Game day: just win it

It’s match day once more but, for the first time this year, it’s an all-or-nothing situation for us. Losing in Connacht – for the second year in a row – has also meant we’ve lost our safety net and so, from here on, it’s a case of one slip and we’re gone until 2018.

The do-or-die nature of this evening’s contest inevitably means that it’ll be a tension-filled occasion at MacHale Park. There’ll be edginess on the field and there’s likely to be a bit of nervousness too up in the stands. This will be a championship clash to be endured rather than enjoyed.

As I’ve already said on here this week, I’m extremely nervous – much more than usual – heading into this game. I know we’re strong favourites, that Derry aren’t the force they were a few short years ago and that we should definitely win this. But only if we put in a convincing performance.

We know from last year that the qualifier route can only be handled one step at a time. We know too from twelve months ago how perilous each of those steps can be and how much effort will be required to ensure we make it safely to the next round.

Make no mistake, this evening’s Round 2A clash with Derry is a huge match for this team. It’s not a game we necessarily need to win with a flourish (though cutting a bit of a dash wouldn’t go amiss either) but it’s a game we need to perform solidly in to get the win.

We’ve enough quality and experience in our ranks to make sure this happens. There can, however, be no ifs, buts or maybes about this one – we need to win, end of.

Those of us looking on also have a big part to play this evening. The two home qualifier ties we played last year were great occasions and they gave us real momentum heading to Croke Park. We need to see a big home crowd at MacHale Park later today, we need to see more colour, we need to hear more noise.

The road back to Croke Park for us starts here, it starts now. Let’s do it. Up Mayo!

75 thoughts on “Game day: just win it

  1. Up Mayo!. Can’t make the game today due to a family Wedding, hoping I’ll be able to sneak a peek at it on the telly. If not I’ll have to disappear for a while and hope the 3G or Wifi is strong enough to watch it on my phone….

  2. Good luck to Mayo team and management today. Safe traveling to all supporters and don’t forget to roar your socks off. Up Mayo

  3. Absolutely win but I think ahead of the game we should be positive rather than fearful or let any fear spur us fans on to shout louder and encourage more. Any doom mongers or anyone who thinks we’ll lose, prefer if they stay away. Nothing but positivity, save anything else for post match analysis.
    GAA championship can be great and the knockout part makes it more exciting. I”m abroad with no access to TV. At a social event so will need to sneak away a few times to check in on Midwest.
    Sounds like Derry team coming without fear and relishing the chance with nothing to lose which is exactly how you’d like opposition to be, make a great game of it. I’d love to be there and home game should make it a great occasion. And of course Up Mayo!!!

  4. I agree WJ, I’m very nervous about this one too but hoping to try and give the team great support today. I think we need to show them we still believe in them. They also need to show they believe in themselves. I hope that big flag finally makes an appearance today on the bacon factory end.

  5. just need to win today and it will give us a chance to regroup from there. hopefully give us a bit of time to regroup.

    lets not forget we have turned both kerry and tyrone over in the last 3 months and we still have some serious operators in our team.

    mayo by 5

  6. @Sinead37. It’s en route to Castlebar as we speak. We’ll unfurl it just before the team enters the field. When they have their photo taken and head towards the Bacon Factory End they’ll see it in front of them. Hopefully it will lift them and inspire them. We need as many footsoldiers as possible to unfurl it so don’t be afraid to get involved and help lift our lads on the field. Safe travel to all today. Don’t forget to bring the voices and the flags! Up Mayo!

  7. Working again today….the days off during the week don’t seem to make much sense the morning of a big game. I’ll have to speak to the boss.
    My missus is bringing our 14 month old ladeen to his first game today with a friend of his, who at a whopping 18 months old, is already a two time league and championship veteran. So the cycle continues and I’m glad it does. A win is a win is a win and that’s all we need to keep going. Up Mayo. Forever. Win or lose.

  8. I see that Derry have named a big man at full-forward, Emmett McGuckin, probably after seeing the problems that Damien Comer caused us in Salthill, so we need to be wary of that. I remember him scoring a goal against us in Castlebar in 2014 in a league game, when he knocked about 3 of our defenders out of the way.

    Its a really big game for us. We have seen our team produce their best when they’re backs are to the wall, lets hope that we see that again today. Best of luck to all involved with our team today!

  9. Its time we left the Corofin-style shite back in Galway……get back to doing what we do best. Mayo by 11 !

  10. V best of luck to all today. Lets lift our hearts and voices today. We know what it means to these great guys. Owe us nothing. The dream lives onn. Mayo forever.
    Mayo by 5 today.

  11. Down south last few days and everyone wishing for us to win the big one. Someone said we were trying to breath ye over the line last year.
    We have more fans than we realise.

  12. It’s a big day for this team, they are standing on one of two trapdoors on the gallows and all cards are about to be played, it’s all or nothing. If the team is strong and close I feel very confident ye will prevail as ye have shown so often in the past that if its kill or be killed Mayo usually rise with blood on their hands.

    That is a good team and I hope Rochford can afford to let AOS on the bench as he is one soldier that ye will need when the enemy is pounding at the gates. Ye need to strike early and hard to break their spirit, do that and ye will win well I think. A siege mentality and defensive set up will cost Mayo on the home straight in my opinion, they need to “go for it” bald headed.
    Good luck

  13. Will be watching from Raleigh NC. Hoping for a lot more fire in the belly than we had against Galway.

  14. I’m confident of a victory for Mayo today with even less than the full strength on the field of play. When it’s do or die these fellas usually do or come very close to doing and today will be no different.

    Mayo 3-14
    Derry 1 -12

  15. Delighted to see that team named after all the injury rumours. Even if it’s not the team that starts, the fact those players are named in the match day squad must mean they are either fit, or close to fit. Good for us going forward.
    And go forward we will. A 7 point win for me, and those metaphorical knives to be blunted for a while

  16. best of luck to the team today. I think we’ll get a couple of goals. The first half of the Galway match suggests were looking to move fast ball into inside forwards which looked promising but it’s still a work in progress but I feel we’ll get there with it. I fear Andy no longer has the pace needed to cause serious damage and he’ll be even more restricted against Derrys defence. We need Cillian close to goal. This is a must.

    It’s imperative we start taking our chances and punishing teams. No point having possesion if we can’t capitalise. I’d like to see Kirby start.

    Keep the faith folks.

  17. And let’s not forget, 99 percent of people were rubishing Rochford last year after the Galway match for deploying McLoughlin as sweeper when it turned out he was born for the role. We have to believe they are working on a plan this year too (one not used in league).
    We’re not finished yet.

  18. Derry in fairness to them have a few good players in the likes of emmet mc guican niall o loughlin and of course chrissie mc kaige. Hopefully we will overpower them with the likes of boiler and the 2 o Connor s.mayo by 4.Hon ye boys in green and red

  19. Mayo Independent Supporters Club at 10.00. Brilliant Post. Nice plan of action. Top marks to you people.

    If you are in the Bacon Factory End can you lend a hand with this?

    Go to it Mayo.

  20. Brilliant Joet. Never too young to start the next generation on the Mayo gaa journey!

  21. @PJ, the point I was making was that they will probably try to exploit our full-back line, so we need to be ready for that.

    If we take our chances, we should be grand, roll on the game!

  22. Game changer,a great post as always love to get your positive point of view,and hope we can have a bit of banter later when we come up against Kerry, I miss Martin the Dub,Jaden drops in occasionally, to all the posters on here best of luck to today and safe travel, and a good result

  23. I see Donaghy lining out at the edge of the square tomorrow

    Eamon Fitz is no eejit and I’d be fairly certain he already sees mayo as their next match

  24. @corick – I’m pretty much always here 🙂

    Good Luck lads, if things don’t go easy, this could be a bit of a fight. If that’s the case, I would expect Mayo to come out on top.

    Interested in how they guys go about things, as much as in the result itself. I reckon it will be better fare than watching Kerry spank Cork tomorrow.

  25. Fair play to the lads with the massive flag on the Bacon Factory End….

  26. Wow none of us seen that team coming
    Delighted Keegan is fit

    Have a feeling we will see aido FF and if he is there it’s a sign he isn’t fit

  27. Kevin McLoughlin still taking frees
    We are learning nothing
    He doesn’t even want to take them

  28. Mayo can’t score from play, full back not up to it. The fight is not in many of the guys.

  29. Cillian kicks an identical one
    Small margins like that have cost us before
    Cillian takes all frees
    End of story

  30. Aidan put in some shift there and we’d be bet out the gate only for him. Woeful shooting has meant we go in a point down instead of 3 up. Our half back line is getting ripped to shreds and a few choice words will have to be dished out.
    This is it. Shit or get off the pot.

  31. After that first half all I can say is thank God Aidan O Shea is playing for us. But our forward play has been woeful. Our Lady of Knock pray for us

  32. Dreadful performance Lucky to be only a point behind Defence wide open and no attacking plan This game is only going one way unless there is a dramatic improvement in second half

  33. Halftime, something is wrong with all the guys, things dont look too good for the 2nd half.

  34. Interesting that Whelan has just ignored the clear targeting of O shea and his restraint again in not reacting ……….

  35. Thank God for Aiden. Amen to our Lady of Knock and all good Mayo people gone before us. Pray for us.

  36. Extra Time it is. As a neutral, I’ll tell ya one thing, it’s entertaining stuff.

    Shooting is just woeful, Seamie should have done better at the end.

    This is where conditioning will kick in, Derry can’t possibly keep up in extra time.

  37. Good job o shea wasn’t left till the last 20 minutes as an impact sub like a lot of People wanted early inyear

    He isn’t even fit and but for himself and cillian we would be dead and buried

    Imagine if hennelly had conceded that goal at the death !

  38. Nothing netural about Leantimes here, diabolical performance from the Ref, woeful shooting from Mayo. But AOS doing well for a man that. wouldn’t play again by some of the prophet of doom. Parsons and AOS best for Mayo… I’m tearing my hair out here. Nice one does drama like Mayo.

  39. Safe now. The Derry keeper was gonna get caught at some point. That kickout was telegraphed as to where it was going.

  40. We can now reopen the Aidan o shea 50 minute man impact sub debate
    I’ll ask the same question I asked last time
    Who have we who is better ?

    I expect no sensible answers again

    We would be gone today but for him and he isn’t even fit

  41. Ref didn’t kick all those wides. Don’t be trying to paper over a frustrating performance by blaming him.

  42. Mayo very lucky to escape and will need huge improvement to even make the QF. Need a few more young players like Loftus. Possible this match could improve them though. The jury is out.

  43. Positives is the win. Lots of negatives.. Durcan straight Red, Keegan looks in trouble, and kicking ridiculous wides..

  44. I said we’d obliterate them, I just forgot to mention that it’d be in extra time 😛

    I agree with you Km79, AOS was really influential today. Durcan will be a huge loss and obviously only has himself to blame for that. I’m really worried about Keegan’s injury too.

  45. Easy in the end hope Lee is OK ,a great team a great manager onwards and upwards up Mayo

  46. Relief, well done to the lads and all involved with the team. We are in the next round. Roll on the next game!

  47. What on earth are mayo going to do about their fwds? AOS huge for mayo today. Hope keegan is fit for next game.

  48. Ballahadreen have a young man who needs to be on the panel in Ackrim if Keegan is out we need that strength

  49. Loftus scoring 1-1 from his first two touches said it all after older more experienced players had misfired all day.
    Brian Reape would have won us that game in normal time. He simply does not miss sitters.

  50. You would think that Duran would get a one match ban? Maybe play Keith Higgins in his position, no. 7, in the next game to give him a bit more freedom.

  51. The worst shooting performance I’ve seen this decade by Mayo……and it wasn’t Stephen Rochford who kicked those wides. Loftus took his chance and needs to start. Aido is indispensable to this team. Cillian was limping for most of the game. Worried about Keegan. Need an easy draw. A lot of tired bodies going into next weekend.

  52. Home again, it was emotional. Shooting can only improve. Any idea of the attendance?. Couldn’t hear anything from the public address system at McHale Park. Plenty to work on.. As I write Midwest are picking AOS as MotM, I agree… RTE are going for Connor Louftus, ah yes we needed him and he delivered.. Maybe he could have earned himself a starting berth next day out.. But for me MotM for Mayo is between the two big men Aido and Tom Parsons.. I’d go for Aido.

  53. Huge defensive improvement in second half, conceding only 1-2 and much tighter on the Derry shooter forced a lot of wides.
    But that shooting performance in the 70 mins was beyond pathetic and as has rightly been highlighted here, Rochford didnt2kick them wide!
    Excellent fitness and conditioning also but my God, what heart this team has!! I’m an optimistic realist but at 60 mins I said “it’s over, this game is done!” I didn’t allow for their massive massive heart however.
    To be fair to the sideline they earned great credit for the defensive reshuffle at half time and the subs that were sent in all had a positive impact. Doc and Loftus scoring crucial goals that nrole the spirit of a hard tough Derry team.
    2 things to note quickly…
    1. No Mayo team should ever line out withojt Boyle in it. EVER!
    2. Aido might not have scored much or been man of the match but sweet Jesus he was immense in that opening half when nearly all around him was rudderless. Gave and took serious hits and when we really needed him, (unfit, lacking game time, half injured) je was there for the team. His fist pumping team talk at the start of extra time showed just what ot meant.
    A lot to work on(shooting practice!!) but we’re still in it to work on it. Make no mistake, no one will want to draw us out of that hat on Monday because against all the odds (17 wides, 5 woodworks, red card) we hung in there and won.
    Well done to all.

  54. I would vote for Adain I have said before we will win nothing without him,we may not win it with him,but without him we are in trouble

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