Freeman firing in first win of the year

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

James Stephens Park in Ballina was the venue today for the county’s second outing in this year’s pre-season FBD League. A winning run-out it proved to be too with the lads never really troubled at any stage as they ambled to a six-point win over the students. It finished 1-21 to 1-15.

You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, a small bit of parochialism as I feel compelled to salute the appearance in today’s starting line-up of no fewer than three Aghamore lads. I know it’s only a kick-about in January but I can’t recall the club supplying that number of players to a starting fifteen for the county too often (if ever) in the past.

By all accounts, David Kenny (whose second senior appearance this was, having made his debut in the corresponding fixture last year), Fergal Boland (who shot three points from play) and Alan Freeman – whose 1-7 contribution went a long way towards securing the win today – all put in good shifts this afternoon. Hon the parish.

Today’s starting line-up had seven changes from the team that began the match against NUIG last Sunday. In came David Clarke (captaining the side on his home ground – a nice gesture to the All-Star ‘keeper and, perhaps, a straw in the wind about who’ll be between the sticks for us when the serious stuff gets going later on this year), David Kenny, David Drake, Cathal Carolan, Jason Doherty, Evan Regan and Alan Freeman. They replaced Rory Byrne, Niall McManamon, Brian McDermott, Fionn McDonagh, Cian Costello, Neil Douglas and Brian Reape.

During the afternoon, James Durcan and Cian Costello (the latter having started against NUIG) came on, as too did Donal Vaughan (who went off again courtesy of a red card soon after), Cillian O’Connor and Caolan Crowe.

As I mentioned earlier on, I wasn’t anywhere near Ballina myself today so there’s little I can say about the match itself. Colm Gannon of the Mayo Advertiser was there, however, and his match report is here.

This year’s FBD campaign wraps up for us next weekend with the usual January set-to against the Rossies, a match that takes place this year at Kiltoom. We saw a number of the more experienced lads re-introduced to the fray today and there’s a good chance we’ll see some more of them back in action when the team takes the field at the Roscommon venue in a week’s time.

Mayo: David Clarke; David Kenny, Ray O’Malley, Donal Newcombe; David Drake, Eoghan O’Reilly, Michael Plunkett (0-1); Shane Nally, Danny Kirby (0-1); Fergal Boland (0-3), Cathal Carolan (0-1), Jason Doherty; Evan Regan (0-2), Liam Irwin (0-3, one free), Alan Freeman (1-7, six frees). Subs: James Durcan (0-1) for Doherty, Cian Costello (0-2) for Irwin, Donal Vaughan for Drake, Cillian O’Connor for Freeman, Caolan Crowe for O’Reilly.

49 thoughts on “Freeman firing in first win of the year

  1. Anyone any ideas as to why Donal Vaughan saw the red?.

    Fair play to Freeman. He needs that sort of scoring if he’s to get a place back. Always struck me as a confidence player and he’s not shown much of that since 2013, at least not much of what he is capable of.

  2. Freeman is a confidence player for sure. What is underrated about him is his ability to get goals. He’s better on goals than points in my view.

  3. The 3 Aughomore men didn’t put a foot
    Wrong In my humble opinion Fergal Boland has a big future in the Mayo jersey

  4. So we need to beat the Rossies by 15 points to get to the final:) assuming NUIG don’t win by 19 🙂

  5. Did Aughamore men Jimmy Burke and Jimmy and Liam Lyons ever play on the same Mayo team. I know that the two Jimmys did on a number of occasions. Not sure if Liam joined them in a match.

  6. @FDBinashui, I think they said that Donie was given a black card and then he had words about this with the ref who subsequently showed him a red card.

    That’s 7 points from play scored by Fergal Boland in two games. That’s good going in any man’s language. He is an intelligent player as well and that’s a big asset to have in senior football especially. We’ll see how he progresses anyway.

  7. Donie Newcombe and David Kenny will certainly have given Stephen Rochford something to think about as he considers his cover options for the corner back positions. Danny Kirby superb again today especially in the first half but seemed to tire a bit as the game wore on. His point far out from near the sideline was exquisite. Shane Nally worked his socks off again today in the middle. Fergal Boland’s stock continues to rise after another very impressive performance – the lad is clearly a very intelligent footballer not to mention his tireless work rate. The big concern, however, is the lack of any real quality corner forwards emerging. It looks like this is going to continue to be our achilles heel yet again this year. I’m not sure what game others were watching but Evan Regan did little to convince me that he will be anything more than an average forward at best – lacks heart as well as physicality in my opinion. Still some good performances in every other line again today which will put a lot of pressure on a handful of last years extended panel players. Could definitely see a 3-4 being dropped if the pick of the FBD can keep performing into the National League.

  8. 45 couldn’t disagree more with you there about Evan regan.he has seriously bulked up physically wise and his work rate was very good today so that’s a cop out of a statement there!

  9. Bit harsh there on Evan Regan there 45 I’ve been harsh on him in the past but today he was one of the standout players he was hungry for the ball made some intellegent plays I think it suited him to be that bit further out the field today. He has bulked up a good bit too I thought he played well

  10. I thought Evan tried his heart out. Felt he came too deep looking for ball and got one lovely point. Wouldnt have said it was his best performance but not terrible either. He probably should have stuck the goal chance early on and that would have given him great confidence

  11. Not convinced guys – never have been at either club level, county U21 or more recently county senior grade. Would love to see the lad really kick on this year to get to a level where he could make a difference in the white heat of croke park ….but I wouldn’t be betting the mortgage on it !

  12. 45, its january and they”re just getting started. Tell us what you think in the end of the National League.

  13. 45. Did you see the Ball Regan sent in for the goal? I thought he done well today. Came deep to help out when needed got our 1st score or was it 2nd. He has bulked up some amount as well. He’s the most likely to be there in the summer. Him, Conor Loftus, Brian Reape and freeman will be battling for a place assuming Andy is starting.

  14. I think it’s an interesting few weeks for the likes of Drake , Crowe , Carolan … guys who have been hanging around the panel the last few years but making very little impact …

    Good to see new guys been given a run ..

    The aghamore 3 , sounds good Willie joe 🙂

  15. I’m glad to hear that Donie Newcombe played well, with Brendan Harrison injured we’ll be looking to have other options available in the corner-back positions for the early rounds in the league. You’d be a bit worried about the full-back position though. With Ger Caff still not back and Kevin Keane busy with Westport club duties at the moment, we’ll be under pressure for out and out full-backs in the up coming few weeks.

  16. Regarding forwards, Gallagher from Mayo Geals racking up a nice score there against us there in the nuig match I hope to see a bit more from him in the league.

  17. Great to see Aughamore players do well. It is one of the great mysteries of Mayo football to know why Freeman was taken off against Dublin in AIF.

  18. The bulking up of Carolan & Regan better not conflict too much with their pace!.
    Can the Aughamore watchers confirm if my conclusion today is accurate regarding Freeman?…i.e.;when he wears gloves taking frees he’s 0%…when he takes them off he’s 100%?!?!

  19. They have bulked up from weight training I can only assume, once they start the serious running and ballwork drills that bulk will fall off to a degree.
    Funnily enough, we complain if they’re too light and now we complain if they work on putting a bit of muscle on, never happy!

  20. What about that score between Sligo and GMIT – 5 25 to 1 point (Kilkenny footballers wud do better)?

    Two quick questions that someone might answer please:
    (1) Are there any promising full-backs coming through? We seem to be struggling for options in this position.
    (2) Is it the case that there are no semi-finals in the league this year- just a final between the top two teams?

  21. @spotlight yes there is a few promising full backs coming through the underage systems namely Seamus cunniffe current under 21 full back from ballaghdereen and last years minor full back Donovan Cosgrove from Kiltimagh! These lads are only young and full back is a very specialised position!
    Yes there is no league semis this year top 2 teams meet in final.

  22. In the early eighties, Mayo started a match with 4 of the starting six forwards from Aghamore. 2 x Lyons, Jimy Burke & PDuffy. Could’ve been a challenge though.

  23. Congrats to all the Mayo lads that played today, including your Aghamore 3 (love that call out!). How much was “The Mark” used by either side? I see no mention and as a fan from Florida, did not get to see it in person. Any input? Thanks all! Maigh Eo Abú!

  24. The mark had no real impact on the game. The referee blew for a mark about 4 or 5 times during the game, but as far as I could see, it didn’t really stop the flow of the game. I can’t see it having any major impact on the quality of games to be honest.

  25. Okay, I’ve just done a quick (and far from exhaustive) trawl through the archives and have come up with one for the Aghamore nerds. On 4th October, 1981, we played Dublin in a league match in Ballinrobe (losing 1-2 to 1-4) and three Aghamore lads lined out for the county then. The late Liam Duffy (who replaced Adrian Garvey prior to the throw-in and ended up getting ordered off near the end), Jimmy Lyons and Jimmy Burke all started for Mayo that day. Results archive for 1981 is here. That’s the only previous Aghamore 3 (and in a competitive match to boot) I can find. I can’t vouch for challenge match line-ups from back then, I’m afraid!

  26. Enjoyed yesterday – we were shaky enough defensively at times but even when they came within four we didn’t look like losing.

    45 – harsh on Evan Regan. For a lad just off the plane from the holidays I thought he showed well yesterday and showed no lack of heart. I do agree that perhaps the hype surrounding him over the past couple of years has been a bit OTT relative to his contributions, but I also think he’s not quite had the rub of the green either. I thought he put in a fine performance yesterday despite playing unusually deep, and worked hard.

    Again I thought Fergal Boland excelled. I do think it’s too early for him still but the last time I was this excited about a prospect was Diarmuid O’Connor three years ago, and look how integral he became. I think a year in the senior set-up would be fantastic for Boland and indeed Kenny (both of whom have the potential to become all round dual stars for us). Would love to see Freeman grow in confidence this year and I agree he is potentially lethal when it comes to goals.

    Thought Cathal Carolan put in a good shift too – it’s hard to make an impact when you’re off the scene with a long term injury so hopefully we’ll see more of him this year.

    As for the captaincy, I’d be surprised and disappointed if Clarke didn’t get it this year based on his character, his experience, his consistency and his conduct since the replay, which has been exemplary.

    It’s amazing after a couple of days out – even if they’re just pre-season – just how quickly the hurt of last year fades and the appetite returns.

  27. Good work there Willie Joe on the Aghamore files! And, as I mentioned yesterday, Brendan Harrison is a regular and his brother is coming on fast. BTW I don’t have any Aghamore connections, but I was surrounded by the Harrison family during the U21 semi against Dublin, and a lovely bunch they were.

  28. Danny Kirby had 3 marks in the first half, and I would say we got an advantage out of all of them in fairness.

  29. Shamrocks were a fine team in the seventies. They won the county final in1977 but were ambushed by Castlebar in the semi final in 1978—in as good a club game as i have seen.

  30. Agree totally Anne Marie same thoughts about Clarke for captaincy this year.

    His experience, his consistency and his conduct since the replay,has been exemplary,
    even when quizzed at the All star awards he would not say anything against the management.

    He is without doubt our No1 and of implacable character

  31. @MayoMark Interesting there about Kirbys three marks and us getting a good pass off of all three of them.
    I think there is a media issue in relation to the mark. There was a first round FBD game (Roscommon v IT Sligo I think) which actually had 7 marks in total and was not reported bar in the report of that game. That is not a small number 7.
    Seeing as the Mark has been brought in for two things:
    1. Encourage high fielding
    2. Get rid of the scrum around a player who catches a kickout beyond the 45.
    The mark has drasticaly reduced point (2) and might only make a small difference o none to point (1). But isn’t the drastic reduction in point (2) a big positive for the game? I had made the point last week that a guy like Kirby who can pass a ball accurately is really helped if on landing they now have clearance to get an accurate pass away via calling a mark.
    But human nature is that we ignore the elimination of a problem as it is not as tangible as something you can count or see straight in front of you.
    You won’t walk out of a Gaelic Football match and hear anyone state “There were no rucks around the catcher on long kickouts”
    One thing that has been 100% eliminated is the holding on free being called against the catcher. That was simply wrong, in almost all cases it was never proper tackling anyways.

  32. What area does aghamore cover? It always confuses me, from what point in kilkelly does it start or are all kilkelly left with a choice akin to caracastle ?

  33. Thought Clarke was captain in 2012? Never agree with a keeper as captain. Too far from play to do business. Often being captain damages guys confudence because they feel the need to “lead”. Kerry and Kilkenny, the GAA brand leaders never ever took the captaincy serious. County champions nominate the captain and often they don’t have a player on the team. Real leaders will always come forward without the title of captain.

  34. Enjoy these matches for what they are, a one game. Nothing that happens in the FBD league, bar a serious injury, will have any impact down the line.

  35. Aghamore Kilkelly town all of it I thought. Then bordering a lot of clubs like Kilmovee, Kiltimagh. Charlestown, Claremorris, Ballyhaunis. Mayo Gaels. Sure Im missing a border. Think I have that right mostly.

  36. It’d be cool to see a map of the county as per club boundaries…has this been done?

    If you lived down Delphi direction, on the Mayo side of killary…what would your club be? Does Louisburgh or the Neale stretch out that far?

  37. Parke is the club I’m never too sure of it’s borders. Possibly it has a Moy Davitts border touching near Rural Straide? Then Crossmolina, Knockmore and Castlebar?
    Lahardane? Tough one Parke to define.

  38. Knockmore’s borders are from the bridge at Foxford to the stream after the 30 km speed limit sign at Ballina. And all in between. Think Ballyvary and Turlough are in Parke.

  39. I possess no more or no less knowledge than any Mayo follower. Clarke great keeper, kicks out hang. But that can be rectified. If you are All Star keeper that’s good enough for me. Clarke was and is a great keeper. His biggest curse since 2001 has been injury probs. But we need to freshen up a challenger for him in case of injury. That’s the managers problem. Always rated O Malley , great shot stopper, great placer with restarts but managers didn’t persevere with him.

  40. Mayonaze, I think Delphi would actually be Westport, or possibly Louisburgh. Not The Neale certainly. Don’t know of anyone there playing football though.

    JP, Parke is a fierce big club when you consider Parke, Keelogues and Crimlin ends of the club.
    They go into Pontoon so would border Knockmore there and Lahardane too. Moy Davitts to the east is a very lengthy border but also Balla to the south east from Keelogues. Breaffy/Castlebar too. Both the one parish with no strict demarcation but Parke borders both clubs recognised heartlands.

  41. Reviewing players used plus 2016 there is some serious strength in depth something we have never had before. It will be tough to make the match day 26 in 2017.

  42. MayoMark agree with you there. O’Malley could have been retained or at least better managed.
    Mind you the less said about how things were managed during that Era the better.

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