Details on Derry

Image: Highland Radio

So it’s the Oakleafers for us in Round 2A of the qualifiers the weekend after next. The match will be played at MacHale Park but when and at what time has yet to be confirmed. The GAA are expected to announce fixture details for all the Round 2A matches later on today. UPDATE: Throw-in time of 5pm has now been confirmed for the game. 

Well, then, what do we know about them? They’re managed by former player Damian Barton, who, incidentally, scored a goal against us direct from a 14-yard free in the dying seconds of the 1983 U21 All-Ireland final, bringing that final to a replay, which we won. Ten years later he was on the Derry team that captured the county’s first and so far only All-Ireland senior football title.

Damo’s a bit of a character, by all accounts. This is his second year in charge and he took a fair amount of flak last year when Derry were well beaten by Tyrone in the Ulster quarter-final, so much so that, despite a good qualifier run after that (more on that anon) he threatened to quit if they made it to the All-Ireland Series. They didn’t and neither did he.

The Derry boss has had a few run-ins with officialdom, landing himself an eight-week ban last year for getting involved in a melee and he’s also been at loggerheads with clubs within the county this year over the availability of players. He’s not madly impressed with pundits either – well, a particular unnamed one. Can’t say I blame him there.

Enough about the sideline. On the field Derry are captained by Enda Lynn of Greenlough. If we were all put on the spot and asked to name the stand-out player in their ranks, though, I’d be pretty sure the vast majority would plump for classy Slaughtneil centre-back Chrissy McKaigue.

Like us, Derry will come into Round 2A having played two matches this summer. Their opening one was in the Ulster quarter-final against Tyrone – a repeat meeting from twelve months ago – back in May where Mickey Harte’s impressive Red Hand outfit blew the Oakleafers away by 0-22 to 0-11. If it’s any consolation, Tyrone’s demolition since then of Donegal – where they landed another bagful of points – marks them down as real contenders for the All-Ireland this year. That said, an eleven-point loss is still a bit of a thumping.

Derry struggled in the first half against Waterford down at Fraher Field in their Round 1A qualifier tie last weekend and only led by two at the break. They pulled clear in the second half, though, and won in the end by 1-17 to 0-13.

Looking at their form line further back, they had an unhappy League campaign this spring. Having reached the League final – beating us in the semi-final in the process – as recently as 2014, they dropped out of the top tier in 2015 and narrowly avoided relegation again last year. Points difference saved them from the drop on that occasion but not this spring where they fell through the trapdoor to Division Three.

Their Division Two campaign this year saw them win two, draw one and lose four. The draw – an 0-11 to 1-8 stalemate against Clare at Celtic Park – came in the opening round, following which they shipped a heavy 3-15 to 0-9 beating to Meath in Navan. They bounced back from that one well, though, to see off Kildare by a point (1-18 to 1-17) at home in the next round but then lost by two at home against Down (1-17 to 1-15) in Round 4. Worse followed in the next round when Galway thumped them by 5-15 to 2-15 in Salthill and a 0-20 to 2-10 defeat away to Cork left them facing the drop. They beat Fermanagh, who finished bottom of the Division Two table, by 2-8 to 0-13 in their final match but that wasn’t enough for them to avoid demotion to the third tier.

In their defence, the absence of the Slaughtneil contingent – who were only available for the final two rounds of League games – can’t have helped matters for them. In the end it was that hiding from Meath in February that went a long way towards their points difference relegation.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Oakleafers. Last year they also had an indifferent League run and then took a bad beating from Tyrone in Ulster. They dusted themselves down, though, and got a decent run in the qualifiers, beating Louth in the first round, Meath in the second and then Cavan in the third. Their gallop was finally ended in the fourth round by last year’s surprise packets Tipperary who came out on top in a 1-21 to 2-17 shoot-out at Breffni Park.

Looking at our head-to-head record against them, the last time we met in the League was in 2015 when they were relegated from Division One. We beat them by 2-12 to 1-13 up in Celtic Park in March that year on a day where Mark Ronaldson scored 1-2 for us.

It was also up in Celtic Park where our one and only championship meeting took place, ten years ago, also in the second round of the qualifiers. We started brightly enough that day but faded badly when they upped the ante and we ended up well beaten on a scoreline of 2-13 to 1-6 – my report for the blog on that one is here. As I mentioned the other day, that match saw Ciaran MacDonald’s final appearance, off the bench in the dying minutes, for the county and it was also the second and last appearance for us by Pearse Hanley, who went off to Australia soon after. What might have been, eh?

Back to the here and now, though, to finish off. Paddy Power have chalked us down as decisive 1/5 favourites to do the business in this one. What do you reckon, however – can we down Derry in Round 2A?

Will we beat Derry?

  • Yes (83%, 756 Votes)
  • No (17%, 153 Votes)

Total Voters: 909

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162 thoughts on “Details on Derry

  1. Hopefully a start for Kirby. Really want to see him play a good amount in championship match. Alan Dillon was good enough for Ballintubber at the weekend. Wouldn’t be surprised if he comes on at some stage.

    Rochford should put Keegan back into the No. 5 again. Ease him back into it this round of the qualifiers then hes back relaxed as we (hopefully) progress.

  2. Christ 2007 was a shocking year. Hammered by Galway in Connacht and then Derry up in Celtic Park.

    That Derry game is forever etched in my mind. I’m sure it was Dave Brady’s last game for Mayo as well as Mac?

  3. shit………….. HAD hoped game wouldn’t be until sunday.i have a wedding saturday , how am i going to keep upto date with the match :(:(
    dam ,haven’t missed a game this year,home game too, would of been handy,although it wouldn’t of mattered where ever it was we would traveled,
    is it likely we would be playing the following weekend 8th and 9th of july then ,fingers crossed we can get it together and the that all important win over Derry,
    i didn’t add my tuppence on the last thread ,i did read every comment though- couldn’t get over the negativity,
    that said i don’t wear rose tinted spectacles either!
    im definitely a glass half full person,or as someone else put it,id rather wait till a man was dead before burying him,
    agreed the galway game wasn’t pretty,and we need to get our act together ,but the lads themselves know this, – we need to look to Derry- get that win and move on,
    i love this team,they have giving us some many great days, some amazing memories ,and all is not yet lost,
    if they can dig deep i feel it is paramount that we must do the same-

    Cmon Mayo

  4. If, if IF we beat Derry, our next match is on the 8th, 22nd and then 29th/30th IF IF IF we get that far….

  5. Thank you Mayo Mick- im not suggesting we look past Derry- just awful disappointed i cant make it,
    here trying to pacify myself with’ i will definitely make the next one’
    IF as you say we can get the win saturday week !

  6. We have seen Derry lose by 11 points to Tyrone. We have seen Meath lose by 9 points to Kildare. We have seen Donegal lose by 9 points to Tyrone. We have seen Cork scrape by Waterford and Tipp by one point. So arguably the stronger teams are now in the other section that we will not be meeting any time soon. Teams like Tyrone, Dublin, Monaghan, Kildare and Cavan.

    For us we lost by one point away from home to a team improving all of the time, Galway. We also had 14 players for a lot of the game. If our heads are right, then it is all still there for us.

    We seen in 2013/2014 and 2015 we pretty much ran out of legs and players at the end of the big games. It seems that under Rochford we are aiming to be still in games in the last 10 minutes and to push on then. We have seen this in all of our championship matches bar the Galway game last year.

    Against Galway this year, it seemed to be one of those days for us, where nothing went right. We can say what we want about Rochford’s tactical changes but if we had taken our chances in Salthill and against Dublin in last year’s replay, we would have at least drawn those games. Even though at times our football does not look that pretty.

    Its still all to play for, roll on the Derry game!

  7. What about giving Jason Doherty a shot at corner forward? He started his career there, and is not a bad finisher with a decent eye for goal. He somehow morphed into a non scoring defensive half forward over the last few years but I see he scored well for Burrishoole at the weekend. At least he has a bit of pace and power. Id like to see him stationed inside with cillian and Andy in an old fashioned 3 man ff line. Not like the last day when cillian was getting ball on his own with minimal support and almost everyone else out the field. What do people think??

  8. Thanks Mayo.Mick. Very important to have these dates; you have to plan ahead. No point in letting your diary be claimed by other demands on the basis that we might not get through. Block it out in the first instance!

  9. In relation to our forwards and the way we play. Are we confined to trying to limit oppostion opportunintes and keeping the score conceded to a minimum or can we change or style of play and get more out of our forwards.

  10. @catcol good article and good to see Jason Doherty and Harrisson hitting form
    Have we quality forwards and the system not getting best out of them

  11. Interesting that the Mayo News article referred to Parsons being second best to Scott of Westport in midfield. We do need an athletic young midfielder coming through and young Scott sounds like an option.

  12. An attendance of 1,067 at the Waterford v Derry game according to that report. Its a bit of a hike alright from Derry and you wouldn’t want to walk it, but jaysus its fierce small. I suppose Waterford people had other things on their mind, like going to the hurling to watch themselves lose to Cork.
    Mayo getting home draws last year and so far this year is good for the money men somewhere.

  13. Yes indeed Macs left boot I recall JD then as one who fitted well into an attacking line but then went on to be assigned a Jack of all trades role covering up here there and everywhere.Then.. the big issue with the team was its vulnerability around the goal…. too many goals scored against us. Then came the famous sweeping defence and players dropping back and evolution into a kicking team. And this is where we re at now…trying Trying and trying to get a balance between defence cover and strength in scoring dept….and with the same tried and tested bunch who absolutely know where the Cup sits on All Ireland day.The desired process is proving a little difficult to negotiate but the qualifiers will prove to be timely in this search.
    I think most agree that this is our last chance before rebuilding will start for the future …in the meantime I’m happy enough to be guided by those who are in an informed position as to form and state of players condition.The new generation will be in soon enough …maturity is a funny thing. Didn’t notice many of the Cork u-21 in either ..2…. Kelleher and Powter and were fairly anon.. We be done well with our intros really.
    It seems there’s a cycle that teams go through and we re at the end of such a cycle. The next phase is to be looked forward to and the passing one to be a acknowledged for what it certainly was and move on.That is life.

  14. @inbetweener the tough reality as you describe above. But surely it is time to lookat the system we employ and adjust the system in accordance with the strength of the opposition.
    And if we play against Derry, imo, where we give every forward, bar one of the corner forwards, to sweep back and plug the defence, we will allow Derry to take the game to us. I feel we have a decent forward bunch, capable of scoring fairly freely, but are caught up in defensive duties. Bye the time they get back up front, they are faced with the blanket. I am hoping we go at Derry, we are All Ireland finalists.
    One thing for sure we need to tidy up our act re needless fouling. Our two midfielders gave away at least six “needless” frees against Galway, in scorable positions and all six converted to points

  15. Sorry Jennifer K, I wasn’t having a go at you. I didn’t want anyone thinking I’m taking Derry for granted! There’s a bit of shuffling to be done with the calendar, possible 4 games in five weeks.

  16. Hi Jim Flag,
    I was having the same thought myself since yesterday morning ,but decided not to comment until after the Derry game,
    If we were to win and get another home draw, two years in a row, well our luck would certainly have taken a turn for the better.
    There’s no conspiracy here, sure we only get 10/12 thousand at a league match .
    Ah now look what you made me do.

  17. Just been on gaa.tickets.ie. There are no stand tickets available on the site. Does anyone know if they will they become abailable on that site.
    As regards Mayo’s chances this year, I reckon we are in a better place than last year …. especially if we get AOS fully fit.
    Just look at our subs the last day. Unbelievable talent. The squad is really strong.
    This Derry match is exactly what is needed to get the team firing on all cylinders and at championship I intensity
    Also since we lost to Galway the press and lundits have forgotten we exist. Brilliant.

  18. My God,OnTheDitch, the last time we played orthodox football we were annihilated lets stick to a game plan, not concideing silly goals no 1 on the list and that means men behind the ball, remember Dublin a couple of years ago

  19. @Norris, we are not playing Dublin next, we are playing a weak Derry team. Is it 1/5 we are with the bookies. Tactics should be tailored around the srtrength of the opposition. It is an excellent opportunity to restore confidence in our forward line and get much needed positive momentum going about our season.

  20. Just looked back at the Galway game. Brilliant in the first half. Asleep for first 10 minutes of the second which allowed Galway to punish us. Seamie should have been taken off 7 minutes earlier.

    We did well mostly and don’t forget we subbed dead leg Seamie with half fit Aido. But, the last 6 or 7 minutes were very bad. Cillian’s point effort poor, but no running into spaces to take a quick pass. We really labour in these situations – no heads up stuff at all. Yet Galway had only one point in the last 25 minutes or so.

    On Boyler, management may have been right. He has a tendency to (a) get yellows consistently, and (b) foul needlessly. It’s as if he thinks he’s playing the ball or the man properly and failing; he looks frustrated constantly. This is something that needs to be addressed in training and Boyler is not the only one.

  21. Derry of all the Northern teams have the potential to play the worst kind of cac blanket so to push up man on man would be a bit risky. Remember the 8-4 Dublin league victory over them, could easily have ended 4-4. Dublin just managed a squeeze on them near the end and they had to chase the result a bit. Getting in front as early as possible is the best way to undo the blanket so bit of patience needed.
    I think personnel wise we have plenty to beat them but hopefully fans remain patient if it takes time.
    Good point by Catcol on Boyler. Can only remember 1 free late on against Coen ironically working 2 on 2 with Boyler and it was possibly not a free a at all, the lads just competed hard for an aerial ball. That said Boyler was a real leader v Galway 2016 on a day when we hadn’t as many as usual.

  22. If you think back to our opening league game against Monaghan, we found ourselves in the same situation that we did against Galway, trying to work an equaliser late in the game. Monaghan were down to 14 men as well. It was Fergal Boland that had a pot shot that evening, which went wide. So it shows that it’s something that has been a failing for us since the start of the year and probably down through the years also.

    We worked the equaliser against the Dubs really well in last year’s drawn final, so getting the ball to the main shooters like Cillian O’Connor or Andy Moran is the best course of action in those situations. Kevin McLoughlin kicked a great point for us to get the win against Tyrone in the league this year as well. So we’d probably be better off to maybe give some of the young lads a go from the start but make sure to have Cillian, Andy and Kevin on hand late in the game to get the vital scores when needed.

  23. Think we need to stick with what we’ve being doing we weren’t to far off year last year.
    No goals conceded yet this year and played most of the 2nd game with 14 men and some not up to match fitness.
    Thought one of the biggest mistakes last year was to leave Boyle on when Costello came in,Boyle had ran himself into the ground and couldn’t keep with his man.Barrett came in when the damage of 3 points was done and Costello didn’t get a sniff.
    There should be a back up player for every position game ready in case we get to the business end.
    A lot have said this team is finished,I believe getting the right balance of youth and experience we are far from finished.
    If some of our big names aren’t 100% right by all means leave them on the bench.
    On the Derry game we should win this if all are fully focused home game a big plus.
    Was watching the Tyrone game and thought Donegal showed them far to much respect which was seen on the score board.
    One more point I think a lot more went wrong on the pitch than on the sideline the last day should never have lost that game no matter who was are wasn’t playing.
    Time to move on
    Game 3.

  24. seen the link you put re game V Derry in 2007, some increase in the number of users now Willie Joe

    a testament to the work you have done with the site – a credit to you Willie Joe

    users from every corner of the world

  25. There’s been a bit of growth since then, for sure, Morag! The day after that Derry game in 2007 there were 373 page views on the site (which was by far the highest number recorded on any day that year), whereas the day after the Galway game this year there were 21,880.

  26. We need to concentrate on the midfield, as this position is letting us down. Look at the Galway game , 1st 10 minutes of 1st & 2nd half and we were destroyed by a mediocre midfield.

  27. In fairness Galways midfield is decent. They are not top footballers skillwise, but they have good hands and they both bring 6’5″ and a lot of size/strength to the table. They are decent enough to catch the ball and move the ball on.
    I think the thing to have nowadays is to have a lot of footballers behind the ball. Teams tend to retreat so you get offered up space around the middle when you have the ball. This is when you need someone who can blaze over a 50 yard effort or make a nice kick pass to open up the defence or make a good run to the outside and shoot from the outside. It’s why I think Mattie Donnelly is a very good midfielder. Tyrone get a lot of opportunities to put him on the ball in space. He is perfectly comfortable running towards a one v one as he is so two footed. He is able to make things happen basically rather than just make the obvious handpass back inside.

  28. The team is not finished. It’s a overly negative defeatist attitude. Every team needs freshening up. We had the likes of Kirby, Harrison, durcan & COS who are about 22 come in recently, younger again are boland, Coen and diarmuid who started against galway. And from the next crop I can see ruane, Irwin, reape, loftus and possibly Akram making an impact every year. Possible Andy & Dillon to go next year but the 2006 u21 all Irelands will be around 30 so still have time left. Having experience around the camp is vital, Kerry were at pains to hold onto the likes of gooch and mark ose, Tyrone with the cavanaghs. Cian O’Neil stayed during the week the importance of holding onto the older guys in the squad even tho they were on the bench. What’s coming after last years U21’s needs to be addressed but it’s good to see Liam Horan doing his review. I’ve said before that I’m more worried about our midfield than our forward unit. I are losing too many midfield battles. I would play aido at 11 and use him as a 3rd midfielder. Clarkes kickouts are a problem in that the introduction of the mark has added an extra weapon to some teams arsenals, see Tyrone/Monaghan. Clarke being an older goalkeeper didn’t grow up kicking the ball the way modern keepers do, most of career was spent kicking the ball as far as possible. It’s unlikely now, in his 30’s that he’ll be able to change his style. I’m not in favour of dropping him but we need a plan for our kickouts. Would it be so unwise to get one of the outfield players to kick it out?

  29. We are not getting the best out of a lot of our guys. Diarmuid O Connor is not firing in the hf line. I would like to see Rochford try him inside. Even just for a spell during a game. Great eye for a goal and can win a ball over his head.

    Keegan back to the wing, durcan on the other driving forward with a full time sweeper deployed to cover them (Maybe Stevie Coen and play McLoughlin as an orthodox half forward)I would put Boyle back in at 6. Coen for me is his successor long term at 6 but we need Boyler for these games in the quals.

    We struggle with the northern blanket defense style. This will be a tight tussle and we need to get behind the lads from the stands on Saturday week

  30. Diarmuid O’Connor has been out of form for quite a while now, to be quite honest, since that Kildare game last year.

  31. Diarmaid is still putting in a high workrate and it’s difficult to score when putting in that ammount of work. A few spells during games inside might be a smart tactic but we lose his no. 1 attribute which is stamina. He did kick a very nice point v Galway. Modern game needs high workrate half forwards and since Dooher only Ryan McHugh has consistently been both a runner/worker and a shooter. In absence of Keith I would try Diarmaid as sweeper.

  32. Ballintubber who would know Diarmuid best have deployed him recently as a wing back. The reports were that it was pretty successful. I thought he had his best game this year against Roscommon in the league at midfield.
    If you were getting Diarmuid on the ball heading upfield 16 or 17 times a game I think it would be a positive.
    Turning back towards his own goal I just see him wearing himself down.
    He has the build and handling of a centre back. He has been back around that sweeping position before in open play. He almost never loses the ball when in posession. I think a conscious decision to cut down his workrate and just get him in an effective position for all or to finish the game would be positive.

  33. @ NiallMc1983, how could you get an outfield player to take kick outs

    clarkes are not that bad, we need to rember he is an All star, was our best player in the league and we were down a Man for short kick outs and bet sick in midfield v Galway

    Any word on AOS , seen in the Mayo news piece it looked like he was carrying an injury for breaffy

  34. Don’t think that’s quite fair to suggest that Diarmuid is out of form since Kildare last year! What happens when a player has a run of very good games in a row, is that the next opposition will do an awful lot of homework in curtailing his performance the next day out. That should give someone else a little more time and space and if we to excel at the highest level, that’s what Mayo too have to do… Eg, in the lead up to the All Ireland final, Dublin’s Kevin McManamon was probably the best forward in Ireland, In fact he was the favourite to land the player of the year after Dublin’s win over Kerry in the Semi last year. Mayo seen this and done their homework, a combination of zonal, personal and a sweeper, put Kevin McManamon out of the game. His direct Marker Paddy Durcan done a magnificent job, and instead of Kevin McManamon winning PotY, he didn’t win an All Star, and Paddy Durcan won the player of the month for September last year, having kept McManamon scoreless in both match’s and scored 3 points himself over the two day’s, with Kevin being substituted in both match’s.. It was Dublin’s bench that got them over the line,….. Mayo were not able to keep the Dublin subs quite.. I think that’s one of the area’s where we fell down last year in a game of very tight margin’s,…. In hindsight it seems the concensus is that Rochford made a mistake in not starting Colm Boyle against Galway,… I would go along with that concensus… Getting the balance right, in who to start? , and who to finish with? is where the challenge lies now for our management,. It’s a interesting challenge, and not only will Stephen and Co, not be able to satisfy all his troops, he won’t find it easy to satisfy the Mayo support when we see the starting line up either… But if and when, hopefully we win the next match, the water’s will seen a little less choppy than just now.. For Diarmuid to prosper like we know he can, other forward’s have also to step up…. If we were to see a fully fit AOS? taking to the field, the attention he receives would give Diarmuid much more chance to hurt the opposition with his searing runs…

  35. Diarmuid got a terrible kick from Bolton last year just after scoring his goal. Not the same player since. Bolton should have seen red.

  36. I don’t expect the belt from Bolton is still lingering. Players pick up injuries all the time and from recollection he missed some league games with a hamstring. Training that time of year is extremely useful in building up stamina. Great to have him in our panel. He is a big help to Mayo’s chances.

  37. The other thing is that the game moves on in terms of athleticism slightly each year. So Diarmuids pace in 2015 was very effective, but teams are now that 1-2% more mobile so simply being a pacey runner doesn’t bring the same change it used to for a player.

  38. I was at the Westport/Charlestown game, as a neutral, on Sat. evening and, like everyone I spoke to, felt Parsons was far more influential than Scott. Scott scored to excellent points from play and one from a free but Parson’s mobility and distribution as far more valuable. I read the Mayo News report and all I can say is, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  39. JP I think fitness has more or less peaked given amateur status. A few players like Andy can eek a fee % more by changing jobs. What I would say about Diarmaid is quality of opposition e.g.
    Galway have improved, even Sligo’s S&C we could through them around like rag dolls a few years ago, the pack is closing in on the top tier.
    Also a few great performances by a player can raise expectations to unrealistic heights. Ryan McHugh e.g. has been absolutely brilliant in last 2 league campaigns but doesn’t find it as simple come championship.
    The other thing which is changing is the level of tactics. E.g. Galway designed a system to stop Mayo’s running game and it worked reasonably well. Mayo copped this early enough and changed their style well enough too. Last year Galway were happy to let Mayo kick out to Kevin Keane as the knew he wouldn’t cross the half way line. Teams know if they let Mayo play their running game Mayo can hurt them badly. Another reason for Rochford developing the kicking game.

  40. @ Morag, is there a rule that an outfield player can’t take a kick out cos there wasn’t when I played. No his kickouts arnt that bad and I’m not casting any doubt that he’s our no.1 keeper but his kick outs can be got. A keeper with an accurate bullet like kickout can be a massive attack platform. If teams push up, and lots do now, an accurate kick to a half forward has you immediately in behind the oppositions defence. Dublin, Tyrone and Monaghan have keepers that can do this and it’s a huge asset to have. In 5 years time I would say that the majority of the intercounty keepers in the country will be able to do this because it’s part of their training from a young age. Especially now that the mark is in.

  41. Agreed NiallMc1983, although Hennelly didn’t have a good day at the office in the all Ireland replay his long kick out set up the attaching platform for Keegans goal which was in the net within 10-15 seconds the ball left the keepers foot. I feel we will be under serious pressure this year on kick outs as Clarkes limitations here are exploited, we need to have a plan B

  42. Our kicking game HAS improved. And was very good in first half at Hurricane Salthill. Just need End product to be better.

  43. I actually thought David Clarkes kickouts had a lower trajectory than usual against Galway.
    The kicking tee appeared lower.

  44. I agree with Niall Mc re kickouts. Thought the Tyrone goalkeeper outstanding in variations of his kickouts.
    Clarke did well v sligo good drives to the middle of park and beyond, but had a bad spell start of second half at salthill with wind at his back. Reverted to floaty type ki kout way more suitable for defender coming forward. Galway build up almost unassailable lead in that period, then they had the long stretch where they failed to score

  45. I wonder if the stats gurus have anything regarding low trajectory kickouts vs ones that hang a bit. In any event it’s obvious that hang in the air gives defenders more time to challenge. Joe Schmiddt has Conor Murray trained to a fine art in hang time in Rugby kicking where the kick needs a certain time in the air over a set number of meters.
    I think Clarke has been improving his kicks but just not as natural a kicker as the top 3 or 4 exponents. But practice makes perfect. Cluxton most have gotten that good by a real streak of obsessiveness.

  46. Clarke probably came up in more traditional game when a floater to the midfielders was acceptable as it was only contested by midfielders. Modern game you have attacking defenders ready to devour anything that hangs.
    I wouldnt dream of changing clarke as goalkeeper and I think his long kickouts had improved up to the Galway game. A temporary blip. He has a colleague in Hennely who could work with him on the technique of driving through the ball rather than under the ball.
    Are there any regulations re the “tee” that you can use to support the ball

  47. On the ditch, I agree Clarke has improved his kick outs. He must have worked very hard at them at them and fair play to him. But he will never be able to consistently drive the ball 40/50 yards into the chest of a half forward. I played goal keeper and all the way up I was told kick the ball as far and high as possible. The midfielders were always the tallest on the pitch so even against better teams there was still a 50/50 chance of retaining possession. No doubt Clarke was told the same. It must be very difficult for him now in his 30’s to change his kicking style to something which takes years to perfect.

    What’s the opinion on Rory Byrnes kick outs? I know Mattie Flanagan is well able to drive the ball but he’s a few years away yet.

  48. There are 2 players that should not be moved from their positions, namely Keegan and Durcan, they are very comfortable raiding up the field. Coen or Boyle should man the CHB position. We should be giving
    Connor Loftus more game time particularly against weaker teams, and persist with Boland. Leave Andie for the last 20 mins or so to get us over the line. Kevin McLoughlin is a half forward. Jason Doherty is a corner forward, I feel that Mgt. is messing too much with the players.
    I was just wondering what Tony McEntee is adding to the set up ? He publicly stated at one stage that he would love to get involved with a team like Mayo, well he is there now and I don’t see anything out of the ordinary taking place.
    I feel that the Mgt. are coaching any talents that the players have out of them.
    I also feel that Kieran McDonald should be drafted in to coach the forwards, and let them use their natural talents, and not having them play like robots. Aiden O Shea is a CHF, and also assist at CF
    One last request no more dummy selections, it’s not fair to the players or supporters.

  49. What coaching experience has KMc D got? i think McEntee showed his worth with our defensive set up in last years final.

  50. JP, Jack Reilly as excellent. I think he has hat it takes. well worth looking at for FBD in January.

  51. I have a wedding too on Jul 1 but at this stage I am married to Mayo football so It’s the match for me herself can wear Karen Millen to the match if she wants sure it might be sunny she can wear a hat as well or a headpiece as Gerry Mc Ching Ching Mc Guire would say

  52. Its only now we will start to have 2-3 collective sessions a week. That will make a big difference.

  53. The Doghouse Jenifer? To hell with these new postcodes the Doghouse is where I live when Mayo matches are on lol

  54. Lol lol backdoor sam , I don’t normally wish misfortune on others , but I hope you have a long summer in the doghouse 🙂

  55. Clarke by far the best shotstopper we have and I hope he can master the kickout to acceptable level and I agree there is evidence that he is working hard at it.
    A lot of what Philor says makes common sense. I might argue a little re Boland. A player with a great future, but im not sure how much he can give to us this year. Doing the basics well, can score a nice point, can he defend and turnover, has he the confidence to take on a defender, he is very much a work in progress and a big game against Derry would advance his claims.
    I too would be delighted to see C McD involved at some level. I would say he has no coaching experience but then would you say no to colm cooper because he has no coaching experience.
    Flair creativity and natural talent needs to be encouraged, and I fear that coaching can put too much emphasis on safe options.

  56. BTW all keepers will make a few boo boos in any game. Cluxton has made them aplenty.

    However, it’s not all down to Clarkey. I noticed in Salthill that Seamie in particular, and Tom Parsons, ran towards the Galway goal with their backs to Clarkey when kicks out were being taken. There’s very little ‘heads up’ stuff going on. Nobody making runs to create options when Cillian is taking long range frees, or putting themselves about near goal when the ball spills or hits a post..

  57. Catcol I think the 1st half of yer post is on track but can’t agree with later comments. Keegan and Durcan back to the wings I would tend to agree but depends how opposition set up. If they block the wings then we go down the middle.
    Loftus and Boland getting starts and holding Andy in reserve, there’s a good case for Derry game but if we win Higgins returns and we have to fit him in as he’s too good a footballer to leave off. Then..
    Doherty a CF, disagree as he doesn’t have an inside forward’s pace. Good score taker when played there but playing him is at Loftus expense. He’s our 2nd best breaking ball winner so out around half forwards is his best position as he also like COS, Diarmaid and Kevin Mc he usually does a dog load of work trying to stop opposition.
    Kevin Mc yes agree half forward is his best position but we need a sweeper (without Higgins could be Mc) and I sense he is also excellent inside in FF line from the few spells in games he’s played in there. Problem is he’s too good in too many positions.
    Pigeon holing AOS as CHF, no he’s a horses for courses player. Like Murphy if needed in midfield play him there, if we need a big target man play him there. CHF probably his best position but don’t pigeon hole.

  58. If Kevin Mc L is to be our main sweeper then I would have him in half forward line. AOS most likely to be a long way from full fitness, I would start him at cf and give him free role. Took him too long to get into game v galway when introduced as sub. For Derry match I would keep strong ff line Docherty, a good goalscorer, and kirby in corners. DOC well fit to step into the third midfielder role. We need to take this game to derry, not give them time to organise their defensive blanket

  59. … and Catcol asking what McEntee is bringing to the party is ridiculous. Firstly he trains the Dublin based lads. Secondly he takes no shite from the players, reputation means nothing cause he has an AI in his back pocket. We should be glad to have the likes of him in the management team. And he’s active on the sideline with Rochford often viewing from the stand.

    As for Ciaran Mc coaching the forwards, no. He was a very talented player and probably worked on his shooting more than most but on the pitch it was more instinctive and he didn’t defend much even when playing with half forwards jersey. Our best year forwards wise was 2012. Varley and Conroy could shoot from serious angles that year and Andy was unmarkable until injury. Cian O Neil who now manages Kildare also had players well coached with using outside of the boot so all counties better beware of Kildare. I think it’s a bit late in the season for adding a forwards coach. Anyhow our problem isn’t really poiwshooting it’s getting ball to stick inside. The Galway game showed good progress in this regard. Even when outnumbered in 2nd half Cillian was getting out in front of 2 defenders. In 1st half they couldn’t mark Andy but in both halves we saw good kick passing to the inside men. Our wide count was low enough with a very tricky wind. If we did look for a forwards coach 2 of the players Andy and Alan Dillon are probably the obvious candidates but that will be after they stop playing. The only one I would bring in now for a few sessions if management see any need would be James Horan. They probably don’t and it more likely could be a distraction. I trust the management is making progress.

  60. shufflydeck, thats exactly why we need a forwards coach. No movement up front when we really need it. look the last day, no decent movement when we really needed a score. It is and still is our main issue why we arent defending SAM. Take Cillian out of the team, where is mayos james o donoghue, comer. How many times have we seem a mayo man win his own ball and run and beat his man before finishing in the onion bag.

  61. Could be a 2nd summer in the doghouse for me. With any bit of luck! Sometimes I think Mayo will be the cause of my divorce. Now Wexford hurlers seem to be taking off so could be real fireworks over the next month or two in this house.
    I’m glad to see it’s not as gloomy on here. Rewatched the match last week and been happier since.

  62. No game scheduled on Sky Sports this weekend afaik.
    Game on Saturday evening on RTE will be Down v Monaghan in Ulster semi-final. Throw in 7 pm.

  63. Think rte and sky both are showing games that Saturday. Sky has first pick, don’t think they have said yet what there showing. There probably waiting tilll after hurling draw on Monday.

  64. Catcol …you have it right on David Clarke as regards targets for kickouts. We not only show failings up front but also at kick out time and you can see it in the goalies demeanour and more so in recent games imo. Is it the goalies fault if the ball isn’t presented with 100% precision all the time…I don’t think so. Defending proper involves making sure that first ball is despatched and received with the utmost aplomb by all concerned…. Let there be no ‘wait for me I’m not ready…!!! ‘ Clarke is always ready.
    As regards a forwards coach I rem one time asking a former great co player would he be interested in be part of the training set up at the time …a bad time…! and he said ‘…arrah what coaching do they want..fellas know themselves what to do….we did’ You would think that this should be the case esp at inter county level where we are dealing with the cream of the crop so to speak! I think that what it comes down to is lack of speed in thought and action. Game is like lightening now and you have no time for scratching your head before you react….ref DOC getting that rattle from the big fella and Pasrons too daydreaming a few times and SOS fumbling that good ball from Clarke etc etc…..wake up boys the game is on! And this is even more pertinent up around the front where there’s a v specific job to be done!! How often is someone isolated with no where to go…?cos someone didn’t move when they should or else the ball is in the wrong hands at that v moment! Ref Regans two shots, …..the building process / system is just not right. Fellas are too often lookin to give the ball and are not often enough lookin for it. I know it’s easy to talk about it but I’d imagine any forwards coach would have to spend a lot of time talking about…!! And surely anyway, should fellas not know themselves??

  65. Another issue with our forwards is there is no one comfortable kicking off both feet. This is a serious limitation in packed defences.

  66. Re forwards getting isolated because they have no one making runs for them. That is because our ff line is back sweeping and not in position
    To make a run or receive a pass. Players are rarely unable to make a pass back. Thats the system we play. We do need to take the game to Derry for periods at least, or we will fall into their trap of blanket defence and be limited to possesion passes going nowhere.
    Thats why we need a forwards coach. To have forwards playing with offensive role.
    Very worrying that we have no two footed forwards as pointed out by robinbanks and also Brolly

  67. Two things struck me over the last few days.
    1. I think some of you have very flexible working arrangements that basically involves monitoring this blog 24/7
    2. Did we ever get the definitive meaning of the white feather?

  68. Now I know who you are…on the ditch!
    The reason why people get isolated is because the transfer to isolation should not have been made…..and never should be made. Kirby was spot on with his
    choice of shot to Cillian last day…it was on and he saw it and likewise Andys low cross to Cillian …Otherwise you play it around until something else is on . You know well yourself …..you were a better footballer than I.

  69. @inbetweener I think you need variety in attacking options and our improved kick passing is giving us the option of moving the ball forward faster. But to benefit you need target options in front of the player in possession.
    The slow build up of endless passing became a bit of a hallmark in the league and I think we need to start mixing it more. Remember the closing stages v Galway? Only two half chances created. I would be opting for a strong ff line v Derry Kirby AOS and Doherty would be my choice

  70. Castlebar div 1 under 16 league champs. Winning by point v Knockmore with late goal that think came off post and crossbar. Knockmore man down for about 15 (2 yellows). Well and fairly contested if not extremely low scoring game in very tough conditions. Well played both teams. Some nice running football in wet and windy weather.
    Calls from Mitchells line to take him out of it if you have left a little to be desired though when knockmore man running through.

  71. take him out of it!? In my view carries quite strong connotations of the hatchet nature. Maybe nothing wrong with it. But combined with way was shouted to the 15 year olds involved wouldn’t be my thing. Encouraging to tackle or yrackback etc even pull him down carries same message without the vindictiveness.

  72. Jr I’d agree. Just out ear shot of the kids 😉
    Was a good clean game. And could have went either way. Some real silky players on Mitchells side while knockmore as is typical of them worked like dogs and a tight unit. Both teams should be proud.
    This group used be dominated by Mitchells and westport. Knockmore losing by 20+ last year under 15 and possibly more before. Lost by 3 points to Mitchells in league round and 1 today and beat westport so great progress so credit to management.
    Both clubs meet again tomorrow in minor semi.

  73. If “take him out of it” is the correct message to be giving a 13/14 year old child, then I truly despair.

  74. Shufflydeck, don’t think I queried MCEnntees role.

    Have a great regard for him, we are lucky to have him. So much so that we are not talking as much as we were about defensive problems.

  75. On two footed shooters we actually have a few. Kevin Mc, Cillian, Andy, Keegan, unfortunately Freeman departed and I’d guess Loftus may have that skill too. Andy goes left when forced and usually scores. Cillian has scored a few goals with left. In the last year he seems to come close with left while missing a good percentage of them e.g. the 1-1 he spurned off left v Galway. Keegan seems comfortable with shooting off his left.

  76. Gizmobobs i am out of Castlebar for nearly 40 years now but the town teams were always regarded as soft. It is great to see Knockmore produce good underage teams as well as their fine senior team. I agree language on the sideline should be tempered.

  77. Anyone know the latest on Aidan O’Sheas groin injury, heard someone say he aggravated it again last Saturday in club championship against Hollymount/Carramore and was not moving that well during the match.

  78. I’m not sure if he aggravated it in the game, TH, but the reports did say he wasn’t moving well on the day. It’s fairly clear that the injury is continuing to hamper him and that he’s some way from being anything close to 100% match fit.

  79. Which is a big worry Willie Joe.

    It’s a double whammy. The team is missing his physical presence, and when he replaces someone, because he’s only operating at 50% capacity, (if that), we’re not really getting like for like.

  80. Our defensive strategy seems to employ our forwards sweeping back and doubling up our defence. Puts a fair workload on our forwards and accounts for our slow build up if we are to retain possession. I think our ff line should be relieved of defensive duties for match v Derry so that we can mix fast moving kick passing with more deliberate moves.
    Before we get too carried away with our defence, how many games in the league was Clarke our man of the match? More work to do but I do think McEntee doing a very good job. 4 all stars from our defence last year and Durcan so close.
    News about AOS not good.

  81. If AOS is carrying a persistent injury, then why is he playing matches for club and coming on in big games for county? How can the injury fully clear up if he’s still out playing?

  82. Your welcome Jennifer, I actually meant to post it earlier in the week as I seen that a few people had been wondering about an update on the injuries list.

  83. so it seems AOS is our only injury worry- bit crazy pushing him when it is clear he isn’t anywhere near fully fit
    plus carrying a niggle/ knock, the mind boggles as to the mentality behind that!

  84. That’s very bad news about Aidan O Shea if it’s accurate. A groin injury is one of the most frustrating injuries a top athlete can get, it needs to be looked at in the long term and he should not be playing for either club or county if he is suffering from this injury.

    O Shea is an absolute necessity for Mayo if they get to Croker so he simply has to be rested for the next month and if it hasn’t healed fully then he should not be risked as this injury could have serious implications for him for 2018 and beyond if it’s not properly and professionally dealt with. I am hoping that it may be a lesser injury seeing as he has been put on by Rochford who is surely being advised by the teams medical staff. Good luck against Derry and I hope ye have an injury free victory.

  85. I’d be surprised if our med team allowed his to play if it was detrimental. We may get through the qualifiers without the big man if the draw is kind. However I would doubt we’d go any further. Gamechanger is right. A 100% fit Aidan O’Shea is essential to this team.

  86. Aidan should be rested now for the 3 upcoming qualifier games and hopefully he will be back fit for the potential quarter final against Kerry on the 29th of July where we will need him.

  87. One extra motivation for us going into this game is that if we lose, then Keith Higgin’s last championship game this year would have been the Galway game, which he got sent off in. So the mantra should be, win this one for Keith, so that he will be back for the next game.

  88. My starting 15 assuming Keegan & Caff passed fit to play:

    Clarke
    Harrison
    Caff
    O’Donoghue
    Keegan
    Boyle
    Durcan
    SOS
    Parsons
    McLoughlin
    Kirby
    D’OC
    Loftus
    Doherty
    C’OC

  89. I think Rochford used AoS hoping to get over Galway & rest him until the QFS. Breaffy then rightly used him in their championship game. bar we meet Donegal we will not need him before the QFs.

  90. Would agree with most of that @45 but Barrett would definitely start ahead of O’Donoghue imo. Don’t think Boland deserves to be dropped either but we do need to try something new in the forwards.

  91. Would stay with Barrett and go with Kirby ff and Cillian centre half. I think Loftus worth a try ahead of Boland, if only to give him championship football. We def need a change in our system, imo, where we take the game to Derry. We should not allow them to dominate the type of game it is wherby they get time to organise blanket defence.
    I dont think AOS should have started for club if carrying injury. Makes no sense to me, risking to aggrivate injury further

  92. Now is the time to be trying out all the young lads. When are they going to get a better chance again?
    Next years FBD? Face it – if you cant beat a poor struggling Derry side (at home) you might as well all pack it in and head off for the Summer early.

  93. If AOS is injured, or not fit enough because injury has impeded his training? , I think that he should be rested until he is fit, and that’s assuming that Mayo can win without him… I’m worried too about SOS, he was not able to contest the second throw in for the start of the second half in Salthill,.. and was withdrawn shortly afterwards, he took a very heavy hit in the first half Vs Galway. That might leave us with just Tom Parsons as a regular midfielder for the match V Derry,.. As Barry Moran wasn’t able to play any part for Castlebar last weekend, and Jason Gibbons is not currently on the panel, Donal Vaughan or Danny Kirby might be getting a midfield berth with Tom Parsons. Hope Parson’s stays fully fit, we are a little thin on the ground, just at this particular moment in the midfield department!

  94. Couldn’t argue with you there Wide Ball. Barrett is top class – my only thoughts there were to leave some experience on the bench for 2nd half and give youth an opportunity to cut some championship experience. It would be to the detriment of the team in the medium term not to give these young lads a taste of championship football this summer. Without a transition plan, we could be heading for a crash landing when our many thirty something players eventually decide to hang up their boots.

  95. I take your point 45 but I think Boland’s continuing presence in our half forward line is a big part of that transition plan. With boland and DOC that’s two 21 year olds in our half forward line. The only change I would make would be to bring loftus into the full forward line in place of Andy with Andy to come on in the second. Cillian is showing well in the full forward line and I would not move him from there.

  96. The time for trying new players was in the league. There will be only enforced changes to lineup now for the rest of the year. Talk of Loftus and Kirby starting. If they weren’t starting in the league how would they be starting now

  97. So its a 5pm start now and not 7pm. Plenty of time for the high stool after the game to be either toasting a great victory or reflecting sadly on the end of a golden era.

    Hope every man and woman lucky enough to be living in Mayo and who can attend, can be in Mchale Park next Saturday.

    Hope the big 60 x 30 foot green and red flag will be doing the rounds behind a packed bacon factory end goal. (What happened it in Pearse stadium?).

    Hope somebody can get a message to whoever our 2 players are for the throw in, that the same 2 players are actually allowed to contest the throw in at the start of each half. Not stand back and watch the oppositon put 0-2 on the board before a Mayo player (except Clarke) has even touched the ball. That alone cost us the game in Salthill. I cant remember the last time Mayo won “the throw in”.

    Hope to see Loftus and Kirby start, but not a chance in hell of that.

  98. Good point there Jim Flag. Opponents have spotted this and are targeting us from the start. And it also puts down a marker that we can be bullied.

  99. Agree with Leantimes we are looking a bit tight with fit midfielders if Barry Moran and Aidan are injured maybe management might be looking to draft in Jason Gibbons or Mathew Ruane if Barry has achiles problem that does nit clear up fast….If anything happend to Parsons or Seamie who is not 100 % we could do replacements in that area….Vaughan and Kirby can do a job around the middle but they wouldnt win you the big games there as that is not their best positions….

  100. Castlebar with 2-13 0-7 win over Crossmolina. Knockmore beat Charlestown 5-13 1-10. Any other club results in.

  101. Hollymount carra 0-11 1-5 Aghamore
    Garrymore 0-13 1-9 claremorris
    Ballina 2-12 2-8 Westport
    Ballintubber 0-11 0-11 Breaffy

  102. Cheers Niall. Results for senior and underage clubs on Mayo site don’t seem get updated much since “upgrade”

  103. Just seen Down are after turning over Monaghan. Do we know is it possible to meet them in the qualifiers or are they on the “other side”. They’d be tricky enough and if I remember right their midfield gave our bucks a bit of a roasting here in the league last February time.

  104. Sincere apologies Martin. Thought senior county players came from Mayo clubs, maybe was mistaken ?
    Hughes were prominent in air early in first half physically imposing. High paced game and very entertaining.
    June 2016
    Monaghan 2-22 Down 0-9
    June 2017
    Down 1-14 Monaghan 0-15
    Twelve months is a long time in gaelic football!

  105. Think the missus told me. Will have to have word with her Mark, clearly leading me astray ?
    Anyone at Ballina game see if Tracey lad was in action? Based on comments here he was excellent last week. Remember him underage few years and he was serious talent. Be interesting see if stays fit how develops.

  106. Seems like we are a bit deleted possibly for next week. Especially at back if injuries don’t clear up. Midfield strenght in depth has been a problem for a few years. Hard to see Barry Moran featuring for a while he can’t be match fit.
    Down seemed to have a bit of pace a out their forwards tonight and Tyrone certinally had last week. Pace is something we la k in forwards as well as scoring power. Hard to be hopeful at the moment but that what we thought last year!

  107. Mayo Gaa Blog,
    Mayo Gaa news.
    That’s what I see at the top of my screen.
    I think it’s great to hear from club games, reports highlights up and coming players. Nice to know who to look out for then when your at club games.
    Was in Ballina, Treacy in USA with most of the U21’s and lots of more of college students from all clubs. There was a big exodus this week.

  108. Big splash tonight,,, I would not like to meet the newest team that just fell through the trap door. I’d say Jim Gavin has begun a breed reviewof this years National League stats,,

  109. When things go a little astray ,,, best left alone. Regardless Monaghan will be a difficult test for anyone in the qualifier tank and I would expect them to be just next to favourites to come out bleeding but dangerous. 2017 could be a Championship to remember on several levels.

  110. I still don’t understand why AOS is being sent out to play for club and county if he’s not fit? Something bit adding up.

  111. With a recovering groin injury you could do the same damage training.your limited from long range kicking and sprints.think if he doesn’t get some game time he ‘ll be to stale when ready for a start.
    Aidan had a serious groin injury under horan one year if I can remember right and I think they ruled out surgery.
    I’d agree with the above mid field could be a problem injury’s or black cards,gibbions should be brought back to the panel.

  112. Taken from Kerry Gaa Forum previewing Munster final against Cork. Personally, I think best way to support our Kerry players is to take a cautious and humble approach. As Kerry supporters we should all have the welfare of our players at heart as they try and prepare as professionally as they can for what they will rightly expect to be a testing fixture. Trust me, the last thing any Kerry player will want to hear is their own fans telling them this game is in the bag. More generally, why hype up the opposition with disrespect and pile unnecessary pressure on our players? I was in Tralee last weekend Kerry supporters dismissed talk of them winning All Ireland this year (cautious approach), no wonder they have 37 Titles. Two Ulster Teams namely Monaghan and Cavan have defeated Mayo this year, Mayo have been warned. Remember Mayo struggled for long parts of the backdoor game against Fermanagh last year until the penalty was awarded. Monaghan were hot favourites last night, see what can happen when the heads are not right.

  113. Amen amen AllnAll midfield has popped up its head as a fairly serious worry! It will be interesting to see how things work out through the upcoming games.
    However, and as well, in the meantime we can be relishing the prospect of increasing signs of some maturing kids on the block….Great to witness the abandon with which Down approached their business last night ….reminded me of the Leitrim joys on their victory over Mayo in ’94. There could well be a few cats knocking around among the pigeons this year and it is like a breath of fresh air! Not good for the Predictions people though …..no no no no and no!

  114. It shows that with Down beating Monaghan, anything can happen. So for us against Derry we need to be 100% tuned in to get the win, right from the start. There are no second chances from here on.

  115. Key to Down winning last night was Full forward Harrison as an excellent target man/distributor as well as scorer. When he went off injured, panic struck Down and 5 point lead quickly dwindled to 1
    Is Kirby the man for us? It would have been nice to have seen a bit more of him in the league but this looks like good opportunity. Without AOS we need someone to step up into the leadership role. It would be great to see our midfielders driving on the rest of team.

  116. Roger Federer with a devastating victory over the young German pretender Zverev in Halle just now. Bets for another Wimbledon??
    How does he do it at 35? Not the best of all time in individual skills they say but way out in front in terms of consistency, temperament, variety in shots and playing to his strengths ….. Funny how the same applies to all games. How do we measure up in those metrics I wonder?

  117. @inbetweener
    Sometimes winning and success can drive you on to a ripe age, a bit harder when you not winning. Nonetheless I would not be writing off Andy or Alan or any of the Mayo panel because of age. Next Sat a momentum builder for the weeks ahead. Lets hope we are taking away lots of positives. I would throw in DOC as third midfielder to boost that department and improve our chances of winning our long kickouts.
    The performance on sat will tell us a lot about the team

  118. Poor Westmeath getting shredded by the “galacticos”. The day is approaching when people will just tune out from this nonsense, it’s not remotely interesting 99% of the time anymore and if Eugene McGee and Martin Thing want something to write about tommorow they have plenty of fodder with the nonsense of 1 team being loaded up with every possible advantage while almost all of the rest wither on the vine.

  119. 31 points.

    When is somebody going to shout “stop”?

    Closer to the edge every year. Pathetic

  120. Well said Dave. To make it more laughable they are boycotting the broadcast media because of their treatment of Dermo, that’ll ensure that the last of the descent is gone from the few questioning what’s happening to our game. Do you think that creature Breheny will write about that, will he fuck, because no one will question the blue juggernaut. The most depressing thing to watch is that’s the new Dublin team that played today, faster and fitter than what came before.

  121. Like your Martin Thing thing Dave. But change in that great organisation comes in very small doses. You even had Ger Canning today stating that the mark had done wonders for the game. That man needs to go in home and not be out so late!

  122. Dublin were good (they were always gearing up towards Aug ) but west meath were unbelievably poor in their defensive game, yet another example of bog standard tackling, a team waiting to get their season over.

  123. It was like watching buffalo stampede over helpless children, the only concern they had was who could get their nose in front of the others to improve their chance in selection prior to the next organised event of slaughter.

    This year I think they will get a little more than the expected stroll in the Leinster final as Kildare will give them plenty to digest. They are a serious team but Lady Luck might not be on their side this year, things have been going a little against them thus far and in the greater balance they will do well to put together three in a row in my opinion,

  124. Why not play Dermot O Connor where he is supposed to be played in the forwards the last day he was so deep it was disheartening we will never win Sam or even a Connacht title at this stage unless we sort out our dismal return from our forwards

  125. The Telegraph reporting on a “secret meeting”. I sincerely hope there’s no more background nonsense going on.

  126. I think you need to just look at who wrote that article in the Telehraph. Trash journalism yet again.

  127. Look… All we need to do against Derry is win . 2/3 points will do .. Will keep us under the radar a bit and hopefully improve and move on .. Don’t see an all Ireland In us but let’s keep getting behind this mighty bunch of lads that have given us so much .. We owe them that much .

  128. Jim Gavin, certainly has a fantastic record as manager of the Dubs, and his team have played so much incredible football this last five or six years, much of it champagne football against Cannon fodder as it was today , but his interviews are incredibly boring, his players are very well trained in being just as boring as regards interviews.. Maybe now with Connolly suspended, one of them might actually say something, so they must be muzzled.. Yesterday in the match between Monaghan and Down the referee had to change after half time, But in Ciaran Whelan so called (analysis????) he could not resist criticism of the standby referee Paddy Nealon of his performance in the second half. Could this have anything to do with Dublin losing the league final? , where Paddy Nealon was the Ref, and in my opinion, done an excellent job… Last September we witnessed the setting out of an agenda by ex Dublin player’s, Dublin based media etc, re Lee Keegan. Personally I think an agenda is already being put in place by Dublin. Dublin won’t win every match by 31 points, in a tight match it would now take a very brave Referee to send off a Dublin player!.

  129. I had to read the telegraph piece a few times. A “Secret” meeting that Rochford knew about.

    Nice to see us getting a mention on the Sunday game from Brolly while analysing Down and Monaghan. Down….they shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence as this Mayo team.

  130. Leantimes, I think you are dead right. This will go Dublin’s way later on.
    I wish we were a bit more like Gavin. We take more abuse than anyone via AOS on a constant basis for a year and a half but especially in past few months and Lee Keegan last year. What do we do?! Pretend it hasn’t happened and give more interviews than ever.
    Anyway as ever enjoying all the posters contributions here and I hope after Saturday that there will be more to come. Hope there is a big crowd.

  131. After watching the Dubs v Westmeath yesterday, hard to see anybody beating them, even though they were playing against fairly poor opposition. It’s still June, maybe they are showing their intentions a bit too early, I see that they are using the Diarmuid Connolly ban as a motovational weapon, ie, not talking to the media and a new excuse that the Sunday Game panel influenced the decision.
    I believe that Mayo are at the same level as Monaghan ( at the moment ), maybe slightly ahead, Mayo need a massive improvement in the next two months, hard to see this especially if some key men are carrying injuries.

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