looking. In the end we could have won by 15 if Evan Regan had finished his chance, if Keegan hadn’t blasted wide, if we had got one or two of the penalties we deserved. And that was with midfield not working well which i hinted at beforehand in a previous post. we weren’t even able to break the ball from them! This is a real worry. AOS is the obvious answer. SEamus or Donie are hardly worth their places at this stage based on performance so far.

  95. One thing to consider when thinking about the next qualifier round.
    If the Ulster final ends as a draw today, the replay will be next week, leaving the loser with a 6 or 7 day turnaround before possibly playing us.

    So I have more reason to want a draw today than simply the tenner I have on it.

  96. Galway are back too – great to see them playing some attacking football against Roscommon.

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