Looks like Diarmuid should be good to go for Saturday

Take that you Lilies

Photo: GAA

The best-kept secret in the run-up to Saturday’s Round 4B match against Westmeath was the injury concern that eventually ruled Diarmuid O’Connor out of the fixture. I didn’t hear a whisper about it in advance and so the first I knew about Diarmuid’s unavailability was when the murmurings began to spread around the Cusack Stand just before the lads ran out onto the hallowed turf.

It’s clear from Stephen Rochford’s post-match comments, however, that there were concerns all week leading up to the game about Diarmuid’s availability for it.  It’s pretty impressive that, despite this and the fact that the world we now inhabit is such an information-frenzied one, there wasn’t a peep about this story anywhere during the week. I think it’s safe to conclude that there are no moles within the organisation at the minute.

Which, of course, makes it all the more difficult to discern what’s the crack with Diarmuid now and whether or not he’ll be available for Saturday’s seismic All-Ireland quarter-final showdown against Tyrone at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm). In attempting to cast some light on this question, though, I decided to go Route One and look at what Stephen Rochford had to say about the matter in his post-match comments. Having done so, I think it’s safe to assume that the prognosis looks promising.

This, from yesterday’s Western People (paper and digital formats):

Diarmuid picked up a dead leg against Fermanagh and took another collision last weekend on the same spot. We were quite hopeful that he’d make today’s game but our expectations are that he’ll be available for next week.

And this from today’s Mayo News (also paper and digital formats):

We were quite hopeful that he was gonna make it [i.e. for last Saturday], but player welfare, that’s very, very important for us. But our expectation is that he’ll be available next weekend.

There you have it. In that Mayo News piece, by the way, Mike Finnerty says that we’ll wait ’till later in the week to make a definitive decision on Diarmuid’s availability for Saturday.  That’s only to be expected, though, as I assume we won’t be announcing our starting fifteen to face Tyrone (the same team we named ahead of the Westmeath game, I’d imagine) until some time on Friday evening.

105 thoughts on “Looks like Diarmuid should be good to go for Saturday

  1. this shows once and for all what utter RUBBISH some of the “stories from the camp” have been all year! This is not the first time a player has misses out due to an injury that NOBODY was aware of. So these stories of dressing room fights etc were pure fabrication .
    season ticket holders check yere accounts
    section 303 row X so similar to the last day but on the Hill 21 this time.
    Happy enough with that but hope I’m in a block of mayo supporters and not a random mix like last week

  2. He’s badly needed this Saturday. It’s kind of staggering how integral he’s become so quickly. Such a good player and not an accident that our two poorest performances this season have come in his absence.

  3. Hope to God he’s fit for Saturday! Can’t see us winning without him.

    Section 302 for season ticket, bit of a joke.

  4. Let’s have a glance at our own performances in the championship so far: deathly quiet in the local against Galway, kinda like we all had a pint with God in Mick Byrne’s beforehand and He told us the result. Big improvement against Fermanagh and Kildare, a lot more Status Quoish. I think we dropped down a level or two against Westmeath but then it was a strange kind of game all round the one exception been the fantastic thunderclap that broke out in the 2nd half. Hopefully more of that Saturday. Like the team we follow its hard to know what mental state we will be in come throw in. We also have to deal with ‘the curse’, ‘the monkey’, and whatever your having yourself. Here’s hoping we can raise it up to AC/DC proportions come Saturday in what has been for our generation the ‘Highway to Hell!’

  5. Well whatever Donegal fans are in there will be shouting for us I imagine, there wont be many Dubs in yet as they’ll still be in the pub. Most of those that do come in will probably be shouting for Tyrone due to their hatred for all things Mayo due to the fact that we’ve had the cheek to put it up to them the last few years.

  6. Baconfactoryend anyone engaging in that thunderclap nonsense should be evicted. Watch the match!!!!! And be original. It’s had it’s day

  7. Cynthia, jaysus it was a bunch of young fellas at the corner of canal end. Can they not have a bit of fun, god knows there wasnt much fun to be looking at on the pitch in the second half. All fan noise is not only welcome but should be encouraged, better than sittling still and quiet. Mexican wave is 30years old and still gets a run out now and again. Thunderclap will be here for a while id say.

  8. SEASON TICKET holders get 302 and 303 because its august and time for the DUBS SUPER SUNDAY FANS [ thats super saturday this time] to have a stroll down to croker to see the dublin gaelic football team play ,And as i heard some fella shout out in the cusack stand at last year semi final WHOS YER MAN after BERNARD BROGAN missed a kick.

  9. Got 308 as well. In fairness big number of season ticket holders between the 4 counties. Will however be disappointed it the Dubs get 305, 306 and 307 to themselves.

  10. Diarmuid is needed for this game for sure, hopefully tom p will be 100 percent too. In my guy I feel this is one Mayo can win if they just protect the goal,
    I predict something along the lines of
    Mayo 1 15
    Tyrone 16

    Watched the Westmeath match last night, it looked like they switched off and conserved themselves, at least I hope they did

  11. Some people that go the matches should stay at home…never stop giving out and looking at people standing up and shouting “sit down…I can’t see etc…” Stand the fuck up lads…and some of them were in section 306 the last day. If you want to it there in comfort and be quiet stay at home…supporter means you SUPPORT the team.

  12. Hi all. Em ………. the current temperature projections for four o`clock Saturday

    are in the region of – – – 25 to 27 degrees C.

    Anyone got spare suncream ?? Or buttermilk or anything !!

    oxygen masks for the players too at half time if you have spare ones. Holy cow , this is

    going to be like playing in an oven. That`s my little advance warning light for today.

  13. Yew Tree – If you want to stand up maybe you should try the hill. A girl in front of me that last day constantly standing up taking videos on her phone of the match. Not quite sure what she wanted them for as sky were showing it live and TG4 showing hightlights.

  14. tommyk – I am talking about people jumping up when there is a score especially a goal….nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

  15. We will have to be at our best to beet Tyrone nothing less will do its now or never to show our hand if we have anything to show we have the players is féldir linn suas mhaigh eo

  16. Hi all, I can’t make the game on Saturday for personal reasons but have a season ticket for Section 309, row D.
    Anyone interested please text me on 087 7991427.
    Only candidates with many years experience in roaring and shouting at Mayo games need apply! ?

  17. Looking forward to the game alot of people are negative about the Mayo team and all that but I think they are going nicely.

    Diarmuid back is great news and he will be one of the main components in our running game that will break down Tyrone, I expect us to go hard at them and beat them in a strong manner.
    This is where Kevin Mc running hard onto a ball from a deeper position will allow Higgins and Diarmuid space they wouldn’t get in the past v Sweeper systems.

    Andy wont get the space he got previously but is as wise as a old fox and whilst he might be kept quiet will get some important scores.

    Cillian and Regans free taking is going to have to be on point as they will foul alot and we need to be putting them away even from 35-40 yards out .

    Both players will probably have quiet games in terms of space but should get chances all same so hopefully are on form .

    I think Seamie is struggling for some reason, dont know is it confidence or what but he isnt Seamie of old . I think it hard not start a game without him but he needs to be on it from the word go and Vauhgan and Parsons on paper is the best options for Matty Donnelan and C Cavanagh, infact Parsons be ideal for Colm C as he goes deep let Parsons follow him as Parsons is a scoring threat .

    Peter Harte I would nt worry too much about as Boyler, Vaughan, Barrett or Leeroy are more than able for him but Sean Cavanagh still is the leader, keep him quiet and you keep them quiet .
    I think this isnt a game for your orthodoxed fullback in Keane and despite it being a big loss to our halfback line I would put Lee Keegan on Cavanagh .
    Purely to cancel him out but also to wear him out and frustrate him and try get him away from our goal.
    If not Leeroy then Chrissy Barrett could do a job on him but he is too wily for Keane and will turn him too easily, its no disrespect to Keane and its horses for courses but Sean Cavanagh is still hell of a player .

    Other than that I think we are physically too strong for them and have the runners to break down the blanket defence with a fullforward line who can function with minimal space and ball . In addition to options on the bench in Barry, Parsons/Seamie, Dillon, Conor Loftus, we have players who are experience and or that natural football brains and that know how and cuteness to win frees off their tough defence so lets hope our free takers are on it .
    Its a fact we will dominate the ball so need to be patient and have runners from deep on the shoulder in the halfback line, Kevin Mc, Diarmuid and Higgins , unless Harte has a specific game plan for us our halfback line should have plenty of space

  18. Agree with outside of boot, Keegan on Sean Kavanagh is a good option. He’s a great man marker and also has lost a bit of confidence when attacking, I think that crucial miss against the dubs has affected him. Agree also not needing a fullback. The game has moved on, markers with pace and agility required. Higgins is showing more and more how dangerous he is at breaking at pace through the cover. He and doc will be key men, to break the line, suck in the cover and offload. Mayo’s game plan is made for this game, push up on the lockouts and force turnovers. I think we’ll see a performance this Saturday!

  19. Anyone know if a later train will be put on last train is currently 6.15 which would be bit of a rush to get to Heuston. Delighted diarmuid is back we were lost without him last week.

  20. i was at the game on Saturday and the one thing that struck me amid the more questions than answers performance of Mayo was that Conor O’Shea needs to start.

    I haven’t seen too much of this guy but he is clearly capable and whether or not he has been consistent I have no idea, he made a hell of an impact on Saturday – if Mayo are to have any chance against Tyrone at the weekend they will need a player of his size and apparent ability in that middle third. Nothing else on the Mayo bench looks close to delivering his potential – which presumably he hasn’t been able to realise on a regular basis but it is probably time for a gamble or two.

  21. I hope so Puckout and I hope we dont cut our nose off to spite our face in terms of dropping Regan for a Jason Doh type who has done well but isnt what we need in a freetaker nor is he someone who will hold their position in fullforward line which means they need to sit deep , they be only too happy to congest the middle and choke Seamie and Aido wheras we should be forcing them to kick it long into midfield with the options we have. Yes midfield has being hit and miss but these lads will step it up .

  22. Conor O Shea done really well the last day and is a definite impact player but I dont think he should take the place ogf anyone at midfield or half forward line to start just yet but having him chomping at the bit to make an impact as he did the last day can only be a good thing .

  23. I see someone above saying he wouldn’t worry about Peter Harte…

    …i would suggest you are worrying about the wrong things then. I think alongside Brogan and Connolly he is up there as being the best footballer in the country. Think back to the last game against any side that he was ‘kept quiet’….its been a while!

    Harte and McCann forays by far the biggest threat Mayo have to deal with on Saturday.

  24. We will need our tall target men on the edge of the square and launch high ball in quick and fast from the turn overs. Tyrone are not the tallest team. We should also be pushing up on their kick out’s as much as energy reserves will permit, forcing their keeper to kick it long.

  25. There will be a later train after 6.15.

    I’m loving the positivity, its a pity no-one outside mayo agrees with us!

  26. 303,.FF, Dublin like ourselves have sold out their season ticket quota, although they have more, because they have upper tier, Cusack season ticket holders and Hill 16, season ticket holders. Anytime I’m at a match involving Tyrone, you see the que of Tyrone supporters at season ticket scanners, likewise Donegal . I think the the 4 teams playing on Saturday must be the 4 best supported teams in the country. So all in all I’m happy enough with my ticket. Dr Jeckle or Mr Hyde (Mayo) V Tyrone, it’s going to be a fascinating contest, Diarmuid O Connor is V Tiernan McCarty, two of the best footballers and best athletes facing off. Can we solve our problems at Full Back?,? , Don’t think we have got our best midfield starting any match yet this year, We have everybody available on Saturday, apart from a very much missed Cafferkey, time for Stephen Rochford to play his best cards, big step up to needed there. You would imagine that there is at least one ‘Big Match’ in AOS this year, time to shake off the top ‘Cobwebs’ Aiden… Mayo are not as fresh as Tipperary, but we have a more experienced panel, so don’t be waiting for players to be out on their feet or taking on water, make changes sooner. Allied to the fact that we have to deal with a 7 day turnaround, so Stephen Rochford, come on. Make substitutions earlier, even if you have to do after 20mins, nothing wrong with that. Bringing on subs with the 5mins to go, ala Freeman and Parsons, last Saturday is a complete waste of time, does nothing for the team and nothing for the players in question. Anyone on the Mayo panel of that can’t contribute at least 30 mins. ,should not be on the panel. There’s always one big game in Mayo. . I can see it in my minds eye, The Tyrone the ‘System’ V ‘Helter-skelter Mayo, Brace yourselves folks, I’m forecasting, a roll a coaster ride, some of the best players that ever played the game on show at Sean Cavanagh, AOS, Keith Higgins, Peter Harte, the McMahons, the O Connor’ and many more. May the best team win and may the best team be Mayo!

  27. I’m in section 302. This is annoying because its not very central and they said sections would be allocated on a ‘random’ basis……….but I was in the same section for the Dublin games last year. Maybe its just ‘random’ bad luck!

    One other gripe for the day; as I’m no longer a Sky Sports subscriber I can’t get a recording of the full match. I used to enjoy watching a full recording of a championship game (after we’d won of course) but now that the games are on Sky (and I don’t have Sky) this does not appear possible………..shur it’ll be different for the semi against Tipp as that will be on RTE.

  28. I agree on the FB issue. On present evidence Cavanagh will destroy him. I think he gave away 6 frees the last day? I could be wrong but this is our weakest position and needs a solution and quick. Cohen? Anybody at this stage.

  29. Yes lets throw a complete novice in at Full Back for our most important game of the year!

    Of course it’ll be Keane it’s not even a discussion

    I’d be amazed if he marked Cavanagh throughout too. I often see people these days discussing match ups in terms of 5 vs 12, 13 vs 4 etc simply based off the programme but Gaelic Football has evolved a long way tactically in recent times. Barely anyone plays with 6 forwards anymore. A lot of teams pretty much play with three full backs anymore and players match up with the opposition in a tactically pre-determined manner. Gone are the days of the orthodox 15 vs 15 which looks so bizarre these days when watching an “All Ireland Gold” on TG4!!

    There was the 2013 argument of who would win the battle between AOS and Cavanagh when it turned out to be Boyle mainly picked up the attacking Cavanagh in the second half

  30. Ciaran, I agree fully. Keane will start, no question. Cavanagh has a roaming role so wont necessarily spend much time at ff. Defense will be all about space, closing down space is the answer. The hb line will need to be disciplined, sit deep closing down that space infront of the fb line. Cant leave space for Tyrone counter attack to run into. Frees conceded need to be at a minimum and from distance. I can see a low scoring game like 2013. Concentration and a controlled performance for 70+ mins and we wont be far off.

  31. I note Mike Finnerty is somewhat more downbeat about Diarmaid. Says no decision will be taken until later in the week.

    Also, somewhat bemused by Billie Joe Padden’s approach in the MN. Basically plant Aidan at FF and lob balls in. Keep Andy in there – but what’s Andy’s role in that scenario, given that his positioning at FF is one of the key developments of the qualifiers. Also, he advises going back, mainly, to the JH approach.

    I think we have something good going, but we really do need to lock down our defensive unit and not let runs up the middle destroy us. Remember after the Galway and Fermanagh games, the cry was no scoring forwards, after Kildare, no midfield. These have been addressed, but we are still vulnerable to concede goals we shouldn’t even though the scores against are, perhaps, an improvement on last year.

  32. Can’t a afford to switch off on sat. Must be tuned in for full game. I would not say that if we stop sean k we that were home and dry. They have good few sharp shooters. Maccurry does not make their team niw and he is sharp. So there is 15 battles to be won on the pitch and the team that wins most and gets the scores will win.

  33. Coen is a good prospect but not sure at no.3. He looks like a six. It’d be a huge risk putting someone new at full back the next day, particular someone in their first year..

    Keane has the ability to have a good game on Sunday. He plays best when the pressure is on (AIF 12 and exception, but then too he shouldn’t have been there!). If his head is right he’s currentky our best bet. If the halfbacks and sweeper play properly and pressure is applied further outfield then the full back should be reasonably well protected. If in the other hand we are opened up and we allow players run 30/40 yards up the middle untouched…then we’re in big trouble and our full back would be exposed.

  34. Ciaran apologies. That was a little off the cuff. Your entitled to your view and in fairness KK is probably the best available at this time. Cafferkey huge loss though

  35. We really need to be tight on their key players. I notice mcarron buck (corner back i think) loves to bomb forward with good success breaking the lines , i hope we have plans in place to limit the like of this .

  36. I was about to take issue with you, Clonee Man, for your previous comment but I see you’ve had the good sense to apologise for it first so thanks for sparing me the trouble! I’ve deleted the original comment.

  37. If tom parsons is fit will donie Vaughan be dropped? He’s one of the form players in the team. Maybe he could fit in at centre back. That would leave a midfield diamond of AOS, parsons, seamie, Vaughan, very difficult for any team to run through that 4some. Although Donnie would have to be told to sit back.

  38. I said it before and I will say it again: We will get the most of Aidan at no. 6. For whatever reason it’s not happening for him at FF and it will next to impossible for him to suddenly be expected to turn it on against a mean Tyrone defence, regardless of the height advantage argument. Sure he hasn’t technically lined out for us at 6 before but in my eyes he is an exceptional defensive player and he looks comfortable playing from there. He wraps players up, and for his size he is surprisingly fast and agile and more than able to stay with his man, and can burst at speed immediately initiating attack. It’s a no-brainer for me.
    Our biggest vulnerability through the qualifiers has without doubt been the ease at which we are opened up when teams run at us (Division 3 and 4 teams I must add). Positioning Aidan at 6. will stop this. Simple. It will end. I would rather him have a defined role like this where he is effective throughout the whole match, rather than him roaming between FF, CHF, and MF, which will ultimately end in him getting frustrated, knock his confidence, and drain the team. He can also contest some kick-outs by coming briefly to MF. I trust that he would read this aspect perfectly, knowing when to move and when to stick.
    It’s almost as if there is a sense that using Aidan in a defensive role is somehow a waste. That’s complete nonsense. As I say, a player, no matter who they are, rarely can just turn on form in a position. The last match where he was noted as being effective in FF was the QF v Donegal last year; however, what is rarely mentioned but McGee had him well marked until the Donegal man clearly picked up an injury and it was after this that Aidan got the goal. That’s the reality. The last thing I want is to be critical here. It goes withough saying that he is a massive player for us, and he has even gone up in my estimation given how he handled the last few weeks. But, we have to be brave here and look at things very very coldly and try and get the most out of one of our most important players.
    Paddy Durcan would have to lose out with Boyler moving to 7. I would start Loftus for this match. He is young but he has played very good football this year and the wind will be well and truly in his sails for sure. He plays with an abandon and an instinct that we don’t often see with Mayo forwards. We have to take some calculated chances and this is how I go about that.

  39. I know mayo have not played well this year we don’t really know were we are at but we are still in it thank god we need to be at our best to beet Tyrone we need all our big players to stand up now more than ever saying that this year Tyrone drew Fermanagh 12 points to 1 09 then Tyrone were lucky to get a replay out of Cavan then Tyrone beet a lifeless Donegal team but only in the last 7 mints so if mayo play the right game we can come out the right side

  40. It’s great to see Tyrone installed as favourites. The only real challengers to the Dublin dynasty. Mayo on the wain and Tyrone the form team.
    Very little hope for Mayo who operate a sweeper system that just isn’t working and key players being played out of position.
    Former management stating that the team have lost the art of tackling and are unfit.
    Former players saying we should revert to our old style of play.
    Saturday it seems will be our last day out this year.

    Like hell it will. I finally believe we are learning from previous mistakes.
    No building up from former players and management that can be nailed to opposition dressing room doors.
    Building on previous success by being willing to change. Not copying others style but setting our own.
    Very Kerry like. Let’s hope it’s as successful. Up Mayo

  41. You cant just put AOS at 6 for the first time in what is arguably the biggest game ever for this team as it will decide whether an era ends or not. ( era for this team , not for mayo football, like some would like you to believe)

  42. You can put AOS around the 6 spot. Does it matter if picked at 6 or simply drifts back to our 45. Weather forecast is for 25 degrees. That is hot in the bowl atmosphere of a stadium with 60k odd in the stands and the burger hobs turned to max. Could well be 26/27 pitch side (the burger hobs!!).
    We dont want the uplifting sight for them of Aidan being subbed, they like to burst through the middle on counter attacks. So why not cut his mileage in half at least by having him stay around the 6 spot.

  43. On the subject of the “sit down” brigade I saw the best one yet at the Fermanagh game. Andy Moran was togged all through the first half and was standing up at the back of the Mayo subs area shuffling from foot to foot. Woman behind tells him to sat down!!! and Andy being the nicest guy in GAA crouches down for her to see better!!

    As far as I’m considered if Andy wanted to sit on her knee and eat her chips, the only spake out of her should be whether he wants more salt on them or whether her knees were too boney.

  44. Fair play to you Home sweet home Mayo for putting such a positive spin on things. It was in the league that Tyrone drew with Fermanagh. Tyrone then went on to win Div 2 handy enough. That lifeless Donegal team you mentioned beat Fermanagh quite comfortably with 14 men. We were rather uncomfortable v Fermanagh with 15 men. Tyrone weren’t lucky to scrape a draw with Cavan. In fact Cavan got three rather poxy goals, one in injury time in first half and another in injury time right at the end and Tyrone annihilated Cavan in the first 60 mins of drawn game before taking it easy in the last 10. I admit that Tyrone are no world beaters but their form this year is a lot better than ours. They are unbeaten and will be heartened by watching Mayos mediocre form all year. We can win but we will have to play a hell of a lot better than anything we ve seen all year. Tyrone will smell any fear or weaknesses and exploit them and they are No 1 when it comes to cynicism, so we need to tear into them from the start, put them on the back foot and let them start questioning themselves. I doubt if we will win a low scoring slug fest as they are masters of winning those games. Toe to toe from the off. Despite their 3 AIs in the last 15 years, we have been better than them lately and indeed have a decent record against them.

  45. I really cant see any changes other than DOC back in and Parsons back if fully fit. Rochford hasnt made wholesale changes to date, other than enforced changes due to injury only a couple over the course of the championship, (Clarke and Moran). I cant see him making changes in such a big game. Any alterations will be tactical. Possibly see DOC or parsons playing a deeper role at times to close space on the Tyrone runners from deep like McCann and Harte.

  46. Croke Park Season Ticket holder.. credit card details are good to go as they have been for the last few tickets this season and the last few years but nothing happening for Saturday. C’mon Croke Park.. where’s me flipping ticket?

    I given up trying to figure out who and how our team will line out at this stage. It’s refreshing not to have an inkling what’s going on in the background and to have to wait until the day itself to see how the team sets up. It’s the way it should be and it sounds like the media haven’t a clue either.. brilliant

  47. Can’t understand people being obsessed with what section they’re sitting in, I guarantee you that once the ball has been thrown in it matters little!
    Be happy that you are inside the ground!!

  48. Interesting that people say Tyrone’s full back line lacks height. Tipperary took full advantage of a similar disparity on Sunday. If minded, might we not put Barry Moran around the forward line and create uncertainty, as Tipperary did? Tyrone’s defence will not fall apart like Galway’s did, but it will alter their approach and allow Mayo to dictate tactics. We can then keep AO’S in middle to help frustrate any Tyrone counter attack. Rochford can then sub forwards, such as Freeman who scored a great goal in 2013, as suits to keep them on the back foot. While I would love to see us go toe to toe I fear we are not playing as we did in 2013 and even then we were on the back foot for some time. Tyrone have come on a lot since then. That’s why we need to dictate rather than trying to match Tyrone on their terms.

  49. Good stuff Anne-Marie! That’s what we need… Have we got it? This is the game to answer many questions.T a team on an upward burst we believe,
    against our hopefuls.!That blanket/Cavanaghs/ Donnelly/Harte/ boss man !! At least we know what’s coming.The big hope is that we will be inspired by the greatness of this great challenge and that underneath some low key shows recently were some promising grumbles of intent…. I think of those lions of the collesseums slavering at their mouths at the thought of the gates being opened!I can hear their growls!I can smell them. I can see the carnage! I can see the tears of joy but also the anguish of things not quite coming together when we want them to! Of course I’m covering all angles here as I think no one is abs sure what’s going to happen on sat evening.It is all in the hands of the Gods and on this occasion I’m hoping it ll be the Mayo Gods who ll be on top at the end of the great battle!

  50. 309 row o.
    Too near the front, was in 308 last week row q couldnt see anything down hill side.
    Great to have DOC back. Be a hard game but do believe we can do it.

  51. 304 CC,, not too bad. I was in 305 and 306 plenty of times so not going to complain. Someone has to sit there, would dubs have them cause secone game and the GAA don’t want swathes of empty seats right in the middle of the pitch if the worst happens and we loose? I’m in, that’s all I care about!

  52. I really hope Mayo win this I think they Tyrone are really good. But I think there overhyped and if tipperary get them I think the will beat them. With the media it’s all Tyrone.

  53. Just listened to Oisin McConville on second captains. He gives us no chance. Quite depressing to listen to.

    It’s only 12 months since we went toe to toe with dublin. I think there’s a kick in us yet. Time will tell

  54. If the weather forecast holds like our form to date then its not just the players who are going to get a Red roasting in Croker on Sat ! 😀

  55. I think if it was Tipperary Tyrone where playing they taken them still hoping for mayo will put up a good performance.

  56. “I finally believe we are learning from previous mistakes”.
    Really, what makes you think that based on Saturday’s game,
    How can we go from being firm favourites only 2 years ago to beat Tyrone to being 6/4 for this game.
    Have the Mayo players really regressed that much in 2 years ? Are Tyrone really that good ?
    That answer to both questions is No.

    The team set up is totally wrong. Players like AOS do not seem to know where they are supposed to playing for long periods of the game. Kev Mc and Higgins reverse roles just does not work. A waste of both player’s talents.

    Why complicate it so much ? Why be so defensive ? Did we need to change things up that much from previous years ? Was it that broken ?

    Look what Tipp did to Galway when they ran at them. We did it for 10 minutes against Galway and destroyed them and then reverted back to the new defensive cautious system and totally fell apart.

    We have stuck with this new flawed system and it clearly does not suit this bunch of players. That is the biggest problem going into the match next weekend, not the players. It will be playing right into Tyone’s hand by trying to play them at their own game.
    The management are not going to change tactics at this stage unfortunately.

  57. I can only remember a few decent deliveries into Aiden last year when at ff. If proper game plan set up. Diagonal ball into him. No one would stop him. That’s only one plan. U need a few tricks up ur sleeve or down ur sock. Maybe a vice grips or something soft like that lol

  58. I really believe we can win Saturday provided we get our tactics correct. I do think we took foot off the gas second half against westmeath last sat like as if they decided at half time to hold back. Example of this..did people notice cilian played a lot further forward last sat in first half playing off andy..played his best half of football all year 3 points from play. In second half cillian played a lot deeper like in previous games. I guess what im trying to say is i think the players have decided themselves an learnt the hard way over the years that going all gung ho and out n out attack for 70 mins has been their biggest downfall. I think they have decided conserve energy during games…attack in spurts like against kildare n westmeath an put up a big lead. As with any new way of playing its takes time n practice to achieve this balance. Balance between attacking and containing football is the critical point here. I do think i remember some of the players earlier this year talk about this in the media…aos or keegan i think. Regards the full back position…i think we shud play keegan there..very good man marker…reasonably tall n strong…pace to burn…in fact i think we shud look to do to teams what philly mcmahon did to aos in last year replay..ye remember that? Philly scored 1 3 from full back. Instead of opposition putting their strong emphasis on our fb why dont we turn the tables on them? If we’re playing a sweeper we should have cover back to allow someone likee Keegan bomb forward cause their ff aerial threat to chase back. Food for thought.

  59. Predictions for Saturday.

    I expect that the team to be named will be the team in the programme last Saturday. Lee should pick up Sean Cavanagh. I expect Aido to play closer to the Tyrone posts. Tom Parsons will be kept in reserve but likely to come on early in the second half. Donie will drop back with one of the backs making way. On past form, Dillon will come on around the 50 min mark with Regan making way. Barrett will make an appearance around the same time, replacing any back on a card. Aido will move into FF on 60 mins with Barry coming on at CF possibly replacing Andy. 2 of Doherty, Freeman and Coen will be the last 2 subs.

    Mayo to win by 5

  60. I’d agree with you there @Fourgoal. DOC in for Doherty is the only change I can see happening to the starting 15.

    Our use of the bench will be crucial with the short turnaround and the forecast 25 degrees heat. As good as Andy was last weekend, he was left on 10 minutes too long. He needs to be subbed on 50 minutes IMO. Aido could possibly be moved to FF then as he wouldn’t have the legs to play 70 minutes around midfield. I’d like to see us finish the game with Barry and Tom P in midfield. Barrett and Coen to be brought into the backs. I thought Dillon and Freeman were disappointing when they came on the last day, so Doherty, Loftus and Conor O’Shea should be ahead of them now in terms of forward subs.

    Like others have said before, Jim Gavin isn’t afraid to make subs 5 minutes into the 2nd half and I think that’s what we need to do on Saturday. Only 1 sub needs to be kept until after the 65th minute to deal with a potential black card.

  61. We are probably better off meeting Tyrone at this stage rather than them getting a win under their belt in Croke Park and then playing them in a semi-final, as might have happened if we were Connacht champions. Seen as it was a few years since Tyrone won an Ulster title, you’d wonder will that mean that they might not be as dangerous as when they come through the back door. In fact I’d say that Tyrone probably have a better record in the All-Ireland series coming through the back door compared to when they come through the front door.

    For us its interesting to note that the only goal that we have conceded in the second half this year was against Galway and we went on to lose that game. The goals against Fermanagh and Westmeath were both conceded in the first half. Again this shows that our approach has been to build up a lead, defend it and not give away goals. It might be harder to do this against a team like Tyrone but we’ll see how it goes anyway.

  62. Fair play to Oisin McConville, the more we are written off the better. Im loving all the negativity, the pressure is on Tyrone to deliver (strange I know) but they are the true heirs to the Dubs throne, don’t ya know. Also, special mention to JH doing his bit for the cause, id say it really annoyed him when McHale and Brady were singing our praises to the media during his tenure, now he’s playing it cute…..very Darragh O’Se esque.

    I still think we are up against it Saturday, as previous posters have said, if we play like we have all year we are goosed, simple as. Need to go full tilt from the off, no arsing around the place, hands on hips etc. Imo Conor O’Se should start ahead of regan on saturday. Regan was poor against WM and will find the going alot tougher v Tyrone. They’ll make mince meat of him inside the ff line. Conor is taller than any Tyrone back, has pace, and can score on the turn. But crucially, he is able to win his own ball and hold onto it, he will not be bullied by any1, especially the “multi talented” McCarron.

  63. Cos to start ahead of Regan. ? I doubt it. Conor played well when he came in but this is different challenge. Who would take frees from right side. ? We’re not blessed with left footed free takers

  64. From Yerra in IT this morning –

    Mayo have to walk into Croke Park with their chests out. All that has gone before is in the past. Their job was to get back to Croke Park; here they are. They haven’t played amazing stuff to get here but so what? Who has?

  65. I know he’s a great option for left footed frees, but wonder could we try Diarmuid for the ones near the sideline? He sure knows how to use the outside of the boot! Cillian could take the ones in nearer from the sideline, with a better angle?. Ment to add aswell, Regan would be suited to coming on around the 50min mark when the game is looser and there is more space.

  66. These are the games that Regan needs. The tough ones. If he us going to be the future for us experience at this level is crucial. It’s good plan Juan and Diarmuid has confidence but the last number of games we gave had settled ff line so I’d stick with it. They can always change it mid stream

  67. I agree with you to an extent Juan but feel we are taking from Diarmuid by loading him with additional pressure, he isnt a freetaker for tubber nor was he for the U-21’s .
    If Regan doesnt start but I do hope he does then it has to be Conor Loftus, this man has nerves of steel and is a dedicated place kicker .

    Conor O Se fairly put his hand up the last day for inclusion but has being mediocary all year so perhaps he is best inspired/ finds it easier to make an impact coming from the bench.

    I read the comments about Freeman coming on again, this man is becoming a player of legend despite having done nothing since 2013 against Tyrone, seriously he hasnt made an impact league or otherwise in 3 years how could we overlook Dillon or Doherty for him?
    I like Freeman and really rated him but I dont believe he has done anything to deserve being one of the first subs coming on, he was caught behind his man the last day twice and that was the sum of his contribution .
    In my opinion if all things are going well and there are no issues else where;
    – Tom P come on for Keane with Vaughan dropping deeper and Keegan going to FB.
    – Chrissy Barrett for any of the defenders on yellow
    – Conor O Se for Andy allowing he or big bro into FF
    – Barry for Seamie – getting tired forcing Tyrone kick long .
    – Conor Loftus/Dillon for Regan
    – Cohen/Doh for anyone on yellow, need freshening up

    That 8 subs I think who are ahead of Freeman on merit . now obviously only 5 come on unless blackcards but even the option of our forwards are ;
    – Dillon as the man to steady the ship/ playmaker in fullforward line/allowed drift
    – Conor O se for rough and tumble of halfforward line, aerial dominance
    – Doherty for Ball winning, impact in halfforward line
    – Conor Loftus for pace and play making, taking advantage of tiring legs, goal threat
    – Freeman for full forward line , but all of the above have had a greater impact to date

  68. Oisin McConville would love nothing more than see Tyrone turned over – of course he is going to ham it up to give Mayo any gee up he can!

  69. Reegan needs to start and play as close to goal as possible that will keep colm cavanagh busy use him as a decoy at times and mix it up as well.I think Matty Donnelly is the engine of that Tyrone team followed by harte,Keegan to man mark Donnelly and Higgins to track harte.
    Donie would be the man for s cav.Think we will need Aidan to play around our centre half back numbers on the jersey mean very little these days.would love to see barret starting in the corner sad to say it but paddy has to be a sub for this one to start off.
    Can see this as the most psychical game of the championship we need to be ready from the start.Tyrone will try and do a Donegal on us and try for goals early on hope we are on the ball.
    The closer the game is coming the more confident I am.
    Mayo by 4

  70. Mayo and Tyrone have an unusual chemistry.
    I’ve often thought that our “hex” over them (although I know we beat them in 89) really started after they played us in the league not too long after the tragic death of Cormac McAnnelan. Tyrone came down the day before and we gave them a lovely reception, had a mass in Ballintubber for Cormac and dinner, gave them a guard of honour onto the pitch as they were AI Champs and then proceeded to lie down and let them take the points in the match 🙂
    I’ve heard Tyrone players and MH speak about that fondly, I think when it came to us they couldn’t hate us and actually in some ways like us. I think it helped ironically to give us an edge. Its always good if you have some sort of grudge against your opponents, some slight whether real or imagined. It drives you on. The opposite can also be true, if you like your opponents, not saying you wont go full on, but maybe that edge drops a couple of percentage points. that’s all it takes.
    Most of the players present for that are gone now, so any advantage we had from that is gone – this Tyrone team will just see us as an obstacle between them and the semi. I imagine they will probably focus their ire on Tony McIntee and what I would hate to see this week in the press is some sort of colour piece on him or even worse him speaking to the media, which to be fair he hasn’t done so far, unlike Mr McHale over in Rossieland who cant seem to stay quiet.

  71. Think I would start Jason ahead of Regan v tyrone. Regan will be targeted if he starts so better to bring him on when game opens up Wouldn’t start COS based on 10 good mins and doubt if Barret will start based on 5 minute cameo Like others I keep hoping Freeman will deliver but his last good game was v tyrone 3 years ago Midfield and half back line really crucial in dealing with tyrone counter attack Doubt if AOS or SOS are looking forward to 25 degree temperatures Was a bit like that v Dubs in AIF in 2013 and they wilted in the heat.

  72. I presume Lee Keegan will be ok and it was just a ‘stinger’ he went off with the last day?

    I’d play AOS and also start Barry Moran in the full forward line for the 1st 10 minutes to see how that goes.

  73. The high temperatures due on Sat (mid 20’s) will make this a very draining encounter. Whichever team comes through will take longer than normal to recover ahead of a semi final.

  74. Clarke
    Harrison Vaughan Higgins
    Keegan Boyle Durcan
    Parson SOS
    McLoughlin AOS D O’C
    B Moran A Moran COC

  75. Absolutely terrible treatment by Croke Park Season ticket organisers. Nothing wrong with my credit card yet they failed to process the payment on first go, meaning I have to settle for way back in 302.

    Incredibly frustrating, and not a single apology. I have been with them since the beginning.

  76. St Pats Oldie, I have a suggestion for you, I know of two different people who may not be able to get to the match due to, work commitments, both will try to get the time off. So neither is willing to part with their own tickets (season tickets) not sitting near each other just yet . I suggest you post again on this site, at maybe 10am Saturday next when they will be in a better position to know if they can make the match or not! . I reckon their a few people in the same situation and should their be an available ticket or two, you’d be in prime position to get your hands on them,..

  77. I’d prefer to see Evan Regan starting this game, even for his free taking ability alone, every point will count big time in his match. Then late in the game maybe someone like Conor Loftus would be a good option as he can take frees as well. In a game like this you will probably need a variety of options up-front. A big man at times will be very important but someone with a bit of flair too like Evan or Conor could be crucial also.

    I’d reckon Vaughan would be a good man to pick up Mattie Donnally as he would have the athletic ability to match him. Peter Harte often plays as a wing forward so Lee would be a good man to pick him up when he comes forward. Diarmuid at the other end of the field should keep him busy too as Ryan McHugh did for Donegal in the first half of the Ulster final.

    As someone mentioned already Bolyer could be a good man to pick up Sean Cavanagh when he moves out the field. It’ll be a huge test for Kevin Keane but best of luck to him and I’d love to see him having a big game. We should remember that Dublin only scored 7 points against Westmeath’s blanket defence in the first half of the Leinster final, while we scored 2-10 against them. That augurs well for us. Maybe the placement of Keith Higgins is beginning to bear fruit as I thought that he was involved in a good few scores for us during that scoring blitz in the first half.

  78. I’d pull ‘Turbo Tom’ Cunniffe out of retirement to do a job on Peter Harte. If Harte even saw Cunniffe on Saturday he’d calf, after remembering that shoulder he put on him in the semi in 2013!!!

  79. Will we ever forget that, I think even the stand shook!

    Remember Mickey Harte’s comments afterwards? ““What annoyed me more than anything was that he didn’t get a free for what made him have to leave the field on crutches.” I dunno – it looked like a damn fair shoulder to me.

    We will need to be every bit as tough as that on Saturday if we are to have a chance of progressing.

  80. Leantimes, Amc and High or low its Willie Joe! Thanks for your help and suggestions guys I just got sorted. Up Mayo

  81. We can’t start all our big men. If we do we are fucked. It would be poor management. We must allow for black cards and injuries. Remember last year how starting all our big men back fired

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