A quick look at Limerick

Photo: Live95fm.ie

The draw has been made and we’re heading for Limerick on Saturday week. I’d meant to put together a brief primer earlier on today about our Round 1 opponents but work got in the way and so it never happened. Instead, you’ll have to make do with this thrown-together bit of background info on the Shannonsiders.

Let’s start with our history against them. This is easy enough to do, seeing as we’ve only met them very infrequently down the years. A (very) quick search in the results archive yields an NFL Division IVA meeting in Askeaton in October 1966 when we walloped them by 5-10 to 0-4. Maybe that was our first ever competitive meeting, maybe not.

Askeaton was also the venue for another noteworthy clash with the Treaty County. That was in short-lived Centenary Cup back in 1985, when we were rather gallingly thumped by 3-6 to 0-5 in a Round 2 tie.

The 21st century had dawned before we finally met in the championship. That, predictably, happened in the qualifiers where, in a Round 3 tie, we squeezed past them at Hyde Park, besting Liam Kearns’ team by just a single point on a scoreline of 0-13 to 1-9.

Limerick had a decent side in that first decade of the new Millennium and we met them in the top division of the NFL in 2007. That MacHale Park encounter – which we won by 1-10 to 0-7 – was our most recent competitive one with them. Both Keith Higgins and Andy Moran lined out for us that February day eleven years ago.

Since then we’ve gone our way and they’ve gone in a very different direction. In their case, this has meant a relentless slide down the pecking order, all the way down to Division Four of the National League. It’s not an environment where they’re covering themselves with glory either.

They were relegated to the bottom tier in 2016, having lost all but one of their Division Three matches. The following year they won four but lost three of their Division Four games, finishing fourth in the table, two points off the promotion places.

Last summer’s championship campaign was short and brutish for them. They only got two runs out, the first in the Munster semi-final against Clare and the second in Round 2 of the qualifiers against Wexford. They lost both matches by a single point and their inter-county year was over before the end of June.

Things didn’t get a whole pile better for them in Division Four this spring. Round 1 saw them lose 2-12 to 0-9 away to Laois, Round 2 was a 2-11 to 0-13 reversal at home against Carlow, Round 3 saw them draw 2-8 with London over in Ruislip, Round 4 was a crushing 2-18 to 1-9 hammering by Leitrim in Carrick but Round 5 brought some succour as they beat Waterford by 2-10 to 2-9 in Kilmallock. Round 6 was a match that was never played, as their game with Wicklow fell foul of the weather and was never subsequently re-fixed, while Round 7 brought another defeat, this time by 1-13 to 0-12 to Antrim at Saturday week’s venue. They ended the campaign in sixth place, having garnered just three points.

It was also at the Gaelic Grounds, the weekend before last, where Clare brought Limerick’s gallop in this year’s Munster championship to a rapid end. The Bannermen had a facile 1-22 to 0-14 win over their neighbours in that game, in the process extending Limerick’s winless run in Munster to six years.

So, then, that’s the kind of form our Round 1 opponents have been displaying the last while. It’s small wonder, to be honest, that Paddy Power have priced us at 1/50 to advance to the next round.

I’m going to leave off on the poll I’ve tended to close posts like this with. I think all that out-of-county voting for Tyrone in the poll I put up ahead of this morning’s draw has cured me of that kind of democracy for a while. Maybe closer the date itself I’ll fire the poll thingy up once more.

Instead, I’ll sign off now by giving an advance plug for the upcoming new episode of the Mayo News football podcast. This was recorded earlier today after the draw was made and is being edited even as I type. The new episode includes, amongst other things, Stephen Rochford’s reaction to our pairing with Limerick and it’s due to go online tomorrow morning.

36 thoughts on “A quick look at Limerick

  1. 138 comments on the previous thread…..wow!

    I think this could be the first cship Mayo game not shown live since 2010 against Lford.

    Folks I have a question. Who will replace TP in midfield? It’s the biggest problem we’ve at the moment- doesn’t seem to be a straight answer.

  2. It would be nice to have a trip to have to the Banner County for the next round after meeting Limerick

  3. Spotlight I reckon Rochy likes Stephen Coen. He could go to midfield if Lee Keegan is back in the halfback line.

  4. I think people are getting ahead of themselves,I wouldn’t take limerick lightly until the final whistle goes,and spotlight I think aos is your answer for midfield,pull cillian to 11 and put Andy to 14

  5. I went to the Limerick Clare match last week and have a reasonable knowledge of Limericks pedigree. There is nothing to fear.
    For me it is time for Mayo to put the young guns to the test and give them a chance. This is the match where the newcomers need opportunity and game time.
    Forget using Andy M and the O Shea’s for this one. Let’s see Cian Hanley, Conor Loftus, Evan Regan etc.

  6. It’s obvious mayo will win ,
    I don’t see wholesale changes though and personally I would like to see alternatives to coen and drake.
    Does anyone know is ruane from breafy is progressing? As he looked decent prospect. He couldn’t be much younger than Dublin’s Fenton.
    Think 3 changes maximum

  7. We had all the league long to test new guys.we didn’t do it,why do it now when we have to win,makes no sense

  8. @Tommy from New York.
    I’ll tell you why.
    No 1. We didn’t have all league to test these guys.
    Evan Regan missed the past few months because of a facial injury.
    Cian Hanley arrived back from playing Aussie rules during the season.
    James Durkan only recently joined the squad.

    No 2. You have to be at least 4 to 5 points better than Dublin on all ireland semi final or final days to beat them by a point. They always get crucial calls in their favour. And don’t give me any of this, if we had done this or that differently we would have won the match. If the matches were refereed fairly we would have multiple all irelands.

    No 3. As good and all as we have been for the past 6 years, and we have been brilliant, because of the fact that we have to be 4 to 5 points better than the Dubs to actually beat them by a point we know that we have to improve again to lift Sam.

    You cannot expect to do that with the same soldiers that have given everything for the past 6 years. It isn’t going to happen with the same 15 or so players.

    We have a chance now to improve our team and the biggest improvement that this team can achieve is in the forwards.

    That’s why it makes perfect sense to change things up. Right now against a division 4 team.

    What doesn’t make sense is plough through the competition to as far as we can get and when the hard questions are asked where are we then. Looking at a bench but guess what. We don’t and won’t know what the lads on the bench could and would have done.

    It wouldn’t be fair throwing these new guys in when the shit hits the fan further on in the competition if nobody has shown the confidence to play them up to that point. They will lack confidence themselves if they don’t get the game time now.

  9. I wouldn’t overdo the changes but 2 are forced. Half forward and midfield. For midfield answer is AIDO for 50 mins and then push him up to FF bringing in a fresh man. Afraid I think Coen, (leadership acknowledged) is maybe a tad short of holding down a senior jersey and prefer Donie either in half back or midfield to him or indeed half forward line. Hanley could get one of the 2 half forward jerseys freed by AIDO going to midfield. The 2nd midfield slot both Seamie and Donie need game time. Seamie is the more experienced midfielder. Durcan only gets in at Loftus expense as Cillian also needs game time. Could risk holding Andy back to start Regan meaning Cillian has to be the main ball winner up front. Good case for not starting Jason who in fairness has good game time in the bag and would be a good sub whenever he doesn’t start. Coen has gotten plenty of game time and agree with other posts re Drake who is honest but just doesn’t add a boost when introduced.

  10. And under no circumstances should Barrett be held back, he needs game time and did fairly well the last day against a potential wrecking ball. There’s a case for starting Harry ahead of EOD. The other option is play both and give Higgins a half forwards jersey (sweeper) as he moves the ball faster than every other player. That option means a rookie loses out to start. Higgins simply too good to leave off so he plays. If Keegan not ready then Keith could also be placed CHB.

  11. The only reason I can’t see Lee going to midfield is that it would limit what he usually does which is a man marker first and foremost.. remember Keegan Island.. and then there are his perfectly timed trade mark runs from deep where he can chip them over the bar or go for goal while Ciaran Kilkenny is trying to figure out where he went. We will have to cut our cloth to measure and do without a midfielder in the traditional since and replace them with a play maker like a Michael D McCauley or a Paul Murphy (easier said than done) who mostly break up play on the opposition or hold up and link up play for their team mates. You don’t have to be big you just have to be brave, smart and skillfull around the middle of the field and of course keep the ball away from the big fellas. Short kicks and a running game mixed with long kick outs to the O’Shea’s if the opposition push up too much.

  12. Dublin has benefited massively with the increase in subs over the three we use to be allowed because of the strength of their bench,Mayo probably to three as good as the starting fiftteen,Dublin has another fifteen just as good,so we need another few few players to put their hand up

  13. Any suggestions for a hotel
    Had quick look nothing appears available for Saturday the 9th

  14. Not sounding like a prophet of doom,but everyone on here is assuming that the Lee that is returning(when he does) will be the same Lee that we had pre Tyrone…remember how long it took Andy after his similar injury against Down.I hope I’m wrong but it will take some time even for a machine like Lee.

  15. Andy had an ACL (cruciate) tear of the knee, Lee had a shoulder injury, very different injuries

  16. Alot of people I have been listening to reckon that mayo support will be dwindling after the Galway result. So I urge everyone one to get to limericks and support the lads to get back on track.

  17. It was, Sean, and not for the first time at MacHale Park either when playing Galway in Connacht. Like the players, though, the supporters seem to rediscover their mojo once they hit the road and I’ve no doubt they’ll do so once again at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday week.

  18. Yeah.
    Don’t know what’s going on at Mchale Park. Fairly brutal on the pitch and very half hearted on the terraces. There were many who never roared at all V Galway.
    I can’t understand this at all. Both of these matters on and off the pitch need to be addressed.

  19. From the Limerick Leader:

    Newcastle West had been mooted as a possible venue by former county player Pa Ranahan, who is the current Limerick Football Development Officer. However it is understood that capacity concerns owing the large Mayo following, ensured no switch from the Gaelic Grounds.

    I see there are a few cute hoors in their set up.

  20. On the the support issue, I was at the Albany end (the best I could do an hour before throw in – good view though), and I noted the following:

    * noise coming from the stand was consistent and impressive enough
    * quite hard to generate a shout behind the goal because support was very mixed and Mayo followers quite dispersed.

    In other words, you need quite a cohort of green and red, positioned together, to generate the noise in the first place.

  21. Re support at galway game. The support was poor because the game was poorest muck that mayo fans have been subjected to for years. Let’s face it, if it were 2 other teams and we were watching on the telly we’d have turned it off. Fans react to what’s going on, on the pitch.
    Because of the crap we saw in castlebar and the foregone conclusion that’s limerick, I believe it will be a very poor crowd indeed. Also people will be saving for more attractive games and hopefully the super 8.

  22. I was in stand for galway game,and there were only a few of us there roaring them on .looking around me i thought there was a lack of flags and supporters wearing the jersey.i felt the supporters were complacent.maybe the support base is spread out too much in mchale park,WE have to up our game in limerick and i am sure we will.let everybody bring their mayo hats and flags to limerick and loudly cheer the team on. On team front S.R. should start james durcan ,evan regan ,cian hanley to give them their chance.he may be pleasantly suprised.ROLL on the nineth of june and get the show back on the road.

  23. True enough catcool, with social media and the blog etc it really shouldn’t be difficult to organise and mobilise vocal Support. It’s very easy to say for example let’s get the Mayo chant going at specfic times like for the qualifiers just go for it at the throw in for two mins , a real concentrated effort , qualifiers could be a training exercise to see how it goes . What’s to be lost , perhaps a little dignity if one ends up roaring on his/her own .so what

  24. I don’t think the quality of the game can be blamed Ah now. The atmosphere was terrible even for the parade which was massively disappointing.

    For all our hang ups about that stand though, it really does generate incredible noise. Prime example, Derry last year. When everyone is on board it’s a different class

  25. I still can’t quite figure out why though, it was as packed as I’ve seen mchale park in ages and and as mark above has alluded to , ya can’t blame the intensity of the game completely. Even before it was like a library.

  26. As regards the support it was terrible v Galway…..A group of us were getting looks for trying to start the Mayo chant in the albany end.The atmosphere shouldnt be dependant on the quality of the game/performance. Sometimes the players lift us and sometimes we lift them….its a mutual thing.A great example was the Derry game in machale park last year and the fermanagh game the year before…the crowd just refusing to accept defeat and the players eventyally responding. Limerick last year was incredible….the mad support that day (espeically at ht in extra time) was spine tingling stuff….and there were only 13k at that.More of that the next day please

  27. I would think Rochford will be satisfied to have drawn Limerick. He surely now will have to experiment with any forward players ye have on the panel that are capable of kicking scores from outside the comfort Zone as that is the only way forward for Mayo at this stage. Limerick will no doubt give it their all but will be outclassed by Mayo and I would be surprised if ye dont win by 10-12 points at least.

  28. The noise generated at qualifiers last year, imho, was down to a backs to the wall, this is different, zero f*cks given attitude that comes from being in those situations.
    Hard to get atmosphere at a high stakes game like the galway one because everyone is too fecken tense and on edge. That’s my view anyway. We’re kinda expecting the worst at those games and then when we are proven somewhat right (in that its a dire, tense affair) the atmosphere becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
    However if we were blowing Galway out the gap in that game, you would have had plenty of atmosphere. Dampened of course in the last 10 minutes when, while 5 points up Galway got it back to 4 and we’d all revert to nervous shuffling CONVINCED that we were going to fuck it up and Galway would steal it 🙂

  29. “Any suggestions for a hotel
    Had quick look nothing appears available for Saturday the 9th”

    We booked a nice apartment in the city centre on Booking.com, I just had a look there and there’s a few apartments and hotel rooms still available. Should be a good trip, looking forward to a night out in Limerick!

  30. Is this not the perfect oppurtunity to start Drake and see what this lad is about, he must be doing very well behind the scenes that he is still in the panel, I dont see his merit in games.
    He is a man in desperate need of game time if he is to prosper.

    Hopefully Donie will be back, the backlash he recieved compared to the backlash Cillian got for his red was very different.

    Limerick should he about blooding lads.

  31. In my opinion it’s simply about trying to put into practice on the field in Limerick what they have been trying out in training – a cohesive system of play that suits us. In the league we were generally disjointed. I suppose this was because of the absence of key players, fitness and recovering from last years long season. We now need to start with our best 15 championship players, blow them away and then start giving fringe lads a chance to impress.

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