Tyrone 0-10 Mayo 2-13: easy in Omagh

This was meant to be a tough one. Healy Park is always a venue where victories – if a visiting team is fortunate enough to come away with one – are hard-earned. Today’s nine-point triumph at Omagh for James Horan’s team was, though, as easy a win as we’ve had for a long time.

In retrospect, everything leading up to today’s game was undemanding. The drive up from Dublin was a breeze, there was loads of parking to be had at the Silver Birch Hotel – in whose lobby I’m bashing this piece out on the laptop before taking the road home – where we got fed and watered before strolling up the short distance to Healy Park.

There was plenty of space in the stand when we got there too, though we were admittedly in there close to an hour ahead of throw-in. Old habits die hard.

We made three switches before the start. Eoin O’Donoghue was replaced by Michael Plunkett, the Ballintubber man making his League debut in the process. But another putative full debutant, James McCormack, didn’t start, his place being taken by Stephen Coen. In the forwards another young starlet – Conor Diskin – also gave way, with 2017 Footballer of the Year Andy Moran starting instead.

Stephen Coen lined out in the full-back line, with Michael Plunkett taking up station at centre half-back, freeing Lee Keegan to revert to wing-back.

The first twenty minutes or so were cagey enough. They got the day’s first two scores – the first from a retaken free, the second a free shot arising from a forward mark – and we had nothing to show from those opening exchanges aside from a yellow card for Michael Plunkett for a high challenge after just two minutes.

Then Fionn McDonagh fired over smartly after Brian Reape had done well to win a long ball pumped in. Shortly afterwards, Ciaran Treacy similarly marked his debut with a score, this one supplied by Andy Moran who gathered the ball played in and offloaded on the turn.

Tyrone probed repeatedly with raking long balls in but these proved meat and drink to our backline, in particular Keith Higgins. With no more than fifteen minutes gone he had taken three interceptions, using the possession as the platform for breakout attacks.

They went back in front again on 21 minutes when Peter Harte drove right through the middle and pumped it over. But that was as good as it got for the home side – a further 21 minutes would pass before their next score and by then we had them more or less where we wanted them.

Our intent in this game was signaled by Ciaran Treacy, whose second point was a super long-range effort. Andy, hugely influential for us today, was once again the selfless provider following a delicious ball played in by Paddy Durcan.

Then Andy turned finisher, with two points in quick succession. The first was a bit of collector’s item, as he punted it over after claiming a forward mark, the first such score we’ve got in the League under the experimental rules. The second was a more regular score, with Andy fisting over, though with Jason Doherty lurking unmarked inside there was a hint that we might have made more from that chance.

Another goal chance appeared soon after. Aidan O’Shea picked Mattie Donnelly’s pocket beautifully well out the field and the resultant attack saw Andy play the ball to Brian Reape who opted to pick and shoot rather than palm it goalwards and Morgan saved. Robbie Hennelly, though, drilled the resultant ’45 between the posts and we led by three.

Brian Reape had another goal chance batted away by Morgan but soon afterwards we did have the ball in the net and from an unlikely source. Keith Higgins found himself in possession close to their goal, where he did that mazy, slaloming kind of run of his that’s almost impossible to stop and smashed the ball to the net. Now we were motoring.

Just before half-time Fionn McDonagh bagged his second score. Again, there was maybe a goal chance on offer – with Brian Reape unmarked inside – but the Westport player was probably right to take the point and it was a score that sent us in an improbable seven points to the good.

Sitting high up in the stand, in the company of the Club ’51 gang, I had failed to notice that the rain had begun to fall in earnest. Then I discovered that what I’d thought was an outsized queue for the jacks was actually hordes of perished souls seeking shelter from the rain that was now bucketing down.

A big concern I had at the break – in common with most of our supporters, I’d say – was how well we’d do in seeking to protect that lead. Once I’d got back from the jacks, though, I was happier as the wet conditions would mean the end of the free-flowing football. It would be tough, I now reasoned, to chase a game in that weather. 

To the lads’ credit, though, it wasn’t a lead they sat on. We were out the traps first after the break, with Andy playing a quick free into Fionn McDonagh who stabbed it over.

The same two players were involved in our next score too. Fionn set off on a scorching run – and, boy, has this lad pace – and offloaded to Andy who fed Jason Doherty who hooked it over from distance.

Tyrone eventually claimed a point, another one from a forward mark, and they got the next one too, from sub Kyle Coney, as they sought to staunch the bleeding.

Another quick ball up the field from a free sent Jason Doherty away. The Burrishoole man made no mistake to ease us back eight clear.

They hit back with a point right from the restart but we replied a few minutes later. Diarmuid O’Connor’s surging run ended with a foul and from distance Robbie thumped it over the black spot from the resultant free. By now we’d made our first switch, Conor Diskin coming on for Brian Reape.

Jason Doherty, once more in the thick of things, was fouled as he sought to burst clear. He picked himself up and belted the free over.

Tyrone pulled one back but then the roof fell in on them. Yet another quick ball in from a free found Fionn McDonagh and the Westport man drove at the heart of the Tyrone defence before firing to the net.

From then to the finish it was simply a case of closing out the game. This, for a change, we did with no fuss at all. They added three further points to their tally, one from play from the madcap Morgan, we put on just one – a raking shot from distance from Paddy Durcan that fizzed over – but they never came close to breaching our goal and we won with ease at the finish.

This was a great performance at many levels. The winning margin was almost the inverse of the shellacking they inflicted on us down at MacHale Park last year and once we surged clear we made sure we stayed there.

It was a day when young lads and elder statesmen alike played well. Fionn McDonagh, Ciaran Treacy and Michael Plunkett will all – deservedly – get major plaudits for their displays today but at the other end of the age spectrum older hands like Andy Moran and Keith Higgins were superb as well.

Noteworthy again today was the strong work ethic we showed from start to finish. The lads were patient early on as Tyrone probed for openings, then they were ruthless when the opportunity to kill the game came their way.

So tonight we’re top of Division One, with four points in the bag and relegation already almost a topic we don’t have to discuss this spring. We’re not secure in the top tier just yet but a win over Cavan next Saturday night will mean we’re all but certain to stay up and it will also give us reason to start thinking a bit more expansively about how this League campaign might go for us. This is nice territory to be in after just two rounds.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (0-2, a ’45 and a free), Michael Plunkett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins (1-0); Stephen Coen, Lee Keegan, Paddy Durcan (0-1); Diarmuid O’Connor, Donal Vaughan; Fionn McDonagh (1-3), Aidan O’Shea, Ciaran Treacy (0-2); Andy Moran (0-2), Brian Reape, Jason Doherty (0-3, one free). Subs: Conor Diskin for Reape, James McCormack for Keegan, Kevin McLoughlin for Moran, David Drake for Coen, Matthew Ruane for Treacy.

Who was our Man of the Match against Tyrone? Pick your top three performers.

  • Fionn McDonagh (40%, 793 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (21%, 410 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (7%, 130 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (6%, 112 Votes)
  • Ciaran Treacy (5%, 103 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (3%, 64 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (3%, 59 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (2%, 49 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (2%, 48 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (2%, 47 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (1%, 29 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Brian Reape (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Conor Diskin (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (1%, 11 Votes)
  • James McCormack (0%, 9 Votes)
  • David Drake (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,213

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79 thoughts on “Tyrone 0-10 Mayo 2-13: easy in Omagh

  1. Didn’t I tell ye we’d win! Debutantes promising and to know that Well soon be 22 years in top flight. Reape quiet but that’s no concern.

    Important not to get too exited though…still the prospect of having found some new forwards is great.

    AM deserves a mention, played well…our own Tom Brady.

    Tyrone very negative. Even when 10 behind they had one man up front… ridiculous.

    So that’s it…we returned the serve!

  2. Really encouraging and credit to Horan as all today’s changes came oof.
    Great to see that pace in the Mayo forward line. Treacy need a little more S&C work but was good, but McDonagh looks up to this level already. Both have that real pace and not afraid to take shots wither. Plunkett also very composed and smart in possession.Other positives –
    I think CB may be Coen’s position. He is strong and athletic and I think those attributes are best used at CB
    Reape didn’t score but would definetely persevere with him as FF as he is a goal threat and can win his own ball.
    Aidan drifted in to FF from time to time, but at lot of the ball in to him was that high dropping ball that give the FB the advantage. With the right ball that Aidan, Reape and Diskin could really cause carnage.
    Andy – Could he actually be getting better?
    Harrison growing nicely in to that FB role.

  3. Superb display and McDonagh was immense. Some guys just have a look about them that they are proper footballers…..example Lee Keegan and McDonagh has it as well

  4. Not getting carried away but like Man U since Mourinho got booted out, good to see good attaching football being played again.
    Mayo’s best / most complete league match performance since James Horans previous era.
    Also, well done to Hennelly, some great kick outs and the 50’s also.
    I’m really looking forward to the meeting with the Dubs in Croker.
    Mayo got 19 points today, the Dubs got 18 v Galway last night.
    To beat the Dubs in any game Mayo will need 19 or 20 points on the board.

  5. Lots of strong performers today. I felt McDonagh would get MOM based on scoring rate and very well taken goal.
    Keith and Andy probably all in the reckoning and all 3 half backs very prominent. Treacy looks good but a year or more away on S&C. Boland probably a better bet. Plunkett looks a fine half back. Coen did well but not sure if mobile enough for corner come summer. EOD and Drake probably better bets there. A

  6. Didn’t get to game .Only got to see 5 mins of it on the box but by sounds of it the team as a whole had a solid showing .By all accounts Horan has the lads well prepped .How did Dotherty play?

  7. Wasn’t at the match but listen on radio it sounds extremely positive. Early days but the commentary pointed to the intensity from start to finish and with some new names been mentioned it’s looking like we will be competitive for the season and that’s what I hoped and expected under JH

  8. I would caution though that Tyrone were crap with a capital C and we left at least 2 goal chances maybe more behind with Jason (point) and Andy (punch over instead of lay off) the most glaring.
    Also teams this summer will have to plan for Morgan playing as an extra man.

  9. That was an excellent win in Omagh. It’s a difficult place to get a result in and to think our young lads had such promising displays makes it all the sweeter. Great to see a good bite in the squad and it’s obvious there’s competition for starting berths.
    Horan brought unity and hunger back to the squad which can only prove positive. Onwards and upwards.
    Maigh Eo Abú

  10. good display today , plenty of running and forward play , how ever Tyrone were very poor and our scoring rate in second half was not great , just why cant Mayo keep going and build up a big score when they are on top. Much better football to watch

  11. Well. It looks like we’re a league team once again. Who here would have dreamed we’d get such a start? What I took away from the game was the intensity and physicality we showed and maintained until the very end. Tyrone got damn all out of us and anything they got they had to fight hard for. We tackled and harried them and did not cough up any easy ball. Keith Higgins was my MOTM, even leaving the goal aside he put in an outstanding defensive performance in the first half. But who would begrudge it to McDonagh who really put the hand up today. Honestly though there were leaders in all areas of the pitch which will be essential if we are going to get ourselves into the Super 8’s. A lot of football to be played before then and I am really looking forward to travelling to Croker and Tralee. Up Mayo!

  12. That was a great performance and win today. Have to say I didn’t expect it but am more than pleased to be wrong. Brilliant work ethic all through and some of the young fellas really impressed me. Andy and Keith very good also. Roll on to next Saturday now and nothing can be taken for granted as proved by the Rossies with their victory over Monaghan who spent the whole week being praised for their defeat of the Dubs. All points in Division One have to be earned and our lads seem to have the correct attitude to earn a few more. Well done again.

  13. I am gobsmacked, thrilled and over the moon at that display today. Forget individuals, how good or not. Forget mistakes etc. etc. This was almost the MOST EXCITING Mayo team that I have ever seen, note, ‘EXCITING’.. The sheer energy, the speed all over the field, the support play, the tackling and the harassing of Tyrone, all was jawdropping..It was a complete team effort. FORGET OUR PAST, GREAT DAYS. THIS IS NEW!! For the first time in years, my spirit is rising again..Tyrone are not at all a bad team, one of the best actually. They were not let play and got more than they could give.
    For anyone who saw my past posts, hello Willie Joe, I never lavished much praise, seeing all the constant flaws. I am 78 years of age and touched Sam Maguire in Mayo. Now I see real hope.. 😉 🙂

  14. Joe McDonagh’s post is nearly the most exciting and positive post I have ever seen!! Love it.
    Things do indeed feel very promising again albeit early days. Well done our Mayo team.

  15. Echoing others and having been at the game, Tyrone were AWFUL. The first 20/25 was balanced then we rattled off a few scores whereas Tyrone missed about 4 sitters, points a half decent forward should tap over from 20/30 yards out. Woeful shooting. Higgins was sublime today. Definitely my man of the match followed by Mcdonagh. Higgins got multiple interceptions and broke forward for the game changing goal. The HT score should hae been 1-8 to 0-7, instead it was 1-7 to 0-3.

    We started 2nd half where we left off. Won the throw in and Mcdonagh blazed wide. He should have scored. But our endeavour and attitude was far better than the home side.

    While we did allow Tyrone cut through the middle from their 40 to our 40, in many instances without a mayo hand touching them, we did protect our goal far better and Tyrone had no clear cut goal opportunity.

    Hennelly kicked two good frees. The biggest advantage he has over competitors for no1. Harry was solid, as always and in 2nd half carried the ball well in counter attacks. Higgins was class. Coen did fairly well. In fact id go as far as saying it was his best performance in a mayo senior jersey. Doubts over his pace but he is strong, positioned himself fairly well and is a very good tackler. He’s strong. Hard to tell where he’ll end up and how he’d fare on a dry day in corner but today he was good.

    Plunkett as I’d said before the game looks composed and intelligent on the ball. Today did nothing to change my opinion.

    Lee was lively. Vaughan ok, missed a chance early in 2nd half. Diarmuid without being brilliant was the best midfielder today on the pitch. Glad to see Ruane get a run.

    Mcdonagh…good game. Worker hard and got some decent scores. Took his goal well. Fair play to him but tougher games lie ahead. Tyrone really weren’t at the races today.

    Tracey tried hard and got two good points so can be pleased. As others said, he looks a bit light. Need to see more of him. Can’t judge on one game.

    Andy was good, got on lots of ball and most of the time used it intelligently. Aido put in a big shift, his ball handling was a bit off even taking into account the conditions but his effort can’t be faulted and he was very effective around the middle and defensively.

    Doc put in a shift. Quiter today but didn’t do anything wrong.

    I actually though Reape did ok. He won a good bit of ball and generally did the right thing. Unlucky not to bag a goal. Big game now for him v Cavan. Need to see him in a game score 5 or 6 from play and really put down a marker for himself.

    Disco wasn’t on long but won a bit of ball. Is a good ball winner. Had an easy point if he wanted but passed to Andy goin for the goal which he misses.

    James Horan himself said Mayo are ahead of Tyrone in terms of training this year and speaking to a few Tyrone fans before the game they saud their lads aren’t back long.

    Tyrone were poor today but they haven’t gone away, you know!

    Cavan will be fighting for their lives next week. Important we put in a big performance. Would like to see Reaper have a big one.

  16. Great result for Mayo, watched the game and they were physically flying it. The new lads were excellent. Another win v Cavan on Sat and ye can start looking towards a league final.. Tyrone were very poor, but relegation is wide open and i think two from Cavan Galway Tyrone and possibly Roscommon..

  17. Watched whole game on TG4 delayed transmission. James Horan’s ability to get an all action display from his teams (past & present) is reminiscent of Sir Alec Ferguson.- an intangible quality that expects & gets individual & team performances. Having said that our 1st qrtr play up front was pretty inept – including missing a 20mtr free from slightly right of their left post. In addition we missed a sitter, from play in that area of the field also. Playing without quality left & right footed freetakers will cost us along the way. Very impressed by Treacy & McDonagh up front but nothing seemed to stick for AOS but the conditions were rotten. Higgins was my MOTM, as usual his pace gets him in situations that most others can but dream. Now to back it up next time out v Cavan. Congrats to all concerned – it lifted the gloom after yesterday in the Aviva.

  18. Wow. I have to say I didn’t expect that result, I thought if we could keep it respectable that might be our best change and I’d have taken a draw before the game.
    I wasn’t quite in the “This team is finished” camp of crap as others who seemed to have been so fast to board that particular boat only last week, but I genuinely felt we would struggle to get a result.
    Fionn McDonagh was outstanding but make no mistake he’s going to be on other teams radars from now on.
    Andy showed why he’s still very much a part of this team and will be so hard to replace, same with Keith. Those were my top 3 on the day.
    Brian Reape did score a great point but did not feature as strongly as he had against Roscommon. I’m sure he’ll be keen to make a better statement the next day.
    Also a good showing by Robbie Hennelly, will do his confidence the world of good and hopefully silence a few of his many detractors, but I suspect they won’t pay any heed to the good there either.

    A great result and very positive in terms of keeping us in Division one for next year, provided we can pick up the points next week and at least another one somewhere along the way.

  19. Good result and nice reply to last year’s trashing in MacHale Pk. But lets not get over excited, like Irish rugby fans up till yesterday. Tyrone are in the same boat as Mayo for the past few years, condemmed to a NYE start to training as a result of being in last year’s final. Nevertheless the performance of the newcomers was very impressive, esp. McDonagh. What a lovely goal!! And the oul lads don’t seem too bad either.

  20. Great win but Why the hell didn’t someone put Morgan on his hole with a shoulder when he was coming out the field, I loved when leeroy showed coney he wasn’t backing down for no one

  21. Great to get the win. Lacking a left footed free taker. The new lads are playing the game on the front foot and attacking at pace which is great to see and needed to break down defensive set ups. Problem areas are being addressed and we seem to have good options to come in too. Cavan won’t be a pushover next week so let’s not get carried away.

  22. Thought that Diskin should have taken a pot shot at goal when he was on the run with Morgan out of goals. It would have put the icing on the cake and reminded Mogan of what a goalie’s first responsibility is. Instead he passed (to Andy?) who missed.

  23. Fantastic team win with mix of young and experienced lads.
    Great words Joe McDonagh. The excitement is building in our hearts again.
    It’s only Feb 3 and this is unreal feeling.
    Young lads showing no fear going forward.

  24. Joe McDonagh – your “spirit is rising post” is brilliant. And then you popped in your age just to make any of us somewhat younger supporters who might be wavering a bit to get off our butts and get exited again. well said…

  25. Solid display, but echoing the views above, Tyrone were poor today so no point getting carried away in 3rd Feb. Still, winning is a habit and it was nice to sit through the last 15 minutes or so in as comfortable a position as we have had in a league game in a long time.
    There was a freshness about the attacking today, good angles of running, breaking the line and finding space.
    If Reape, Diskin and Co learn anything this year it should be to study Andy Moran’s movement. Once again today got on a mountain of ball.
    AOS did the donkey work today again. I think his presence around the middle is invaluable dispite the crap spewed by that muppet Brolly on TV last week. Higgins looked sharp in defense and took his goal really well. McDonagh was very good, Treacy took his scores well, faded a bit in the 2nd half. Paddy, DOC and Doherty got through a mountain of work as usual.

  26. With Rose tinted glasses
    -Higgins was on his way to MOM before he even scored the goal…FMcD deserved it though
    – If nothing else we have now injected pace in every line of our team
    – Composure was good with no daft last minute goal conceded
    – Work rate was good with the new players especially digging in.
    – Anyway great to be on 4 points after 2 games
    With ruthless glasses
    – Vaughan not marking tight enough at midfield and never made an impact today.
    – Morgan should have been shouldered into oblivion as this is obviously Mickie’s tactic for 2019.
    – We missed at least 3 other goal chances that Kerry/Dublin would have scored
    – We cannot be missing 20 yard frees
    – Aido needs new gloves as was in the right place at the right time but fumbled ball after ball
    Reality Glasses
    – How good, bad or average were Tyrone today ?
    – Cavan will throw a cloak over us next Sat night which will probably mean we will end up needing scores from frees to win.
    – There was no breeze today but incessant rain for most of the game, the real deal will be on the Croke Park surface on a dry night in a few weeks.
    P.s I don’t wear glasses.

  27. A great team performance today and full credit to the sideline too.
    Tyrone were a shambles alright but it’s still two points no matter what and at this time of year that’s what counts most.
    The introduction of new lads who seem to do well is a joy to see and to see a little swagger is really encouraging.
    Someone mention a league semi place earlier and that’d be great but the priority for me is consolidating the new lads into the existing team structure and getting a flexible style of play well honed.
    A great result and well done.

  28. 9/4 for Mayo to win today – a nice little boost for the Super Bowl pot tonight!

    Super win and performance. A win next week and a tyrone loss v Dublin will pretty much see us safe.

    Tyrone were very, very poor.

  29. Thought the new guys played very well especially Mcdonagh,also Keith and Andy and good to see Lee back to his ballsy self.
    This team is far from finished!!

  30. Excellent post Olive. Great to win today with so
    Many new lads playing. Hopefully we can follow it up
    With a win on Saturday night and good performances from the young lads after that my wish for the league is to hammer Galway out the gate and be injury free by the time we play New York.

  31. Great win today, Keith immense, McDonagh looks a serious player, good to see Sean Cavanagh and Whelan on Sunday Game, they looked like ‘Rabbits in Headlights’ trying to discuss the Mayo performance today and for all the Dublin ‘Bloggers’ , the ‘Bould Jack’ was back last night…

  32. Love your posts Olive. Incisive and straight to the point(s). Speaking of points, isn’t it just fine to have four of them in the bag on 3rd February?

    I didn’t anticipate that game playing out as it did today and I can’t imagine anyone in the Mayo camp did. Tyrone were woeful today. I don’t know what kind of system they were trying to play but I don’t ever recall them being so open at the back. When is the last time they allowed us – or anyone – to play attacking football like that? They were dead on their feet with twenty minutes to go and we know well from previous years of long campaigns and All-Ireland defeats how that feels. So while today’s win was very enjoyable (and looked even better on the telly!) I wouldn’t be getting too carried away either.

    The biggest let-down for me was that no-one put Niall Morgan on his arse, but like our Galway friend Magnus Breathnach he’ll get caught out eventually with that craic. Liked his scoring style all the same. Straight in, no messing!

    I think the remark re Mourinho above is a dig that’s a bit uncalled for. But as per Joe McDonagh’s post there does seem to be a sprinkle of magic around this team at the minute. Let’s hope it continues – it’s great to feel that sense of optimism and confidence creeping back in.

    Keith Higgins was magic today. From the second he got his hands on that ball there was only one place it was going. Fionn McDonagh a close second. Thought Ciaran Treacy took his chance well and would like to see him again. Thought Stephen Coen put in a strong shift in the FB line too. Really hope we see more of Matthew Ruane during the league. The stalwarts did well too.

    Two points now against Cavan and we’re laughing. Though in Fortress MacHale, it might not be the easiest task … roll on next week!

  33. A lot of fans have trotted out the standard conventional view that Andy as an old cute hoor but a slowing warrior should be used as an impact sub, nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that he lacks the explosiveness for this role he is by far our best ball-winner when the game is tight and structured, the go-to player who wins the ball, holds it up, wins frees and plays others in either, with quick hands or calculated vision. He is also usually good for a score or two. He has to start and get us a foot-hold. Take him off when he tires.

  34. Great win! Higgins was MOTM for me, I’m glad he is giving the hurling a miss during the league this year. Really showed great leadership and settled the team down when the game was still tight.

  35. Good man Joe McDonagh… I love your positive enthusiasm… and I share it too. Heads down now and get ready for next game. Good on ya lads…and well done to the young women’s team too. Maigheo all the way…

  36. Oh dear – two howlers from me, I’m afraid, in the post-match audio report today (which I can’t edit so will just have to stay there). Right at the start I said I was speaking from MacHale Park and then near the end I claimed that our Division 2 status was all but secure this year. Whatever about the lads, it was far from a flawless performance by me today!

  37. A great win. Certainly didn’t expect us to hammer them the way we did.
    But as Anne-Marie states, no point in getting too carried away just yet. Just as we shouldn’t over-react to a loss at this time of the year, no point getting ahead of ourselves after a win.
    We’ve been in Tyrone’s position before, just back training and lacking that freshness. They were pretty woeful today.

    It’d be great to get the win against Cavan next week (not least because it’s my first journey back for a game in what feels like forever), we can then pretty much forget about relegation and look at trying to make the final, whilst also continuing to experiment with some of the younger lads.
    Looking forward to seeing some of these exciting young players in the flesh next week.

  38. It was a brave move to give league debuts to Fionn McDonagh, Michael Plunkett and Kieran Tracey against the likes of Tyrone in Omagh alongside Brian Reape in only his second league match. Well done James Horan and well done to all the new lads. Starting your intercounty career with a win like that is a great boost to confidence. And what a start for Fionn! That is the stuff of dreams.
    And we could have beaten them by a lot more if we had converted a couple of goal chances in the first half. Tyrone didn’t look great but then how much of that was down to our attitude and work rate?
    I thought going up there if we did reasonably well (even a loss by two or three points) and found one more forward then it would have been worthwhile. Well we can definitely say it was worthwhile. It looks as if we could have a few top class forwards. Let’s hope they can build on this. – and why not?
    Not forgetting the elder lemons either! Higgins is a superb player as is Andy. Keegan has oodles of ability and a very hard edge as has O Shea. Aidan is a big tough mean article that can’t be pushed around by anyone.
    Too early to get excited just yet……….but bloody hell its hard not to!

  39. Very good performance against a very poor Tyrone. Colm Cavanagh was badly missed in the sweeper role. Are Tyrone trying to move away from the blanket? We had so many chances today including goal chances we could have won by a cricket score. Bigger tests ahead for the young lads in Dublin and Kerry. Another win in McHale next weekend will put us in an excellent position and I think JH would like to get as many games as possible in the league and survival is not the only goal.
    Rossies pulled one out of the fire and the less said about Galway in Croker the better. Was listening to Galway Bay FM commentary and the co-commentator made the following statement: ‘Galway are the team Jim Gavin fears the most’
    Best laugh I have had in ages! Who needs rugby when we have Mayo.

  40. Just watched the game back.

    I think Keegan, Plunkett, Durcan could be our half back line for the year ahead. Plunkett is a natural centre half back, reads the game really well and his distribution through the foot is excellent.

    Brian Reape did better than he’s getting credit for. He was heavily involved in our first 2 points, played the ball in for Andy’s mark and was a bit unlucky not to get himself a goal. Robbie scored the resulting 45 so that’s pretty much 4 assists for Reape.

    Cavan have been very competitive in their 2 games. Unlucky not to have at least 1 win. We won’t get anything easy next weekend and no doubt Fionn will be a marked man.

    Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen and Brian Reape have to play a Sigerson game on Wednesday. Might be better for them to sit out the Cavan game. 3 games in 6 days is asking for injuries.

  41. Great, fantastic game. So much wonderful commentary on this thread. Was thrilled to see Plunkett get the start. Happy that his debut was successful. I can’t wait to see the youngsters progress and develop as the season unfolds. The vets who the pundits have suggested are getting too “old” are playing great KH and AM. Can’t wait to see AM holding Sam in CP!!

  42. Great to get the win and to see a cohesive performance, but can’t be overstated how terrible Tyrone were. Mayo have been there too, you know – shipping heavy defeats in the league only to make a final/semi final later in the year. So I wouldn’t be getting carried away. I doubt that performance is truly representative of Tyrone. They will improve as the year goes on.

  43. Really important two points away from home. Four might not be enough to stay up so we really need to double-down on this good start next week and try seal our place in the division as early as possible.

    So encouraging to see so many of the younger lads showing well. There are tougher games ahead but so far we’re blending them into the set-up really well.

  44. Fantastic display. No fear shown. Great support play. Plunkett’s distribution and positioning was excellent. McDonagh’s attacking instinct great. Mobility of backs and speed of attack build-up very impressive. Ball into full-forward needs to change maybe played to plan either right or left of target man. More coaching for free takers. Attackers need to have a release plan when about to be bottled up by blanket defences in future games such as going to ground early and using a handpass, look at examples from rugby. Diskin could be a possibility as a third midfielder. He has mobility, strength, high fielding, is a strong tackler and distributes the ball well. We should aim to give Higgins the opportunity to score a goal in every game. What a delight!
    This attacking approach is what we need to be able to defeat Dublin, Kerry and Monaghan.

  45. Agree with the assessment of the opposition and how early it is in the year, but still buzzing the next day. These lads give great value!

  46. Great win. Some media commentators have said that the Mayo old guard are past it with very little talent coming through…I think yesterday would put up a very good argument to counter both these points.
    Tyrone were very poor and most definitely looked off the pace of the game. However as others have mentioned we have seen similar from Mayo in years gone by and it didn’t impact performances later in the year. The league is the league but have to say there are some promising signs there for the year agead.

  47. Will ye calm down folks! When we were losign big early in the league and getting to AI Finals, we were saying nothing is won in February. Same applies now. This is one game. While we looked great and full of place, Tyrone were horrific. Judge the trajectory for summer after the provincial championship. No need to be putting pressure on young lads so early, or leaving ourselves open to national abuse again, if we go out and lose next week!
    The young lads are very exciting, there is genuine competition for places now all over the pitch I think this is necessary to be competitive and something we lacked previously. Fionn Mc Donagh was excellent both in linking the play and scoring!Will Tom Parsons play this year does anybody know? Ryan O’Donoghue is back running. He will also be a very exciting addition to the forwards!

  48. Yeah…exactly what others are saying. It’s the 1st wknd in February!! Anyone who was at the game will tell u Tyrone were just not up for it. Their keeper was laughing and joking with the umpires and his corner back with 5 mins to go. They are hardly back training yet.

    A good display by some of our lads but what happens this time of the year is zero indication of what’ll happen in June, let alone aug/Sept.

    To be honest, you can’t really judge a player fully until championship. Promising signs from some new players but let’s hold off on the over-excitement. It’s a long long road.

  49. Tyrone weren’t up for it yesterday. Not one bit. When have you seen so tame a performance from them? And their supporters weren’t up for it either. Less than 7000 at the game and I’d say at least half those from Mayo. It was almost like a home game.

  50. On the contrary to Spotlight saying Tyrone were very negative the fact they left themselves vulnerable / sweeper-less was one thing but were blanket-attack at the end with Morgan & everyone else up albeit going sideways…
    I had a fellow high decibelled Mayo fan down the right hand end of the stand doing a Milllllllllllllllwallllllllllllllllllll (My fav soccer team!) style roar Mayyyyyyyyyyyooooooooooooo…it has its merits too but can’t see it catching on when Mayo, Mayo, Mayo can’t catch on.

  51. Excellent to see the young lads cut the mustard yesterday, (was effectively ridiculed on here back in January for suggesting to throw a few young lads in at the deep end), never know till you try, that’s what the league is for.

    Reape had one his quieter games but still looked dangerous, Diskin got stuck in short time he was in, Plunkett was excellent and looks a real option this year at CBH (bit of a problem position for us), and McDonagh and Treacy couldn’t have announced themselves much better (when was the last time we had consistent scoring half forwards).

    Hopefully we’ll persist with them now for the next few games, would give Reape a go at the frees, Doherty’s miss from 20m out in first half was unforgiveable. Thought Diarmuid looked to be hobbling towards the end, maybe an opportunity for Ruane next weekend. I think Horan is really going to target the Dublin game to lay down a marker, serious competition for places now which is a good thing, midfield is the problem area though, think we need one more solid option in there, interesting few weeks ahead especially when you think we’ve still to add the likes of SOS, McLoughlin, Ryan O’Donoghue, Barrett , James Durcan and Hanley back to the fold

  52. Fionn’s goal was an example of how poor Tyrone were. Free 50 meter out – player injured for over a minute – yet when referee blows for free to be taken – Fionn is totally unmarked 21 meters from goal. Jesus at junior B level the defence would be organising themselves so each forward is marked. Most unTyrone like performance I have seen in years.

  53. I’d love to see Aidan O Shea’s stats yesterday! looked like he had a hand in every score thought it was his best performance for years! my man of the match! how he keeps his cool when he’s constantly abused off the ball I’ll never know,
    I sincerely hope if there’s a new captain this year that it’s Aidan . Was a great team effort and to see the new recruits & the more established players playing so well together really gives a lift! Tougher days ahead though! next Sat will be a dog fight Cavan are no pushovers ! really hope the Mayo army get behind the team and are as loud as can be ! We need another home win we need to make Mc Hale Park a fortress no excuses!! #inthistogether

  54. The 2 missed frees were at tight angles from opposite sides. Kevin Mc doesn’t like them but Aido also left footed and if I’m correct he took them in his 1st season for Mayo (maybe Mort was injured). Have management tried him out? Range wouldn’t be a problem.
    Also seemed like Treacy might be left footed, does he take frees for Ballina?
    Another option from wrong side is Andy who often scores from impossible angles on the wrong side using outside of boot. Diarmaid also does the outside of boot trick though with the mileage he puts up it would be a risk. Jason does ok but percentage not high enough when it gets to super tight margins.
    No problem with a rookie who won’t start come summer taking them if it means a good confidence building league run.

  55. Treacy is right footed. McDonagh is left footed and sometimes takes frees for Westport. The 2 frees that Doherty missed were from very tricky angles. They certainly weren’t handy 20 metre frees.

  56. Annmarie i agree Aido would be a good captain. Also agree he was involved in lots of positives yesterday but by his standard his handling was way off. He lost possession 3/4 times second half which other mayo players weren’t doing.

    Great player but definitely not man of the match yesterday!

  57. Eyes on the ball….loads of people were calling for newbies to be tried out in the league.

    Yes, plunkett and mcD doing well. Far too early to judge treacy.

    Of the 5 you listed to still come back into the squad, SOS will but I think Seamie is well past his best. He can still contribute. Kev came on yesterday and is an excellebt re-addition but I don’t think we’ll see much of j Durcan or hanley. Hanley needs a good year at club championship, only then will we know if he is up to the level. Yes, if Barrett can get back even to 75% of his 2017 all ireland final form he’ll be very useful to have back but father time waits for no man!

  58. @WideBall I’m on about the free in the 14th minute, tricky angle maybe (for a right footer) but our free taker at inter county standard should be getting that every day of the week, should be bread and butter for him. If he’s not comfortable taking them from that side then give it to a left footer, simple as that. Great time for Doherty as a player but think he’s missed a few relatively handy ones.

    @Mayonaze SOS/Boyle may be past their best but still good for 20mins to close out a game, agree re Tracey and McDonagh, love to see them stretch the legs in Croker all the same, give them a run of games and see what they can do, think we have to give Boland a fair shot at some stage too. Think Hanley/Durcan will have their work cut out to keep their places on panel myself with the time they’ve missed but hopefully they come good, few tough calls to be made by Horan I’d imagine after either the Dublin/Galway game.

  59. Agree AOS is a great player but is not the captain, we need players to lead that really deliver on the big days (against Dublin) and Leeroy the only man for this, he is the one man that the Dubs fear

  60. On talk of the captain, I thought Diarmuid did a good job yesterday. Young Treacy got a few clatters yesterday and Diarmuid was over, arm around the shoulder talking to him. He was noticeably trying to lead I think. This is why I think the job of captain can’t go to Aido, or Lee. They’re too often involved in the shoving and pushing, can’t be that support to the young and inexperienced lads that need it. I also think Cillian shouldn’t be captain for the same reason – too busy giving out to lead. I’d go with Kev Mc or Doc maybe.

  61. Aidan O’Shea worked incredibly hard in the 2017 final v Dublin, despite what many of the pundits would have you believe. Not sure he would be my first choice for captain, but he wouldn’t be my last either. Boyler wouldn’t be far off top of my list or Kevin Mc.

    Leeroy is involved in every skirmish going – I wouldn’t change him for the world and wish we had a few more of him, but that’s not a captain’s role. Not being captain won’t prevent him putting the fear of god into the Dubs!

  62. I feel if you are to beat Dublin the captaincy is very important and the captain needs to perform and Leeroy always does it against Dublin , not alone in wiping out their best players but getting inspirational scores as well, he has played well in every final.

  63. Goagain (no.2, i.e. the one who left a comment at 8.34am) – please use a different handle. ‘Goagain’ is already in use by another regular contributor.

  64. Mayo win 2 from 2 and we are back to the auld AOS doesn’t deliver on the big day MYTH!!!!!!
    For a start he has played really well in finals AND do semi finals and quarters etc no longer count as “big days”?????
    We didn’t get a bye to the finals! He is a hugely hugely important player for us. We have lost finals by the bare minimum. If he hadn’t performed as is suggested by some we would have been well beat.
    He is so important around the middle 3rd winning ball.He is irreplaceable for us imo
    Appreciate him while we have him

  65. Agree there KM79, there’s too much credence given to certain pundits, such that people have come to believe what they say is gospel, without being more critical of that analysis and trusting what they see for themselves.

  66. Regarding the Captaincy, Cillian is the Captain and will be for the season ahead. The captaincy is being shared around because he isn’t available, once he is back he will be captain, otherwise a permanent captain would have been appointed by now.

    Anne-marie, I don’t think Boyler can be considered for captain. He is a warrior but his discipline on the field had to be called into question at this stage, there are just too many needless yellow and black cards, it’s become a liability that needs to be addressed. KMc would be an ideal candidate when the position does become available.

  67. South Mayo, I think if you look at Fionn McDonagh goal you will see that he sprinted from behind Andy as the kick was about to be taken and found himself in the clear? Clever and classey

  68. KM79, Agree that AOS is a tremendous player who gets a lot of unfair media attention but cannot share your view that he delivers in finals. In the finals against Dublin he has not played well enough IMO. He has played well in getting us there but has not done it in finals. As I said , Leeroy always performs in the finals and that to me is the real test.

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