Mayo 2-14 Sligo 0-11: job done

We’re off and running again. The first, and most important, priority today was simply to win and, with a flattering nine points to spare over Sligo in this afternoon’s Connacht SFC quarter-final at MacHale Park, we did that. The performance may have been less than impressive but it was good enough to get us the win we needed.

There’s been a definite changing of season across the country since I last took the road west for a match at MacHale Park. Gone are the dun-coloured fields and bare trees, replaced by greenery everywhere and the riot of whitethorn in glorious bloom. There was rain, though, after I’d crossed the border on the N5 near Charlestown so it was from a perfect summer’s day.

The stand was filling up rapidly when I got to my seat high up in the stand at MacHale Park well ahead of throw-in. The flags fluttering down at the bacon factory end showed there was a strong wind blowing that direction and it was into that end that Sligo opted to play in the first half.

They got the game’s opening point right from the throw-in but a free from Cillian O’Connor and a trademark, outside of the boot effort from out on the right by Andy Moran put us briefly ahead. They leveled and then when Lee Keegan fumbled a quick kick-out from David Clarke, Marren claimed possession and belted it over.

Kevin McLoughlin missed a twenty-yard free out on the left – wouldn’t Cillian be a better option for these, even if they are on the wrong side for him? – but he made amends soon after by pouncing on a breaking ball and firing over. Marren put them back in front but then a nice, rapid flowing move by us ended with Paddy Durcan banging over the equaliser.

After that bright opening quarter from the visitors, they began to shrink back into ultra-defensive mode, swamping their backline behind a shield on the 45-metre line. We made a few forays at speed beyond this line, yielding fouls and from two of these Cillian pointed, though Marren knocked over a long-range free for them. Around that time the injured Kevin McLoughlin was replaced by Jason Doherty.

It looked like there’d be little or nothing between the teams at the break but then Seamus O’Shea fed the galloping Diarmuid O’Connor who fended off the despairing cover before drop-kicking a rocket of a shot to the net. Diarmuid was clearly fouled on his goal-ward burst but ref Sean Hurson allowed the advantage and appeared too to allow the Ballintubber man a generous helping of steps before he got his shot away.

Four up at the break and with the wind behind us in the second half, the task facing us looked straightforward enough. Sligo would have to defend higher up the field, otherwise we’d be able, with that wind, to find the target with ease from around 45-metres out. If that was the plan, it wasn’t how it went.

Sligo ‘keeper Aidan Devanney knocked over a long-range free into the wind, cutting across the ball beautifully to send it on a low, rising trajectory over the bar, to start the second half scoring. We’d already fluffed one or two scoring chances at the other end by then and we missed a few more soon after but then Fergal Boland banged over his first championship point, followed soon after by a second point of the day from Andy.

Diarmuid got into a tussle on the end-line, where he appeared to be fouled as he waited to contest a hopeful ball in and he ended up getting his head stood on. Blood flowed profusely from the resultant injury as he trotted off and Aidan O’Shea came on to join the fray. Diarmuid eventually came back on whereupon Aidan came back on again, this time as a replacement for Andy Moran.

By then we were four points to the good – they got two and looked to be thinking about possibly making a right effort at winning the contest, but then Fergal Boland snuck inside and fisted over – and another Cillian free stretched our lead to five once more.

Soon after it was back to three and we still hadn’t shaken them off. We’d run the bench at this stage with Stephen Coen, Donal Vaughan, Danny Kirby and Conor Loftus now all on the pitch.

A close-in free by Cillian extended the lead to four points. Finally, we cut loose, with a super point from play by Cillian – fed beautifully by Aidan – before the same player (touch of square ball, anyone?) palmed the ball to the net after it was lofted across the goal by Conor Loftus.

They got a final point at the other end but then the grace notes were applied for us via two lovely long-range scores, one from Danny Kirby (his first championship score) and the other from Jason Doherty. We won by nine at the finish, on a scoreline of 2-14 to 0-11.

Best for us today, I though, were Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons and Fergal Boland. There were no stand-out performances from within our ranks today and much about us this afternoon was disjointed enough but it was still good enough to get the win we needed.

Along with the win we now get the right to turn our attention to Galway, whom we’re set to face at Pearse Stadium in three weeks time. They’re still on a high from beating us last year – their subsequent collapse against Tipp seems to have been air-brushed from their collective memories – and are fully determined to double the dose on us on 11th June.

For us, it’s a revenge mission (of sorts) but more importantly it’s the game we need to win to make the Connacht final. One game at a time, folks – the one now facing us is, for sure, one that demands 100% focus from us.

Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Paddy Durcan (0-1); Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons; Fergal Boland (0-2), Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0), Conor O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (1-6, five frees), Andy Moran (0-2). Subs: Jason Doherty (0-1) for McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea for Diarmuid O’Connor (blood) and for Moran, Stephen Coen for Boyle, Donal Vaughan for Conor O’Shea, Danny Kirby (0-1) for Seamus O’Shea, Conor Loftus for Boland.

Who was our MOTM against Sligo?

  • Paddy Durcan (40%, 291 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (13%, 92 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (11%, 77 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (8%, 57 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (6%, 41 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Ger Cafferkey (3%, 24 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (3%, 20 Votes)
  • David Clarke (2%, 17 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Danny Kirby (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 732

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93 thoughts on “Mayo 2-14 Sligo 0-11: job done

  1. Two goals scored and none conceded. Defensively sound which is an essential.
    Our u17s then winning well. A good day for us.

  2. A flat performance and match. They’ll be better against Galway but the old issue of not enough scores up front when we’re on top continues. Boland did well but Durcan was out best player and is a key player now. Would love to see Kirkby FF.
    One other thing: there was far too much nilly fouls which ruined the game as a spectacle. GAA needs to do something about it- stop/start games kills the entertainment value.

  3. Nothing spectacular, a bit to work on offensively but job done. Thought Durcan was immense today.

  4. Durcan my clear MOTM. Should have stuck his goal chance though.
    Boyler and Seamus OShea did well too.
    I’d liked to have seen Kirby on earlier and I think he can offer more than Conor O’Shea who I felt struggled to make an impact throughout.
    Galway will feel they can take us again so we really need to up it for 3 weeks time.

  5. Far from a convincing performance didn’t deserve to win by nine points was only leading by 3 with 64 mins gone and question marks over both goals as D O Connor could have been called up for steps and from my view point C O Connors goal could have been a square ball. A win is a win though with loads of room for improvement before the Galway game. U17s were impressive a good performance and win.

  6. Job done some dirty petrol got out of the engine not an easy day for forwards with that swirling breeze. I thought we struggled in midfield we need to improve to beat Galway and I think we will that will be a cracker of a match. There’s loads of life in this team yet

  7. Game went as expected really, was never going to be a classic, job done. Caff and Boland did very well. Forward still an issue. Too static, we had plenty of possession, Boland always looking for a quick pass inside but no one making runs. Would like to see Kirby and Regan in the forward line with Cillian, would offer alot more options.

  8. Couldn’t have asked for more from today.

    Get over the line and have plenty to work on.

    Off the mark for championship 2017!

  9. Well done to Mayo. Not nearly as fluid as I thought they would be but it’s the opening game I suppose. Well done to Sligo too, battled hard as expected and will do damage before it’s all over.

  10. A few comments above about boland playing well. I dunno what game they were watching. He was terrible, he got couple of scores in the 2nd half. I had high hopes of him early in the league, however he has faded in the last few league games and continued his form in this game. He hasnt the strength and conditioning of the other players.

  11. Job done – a big improvement needed for Salthill.
    Game was a bore fest but never in doubt. Our forward play is worrying.

  12. Job done
    Look fitter and less disjointed than start of last summer
    Boland played well
    Seamie too – hope he isn’t badly concussed

    Game under the belt whereas Galway have none

    I’m optimistic about the year ahead
    But I generally am!

  13. Lookit, as someone once said, it’s not easy to beat a team who firmly believe they have no hope of winning and decide to park the bus on the 20m line. If Sligo had confidence in their ability to take us out they wouldn’t have had fifteen men behind their own 50 m line and would have committed more offensively. On the breakdowns ( bearing in mind we have a serious defensive unit) we would have found it easier to orchestrate scoring opportunities.
    Worryingly, at senior intercounty level we manage to kick a 20m free wide. Worryingly too, Andy, at 33 is probably still our most creative and incisive forward. Ok, young Boland grew in stature as the game unfolded.
    All we needed to do today was beat Sligo. That we did.
    We’ll deal with the next game and our next opponents when we meet them.

  14. Job done indeed. That static play on their half forward line is frustrating to watch with all the lateral movement…runners needed at all times. Early days and all the rest and its always good to win. Well done all.

  15. A win is a win if we won by 20 points every body would be talking about us we need to just win each game and keep going forward

  16. Dissapointed we didn’t show anything new. Maybe we’re saving it for the bigger day.

  17. We’re off the mark and no more than that. Defensively we looked decent with Barrett, Boyle and Durkan all showing well. I thought Keegan was steady enough but a little quiet overall.

    Midefield did alright, particularly as the game wore on. SOS got through his usual workload and offered a little incision when required.

    Up front we have a lot to work on. Andy showed well at times but get the feeling he might be better used as an impact player. Boland had a difficult 40 mins but definitely improved as the game wore on. He made a couple of bad errors but he’ll learn from that. Conor O’Shea works extremely hard but often struggles to make any real impact.

    Overall I imagine SR will be content with the result but will be reminding the lads a repeat of that performance in Salthill will see us in the qualifiers.

  18. I thought Boland did OK, a 6/10 performance. Showed enthusiasm early but his point blank miss clearly knocked his confidence. I’d say someone had a chat to him at the break and he looked lively again scoring two points before being replaced.

    Caff, good to see him back. Played the safe game, never won a ball out in front.

    My motm was Boyle. He was like a terrier and his block in the first half typified his defensive display. Higgins swept up well and Durcan showed great attacking endeavour but God, what a mess he made of the goal chance.

    We never showed signs of dominating the middle sector and for me, that was disappointing. Hardly any clean ball win in that area and I think Sligo won at least 50/50 on the breaks.

    Up front, the usual stuff. I wasn’t expecting anything else. In fairness our lads had to be patient in the first half particularly against the breeze trying to unlock a 13 man Sligo defence but there were spaces in the corners but no one running into them.

    The only time we really caused Sligo real harm was in the opening 5/10 mins of the 2nd half when we cut them open several times but didn’t capitalise on this. If Durcan has scored his goal, which he should have, we probably would have won by a lot more.

    A 5 out of 10 performance for me which is fine in May against Sligo, it won’t be fine in Salthill. Everyone knows that.

    Finally, I’ve described Diarmuid O’Connor as being very like Michael Donnellan, he had superb ball carrying ability and can finish a score. Very few players can ghost by two defenders these days, but he has a real knack of doing so. He had it in abundance at u21 level. He showed glimpses of his goal scoring ability, v Kildare last year. I’d love to see him floating between the half and full forward line, and running at defences. He’ll sore goals for us or suck in defenders and create space for others.

  19. A win is a win as they say and we are through to the next round. However a big improvement will be needed to beat Galway. I was happy with the first half performance but felt we were very poor in the second. The late scoring burst probably flattered us Not sure what exactly our attacking strategy was with the wind. For the next day I would have Danny Kirby on for Conor O’Shea. he carries more of a scoring threat. Ger Cafferkey and Seamus O’Shea should come on a lot for this match. Andy’s first point must already be a contender for point of the year.

  20. Can’t see what O’Shea junior brings to the team.
    Diarmuid poor apart from the goal.
    An ok display, but I never seen us foul as much.

  21. Yeah, we used to be great at tackling… Ref was fond of his whistle today tho. Obv lost his black card!

    I’d see Andy as a player to bring on rather than a starter. Better when a game opens up, morale boosting impact sub. He hasn’t 70 mins in him anymore.

    COS offers very little in attack, in my opinion and certainly gets his fair share of games since Roch came on board, I’d love to know how many scores he has got from the games he has started since last years league. For me, he’s a middle third player, big, works hard(you can’t fault his effort), can win ball…but no cutting edge in attack and we have livelier options on the bench.

  22. What an intelligent footballer Durkan is, great display from him. I though Boyle was crucial particularly in the first half when the scores were tight.
    Great to see Fergal Boland getting the chance to get over his nerves, he will get a lot from his scores going forward. Fair play to the O’Connors.
    I feel myself Vaughan made a great impression when he came on, his league form seems to hurt him always at this time of the year.
    Lee looked very ordinary today, but sure he spent most of 2016 playing extraordinary.
    The job was done, Galway will surely fancy their chances we need to not give them one.

  23. Facetheball……….Agreed……..OShea junior isnt a good forward……….just doesnt have the consostency……..I cant understand how he’s continuously a first team pick.

  24. Encouraged by the Sligo performance today and feel the scoreline didn’t do our performance justice. Thankfully we took a more defensive approach than in 15. However probably too defensive in first half when we should have made more of the wind. Our two best forwards Hughes (was clearly unfit) and Murphy didn’t start. Why is it Mayo always get favorable decisions in Connacht (12 steps for goal 1, pick off the ground and square ball for goal 2) but rarely get those breaks in Croke Park.

  25. Great to see loftus come on , he set up the goal for Cillian , great to see Kirby on too, not a great match, still a win is a win.

  26. We were ok today. Nothing special but there’s no point in peaking for Sligo in May. I think we should switch Keegan and Boyle. Playing centre back lee has to sit too much and we need him attacking. Like previous poster said I’d have Kirby in there before COS. We need kirbys accuracy with long points in the half forward line. Apart from his awful McLoughlin was good while he was on. I think we need to keep him up there for the season. Galway will play the same game plan as Sligo except with better forwards. Today was a good warm up.

    It also should be noted the referee decided that he was not going to play the black card rule today. On another day 5 players could have walked which makes an absolute joke out of the rule. It needs to go .

  27. – Match went as expected although a 5 point win would have been more representative
    – Best players for us were Durkan, Boyler, ans SOS although some of his passing was crazy. McLoughlin doing well until he got injured.
    – Concerned about Higgins who was roasted in first 17 minutes but steadied after. Diarmuid goal aside was well below par even before he got that sly dig right in front of Umpire. Parsons just okay..
    – Nothing innovative on display today but then again none required. Actually the most innovative thing I seen was a Mayo supporter wearing those hat/wig combinations backwards, very funny.

  28. Thought Parsons was poor enough myself. The midfield in general needs work.

  29. we need a serious forwards coach, why is Ciaran mcDonald no involved with the camp?/

  30. Fair assessment Willie Joe.

    Scoreline definitely flattering and fair play for honesty in questioning legitimacy of both goals. Yes, DOC was fouled but getting advantage does not include being allowed to carry the ball 25 yards without a hop or solo. As for the ref and umpires (and as someone who had money on Sligo +9!) I simply could not believe how the a square ball was not given for second. So I think a 4-5pt win were as much as Mayo were worth today without ever being in any real danger.

  31. Fair play to Sligo I thought they were up for it a good part of the game. Gonna stick my head out the window and

    say they will win another game. (or two)

  32. Well done to the lads today. The win was the most important thing today. Roll on Salthill

  33. While I think AOS is best around midfield or half forward. Why when mayo are taking a free does he not go to the edge of the square. Two frees by Gilliam could have gone to AOS if he had taken up this position. Very bad coaching.

  34. The good
    ? Seamie, Caff and Chris B back and tuning
    ?The concrete shoulder of Barrett
    ?U21s looking at home with the big boys
    ? Discipline
    ? Handling and ball retention. Esp at end

    The bad
    ?Horrid misses
    ?Loss of midfield
    ?Kickouts
    ? Injuries
    Better than last year’s start and nice to have as strong a team at end as start

  35. Yeah. No need to be shooting the lights out in May. They dont give out any silverware this time of year. Its all about getting to the next round.

    One thing i’d say as WJ mentioned. Why is Kevin Mcgloughlin taking any frees? I am always resigned to a wide from him even from 20 metres. Cillian should take the lot even on his wrong side. It could cost us a tight game.

    Anyway on to Pearse Stadium. We’re on our way.

  36. Job done about sums up the day tho’ I wasn’t too happy before the second goal. But all’s well that ends well. Good win for the U17’s too and well done to the hurlers on their win on Saturday evening. There was a time when the Rossies were definately the second hurling team in Connacht but Mayo have well and truly replaced them.

  37. Well done Mayo,
    Didn’t show too much. Played well in patches , but most importantly won the game. Impressed with Patrick Durcan , a very good footballer

  38. Mayo and v Sligo game not the best of performance for Mayo but a good nine point win. Man of the Match Paddy Durcan had been very impressive and a badly missed opportunity but Boyle and O Shea had been good. D O Connor goal really changed things around just before half time. Magnificent catch from David Clarke during the game. A fine 2 goals will bring something to Salthill in 2/3 weeks time and we hope that we can get a Connacht championship title

  39. Went for SOS today as he has not been featuring for us lately and he just keeps improving. Boyle, Durkan, Boland, done really well. COS had a good game got on a lot of ball and has started to put himself about. Preserving with COS could yet prove a master stroke , only time will tell. Great to have Caff and Barrett back. Sligo played well but their tactical game played into our hands on this occasion in the first half, particularly as 2 our full back line are just back.

  40. Bazham19, Ciaran McDonald isnt a coach, has never coached and beacuse of his day job in construction doesnt have the time to start being a coach.

    I would agree the forwards need improvement but there is no evidence McDonald could make a difference. Just beacuse he can kick points doesnt mean he can suddenly teach our lads too. If a coach is brought in it would need to be an experienced coach with a proven track record working with teams.

    The coaches are really needed at underage, thats where the difference is make. Too late trying to coach 26 – 30 year olds how to kick a ball.

  41. While the U17 team won well today, I think they have a lot of improving to do before their next game. I have no doubt about the seniors moving up through the gears, but I am less confident about the U17 team. Some members of that team we saw today just are not at the races at inter county level. They lack dirty ball winning ability IMO. Their reluctance to look up and move the ball early was annoying to watch. Clear, early decision making when they gain possession was absent in some positions. In one or 2 positions where was no awareness shown to the movement around them. (Ala Rugby League stuff) “P lay the man in the best position”. Against a weaker team you will get away with being sloppy, but I am afraid it will get you into trouble.

  42. A win, but some hideous stuff in the name of football.These fellas deserve a more suitable vehicle in which to display their skills and to devote their special time to. It’s a shame to see the game being gobbled up in mediocrity and inaction.
    Great deal of thinking to be done before Galway. They’ll be licking their lips in anticipation and getting notions…..the seed is sown and that ll suit us well.
    Loftus shaped well today and Kirby prob needs to be on the pitch more. Durkan and Higgins showed pace but no one bothers to go with them…it’s all too individual. A bit of planning in the running wouldn’t go amiss…don’t see it as rocket science. They say you have to set it up before it lol happen!!!
    Anyway … on we go again for a bit.

  43. If the role of a centre forward is to be a play maker, then diarmuid is not it.
    He is a ball carrier. He is just not a number 11.
    I think young Boland would make a great number 11, very smart player and sees
    the pass. He could be our Brian McGuigan.
    Kevin Mc would also be excellent in that position as well.

  44. A win is a win but a poor enough display overall. Sligo of course had a part in this with the continuous defensive display. But I would have thought we could have been better in second half and tried a but more e.g. shooting from distance a bit more.

    Fergal Boland did well although he should have played in Doc that time for a goal. Have to recognise and be able to take opportunities like that. Also in general there was not enough running off the shoulder I thought. Too much lateral passing but again its something to work on.

    A win is a win but Galway in Salthill will be a totally different proportion to a lackluster Sligo.

  45. As far as I can see facetheball numbers as were are gone out the window. In the game we knew there was a structure based on 3…6….8/9 ….11 and 14. That was the game and great things came of it. Now most teams get the ball and helther skelther gallup up and down over and back until someone falls over to leave a gap or someone pulls and drags the referee into being more prominent than any of the players.Its like a bad farce and that’s hard to beat for bad!
    Boland is a cute little ball player and seems to know what’s around him like MC L and could indeed find his niche at 11 I agree but needs a little more bulk to put up with the abuse that’s going around.
    Hard it was today to listen to Spillane belittling the Sligo efforts in the game…the flute! To their credit they gave it everything and were v unlucky not to have been much closer in the end.

  46. Paddy Durcan was clearly MOTM, but I think Danny Kirby was the one player who made lots of people sit up and take notice. Took his point very well and left many of us thinking that he is worthy of a bigger role in the future.
    I appreciate COS may have worked hard, but we need more than that: we need a score taker.
    Hopefully Diarmuid shows more of the form that we saw in the early stages of last year’s championship, delighted to see him get that important goal.
    Finally, well done to Boland, he had a difficult first half, but stuck at it and contributed to the scoring. Good call by the sideline to show a bit of faith and let him find his feet at this level. It will help him when he is called upon again

  47. I thought we managed the game well. Sligo threw everything they had at us and we soaked it up comfortably enough and then with our strength and depth from the bench we killed the game off in the last few minutes. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think is to be our plan this year that we finish the games out with as strong a team as possible. As has often been said about these games in the past.. you’re damed if you do and you’re damed if you dont. If we are to debate the rights and wrongs of D ‘oC goal then to give balance I think the foul on Tom P in the box was as clear a penalty shout as I’ve seen in a long time. Delighted to see the Sunday game call out and rubbish the AOS autograph nonsense and put it to bed once and for all. I think we should persist with C’oSea simply for his athletism alone but I am concerned about our reliance on Andy up front. A lot of work and selection headaches for the next three weeks. Hope S ‘oShea is OK.

  48. What’s the news on McLoughlin? He is very useful up front.
    Thought our midfielders should have tried to field more rather than breaking so much ball.
    Great to see Caff and Barrett back and doing so well. We need them.
    Would love to see Higgins at left half forward. We need some more “go” up there.
    One step at a time.

  49. Here’s another KM79 for ya.The wonderful Castlebar brass band was on the field today at half time …. presumably to entertain the masses but it had to compete with the overloud PA systems contribution of trash. What kind of mess was that? If I was the band master I wouldn’t be too quick to oblige again anytime soon.
    And on the same note could they not make sure in future that the soloist is tutored in advance of their rendition of the National Anthem. And indeed was there a need for the poor girl at all if the band was present.

  50. I hope the owner of the audi key was found. How many times did the announcer say an audi key was found in the stand?

  51. Maybe the Audi owner was quite modern and had their ear tuned to OwDi and not AwDi in the Mayo pronunciation. Yes …we definitely won 🙂

  52. Well done to the lads on getting the win and well done to the U17s also.

    I’d have to say that I’d prefer to see McLoughlin on the half-forward line again, if he is not going to be used as a sweeper this year. He is a great man to hoover up the breaking balls in the middle third.

    That would allow us to get one more scoring forward into the team as well, i.e. either Regan or Loftus etc. Regan could take the left footed frees as well. Loftus showed great instinct and intelligence in his cameo appearance, so that was great to see.

  53. ‘Aidan OShea will probably come on then, a big cheer from the crowd (rolls eyes) stick a cupla in the net and everybody from Mayo will think the whole thing is great’ quote from Colm O’Rourke at half time.

  54. A wins a win! I have to say out U17s showed us how Gaelic football should be played! Quick attacking football the Mayo way! Some very exciting prospects on the team in the likes of J Jennings,P Towey, K Callaghan and J Coyne! Watch these boys there a team that could do something very special this year and maybe deliver some silverware!

  55. If we played Galway today would have lost the game by as much as 6 to 8 points. One of our goals should have been called back for a Free in and the other one was a square ball so the real difference was about 4 points today. Some things we got right … physicality, some decent turnovers and the performance of several backs and SOS. The reason Galway would beat us today is not because of inaccuracy (not great but not a disaster in that dept) but our lack of movement up front. Boland was involved in a lot more on 2nd viewing but not sure he’ll be the answer if we get to the real big games. And right now Galway is a huge game. COS puts himself about and covers ground but just not as physical as his brothers or as good at turnovers. Aido, J Doc and Diarmaid looked a bit short on match fitness. Some players were very good on turnovers and others not so much. Cillian didn’t get out in front as a target too often either. So much so that it sounds like we should be persuading Freeman back into the panel, there’s a case for having him start instead of Cillian or Andy otherwise lets hope Loftus is that young hope we’ve been looking for.
    For Galway we need Kevin Mc on the pitch to give more FF line penetration and if Harry gets back in time Keith as half forward jersey sweeper (we had no sweeper today, just like Sligo a load of people covering back when defending). We could also do with a fully fit AOS, hoping he’s back close to that. Maybe it was just a very flat game but for me Coen and Donie didn’t raise things coming on, only Loftus with the goal pass which I thought he might have kicked himself but at least he looks a good footballer. AOS was our best sub but even he didn’t lift things much though his kick passing may have improved and he won a valuable free.

  56. Keegan at 6 didn’t work but first time to try in championship, same for Diarmaid at 11, goal aside. Neither played badly though Diarmaid’s performance may be more down to Sligo having 15 behind the ball for much of the game. It was a game where patience and ingenuity were needed but ingenuity in particular was short on supply. Keegan at 6 meant in Paddy Durcan we saw a new version of Leroy… very similar player who’s shooting is improving all the time. Maybe he’s the answer for half forwards. I’ve said it time and again we need to convert a defender. All 3 contenders Keegan, Durcan and Higgins are better option than Diarmaid, COS, J Doc and Boland right now and Donie might be a better option too. Their turnover rate would be higher and they all offer more pace than the lads with those jerseys. Tyrone have shown it to work with Peter Harte who is a superb footballer so why don’t we cut our cloth to meet our needs. Also noticed that when AOS came on permanently he went outfiield having replaced Andy our go to man in the inside line so had we any man inside at all… as Cillian came outfield a good bit too. For much of that phase of the match we were only 3 up and with one and sometime no player inside. Management needed to get on top of that situation.

  57. mayomad– where is the evidence he cant, I just used McDonald as an example a guy that had played the game at top level and arguably one of the best forwards over the last 15-20 years, you cant tell me that Ciaran McDonald involved with the forwards is not a positive thing, this man is pure GAA and if mgt asked him i cant for one second think that he would turn it down, i dont take your point an experienced coach for forward play will fit this bill, as I said earlier a guy who has played at top level thats experience and these lads like DOC, Boland young O Shea and other players coming through would only benefit,

    look at the forward line today , i wont get into it as we know the problems but one is there are too static and cant see the game one or to plays ahead (bar Andy Moran), this is what distinguishes from good teams to great teams,

    SURELY HE IS WORTH ASKING!!!

  58. Yeah, Durcan is something special alright, And what’s even better, he’s still very young and still improving. Contrary to some opinions expressed here I taught Tom Parsons had a very good game today, showed great athletism and intelligence, I seriously considered voting for him before voting for Durcan. COS worked very hard, and covered allot of ground, don’t think he gave the ball away once. But I suppose a Foward is expected to score or make a score for other’s, Kirby is better in this regard. Although both of these two guy’s are equally very tall player’s, I don’t think either are in any way alike in their football styles. COS is a retainer of possession ala Ciaran Killkenny (but not as good, not yet anyhow) which definitely has its positives, but Kirby makes things happen. Ala Diarmuid Connolly, (but not as good, not yet anyhow). A good team will have both types of players,. I’m glad Fergal Boland played the full match, great experience for him, I taught he had a bit of a wobble in the first half, but he played himself back into the game very well in the second half. Very good contribution for a championship debut from Fergal, against a team that played allot of players behind the ball at times. It’s great for him to get that experience, with the Galway game coming in a few weeks. With Brendan Harrison a current, All Star and specialists corner back hopefully recovered from his injury, it will be interesting to see what changes Stephen Rochford makes to the defence versus Galway. Ger Cafferkey was good, but he may need to be better against the greater threat of Galway., after 14 months out today was his first inter County match, so he should improve. I think Kevin Walsh will have his work cut out to figure out how Mayo will approach the next match. One thing is for sure, we will need to improve significantly, but that’s a good place to be, work to be done!

  59. Was thinking the same lean times , I thought Ger caff was way off it and has lost a yard of pace

  60. Any word on Diarmud’s eye injury? It looked a nasty one. We got the job done and never looked to be under any serious pressure. Sligo played their part in procceedings and did the best that they could. It will be interesting to see how The Dubs prepare for their Carlow encounter. On we go…

  61. Win is a win as they say , yes a flat performance but only thing that really bothered me was when Kevin Mc was to come off that is was Jason Doh , who was first used .
    All due respect to Jason but if playing was being based on league form or performance related then Jason wouldnt have being first choice .

    I have no issues with him or that but disappointing we didnt give a Kirby, Regan or Loftus more game time.
    If we cant use them against Sligo wouldn’t fill you with confidence of playing them against Kerry or Dublin .
    Durkan and Seamie were very good, Parsons and Boyle also .

    I do worry about playing Keegan and Diarmuid at 6 and 11 that they are getting crowded out and choked up in the central conjestion .

  62. I don’t know why everyone is like “if we were playing Galway.. ” granted, Galway will be up for this one, but if they play anything like how they played in the league final, they won’t win anything.

  63. i’m going to call out a couple of things now because when it happens to Mayo v Tyrone or Dublin or Kerry later in the year there will be 200 posts on this site with the ire raised to the max.

    I saw someone above say they never saw “us” Mayo foul as much. I can’t disagree with that, particularly opening 15 minutes of the second half it was epidemic proportions….notwithstanding this can some explain how the yellow card count ended up Sligo 7 – 1 Mayo?

    As alluded to above both goals should not have stood. But there were 2 reasons in both cases. For the first goal in the build up to Diarmad O Connor getting the ball Paddy Durkan clearly takes 2 hops – then of course Diarmad takes his 10-11 steps to tee up a good shot (although sligo keeper was shocking for the concession i would have to say). Second goal was first picked off the ground by Conor Loftus and Cillian O Connor was blatantly in the square – what was particularly amusing about this on the Sunday game last night was that Ciaran Whelan said COC might have been on the line even when the stopped footage showed his left foot clearly anchored inside the square before loftus dispatched the ball.

    Finally, the incident in which Diarmad O Connor got the nasty eye injury (and i hope it is okay)….he should in fact have been getting a black card rather than treatment as he clearly hand tripped Keelan Cawley whose pulled back foot ironically then caught DOC in the head. I think after all the John Small analysis here last year we are all agreed a hand trip is a black card offence.

  64. Expected Win. Sligo were only ever going to be at the races for 55 minutes or so,,,, they’re a lower Divison Team coming up against Division 1 conditioning. Barring a string of events coming together, you won’t see in surprise result too often.

    Sligo did get a fair bit of return from a direct running game played at pace, something Galway are pretty sharp at. I think Mayo will need to deploy a sweeper to snuff this out, if they don’t it might develop into a shootout. Galway’s 2-7 are no great shakes, and I see the Mayo forward line reaping dividends from the space they’ll be given.

    The game wasn’t much to look at from a Neutral perspective, but opening round games typically aren’t. Some decent patches of play mind you, but generally flat performances all around.

    Refereeing was typically inconsistent, No black cards in a games that should have had a couple, and could have had 4 or 5.

    As pointed out, steps for the first goal were a little suspect, but it was an advantage play – he was being pulled out of. If the Ref had of blown for it, I don’t think anyone would have felt hard done by. Nowt wrong with the second one, but I’m sure some head on social media will posted up a “definitive picture of a clear square ball”.

  65. I can’t disagree with anything you said above Cantini and you’re right…if those decisions went against us this place would go into melt down.

  66. Not too much commentary (almost dismissive) that we closed out the game stronger. It was well flagged on here by several posters that Mayo were very likely to dominate the final 20 minutes of this game. With injury time nowadays a few minutes longer than it used to be the 65th minute is still a full 10 minutes to play.
    Sligo were within 3 points but were a spent force with a full 10 minutes to run.
    If you have the likes of a fresh Aidan, Donie, Stephen Coen and the speedy instinctive Conor Loftus brought in, then no suprise that we were the team that finished stronger.
    The team needs to practice this game management to have a confidence about those final 20 minutes.
    Jason Doherty will never light things up with highlights reel play but he brings a toughness, strength and workrate that guarantees the team a certain level of performance. His attributes are especially needed coming up against a team playing a blanket on what is a small pitch where we need to wear them down for the first 3/4’s of the game.
    MacHale park is one of the smallest inter county grounds. It is very effective for blanket teams. Maybe one reason our home record is not so great.

  67. Sure let’s go back and give the match to Sligo, Cantini. We clearly didn’t deserve to win.

  68. Not let’s not do that dream…etc – although if I thought there was a mechanism to do so I would certainly explore with a diarmad connolly solicitor. Mayo deserved to win but that’s hardly the point now is it. I think I’m entitled to my whinge on the points raised – I note u are not disputing any of them.

  69. In relation to square balls, the rule was lessened to a large degree. I had a ref tell me when I asked him at the start of a clubgame a few years ago:
    “There’s no square ball now from open play”.
    Which isn’t true, but if you go and read the ruling it’s about the easiest way to ref it.
    They are strict on the deadball no one in the square and they let whatever go during open play. The goalkeeper gets his necessary protection, which is fair.

  70. Hey Willie Joe – Audio not working for me on site or on audio Boom platform , is it just me?

  71. To be fair to Cantini he has a point, but through a sligo lens – there’s no doubting Diarmuid took more steps than normally permitted but as the lad had 2 Sligo lads fouling him from the minute he got the ball the Ref played the advantage – had the ref given a free, no one would have complained.
    Cillian’s goal did look like a square ball and it looked like a pick up off the ground by Loftus too.
    That said – the suggestion that Diarmuid should have received a black card is farcical – the Sligo lad knew exactly what he was doing and took Diarmuid out of it to prevent him getting the ball coming his way. If any card were due for that one it would have been to Sligo, and a free-in to Mayo.
    As for the Yellow cards Sligo got – they were for persistent or dangerous fouls. Mayo got 2 for similar offences, not one as you mention.
    The 9 point Margin certainly did flatter Mayo and my view would be that 4 or 5 points would have been more accurate, but that’s by the by now.
    Best of Luck to Sligo in the qualifiers. Would be great to see them feature in the quarter finals later in the year.

  72. I think it might be, Nally Stand – I just checked it now myself (on the MacBook) and it worked fine. The podcast should be up around lunchtime so you’ll definitely need your audio sorted for then!

    All – for the record, Cantini is welcome (as a proud Sligo man) to put his point of view across here on incidents in yesterday’s game and I’ve no problem either with him pointing to past hollerings we’ve done when the shoe was on the other foot. Good healthy debate never harmed anyone.

  73. @FBD – there is no question Diarmad O C was fouled for the goal and no question ref played advantage – but its a bit like these nebulous decisions we often see in the GAA which are very makey uppy sometimes. Because he was fouled does not in turn give him a free pass to break the over carrying rule himself – once he did this the ref should have blown the whistle and given him the free….if a lad was being fouled and ref played advantage and the same player then picked the ball clean off the ground no one would say he should have been allowed to do so on the basis that he was being fouled anyway….there is no difference really.

    anyway – that is the last of my whinge…onwards and upwards.

  74. Regarding DOC goal, He was being fouled by Sligo defenders in this situation, the over carrying rule does not apply. He is given an advantage, allowing him to take extra steps. You will see refs allowing this all the time. The logic is a player can’t solo/bounce the ball while being fouled, therefore he gets away with it. Proper order in my opinion.

  75. ceideboy – if you can point me to where it says that in the rule i’ll accept it but that is the first time I ever heard that interpretation of the advantage rule and no offence but your explanation sounds rather dubious.

  76. I’m in the both goals should have been disallowed camp. A ref would be correct to give a lad being dragged a few more steps because he’s prevented from using his arms to hop or solo the ball but Diarmaid took a lot of steps. Maybe criticise Sligo goalie for not stopping but I think that shot might have confused most goalies.
    Also Diarmaid got penalised for a very lazy pick up. Hope management tell players not to give those away as technical fouls can be momentum changers.
    2nd goal was technically a foul though Loftus would almost certainly have scored had he shot. Just trying to make 100% sure which is good football awareness on one level notwithstanding the player he passed to was in the square too early.

  77. I would give Sligo credit for their massive improvement in S&C. Two years ago we were throwing them about, men against boys, this year they put in some serious hits especially their no 6. They were unlucky that 2 key forwards were carrying an injury. Caff did ok but two points came off him, one from original FF and 2nd from replacement who looks a good player and also caught one mighty ball over Caff’s head. . though he’d have done the same to most full backs. That and Clarke’s saved point were the skill highlights.

  78. I wouldn’t be writing off Galway. They would’ve beaten us yesterday if we met and were a work in progress in league final. Yes they looked a division lower than Kerry and Dublin but Comer wasn’t playing nor was Cummins though Sean Armstrong looks better than the latter. They will also have Meehan waiting as an impact sub by June 11.
    How to beat them is straightforward. We need a far better functioning forward line and forwards game plan. Anything less and it will be an absolute dogfight. They have a lot of tall players in the midfield zone so we need parity there.

  79. He didn’t take anywhere near 11/12 steps for a start . 7/8 way more accurate , surely the advantage rule is if fouled after 3 steps say , the count then begins again ?

  80. Have to agree with cantini on the goals but think Mayo would have won anyway.thought Egan should have being cautioned earlier time and time again he followed through after a tackle dangerously.
    Chris Barrett was guilty of it twice too.
    Was very disappointed with Conor Oshea yesterday constant fouling,seems to play very lateral and makes life extremely hard for himself much like his older brother a few years back.
    Hope he grows out of it because he’s getting a lot more chances than most.
    Also was glad to see rochford sub Boyle when he tired unfortunately Boyle hasn’t the full 70 anymore but gives his all when he can.
    Game 2

  81. I think we need to put the game in to perspective. It was the 21st of May not the 17th of September. it’s the first round of the championship. As the title of this article said “job done”. Do people expect Mayo to be at 100MPH and to beat Sligo out the door in May. There was a tough wind there yesterday and we never looked like losing. Sligo set out their stall and tackled hard and we’re fairly up for it, it was over at half time and realistically both sides knew that.
    It will be a totally different game against Galway and a totally different Mayo.
    The concerns i’d have is our apparent horses for courses game plan. Will we implement a sweeper against a Dublin/Kerry out of nowhere? I thought Ger Caff looked sluggish on both Hughes/Murphy who were both left isolated by their team mates. Also thought Sligo won too much ball at midfield (young Paddy O’Connor had a stormer). But overall i’d expect us to up it for Galway and to peak at the business end of the championship.

  82. Couldn’t add to all that’s already been said about the match, but what did people think of the way local sports clubs took over most of the car parks around McHale? Fair play to them in one way, it’s a good idea to raise a few bob for their clubs, but I thought €5 was a bit steep.

  83. Personally feel Seamie was man of the match, he put in a Trojan shift, and could have had a goal after being pulled down on goal. Wasn’t too impressed by Boland at all, thought it was a 5/10 performance, he didn’t take risks on the ball, always turned back or gave the easiest offload available. Seems like management want him playing a Ciaran Kilkenny type role? But, in fairness to him it was his debut and he is the future, just not this year in my opinion. Conor O’Shea played very well, ran all day and has the physicality to do damage at the top level. For Galway I’d like to see Aido at 11, Diarmuid is more suited to wing forward where he has the space to take on and beat his man. I expect Kevin to drop back sweeping in Salthill, leaving Aido supplement the middle, Conor and Diarmuid up and down the wings, with Andy and Cillian left inside.

    Was very impressed by Sligo, think they’ll win a couple of games this year, had they being playing Leitrim/Roscommon/London yesterday they would have won no bother. Best of luck to them in the qualifiers.

  84. I thought defensively we were very good. A sweeper does not have to have 13 or 15 on their back. Sligo never had more then 4 forwards up so the spare man, generally Higgins or barret played sweeper between the full back and half back line. I think this is exactly the way to go against defensive teams. Against a Dublin or Kerry we may have to pull a sweeper from the full forward line but not against Sligo .

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