Monday match reports

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Right, no point putting this off any longer. If it’s pain you want, then step right up – it’s all here in abundance. It’s the Monday match report misery corner and here it is:

Locals: Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Irish Sun, Irish Mirror.

Others: GAA, RTÉ (match report, quotes from Stephen Rochford), The 42, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Sportsfile, Inpho.

Ugh – that was painful.

Let’s finish this one on a slightly upbeat note. Although Saturday night’s defeat has seen us slide down the Division One table, we’re still in an okay place (table here). We’re in fifth spot, level on four points with Kerry but ahead of them, despite an inferior points difference, due to our head-to-head record. That head-to-head rule, by the way, is stupid and unfair but in this instance it’s us that benefit from it.

Looking to what’s ahead of us in this League campaign, there’s a good chance we could seal our Division One place for next year when we play Cavan in a fortnight’s time. They have to play Tyrone in Omagh next weekend (in their refixed Round 3 match) and if they lose that and we then beat them, the Breffni lads won’t be able to overhaul us. On the same afternoon, Roscommon travel to Iniskeen (the place in Kavanagh Country with those nice green and red seats) to play Monaghan and if they fail to win there then they can’t catch us either.

Which all means there’s a good chance that the backlash we hope to see from our lads following Saturday night’s implosion could result in our preserving our top tier status with two matches to spare in this year’s League. Off you go now and ruminate on that upbeat parting shot.

104 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. A few points re the match last Saturday:

    (1) Forwards – I said pre-match on this forum that the key to beating Dublin was for our forwards to ‘crack’ the Dublin defense as we struggled against it last year in both finals matches…………we scored 2 points from play! Its the single biggest issue we have with Dublin at the moment as their defence is quite strong. They may as well have built a brick wall 30 metres out from their goal last Saturday night, bar McLoughlin’s first half effort, we did not threaten their goal. How can you expect to win matches against Dublin if you struggle to score?
    (2) In relation to the above point why is Rochford not giving more time to some of the young forwards? Liam Irwin has been in the squad for the 4 league games and has played 5 minutes against Roscommon. Ridiculous! It may be the case that he is not good enough……….but how will we ever know if he’s not given a chance?
    (3) Did you hear Jim Gavin’s interview after the match? He said that Dublin wanted to get a higher scoring return against Mayo as they had come up against some tight defences in their other games……and then went on to state that they were happy with the ‘space’ they got against us! If this is not a wake up call to Rochford re our defending, what is?
    (4) Let’s be honest Dublin ‘have us’ mentally. We can’t beat them at present and instead of us laying down a market, it was they that put the marker down. Dean Rock took the piss with the time of some of his frees and good old McMahon always seems to ruffle the feathers of some of our forwards.
    (5) Two years ago we were seen to have the better midfield and Cluxton did not kick the ball long for kickouts. Now it is they that have the better midfield and Cluxton has no issues kicking long – more athletic. Should we try young Scott from Westport?

  2. Yeah, although we have tumbled down the table we should be okay as long as Cavan and Rosgommon dont do anything stupid (eg like winning games).

    Please Mr Rochford can we have Loftus, Irwin and Boland for 70 minutes next time.
    Even the dogs in the street are crying out for something new and young and fresh and different up front.

  3. I totally agree we should give the young forwards a Chang and start Boland Irwin and Loftus and give some game time to Adam Gallagher as well. We have to try something different 2 points and no points from play in the first half is pathetic and I hate saying that cos I know the sacrifices these lads make to represent us. But if we are serious about winning an all Ireland in the next few years we have to give youth a chance and play our best players in their best position. I have a great time for Andy Moran but I think he should be kept in reserve. We can’t expect him and Alan Dillon to come back and save the day. I have a feeling we will still end up in the all ireland final if we beat Galway (which won’t be a cakewalk) we will prob make a quarter final I fancy Tyrone to take care of Dublin they will blanket them out of it. And it could be us and Kerry in the semi final that’s where we will need young pacy forwards to shoot the lights out Mayo will improve no doubt about it but it’s time to try something different up front. I keep saying this but we need a dedicated forwards coach

  4. We need to try something different up front but we need to try something that works in defence ie McLoughlin in sweeper Durkin and Keegan in half back. Maybe Vaughan at FB. We have enough to do with trying to find forwards without messing with what works already.
    We need to win our next 3 games no messing. We conceded a big score on Saturday that could relegate us. Don’t put it beyond Cavan and Roscommon to win a game.
    Also this team is going nowhere without AOS (who draws 3 men when he is at FF) and SOS who really ploughs through the work.
    We can still win an all Ireland but we need to cop on

  5. Beat Cavan and Mayo will be safe (Cavan and Ros will not winn three games) there is no fear of relegation unless there is a total collapse.

    AOS to ff has been tried to mixed results at best, thats not the answer. Mayo will have to play with a sweeper for the championship, it would be crazy not to. In a two man ff line both players need to be very mobile to get across the line and track corner backs, not exactly aidos area. In a two man ff line I would actually like DOC and loftus in there. Andy has a new lease of life but wont suit that type of game.

    Finally, are we not playing sligo or New York in the championship, not Galway as everyone suggests. After sat night we are in no position to take any team for granted.

  6. Maybe David Clarke needs to go back to the old way of kick outs. Take plenty of time placing the ball etc, unless the short one is 100 percent on don’t go there. We are not going to score heavy against the big guns so what’s the hurry. We have Barry Moran, the O’Shea’s Vaughan, Tom P all big target men to aim at for our kick outs. Still no scoring forward on the horizon. Every bloody county in Ireland has a scoring forward except us. Even tiny Leitrim have Mulligan who can do damage. Michael Murphy’s dad is a Mayo man and he destroyed us in a final, Conor McHugh’s dad, also Mayo, helped himself 1:03 Saturday evening. Where are we falling down? Maybe the forwards didn’t get off the truck all those years ago in Foxford!

  7. If Tyrone beat Cavan next weekend, and then If we beat Cavan we are safe regardless of the results after that, are we not?.

  8. Baconfactoryend unless I am mistaken leitrim dont have Mulligan any more. While I would certainly call for the young forwards to be given a chance I dont think it should be done all at once. Rochy needs to put his best team out against Cavan and secure 6 points. He can then do what he likes against Donegal and Tyrone and giving youth its head would certainly be my recommendation at that stage.

  9. Slightly off topic I was watching the rugby u20 game between Ireland and France we won well against a big powerfull French team but the comentator was saying how the previous week the u20 team played the seniors in front of 5k which turned into a fiery encounter Peter Omahony had to be made make up with one of the U 20s…but it got me thinking would it be good idea for our seniors to be olaying our U21 team open up mchale park it would be great to see the difference between say a Matt Ruane and a Tom Parsons in midfied and would be great preperation for our U21s for the upcoming champioship….just a thought….

  10. I wouldn’t be taking Cavan or any team for granted. Remember when we played “already relegated” Down in a final league game.

  11. Yew Tree, you are definitely right there.. Let’s take Cavan very seriously! Our fan’s need to turn up and do what we consistently do best.. Let’s get behind this team, We may never have a better team to support in the future. This team WILL respond to the collective shocker, have no doubt’s.

  12. Listened to the podcast and one takeaway from Billie Joe was that you would be mad to play Dublin without a defensive game plan (even though he said he advocated going man to man with them himself)

    It looked like we wanted to play a kicking game but all our forwards were isolated with no support. (Dublin had 15 behind their 45 on occasion)

    Maybe it was a freudian slip by Jim but in his post match interview it looks like he doesn’t consider us a ‘Good Team’ I think all the old frailties were in evidence on Saturday night, maybe we are happy losing to these guys? back to ‘nice Mayo’ we really need to bring a controlled fury/anger to these games and would question are we dining out on the celebrity status of our nearly achievements? Maybe that’s harsh but I will be really pissed if another generation of Mayo Footballers fail to achieve the ultimate goal.

    James Horan said he couldn’t guarantee success but what he could guarantee was that we would be consistently competitive, not much evidence of that Saturday night?

    “Jim Gavin was reading as much into the result as his opposite number: very little.
    “I wouldn’t be getting carried away. It’s the first weekend in March and we’ve three months to go to championship.

    “We’ve played three good teams. Cavan was a tough game for us. We were only back and they’re learning as well in Division 1. We had a really tough game against Tyrone, a really tough game against Donegal.”

  13. On Rock’s free kicks, I met a couple of Mayo supporters in the Palace afterwards (very enjoyable, I must say; why is it that the best post-match discussions take place after defeats), and they were near the Dublin dugout. Rock was getting instructions from the sideline on the exact second he should kick. They were timing the whole process. Don’t know why they needed to do it on Saturday, but goes to show their gamesmanship, sorry professionalism.

  14. Rochford had no game plan we need to see more of out young guns and need aidan and seamus back at work to day every body saying mayo looked to have no plan b if we are to beet dublin we need to play more like donegal we need to get our back line and middle fixed it was hard to watch it was a even longer Drive back to donegal

  15. Backdoor Sam you mention the possibility of Mayo playing Kerry in the AI semifinal. The commentators on EIR Sport said that Mayo and Dublin could possibly meet in the semifinal. I had understood it would be a Connacht/Munster semifinal with the winner playing the winner of the Leinster/Ulster semifinal. Can anyone clarify?

  16. My understanding of it was that last year, had we won Connacht, we would have had to play Kerry in a semifinal and Dublin in the final. Because we went the backdoor route, we ended up avoiding Kerry. I assume then, this year, the end possibility would be Dublin in the semi and Kerry in the final. Should we all get that far, of course! Open to correction on all that.

  17. This year the semi-final line-up is as follows:

    Connacht v Munster
    Leinster v Ulster

    For example in the Club Championship this year Mayo’s Westport played Kerry’s Kenmare in one semi-final. A Meath team played against a Tyrone team in the other semi-final with the Meath team winning and then losing to Westport in the final.

  18. This year the semi finals are

    Connacht v Munster

    Ulster v Leinster.

    Like it was was in 2011 and 2014. Remember Limerick 2014 and who we played down there. Good God.

  19. Those of ye who have fast fwd to all ireland s-f need to put on the brakes. One step at a time guys, our next outing is v cavan, right?

  20. Lessons from sunday Re tactics, we fell hook line and sinker into the dublin trap. Playing game at too high a pace for our guys. Remember the dubs have huge advantages over country teams at this time of year in relation to fitness levels.
    Had we played the game at a more controlled pace, we might be to limit damage at one end and be more constructive at other end

  21. If you look at the teams we have picked for the FBD and league no 2 players have played in the same position apart from Clarke. Take midfield for example, you had Parson & Vaughan, Parson & Coen, Parson & Kirby, Parson & Gibbons, Gibbons & Kirby, Gibbons & O’Connor. Now we come up across Fenton & McCauley who have played so often together, they know each other inside out. How do you expect Mayo to do well. I have come to the conclusion that management are waiting for Seamie to come back, as it appears they want him to partner Parson. We played well against Roscommon at midfield, why did they not leave those same players there? To be sure against Cavan you may not see Parson and Gibbons again at midfield. We had Cillian taking a free from the hands from 50 meters out and ballooning it wide. What has happened to the Cillian who took every free from the ground 3 years ago and never missed? Look at Dean Rock took every free from the ground and slotted them over. He had an off day against us in All Ireland and that was our luck the first day.
    To be honest we could have left on the subs without replacing anyone and the Dubs would have beaten us on THIS performance. I,m not running down anyone in particular as we all can have a day nothing goes right. It would be good if the management named the same 15 players that started against the Dubs to start against Cavan. No offence meant to anyone but it may be the best thing going forward and they can have no regrets if the don’t perform. The lads that came on as subs didn’t change anything the last night. We are not a bad team, remember the Dubs beat us by 20 points in Castlebar a few years ago in March and they only beat us by a point in that years All Ireland. I think the piece Kieran Shannon wrote a few months ago should be looked at again

  22. Our u21 championship Connacht semi final has been confirmed for Wednesday evening, March 22nd.

    This is a very important game for the development of our to her players. We need to win this one. Galway play Leitrim this wknd with the winners advancing to meet us. With respect to Leitrim, Galway should beat them.

    Galway are strong and we’ll need to be at our best to overcome them. It’ll be really interesting to see how good our young players really are.

  23. The dubs were on a team holiday all of January. They only resumed training in February so i don’t believe they were any fitter than us. Also very good post True Grit.

  24. Ocides1 and True Grit, I too think the Dubs are much fitter than us. Yes the hols and all that, but I made the point earlier that Dubs have all their players on call at this time of year, Rochy hasn’t.

    I asked a question earlier as to how many training session a week Dublin are doing. No one seems to know, but it’s plausible to suppose they can do 3 or 4 – the players are just available. Ours are spread all over the place and can’t do as much at this time of year.

  25. True Grit. When did the Dubs beat us by 20 points? I only recall our biggest losing margin to Dublin in recent years being in 2015 when we lost by 14 points in the league under Noel & Pat, followed by 7 point defeat in the AI semifinal replay later that autumn..? I agree that we are not a bad team all of a sudden. In fact this drubbing may indeed spark the team into life and fasttrack much of the improvement needed in attitude, intensity, players back in their best positions, sweeper system, forward play. Lets see us get our shit back together for the visit of Cavan and followed quickly by the lions den of Healy Park the week after.

  26. Maybe we need another management heave. That worked very well last time.

    It was clear from the start Saturday that Dublin tic tac was to force mayo to play from deep, then get everyone back and make impossible to play through. Rochford is known to like his kick passing and gavin took away his plan a b & C.

  27. There is a simple reason why Mayo have not been competitive in the modern era in the league. It is down to collective training. All other teams in division 1 have the full squad for every session. We have half a squad in Mayo and the other half in Dublin. All other counties are close enough to Dublin City and Kerry the cute hoors have made sure all their squad bare students work in Munster. This is a huge advantage this time of year. Why are we not playing a sweeper? Because we can’t practice it! Why are we still struggling on our forward play? Because we can’t practice it! Right now we are depending on personal fitness and gut instincts. Against Dublin that’s a hiding to nothing. When it all about inches we are playing with one hand tied behind our back this time of year. The only chance to all train together is the weekend and we having been playing most weekends. Stay up in the league is always the prerogative and then collective training in the high summer will take care of the rest.

  28. Roger Milla / Baconfactoryend, Leitrim still have Mulligan in their ranks but he is no threat to any defence. I see a fair bit of Leitrim football and I would say that he wouldn’t make the Mayo Junior team. Good on frees ok but not making any impression in general play. And that’s in Div 4.

  29. We have problems in defence too not just in attack Colm Boyle and Keith Higgins are good lads and deserve a gold medal and Celtic cross for their commitment but they are too lose on their men they’re not man markers. Maybe we could move Keith up front again he still has lightning pace and is a leader Boyler never lets us down either but I would like to see him get tighter on his man

  30. I do think the management are right and should persevere with the accurate kick passing game. We need to be able to mix short passing and good foot passing.
    The game where short passing is the dominant style is high energy stuff. Some of our players have high milage at this stage. Capable of making bursts off the shoulder of the player in possesion but not all the time.
    Our half backline is our springboard. It needs to be restored for Cavan game. Durcan progressed well last year but he is not a finished product. He needs more game time in half back position.

  31. Personally I would have Paddy Durcan as the sweeper between the FB and 1/2 back lines. And have him switching with Lee in who is making the fast breaks forward when possession is won back and the counter attack is on.

    I don’t agree with throwing in a rake of new younger lads at this stage. None of these will have the necessary S+C or be anywhere physically able for it against the better teams come the Summer. that takes a few years to accumulate and even then its touch and go. they have plenty of time yet. Getting a few minutes game time in any League game is a bonus for them unless they are seriously special players.

    I thought Evan Regan played OK on Saturday night. Especially considering the abuse he got – see this link. David Coldrick was brutal by the way missing this. Any ref worth his salt should have been aware something was about to happen from the body language Fitzimmons had when he was going for Evan.
    https://twitter.com/edmcgreal/status/838367187127660544?s=09

  32. Interesting Rob Carroll article analysing both attacks. Dublin had width and made decoy runs to move our defenders out of the space in front of goal.
    Also the article on our kickouts where Dublin pushed 7 players up on our backs.

  33. The greatest comparison of the two teams imo is the midfielders. Fenton made telling runs through our defence and mcauley was a livewire.
    My worry is that we have not got comparable midfielders.
    Re McLoughlin as sweeper by the end of last year he made pretty good job of that role but he does commit some silly fouls. Not a.n easy role and I wiuld notbe in favour of retrIng Durcan. We need Durcan to be as effective as keegan and he was getting there until he was switched back to full back line

  34. Watched first half again …. &
    funnily enuf bar the stupid goal mayo were relatively competition after the first 5 – 7 minutes.
    Mcgloghlin went for a silly goal, couple of missed frees, 2 blatant frees not given .. evan regan frontal charged & d o connor third man tackle.
    Mayo need to learn to mind cherish themail football. Gave it away too ofter far too cheaply.
    I won’t reference each incident but very silly stuff. Forcing passing when there not on.

    2 nd half was training exercise for Dublin. …

  35. Eoin O’Donoghue should have been tried on McHugh from the start they are two young lads and would have made the perfect match up.
    Looking back at the match last night looks like we have very little done compared to Dublin.
    Full focus on Cavan and let the lads enjoy their football for the 2 other games.

  36. Sadly it is hard to disagree with Brolly who said Mayo have huge problems when 33 year old Andy Moran is our best forward. And at that Andy was cleaned but did win some ball, the problem is nobody was running inside or outside him to receive the ball. When you see different fans saying we have issues with kickout’s, at the back, midfield and up front you know we have serious issues.

    Who know’s we could go on a great run to a semi final but when we get there will the same old failing’s return?

  37. Im not hugely concerned with our defence yet. Come championship time Keegan & Durcan will be back on the hb line. (It seems to be a rochford thing to put the half backs on marking duty in the fb line for the league, benifited Keegan last year). Caff will be fit to bring some composure and the unit as a whole will be fitter, so I would expect our defence to be similar to last year.

    Our midfield will be better than most teams, but lets face it Fenton & McAuley are the top midfield pairing in the country, they have pace and power and no team including Mayo can match them man for man. That leaves dealing with them tactically, flood midfield on kickouts, make Cluxton go short or out wide, starve the centre of the field of the ball.

    Forwards will always be our failings unless it is addressed. First off better, quicker ball is needed so our forwards can gain some space, our running game is good to a point but with defenders funnelling back by the time a forward gets the ball they are usually crowded out. New blood is sorely needed, apart from DOC it is basically the same forward unit for the past 6 years, it hasnt been good enough up to now and it wont be good enough this year. We must play Loftus, Irwin, Gallagher, Douglas, its the only way forward. For the Cavan game I would like to see the forwards line out ,

    KMc, DOC, Jason
    Loftus, Irwin, COC

    With Boland, Andy, Douglas if fit, Gallagher coming on in the second. Mayo need to develop real attacking options. Right now our attacking options for championship are still prob Conor OShea, Dillon and sticking Barry in at ff. That had simply got to change and the only way that changes is for young players to get games.

    As Dublin have shown its not the starting team that counts, its the team that plays the final 15mins. We need to get away from the idea that its the all important 15 starters. Football is a squad sport with each member equally important, Mayo are still operating on a 15 player team with 2-4 subs, that has got to change, we talk about having strength in depth but thats not really the case as a large portion of the panel have had little or no meaningfull playing time.

  38. I was surprised to see Dublin brush ye aside with such ease on Saturday night but it is still only early March and this Mayo team have a proven championship pedigree so if ye are to get a hosing this is the time of the year to get it.

    Fenton and MDA are a difficult partnership to to deal with, Fenton is the best midfield player in the game and without him the Dubs would not be going for three and a row. McCauley Has a great engine and endlessly punches holes in defences with his strong running, even without the ball he has to be tracked and thus weakens defensive lines and creates opportunity for the more accurate forwards. This pair caused Mayo endless grief on Saturday night and the lack of Mayo possession put your backs under enormous pressure.

    When you are playing against a possession tide like that you are going to look far more disjointed and vulnerable than you are. With the O Shea’s back and Cafferky strengthening the last line ye won’t be exposed like Saturday night in my opinion. Against the Dubs players have to bring it too them, get in their faces and play right on the margin. They are a serious team but their backs are tight hard bastards and I mean that as a compliment to them. They bring an edge and they know how to use it, the only thing for them is to tear into them and put them back on their arses. Cillian and Andy won’t be bullied but there are a few out there that have to up their game attitude, this is no place for principles, manners or pleasing supporters with delusional high moral football ethics, the game at this level is dog eat dog. Some forwards should take that yellow card and set the tone early and say ” this is my fucking turf pal ” , the dog with the nastiest snap wins the bone.

    Mayo forwards looked poor but to be fair to them there simply wasn’t sufficient ball coming into them which resulted in them foraging for possession too far from goal and your most prolific scorers were laying off possession to other less accurate players because they were outside the scoring zone, in saying that the wides are demoralising and again there were far too many of them. The Dubs guard possession with greedy like efficiency and it will be the same for us on Saturday week.

    Personally I think that opposition surrender far to much space to Dublin and allow them un challenged opportunities to freely kick and hand pass the ball while they wait for runners to cause the required amount of confusion and space to put a player into a scoring opportunity. They look the business when teams stand off them but they are beatable in my opinion and they will be beaten sooner or later. I think we are missing too many experienced players to trouble them on Saturday week but I thing we will give them plenty to think about nevertheless. I am looking forward to see what E FIT’Z will do to probe for chinks in their armour, I’d like to have Buckley, Cooper and Donaghy in our attack as they would ask the kind of questions that need asking but we have others that might give the their backs an uncomfortable evening in Austin Stack Park.

    In March 2015 we turned them over in Killarney but we had a few of the old dinosaurs available and growling that day and without them we will not do on Saturday week. In saying that anything can happen, a lucky goal, a red card an unforeseen event like Cluxton having a brain fart and yielding possession. In any event there are more important things than victory here, pushing up on their kick outs, neutralising Fenton and McCauley, devise or experiment with an effective kick out strategy, use both the quick ball and running strategy to change and disorganise their defence,,,, the heart quickens in anticipation but I hope we learn something new and insightful. Beating the dubs when the birds are nesting is pleasing but it’s little else, there is a time to win and a time to learn.

    Good luck in your upcoming games..

  39. Just an observation.. Did anyone notice that the Dubs punched down every kick out and punched it to another one waiting? They never tried to catch it..It worked!!

  40. They have the technique of breaking the ball to one of their own players too! Another skill where we came up short. Hopefully we will work on it…just one of the many lessons we received from the masters last saturday

  41. Love your posts gamechanger that one was excellent altogether dog eat dog is right and would love nothing more than to see more than one dub player on the broad of his back ! I’m getting a bit fed up of our lads being too nice that assault on Evan Regan was horrendous would liked to have seen some reaction to it ! I’m one of the few that isn’t that bothered about the hammering on Sat evening I honestly think they’ll have learnt more than the dubs saying that if they play like that again in the championship I’ll start following cricket !

  42. If that assault happened out on the street Fitzsimmons would be charged and brought before the courts. Surely he will get a ban for it like Parsons and Walsh got after the Kerry game.

  43. They won’t say a word to him Ros Town. If MDMA didn’t recieve sanction for the mid air choke tackle on COC last year then I doubt it. And Philly for biting. And Philly for gouging. And Philly for gouging again. And James McCarthy for full body checks. And Dennis Bastick for gealic football’s most basic infringement etc etc. We could be here all evening. The list goes on and on. But that’s what we’re up against and that’s what we have to factor in when planning games. I’m glad it’s not my job.

  44. I watched the Fitzsimmons hit on Regan a few times. I’d only give a yellow for it. In the same vein as Cillians elbow on Mcmahon. Ball nearby and leave the hand on late on a tackle.

  45. Clarke

    Higgins
    Cafferkey
    Harrison

    Coen

    Boyle
    Vaughan
    Keegan

    DO’C
    Parsons
    AOS
    Durcan

    COC
    MCl

    A Moran

  46. Article on the 42 very telling. Dublin clear the D of opposition players by clever movement of players and score easy points from unoccupied D. Mark Ingles not Jim Gavin is the key to this strategy

  47. Does anyone notice dublin forwards tackling placing their arm in front of back and giving a slight pull enough to slow the backs momentum down and allow dublin reset. Another tactic is dubs forwards running and jumping through the air while pulling the mayo man down. Nothing given. Totally stopped the mayo attack.

  48. Another tactic would be that they are just better than us! At the moment…..lets see come summer however.

  49. @Westportman, I came across the below in an article from 2015:

    Dublin manager Jim Gavin has drafted in basketball coach Mark Ingle in an attempt to break down blanket defences. Dublin were defeated in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final by Donegal after their failure to deal with the Ulster champion’s packed rearguard. The Dubs have recruited one of Ireland’s most well-known coaches to help them with the issue. Dublin players are believed to have engaged in basketball games to better understand how offensive and defensive gameplans work through the use of screening and zonal defence. The drills also included movements and strategies to get the ball to a team’s most dangerous player and making attacking players race back and engage in a defensive approach. Ingle has worked with the extremely successful DCU Mercy outfit in recent years and is one of the most recognisable faces in Irish basketball circles.

  50. Can any wise posters give a reason why we don’t push up on the Dublin kickouts for say 40%/60% of the time. It’s been commented on by so many so called analysts for close on three years now. I understand we couldn’t use this tactic all of the time but it’s inexcusable that we don’t use it at all. Someone else commented the tactic of A. Moran standing inbetween 2 Dublin defenders was a waste of time, I think all of us would agree with that. Until we get back to pressing up high against Dublin, we can forget about ending this dismal run.

  51. I think what people have said is that Cluxton takes his kick-outs so quickly, it’s very hard to get set-up in time to press Dublin’s re-starts. What Kerry did last year was when they had a free in, that they knew would go dead, they all pushed up then to great effect (as they had the time to get set-up). Remember the two goals that they scored just before half-time in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final while doing that. It is a tactic that we should probably use, if we get to meet them again.

    Also at the end of the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final drawn game we did push up when we made our great come back from been 7 points down. Dublin had lost their two midfielders to black cards at that stage also. Mayo brought on Barry Moran at midfield as well so Dublin couldn’t go long either as he caught a few lovely balls. Stephen Cluxton had a bit of a mini-melt down then as he couldn’t go long or short. The reason teams probably don’t do it all of the time I reckon is that even when you push up, Cluxton still has the ability to hit it over the press and into the hands of the likes of Connolly and Flynn positioned in Dublin’s half-forward line. Which then leaves you wide open at the back but yes you would think that it should be tried at least for some part of the game against them.

  52. @Hope Springs Eternal
    Interesting article and another tactic Dubs use all the time. At times they had 14 men behind the ball against Mayo ina zonal formation similar to basketball defending. It does demand a high level of fitness, a level that probably only the dubs can acchieve at this time of the year.
    Also note it worked very succesfully. How long did it take for us to score a point from play? Into the second half I think.
    More lessons for us. Our defence porous in all three league matches to date and if mcloughlin employed as sweeper he is going to have to stop fouling. Good article wherever you got it from. Worth sharing. We are going to have to look at how the dubs do things.

  53. Joe Mac…they caught and they broke down, what else is there to do. But unfortunately our duo were not up to it at any time for some reason. My dear old Dads oft spoken words came again to mind…..’ ah! they re pacing themselves.’ The whole team was at it in this case. They just didn’t turn up on the night.So nothing much to worry about. All will come good in time.Nature will take its course and we ll be back to normal breathing in no time….against lesser opposition!
    However, one thing kinda haunts me and it’s the nature of the Dubs set up when they get possession. It looks to me that nothing is left to chance. Every move has a particular design with the man in possession having sometimes up to three colleagues coming in his direction providing options.Its their confidence in what they re doing that impresses me. He gives it to one of them and they re away with purpose. In other words they have a more positive intent …. believe they can do what’s in their mind and it is surely because they have this stuff well rehearsed. It just doesn’t happen on the night.The intensity of their play immediately puts the opposition on the back foot twisting and turning this way and that looking for a solution. Our boys on the other hand it seems have a distaste for the close swift defence splitting passing work and instead depend on the more predictable and overdone kicks to make progress.The long ball is suited to hurling but that is not our game. This gambit doesn’t work and hasn’t and won’t and Mr R and co will do well to dilute their thoughts with a bit of reality. Could they please refer to recent games Dublin played against Tyrone and Donegal for instruction!
    And now we learn that it’s not Gavin at all but Ingle who is to blame for our heartbreak. Is this a further evolution we are witnessing in the game for us to click into? I’d be thinking it might possibly be and the message is….higher octane and get on board or there will be no show!

  54. @Hope Spring Eternal. It will be interesting to see how Kerry cope with the dubs. Imo superior fitness levels, this time of year, achieved by the ease at which dublin can train ,7am in morning if they wish, gives them a clear advantage.
    It is worrying. Did you see other results last weekend. Offaly, once a great and at worst a good football county conceded 6-22 against Armagh. Te state of football is very worrying. And it is very easy for Eamon Fitzmaurice to say its up to other counties to raise their game.

  55. @inbetweener. At last a few Reality posts from contributors. Jim Gavin is the mastermind. He identifies the needs and gets the best man available to deliver. What he has is a superteam. And the game is gone very structured. The only style of play the dubs are not comfortable with is the northern teams and that is so negative.
    I do think as our own fitness levels improve we will present a greater challenge and im not totally against perfecting kick passing movements. The ball is moved faster and does not always give the dubs a chance to organise their basketball style defensive structure.

  56. @OnTheDitch, I think at the end of the day the only reason that the Super 8’s was brought in was to give the likes of Dublin and Kerry a few extra games because of the state of Leinster football at the moment and remember that last year Kerry only played Clare twice and Tipp before they met the Dubs. So it’s more games really to get Kerry and Dublin ready for meeting each other.

    Yes the article on the 42.ie is a very interesting one alright. I wonder with Aidan O’Shea having an involvement with basketball in Sligo at the moment could their be some link-up there with someone from a basketball background getting involved with Mayo. The only thing is, if we did it, it would probably be all over the media but for example Jim Gavin never really speaks much about Mark Ingles involvement with the Dubs.

    In relation to the up coming Dublin and Kerry game, I think that it was Juan on here that said before our game against Dublin that we should turn it into a brawl and hit them really hard. Maybe Kerry will take this approach in their game against them, turn it into a fight. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes anyway.

  57. That’s grand OnTheDitch but a greater challenge we can always come up with. However If we wish to be tops, and I think that’s what we want then there is nothing for it but to use the tools that will best get us there. And it appears they and some others have these tools. How many times did you go out to your neighbour to borrow a hammer or sledge or slashers? And later you went away and bought your own? And you found that it was good!

  58. Rochford needs to call in expert advisers. The first man on my list would be james Horan. But a top basketball coach would be useful. If you can identify the structures dublin use you can design ways to combat the structures. For example, a dublin full back comes in to a forward passing movement. If turned over theres a gap, how do the dubs and how quickly do they close the gap. How do they organise their defensive set up? Even with kick outs we need to be able to mix short keep position kickouts with long drives that exploit a possible opening.
    We need to get back on course as team.
    Kerry have too much pride to drag a game down to a brawl. I think they will slow it to pace they can play at. Also damage limitation. Looking forward to that game.

  59. Very good point about super 8 and of course great moneyspinner for GAA.
    Ingles not the only expert Gavin employs. He is after all a manager not a coach. He identifies needs dietry strength and conditioning tactical etc and gets the best team around him to deliver the services. Easy in the city.

  60. It is interesting about Dublin, basketball and the whole keeping the D free. But to be fair Rochford identified that last year, thats why KMc stood in the middle of the D for most of the championship, it didnt look particularly effective in the early rounds but v Dublin, especially in the drawn game it worked perfectly, shutting off that space the Dublin attack are conditioned to run into.

    There is little point trying to copy what Dublin are doing as they are ahead and will always be ahead. Mayo and other teams must look at the resourses they have available and come up with a strategy combat and overcome Dublin.

    Mayo have resourses but we have to start developing them. Dublin have already improved on last year, they have added Scully, McHugh and Fitzsimons(who looks to be their starting fb this year which fees Cooper up). Kerry will add ounger players to their panel (you can never judge Kerry on league performance as they treat it differently to everyone else). Mayos only real addition is Boland. Our main rivals are improving, Mayo need to get the likes of Irwin, Reape, Douglas, ODonaghue, Gallagher, Loftus on the field playing football. Scott from Westport looks a real option in Midfield and should be around the mayo setup. Its the only way we will improve. I have said it before, if we go into this championship with the same team as last year and basically the past five years then we will lose.

  61. @ontheditch…i am not sure about calling James Horan, yes he done great things with us. And brought us from the depths of Longford to a seriously competitive team, top 2- 3 in the country. But he was also found wanting in the tactics department. I think of the AIF in 2013 and the replay semi in 2014 straight away. He done great, if we want to win it, we don’t ask a man who never won it and in my opinion, was found wanting on two of our biggest days

  62. Id agree, calling Horan is not an option. That move would also have to potential to undermine Rochford and cause division amoung the squad.

    I wouldnt get too hung up on demanding a basketball coach be brought in, just beacuse Dublin have one. I would agree more coaching is needed in attack but a good offensive coach can come from any sport. Its all about creating space and moving defenders out of position by the movement of your own players. Mayo actually have access to a very good person in Gavin Duffy, I would give him a greater role I with the forwards. Rugby operates on the same principles, creating space, he also has a big GAA background.

  63. How about bringing in a certain Liam McHale in order to adopt basketball tactics? He is still arguably Ireland’s best home produced basketballer. We just need to poach him from Roscommon….!

  64. It is my contention that Dublin are playing whatever game is required to defeat whatever opposition is in their way. They will be the team of all the talents as they engage with and overcome whatever half baked strategies other teams can summon up! They probably are not in that bracket yet but how far are they from it?The near future will let us know.
    In the mean time I think it’s reasonable to plan like never before and come up with strategies that will overcome this building dominance. It all reminds me in a way of an attitude that’s abroad concerning global warming! It’s happening….we see it all around…and we are willing only v reluctantly to take measures that will balance things up. If local efforts are found wanting to combat this imbalance which appears to be the case then higher authority ought to have it in their compass to take appropriate action!
    In that of course I’m referring to Croke Park and its responsibility to ‘ foster and develop’ …and that may call into more serious question the runaway and rampaging Tsunami that this Dublin team is fast becoming.The field has always been hummocky but of late it has become an embarrassing joke…but a joke that some people just don’t get. And it’s a joke that you could only find in this country where you have to ‘ put up with’ and where ‘ things is grand’. Well things is not so grand and the day of puttin up with has long passed. However it does lend a degree of charm to proceedings and if that satisfies then so be it!

  65. @Inbetweener, I remember reading an article with an interview of Philly McMahon and he was saying that what surprised him last year and in 2015 was that no team brought anything to the table against them that surprised them. 2014 and what Jim McGuinness did to Dublin was the last time that this happened to them. In fairness to Stephen Rochford, last year he managed to come up with a plan to stunt Dublin up-front. Now coming up with a plan to surprise and breach their defence will be the next step (as well as stunting their forwards again), if we do get to meet them this year. It’s easier said than done.

  66. I agree with Mayomad, basketball while one sport that has a focus on space and movement to creat space, Rugby is another. But you need an experienced coach that has proven himself, Mc Hale may or may not be the answer, I would sugest Eddie O Sullivan (Rugby) living In Galway or Terry Kennedy( Basketball) living in Ballina I believe, and I would sugest there are a number of GAA guys out there that have a simillar thinking.

  67. I am not really saying to bring Horan back onto mangement team but getting his opinion would not go astray. Might be better than a few select players as ‘advisors’. I would not argue either that he had problems reading a game and making right subs at right time
    Cavan is the important match now, that we play to some sort of a patern that subs are used.

  68. The Mark Ingles basketball coach story was ran in the Irish independent on April 1st. It was an April fool that grew legs with follow on articles.
    It is still listed online that article with date April 1st.
    Michael Darragh and Cluxton are not far from having best days behind them. Similar Philly, Fitzimmons, Flynn, Connolly, Brogan, Mcmanamon. All important players.
    So Dublin will return closer to the chasing pack.

  69. Well I’m nearly taking all back. Big day off here today so had a peep at the first half again and really and truly we were nt that far off at all….despite that bit of lethargy around the middle and a bit hasty and unsmart up front. COC didn’t do us many favours with his options at times…a killer.
    A big issue was lack of mobility and punch there in the middle against this crowd. The two Dubs were back and forward when ever they chose and I’m sure when it’s timed properly, that is possible. The free kickout to Dublin backs was another cause of our woes on the night as v adequately flagged by posters.
    Someone suggested that the quick kickout is sometimes on while more delay is the preferred option on occasions. I’d imagine D Clarke is aware of that …just to be that bit more cautious in future.
    So all in all I’m happier than I was but I think I’ll give the second half a miss.
    These fellas should be able to put that game away in the bin and get those two points the next day!

  70. The most disappointing thing about the game last saturday night was the Mayo’s players lack of fight,like!Where is there pride?To me that is just basic.The excuse of lack of fitness is nonsense.This Mayo team is one of the fittest teams in the country.

    It will be interesting to see how Kerry approach and get on with Dublin in tralee but I guarantee you this,they will not lie down,not against Dublin,it’s just not in their DNA.

    Okay it’s only the league but that psychological lift and belief matters if you beat the Dubs and come up against them later in the championship.You can not quantify it.Tyrone came close in croke park and I believe they will get alot of confidence and belief from that.

  71. Time to move on and forget about the game v the Dubs. All players tend to take each game as they come and Mayo will look to make ammends in the next match, I found this to be the way in my playing days.
    Alot can be learned from a bad beating, I hope Mayo will add a bit more the next time they meet.

  72. For us too we have to be thinking that David Clarke, Keith Higgins, Ger Caff, Colm Boyle, Chris Barrett, Seamie O’Shea, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon, Barry Moran etc. are not getting any younger either.

  73. Prophets of Doom, a plenty.. We have a game V Cavan coming up. Get our best available team and a game plan for this match, that’s the plan!. Dublin comprehensive defeat of Mayo last Saturday does not ot mean that they would ‘definitely’ beat Mayo should we meet later on in the year. If Dublin think they have sufficient physogical damage done to the Mayo team, that they only need to turn up next time. We’ll, they had better think again. Mayo are nothing if not resilient. Persist with the nessarly ‘Evolution’ of this Mayo team, it didn’t work the last day out, but it ‘IS’ essential that we develop our kick passing ability into the forwards. During the last 5 or 6 years, we Mayo have been very dependent on attacking half backs, either scoring themselves or putting it on a plate for one of the forwards, but coming to the last quarter of the match our half backs are virtually out on their feet,. If you seen one of the Mayo defender’s coming off late on in the match they would be wrecked defending and attacking. Contrast this to the Dublin set up, if a Dublin Foward comes off he has given his all defending and attacking. We need to work our forwards harder, we badly need our fantastic half backs to have the nessarly ‘legs’ in the final quarter. We despite the evidence of last Saturday are evolving and developing, Late Summer and Early Autumn is the time to pick the fruit, in Nature, just as in Gaelic-football!

  74. Re some dub players getting long in the tooth, you never get bored when you are winning. Sadly for our elder lemons its a different story.
    Onwards and upwards for the cavan match.
    Two things on my wish list. We restore our half back line and persist with mixing the short passing game with good foot passing.
    Some bit of dynamism from our midfielders would be good

  75. Lads and ladies in my humble opinion it’s a forwards coach we need and not a basketball coach but by all means bring in a basketball coach if he or she will help create space. Peter Canavan is on record saying he would love the Mayo job bring him in see what he can do with our forwards. I agree with you Leantimes we need to get lots more out of forwards and not burn out our half backs with them having to come up and do the scoring

  76. Incedentially (and it being international woman’s day an all) we have one of the best forwards this country has ever produced in Cora Staunton let’s face it if she was a man we’d be going for three or four in a row now. Why not get her involved in coaching the forwards if her own football schedule allows. We need to do something this team won’t be around for ever the time is now.

  77. That long kick into the wherever is grand so long as it is accompanied by adequate up front presence. Otherwise the target is all on his ownio to do the heroics! We ve gotten many of our scores from this ploy …. esp many frees but imo it is unbecoming and we need to be more inventive with more variation.
    I don’t apologise at all for pointing again to the Dub style in this regard. They too use the long kick but only when there’s the pos of a major score on….eg Fentons/Rocks kick into 14 which had goal all over it with Durcan sleeping. Use it sparingly and it is a most effective tool.
    And also this long kicking excludes a lot of the Mayo forwards from the play because they are usually too far out and are easily delayed in their efforts to get up in support. Also their reliance on the kick robs them of the practise of the swift hand pass leading to that all important and devastating line break.
    To add to that I would venture to say that their under use of the hand pass could also be part responsible for the lack of composure we see so often in front of goal….eg. COC going for goal when a blink of a delay would have our man in for goal with a little pop pass.
    And of course I agree that it’s not easy, that our fellas are all heroes and that we l l be for ever talking long after the cows are at home and put to bed!

  78. Willie Joe – don’t know if you can retrieve it, but there was a very good discussion last Saturday on RTE Radio – yes RTE! on the Saturday Sports show.

    Des C had 3 goalkeepers on, Christy O’Connor the journalist who is/was a goalkeeper, Shane Supple who doubles as St Brigids and Bohemians goalkeeper and a hockey goalkeeper whose name escapes me at the moment. All three were very strong on the changed role of the keeper emphasising the reduced role of shot stopper, particularly when more defensive strategies are adopted.

    This echoes what is being debated here, but with the added advantage of practitioners speaking.

  79. Haven’t commented here since Saturday night (drank way to much and wasnt right till monday).. anyways in that time l see we have had everything from get the O’Sheas back to bringing James Horan back as a consultant. I said here last week that Dublin were coming off two tuff games against Nordie teams compared with us bating a piss poor Rossi team. I didn’t envisage that we would get that kind of a hammering.. but Dublin were really up for this and they see us as their greatest threat so they went all out. Everyone was surprised by the way we folded to the point that some Dublin supporters were asking me afterwards did we do it on purpose… ahhh no.. we just had a complete mare.. it can happen. In the overall scheme of things I don’t think this will matter much but I do agree that we have to start learning fast. Watching Mayo following around after Dublin all night long like headless chickens is getting a bit tiring.. you,d wonder can any of them not read the game as it’s unfolding before them. Management tactics clearly didn’t work but you could say the players execution of them didnt work very well either. So loads to be learnt and a big restorative performance needed against Cavan… you never know we might not meet Dublin again this year.. they could be beaten by Tyrone.

  80. On Dublin City radio tonight Brian Talty said he couldn’t understand why Mayo did not push up on Dublin’s kickouts and also pointed out how Dublin consistently pushed up on ours.

  81. Dublin were up for the game. They wanted it more than Mayo and were prepared to fight harder for it.

    They won virtually every battle. E.g. even on Mayo kick outs Dublin had 4 or 5 men in to contest the breaking ball whereas we usually only had max 2 on most occasions.

    The penalty was a real insight into the game though.

    First Clarke saves. Then he saves the rebound. At that stage Boyle had attempted to dive in and get a block on it. But here comes the real worrying bit. Dublin still managed to get 2 more forwards in to try and finish the goal opportunity off before any other Mayo players were in to assist Clarke and Boyle

    How were Dublin able to get fellas into the small square ahead of a Mayo defense on a penalty kick? Its like the Mayo guys were rooted to the spot. What it says and shows is a serious lack of collective responsibility across the team i.e. guys too worried about their own individual men and a lot of

    “I’m marking my own man so it’s not my job to be doing that. ”

    For me this happened throughout the game. Now let it be known I have no problem with this practice if (and only if) you take the responsibility to beat your individual man by whatever means possible. But sadly that was not the case as was shown by the lack of any type of bite within a Mayo tackle.

    Dublin on the other hand were the opposite of above.

  82. it has been interesting over the past week reading the various comments about the game last saturday. A similar tone runs through most threads after a loss. At the beginning there is critism of the team ( mostly constructive to be fair), fresh players wanted, changes need to be made. but this gradually edges more towards things like the opposition were fitter, more players available etc. By the end of the week its more like all we need is to be fitter and get better coaching, tactics is all thats needed. Roll on the championship.

    I expect Mayo to beat Cavan and put in a good showing for the rest of the league. We may win connacht and go close to AI win again.

    But the truth of the matter is that Mayo really need to expand the experience within the panel. Mayo do not have much depth outside of the usual starting 15 with 2-3 reliable subs. We really need to be playing the young lads and fringe players to get real game, to put real pressure on the established players and to give our bench real experience. At present our only viable forward options from the bench are COS, and playing Barry at ff. I cant see any player on the Mayo bench who you can say will impact the game on the score board (score 2-3points from play). We have planty of potential but with little experience. Until that changes we will be having the same conversation after Dublin or Kerry knock us out of the championship in the summer.

  83. Lets be honest here.The Dubs layed us out,strung us up and man……I mean they gutted us.Where was the leadership?the fight?the pride?35000 thousand people at Croke Park for a league game expecting a close tough encounter and why not?The hurt of losing by a point in a replay of an All Ireland final is irrelevant when you go and have another crack at the Dubs in Croke Park in front of a big crowd,Ah sure it’s only the league,is that the right attitude?

    Look,they will stay in Div 1 which is important but I hope when they go to Omagh and play Tyrone they have their heads right.
    Playing Sligo in the first round of the championship or especially against Galway in Pearse Stadium,if they dont have the right attitude,they will be beat.

  84. Its definitely a case ofone game at a time from here on in. Beat Cavan and at least we can experiment against the Northern heavyweights, Donegal and Tyrone.
    I was most impressed with the Fenton McAuley midfield combination for Dublin. They offer so much to the players in front of them. Our midfielders are maybe good fielders and ha.d pass the ball quickly which is fair enough if thats what we have got. We are still going to be relient on our half back line for that cutting edge.
    I agree with comments above we do need to see loftus Gallagher irwin and co. If you go back to fbd, the performance of Gallagher was on a par with Boland.

  85. I watched a video of match with a friend of mine last night. What we looked at that caught our attention was when DOC grappled with Dean Rock and Rock had to have his jersey replaced we seen he had none of (” The Asses Harness”) this monitoring apparatus that our lads wear on him. This shows that they are not treated as robots. Maybe if our lads had not to use this harness they might be better off.

  86. Yeah they don’t both with a harness, the Dublin jersey have a slot in the back under the collar where a GPS is placed to do all the same tracking and then it’s all broken down for players – the same as Mayo

  87. This may be the most minutely monitored match ever ?.
    Mayo minors almost beat Dublin in a challenge two weeks ago. High scoring game and we lost with the last kick for a goal.
    Impressive to have the minors up and running at a good level. Damian Gavin was a good club player from the days when Swinford underage teams were all huge six footers.

  88. Referring to Mayo Dublin senior as being tgr most minutely monitored. Time to move on. Roscommon in minor league tomorrow.

  89. Mayo minors, did actually beat Dublin in a challenge match played in Dublin last Saturday evening. 3.13…0.19 if I’m not mistaken was the score, but Mayo definitely won by 3 points.

  90. Yes. Time to move on. Btw, we are as good as any team out there and Dublin are there to be beaten too once our boys are fully prepped.
    Now, let’s see the young lads getting plenty of action in the remaining league games. It’s not June or July that you want to test them in any case, the three upcoming games are genuine tests and nobody will be holding back.

  91. The report in the western had Dublin winning with a last minute goal.
    Of course they may have played each other twice . Match Im referring to was in Swinford.

  92. Why aren’t more young forwards been tried like Conor Loftus Adam Gallagher and Brian Reape and the senior club championship top scorer Neil douglas hasn’t been given a chance also Enda Varley was playing brilliant football with St Vincent’s in Dublin harshly dropped by Holmes/ Connelly in my opinion and has experience of this level.what gud is still starting Andy moran and Alan dillion for another year.both struggle for pace when playing Dublin .Andy struggled on johnny Cooper in the 2 games last year and was cleaned by fitzsimons Saturday.Time for change in the forwards!!

  93. Watching the build up to the big Rugby game…Ronan O Gara was talking about fear….fear is the greatest driver in a team. In other words embrace it. I think we in this county are freaked out at the thought of this team not getting over the line. I think we play against the fear and not with it…does that make sense…? I’m thinking back to when we drew level in the final last year…we never really left king to push on and get ahead…there was a fear of loosing and you could feel it in the stands. Embrace the fear and use it to your advantage….anyway I’m having another hot whiskey. Cmon Ireland.

  94. Video analysis on Ire/ Welsh match!!! Do we do this??? I’d expect we must but I wonder. It’s some facility that must surely have a big part to play in developing proper movement and orchestrating a teams overall behaviour and awareness on the pitch. Anyone know do we?
    Some game this! You could pick a few of these for our panel. How about the 15!

  95. We should do what Wales did. Pick the same team against Cavan. It worked for Wales and it will work for Mayo.

  96. True Grit, picking the same team will beat Cavan and most other teams as there is a huge gulf between the top 4 or 5 teams in the country to the rest. However at the business end of the championship the same Mayo team will fall short v the best teams which are Kerry and Dublin. The forwards have been an issue for a few years now, not getting enough scores from play, relying to much on the half back line and Cillian frees. To really land the big one we must develop the fringe players and create options in the forward division, going in to the championship with the same set of forwards and no real options coming from the bench will result in failure. As it stands the only viable options from the bench are Dillon, Conor oshea and Barry Moran as the rest simply have played little or no games at senior level. The rest of the league games and the connacht championship must see the likes of Loftus, Reape, Gallagher, Douglas, Irwin get meaningful playing time in order for them to make an impact when hopefully croke park comes around.

  97. JP , that match was played in the DCU campus on Saturday evening last, both teams then went to the senior game in Croker afterwards!

  98. Mayomad. Your team is grand on paper. All those forwards you name have got runs already this year and I didn’t see any big improvement
    Remember we have to win at least another match match to be sure to wait in Div 1
    if this team you pick gets beaten by Cavan what then. A bird in the hand is better than 2 on the bush. I’m sure there are A v B games being played between panel and those young lads must not yet be good enough . Still there will be challenge matches and then we wii see how they progress

  99. True grit, the players I named have not gotten runs. Gallagher or Reape hasnt played. Irwin played five mins v ros. Loftus got a few mins at the end of a couple of games, Douglas hasnt played (its a mystery how the top club player in Mayo isnt playing senior county football). Im not saying play all of them at once but at least two should start v cavan, I would start Irwin and Loftus for the rest of the league with the rest getting meningful time on the field. These are the players we want to make an impression in the championship but they have played no games, for me fbd doesnt count, nor do challenge games, they need proper games.

    We have brought on Boland who is an addition but thats not enough. We simply cant go into another championship with virtually the same forwards and expect the same results. We need true depth in the panel which comes from experience of playing games. Over the past six years we have beeen close, yes factors have gone against us in some cases but generally in nearly all of those games we were in a position to win, being four pts up in some cases but never could finish it off. One of the main reasons is a lack of forwards coming off the bench who can impact the score board. Dublin can bring on a host of players, Kerry can bring on the likes of Barry John and others, until we develop an experienced bench with players who can come on and score then we will not break that 11 game streak v Dublin

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