Donegal 0-13 Mayo 0-13: the great escape

We’re not done yet. It looked for long periods this afternoon at McCumhaill Park in Ballybofey that our time in Division One was finally up but when we really needed to the lads put their hands in the fire and did what needed to be done. We got the draw and with it the precious League point that guaranteed, once again, our top tier survival.

This match deserves a longer match report than this but the time is approaching six and I’m still parked up close to the pitch, with the drive back to Dublin yet to do. Because I’ve no other choice, I’ll keep it brief.

We started the match perfectly. Aidan won the first ball, our opening attack might have yielded a goal but the chance didn’t come off and Andy pointed smartly from a quick recycle.

We’d made two switches ahead of throw-in. David Drake started in place of Ger Cafferkey, with Caolan Crowe dropping to full-back, Paddy Durcan into the corner and Kevin McLoughlin shifting to wing-back. Conor Loftus lined out instead of Adam Gallagher up top.

McGlynn equalised for them but we then got the next four scores as we really grabbed this contest by the throat.

Jason Doherty, with a great catch and quick turn, fired over the first. Then Kevin McLoughlin broke forward and shot over on the run. Diarmuid O’Connor then burst through on goal but shot straight at the keeper, Andy gathering the rebound and palming over.

Andy got our next score too. A delicious pass inside by Conor Loftus was claimed by the Ballaghaderreen man but one-on-one with the goalie he couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew over.

We looked rampant at this stage but then it all went horribly wrong. Another score or two then and we could have been out of sight by half-time but they got one point, then another and before we knew it they were level.

They didn’t stop there either, adding three more points before we finally broke a 20-minute barren spell. That one came from a fortunate enough free awarded for what didn’t really look like a foul on Andy. Conor knocked it over.

They had the last say, though, with a McBrearty free to leave them nine to six up at the break.

I didn’t, I have to admit, see us rescuing the match from there and, to my chagrin, I said so on the podcast at half-time. Our first quarter start had been great but our second quarter collapse so frustrating and so very, very predictable. We were in a right hole then.

To be fair, we did up the energy levels after the break. We pegged them back to a point but, with ten to go, the lead was back out to three points. Now we really were looking down the barrel.

We didn’t appear to be helping ourselves either, with no substitutes at all introduced until ten minutes to go, when we replaced David Drake with Michael Hall.

I felt Diarmuid could – and should – have been hauled off well before then but he stayed on ’till the end. But, then again, with ten to go I was calling loudly for Kevin McLoughlin to be yanked ashore too.

Just before Michael came on, MacNialas pointed to put them three clear, driving what looked like the final nail into the coffin. But that was Donegal’s final score of the day. We hadn’t finished up yet.

A foul on Jason in an advanced position gave Conor the fairly straightforward task of pointing to reduce the gap to two. He didn’t disappoint.

Into injury time now, though, it looked like we’d left it too late. We had the ball on their 45 but couldn’t punch a way through, as we went over and back across the field to no effect.

Then The Class of 2016 intervened. Michael Hall, Fergal Boland and Stephen Coen were all involved in the passage of play that preceded Eoin O’Donoghue’s blistering surge forward. The young Belmullet man fairly let fly on the run from well out and the gap was down to one.

Donegal used up a full minute of injury time with messing and tomfoolery but we eventually got the ball back. This was our final chance to save our Division One status.

I can’t describe it in detail, I’m afraid, as I was in excitement-overload territory by then. But I can say that the score was an outrageously brave effort from Kevin McLoughlin scored – it was Mayo great Kevin O’Neill who assured me of this afterwards – off his weaker right foot from well over fifty yards out.

Now it was our turn to run the clock down. We started a row which took a few minutes to sort and no sooner was the ball kicked out than Anthony Nolan blew the full-time whistle. We’d done it. We’d got the draw.

Make no mistake, this is a huge result for us. Despite everything that has befallen us since the end of January we have, once again, managed to do enough to stave off relegation. Once more, when the questions have been asked of us in earnest we’ve dug deep and found the answers.

And with what timing too. Galway will, for sure, head into our Connacht showdown in May with extra energy from their great League campaign. But, following this afternoon’s great escape in Ballybofey, so will we.

Mayo: David Clarke; Caolan Crowe, David Drake, Eoin O’Donoghue (0-1); Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, Paddy Durcan; Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor; Jason Doherty (0-1), Andy Moran (0-3), Conor Loftus (0-6, five frees). Subs: Michael Hall for Drake, Fergal Boland for Seamus O’Shea, Barry Moran for Parsons, Alan Freeman for Doherty.

Audio report:

Man of the Match poll:

Who was our MOTM against Donegal? Pick your top three performers

  • Conor Loftus (37%, 542 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (24%, 345 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (11%, 159 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (9%, 127 Votes)
  • Caolan Crowe (5%, 76 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (4%, 54 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (2%, 31 Votes)
  • Alan Freeman (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 11 Votes)
  • David Drake (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Barry Moran (1%, 8 Votes)
  • David Clarke (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Michael Hall (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (0%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 957

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157 thoughts on “Donegal 0-13 Mayo 0-13: the great escape

  1. Had something important to do today so I turned off the phone, the car radio and paused the game before I left. Just finished watching it this second, wow, wow and wow again what a nail biting finish and what a group of players to dig out that result, McLaughlin is some boy, that O Neills was one of three size 5 balls on that field today but “cometh the hour cometh the man.
    Delighted for mayo and well done to one and all, there is life in the old dog yet

  2. Thank god for KmcL …..that’s the second year running he’s saved our bacon in div. 1. How close was that!

    We’re still the longest serving team in division 1.

    What of Loftus? Amazing what happens when ya give the young fellas a chance.

  3. A hearty well done to Mayo. Some courage to take those shots near the end and donegal must be kicking themselves.
    Great to see dublin lose a game too, some of them were delighted that Mayo were relegated today, only that they stopped listening for those final seconds.

    I hope joe didn’t leave early today.

  4. The main positive for me from today was loftus,crowe,eoin o’donaghue and coen standing up when we needed them the most. Kevin Mc take a bow. Maigh Eo Abu

  5. An absolute rollercoaster.
    It’s been a very poor league campaign, truth be told, and we maybe didn’t quite deserve to stay up based on our performances, but we’ll take it. It’s good to carry some positivity into the championship.

    All signs point to May 13th now!

  6. As someone said earlier in the season about a right footed McLoughlin point , “ it was a collector’s item”.
    Well today’s right footed McLoughlin point had to be quite simply the point of the whole league because of the implications for both teams as well as the spectacular nature of it. Of course none of that would have been be possible without the earlier youthful interventions of Loftus and O’Donoghue. Kudos to them both for grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck. Two leaders were born today and during this campaign and I also thought that Crowe is improving rapidly at this point. That is all very encouraging . Basically when the chips were down they found a way to hang on. No mistake we were lucky , and Donegal most definitely deserved to get a result at least .

    One point I want to emphasize again is there was some lack of cuteness up front and in midfield when we were trying too hard and ended up doing sloppy things.

    But we still are in division one and this will allow further blooding of new young players . It looks to me that for all but the most gifted players now it takes two to three seasons at least to establish in a top four team .

    Well done to Stephen Rochford and his team.

  7. Nothing bad came of today, Stayed in division 1 , found a free taker and blooded 3-4 new players for the championship. I will take it. keep our heads down for a month and be ready for Galway . well done team and management .

  8. Great that some of the younger players really stepped up today, this is important in terms of developing confidence. Still a bit of work to do but staying up will benefit us in future years. The resilience remains strong, now lets watch league final and prepare for the 13th.

  9. Km97 hope you managed to enjoy the hospitality of the Villa Rose following that amazing equalising point from McLaughlin? A great escape yes, but away from home and with our backs to the wall, I think we’ll all take that.

  10. The Rossies at work are so disgusted that we stayed up it has taken the goodness out of their promotion. Galway bucks not best pleased either. Sometimes you need to give the youth their chance and today they took it. That’s twice a corner back from Belmullet has raged up the field and got a crucial point against a northern team for us. I had my head in my hands at 70 minutes and I honestly thought we were goosed. Anyone doubting the seriousness of our relegation just needs look at the reactions of the county Chairman and Treasurer after the match, I’m not overstating when I say it would have been catastrophic.

  11. Nothing to say other than a fantastic group of men who yet again dug out a result when needed No doubt there will be some people picking holes but we were 2 down in injury time and our boys did it again. Nothing but admiration for this group of warriors Up Mayo

  12. Basically Mayo Academy plans would not start if we got relegated. Huge financial hit for match day income and sponsorship etc.
    We had no engine room in this league. But hopefully it will return when Tom and Seamus are fit.
    Eoin ODonoghue the find of the league.
    A few fringe players improved.
    Stick an engine in this team and theyll be much improved.

  13. Showed some serious metal today again.
    Super points by Mclaughlin (Off the right peg) and ODonoghue

    Great to see the young guys step up. Hopefully the lessons have been learned with Loftus that his position is on the ball in the half forward line delivering ball into the FF line.

  14. So impressed with Loftus today,we are the lowest scoring team in division 1 this year but if that lad gets more game time I think he can be a real match winner,great result

  15. Eating a massive slice of humble pie and delighted to do so. Never thought we’d get the win up there. What a performance in the last few minutes, just went for it and the class shone through. As Liam says above, the Rossies are disgusted, along with alot of Galway fans. Our trajectory is on an upward curve in terms of fitness and getting key players back. Remember, 6 players that started the AIF last year were not involved today. This is a massive reult.

    Donegal deserved what they got, started feigning injury and keeper time wasting from the 60th minute, came back to bite them big time.

  16. Well done Mayo. The less said about our 2018 league the better. Generally poor but still the team no one will want to be drawn against. Kevin McL has been consistantly one of our best since he scored that goal against Cork in 2011. What a leader again today. And Boyle. The rise of some of the younger lads is also a positive. Conor Loftus just oozes class. His long ball into the square in first 10 mins to find Andy really needed to be finished to the net. Eoin O’Donoghue came up to score an important point in the dying minutes. Disappointing that the bench is not used until final few minutes. Freeman and Gallagher could have made an earlier impact. The result should energise the squad for the next month of training. Best wishes to panel and management for next 6 weeks.

  17. Delighted for Conor, please please Stephen stick with him now.. Any chance the Dubs would lose two in a row…

  18. Can anybody tell me what the Michael Murphy free in last few minutes was for ?……The sideline free after Boyle had jumped over him ?

  19. Good man joe. It’s never over with these fellas. I hope you’re hoarse and have a pint or two later to soothe the throat.

  20. Some fucking prick broke my car mirrors off my car thank god for my dash cam as it was the driver of the car on front of me just because it had mayo flags on it fucking scumbag

  21. Thank you Donegal!!!!!!
    2nd Sunday in a row the opposition took a number of terrific long range points.
    We only got 2.
    Why aren’t our forwards coached/advised to imitate.
    Is there a better way to beat a blanket? And both days we knew what to expect (or should have).
    And another substitution at the death!
    Doesn’t say too much for Rochford. But in some books he can do no wrong. Not in mine.
    Why he is so admired beats me.

  22. So thats it. Cavanagh and O’Se were right. We are down after 21 years. Next year off to places like Clare and Fermanagh and dwindling attendances etc. A great era has come to an end. I wonder will Rochford go now.

  23. Hi All,
    As Revellino might say this is just where Stephen Rochford wants the team. Suddenly we seem to have all these choices. I am delighted that whatever the legacy of the older players it will not be to have been on the team that was relegated and it seems the emerging talent is there. David Brady was intetesting on MWR as he appealed for young fresh legs and Barry Moran.
    Rochford just seems to have brought Conor Loftus on to perfection and maybe F. Boland too and yet has kept Alan Freeman. He sure seems to get an awful lot right.
    Now we can bask a little like after the Kerry game last year. One can but marvel. Ciaran 2

  24. RESILIENCE!! Serious bottle from O Donoghue in the dying mins.And all done without Keegan,Barrett,Harrison and O Connor..Bet all those who werent concerned about Div 2 breathed huge sighs of relief today..Huge result..

  25. Great feeling, it’s been a while since we had some last minute madness. Cannot emphasize enough ; we’ve stayed in division 1 due to paddy’s balls of steel in clones in the first round. We have so many unsung heroes. Credit to the boys and management I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task to prep the lads for this encounter after a demoralizing performance last week. Now time to hit home!

  26. Delighted with that. Was really a poor performance today bar a few who stood up especially Conor Loftus.

    Donegal played the negative game which cost them and no better men than our lads to take advantage.

    Super scores at the death from O Donoughue and MacLaughlin. We ain’t dead and buried yet !

  27. Great to stay up we need all the time to prep for galway bit worried about rochy just not bringing the subs on in time barry moran brought on with minutes on clock dosent give him time to show just wont make the calls earlier

  28. UpMayo, I have to say that your comment about Stephen Rochford is a tad unforgiving . The goals of the league were met and that is the historical record now.
    Stay up , blood new young players , all while playing with half a team and , of that group , half of them were wintering in Dublin.
    A little bit of realism and a little slack is called for when it comes to the league .
    Rochford has my admiration for his straight forward ness , his no nonsense approach , his ability to eke our results even when he is taking options that I did not see coming .
    Most of all , his cool composure under the greatest of pressure. He is perfect for us and he has my undying support .
    The league has ended on a high for us and I hope the lads enjoy it for a few days . They need to be cut some slack after two of the last three performances were excellent against Kildare and unbelievably resilient while blooding new young leaders today.

    But of course it was patchy both during today’s game and in the league as a whole. My guess is that as long as I live Mayo will be inconsistent like that ( simply because we do not have the depth of talent of Dublin or Kerry ). But you know what the most consistent aspect now about Mayo is ? How they are undying , how they are resilient , how courageous they are , most especially under difficult circumstances . Those of us long enough in the tooth to remember different times know how hard earned that reputation has been . For that alone we have reason to be very very grateful .
    Up Rochford , Up Mayo

  29. Fair play – life in the old dog yet. A cruel sport though when one of best players on the field – indeed in the game McBrearety gift wraps the chance for ye…he will not sleep tonight I would suggest. Great point by mcloughlin though – you have to ask how they can score two long range points in injury time and go for such vast periods of time not even raising a threat. That 5-1 lead Moran manufacturerd was vital too

  30. I can’t stop smiling, I was really impressed with Mayo’s discipline, especially when Donegal started playing possession football with 20 min to go, it must have been so frustrating for the players but they never panicked or did anything rash or stupid. Everyone had us written off saying we failed to uncover any new talent during the campaign, but Loftus, Donoghue and Coen have to kick on and take some pressure off the Old Guard. But hats off to Kevin Mac, what a player and its great to see a man of limited stature letting his skill do the talking in a game that is becoming increasingly dominated man mountains ……and I’m still smiling 🙂

  31. Why do some poster’s think that the Rossi are disappointed we are still in Div 1.?… .Equally why would Dublin fan’s be delighted if we were demoted?… Sure, some individual’s in certain counties might be..I for one passionate Mayo fan am delighted the Rossi are promoted.. And don’t define my Mayoness by worrying about what some in neighbouring countries might or might not think.. Fantastic 3 Connacht teams in Div 1…for 2019…Great, think of the travelling distance. I wouldn’t want Connacht to turn into another Leinster… I’d be delighted if Sligo and Leitrim could compete at the same level… Anyways the most important game of the day, was Mayo V Donegal,.. We weren’t unlucky today, and you just can’t buy that resilience… Twenty One year’s is a mighty long time!

  32. Please, no need for MOM poll today, Kevin McLoughlin gets it, it will make me laugh if anyone else gets it

  33. Great for Donegal that their fine record in Ballybofey is intact. And don’t you feel sorry for them that those Mayo bastards indulged in time delaying fights at the end?

    Well, no I don’t frankly; they wasted at least a minute on 6 separate occasions and I’m delighted Nolan ( very good game I thought) took note of that.

    I had a feeling a draw was a possibility. As most posters have said, I had nearly given up, but once it was down to 2, was very doable. As Rochy pointed out afterwards, Conor’s kicking kept us in touch, something that’s hugely important. Again, as others have said, the young guns stood up today, really stood up. Fergal Boland’s work rate and run from the goal line made a great platform for an equalising point. Crowe impressed me today big time as did O’Donoghue. Rochy made the point that the guys coming back will have to fight for their jerseys – an interesting comment and one that puts those in possession at a slight advantage.

  34. Agree about McGloughlin, man of the match by a mile. Thats what defines top players! Think im gunna rewatch that point with the Titanic music in the background :)…our very own Johnny Sexton moment. Unreal.

  35. Just home easier to give my thoughts today.

    David Clarke – No save to make. He is hesitant on kick outs.

    Eoin O Donoghue – Immense, even without his point at the end. Biggest plus of our league campaign

    Caolan Crowe – Marked the most inform forward in the country. Conceded 0-1 from play when facing him directly and fouled him for 0-1 free which he scored. Can be very happy

    Patrick Durcan – Very Industrioud will have better shooting displays but a vital player for us

    Colm Boyle – Warrior. Set the tone in first 15 minutes. Only wish he was 21

    Stephen Coen – Another day were Stephen struggled. Murphy bossed the game in first 15 minutes of 2nd Half. Also kicked terrible wide when player in better position with 10 left

    Kevin McLoughlin – Outstanding throughout and what a finish with his weaker foot

    Tom Parsons – Not his best day looks off the pace. Needs to up his fitness levels before May 13

    Seamus O Shea – Worked really hard. Got to admire his work rate

    Diarmuid O Connor – Struggled to make an impact no lack of effort but things just not breaking for him

    Aidan O Shea – Mixed the very good with some mistakes. But he really puts his body on the line

    David Drake – Was fouled for one point. That was the highlight. Just can see what he is offering

    Jason Doherty – Looked really lively in the first ten minutes. Faded out and was replaced

    Andy Moran – Another who started really well. He was crowded out by sheer weight of numbers at times.

    Conor Loftus – The day he came of age. Really impressive and a major reason why we are still in Division 1

  36. Players had there metal tested today, young players stood up like Loftus and O Donoghue. Same failings with late subs, Not sure why fresh legs weren’t brought on with 20 minutes to go. Now its down to getting players match fit like SOS Parsons and Patrick Durcan, this will make an enormous difference. Biggest surprise for me was seeing freeman coming on. A player supposedly casted aside at the end of the FBD, we might see Reape back yet at this rate, no Adam gallagher today was he injured. Loftus showed today his best position is on the HF line he is not a corner forward. Diarmuid o Connor i see as an eventually midfield player with all his running, he hasnt been as productive on the scoreboard this year as yet but is maturing in every game. Today wasnt about the result but more about the future, Mayo needs to be in Division One.Kudos to McLoughlin for having the balls to take the shot on. Still lots to work on.

  37. Would i be right in saying the last time 3 connacht counties contested div 1 was when we won the league in 01.

  38. Up Mayo,because Stephen has won an all Ireland as a player and a manager ,because he brought a a guy in to help him who has also won as a player and a manager so he is going to get the best ideas to get that inch that will win Sam,he is not afraid to make decisions,James Horan said he would make Mayo competitive,and knock the bullshit out of Mayo football,I believe he laid the foundations and Stephen is building on it,all to play for in May,we will be ready

  39. Fantabulous. Just getting the breath back.

    Great equaliser by Mcgloughlin no doubt but my motm had to be Cinnor Loftus. If it wasn’t for him kmc wouldn’t have been shooting for an equaliser. We would have been gone.

    Great display.

    Hon Mayo.

  40. Surely Conor Loftus must now start as a regular in half forward line. He still has lots to learn but when his facing goal with ball in hand he is very dangerous and can pin point long range passes with ease. He is a talent no doubt. he is not an inside forward. The mayo version of Cantona.

  41. Very good post Leantimes. I am like you. Could care less about other teams of they are promoted or demoted.

  42. Up Mayo Live up to your name Obviously Rochford did not get everything right but he certainly did not get everything wrong either Starting Loftus was a good call Changing our fullback likewise though McBrearty kicked some beauties. Our 2nd half defensive display and discipline was excellent This team and management deserve credit All anyone with a knowledge of the game could have hoped for is that we survived The fact that half the team is based in Dublin makes that a fine achievement. Well done to Ross. Glad you got promoted And fair play to Galway as well Great league campaign Good for us all to have 3 Connacht teams in Div1

  43. Agree with Mayomessi – if we had lost this game by a point we would be asking serious questions about the use of subs – we were crying out for 2-3 pairs of fresh legs with 20 mins to go especially around midfield and in the forward line. We also need to get more support runners in the forward line. The full forward line had possession at times but no runners or support on the shoulder- hopefully this will come with better fitness.

  44. Delighted to see Mayo eek out the draw and retain Div 1 status, but I’ll say it straight, ye were a shambles all day…

  45. Whatever it is about this match I’m on a bigger high after today’s result than all the great days of the last six years . Part of me feared that we were seeing the beginning of the end of this great Mayo team but now I know these lads won’t leave the stage quietly. I’m sorry that I doubted them

  46. When you think about it, when we were 3 points down, missing a lot of our main players and having some of our other players only back a few weeks, we could have easily thrown in the towel but we didn’t. That’s the most encouraging aspect of this game, we didn’t give up. Well done to all involved and for the first Monday morning in a while, the genuine Mayo supporters can have a smile on their faces tomorrow when thinking and talking about football. This morning that is all we could have asked for. Again a big thanks for all of the efforts that the players and management team put in. They are some men!

  47. lucky draw , but you make you luck , change in the fullback line meant no soft goals conceded today , worry very few scores coming from open play but Happy Days .

  48. South Mayo Exile.. 100% correct there, re the subs…. Andy was gone, as were one or two other’s.. Make the change earlier! Lesson to be learned, 7 week’s… Until Galway, We will be without Leeroy… But fair play, Crowe and O’Donaghue showed up today.. Crowe did a very fine job on the player I think is currently for this League, the best player in Ireland… Great Day for the West,.. All the Connacht teams won today, bar Mayo but there was more jubilation with our draw than all the other’s victory’s put together… Commiserations to Donegal, they played some fantastic football in this year’s League and were unlucky in some match’s.. Great long range shooting, 3 of which were miracle point’s from Paddy McBreathy… But the best one came from another Mcloughin, wonderful stuff… Enjoy tonight everyone connected with the team, well deserved!.. Don’t know if any of ye season ticket holders are interested or not… But YE are entitled to free League Final Tickets with the season ticket… Keep an eye on the Connacht opposition, both Rossi and Galway in headquarters next Sunday… Could be a rough match between Dublin and Galway if it takes off where they finished last day out… Interesting for us!

  49. Had said earlier in the week that relegation wouldn’t be such a disaster but I have to admit that I’m buzzing still from that Kmc point and the fact that we did manage to hold on to our proud record of being the longest county in division 1. I believe that the lads are stewing nicely for the Galway game – waiting in the long grass without drawing too much attention while Galway are a mixture of hype and trepidation that they might be set up for one hell of a Mayo ambush come May! In some ways if Galway manage to beat the Dubs next week it will only add to their hype! On saying that we now need to figure out a way to beat the blanket (we still struggled today for long periods) and how to increase our goal ratio – we are simply not raising enough green flags. Conor Loftus was great today – but can he keep doing it? Delighted with O’ Donoghue and Crowe. Our midfield needs a bit more drive but that should come with increasing fitness levels. Overall the optimism has returned and I would like to say fair play to the Rossies for bouncing back up this year it is great that we have 3 counties from Connacht in Division 1 next year.

  50. Well done to the panel and management, I am over the moon tonight. What a result and two extremely important scores from McLouglin and O’ Donoghue. Great to see the new talent beginning to unveil itself, I though Crowe done very well at times also and of course Conor loftus. I think that overall the outlook is fairly optimistic, we are def a summer team. Hopefully we can improve fitness levels and come up with a strategy to nail the cocky tribesmen!!!! Bengali Tiger comes to mind when I think of Macs point?

  51. Job done. Forget about it. What happens in February/March will have no bearing on thec championship. Remember the league started earlier this year.
    Now we have 5 all stars to come back in, other players to get their fitness levels up and o donuhue and Loftus seriously pushing for a starting place.

  52. Here’s some of the great last gasp Mayo scores.
    Billy Fitz in the 1985 drawn semi final v the Dubs
    Sean Maher goal v Galway in Connaught semi final in 1989 in Tuam.
    Cairan McDonald winner v the Dubs in 2006.
    Conor Mortimer late winner v Galway in 2006 or 2008.
    Cillian O Connor point at the death v the Dubs in the drawn 2016 final and the point from play to go level with Dublin in the 2017 final from the 50 yard line.
    Kevin McLoughlin last games in league in 2016 and today.

  53. Why is Rochford making the same mistake not putting subs on when 15 to 20 minutes to go same as last year

  54. Job done stayed in division. Few lads blooded. Old failing or second chances gone in hennelly Nd cafferkey. Whilst they good squad players def not starters.

    Emergence of coen o donoghue Loftus and Crowe is key.
    Shame we no new options midfields thought Ruane from Breaffy or fionn from Westport worth a look but always next year.

    Add Barrett Higgins keegan Cillian and we will be too good for Galway.

    Think we need to push keegan up the field keep Kevin Mc in backs

    What was the full subs list seeing as people keeping saying we should have made more subs

  55. I would think at this stage Galway would be as happy not to be in league final- if they win or run Dublin close they will just have to turn up in Castlebar to beat us – also Rochford and co will be able to get a good luck at their system. If they suffer a heavy loss- it could knock some of the stuffing out of them like it did to Ros and Derry in the past.

  56. Would agree with most of what Redcol said .
    Clarke’s kickouts were INCREDIBLY slow today . Just have to improve come summer . He didn’t actually have anything else to do bar one high ball in………..
    I’d disagree with analysis of Coen. I thought he was good BUT again in a shooting position he never looked confident . Against a deep defence we can not afford to have 2 players (Coen , Drake ) who are just incapable of taking on a score. Add in Parsons today and you had 3 players running around ina circle trying to avoid shooting and at times literally running into each other .!
    I just can not for the life of me see what Drake offers . In either defence or attack.
    Today was the first time in years Bad Andy came to play.
    Bad greedy Andy who takes on silly shots . But he has earned a small biteen of credit in the bank 😀

    And now for the positives . As ye know I’m Cillians biggest advocate on here . However I think Loftus may well now be an option for longer distance frees. He seems to have a longer range than Cillian. And when the chips were really really down today he delivered. He will be starting come summer again . He is a superior player to Gallagher in every facet of play. I doubt we will see much of Gallagher tbh bar injuries .
    I also thought Crowe did fairly well on McBrearty . I haven’t watched it back so maybe I’ll change my mind but we up against a quality player .
    In terms of the league Eoin O Donoghue has been the standout squad addition. The full back issue may well be solved by him in the corner and Harrison or Crowe in full back. We are not short of options in defence now anyway …………

    So league 2018
    Job done
    Just

    Roll on the summer baby
    And as I said to Marc o Se we haven’t gone away you know 😉

  57. @parkoncroakie
    In 2001 the league was split into 1a and 1b….incredibly the div 1 semifinals were contested by Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Sligo…mayo and Sligo coming from 1b and G and R from 1A….fair going.

    Thankfully sligo held on to Div 3 status after coming from 4 down against Derry in 2nd half…who would have thought Derry in Div 4!

  58. I forgot Harrison man we have some depth in the backs.

    Say Harrison Crowe barrett
    Boyle Kevin Mc durkan
    ——Aos—Parsons
    Diarmuid Loftus keegan
    Doherty
    Andy. Cillian

    Or play a sweeper and drop Doherty in halforwards and give keegan free role.
    Higgins as impact runner in halforward or back likewise Hanley and Coen

  59. I think today shows that Loftus must get a permanent position in the team – – he showed that he can score from play as well as frees . A brilliant point from outside the 45 today as well as a great point on the run. All he is lacking is confidence & a consistent run in the team will achieve this. He brings energy &n freshness to the forward line & just look at the passes inside to Andy today !! He can make a real difference this year but needs game time.
    Crowe looked ok today & did a decent job on McBrearty who is a wonderful footballer & O Donoghue while struggling a bit in his defensive duties makes up for a lot with his forward forays & his point was wonderful ! Well worth persisting with. We need fresh young talent & he reminds me of a young Colm Boyle who was unbelievable today & the one true leader on the field all day !!!
    Diarmund runs down a lot of blind alleys & contributing very little at present although has a very high workrate but really needs to review his effectiveness – I feel he has loads more to contribute with good coaching
    .Dont know whats wrong with Aidan – -did not look on his game today & silly flicks & passes could have cost us dearly!

  60. My favourite and best day as a Mayo supporter. I’ve never seen us win Sam and it sure as hell beats winning a connacht final.

    Go on yea good things.

    Over the moon.

  61. From a dub .
    Fact . Delighted Mayo still in div1. We would be poorer without u.
    Fact. Mayo fans are some of the best around
    Fact. U will win Connacht this year .
    I know this is a gaa but a little example of mayo hospitality . Kiltimagh knock utd. beat Corduff from Dublin in the SFAI cup in knock today .
    At the end of the game the kiltimagh players and supporters applauded the Corduff team off the pitch .
    C u at the business end of the championship .
    Mayo Abu .

  62. Great feeling at the final whistle maybe we have to experience the lows of last week to feel the high of today? The delight and happiness on all the Mayo fans in Supermacs in Sligo this evening was something to behold everyone was smiling and in great form. This team continues to give us great days out long May it last

  63. – Playing in division 1 is very important so delighted we scraped thru.
    – First 15 mins were great and then we disappeared, very inconsistent and that is problem number 1.
    – Andy, Diarmuid and Parsons missed three clear cut goals would have killed off Donegal if we even scored two of them.. That is problem number 2.
    – Inability, refusal or coached not to try to score from 30 or 40 yards out. Donegal flew over points from distance..we struggled to do this. That is problem number 3.
    – Late substitions, Donegal had nearly all their subs on before we made our first one and it was us that needed fresh legs. Problem number 4.
    – We are getting crucified for pace at midfield and this has to be addressed Problem number 5.
    -Loftus MOM, thumbs up to Eoin OD and McLoughlin. Parsons, Diarmuid and Doherty should all have been subbed early in second half .
    – 7 weeks tough work ahead but we can do.it.

  64. Rochford bringing on a sub again in the last few minutes.Needed to make changes earlier,same thing the last few games,does absolutely nothing for the team or for the player being brought on. Cannot see what Drake beings to the team but he’s still there. Coen struggles and not seeing any improvement with the game time he is getting. Caolan Crowe settling into his position and getting involved.Eoin O Donohue is a massive addition to the team and Conor Loftus has to be starting anymore. Lovely finish by McLoughlin. A lot of work to do but will be well able take on Galway.

  65. Sorry, if I forgot Gardiner great point v Galway in 2009, but in the back of my mind I knew that there was a late winner in 2009 just couldn’t pinpoint it.

  66. @Km79 and there were people on here a few weeks ago berating me and telling me that I had a bee in my bonnet because I said Whelan was one of the instigators agaimst us each time a big game comes along and that he is bull thick pro dublin and anti anyone who challenge Dublin. I still believe I’m correct.

  67. What a shower of twats on Sunday Game with Whelan & O Se .. Make no mistake ..these knobs are disappointed that Mayo proved the doubters wrong yet again .. BUT , we are still a force to be reckoned with & that pisses them off !

  68. Isn’t a week a long time in sport folks?
    Strangely you could argue it has now been a successful league for us, with O’Donoghue, Loftus and Crowe, and us doing the business today under real pressure with many of the old guard missing. There were merely flashes today of what we can do when playing our best running game, typical patchy league for from us really. But we’ve shown again that we did it when it mattered.

    We need to game-manage better though. I can’t believe Aidan was put into FF after we started so well with him in the centre of the field and were dominating. Our inside line we’re doing well and we looked well balanced. Not one ball with into him at ff. Baffling. We played horrible stuff during that period.
    Going into the Galway match, one huge positive is that we’ve come up against two of the best blanket defenses/counterattacking teams in Tyrone and donegal and this is vital prep for the tribesmen.

  69. Last 2 points great and our defense looked good and tight for the first time this league in the 2nd half. The biggest success was Crowe who grew as the game went on and was even driving forward near the end. I now prefer him to O Donoghue who is a really fine footballer altogether but not as tight.
    Boyle is some warrior. Laid his body the line time and again. Should be made captain.
    Negatives.. didn’t show much in forwards after first 10 mins apart from Loftus’ lovely point on the run from distance. Several big players underperformed AOS, Parsons, Diarmaid, Paddy quieter today although his man was subbed (maybe he was playing corner back), Drake quiet after first 10 or 15. Coen tries hard but maybe not championship standard. Even Kevin Mc had a quiet spell though what a point.

  70. Positives from League:
    • We survived in Division 1 which Rochford publicly declared at start of season was going to a major challenge.

    • The development of O’Donoghue, Crowe, Coen & Loftus.

    Negatives:
    • Defensive structure or lack thereof.

    • No new mid-fielder(s)

    • No new corner forward(s)

    • Seeing some of the same old fringe / bench players being brought back into the match day 26 as the league progressed.

    • Increasing impact of home game / home crowd pressure on this team when playing in MacHale park.

    • Lee’s savage injury.

  71. To beat Galway we need 2 midfielders playing well. Tom worked hard without being a forward threat but Seamie had the more energy today. Unheralded Donegal midfield caught a good few marks as did Murphy. Neither of our first choice midfield back long so hopefully will improve.
    Donegal kept throwing footballs on the pitch to stop Clarke kicking out quickly. Surely there needs to be a 14 yard free or some such rule to stop this codology.

  72. I think David Brady said before Throw In there was a doubt about Aidan starting today due to some RIB damage. He probably played through the pain and hope he has a nice rest tonight.

  73. Sean Cavanagh also disappointed Mayo did not go down , he still cannot accept that he got well and truly ‘stuffed’ by Keegan in 2016 Q/F…THATS FOR YOU SEAN HA HA HA

  74. What did Whelo say? Have it recorded but to be honest I don’t watch it since last year. Record it in case I want to but generally happier avoiding it.

  75. Sean Cavanagh is some can of ….., Keegan finished him once and for all, hope you are reading this Sean….

  76. Sunday league update.

    O’shea: “cracks in Mayo”
    O’shea “Take Lee Keegan and Cillian out of the team” and Mayo are screwed.
    Mayo got their result today.

    “Take Cluxton” and whoever else they were missing today out and they are still as good as ever.
    Dublin lost today.

    Mr Whelans input.
    Analysis of how good Donegal were.
    Analysis of Mayo holding players at the end of the game.

    And on the evening of the the game with the most riding on it this League campaign, Whelan does an analysis of Dublin passing moves from last week’s game against Galway.

    Give me a f××ken break.

  77. Ye looking for midfielders where has Jason gibbons gone he not given much game time to improve his confidence he has great pace bringing on subs so late is drastic any player needs at least 20 mins to get into a game good to see Alan freeman still around he needs game time for confidence .

  78. Can’t say I agree with some here saying the pundits on tv tonight were unfair to Mayo in their assessment, I think that we’re fair and balanced and told it pretty much as it is. The referee was ok today, he got one or two wrong on both sides but that is to be expected. Mayo were lucky in the end as McLoughlin took at least 10 to 12 steps before that wonderful point and Ye were also fortunate with the amount of extra time played considering the row that stopped play for the remaining 30 seconds of extra time. Most refs would have played at least 30-40 extra seconds which could have either enhanced or destroyed your day. That said, every team has days when you get those calls and when they go against you so today was Mayo’s time shine.
    Hope Lee and Cillian make early recoveries

  79. The Sunday game would make you laugh. Tomas o Shea going on about Mayo papering over cracks and then in the same breath listing all the players that have to come back in…For fuck sake…it wouldnt enter his head that that may be part of the reason they’ve struggled or the fact that half the team are based in Dublin and can hardly be expected to commit fully at this stage of the year! The league is the league and in my opinion it has very little bearing come championship time except for the fact you are better off being in division 1 to get some tougher games under your belt early in the year.
    It goes without saying that Galway are no longer the whipping boys of a few years ago but I do not believe they are the second coming either. Realistically Mayo should have beaten them last year and I believe would have done if Keith hadn’t got sent off. Mayo have been far from impressive but I think you will see a very different animal come May 13. It isn’t that many months ago Mayo were within a whisker of winning their All Ireland and Galway were getting beat out the gate by Roscommon.
    Although far from being impressive the league has not been a complete disaster for Mayo…division 1 status has been retained be it by the skin of their teeth. E O Donoghue looks a real footballer, Conor Loftus really stepped up to the plate today when the need was most . At last some of the young guys from the AI winning teams are starting to mature..this was always going to take time..Hopefully come the business end of things Lee, Cillian and Keith are back in situ. Roll on May 13th because that’s when talk of cracks being papered over ends and the real games commence..cant wait.

  80. There is guts in this mayo team to get that result.we can only get better with players to Cum back.and other players to get their fitNess up to speed.Hon mayo.roll on the summer to get our jerseys out again to follow Rockford brigade

  81. Well now I think Donegal’s cynical time wasting and messing for last 10 mins of normal time did not go unnoticed by the ref. No luck about it for us. We wasted about 40 seconds versus their 6-8 mins.

  82. Sean Cavanagh is like online an online troll chewed up with negativity & jealousy – I doubt he’ll ever get over the semi final of ‘16 or the hammering in the semi final of ‘17. He was sure Dublin were going to go on and hammer Mayo in the final that he’s head is still reeling.

    Anyway summer is coming – best get prepared for the rollercoaster!

    Think Aidan predicted what would happen for us this year & what the media would say back late last year on an interview with off the ball – so far he’s been spot on!

  83. That’s a long drive back to Galway from Ballybofey but glad I made the journey. Superb battling qualities and bravery from eod to take on his effort and Kevin well he rarely let’s us down but…i have to agree with Man of Arans sentiments, I thought overall we were pretty poor today apart from a brilliant first ten mins. We were anonymous for the remainder of the half. Lads were lazy in possession and we lost all urgency. It’s a mental weakness that needs addressing. Donegal threw that game away. Mcbrearty had us 4 on 3 in the dying moments and his indecision/selfishness allowed us regain possession and create that opportunity for kevin. My impression of the game is thst most of our players underperformed.

    I’m delighted we got the result and showed real never say die but we have heaps to do. Fair play to Loftus for his endeabour today but the fact that he is bring lauded just tells you how poor the Mayo attack was today. He scored two points from play and 2/3 of the frees were tap overs (one in fairness was a monster!). I’m a fan of Conors but it’s not like he kicked 1-4 from play and a few frees on top. Maybe he can turn into that type player but he’s more likely to be a wing forward and a very good one at that! Today will do him good.

    We got the result without getting the performance .. plenty of room for improvement and players to come back. Sure it’s still only March 😉

    Up Mayo.

  84. That game meant a lot to win. When Donegal were three points up at the end the Donegal crowd around me were like “why are you still shouting, yer goosed”. My response was to shout louder. They weren’t giving up so neither was I. Sure it was very hairy at times but the joy at Eoin and Kevin’s scores are the takeaways we remember. Well done lads. Happy out ?

  85. Had a rewatch. Coen and Drake were solid enough performers.
    Caolon Crowe put on the best display of man marking from a Mayo corner back in a long time.
    McBrearty could not break to the centre and Crowe had the strength and just enough pace to close him to the endline on the outside.
    One from play and one free was tight when you consider the amount of ball sent McBreartys way.

  86. The mute button was made for those two clowns. I don’t need a Kerry man and a jacheen to tell me about mayo football. The age profile of the team is still quite good.

  87. Km79 a significant and constant factor in Clarke’s slow kick outs was that a second ball was on the pitch each time he went to go short and quickly and the ref would force him to wait for the second ball to be removed thus allowing the Donegal forwards to get tight on our defenders..the umpires retrieved the second ball at centipede pace…on one occasion ( I might have missed other instances) I saw a Donegal forward fetch a ball that had crossed the line and throw it back on the pitch to force Clarke to wait for it to be removed …a coming of age match for Loftus and agree with those who reckon he should be playing in the half forwards! Phew! (PS the AGS had a breathyliser checkpoint out the road from Ballybofey to Donegal …shooting fish in a barrel and causing a complete pile up back in the town)

  88. @Mayonaze. Connor Loftus kept us in the game today. We would now be in Div 2 but for him and some of his team mates.
    We would also have exited the championship against down last year but for Connor.

    @Gamechanger10. Ur pulling the piss. If not, specsavers opens at 9am. I can give you a lift there just in case you crash with sight like yours 🙂

  89. Hon Mayos…
    Re; Jason Gibbons
    Played in Mayos first three games of the league.
    Surely that is enough game time to impress or otherwise.

  90. What a relief. Still can’t believe we got a result today. Great start and then total collapse. Donegal time wasting cost them in the end as they had us beaten for pace on several occasions but started going around in circles. Keeper got away with murder on kickouts. League done and dusted and now on to May 13th. Nicely under the radar and scouting out the long grass. Best of luck to Galway in League final and welcome back to the Rossies. Less travel for us next year!

  91. Great to grind out the draw . Delighted for Rochford and the lads . Few waiting with the knives out if we got relegated but once again the lads dug it out . Time now to get lads back and improve fitness .

  92. @ Revellino. I agree on today but don’t know why you mention the derry game. I think youre missing my point, that is that I think some supporters are getting a little carried away due understandably to the emotion and manner of the comeback. He scored 2 pts from play. Conor has class but he isn’t in the prolific scorer territory (yet). Delighted he had a good game.

  93. our goal was to retain our Div 1 status and blood new players. Job Done. Well done to the panel of players and Management. In a couple of weeks the manner of our achievements will be forgotten about. The football starts here. A big well done to the thousands of loyal Mayo fans who thronged to Ballybofey today. This felt better than a win in many ways Up Mayo

  94. @ Mayonaze. I saw him give the best pass in the game, actually he did that last year as well agaimst Kerry. I saw him score a brilliant point on the run. I saw him kick a free over from abot 55 yards out.
    I’m not saying he’s the finished article, but Mayo have been raving for a natural forward to help out with Andy and I think Connor has made great strides.
    If I was a Mayo player tonight I would be singing his praises.

  95. Mayo Exile (i.e. the one using the yahoo.com email address) – as I said earlier on, please stop using this handle as someone else thought it up before you. I’m putting you through moderation until you post with a different handle.

  96. Back from the hills with a big happy head on me. It was all about the result today. There’s so much work to do, there’s so much to talk about, but more importantly there’s so much to be positive about going forward into the summer. Bring it on 🙂

  97. Can somebody phone Bernard Flynn and tell him to not light the fire to roast Mayo yet? And if he’s really hungry there’s a team in his own county that are beginning to smell bad, maybe roast them first before they go rotten altogether.
    Well done to the Rossies today, great to see them moving well again, though I was rooting for Tipperary. Very easy on the eye football played by tipp these days.

  98. I don’t like to single out any player but I can’t really see what drake brings, and the unfortunate thing is he ends up in some good positions but doesn’t know what to do, it’s a sad reflection on our forward subs that he was picked as a forward

  99. Revellino,
    I’ll take that lift to spec savers but if you don’t mind I’ll drive, genuinely delighted ye kept your status but do tell how many steps he took ??

    Great day for Mayo football and I’m delighted as ye are like an old friend at this stage, I hope neither of us lose the invite to this particular club for quiet a few years to come.

  100. Rev; it was a super pass alright. We certainly have been waiting for someone to come along and add some weight up front. Hopefully he continues to improve. What we really need is a natural full/corner forward. Wouldn’t you think in a county as football mad as Mayo that we’d have far more options. As things stand, our best version is 34 yrs old and a reformed wing back!! It’s head scratching.

  101. Great to be still in Div 1. No more worrying about it now for another 8 or 9 months.

    Thanks WJ for keeping the blog full of information, facts, games analysis, game and team updates, podcasts, photos, links, paper updates and any number of other infirmation. I really and truly don’t know how you manage it all but you’ve made it a brilliant year again. Much appreciated.

    @Mayonaze. Yes I’d agree. It’s difficult to fathom how we haven’t had more of those types of player. It’s always nice to have a couple of speedsters with the skill to unlock defenses. We will keep trying and we will get there.

    @Gamechanger. It’s always great to stay in the division and look forward to locking horns with yea in the league next year. Good luck in the championship.

    Happiest I’ve ever felt after a Mayo game 🙂

  102. Game changer. It looked like Kevin took 7 steps including the release to kick. Looking a few times, he did a couple of small sharp steps to turn, so maybe 9 including the release. Definitely nothing like Kevin McMenim did in the 2011 AIF against Kerry… Mcloughlins point definitely would have been a crazy harsh overcarry decision…feel free to take up reffing after the eye test lads.

    I thought Donegal were frustrated after Mcloughlin levelled.

  103. Great pride and heart from Mayo today compared to tyrone last game last weekend. So important to stay up in Division 1. Conor Loftus stood up today but we need that every game. Caolan crowe was brilliant. Man of the match. Kept a forward like paddy Mcbrearty who is in the top 3 forwards in the country very quiet. Be a spring in mayo’s step for training tuesday night compared to if we got relegated. Seamus O shea needs to stop kicking the ball. Give every ball away.

  104. I’ve just added video of Kevin’s point to the match report so you can all judge for yourselves on the steps issues. I’d agree with KeepMovingForward that it looked like around seven. So, technically over-carrying but in the modern game that number of steps is par for the course in every game. Unless you’re Ciaran Kilkenny, of course, in which case a good dozen or more before a hop or solo would be a rough average.

  105. Actually similar enough to Kevin McManamons… sorry to rub that one in Gamechanger! Still would have seemed harsh enough though.

  106. Goodman WJ. It proves to a point what I just said about yea in the post above. Hah hah hah Kilkenny doesn’t have to play by everybody else’s rulebook for some strange reason. A fireman on an extension ladder takes less steps than he does.

  107. Ciaran Whelan was all over Mayo’s cynical play. But, couldn’t see anything wrong with the time wasting tactics of Donegal.

  108. TJ Reid in the hurling an awful man for taking steps and never getting penalised. Top player but gets away with 10 or more most of the time on the break with only 3 allowed.
    Tipp scored a goal v Dubs today which was was over the allowed steps and not even a mention from TG4. The football not as bad, hadn’t noticed C Killkenny being the worst offender.
    Nolan did well enough today bar on Michael Murphy who played very well but must have clocked up 5 or 6 personal fouls at least. Eventually yellow but should have gotten line for just taking the piss. He’s at it most games and always seems to avoid the line. A case of refs afraid to dismiss star players?

  109. Gamechanger10 what did u think about Tomas O’Shea saying that time-wasting by fighting and wrestling in extra time has crept into the game in the last 6 months?

    Do you think he was telling the truth?
    Or….
    Did he make you cast your mind back to semi final replay extra time in Gaelic Grounds in 2014? Who started fighting to waste time in extra time that day?

    In my opinion, Neither Tomas nor Ciaran tells it like it is.
    They both say whatever suits their own counties – they are biased and un-professional.

  110. Glad we stayed in Div1 but we were so lucky! Donegal looked to have it and played better for longer than us in that game.

    Rochford buckley and co must be thankful of their luck because only for a few individuals who stood up we’d be in div 2. We only played well for 15 mins and once again our sideline were too slow to make changes! Those changes should have been made 20 mins earlier. If you look at each 1 on 1 battle id say donegal won 9 or 10 out of 15. We were cleaned out in middle all the way up pitch. It seems there is more emphasis on fitness then skills these days. Drake was very poor but still got an hours game time and himself and Cohen dont know how to take a score from score able positions. The 2 osheas and parsons were cleaned out in mf. Donegal got close to 10 marks I reckon…did we get 1? Sos gave so much ball away and picked a ball off ground to gift donegal a scoreable free. Donegals 4,6,9 and 10 did serious damage and Murphy and mcbrearty got on a power of ball and did the same.
    We had good performances from boyler and loftus and doc did well. Really worrying our lack of scores from forwards from play. We had 3 chances to hit net and didnt so lots to do. You can be as defensive as you want but the object of the game is like most you still need to outscore your opposition.
    If there was a director of GAA in mayo would they be happy with the managements performance? I have to ask that question. The last few games have really worried me.

  111. @jamesg Gibbons was tried in 3 league games and fbd and started alot of them and didn’t really impress

  112. Pk – our entire full forward line scored from play today. 5 between them if I recall. Hardly bad going against a blanket defense in the hardest ground to go to in league football

  113. Fergal Boland grabbed the game by the balls when he came on. An assertive, composed performance from the young man.

  114. @mayomark 2 of them did and how many from play…not enough! Analyse the whole league and sweet eff all has come from our inside forwards Mark! You would expect your inside ff line to chip in at least 1-5 from play between the 3 each game. I want to see mayo win an all ireland I really do but there is a massive problem with fans being happy with below par performances and most of ye are happy with a below par performance today. A number of donegal lads I spoke to before game told me that they were very poor this year and they have been cleaned out around the middle all year…yet we made a team that only beat kildare push us to the wire when we should have had 2-5 on board in 1st 20 mins. It’s frustrating because that group of the last 10 years has been the best group we’ve ever had and they’re coming towards the end of their playing careers alot of them

  115. There’s definitely life left in the old dog yet : ))) How happy it makes us feel.
    I just want to share two observations and I’m not sure what other people noticed. Regarding David Drake, I’m afraid that until today I wasn’t sure of his part in the team. But I thought in those first fifteen minutes he was very good today – he was a running half back and we know he has serious speed. When I saw him on the lineup, I thought he could offer fast movement up the field for us especially after our slowness going forward against Tyrone the last day. What happened is that he carried the ball right up into the half forward line and offloaded to our forwards to score. He did this several times and he looked capable, fresh and feisty. This injection of fast forward movement, energy and competence was a welcome relief after our sluggishness against Tyrone in Castlebar when we couldn’t organise our way through to score. I could see his role and value then.

    Secondly, it seemed that we hardly caught any kickouts (our own or Donegal’s) when they went long to midfield. (Correct me if I’m wrong – I’m working from memory of watching it on TG4 this afternoon). This was immensely frustrating to me because *the* main problem after our purple patch early on is that Donegal were just carrying the ball into our half of the pitch and were able to score from distance. They did it repeatedly. It seemed that they were easily winning possession from kickouts in midfield and just bouncing off this to go up to score. We needed to cut off avenues for them to get possession. I thought Mayo were supposed to be good at catching ball from kickouts in midfield.

    Those are just two things I noticed. Like so many other Mayo supporters, I feel so happy with today.

  116. The team and management will know that we were lucky to stay up… Concidering everything, we were seriously undermined by so many top performers not in a position to play due to injury….. The standard for 70 minutes would not live with the top 5 teams in Ireland, not at this present moment anyway …. Neither would Donegal… We shaded a draw…. But it’s still a great way to prepare for Galway,.. Look, good luck and Commiserations to Donegal, they changed their way of play, beaten by the odd point or two a few times in the league….It’s tough, Donegal were brave, to change their way of play in the league.. The jury is still out on them, but I think it will yield a divided in the final analysis.. Overall Lady Luck did not shine on them so far in 2018…
    Some time the God’s are on your side, even when it appeared they weren’t… New and never played before game to be played on May 13th….. Thank’s to the many Mayo supporters who turned up in Ballybofey again today…. Mayo supporter’s are the best!.. Sure what’s new about that,….

  117. Pk. All three scored. Andy got 3, Doherty 1 and Loftus 1 from play. Including frees (2 of which were tap overs created by Andy (1) and Doherty (1)), our full forward line contributed 9 of the 13 points scored yesterday. Again, not bad against a blanket on a tight pitch without our top scorer ever.

  118. Game changer i don’t care if he took 20 steps

    go and have a look at these clips of the Dubs steps against us last year in the AIF

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mkMMxm-DfAE

    Same crap after every match from some people yee were lucky with this and that.
    You take your good luck when you get it cause your definitely going to get bad luck at some stage

  119. The big question for us going into cship will be whether our new lads can continue their good form. They’ll need to do more than this – They will need to lead because there is no doubt that some of the older guard are struggling. Hopefully like last year they will spark into life come the summer but either way we need fresh blood to really be taking more of a lead and shouldering more responsibility.

  120. Colm Keys player rankings very much in line with my own thoughts unusually:

    Mayo – D Clarke 7; E O’Donoghue 7, C Crowe 7, P Durcan 7; C Boyle 7, S Coen 6, K McLoughlin 7; T Parsons 6, S O’Shea 6; D Drake 6, A O’Shea 8, D O’Connor 6; J Doherty 6, A Moran 7, C Loftus 8. Subs: M Hall for Drake (63), F Boland for S O’Shea (65), B Moran for Parsons (67), 22 A Freeman for Doherty (69).

  121. I have to say for me Kevin McLoughlin was our best player through the whole match. Thought it was fitting he got the last point. I’d give him more than a 7. Did Conor get 6 points or 7 points?

  122. Sinead37, that was a great clip with the music, the greatest thing about the McLoughlin point was the youth involved, started by Hall, onto Boland, Hall, Coen and finished McLoughlin, these lads are well capable of doing this again in the Croke arena in a final.

  123. pepp in my step this morning,happy out, nobody is saying it was a top class performance,
    but we achieved what we set out to do,division one status secured,and some newbies are showing true grit too,
    i dont get why people have to be overly negative here,yes we need to improve bigtime,yes we made a lot of mistakes,
    but by god we showed there is definitely life in the aul dog yet , Kevin mcloughlin is such an unsung hero ,what a point,holy smoke it was top class,i couldn’t give two fiddlers how many steps he took,he got the point ,end of!
    Eoins point was monstrous also, this will give him a massive boast of confidence,
    the lads themselves know this league campaign wasn’t up to scratch,we scrapped through, just,but we did get through and that’s all that matters .
    them too goons on rte last night are awful,called themselves pundits,laughable ,but there is no surprise there,we are never rated by anyone in rte,and ya know its a good thing, they know come the business end we will be there causing them grief,F**k them i say!
    the lads have 7 weeks to get ready for the next battle ,roll on 13th may .
    up mayo!

  124. Mayo88 I was thinking that too – all the young lads involved and ending with the ‘old’ experienced head.
    It’s great to wake up with Division 1 secured for another year. It’s so good to annoy everyone by not going away and dying like they are predicting since 2013 AI defeat. Will they not ever learn? I don’t do League nerves really but yesterday I got an early serving of Mayo style nerves and heart under pressure workout. And it’s ONLY the League! They make us feel alive and not just in the Summer anymore!!!!! It’s an all year rollercoaster now. I love our team.
    A Revellino story would be great today!! Hint hint.

  125. The most encouraging thing yesterday was that we had a serious deficit to climb at half time. We were three points behind a blanket defence in the toughest ground in league football. We outscored them 7 to 4 in the second half. The fact that we found a way past the blanket is massively encouraging going into the Galway game.

    Up Mayo!

  126. Con O’Callaghan still hold the title for the “Most steps resulting in a score” category

  127. Comhgairdes do foireann Mhuigheo. What a result for Mayo GAA football to stay in Division 1. I thought the newbies were excellent: EOD, Crowe, Loftus, Coen, Boland and Hall when introduced. I also though that David Drake did really well and it seems he gets little credit from some people on the blog which I think it is totally unfair to the player! Of course the older brigade were awesome, Boyler, O’Shea brothers and Caoimhin MacLochlainn-what a point.
    Go neiri le forieann Mhuigheo i gconai.
    Mhuigheo abu-bigi linn!!

  128. I’m late to the rte analysis debate and I’m even loathe (because its hardly worth the typing effort) to discuss it but I agree in part with what most have to say. I don’t mind the analysis itself per say, as most of the time they talk about the key points of the game but do they really think the whole gaa national population are completely stupid! So whats so blatantly stupid and full of hipocrasy? The so called two greatest powers in GAA Dublin & Kerry can no longer whinge about each others tactics since the Pat Spillane gate so they use the neutral ground that is Mayo to further their agenda or to call out aspects of the game that they no longer like or are no longer a useful tool in their strategy. Everybody and the dog on street knows this and the discussion at coffee break around the country will be about how Dublin & Kerry cant stand up & say it when it really matters because winning is all that matters to them now and not how you win. Dublin cant understand then why the rest of the country take no value in their wins.. news flash.. becaugse you rugby tackled half the Mayo team to ground in last years final. Grow a pair of balls Dublin & Kerry and stop using Mayo to cover up that smell which is the reek of hipocrasy. One thing I will say for Pat Spillane is that he was part of one of the greatest, if not the greatest football teams of all time and as a kid I was in awe of how good they were and wished we had a team like that. Can you say that about this current Dublin team.. most definately not. Why! Because they haven’t the balls to stand up and say yes.. we cheat, we do what ever is necessary within the rules, on the very edge of the rules and outside of the rules to win. Its win at all cost. I might not like it but you would have some grudging respect. Right now I have zero respect and I would say that applies for a big proportion of the Country.

  129. ya noticed that to what Donegal were doing, each time Clarke tried to go short a second ball was on the pitch ……sly tactic

    thought he found guys v well yday with his kick outs

  130. @swallow scoops re David drakes role…he was picking up number 4 who ran riot! @mayo Mark we scored 13 points against donegal and as I said we should of had 3 goals. When we ran at them and went down flanks on counter gaps appeared. Their defense was shocking.
    They conceded the following this league campaign with the same porous so called blanket:
    2-18 to kerry, 1-12 to Galway, 20 points to dublin, 3-7 to kildare,2-13 to tyrone,1-16 to monaghan. Kildare even put more on the clock than us so get a grip and be realistic

  131. I can’t claim to be an expert on Donegal’s style of play all this League, Pk, but I felt Donegal played a very similar style of football yesterday to the 2012 onwards era. I could be wrong but I suspect they agreed to go retro for this one, knowing our problems in dealing with the blanket and knowing too if they were open at the back it might not go well for us. Aside from that opening spell – where I agree with you we should have (not should of, by the way!) scored three goals – I thought they were well structured defensively but our laboured build-up, starting with our short kick-outs (don’t mention the war) played right into their hands in that respect, until the two lads cut loose and went for it right at the end.

  132. Delighted with the draw. Still though overall disappointed with the performance. Let the hype and drama of staying up not paper over the cracks that were very apparent yesterday. Team has bottle which we knew was there, but should not have been in that position in the first place.

    Mr. Whelan makes my blood boil regarding his “cynical ” comments. Now its a huge problem in the GAA all of a sudden … apparently. No mention of the carry on in the last minute of the AI final last year from the Dublin players when the stakes were higher. Hon knockmore

  133. Donegal haven’t played a blanket all year. It was evident that they reverted to that after we went 0-4 0-1 up. Granted, the game should have been over, because if Andy scores and makes it 1-4 to 0-1, there’s no blanket, and I think we pick them off.

  134. I know Kevin is getting major recognition for his point yesterday and rightly so – he is consistently under-credited for the role he plays – but I thought young Eoin O’Donoghue’s point at such a crucial moment was outstanding, as was his attitude in just going for it and taking it on. Reminded me of Chris Barrett v Tyrone in 2013 – grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.

    Kevin has had a fantastic league and I also think Coen – who rarely gets any plaudits – has actually been quietly effective. ref blew it up when he did. Young lads stepped up yesterday which is encouraging. Loftus was excellent, wasn’t nearly as easily dispossed yesterday as in previous games and got a beauty from play. He laid off a lovely pass to Andy too for the goal chance. I thought Crowe did much better than he is getting credit for (offline at least, it’s being well acknowledged here). Great to see Boland come on and look as confident as he did. Despite the fact that he looked fresh and pacey yesterday I’m still a bit bemused that Drake is so far up the pecking order if I’m honest. Gallagher did well off him yesterday and he seems to panic when he gets past the 50.

    Whelan’s indignation at game-winning cynicism – notably absent last September – was the icing on the cake. Amazed he didn’t mention the steps, but happily there was an online army of Dubs – studiously ignoring the fact that without their no. 1 goalkeeper they are distinctly less threatening – helpfully there to point it out. It’s quite flattering that they pay their main rivals so much attention. Funnily enough there wasn’t a mention of Donegal’s sly little delaying tactics. How long exactly does it take Michael Murphy as a rule to take a free? He’s pretty slow in general, yesterday he was twice as slow. It’s little wonder the ref blew it up after the melée. (Was it a melée or a schmozzle?)

    Rarely has a draw felt like a win like yesterday – talk about living life on the edge … it was a pretty dreadful league all in all but miraculously we pulled it off. And that’s all we wanted on day 1. The drama just makes it really. Pretty cheap shot above from Up Mayo at Rochford. Wonder why.

    McBrearty is wonderful to watch, I have to say I’m a big fan. Was impressed with Jamie Brennan too. I wouldn’t be writing Donegal off too early this year.

    Now for 13th May and an ambush. Wonder if we could move it to Pearse Stadium given our home form ! Maigh Eo Abú.

    Lovely to see the cúpla focail there Oileán Acla!

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