Mayo 2-21 Derry 1-13: somehow still in it

It’s impossible to provide any kind of rational narrative about what was, by any measure, one of the more irrational matches you’re likely to come across. It was a contest we refused to take charge of for so long, looked beaten before exploding to life near the end of normal time, then just as quickly threw away a winning position. It all came good for us in extra-time but the bounty we gathered in then doesn’t to any reasonable degree answer the most basic of questions about the performance we’d put in beforehand.

You can understand now why I was nervous in advance of this match, can’t you? Deep down – hopeless optimist I am – I wanted to see us come out, go for the jugular and blow Derry away with positive, attacking football. Mid-way through the first half it was already patently clear that this wasn’t going to happen.

Our failings on display for much of today’s match were the same ones we’ve had all year. Too slow to get the ball up the pitch on our restarts, an inability to attack at pace and an insistence on kicking the ball inside in situations where the intended target, usually Andy, had at best a 50:50 chance of claiming possession.

We still had chances early on but after briefly leading it was Derry who got their noses in front. They were a point to the good at the break.

The second half was one of the most frustrating halves of football I’ve seen us play in many a long year. Chance after chance we fluffed – about four clear opportunities at goal were spurned and the shots ending in wides got wilder and wilder. I was chatting with John Prenty coming out of the ground afterwards and he said we’d posted seventeen wides in normal time. The stat didn’t shock me.

With ten minutes or so left, we’d still only added a single point to our first-half tally and Derry – aided greatly, it must be said, by yet another horror show from our perspective from ref Maurice Deegan – were two in front. We were attacking with abandon at that stage but memories of our late, unsuccessful charge in Salthill were now in the forefront of my mind. Like most other home supporters in MacHale Park, I really felt then that, as against Galway, we wouldn’t be able to salvage it.

But then, in a moment of coolness amid the chaos all around him, Paddy Durcan posted a lovely, simple point from distance. In the next attack, Conor Loftus was played in by Cillian O’Connor and his shot to the net was emphatic. The Crossmolina player added a point shortly after from out on the right and so now, all of a sudden, we were three points ahead and the match won.

But that would, of course, have been far too simple. We somehow contrived to concede a scuttery ould goal at the other end and if Derry had pointed a late, late free from way out on the right wing we’d have lost it in normal time. Instead, with the crowd’s collective nerve-ends jangling, we held on for extra-time.

To the lads’ great credit, they moved quickly to kill the contest in extra-time. Crucially we got the first score and the next one too and when Jason Doherty struck our second goal we had at last clear water between ourselves and the flailing Oakleafers.

Deegan threw them a lifeline with a very soft penalty award but David Clarke, for the umpteenth time this year, showed his class by proving equal to the spot kick. Had it gone in Derry would have been just two behind but once the Ballina man did the business the result was, to all intents and purposes, in the bag.

Paddy Durcan’s dismissal didn’t help matters – and his loss the next day will certainly hurt us – but, to be honest, Derry were a beaten docket by then. We played out the second half of extra-time in something that almost resembled a controlled fashion and by the finish we found ourselves a full eleven points clear.

It really was a mad game. Shades of Limerick – with the reffing right up there at Cormac Reilly level at times (Aside: what the fuck have we done to get this treatment time after time after time from Maurice Deegan? I mean it’s so far beyond a joke at this stage that I’ve forgotten what the joke was meant to be) – flashed around my mind as we got ready for extra-time. Thankfully, this time it proved to be a winning conclusion to a chaotic contest for us.

Good points from this evening would include Aidan O’Shea, who put in a monstrous performance – his best surely since the 2015 All-Ireland quarter-final – and drove us forward time after time. Several fouls led to scoreable frees (but curiously few cards for the opposition), he was unmarkable around the middle and he used the ball to good effect more often than not. He was Man of the Match by a considerable distance.

Conor Loftus got his chance off the bench in the second half and, boy, did he take it. I muttered my doubts to a guy sitting just in front of me as Conor was coming on for Andy but he reassured me. “Conor Loftus will get us a goal” my interlocutor insisted. I almost kissed him when Conor’s bullet found the net.

Tom Parsons caught some lovely ball around the middle, Colm Boyle was resolute in defence and when Lee Keegan got motoring forward it was a forceful reminder as to why he was voted Footballer of the Year last year.

Jason Doherty gave a strong reminder too about his talents in the scoring department. The Burrishoole man bagged 1-1 after his second half introduction in a cracking display that had a strong say in turning the tide in our favour.

There’s little doubt, though, that this contest will have taken its toll. Derry hit hard and fouled frequently – you would hope that this disgusting piece of thuggery will be appropriately punished but I shan’t be holding my breath on that score – and the lads will certainly be stiff and sore after this one.

The extra-time won’t have helped matters and Paddy Durcan’s red card – which I guess will mean a one-match ban for the Mitchels man – won’t either. Lee Keegan was assisted gingerly off the pitch near the end, after a bad, late hit, so hopefully he’ll be okay to play next weekend.

Cillian O’Connor also hobbled off with what a few people told me afterwards looked like groin trouble. Cillian missed a hatful of chances today but he still contributed twelve points (ten from placed balls) to our total and, needless to say, his loss would be incalculable for us should that prove to be the case (not that I’m saying it will be, mind).

So, as a sense of calmness begins to return once more after this evening’s helter-skelter contest, it’s important to recognise that we eventually came away from MacHale Park with what we wanted, which was the win that gets us into the hat on Monday morning. Despite courting disaster we’re still standing, we’re still in the race.

On Monday morning we’ll be paired in Round 3A with one of Clare, Donegal or Meath. All beatable, if we play like I still think we can but, equally, all capable of beating us if we insist on continuing to play in the way that we did for large stretches today.

Whichever of them it is, they’ll represent the hurdle we have to get over next weekend if our dreams of making it back to Croke Park this summer are to remain alive. That road is, we know, a tough one and today’s test was, for sure, far from easy. But it’s one game at a time for us now and tonight we can, with no little amount of relief, reflect on a game we could so easily have lost but somehow summoned from within us enough to claim the win that keeps us alive in this year’s championship.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett; Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan (0-1), Paddy Durcan (0-1); Donal Vaughan, Tom Parsons; fergal Boland, Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Stephen Coen; Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-12, nine frees and a ’45), Andy Moran (0-2). Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) for Aidan O’Shea (blood sub) and for Boland, Seamus O’Shea for Vaughan, Jason Doherty (1-1) for Coen, Conor Loftus (1-1) for Moran, David Drake for Harrison, Caolan Crowe for Barrett, Shane Nally for Keegan, Danny Kirby for McLoughlin.

Who was our MOTM against Derry?

  • Aidan O'Shea (70%, 411 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (11%, 63 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (7%, 40 Votes)
  • David Clarke (5%, 32 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (1%, 3 Votes)
  • David Drake (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Danny Kirby (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Ger Cafferkey (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Shane Nally (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Caolan Crowe (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 587

Loading ... Loading ...

115 thoughts on “Mayo 2-21 Derry 1-13: somehow still in it

  1. 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.

  2. Adam OShea a colossus…..so much for the injury.

    C Loftus exactly what this team needs……he has an eye for goal.

    Still it was a horrific forward display……we almost beat ourselves.

    It might be the making of us

  3. Brutal performance up front. looked really dodgy for 68 minutes until Dery ran outta steam. But a win is a win and they have to take it and cling to something. Anyone know who we can get in the next round e.g. can it be one of the other winners from today or will it be someone who lost last weekend?

  4. If anyone seen a heart gone from a chest….. thats mine. Please return to leitrim. I’m done!!!

  5. D Kirby deserves more time as does Shane Nally.

    Yes it’s either Donegal, Meath or Clare home or away next Saturday. Draw is Monday morning at 8.35.

    Bloody stupid having a draw Monday morning…..should be on SG tomorrow night. GAA do some stupid things.

  6. There never was a debate, just fools that want to put the big man back in his box because he did a tv show. He’s worth 6 points to us. He needs at least 3 reliable shooters along side him tho and at the moment we have one.

  7. @Niall…it may not have been Rochford who kicked those wides..but it certainly was Rochford who picked that team etc etc etc…
    Are there still folks on here who are thinking the glass is half full? Seriously? Derry are a div 3 team. How many insipid displays are we willing to witness til we realise…

  8. What the fuck is RTEs problem with Aidan O’Shea?

    Absolutely incredible he didn’t get man of the match

    Out of this world today

  9. As close to being done as any curse could conjecture.awful shooting a reminder of bygone days but neither crossbar,posts, terrible inaccuracy or Derry could kill us off.AOS immense today and shipped some serious punishment.in retrospect this might have been the right medicine for the galway cold.Loftus and Doherty put their hands up for next week.Onward towards croker!

  10. Niall, the manager had Coen at wing forward…the ball came to him twice in the 2nd half and fluffier both opportunities. Meanwhile, Doherty and Loftus were watching from the bench! Next we’ll see Boyler at 14!? Coen is a defender and a promising one at that. I’ve never seen anything in him resembling an attacker. It was unfair on him I think and only sever to damage a young players morale.

    The only word to encapsulate Mayo’s performance or 70 mins was woeful.

    Boyle and AOS were out stand out players. Overall defensively we made an average Derry team look potent. Numerous scores from them without a Mayo hand even nearby!

    Loftus snd the return of Aidan the only positives, apart from the win, obviously!

    There are no ‘easy’ draws left. Clare are very threatening. Meath can never be underestimated …both better teams than Derry.

    Donegal. Let’s hope not.

  11. I thought Aidan def should have got MOM however sometimes the award can go to someone who changes a game in a major way. Mayo were on their way out until Loftus intervened with that cracking goal and followed it up with a sweet point. Make no mistake if not for him Mayo were out tonight!

  12. Thank you Aiden.
    Definite man of the match. Definite.
    It would be all over this year only for Aiden. Thank you Aido for keeping the dream alive.

  13. Playing 2 half backs as half forwards, no penetration. Bring on 2 forwards and get 2 goals .We need forwards in forward positions. I hope Rochford is reading this. Onwards and upwards.

  14. Well my prediction of an 11pt victory came to happen….but could never have predicted it would happen this way. The most bizarre head scratching topsy turvy performance. Delighted for Conor Loftus – i hope the boost of confidence from his brilliant performance this evening will bring him to another level. We live to fight another day !!

  15. Yes Aidan O Shea was MOTM and i’m sure his match stats proved that. Made hard work to defeat a moderate Derry side who i knew weren’t very defensive the problem was Mayos shooting in normal time atrocious. Donegal struggled past Longford today as well and kicked 17 wides so they seemed no more impressive than Mayo were today. Mayo were always going to pull away in extra time with their strength and conditioning and better bench but were helped along the way with a gift of a goal and Derry not scoring their penalty. I have a feeling Mayo will draw old foes Meath next.

  16. Let the debate finish about Stephen Rochford he proved today he can make changes,he will end the famine

  17. Mayo Keep pulling RESULTS from out of the fire, a bit similar to Tyone in 2008 when they were nearly knocked out by Westmeath in the 2008 qualifiers, this could be the Lucky YEAR 2017 to finally end the curse!

  18. Make changes? He’s proved he sticks with what isnt working till we’re almost out. Sorry to say but an absolute horror show from mgmt in selection and in taking so long to make switches.

  19. Aidan’s fitness etc. is improving, that’s all that matters really. We thought he might not be able to make any impact in these games but he can, so that’s great to see! It goes without saying that our shooting has to improve but we’re still in it so that’s the main thing tonight.

  20. Imagine to play that poorly all that could go wrong did go wrong and still come out on top.

    That was probably the end of the match in extra time this team needed to reaffirm how good they are and how united they are.

    The talents there just hope that has shook off any mental dark clouds from the squad.
    New year starts now.

    Diarmuid Loftus and Doherty stood up worked themselves back into the team

    AOS and Parsons were classs acts and should be starting duo. Clarke is without doubt our best ever keeper.
    Harrison I would love to see at 6 but needed badly in the corner.
    Caff is way off the required standard be it cobwebs or since injury but we need better at fullback if we are going anywhere.

    In paddys absence like to see Vaughan back to 7 imagine Keegan will be missing but hope not too serious

  21. Aidan O’Shea was immense today Let no one ever criticise him again. He is a true warrior and indispensable to this team. Conor Loftus must be a starter from here on in. Having said that there is no doubt that if we had lost this game we would have no one to blame but ourselves. The shooting in the second half even by our own poor standards of the past was simply horrific. With the possession we had and the chances created that game should have been over long before Conor Loftus rescued us. Derry to their credit came to play and did not deserve the final losing margin. I really hope Lee is okay for next week because without him and Durcan we will be in big trouble no matter who we draw.
    Still at the end of the day it is all about winning. Alex Ferguson used to say about cup competitions it was all about been in the draw for the next round and that is where we are. So onwards and upwards. Up Mayo.

  22. Apart from everything else what the hell is going on with our lads getting sent off. A sign of desperation and feeling they have lost too much and are afraid to lose anymore. Discipline not good, shooting with no belief, team selection bewildering, tackling half hearted. Yes Aiden ó Sé was immense today. Hope Lee is OK and really happy to see Jason D and young Loftus showing how to score. I wish we had courage and conviction cause this is a superb team… Real bloody heroes. Well done lads but stop doubting yourselves. Believe

  23. Good man Patrick that’s the attitude or drink talking hahah.
    Kerry almost lost to Sligo once upon a time as well as a very tight game v Cavan too so who knows

  24. Unbelievable. I missed my train in Manchester to stay on for extra time. 80 bob back to London now but well worth it.

    We were vastly superior – second onwards in particular. Our midfield dominated – Parsons’ fielding was excellent (the less said about his finishing the better mine you). But the finishing in general was dire. I’d estimate 16/17 wides? That plus some rotten luck (We must have had 5/6 genuine goal chances before the 68th minute?) left me thinking we’d crash out. Fair play to Conor Loftus – when I was 20 I was drinking Buckfasr and smoking Marbolo Reds – his goal and point were fantastic.

    I thought the Derry goal was a square ball but I could be biased.

    Extra time I felt it finally fell into place. It was the least we deserved after an utterly dominant display. The cynicism in that Derry side was embarrassing. Though I felt terrible for their keeper for the Doherty goal as he’d pulled off some great saves.

    Clarke again proving what a great shot stopper he is.

    That is exactly the sort of game we needed.

    Phew.

  25. Oh Jesus, was that hard going… Some positives= imoroved kickouts, better support play. But, oh God, talk about not taking our chances……

  26. A shocking performance from the forwards yet again. Absolutely woeful for 70 minutes. They can’t ?kick a point to save their lives. And make no mistake, we only pulled away at the end because Derry were gassed. Our fitness got us through it, nothing else.

  27. The goal from Loftus was something to behold and the roar of relief from.supporters was electric..Takes alot of bottle to be a pt down in the dying mins of the game and nail a goal in that fashion..We were a different animal in extra time..Still in it to win it!!

  28. P Durcan was quiet today bar his point. I assume it was a straight red he got so he’ll miss next week. Cafferkey is a problem at FB for one reason…….his man gets out in front all the time.

    Is it time for S Coen at full back?

    Perhaps what summed up our kamikaze display was when in the 1st period of extra time we were t up and COC (from a diagonal pass from Doherty) had an easy chance of a point but went for goal and missed…….we then conceded a penalty at the other end straight after.

  29. Dissappointing to be full circle back at core issues like full back and left footed freetakers. We have a deep player pool.yet you’d swear we were Longford at how slow we are to go with a new player to solve such problems.

  30. As I said earlier this week, time to give more of the All Ireland U21s a chance in the team.
    Aidan O Shea makes things happen and is the glue that keeps everything going. I sincerely would love to see him play well in an All Ireland final, he’s importance to this Mayo team is un-measurable.
    Alot can be learned today, just maybe the spark has re-alighted.

  31. The mystery and the journey continues. These fellas never give up and they never fail to entertain. That was an absolute roller coaster. Well done one and all. Quick turn around now and I hope the injuries aren’t too bad. PD gone for the next game or is it more for a straight red? Lee’s injury? I suppose we’ll find out more about it all over the coming days.

  32. Loftus pass in extra time to Cillian was wonderful

    Paddy’s point was a huge score and a beautiful one, it was so vital at the time because we weren’t looking like scoring at all and it had a feeling of inevitability about it

    The dream is still alive, onto the next

  33. get of jail card used there. we were staring right down the barrel .

    durcan will be a big miss next week. leroys looked more impact that muscular to me so hopefully he isnt out for too long. higgins will be back and no doubt pumped up.

    great to see aos get through today. no better place to get fit out in the middle.
    jason dohertys cameo will have done him the world of good. there is a player in there alright. hopefully that will have given him a bit of confidence.

    hope the draw is as kind as it can be for us.

  34. CONVICTION, that’s the word I would use to describe Conor Loftus’s shot for his goal. He hit the ball with CONVICTION… That’s what we need to see from our shooters in the next game.

  35. Man Clarke was serious yet again , serious save in the first half and his kick outs were excellent

    Ger cafferky had full back is a major worry in my opinion

  36. You have to admire the effort and fight of the team but you also have to be frustrated by the lask of basic finishing skills. Kicking the ball over the bar from 14yrs out should not be a problem for players at this level. The game would have been over in 20mins had the opposition been Dublin, Kerry or Tyrone. AOS was immense today and deserves a lot of credit for lasting close to 100mins on his first full outing, he needs to keep showing that level of self belief if we are to progress further in this years championship

  37. Who do we want? Clare or Meath at home…no one away…Start Conor and bring on Andy.Barrett needs a man of his own size …gave away a good few inches.
    Agree Mayo without Aido is Hamlet without the Prince!

  38. For conor loftus to put that goal away like that after watching more experienced players miss after miss when you’re one point down at the end of a game take balls. Take a bow son.

  39. Can we ever doubt the massive pumping hearts these guys have with backs to the wall.
    Believe and keep on believing in them. They are machines and I dont care what the critics say here or wherever that belief alone and just going for it will win them and us the all ireland.
    Long but massive day. Thank you God.

  40. I really am baffled by the decision to play Coen at 12. McLoughlin, missed that free in what was an identical position to the one he missed v Sligo. He’ll never take s free for Mayo again. His best position, by a COUNTRY MILE is sweeper. It was proven in both games v Dublin last year. Defensively we were very good then..why on earth can we not stick to that system!?

    Even a simpleton could see we were dreadful in the final third today but I thought we were opened up down the middle too many times by Derry. A better team would have buried us. They also scored a couple of points from play where no Mayo defender looked close to putting in a tackle.

    Today we played like a poor Division 2 side. The old consolation ‘well we’re getting into good positions and dominating possession’ doesn’t wash anymore.

    Our discipline too needs to be seriously questioned.

    Someone mentioned it earlier. We got out of jail!

  41. Take a bow Conor Loftus take a bow.Inspirational stuff from the young lad.Look we know how we played for 60-65 mins or the game but by god did we show balls to come back.

  42. Mayo used their out- of- jail today let their be no mistake about that, but in so doing proved once again how resilient they can be in adversary. The game should have been in the bag long before Loftes came to the rescue, but when did Mayo ever make it easy on themselves. How experienced forwards can be so wasteful in front of goal is a puzzle, but it is what it is and it’s not going to change anytime soon. We’ll just have to hope that if we create enough chances we will get enough scores to be ahead of the opposition at the end. Big plus was the performance of Aidan O’ Shea, from a half fit out of condition looking guy against Galway to suddenly finding his mojo and putting in a man-of- the-match performance. The negative was another poor showing from the sideline, where Rochford seems to not know what his next move should be. Anyway we’re in the pot for Monday morning and for now that’s all that matters.

  43. Mayonaze, I agree. Some of the marking was shocking. Derry were walking through us at times, with no one laying a glove in them. A better team would have taken their chances.

  44. I should mentioned AOS.He was in top form and the way he urging the lads on to believe in themselves .Great to see.

  45. If Loftus starts you have another free taker in our ranks. Lad has some temperament on him. Lad for the big occasion.
    Like Cillian he s wasted back tracking too far so try keep him upfield but yet he’s not a Corner forward if makes sense.

    Andy has a place no doubt but let’s give Loftus and Doherty the start and bring Andy on.

    Clare and Meath bring physicality but yet pacey forwards.
    Take t lee and paddy miss out then I’d try
    Clarke
    Barrett
    Vaughan
    Higgins
    Boyle
    Harrison
    Coen
    Parsons
    AOS
    Diarmuid
    Kirby
    Mcloughlin
    Doherty
    Cillian
    Loftus

  46. A win is a win is a win… loved aido’s dominant performance, ably assisted by Tom parsons, very strong pairing. So delighted for Conor loftus, apart from his well taken goal and point, passed some beautiful balls aswell. On the downside, we looked vulnerable enough at the back, though thought penalty was fairly harsh. They did open us up at times, caff doesn’t quite look sharp enough yet.. we’re in the draw that’s all that matters.. most pleasing thing was they again showed bite and fight.

  47. They made hard out of that, but a win is a win. I agree that Aidan O Shea had a massive game, fair play to him. Having said that, it is no harm that he didn’t get the Rte Mom, best thing here to let the football do his talking for him. It was noticeable that we got a few points from quick kick outs and the ball work the field in three moves. Some of the shooting was woeful, indeed if some of the forwards had ducks this evening they would have drowned. There has been some talk here about a dedicated forwards coach. This evening would strengthen that case.
    There was a good piece in the Exaniner last year about winning ugly, ugly or beautiful we ll take winning whatever way we get it

  48. We live to fight another day. How much longer we last is another days work.

    Aidan O’Shea an absolute colossus all through. Tom Parsons provided real leadership as well.

    Conor Loftus provided the kiss of life. He was exceptional in everything he did. Jason Doherty also made a real impact when introduced.

    Massive issues to resolve in six days. Paddy gone. Maybe Lee too? At least Keith will return. But the real concern is the apparent total lack of structure. We’re playing on memory now.

  49. Ok the shooting was deplorable in it has to be said a tricky cross wind. But there were some positives. We created scoring chances including goal chances. Management did make some good substitutions and our best period in the game was when AOS was planted in full forward. Plenty of good ball thrown into him, which he won and distributed excllently. And we refused to lie down.
    On the worrying side, heads went down with few of experienced players like mcloughlin seamus o shea and parsons to the extent that they refused to take on shots and recycled instead. Confidence restoring mission next time out.
    Also our discipline a worry, silly sending off and also gave away silly penalty.
    Well done Loftus and his score was the most significant of the night, but there was only one motm, AOS was head and shoulders above everone in every sense

  50. Some bizzare choices and no cohesion or pattern.

    Messing around with what should have been obvious selections got us beat by Galway last year.

    Took nearly the whole summer to get the team back to more or less where it was under Holmes and Connolly or indeed Horan.

  51. The worrying thing for Mayo is how easily Derry broke through the middle when they ran at Mayo.Against a better team this would have been fatal.The worrying thing is that there is no discernible pattern or strategy for stopping this penetration from opposition attackers.Also from midfield to the forwards again no discernible strategy..The play was too ponderous and predictable in the first 60min.Conor Loftus brought a vibrancy and unpredictability to the game which was refreshing as it was brilliant.His kick pass to cillian was sublime.He had no fear.
    The reason for the poor shooting and lack of composure was fear personified, a complete lack of confidence by players who would normally score such chances.
    The challenge now for the management is to instill that confidence required and devise a pattern of play which suits Mayo.
    Rochford needs to step up to the mark now as do the players.All to play for but we must learn quickly.

  52. Earlier in the week I put a few pound on our lads at very poor odds. Had myself convinced it would be

    a stroll in the park. But jeez … …. did they put us through the wringer. I could feel the pain in my wallet

    pretty much all through the game. It look for a while that our fellas had just come from the pub. Just

    hope they can throw off the shackles next w/end. And stop passing the buck. Or as JFk once said “you

    have nothing to fear except fear itself”

  53. Exhilarating. Rivaled limerick in terms of nerve shattering spectacle.
    Our shooting was almost comical, I mean what else can you say. It was cartoon stuff.
    But you know what, aside from that we played very well. Lorded midfield all day, had a bag of goal chances, and created a mountain of point scoring opportunities. Half backs attacked all day albeit often will little end result, but we’re doing all the hard work.
    What most amazed me was the energy and fittness and it looked at the end that we could have kept on going for another 20.
    Major fear now, given injuries and suspensions and the possible mental fatigue from today, is that our performance will be flat next week. Thats what we now need to guard against. The fight is bloody well there big time, but we will be vulnerable next week….more than ever.
    AOS… I mean, heroic, just heroic.
    Boyler immense. Caff definitely vulnerable at the back. Could we give Crowe a chance? Couldn’t believe the bottle of Loftus. What a young fella.
    Andy’s miss can’t be glossed over. I can’t fathom it. Not at this level.
    Surprised we didn’t see more of Kirby but apart from that subs were timely and effective.
    Despite heart damaging stuff, I can’t help but love this team.

  54. Loftus HAS to start the next day.

    Mcloughlin should never take a free for us again. He doesn’t even want to take them.

    17 wides in 70 minutes. 15 of them were very scorable. Several goal chances missed. A few back off the woodwork. We scored 1-12 in 70 minutes and i’d say we left about another 4-15 behind us. A display of shooting rarely witnessed.

    However we are in the owl hat for the next round and none of the other 3 will want us. Off now to lay down in a dark room for a while.

  55. Enda Lynn was left to loose in the first half boylers man.that was as bad as we have ever being in normal time.we scored 1 12 in 74 mins and 1 09 in 20 mins sub’s all played well.
    Fergie was lost for the derry kick outs will be some education for him.the forwards have to track back sometimes look at cillians tackle which I thought was OK but not deegan.saw exactly what mcantee brings came over away from the stand and constantly organised the defence,nice to see someone getting away from the bunch and getting a different view of the game.have a feeling it will be Meath away next.
    We have a hell of a lot to work on but sure we are still in it.

  56. Maybe Keith Higgins at no. 7 might be another option for us to consider in Paddy Durcan’s absence. It might give Keith a new lease of life as well, give him a bit more freedom to get forward.

  57. Before Durkins Screamer of a point, RTE was compiling in commentary this Mayo Teams obituary, end of an era sort of stuff. I wondered to myself, is this Rochford’s last game? then I thought to how much of an injustice that would be. I think if Mayo win the All-Ireland Rochford and his meddling in the early stages of the championship will be what does it.
    Its do or die now and wild intense, yet still Galway, Derry, Meath, Clare and even Donegal are certainly no Dublin and that was where we came unstuck last year, minutely but still even so. Our management team proved to us just how tactically brilliant they were when they beat the master Micky Hart at his own game with Tyrone pre-match favourites.
    There is no doubt Rochford is living heart-stoppingly close to the edge with what he is attempting, in my opinion, it is taking great bravery. Trying all these lads in these positions is most likely to be working well in training, but it matters little until these ideas are tested in the open fire that it the championship, and isn’t the place to do that against the lesser teams. No point another September with old tricks. It leaves the man’s name somewhat tarnished when things go wrong but he is trying over and over again, and I admire his bravery from that point of view. If you live in the safety against teams like Galway and Derry, what will you learn?

    What the hell is a Connacht title to us in September with the bus going home trophyless?

    Get behind the team, get behind the manager while the season is in play.

  58. Just watched the Conor Louftus goal on the RTE news, WOW even better watching it for a second time Telly than it was from my view point in the stand in McHale Park.. What a fantastic finish!. Easily Mayo’s best goal since Lee Keegan in the All Ireland replay… Next day out I think Mayo in the likely event of Paddy Durcan being suspended, maybe Donal Vaughan can slip in to the No 7 position and play the very busy Kevin McLoughlin as sweeper. Apart from his shooting Kevin was good today but his shooting was atrocious and he was not the only one.. Early in the match, Mayo worked some very good attacks with Fergal Boland picking some lovely kick passes but several great chances were spurned by a variety of forwards who found themselves in great scoring positions.. I taught despite what some other poster’s are saying that Ger Cafferkey is improving.. Hope for another home draw it’s 50/50 again.. Conor Louftus deserves his chance and should be brimming with confidence after such a brilliant finish that was so badly needed when the chips were down… Mark Twain once wrote that ‘Report’s of my death were greatly exaggerated’ as he referred to going into a church in the one of Southern States of America, where the locals were holding a funeral service for the very much alive, but presumed dead Tom Sayers.. The same could be said of the Mayo team today, and no body personified it more today than Aiden OShea, all last week with the negative rumours that I had heard, would have a person wondering if he would be able play any football at all.. To many Mayo fans were buying into the negativity, and many were writing its Epitaph.. Hopefully knives no doubt still sharp, the grindstone and oil are all put back into the drawer… I know some of ye, won’t forget where you put the knives, in a hurry.. But I hope there is a considerable amount rust on them before before that drawer is opened again.. Really tough does anyone do drama like Mayo does drama!!!

  59. – Nobody could ever accuse Mayo of being boring, we provide more entertainment for neutrals than nearly anyother county.
    – The shooting reminded me of a qualifier in Hyde Park v Cavan when we had at least 17 wides. Someone said there was a tricky wind well it outdone Houdini today if that was the case.
    – AOS had mom won at half time, great goal Loftus u showed composure and bravery and put the rest of our forwards to shame. Fantastic save by Clarke.
    – Coen and Vaughan should have been subbed earlier neither got into the game at all.
    – While a lot of the failings today have been a constant with Mayo for many decades this team has more heart than most
    – Surely we cannot misuse so much possession next weekend. Donegal in Castlebar next Sat please.
    – Only comment on Deegan is that he resembled a scarecrow at times with all the waving around.
    – Anne Marie hope to c u back posting soon…..

  60. I didn’t see anything wrong with Deegan’s refereeing, massive exaggeration to say it was anything like Limerick Willie Joe. Derry got a soft enough black card, and Durcan was a definite red and COC was fortunate when his fists met the face of a Derry defender right in front of our side

  61. And the penalty…well if we didn’t get one for the same offence I’d be fuming, Chris Barrett had lost his man and didn’t know where the ball was so focused on hassling his man instead, nothing much in the foul but he was climbing all over him.

    AOS fantastic stuff…can’t see how he is supposedly carrying an injury.

  62. Can’t fathom why Kevin McLoughlin is continued to take frees, it’s not right and impacts on his game out the field. He’s one of our best players but we play Russian roulette with his confidence.

  63. You’d think we might be better off to play Evan Regan at no. 13 and Kevin McLoughlin at no. 12 or no. 10. Evan would be able to take the left footed frees and might get a few from play as well.

  64. We won the game!. We are still in it. We all know if we played Kerry or Dublin today we would lose. We didn’t though we beat, the team we had to.
    Kicking problems aside.
    Conor Loftus went some way to announcing himself today!!.
    Jason Doherty scored a goal and one point. Aidan OShea is fit as a flea.
    We have the best goalkeeper in the country.
    We got over the line to the next game.
    Would be very worried about Lee Keegan I thought it looked bad.
    Overall there were alot of positives.
    Every now and again a player can spark to life. Maybe Conor Loftus is that man for us this year.
    We have another game to look forward to here maybe a road trip to Ennis. That’s a place I would like to revisit!!

  65. Good news about Lee Keegan, Stephen Rochford said the below to RTE:

    Rochford also allayed fears about star defender Lee Keegan, who was withdrawn as a “precaution” for a “bang to his shin”. He said: “We don’t have any concern that there’s anything long term to be concerned about.”

  66. No point analysing that game
    Only one point to make
    A far few posters on this site have been highly critical of Aidan o shea and there were may calling for him to be dropped and be an impact sub and saying he is only a ,50 minute man
    I’ll say what I said at the time
    Who would ye replace him with. We are not Dublin . We can’t afford not to start our best players . We are lucky to have him.

    So I’m happy to discuss this again now ?
    Really there is no need though cos it was absolutely ludicrous

  67. Some thoughts. ….
    Full back line will not change, even though people have worries about caff.
    Half back line … all sort of possibilities. ..
    Midfield sos and tp … with A o Shea given free role between Mf and CF.
    Diarmuid & kmc as the two half forwards.
    Loftus O’Connor & JDOC (withdraw to hf and play twon up top.)
    Andy on the bench for last 25.

    Half back line. ..
    Possibly Higgins Boyle and Nallly. With McLoughlin playing deep also & JDOC playing deeper than in the full forward line.

    AOS was immense today.

  68. Kev Mac. Great player but let him never ever be let near a free kick again.
    Tom parsons , man of the match IMHO.
    AOS, back in the game .
    Conor loftus , the answer to our prayers.

    We are in the draw for the next round , I don’t care who we get or where we get them.
    It’s customary on these pages to quote teddy Kennedy but tonight i am going for the ballina man Joe Biden.
    “You’re either on the way up or on the way down”
    There is life in this old dog yet . Sam for Mayo.

  69. Fuck me. I am absolutely fucking gone mental here after looking at the photo in the link from above. That is an unfuckingbelievable act. He could blind him. We know that other teams, like the one Philly McMahon plays for, do this daily but we don’t have the proof. I tell ya if the GAA don’t act on this then how can they say the care about “player welfare”. The proof is there now. If that happened outside a pub the fucker would be prosecuted at least.

  70. They won’t act. Sickens me.
    Delighted we are out the other side of that match. We don’t do anything the easy way in last few years. We all got value for money this evening – 90 mins of roller coaster ride instead of 70.
    I felt sorry for McLoughlin, the dent in his confidence at shot taking was unreal. I’ve never seen loss of belief in oneself so blatantly. He did NOT want to shoot and looked for everyway out of it until he had no choice. I think that was what was causing a lot of our wides – lack of belief in ability to score. The recent AI losses combined with media negativity etc etc has maybe finally embeddded into some of these lads psychi. I hope the extra time performance is enough for them to draw on to raise their confidence again.
    I have such admiration for AOS after today. He rallied his team mates all through that match – clapped them on, words in their ears. I feel they will pull it together for one last push. If his attitude and performance is anything to go by this team are going nowhere yet.

  71. Shooting was poor today, no denying that.
    However, we’ve spent half the season criticising players for taking the easy option by recycling with hand passes sideways, no penetration.

    I prefer to see us take lots of shots than the sideways hand passing which can end in a turnover and opposition counter attack.

    In the same vein, I supported Evan Regan trying his shots at end of Galway game. It takes balls. Keep at it Evan!

    Yes, I prefer if the shots are accurate but I encourage the lads to keep shooting and I’ll keep shouting!!

  72. Great news about Lee Keegan, I live in Dublin and believe me , this man really spooks the Dubs, Keep this show on the road, Mayo for Sam..

  73. Can someone please clear up the suspension thing? Why would Durcan be suspended for 4 weeks? Would it not be just a one match ban or at the worst, a two match ban?

  74. Deegan and his officals call an invisible peno on Barrett, miss an obvious square ball for Derrys goal, miss the punch (from the 3rd Derry man in) into Aidans face as he attempts to get up, fail to punish the Derry sideline as both their coach and manger jossle Boyle and throw the ball away from a line ball, redefine the tackle where AOS is concerned as 2 Derry men at a time were allowed to pull, drag and belt him constantly. No tick or yellow card for persistent fouling? Deegan is every bit as bad as Reilly and there is a body of evidence now for our county board to use as proof that Mayo do not get fair play or even a 50/50 split in the decisions. D O’Connor is now also being targetted every bit as much as AOS and some day one of our players is going to get seriously injured through inept officiating.
    Rant over.

  75. I posted at the end of normal time that Maurice Deggan performance was atrocious… Not for the first time.. He was desperate for both sides, but I think Mayo fared worst in an important match where both teams deserved better!

  76. Pebblesmeller, it certainly wasn’t an invisible penalty for Derry. Right decision, Chris was all over his marker. I’m sure Derry will have complaints about their black card too.

  77. Championship,, it’s like boarding an untested roller coaster, nobody has the first clue as to what is about to unfold and its precious. Where and when did any of us pay so little to be so intencly enthralled, these games are precious and maybe a little optimism should be considered.

    Mayo were limping into a potentially life ending event of their teams tilt at the elusive immortality of the ultimate. I know I am not a Mayo man but I was at the edge of my seat throughout and I enjoyed an absolute cracker of an encounter, real championship stuff and bloody well done.

    I was delighted to see Aiden performing at this level and not being hindered by that possible injury but I hope Keegan is ready for battle next week as he is a vital cog in the overall setup.

    On a negative, the hesitation of certain forwards to wound is a concern when coupled and Indeed considered with their obvious talent when the shadow of the white heat of expectation has been absolved of them by the giddiness of the release gifted to them by the guile of precieved lesser mortals. In short it’s easy to knock the lights out when your money is not on the table. A bit of a concern I know,, but a hell of a game to watch as a neutral,,, entertainment is not the word, enjoy the replay before ye commence the sharpening. Trust me there were a few occasions when things just didn’t go your way but it’s great to win playing badly.

    I hope Keegan is OK after that heavy knock, if he is in trouble so are Mayo. Ye now
    need Donegal as ye have the stuff to beat them, but they will get stronger in the run so meet and beat early is the best option.
    Congrats and well done, Mayo are in the game, this can only be a good thing,,,,

  78. Huge improvement needed-hope this brings them on.A.O.S man of match by a mile.We have no composure in final third-why do our best score takers,Jason,Conor & Danny not start?Our defence was non-existent-waving a arm as someone goes past is not a tackle.Please play players in proper areas-Coen & Vaughan are defenders & Kevin is a sweeper & links up play.We are too easy to play through.

  79. AOS immense yesterday. Great spirit from team as always, Loftus goal was a special moment, took courage to strike it like that.
    Caffrekey always been huge concern at back, I was blasted on here years ago for saying that, interesting to see after years of him being second to the ball others starting to see it too.
    Clarke superb, hope the management don’t get anymore clever ideas.

  80. Great victory given an expected first round qualifier performance. Some people foolishly wrote off Derry after the Warerford game but some improvements were always likely.
    Mayo will improve again and only Donegal have a fair chance of beating them but I think mayo can get the better of them. Like Roscommon last year Donegal invested too much in the league.
    After that the quality of the team and the readiness of management for the role will be tested. For now let the roller coaster roll on.

  81. Willie, i at the time also thought it was a square ball, however ive just re watched it prob a dozen times and paused it when the kick was sent in… You can see clearly Lynch was outside the square ( just on the edge but outside ) and then made his run.. The benefit of tv replays..

  82. Just on another note, i think the Loftus goal will be in the running for goal of the season, there should be absolutely no debate as to him starting from now on.. It could be the making of this team in the future..

  83. Ger Caff simply cannot get off the ground, has rarely caught ball kicked into the square and has always been playing the man from behind and letting the forward have it.
    Either go into club football and pick one of Padraig OMalley, Cormac Healy or Rhyne Collins.
    Or simply put Stephen Coen back there. Ger Caff even with a sweeper v Donegal 2015 gave up scores.

  84. That’s is a sick photograph alright. Shame and blame on the GAA, Saint Micky Harte, and all those faceless people who have promoted this stuff.

  85. 1st of all and most importantly we are still in the pot!!!!

    Cillian absolutely fantastic when at full forward last night. His vision and awareness is just quality. Quick low ball into him and provided we have lads coming at pace he will lay it off.
    Aidan is just aidan….massive game from him and set the tempo winning all 4 throw ins and driving hard and direct down the middle with the usual 5 lads jumping on him and deegan taken the usual 5 hours to give him a free.
    Got abit wayward with the shooting in the 2nd half yday for sure but can be improved very quickly during the week as there will be feck all physical stuff done with the next game just around the corner.
    Conor loftus…well I don’t need to say anything here only game changer!
    Finally we saw the Lee of old last night coming forward at pace and drawing fouls.
    Barrett not a sweeper (even with mcentee coming onto him every 2 mins advising him) he’s a tight corner back and will revert to that roll when Higgins is back.
    Durkan going to be a huge loss but coen will revert back to a part of the pitch he is more fimilar with.
    Again Andy finding the scores when he gets the perfect ball, fairplay!
    Clarkey…..this is why you are the all star keeper.

    So positive thinking please guys. We move on and I’ll be going next week wherever the road trip takes us.

  86. A great extra time performance by mayo, but this was a third rate team that very nearly beat mayo over 70 mins. I sincerely hope mayo are getting their many errors out of the way early like last year. However, certain things really worry me.
    With the exception of Loftus and doherty our forwards were dire. Again.
    COC had some terrible misses and just cannot seem to score enough from play
    Although kevin mcL gets on a phenomenal amount of ball for a man his size, his confidence is f**ked
    When teams run at us at pace we have absolutely no answer. Better teams will Bury us for this
    Cafferkey just cannot handle high balls. He just is not a natural full back although his attitude and work rate is incredible
    I think rochford is floundering. Mayo don’t seem to have any system or dIrection and he appears to be just guessing. Sometimes I think his wife picks the team
    Having said all that, mayo always improve as the c’ship progresses and they only seem to play really well against the great teams.
    Hon mayo!

  87. Hope we don’t get donegal we don’t need any more hard games like that yesterday it will take to much out of them

  88. To the lady in front of me who looked with shock at me when I shouted at DOC to “kill him” near end of 2nd half when rolling around -I apologise. I have no excuse other than the frustration I feel when our lads are expected to just suckling it up.
    What is there to say about fat arse Deegan the man is a serial offender against since lge final version Cork to the present. There are a catalog of bad decisions which would take me too long to scribe here.
    In fairness though to MD for that incident it was the linesman’s call as he had a full clear view of DOC trying to join an attack that Mayo had won a free for. What does MD do? Books the mayo man with his marker and gives hop ball?
    I think Durkin has a chance to appeal based on photos posted on social media. Not condoning his action but this is what sometimes happens when officials are inept. I could wrong but i belive he may have got red on word from same linesman in DOC incident. There is an onus on referees to protect players and it is only a matter of time before one takes a ref or GAA to court for failure to do this
    Supporters were immense yesterday when things not going well and what a powerhouse performance from AOS. Perseverance of the Mayo men must also be admired -40 years watching Mayo and thus is an incredible bunch of lads. Onwards we go….

  89. Huge question marks must be asked about Stephen Rochford. From the throw in yesterday we had no defensive plan while going forward our only plan was to give it to Andy or Cillian and hope they could find a score. There’s no excuse for a poor performance like yesterday. It was a day to lay down a marker and say we are going nowhere instead we f#ck about with the ball for 70 minutes. It’s not good enough when we’ve been around this long and are so p
    close yet so far away. I’ll leave it with a final question: Where was Conor Loftus in Salthill?

  90. As poor a performance as I have ever seen from a Mayo team yesterday. The second half in front of goal was beyond embarrassing, confidence just drained away from experienced players. It took a young lad off the bench to show some bottle and composure.

    Other than Loftus I struggle to find any positives, Derry were themselves dreadful but we made them look like a div 1 outfit. Their goal was laughable. Caff missed the high ball but Clarke has to shoulder some of the blame too, he is there ahead of Robbie beacuse he comands his square better.

    Mayo need to scrap this sweeper rubbish, it doesnt suit us. I dont believe it gets us anywhere, we are playing it for the sake of having it, like its the popular thing to do. 2013 lost by a point with no sweeeper, 2016 lost by a point with a sweeper. Starting with Coen and Vaughan in the forwards was ridiculous, it left us with limited options in attack, made it easy for the Derry denence. It was the main reason defenders were constantly taking and missing opportunities. Only in the final stages when we had the attacking numbers on the field did we get any return from our abundant possession. Mayo need six forwards on the field, not a team full of defenders/sweepers.

  91. Mayomad 15. I would argue that we only had a defensive plan , didn’t seem to be much thought beyond mid-field.
    Game would probably have gone against us without AOS, villains kicking and a few flashes from Andy but he was showing and the ball wasn’t being fed in often enough.
    We did defend against Derry kick out really well and their keeper saved their game but really made enough mistakes to cost them the game.

  92. Agree with mayomad15 about rochford. Backs going forward forwards going back. No game plan cop on rochford and less of your bullshit tactics

  93. Hi WJ,
    Maybe you can enlighten me on the penalty, as I thought there was a rule change on it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought there was no square ball from open play. Is it not just from free kicks that the ball must be in the square before the player.

  94. The square ball rule is still there, Nephin – from open play the attacking player has to be out of the square at the moment the ball is kicked in. No ref in the world could keep his eyes on the kicker and on the square at the same time but from my re-watching it, Lynch was inside the square when the ball was kicked in.

  95. Thanks for that WJ. Yes of course, you’re correct. Knew there was some change, but remembered incorrectly.

  96. Haven’t been on here for a while. Too busy with club affairs. But I’ve kept my eye in and have watched what’s been posted and what’s being posted. All I’ll say about Aiden O’Shea is that, if he were available to any other county, he’d be the first man selected. I’ve been supporting my County since my first outing in 1969. That’s 48 years ago. I’ve seen the great, legendary and sadly departed John Morley, Ray Prendergast. I’ve also revelled in the exploits of Joe Corcoran, Willie ( Four goal) McGee, TJ Kilgallon, McHale, McDonnell . The lot.
    None, and I stress, none had such an influence on a game in Castlebar during that time as had one AOS yesterday .

  97. Whats the main problem,? Its not that difficult. The Emperor has no clothes! Bucket loads of proof since last year’s League.

  98. To Stephen Rochford, please, please put McLoughlin back as sweeper. His confidence is gone as a forward and he is light years ahead of anyone else as sweeper. It’s time too to pick forwards in the forward line – picking backs in the forward line will not give much wwork to the scoreboard keeper.

    With Durkan and Keegan (most likely) out for next game bring in Higgins and either Coen or Vaughan to the HB line and start Diarmuid and Loftus in their places.

  99. Regarding Coens positioning in the half forward line, and I was critical of that decision before the game, Clarke targetted him with his kickouts and Coen won all but 1 that came his way. After getting cleaned out in midfield by Galway this tactic was another option and it worked.
    To those asking Rochford to drop the sweeper system, I refer you to the first half yesterday where Derry ran straight through our middle and kicked pts for fun, often unchallenged. Even their manager remarked that this was an area Derry targetted. Dropping an extra man back for parts of the 2nd half helped to shore up the middle and force Derry wide for their shots, hence their wide tally increased significantly in the 2nd half.
    A sweeper MUST be an option.

  100. I’ve watched it a few times and you can’t say for certain whether Lynch was inside the square because the coverage doesn’t show it. You can only see Lynch about half a second after the derry player kicks the ball in and he’s just inside the square then so there’s a fair chance Lynch he might have been outside the square when the ball was kicked in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *