Cork 1-17 Mayo 0-12: shocking final collapse

Cork v Mayo Final ScoreI’ve seen more poor Mayo performances at Croke Park than I really care to recall but today’s staggeringly inept display against Cork was surely right up there with them.  We were truly awful this afternoon and we deserved the hammering we eventually got from a Cork team that never had to get out of second gear against us.  We were never in this game at any stage and we never gave any hint that we had anything positive to say about ourselves.  As a performance by an inter-county team, it was little short of a disgrace and the way we collapsed utterly in that second half was utterly inexcusable.

As a supporter, I try to take at all times to take an optimistic viewpoint about our chances, reasoning as I do that if you want to be a true supporter, then you’ve got to support the cause you believe in. But it’s got to be a two-way process and today there was simply nothing coming back from a number of Mayo players in Croke Park.  There have to be consequences for such ineptitude and this has to mean significant changes ahead of the Sligo game.  If there aren’t, I cannot see our season lasting beyond the first round of the qualifiers.

By half-time, it was already abundantly clear that we’d blown yet another Croke Park final.  Four points wasn’t an insurmountable deficit but the boneheaded stupidity with which we’d attempted to attack the Cork rearguard in the first half suggested we were unlikely in the extreme to come out at the start of the second half and hit Cork with a barrage of points like we’d done down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh two weeks ago. Rose-tinted fool that I am, that’s exactly what I was hoping for but any sane observer would have by then concluded that we’d be doing well to keep the gap where it was at.  In the event, Cork doubled it and, had they floored the accelerator when they had the chance, they could have made it far, far worse.

But the really annoying thing was that we should, of course, have been three or four to the good ourselves at half-time.  The backs put in a very solid thirty-five minutes, repeatedly turning over ball and moving it forward.  Our problems started, though, when the ball crossed the halfway line, as we missed chance after chance to pick off easy points when they were there to be taken.

Instead, we made repeated, insane attempts at goal, none of which – apart from one unlucky fisted effort from Aidan O’Shea which came back off the cross-bar – came remotely close to hitting the target.  Aidan seems to think that every time he gets the ball then he must, on his own and ignoring everyone else, go for goal.  He did this a number of times today and wasted a few gilt-edged chances for points as a result.  Trevor Mortimer was equally culpable, repeatedly being fed good ball on the burst thirty yards out but every single time, he wasted the opening that had been created.  His performance culminated in a truly risible goal attempt from 20 yards out that he ballooned wide.

While we were engaged in squandermania at one end of the field, Cork were quietly taking their points at the other and were slowly starving us of oxygen.  Donncha O’Connor, as I feared he would, gave Trevor Howley a roasting and Cork were allowed all day to canter right through the heart of our defence without being met by any kind of enquiry on our part.  The rest of the backs held up reasonably well, although Daniel Goulding’s sheer class eventually proved too much for the battling Liam O’Malley.

There was a short spell after the break when it looked as if we were going to make a game of it.  The Mort swung over a peach of a point from play just after the restart and followed it up with a close-in free, cutting the deficit to just two.  There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have kicked on from there and at least made a game of it.  Instead, we failed to score again for the best part of twenty minutes and the four points that Cork got in the meantime kept them comfortably in the driving seat.

We’d totally lost midfield by then and gone too was our first half ability to win any breaking ball.  The heads had gone down right throughout the field and Cork were already swinging over those devil-may-care winner’s scores before Goulding applied the coup de grâce via the game’s only goal with seven minutes left.  But for a superb and hugely brave intercept by David Clarke the killer blow would have come a few minutes earlier than it eventually did but when Cork finally landed it, that was the signal for much of the weary Mayo support to head for the exits.

It’s difficult to pick out positives from today, for the simple reason that there were very few to choose from.  Kevin McLoughlin’s first half performance – where he set up repeated attacks and handed two points on a platter for Conor – was excellent, the workrate in the backs was admirable and David Clarke’s repeated heroics in goal were uplifting.  But these are poor pickings from a national final and the measly list of positives are heavily outweighed by a significant inventory of negatives.

Top of the list has to be our headless chicken approach to attacking.  We were nothing short of pathetic going forward in the first half, as we spurned repeated chances to take easy scores, ones that would have put the pressure back on Cork.  We lacked any kind of fluency in the forwards and it’s somewhat ironic that the much-criticised Conor Mortimer – who finished the day on six points, three from play – was the only forward to emerge from the contest with his reputation more or less intact.  The rest of them were very poor and Johnno should have made changes there sooner than he eventually did.

Seamus O’Shea had a reasonable enough day at midfield, from where he notched two points, but alongside him Tom Parsons’ performance was very disappointing and I cannot understand why Johnno left him on for the second half.  The Charlestown man has bundles of talent but he appears to have precious little application anymore and after today’s latest no-show he cannot any longer be regarded as first fifteen material. Likewise Trevor Howley at centre-back.  The Knockmore man has been destroyed in that position twice now at Croke Park and while I think he could be redeployed to good effect in the corner, it’s painfully clear that he’s not the man to quarterback the defence.

Similarly, it’s difficult to see how we can hope to challenge the top sides with a team that includes Trevor Mortimer.  I hate having to say this about Trevor as he gives 100% to the cause but we simply cannot afford the amount of wastage from bad passing and poor shooting that comes from him.  With the other players we have pushing for places in the forwards (notably the returning Aidan Kilcoyne), it’s hard to see how Trevor can be considered as a championship starter.

Those of us of the glass half-full variety who, like me, may have felt that the promised land wasn’t too far away are, after today, left with no option but to reassess brutally where we stand in the scheme of things.  Prior to today, I thought we might well be serious players this year, that we might go very close to the ultimate prize.  Trooping out from Croke Park in the rain this evening, I couldn’t help but accept that such thoughts are complete and utter bullshit – we’re not remotely close to making any kind of breakthrough and we could well hit the ditch in the championship down in Markievicz Park in six weeks time.

In seventy minutes this afternoon, all the good vibes generated by our positive NFL Division 1 campaign have been frittered away and so instead we face into our preparations for the championship back at square one.  The Mayo team and management have a number of hard questions to answer after today’s abject performance and they’ll need to come up with some answers pretty damn quickly or else the Sligo lads will do it for them when they get hold of them on June 5th.  While today’s final is likely to prove but a footnote to the year’s action, it could – unless we’re able to reinvent ourselves rapidly and radically – be a portent for what lies ahead for us this summer.   Over to you, Johnno.

Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Liam O’Malley; Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin; Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea (0-2); Andy Moran (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-3, frees), Trevor Mortimer; Conor Mortimer (0-6, three frees), Aidan O’Shea, Mark Ronaldson.  Subs: Ronan McGarrity for Ronaldson, Aidan Kilcoyne for Trevor Mortimer, Alan Freeman for Parsons, Barry Moran for Conor Mortimer, Pat Harte for Aidan O’Shea.

53 thoughts on “Cork 1-17 Mayo 0-12: shocking final collapse

  1. we were beaten by a better team they tried there best i feel depressed at the moment only football at the 61st minute we knew it was definetly game over just have to keep trying we,ll get there.

  2. Was at the match today and am bitterly disappointed after it. I know this website encourages postive support but there were a lot of negatives out there for Mayo today. The problem we faced last year regarding lack of leaders showed its face again today. Trevor Howley should have been moved off Donnacha O’Connor much earlier. Tom Parsons didn’t offer us much. Up front we lacked penetration and scoring ability. For all trevor’s attributes, shooting appears to let him down. We’re a long way from the finished article and realistically need to unearth some more talent. I don’t want to be all negative. Clarke came off his line to telling effect a couple of times. I wouldn’t blame him for the few kick-outs that went over the side-line. He was trying to get us some primary possession that we couldn’t get. Full-back-line did ok, Ger Caff in particular. Kevin McLoughlin had a fantastic 1st half, seemed to fade a bit in the 2nd. Seamie O’Shea never stopped trying and Dillon was good but his two wing-forwards had a bad day at the office.

    I’m finding it difficult to be positive after that. What we all crave is the All-Ireland but I’m afraid it won’t be this year.

  3. Backs did reasonably well with the exception of Howley—not up to it at CHB
    Parsons a disaster at midfield
    Conor & dillon did quite well
    Half our forward line were from Shrule- Glencorrib.They must be unbeatable in the Mayo championship!!!!!!!
    At least sligo will now be favourites.
    Goalie was very brave

  4. Terrible game. They just can’t raise there game for Croke Park matches at all. The full back line were very loose for the whole game, and our midfield were guilty of some very bad decision making especially McGarity and Parson’s. McLoughlan had a great game, Conor Mortimer took his scores really well and Dillion played a few nice passes about but apart from that the whole team will need to improve alot if there are to beat Sligo in the first round.

  5. We were all here after the Meath game last year and some of the same failings surfaced again. Trevor got the runaround from O’Connor and we will never win a big match in croker while he is left in that pivotal position I am afraid. The lack of leadership was again evident from an early stage when our forwards were skying the ball up in the clouds or going for goals that were never on. It needed someone to steady the ship and lead by example. The closest candidate was McLoughlin who almost single-handedly kept us in touch with his surges forward.
    Parsons and Trevor Mort had very poor outings. Mark Ronaldson never got out of the starting blocks today and Andy Moran also only got going when the game was effectively over.
    The backs aside from Howley coped fairly well against the amount of ball coming in.
    All in all it shows just how far off we really are but unfortunately we can no longer put the Meath collapse down to a once off bad day at the office.

  6. That was a disgrace. No guile, no passion. Stuck to the ground from the start. Lumbering around and nobody looking to take the game by the scruff of the neck and see what we could do. Dire and a devastating defeat that probably draws the curtains on his making any meaningful impact this year. Maybe we might win a Connacht – but we cannot go to Croke Park – we just cannot perform there – the manager hasn’t in 10 years, the team hasn’t.

    Yes it was a good league until today but the problems are alarming. Cafferkey was destroyed. Howley was exposed for a second time and to a huge degree in Croke Park. Tom Parsons is not fit to play intercounty standard. Lazy and lacklustre. And our tactics upfront were clueless.

    I’m sorry Willie Joe to be venting my anger here but we deserve better as supporters. And performances like that kill the passion that people have for the game and another group will say they won’t travel to see Mayo play in Croke Park again and they will stay and the fight to climb those steps in September becomes harder.

    And then when things were going wrong the Management were equally clueless. No effort to change anything. Could Tom Cunniffe make an impact at 6. Was Pat Harte worth a shot? But just Ronan McGarrity at half-time and the rest when it was too late. Conor Mortimer has his critics and was poor but he was the only man that looked like scoring from play today. It was an insult to take the man off – to hang him out as the easy man to blame as always. Bizarre decision.

    Fitness again must be called into question. Where was the pace – the effort.

    Credit to Chris Barrett and to Kevin McLoughlin though – young lads who stood there ground. Seamie O’Shea tried his heart out. But where were the likes of Andy Moran, or Trevor Mortimer when the game needed to be won. Lost. Not good enough.

    As I said last week and people didn’t agree we will have to make major changes come the Championship. We need Keith Higgins, Peadar Gardiner, Tom Cunniffe, McGarrity and Harte, Kilcoyne, Varley and maybe even Barry Moran if we are to put our best XV on the pitch. That is the only comfort – that we have those players in reserve but they are without game time and have been subjected to another psychological blow without even been on the pitch.

    As for the ref today – they are destroying football. The pettiness of their decision. Fair play they will get their technical points from the assessor but knowledge of the game – zero.

  7. In future at Croke park I would like to see us fielding a team of men who are not afraid to take the game to the opposition and who we can guarantee will perform to the best of their ability no matter how limited. Defeat is harder to take when you know that we didn’t make Cork fight for this title. Instead we were psychologically beaten before the throw-in.

  8. Somebody tell me what is the point of Trevor Mortimer. They guy is a joke in Croke Park.
    You just can’t have Andy Mora, a man that struggles for scores and T Mort playing in the same game. Both of them were useles. I might stick with Moran, but you can forget about T Mort.

    Howley was once again dreadful at centre back. Higgins or Cunnife have to come in there. He was way off his man all day. How he came out for the second half is beyond me.

    I thought Seamus O’Shea wa only middling today and Parsons has a better first half than him.
    It’s time to take Aidan O’Shea to centre forward. He is lost in at full foward. He deserves a chance further out the pitch with maybe trying Barry Moran at full forward.

    I really can’t see what Gardiner will bring to the team at this stage. Number 7 and 5 were good today for Mayo.

    Back to the drawing board. It there any way we could hire out Croke Park for a training sessions for the lads. They have no clue how to play there.

  9. Same old story. I didn’t think back in 51 when I made my first trip across the shannon that I would be an old man and still no sign of Sam ever coming to Mayo in my lifetime. Enough said.

  10. It’s not being beaten by Cork (or anyone else) that’s the probelm. It’s the manner of the capitulation.
    The answers to Cork are simple enough really. They’re much bigger and far more physical. Frankly we’re not and what’s more we can’t live with those sorts of challenges. How many 1 to 1 battles were won by Mayo players today – probably 2 maybe 3??? We looked slow and cumbersome with the ball – eager to get rid of it as soon as it came our way.

    As to Croke park well – the answer here is the size of the pitch. It’s far bigger than most GAA grounds these fellas are used to. Again this requires a bigger faster team to cover the extra ground, to be able to defend 1 on 1s and to use it to your advantage in 1 on 1s in attack.

    Were there any real descision makers out there for us? Real descision makers can change the game or at the very least keep the Spirit of the Team together. (Guys like S Kavanagh, B Dooher, Gooch, B & A Brogan, M Meehan, P Joyce …. not one mentioned here from Cork btw). We don’t have these calibre of players.

    What about our forwards – they got some possession ?? However (bar Conor) they were very lacking in style and, far more noticably, most are seriously lacking in composure in front of goal !!

    We also still have no one who can take a 45. Look at the frees and 45s Cork kicked over…from both sides with 2 different place kickers.

    People say there may be a few to come back into our team – but again look at Cork – they were missing G. Canty, A Lynch, P O’Neill …. sure it’s frightening lads how short we are.

    And i’m afraid short is the final word because I don’t think that team is big enough for serious Inter county football.

  11. The audio report summed it up really, why bother putting up a performance like that in Cork only to capitulate again in Croke Park. What is it with us that we can put up such good performances to book our place in the final (Dublin game in ’06 springs to mind) only to be thrashed for all to see when it really matters.

  12. Agree with jpm on the croker pitch. Like everything else about that mediocre stadium (go have a look at the new Wembley and see if Croker’s one of the top stadia in these isles, never mind Europe)the size of the pitch has been praised to the heavens. I can’t see the point of having a pitch in it that is radically different to every other pitch in the country- so different in fact that it looks like a sevens game out there at times. The style of play required is much different. I don’t know if that was a causal factor today- but Mayo were alot more open at the back than Cork- and Cork, as Jack O’Connor pointed out, have not one forward you would lose sleep over.

  13. I don’t know when Jack O’Connor said that, but if Mayo aren’t aware of the quality of players like Goulding and Kelly then ye really are sleep-walking. People are still under-rating this Cork team – we have one of the best managers in the country in Conor Counihan, we have the best squad of footballers and we are the best conditioned team on top of that. This final point matters hugely in Croker. Of course, Kerry are still favourites for the AI, but we are the most likely to stop them, this year at least, as Ulster seems to be at its lowest ebb in a long time.

    Anyway, commiserations to the Mayo fans, it isn’t nice travelling all the way to Croker and then finding out that your team might as well have stayed home back in the pub – trust me, Cork fans know.

    Finally, this is an excellent blog, an inspiration even – shame there isn’t more GAA blogs of this quality around.

  14. @ Turenne; I don’t know about Cork being overrated. They’re the most tipped to win sam this year with many pundits saying its theirs to lose.
    As for travelling up to Croker only to come away dissapointed, well we’re well used to that at this stage, more so than the Cork fans

  15. Truenne, not to push the point but Jack was right and proved it in the final with Kerry’s defensive performance. Cork have none of the top 10 forwards in the country- Steven O’Neill, S Cavanagh, Stevie McDonnell, B Brogan, M Meehan, Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan and Donaghy, Benny Coulter and Paddy Bradley. They have big strong fit lads who are direct, but this is year three of that game plan and it wasn’t good enough so far. They’re missing a ‘killer’ forward. Still might have enough to get them over the line, mind, given Kerry in transition and Tyrone in (apparent) disarray.

  16. Brainless on and off the field. On the plus side most put in the effort and McGlaughlin and Barrett proved they have what it takes and can be considered finds. Cafferky made his man fight for everything and Liam had another rough ride but kept giving 100% which as i say time and time again is all that i want. Clarke did really well from a defensive pont of view but “tactical” kickouts must have cost us 5 or 6 points. Why did he/management persist with this tactic of kicking to the sideline!!!!!!!????? Brainless!!!!! I blame management for this.
    Unfortunately many others were found out including capt who was clueless. Parsons aint up to it and why he started the 2nd half..well Jonno is answerable for this. Up front we were, well embarrassing!! Dillon looked comfortable but the rest were a disaster. Aidan O Shea is NOT a Full forward…never was….never will be. His best football was played at CHF. On a positive note we have learnt a bit a bout ourselves today and there are possible solutions but on a negative one Im have lost faith in the manager to do the right thing. PS: Im based in dub so no big expense on my part today…am totally gutted for those who dug deep to travel up from home today to watch that rubbish. Totally fed up…

  17. Lads i think a bit of perpective is required, what did we learn today? probably what we always knew, that atleast 5 players have to be dropped

    1.Liam oMalley- I could go on all day about how utterly shite he is.Where are you know North Mayo?
    2. Obviously Chris barrett is not not a county corner back so he was thrown in at the deep end.
    3. Trevor howley-well its simple, hes a corner back at best.
    4.Andy Moran- same old andy.
    5. Trevor mortimer- complains in the media that at times the lads heads are not right, well johnnos head can’t be playing trevor mortimer, he is absoloute bollox, can the guy kick a 15 metre pass?His leadership on the pitch is a disgrace!Give it back to peader.

    Also i had my doubts over tom parsons, for a man of his size to get pushed around like a little child, he was really shown up today.

    Major positive- its only the league, there is time to sort it out, we have killer,keith h,tom cunniffe,peader, ronan mc garrity, pat harte ready to step up, all better than we have in their positions at the moment probably. Today was really hard to take, but I think the fact its only april means alot.

  18. innocentbystander, Daniel Goulding is easily top five in the country (he got a classy 1-2 today and did it without breaking into a sweat), and Patrick Kelly isn’t that far behind. Both are superior to Coulter, Donaghy and Brogan for a start. Note also that Pearse O’Neill (absent today, along with Col O’Neill), who is absolutely a machine at center forward, and is a player the likes of Dublin, Tyrone and Kerry would love to have leading their attack. Moreover, many many exceptional top class forwards have been made to look poor by Kerry in August/September in Croker, including pretty much everyone on your list. Finally, its absurd to think we would get into All-Ireland semis and finals repeatedly over the past few years with no forwards.

    Very simply, you are living in the not too distant past.

    Havoc, they are underrated by some (check innocentbystander’s post on our forwards for example) and overrated by others. I noticed the two RTE pundits backed Cork to win the AI this year, which is absurd and I have no doubts the lads in Kerry were laughing their asses off whilst watching. Very simply, Cork/Kerry seem to be a good bit ahead of Mayo/Dublin/Tyrone, but for all our physicality and fitness, Kerry still have the more natural, talented players, and I worry greatly about Cork’s full-back line. Kerry are still favourites, no doubt.

  19. Everyone is disappointed – none more so than the players and management. Everyone must be wondering ‘how can a team play so well throughout the league and then collapse so dramatically in the final’? You could look at the following:
    1.Trevor H being a bit too small for CHB
    2. Most of our players being too small
    3. Mid-field not settled with Parsons being inconsistent
    4. Trevor Mort gone off the boil in a big way
    5. Aidan O’Shea not laying off the ball to others (and being badly placed at FF)
    6. No lethal free taker (from 45’s etc)
    7. Lower work rate than normal
    8. Lack of leadership throughout the field
    9. Flapping instead of being calm and deliberate

    Now all of those things were present during the rest of the league to varying degrees but they all seemed to have come together to the nth degree today… the perfect storm!
    We were lucky to be within 8 points of Cork – it could have been a lot more if Cork played through to the full 70 minutes. And yet if a few simple things were done early on (like kicking a few points instead of trying to walk the ball into the net) it might have been better.
    Hopefully, we can correct some of this stuff and move on to better things.

  20. Came home and watched the game Again. Just to put myself through more agony. The full back line did ok I think. Barrett and Caff were the only two players that stood out in the second half and in fairness to O’Malley. Only two of Gouldings 1-6 we’re his fault. He had to run at another fellas unmarked man which left his man free. Not his fault in my eyes. Howley very poor alright. Donal quiet. Kevin Mcloughlin mayos motm. Thought parsons should have went at half time. Forward were a problem across the board today with the exception of Alan Dillion who worked his ass off. I really think we are as good as that Cork team but can’t seem to pull it together. Did anyone else feel management were slow to make changes today??? And as for the ref DISASTER!

  21. JJ? I’m beginning to think you had a run in with O’Malley some night as young lads, there seems to be something personal there!

  22. Croke Park is increasingly becoming a nightmare venue for Mayo, we seem to underperform or freeze when the ball is thrown in, and the amount of silly, unforced errors today wouldn’t have been seen in three or four earlier matches. Our four successful away matches in this campaign were characterised by fearlessness, hard-work, teamwork and a good smathering of attacking and defensive skill. So, why is it that we have the habit of saving our worst til last at HQ??

    I just wonder if some of our more seasoned players are psychologically ‘holed below the water-line’ when it comes to performing in Croker. I don’t want to criticise any of them now, but I think it’s significant to say that the Mayo players who impressed me most today were, Vaughan, Barret, McLoughlin, O’Shea (Seamie) and credit also to Caff for his workrate. The ‘youngsters’ who didn’t ‘fire’ today were Parsons, Ronaldo and AOS. This then leaves the older brigade who should be leading by example, but I fear that they have the symptoms of post-traumatic stress induced by the sight, sound and smell of Croke Park. The likes of Andy, Trevor, Alan, Ronan and Conor (who infairness was our best forward today) have provided the inspiration and ammo in places like Omagh, Tralee, C’bar and Derry. But today, the croke park ‘itis’ struck again!! I’d say that the place fills some of our players with self-doubt and dread.

    I had a similar feeling myself leaving the stadium this evening, I don’t know if I have the stomach for another rodgering there again. In spite of today’s sickening loss, there is a strong possibility that we will get the chance to run out there again in August and no doubt we will be all gung-ho again by then. So, let’s be patient, we havn’t become a crap team again overnight and we will be capable of winning games in the summer. Winning in Croker is the Rubicon we will have to cross and at the moment, that river is in full spate!! But hey, we’re not about to give up now, are we???

  23. It’s not the lack of skill, it’s the poor decision-making and, worst of all, us just not trying. And that’s in the players’ heads.

  24. JJ i didnt say O Malley played well. Not all 1-6 scored was from play and for the goal, well he cant be blamed for that…three cork men bearing down on him.
    Can someone tell me why someone like Tom Cunniffe is togged and not used? Trevor howley was getting the mother and father of roastings and no sign of Tom. I know he has no match practice but he couldnt have been any worse than what was there.
    On a slightly positve note it was good to see barry Moran back and go a full 4 minutes without picking up an injury. Good to see killer back too…we saw the value in having a long range free taker yesterday.

  25. I feel your pain WJ and agree with all you say. Its terrible to be back in this state in April, it just makes you dread the rest of the season. Seeing Sligo on Sat night makes me think that this will be their year. For Mayo yet another year with JOM at the helm and nothing gained. I feel he did not manage yesterday but let the crap drag on and took no responsibility or action that would show he had actually prepared well for any eventuality and had a plan. When things go wrong its up to the manager to make the changes and show he’s in control but he did nothing. I think he should “consider his position” as politicians love to say.

  26. lets be honest they are 5 players that do not deserve to wear the mayo jersey at the moment those are trevor mortimer. andy moran, liam o malley tom parsons and trevor howley. trevor mort is not a leader nor up to county standard any more his passing is terrible no awareness the same for andy moran offer nothing to the younger players. both are a waste of space. liam o malley how is he still making the starting fifteen not good enough i dont know what has happened to parsons should have been taken off earlier. trevor howley is not a centre half back to small not fair to him. i feel sorry for aidan o shea he is not a full forward no wonder his confidence is low. its time for real changes looking no 4 6,8, 10 12 . conor mortimer has an ok game yesterday but varley physical presence was missed i do believe there are other good players in the panel some of the under 21 player mac donagh freeman neil doughlas alan feeney , kilcoyne barry moran what happened to cathal freeman ? to be honest mayo need some one like noel connellys as a selector with john o mahony i dont think kerian gallagher or tommy lyons are the best people to be working with john o mahony problems are in the coaching area of mayo and favourtism of certain players always been the root of mayo football

  27. Thought I’d leave any comment until the morning after, hoping that it wouldn’t seem so bad.
    No such luck. You summed it up yesterday WJ -“fucking” and “awful”.
    That Cork full back line was there for the taking, but we didn’t have the cuteness to do it.
    I’d blame management but also the players themselves. As was pointed out before, we have no leaders.

    I hate criticising players, but Trev Mort was truly shocking. Along with Howley and Parsons, he shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting 15 in 6 weeks time. I’m afraid he will though.

    Conor and Dillon did well, S O’Shea was good first half.
    I felt sorry for our full back line, they were left exposed by the other malfunctioning lines in our team.

    Only positive, at least we won’t have to read any more shite in the nationals about this new improved Mayo, and pundits tipping us to challenge for Sam.
    We haven’t become a bad team over night though, I’m not going to dismiss our previous good league form.

    From what I saw of Sligo on Saturday, they’re going to be a massive challenge. And I think that’s just what we need.
    In 6 weeks time, we either see that this defeat hurt our lads and made us more determined, or we see our worst fears realised.
    Due to optimism with no real foundation, well I’m backing us to rise to the challenge. Fuck knows why…

    Turenne – Cork underrated?? Nearly everyone I’ve spoke to think it’s Cork’s to throw away this year. The bookies have you 9/4. What more do you want?!
    You can try and deflect attention and pressure off your team all you want (a la Johnno), but you’re strong favourites to win it this year.

  28. Topo d rite – of course we can win at Croker (if we were playing NY or Kilkenny or London etc. )Our problem is when we’re playing the bigger faster and more experienced teams. It’s then we cannot cope on that pitch.

    Ted – Killer took a 45 at the end (and he put it wide). Now in fairness it was his first attempt but he did miss all the same. Fact is if he is going to take the frees then he has to take them all a.l.a Bryan Sheehan. Sheehan is not a great player but is invaluable to getting crucial scores from far out frees/45s etc. We need someone like this. This man should be taking the ones from 20 yards on the ground as well (simply because this builds up confidence.)

    Innocent – you’re fighting a losing battle there with Truenne. You can’t argue with him about how poor their forwards are. For a fw to score 1-5 in a national final has to show some class. Let that boy have his day. Doesn’t he deserve it after yesterday?

    I agree with you facetheball as well – Trevor and Andy are too similar. Trevor simply has had a terrible League which culminated yesterday in him being replaced. Andy got his token point – other than that – what did he do? He seems to have gone back a lot this year. Looks worn and frustrated. I don’t know what the answeer is here though becasuse I don’t think we have replaements for them??

    Someone said moving AOS out to CHF. I think this is ill-advice. In my opining he’s not mobile enough for there. Sure he’ll win some ball but he can’t seem to get rid of the ball quick enough. Just wants to turn and barge his way through. Also I don’t think a man of his size will be able to get back and defend from attacking half backs which is a constant requirement in the modern game.

    Johno took of MR in the corner and left on TP. What this did should have done was hopefully free up the FF line. However the ploy did not work. Cork were too on top and go their tactics right on the day.
    Fundamental difference between us and Cork was when they ad the ball versus us. When they had the ball we let them have it and marked the space – this allowed them run at us.
    When we had the ball they attacked that player striaght away. Overall it looked like we were afriad of them big fellas.
    Only time I saw us getting STUCK IN to them was when Liam O’M hit your man (CHB) and got booked for it. I thought it had been long overdue but at that stage it was quite too late.

  29. As I collected my daughter from Heuston station yesterday I spotted a man in a brown pinstripe suit with a bundle of Mayo jersies under his arm. I noticed he was giving them out to any man that was between the ages of 20-30. As we got closer I overheard him say “Do you want to play in Croke Park today?”. My daughter thought it was kinda like the kids at half time thingy, where guys that would never get the chance to don the county jesrsey could kick around, go home and tell their grandkids they played for Mayo in Croke Park.
    I thought it a charming idea. “Can I have a jersey please” I asked the brownsuited man. “Jesus you would be overage” he replied. I thought him important so I asked for a spare ticket or two. “Sorry my mobile is ringing ” he said as he dashed off. It must have had a dogs whistle as a ring tone because I heard nothing.
    Up in Croke Park we saw a team that wore Mayo jerseys play a team from Cork. I got a funny feeling after a few minutes. At the ten minute mark my daughter whispered to me “I know you think I am mad but I honestly think that the players out on the pitch were the fellas the brown suited man was giving out jerseys to in Hueston”. I nearly fainted. She was correct.
    Mayo played with the tactical nous and accumen of a group of Mayo expats that would meet after Sunday Mass in Rathmines 20 years ago. One man is responsible for this and its the current manager of four years. Yesterday was a new low in embarresment for us. It was probably the worst beating we ever got in a league final. Forget the size of the pitch. Sligo scored 19 points on it. Why were the three subs sent on with 3 mins to go and the game gone. Why was Howley left on his man. Why doesnt John O Mahony face reality and admit the job is beyond him.

  30. I don’t know anymore, lads, I’m baffled. How the hell can we continue to up our game and appear in finals but not even show up for the event on the day? We have become specialists at it. And it’s not just that, we seem to do it when it becomes a knock out competition – as was evidenced against Meath last year.

    It leads me to think that there is a subtle difference needed in the approach between a league (or non-knockout championship) game and a knock out/final game. And we do have a different approach. When all is not on the line, we play with a lot more passion, we don’t give up, we keep plugging away, knowing that the result might come and the risk is worth it. But when everything is on the line, the fear of losing creeps in, we do daft things – like going for goals 4 times in the first half when points were on! And as the game wears on, we get conservative. Nobody takes a risk in case he is the one “found out”, creativity becomes non existent, and we become a force that exists rather than one that seizes the moment.

    There is a lot of hurt here today and rightly so. I am in my 6th decade now and have been following Mayo teams from as early as I can remember. Losing hurts and yesterday the pain was as sharp as I have ever experienced. And what really gets to me is the basic errors that we allowed to creep in as the game progressed. We had a reasonably good first half, when our lads seemed to take the greatest of pleasure turning over Cork possession. We were controlling the ball and the bottom line in controlling the game is controlling the ball, but the next golden rule is that you must score POINTS when you control possession. We panicked and went for goals. Cork weathered the storm and tacked on points. And the second half, we lost control when we gave the ball away so much you would think we just didn’t want it.

    I’m not going to go through the team or the game. That ground is well ploughed here already this morning. But we know that we didn’t become a bad team yesterday and when we click as a unit, this team can give a great performance. And we know that to be an intercounty player requires a huge amount of hard work and dedication – so no one on the panel has a “couldn’t be arsed” attitude. So what the hell is wrong? What made Mayo look like a Division 4 team yesterday?

    Well some men are being played out of position, some have faults in their game, some are too slow, some are too small. However, the first of these can be solved by the management, the second by coaching, the third by fitness training. And is anyone on the team smaller than Peter Canavan (5’9”)? So is the fourth really a problem? A more basic question is whether or not some of the players have the ability to perform at this level. Well if they haven’t, can those who have that ability please come forward. Because the only way we will get better players is by those elusive better players deciding to put in the hard yards that are needed to become a county player. And if better footballers are not available, then you can’t really castigate those that burst a gut in training week in week out for the cause of Mayo football.

    And then there is the issue of leadership. Many of us have alluded to it in the past and it was sadly lacking yesterday. Leadership is built in training. Each line on a team must work as a sub-unit within the team and each line must have a leader. Andy Moran has been the leader in the half forward line up to now, but where are the leaders in the other lines? And when a leader is having an off day, someone else must be ready to step forward. Where was this person when the tide was going out on Andy yesterday? Look at all the top teams and ask yourself how they can seamlessly integrate new young players into the set up. It is because they are surrounded by leaders.

    And finally, there is the issue of playing each game like a final. As I said earlier, we play differently in our non knockout games. We have to change the attitude so that we play every game like a final. It may mean that we lose earlier in some competitions, but we will get over our fear of finals.

    But who knows, if we get over that fear, we might just win one of them!

    Keep The Faith!

  31. That’s 2 bad defeats in croker now, its to late to make drastic changes to the panel at this stage, these lads will be given a chance to perform in the championship and its up to them what they want to do, stand up and fight like men and win or go close to Sam, or give up (like they did today) and admit they are not worthy to grace a pitch with the likes of Tyrone Kerry or Cork.
    At least you can be sure the Sligo lads will give it there all like in Kerry last year, fell short but they left everything they had on the pitch, cannot say that about this Mayo team, these players are turning Mayo into a bit of an embarrassment. In all my years I have never been ashamed of being from Mayo or the Mayo team and always backed them to the hilt, sadly not sure I can say that anymore

  32. I hate that feeling when you know you’re going to lose. For me it came very early in the second half. After Connor’s 2 points (wish he was our impact sub) we did our usual Croker freeze yesterday, the heads down, the eagerness gone, stumbling and sliding around the place like over excited kids.

    We had so many poor performances yesterday, the worst of all O’Mahony’s. Our forwards in the main let us down. I think they forgot the game they were playing and tried to run the ball over the line like American football or Rugby. Instead of simply sticking the ball over the bar we ran at the goal. So often we were in range but no one dared to take a shot. Instead we played “pass the responsibility” I couldn’t possibly take a shot from here. No leaders. No strength.

    On the pitch size I agree that it is massive and over sized. If this is such a continuous problem for us we should take action. Kerry did by increasing the size of some of their pitches. Daingean and Kilmacud Crokes are massive pitches.

    We didn’t compete yesterday. I think at this stage it would be far better for Mayo to not make finals if we are going to be continually demoralised in them. Cork did not show their hand in their last game with us. We did as we always do, peak to get into a final and then collapse spectacularly. Someone needs to change the record. I don’t see an all Ireland in our team this year.

    On the upside in the last ten years only one team that won the league went on to win the championship, Kerry of course. So Turenne winning the double will be a historic feat but winning the league could turn out to be a curse ; )

  33. Coillte – can you check your stats there
    2003 NFL Tyrone and 2003 ALL Ireland Tyrone ??
    also haven’t Kerry have won the double twice last year and in 2006 ?

  34. The lack of action on the sideline seems to be the common thread here….wonder what a poll on the managers future would return? Personally Im happy to leave Johnno there see how reacts to this defeat. He needs to have a serious rethink. The backs, howley apart, did ok yest. Throw in Tom Cunniffe at CHB, Howley in the corner and Keith in the other corner and you have a decent back division. Midfield, well Ronan and Seamie O shea for me. The reaction to parsons display will surely see an end to his claim for a midfield spot.
    Up front, well Mahony isnt going to change his thinking around the FF role that hasnt really worked. I have a feeling he will have O Shea and Moran in there with Mort. Personnally id try someone like killer in there and stick O shea at center half forward. He is better running onto ball that getting it with his back to goal. Put Dillon one side of him and someone like Pat Harte the other side of him. All three can shot from distance too. The captains role needs to be addressed too. Keith Higgins is an all ireland winning it not worth a shot?? Anyway Manager needs to try a different approach or forget about it.

  35. Why are many of you saying Mayo fail to perform in Croke Park and talking about its dimennsions. We have had magnificant performances in Croke Park. In order to reach our many finals, we have had to win semi finals and now frequently quarter finals in the same Croke Park. Who can forget 2006 v Dublin? It is only when it is a FINAL that we collapse. There is a Ph.D to be earned by someone who can do a thesis on the Mayo psyche and show us the way forward.

  36. I have reflected again on the game yesterday and I have to say that I am beginning to rethink some of my original conclusions. I thought and said here that Tom Parsons had a very poor game. I think though that we lost competitiveness around the middle when Ronan came on. I don’t fully know the reasons for this and I have not looked at the recording but Aiden Walsh (fine prospect) really seemed to take over after halftime. You would have thought we might have been more competitive around the middle with three midfielders. Both Parsons and S O Se went missing in the second half. This might be worth considering when people are advocating a starting midfield with Ronan and S O Se for the summer.

  37. Then try Barry Mroan and Seamie O Shea at Midfield Richard…an U21 all ireland winning combination and try an all ireland winning captian in Keith higgins. I dont have all the answers but something has to change

  38. Ted, I don’t know either. Maybe a fully fit Ronan would have made a difference yesterday. He may have been a passenger we could ill-afford from being out since the Dublin match.

  39. Richard, your right Tom Parsons had a poor game, he seemed to do feck all and wasnt up for it. O’Shea didnt go missing, he was moved in to corner forward instead of Ronaldo, I presume with a licence to play as a third midfielder. I think he was one of the few who acquited himself well yesterday and should be left in for the championship. Parsons to me seems like a bit of a sunshine hurler, but what do I know

  40. Lads,
    Is there a more fundamental question to be ask after yesterday?. What’s wrong with the system that can produce a team and display like this? whats wrong with a setup that can have players without the basic skills (e.g Trev) or required attitude (Parson) to be successful on the team?

    Remember this is a problem at senior, u-21 and minor level for the last 20 years. The results are there to be seen in yesterday’s performance but the flaws in the system that produces this (i.e the county board not just this Mgt team) can be seen all the way from minor details like the county board website to major issues like the stadium debacle.

    Any individual player can have an ‘off-day’. Any team can take a bad beating but this is a consistent pattern of under-achievement and dismal performances across hundreds of players and different management teams. This needs ‘root and branch’ analysis and resolution not just moving deckchairs on the titanic.

  41. Fair enough Mike – moving deckchairs on the titanic is a pretty good analysis.
    the problem with the County Board is that most of them have been there too long.
    It is a cushy number. How long has Sean Feeney been Mayo Secretary – 100 years ???
    They won’t give up these positions though. would you ? – nice bankers job and we can rant all we like here but these boys don’t care. If you shout too much well you might get a free ticket (just to shut you up)
    Other than that ZERO.

  42. there is a very valid point there Mike regarding the county board with the bigger picture in mind however I dont accept that what we witnessed yesterday was our true potential. We’re not a team of extremely talented footballers and we all acknowledge that however what i cant accept is that the manager got the best performance out of the squad available to him yesterday. All I ever expected was to reach our potential and if we fell short I would have been prepared to accept it. I honestly thought we’d have a game plan, be organised, be hungry and go down gloriously….i was fooled – AGAIN!!!!!!!!

  43. North mayo
    I have nothing personnal against liam,I just think/know he is not a county player.I would have to ask you if you have something personnal with him to still not see how bad he is.I do not expect him to ask to be dropped so the question as it should icomes down to john o mahony.
    I remember 20-30 minutes after the galway game in salthill coming out of galway city when we were terrible and lost,johnno was asleep on the team coach.Is this the man that cared abouut losing to our rivals.Yesterday as soon as ronan started to get a small bit of dominance, two cork players above 6’4 were brought on, johnno brings on pat harte and barry moran for the last two minuted.Paudi cussane , was left to mop up all day long , infact hes probably still there now, what did johnno do,only leave andy moran there to offer absoloutely no threat.

  44. As a true maroon Galwegian who obviously supports our Connacht rivals/neighbours when we exit league/championship my biggest fear is that Connacht football after a relatively successful period 1996-2007 (between club, underage and some senior success) is falling back again. Are our squads good enough pound for pound? I am reserving judgement on our lads as it is only Big Joe’s 1st year and we are very much a work in progress. Mayo would be further down the road than us so i would expect ye to make further in roads this year. For the all-ireland really take Corkk and Kerry out of it and it would be hard to pick another candidate. Basically if Cork fail this year and particularly at the hands of Kerry it will be back to the drawing board for them as the manager would likely depart.

  45. Got this from another site.
    It makes for grim reading.

    1989 All Ireland Senior Final Cork beat Mayo
    1991 All Ireland Minor Final Cork beat Mayo
    1994 All Ireland U-21 Final Cork beat Mayo
    1995 All Ireland U-21 Final Kerry beat Mayo
    1996 All Ireland Senior Final Meath beat Mayo
    1997 All Ireland Senior Final Kerry beat Mayo
    1999 All Ireland Minor Final Down beat Mayo
    2000 All Ireland Minor Final Cork beat Mayo
    2001 National League Final Mayo beat Galway
    2001 All Ireland U-21 Final Tyrone beat Mayo
    2004 All Ireland U-21 Final Armagh beat Mayo
    2004 All Ireland Senior Final Kerry beat Mayo
    2005 All Ireland Minor Final Down beat Mayo
    2006 All Ireland U-21 Final Mayo beat Cork
    2006 All Ireland Senior Final Kerry beat Mayo
    2007 National League Final Donegal beat Mayo
    2008 All Ireland Minor Final Tyrone beat Mayo
    2009 All Ireland Minor Final Armagh beat Mayo
    2010 National League Final Cork beat Mayo

  46. Jj. Met the lad once in Rockys after a Connaught final with one of the knockmore boys. That’s as much a relationship as I have with him. Does anyone else feel a change in county board could benefit our squad.

  47. Facetheball. Throw in Castlebar 1994,Knockmore 1997, Ballina 1999, Crossmolina 2001, Crossmolina 2003, Ballina 2005 for Senior Club Finals as well. Dont forget our girls great record. Now we have started our Phd in studying Mayo we have identified the problem. A county sends teams across all the grades regularily to finals. The question that needs answering is this; what happens on the final day. No other county has anything like our record. Even a 25% win return rate would permenantly shut the biggest mouths that deride us and indeed satisfy ourselves. One thing for sure is this; its not a hoodoo, a curse but somewhere within the county board psyche I believe lies a big part of our problem.

  48. jpm I stand corrected Kerry won the double 3 times in the last 10 years ‘09 ‘06 ‘04 Tyrone did it in ’03. The list is in the link below:

    I don’t know what it is with mayo and finals. Coillte lost an All Ireland Final (Junior) to a Kerry team in Croker this year too. It was in dramatic circumstances but a loss is a loss. I thought at the time it would have been good for the county if we’d come home victorious.

  49. same story every time, we must ne allergic to the grass or something in croke park

    but on a more serious note, i agree with all the previous comments and the common denominator is and I hate to say it because he gives it his all is Trevor Mortimer, he just does not have it and how he is captain that just baffles me maybe Johnoo is the problem,

    i dont want to start a civil war now but imagine if we had Kieran McDonald even on the bench, now there is a leader and a captain

  50. Remember it is only April–the right time to find problems with our team.
    CHB is a major problem & putting a relatively inexperienced player like Cunniffe in could be dangerous.
    We just dont have midfielders good enough at present & we will have to use a third midfielder. we need to decide what we want of our forwards–do we need a Galvin type to scavange ?
    If so one of our backs would suffice,
    Keep the heads up

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