U21s routed by the Rossies

Mayo U21 v Ros

Photo: @MayoGAA

A perfect evening for football under the lights of MacHale Park turned out to be just that for the large Roscommon following in the 3,100 attendance, as their much heralded U21 side backed up all the hype with an outstanding display of football. For 45 minutes of this game they were totally dominant in every facet of the game and cut through Mayo at will, for the other 18 minutes they were just happy to let their tigerish and suffocating defence deal with whatever Mayo threw at them.

Playing a snappy direct style of football, founded on a very solid midfield base, they moved the ball quickly through the lines to their devastating two-man full-forward line of Murtagh and Smith and they helped themselves to a total of 4-5, 3-2 from play, out of Roscommon’s total of 4-10. Mayo never quit and managed to hold the Rossies scoreless for 12 minutes of the second half but in truth the damage was done by then.

Roscommon opened the scoring after just 45 seconds as Murtagh started his exhibition of corner forward play with a point. However, two minutes later Mayo responded as Evan Regan won a long ball in, held off his marker and turned on to his right foot to finish smartly and low in the corner. Both sides had goal efforts saved over the next five minutes as they went about exchanging points and wides, and there didn’t appear to be much between the sides.

However, all this was to change from the 17th minute to the 29th as Roscommon rattled Mayo for 3-3 in a blistering spell of football where they went through the gears, found their range of passing and movement and, completely destroyed Mayo as we only managed a solitary point in reply. This 11 point difference was the cushion that allowed Roscommon to display the full array of their talents and that gap reflected on the final scoreboard as they ran out winners by 11 points in a 4-10 to 1-8 mauling.

And yet, that 12 minute spell in the first half all started with a misplaced Roscommon pass that was falling short and straight to O’Hora. However, as happened on a few occasions tonight to Mayo when we needed a bit of luck it just didn’t go our way; the ball fell in front of O’Hora but took a terrible bounce that looped up over the Mayo defender and straight to the Roscommon wing-forward behind him. Two quick handpasses later and Flanagan in the Mayo goal was taking the ball from the back of the net after Murtagh finished clinically.

Three more Roscommon points followed with O’Connor pointing for Mayo. But thirty seconds after the Mayo score a high ball into Murtagh saw him easily round Butler and finish beyond Flanagan again. Evan Regan missed a free two minutes later but a minute after that Murtagh, so often the danger man this evening, was pulled to the ground and the Leitrim referee Eamon O’Grady had no option but to award the penalty. Smith duly dispatched it and the half, and in truth the match, was over.

Mayo were living off scraps for a lot of the first half and were soundly beaten at midfield where Corcoran excelled. We were beaten also in almost every 50/50 contest. The Roscommon lads looked far bulkier and certainly were quicker over the ground than Mayo. They had a game plan, stuck to it and always had willing runners and men in space to pick out.

In contrast, too often Mayo were guilty of overplaying the ball through hand passing, going sideways instead of forwards, delaying the ball into our most potent line of attack in the full-forward line where Regan, Shaughnessy and O’Shea had the beating of their men but, like their senior counterparts, they too were taking the ball into contact where they were constantly outnumbered and outmuscled.

Mayo opened the scoring in the second half with an Evan Regan free but, yet again, Roscommon responded immediately with another goal. This time Smith winning the high ball, rounding his man and finishing low to the back of the net. He had a handier point on offer as soon as he won the ball but such was his confidence he knew he had the beating of his man and that a goal was on. The sides exchanged wides and points over the next ten minutes but Healy and the excellent Enda Smith were coming into their own.

Roscommon nearly goaled again as Stephen Coen lost Healy and allowed him to run 30 yards straight down the middle where he offloaded to Smith. On this occasion Flanagan got down and pushed it wide for a ’45. Roscommon were happy to play counter-attack at this stage and their watertight defence never left a Mayo man in space unattended and, try as Mayo did, they could never work a goal scoring chance. High balls in were cleared, overlapping runs were marked, runs through the middle were closed down and even an effort back off the crossbar was cleared out the field. Regan scored a beaut of a point from out wide, bringing his tally to 1-3, and Collins, on after just 24 minutes for the unfortunate O’Hora, pointed also.

However, fresh Rossie legs added to their superior skills and they finished that game with two points and two wides over the closing six minutes. Michael Hall came on for the black carded Cian Burke midway through the second half and Stephen Conroy and Anthony Jordan were introduced at half-time. Sean Regan came on with three minutes to go but, to be honest, such was Roscommon’s superiority throughout the field that after that 12 minute first half spell it was all about damage limitation.

From a Mayo perspective while it was a disappointing performance and a hiding on the scoreboard it must be remembered that the midfield diamond of numbers 6, 8, 9 amd 11 were all out of the minors from last year and in fairness O’Connor battled throughout. Conor O’Shea in truth was the only Mayo player that Roscommon could not handle, even more so when he moved from the corner to midfield at half time. He looks like he could handle the step-up to the seniors.

Adam Gallagher was very tightly marked and had to work very hard for any space he got. He took a fair bit of punishment too but two dummied solo/side-steps where he wrong-footed three Rossie defenders was the pick of his skills, and even then, wouldn’t you know it, when he bounced the ball it hit a divot and never came back up to him!!!

As for the name that must not be mentioned, Evan Regan? Well he certainly has bulked up but he was starved of quality service tonight so it is hard to fault him. 1-3 of Mayo’s total of 1-8 came from his boot and he had a goal effort saved also. I imagine he would do serious damage given good quality ball.

For us, it’s over. But for the Rossies, it will take a damn fine side to stop them. Best team won and best of luck to them for the remainder of the championship.

Mayo: Matthew Flanagan; Kevin Lynch, Liam Kitterick, Aidan Butler; Cian Burke, Stephen Coen, Padraig O’Hora; Padraic Prendergast, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1); Gareth O’Donnell, Michael Plunkett, Adam Gallagher (0-1); James Shaughnessy (0-1), Evan Regan (1-3, two frees), Conor O’Shea (0-1). Subs: Eoghan Collins (0-1) for O’Hora, Steven Conroy for Plunkett; Anthony Jordan for Prendergast; Michael Hall for Burke (black card), Sean Regan for Shaughnessy.

112 thoughts on “U21s routed by the Rossies

  1. We’ll pay the price for ignoring this grade.

    We’re benefitting from nursing it in mid noughties.

    At least we have a nice new stand. Better investment than on the field.

  2. Well I suppose all we can try and do is look on the brightside, after the club final next Monday, over the coming weeks James Horan will have a full deck of cards to pick from, for the rest of the season. So with the current players that we have, the best of the U21s and the Castlebar lads, it’s now full steam ahead with the Mayo Senior team for 2014, starting next Sunday against Cork.

  3. How many of these Roscommon lads are on the senior team? Roscommon are topping division 3 at the moment they will be a tougher contender in the Connaught championship this year.

  4. Not good enough, simple as. Mayo should not be losing by ten points at any grade in castlebar to Roscommon. Saw a few people making excuses on twitter about them playing too many young lads?? Nonsense it’s u21 for gods sake. The likes of Coen and O’Connor are on the senior panel, they should be standing out at this grade. It seems our AI minor winners have not progressed much since last sept. Ominous signs ahead for mayo I always reckoned u21 is much more important than minor fair play to the Rossies they will be a force in the future at senior

  5. Its not long ago that we won four in a row provincial titles at this grade but we’ve been beaten by the Rossies comprehensively for three years out of the last four.
    Mayo minor teams that got to AI finals in 2008 and 2009 were swept aside in the process. Roscommon underage teams now expect to beat the red and green and it won’t be long until they have senior success in the crosshairs.

  6. I do agree that under 21s is more important than minor.To me under 21s is that bridge to senior.So if your not going to have some sort of success at under 21 your going to have a drought at senior level at some stage.Mind you every senior team goes through barron time at some stage.

  7. I think that I seen somewhere that there are six U21 lads in the senior squad, I’m not 100% on that one. I suppose we should really use this as a wake-up call. At least last year we only lost by a couple of points to the eventual champions, this is different, we were hammered. The Mayo county board will really have to start looking into what’s going wrong in this grade.

  8. I disagree to a point. I used to think u21 was more important but in many respects if a player is ever going to be a real standout senior star then he will probably have made some sort of breakthrough to senior by 20/21 years of age. The average age of senior teams is getting younger over the past decade and so I believe minor is just if not more important now. Take this evenings shambles for example….Mayo played with a string of last years minors. As they said on MWR ”where are all our 21 year olds gone???”… whereas Minor is primarily late 17 & 18 year olds – u21 is no longer only 20/21 years.

    If tonight doesnt serve as a wake up call to the county board to rectify the situation then we are in trouble at senior down the line…

  9. Other results from tonight:

    Meath 1-13 Louth 0-10
    Derry 0-12 Cavan 3-10
    Mayo 1-8 Roscommon 4-10
    Cork 0-18 Kerry 2-8
    Tipperary 0-19 Waterford 2-3

    It just shows that their is a pattern of results emerging over the last few years in underage football which continued again tonight. Wins for Roscommon, Cavan, Cork and Tipperary. You can probably include Dublin and Galway in this category as well.

  10. Very poor performance. Reading the hogan stand report it says we were 8 points down at 1/2 time and we lost by 11. So effectively we were beaten in both halves. That’s terrible and it shows the dearth of talent we must have between minor and U21. Also what does it say about these guys trying out for Senior team?

    Seems to me that if they cannot compete on home ground against a local rival there is very little chance they can move into the bigger pond?

  11. Ros are a very good team. Fair play to them they thoroughly deserved to win.
    Our starting midfielders CHB and CHF were minors last year and Padraig Prendergast didn’t even make the minor team last year. The result was that our central diamond was overwhelmed. We won very little breaking balls and the supply into the forwards was very poor. Conor O Shea strengthened it up a lot but by then it was too late.
    I’m afraid it was poor selection not to have Conor O Shea and Adam Gallagher centrally involved from the start. Also there was one more substitution that should have taken place in our defence from early on.
    If we had done these simple things we still would not have won but we wouldn’t have been hammered.
    Good luck to Ros and I hope they go all the way.

  12. No doubt about it – Roscommon were much the better side tonight – very well organised and seemed to be a more mature team at this grade – I don’t know how many of their team were just out of minor wheras we had the 6 8 9 positions and the difference in strength in these positions was plain to see. Their defence was outstanding – time after time they ran us up alleys where we would cough up cheap ball to 2 and 3 defenders and when they had it the distribution was spot on and their score taking clinical – kicked some lovely points from 30 – 40 yards and the goals they never looked like missing . Now its not too far fetched to think we might have lost to the All Ireland winners for the 2nd year in succession but we are making a bad habit of losing at this grade and I hope we don’t pay too heavy a price for this in the senior grade . You can tell the Rossies believe in this generation of youngsters by the large crowd that travelled to castlebar and its not hard to see that they just might make some waves come championship time in the not too distant future.
    Positives – Even Regan got a lovely goal showing strength and balance to make it and coolness to finish it – we didnt dominate much after 1st 15min so hard for him to impact after that.
    Diarmaid O’Connor / Adam Gallagher never stopped running / showing – and Conor O’Shea had a much better influence on the game when moved to midfield for the 2nd half in place of Prendergast who was withdrawn at HT

  13. Was at the game, very disappointing, Ros much stronger In fairness to our lads they were game to the end.I dont agree that the result here spells doom for our senior grade or riches for the rossies who have had seams of underage stars for the past 5 yrs, they have little silverware for their efforts and yet to show it at senior as have Galway who were champs 3 yrs ago and last.

  14. Adam Gallagher was fighting an uphill battle tonight. Otherwise – we were well beaten all over the pitch. Stephen Coen did ok and young O’connor too was decent but too light yet.

    Apart from addressing the gap between minor and u21 which is an issue that has been banded about for the past few years but it seems f@ck all has been done about it, I believe the root of this problem stems at u-14/u-16…..these age groups are so crucial, they really are.

    1. We must rectify the problem getting minors thru to senior….
    2. Start really focusing on winning at u16 and bring that through.

    Im going to Mayo games a long time. I have never seen us lose the way way we did tonight. This should NEVER be allowed to happen again at any age group. The last time I saw us lose in such a fashion was against Cork in 1993.

    Our current mayo team and last years minor success are simply distracting people from the fact that we need far more from underage…its worrying….I dont know whose job it is to fix it….but if nothing drastically is done immediately then our future at senior is bleak.

    The boys from our u21 winning side of 2006 have about 2 years left at senior. That’s it. A big bunch of them will be ‘past it’ by 2015/16.

  15. Yeah any of tonight’s U21s who are good enough will be moving into a very serious set-up with the senior team over the coming months. I remember last year after the Galway U21s won the All-Ireland, they played some great football in the final against Cork, a lot of people were predicting that their seniors would do very well in the championship. Even Colm O’Rouke and Pat Spillane predicted that Galway would beat Mayo in Salthill last year, in the first round of the Connacht championship.

  16. Well done Roscommon I think they could be well equipped to go one better than 2012. Can’t see them bottling it v Galway two years in a row. Hope they go all the way

    This will have no impact on senior match in June so zero need to panic from that perspective

  17. +1
    This present team is made up primarily from the 4 in a row guys that won Connacht. If there’s nothing coming through at U21 level then its only a matter of time before the slip comes at the top.

    And when we fall we may not rise for quite a while.

  18. I remember Ros beating us pretty easily at minor level 3 years ago. I wonder how many of that team was playing for Ros tonight. I honestly think an U21 team has a better chance if the majority of the players are close to the age of 21 though I do accept the point that whem Mayo won U21 in 2006 we included 5 who graduated from previous years minor team. Three years ago there was a guy from Claremorris called Quirke who was impressive. Is he involved any more. . I would genuinely be worried about the future as I think a strong U21 team offers more at senior level than a strong minor team. Our AI winning U21team of 2006 is providing a lot of our current seniors and our strong Senior team of the mid to late 1990s was backboned by U21 teams who played AI Finals v Cork in 1994 and Kerry 1995.

  19. I would not agree that the current crop of players who won an u21 in the 00’s will be past it in 2 years. currently they are between 26-29. ok, the older lads from that group will be in their 30’s then but the likes of Caff, Cunniffe, Barrett, SOS are only going to be 28, prime age for being at the top of their game.

    Factor in Keegan, Vaughan, AOS, Cillian who did not exactly play on u21 teams which excelled, or in some cases didnt make the u21 team at all

  20. yea I have been going to underage games for a long time but I have never seen the green and red so outclassed by Roscommon. Truth is the rossies did not put the shoe to the floor in the second half. They started to run their bench early. If they had kept up the momentum they had in the first half a heavier defeat was on the cards. Difficult to know how good Roscommon are, as we were unable to test them tonight. I feel they could, / should have done more damage. We will have to wait until their next game or the one after that before we make that call.
    Any one from Mayo who thinks that this will not impact on our run in the championship or the precious div 1 status in say 5 years time is wrong IMO. We have almost twice as many clubs as the rossies. We have really struggled at this level in the last 5 years We are not where we should be. Best wishes to the Roscommon U21 team and mentors for the championship. Hope they do not make the mistake of reading too much into this result.

  21. Firstly hard luck tonight, twas all alot easier than we expected, I am not going to pretend to know alot about ye’re underage structures/teams but I think ye are reading too much into the whole ‘they are only out of minor’, our fullback, midfielder and Murtagh the corner forward who destroyed ye are also only out of minor, but for injury another minor from last year would have started centre half forward, we had 6 off last years minor team on the field at the end

  22. @to win just once, number 1,4,5,6,9,11,12,14 and 15 played on that team that beat ye at minor grade in 2011

  23. 2002: D. Morris, C. Monaghan, K. Fitzgerald, M. Comer, R. Murray, D. Blake, K. Brady, J. Bergin, K. Comer, M. Clancy, J. Devane, D. Burke, M. Meehan, D. O’Brien, N. Joyce. Sub: D. Hanley for Burke.

    2005 – M Killilea, A Burke, F Hanley, M Flannery, D Mullahy, N Coyne, G Sice, N Coleman, B Cullinane, B Faherty, D Dunleavy, F Breathnach, M Meehan, C Blake, S Armstrong. Subs – J Murphy, A Glynn

    2011: M Breathnach; G Sweeney, C Forde, A Tierney; J Moore, J Duane, T Fahy; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn; M Boyle, M Hehir, C Doherty; D Cummins, P Sweeney, E Monaghan. Subs: A Murphy, M Farragher, B Flaherty, C Halloran, C Silke.

    2013: T Healy; E Walsh, J Shaughnessy, B Cunnane; M Loughnane, D Burke, P Varley; T Flynn, F Ó Curraoin; C Mulryan, S Moran, D Comer; S Walsh, A Varley, I Burke. Subs: C Rabitte, J Healy, P Ezergalis, G Kelly, S Maughan.

    Four all Ireland winning teams Galway have produce since 2002, it’s not really had a positive impact on their senior set up though.

  24. I’m afraid the news is worse than we think. The Roscommon team was down a number of first choice starters tonight due to injuries.

    As I have said on a number of occasions, we need to look at our underage structures and learn from others who are doing it much better.

    I know we won the Minor Final last year but how many more should we have featured in. A lot of work to be done and it will need lots of resources!

    Congrats to The Rossies and I hope they go all the way!

  25. Yes our captain who plays fullback/center back (Tony McManus’ son), Harney who only came on the end would be a starter but is struggling with a groin injury and Donie Smith is also not match fit as he has played little football so far this year with injury. We are also missing another lad through injury that would have been in with a good shout for starting in midfield.

  26. Genie, with that many quality players ye would want to be winning something. Ye could put 2 teams out!

  27. I was simply answering questions that other posters had asked, I am not trying to rub ye’re noses in it, more often than not we get hammered in Castlebar so I don’t think we have any reason to be gloating, anyways some of ye seem to have issues with my comments so i will mosey on

  28. Well I for one do not have any issue with your comments. I just said “with that many quality players ye would want to be winning something. Ye could put 2 teams out” Is that not the case?
    There is no denying the quality of last years Minor team, even though ye were beaten by us on the way to us winning the All Ireland, and on tonight’s display, ye have a fantastic U21 side also. I wish ye the best of luck in the remainder of the championship.

  29. No issue from me . Ye won fair and square and handsomely at that ,be a bad Mayo man to not say well done and a rare one at that.

    I won’t say the clichéd good luck for the rest of the championship because I honestly don’t care , it’s all about Mayo for me , no other team matters to me.

  30. Two teams might be pushing it a bit but there is strength in depth which is something I assume ye do not have yet at this grade as if ye had ye’re two corner backs would have been changed early on, thanks for the good luck, we will need it if we get past Sligo and meet our nemesis at this level Galway. What is the chances in 2 or 3 years time the majority of them lads playing for ye tonight won’t hand the Rossies back their arses after giving them a hammering in Castlebar at senior, it is all too familiar trait for us been able to compete with ye for the last 8 years at minor and under 21 to be ultimately hammered by ye in senior, maybe the tides might start to change at senior level eventually.

    Conor O’Shea has the makings of a fine footballer,

  31. Hold on the a minute hontheross, don’t walk away just yet, sure we love a bit a banter round here and none better than a few rossies to have it with. You got to understand we’re hurting a we bit at the minute, but nothing that a few days and a good win over Cork on Sunday can’t put right. And who knows maybe Mitchels might bring home the bacon on St Patricks Day. If all that were to happen, sure everything would be grand again. 🙂

  32. Ouch! hard to defeat to take on the chin, apart from the opening 10,15mins i was really men against boys if Roscommon had won by 15 to 18 points you could have little complaints. 5 years in a row that Mayo haven’t reached the Connacht U21 final now and that effort was by far the worst i can remember.

    Credit to Ros they look a fine side however i think Galway will be be a match for them

  33. Bit soon to be writing off the 2011,2013 Galway U21s. The 2002,2005 teams was wasted talent due to poor choice of manager. James Horan has based his side around the 2006 U21 AI winning team and a good manager can get the best of out of underage talent if James wasn’t their where would Mayo be? he has maybe the senior set up professional.

    That was horrible from Mayo tonight the lack of success at U-21 level is very concerning. The minors of last year will have to be developed better or that talent will be lost.

  34. Zero need to panic but much reason to be wary. In my 50 or so years watching Mayo football I have seen us fall too often when we had “zero reason to panic” at least in our own minds. More often than not it was outsiders Roscommon who tripped us up. 1970, 72, 86 and 2001 come to mind most readily. Doesn’t happen very often but still too often. Roscommon will win promotion at least this year and will have nothing to lose when facing us.

  35. I don’t think anybody but Cait had any issues with you, hontheros.
    You were quite factual in your posting and there is no point in taking exception to facts.
    Good luck to your team and its better to see a cup coming west no matter who it goes to.

  36. Over the last number of years Roscommon seem to have very big, strong players at underage level. Whether they are concentrating on big players in preference to smaller players I do not know. Whatever, it seems to be working for them. I was somewhat fearful of Donie Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh to begin with and I recall that at minor level we could not handle Thomas Corcoran at all, either year he played.
    Apart from Conor O’Shea I cannot see any of tonight’s players making any real impact at senior level this year. That is not to say that some of them should not be involved in the senior panel. What the tactic of playing O’Shea at corner forward was I do not know but he should have been brought out to midfield midway through the first half. Easy being wise after the event, I suppose.
    I would suggest that the U21 management should be keeping tabs on the players eligible for next year throughout the summer/autumn to encourage them for next year.
    Perhaps that already happens, I do not know but it would be a help if the players knew that they are not being forgotten about until next winter.

  37. Psychologically that is not good for Mayo and any type of spin is grasping straws. When Roscommon dominate you at this grade since 2010 then alarm bells should be ringing .

    A fair wind wouldn’t take long to alter the present senior relationship between the two teams . Galway won’t be down forever , they have the players but currently not the manager. Roscommon work of ten year cycles, one is overdue at senior. Mayo had 3/4 senior dominance but lacked that panache and unpredictability up front. The end of an era is coming and sooner than people expect

  38. Just to try to cheer everyone up I have looked in the archive at the 2010 Mayo U21 team that lost to Roscommon and can find 9 current squad members on the first 15 that day and 8 who have been involved in senior AI action.

    Add in CoC Coen Harrison who were too young and it shows we are still managing to bring players through even if we are underachieving at underage.

    Thats not glossing over the failure from last night but we have a talented AI winning team from last year to bring through.
    It’s still strange that the MOM was a Roscommon minor forward from last year when none of our outstanding bunch made the cut.

  39. Some where in lasts week’s blog “To win just ” stated that the “Older” senior players on Mayo gaa team prove themselves before we played Kerry as the under 21’s would be taking their positions. I replied then that the under 21’s prove themselves against the Rossies. I think after last nights display the “Older” senior players have nothing to fear.
    We were outplayed, outwitted, and outmuscled by a BRILLIANT Roscommon team. I feel our team was very young, nearly all minors from last year. The lads on the senior panel did not shine and we thought that they would show courage, that didn,t happen.
    Still I rem a few years ago the Rossies had a minor team that was going to win all around them in the years ahead , did not see them since. Ah yes boys will be boys!

  40. The whole shure they’re grand lads, did their beset, don’t panic, it’s only Ros. Meely mouth stupidity won’t solve anything for us.

    Agree with John Cuffe. There is a cold wind beginning to blow and we are ignoring it. The writing has been on the wall at underage the last few years. Ros have been our masters at minor and under 21 more often than not since 2006 minor championship. There have been repeated failures with set-ups and many potential managers have been ignored or put off by the County Board.

    As somebody said above the fact of the matter is that there is a patter. Ros, Cavan, Tipp, Cork, Dublin and Galway are succeeding at underage and slowly improving at senior. That is likely to continue. We can up or game or not. We cannot simply assume that good players and good chances will keep coming along.

  41. Very good report. I said before this site is about all the social media I do. The reasons are simple, the debate here is very good, well policed and pretty well balanced. Mayo folk love their football and are up for a bit of banter. Fair play for the well wishes towards this Ros team, very best of luck to Castlebar on Monday.

  42. Actually we had a top class corner back warming the bench. Why he was not called into action early on is beyond me when we were getting cleaned in that position.

  43. John
    I think it’s a bit soon to be predicting the demise of our senior team. Sure there will come a day when we will play second fiddle to either Galway or Roscommon for a spell. In the meantime there is a league campaign and a championship to focus on.
    I predict we will stay in Div 1 and win Connacht easily and perhaps go all the way in 2014. Now paradoxically, if we were to win Sam this year that would be a bigger factor in the demise of the current team. But we will worry about that when it happens!!!

  44. so going on all reports from people at game our seniors didnt do alot in this game and we have guys speaking on this forum about them playing senior champo this year? if one cant stand out at u21 level forget about senior. thats a reality and the sooner people realise this and stop spouting rubbish after 1/2 league games saying this player or that player is quality because its blind praise . Senior players should show especially playing u-21 they are a step above in terms of quality and this is not happening. #boring

  45. If he can’t stand up as a leader at under 21 Roger, he ain’t gonna stand up on the third Sunday in September when there is silver to be won.

    Problems in our heads as much as our feet!

  46. Agreed. Just because Adam Gallagher, for instance, didn’t shoot the lights out last night or didn’t appear as influential as he has been for the seniors thus far, does not make him a bad player. You cannot honestly judge the more senior members of last nights under 21 side, based on 1 performance. Generally, good players play better when surrounded by other quality players. For example, if we had a more competitive midfield last night that was winning possession and supplying our forwards with better quality ball do you not think that Adam Gallagher or Evan Regan would have had a greater influence on the game? I am not making excuses for last nights disappointing performance but maybe our focus is on developing our younger footballers to be competitive senior inter county players as opposed to winning titles consistently at underage level?

  47. What is your basis for saying that Mayo’s current lack of success at U21 has anything to do with how the Senior side has or will perform in the future? Because there’s certainly no evidence in the overly negative comments above.

    For all Roscommon and Galway’s success at underage since ’06, between them they’ve won 2 Connacht titles at Senior level. Neither of them have even won 1 game at the AI series (from Quarters on). In the meantime, Mayo have been very competitive at Minor, won 5 Senior Connacht titles, played in 3 Senior AI finals, and 1 semi-final. They are also consistently one of the best Senior league teams in the country.

    In my opinion, Mayo are miles ahead of Galway and Ross at bringing underage talent through to be good Senior players. I don’t think Lee Keegan even played U21 football, hasn’t stopped him becoming the best half-back in the country. It’s all about what you do at Senior level, and at the minute we have an excellent management team, who have done a very good job at bringing young talent through. I can’t same the same for our neighbours, and I’d bet they’d much prefer to be in Mayo’s position, even with all their strong underage teams.

  48. Well done Roscommon and best of luck for the rest of the campaign.
    Good point about the lack of Erris men. Only one Crossmolina player as well (sub) and no Knockmore players. All in all North Mayo very poorly represented, I’m not stirring up anything here but that is a recipe for disaster.

  49. Disappointing one to lose and well beaten at that. The underage development squads in Roscommon are paying dividends.

    Not that it would have made much of a difference since the FF line sounded like it was starved of ball but Brian Heneghan from Moy Davitts was flying recently, broke finger a few weeks back. Would have started I reckon.Bags of talent.

  50. One loss and its the end of the world, theres nothing like Rossies for thinking one swallow makes a summer, and theres nothing like ourselves for seeing the end of the world in the smallest of setbacks.
    Tis wearing lads this stream of negativity every time something goes wrong. If the players on the senior team had the same attitude they would have gone behind the couch against Longford a few years ago and not come out since.
    underage football is all about having a conveyor belt of 2 to 3 players a year who dont look completely out of place at senior level, anything else, like the 3rd Sunday in September last year, are a fantastic bonus, but just that.
    No problem with people not being happy about a bad loss, but lets not turn it into predictions of a mountain of misery coming our way.
    I honestly think some people would be happier if we were sh*te for the next 10 years so they could just tut and say “see I told ye”.

  51. Agree 110% East Cork Exile! All Ireland Senior Finalists 2 years in a row, 4 Connaught titles in a row, AI Minor Champions, Al Club Finalists, Intermediate Club Finalists……and loss (albeit a bad loss) by an unfancied U21 team against, in fairness a very good Ross team, and its complete amargedoen and outpourings of misery!! What a sad bunch some of us Mayo people are!!

    Please take a look at the Bigger Picture….no seriously, take a step back and view the bigger picture……Mayo football is in its best state than it has been for the last 50 years….yes 50 years! We have had some exceptional young players coming through the system in the last number of years and continue to do so (and not all have won minor or U21 all Irelands), players that are among the best that ever represented Mayo both in performances and how they represent themselves and their county……and after one poor performance our youngsters are being written off in a whim. Shameful really. Wonder do some of ye actually f*cking enjoy the game at all??! If ye don’t, there must be something else ye can find to get miserable about ?

  52. So what exactly is being done at underage level in Roscommon that is not being done In Mayo ?

  53. It is interesting to note that this year Cork will be going for their fourth Munster title in a row at U21 level, Cavan will be going for the same in Ulster. Galway and Roscommon have been doing well in Connacht and Dublin in Leinster. So far Dublin are the only team that has bore fruit from this run of underage success, at senior level. They have had a hard core of experienced players who have helped with the transition of blending youth and experience into their team. This is something maybe that the other teams have lacked, apart from Cork as well (although a lot of their more experienced players retired last year too). So I suppose at the moment we may not need to panic, our glass is probably still more than half-full but we need to be wary too. It’ll be very interesting to see how our Minor team will perform this year. Enda Gilvarry seems to be quite an astute manager. If we have two good minor teams in a row, you’d expect our U21 team to perform much better next year. After Monday’s Club final, James Horan can then fully access who should be in and who should be out of our panel for the months ahead. Then it’s a full on assault of attacking the league and championship. Roll on the week-end games!

  54. For all the talk about player development and underage success being vital to success at senior level a quick glance back through the record books will show two things. The first being that success at minor, or indeed at U21 level, does not automatically mean a victorious senior team is just around the corner. The second is that a successful senior team can be had without any sign of underage success prior to that. There are exceptions to every rule and in this case only Tyrone and Kerry have shown a definitive path of success from minor through to U21 and on to senior grade.
    The victorious Kerry minor side of 1994 went on to win the U21 titles in ’95 & ’96. This group of players went on to win Sam in 2000 and ’04 and finish runners up in ’02. Tyrone won the minor title in 1998 and followed that up with U21 success in 2000 and ’01. They went on to lift Sam on 3 occasions in ’03, ’05 & ’08. The Kerry U21 side of 1998 went on to help win Sam in ’04, ’06 & ’07 plus runners up in ’05 & ’08 but Kerry then had an 8 year gap between 1999 and 2007 where they had no underage success at any grade but competed in 6 senior finals! The victorious Tyrone minor sides of ’01, ’04 & ’08 did nothing at any other grade and their winning team in ’10 have yet to come through at either U21 or senior level.
    However the senior successes of Down (’91 & ’94), Galway (’98 & ’01 plus runner up in ’00) and Armagh in 2002 all arrived without any underage success at either grade in the build up to those title winning sides. Laois won back to back minor titles in 1996 & 1997, plus another in ’03, but were never seen again Likewise the Roscommon minor side of 2006.
    If the theory of bringing successful underage players through the ranks to be certain of senior success is to be proven true, well then, this years U21 champions should come from either Tyrone, Tipperary or Dublin. The senior champions should come from Kerry, Cork, Galway or Dublin.
    Undoubtedly given Dublins population and financial strength, their minor success in ’12 and their U21 success in ’10 & ’12 proves there is a depth of talent coming through but likewise in Galway where 2 AI U21 titles in 3 years is not to be sniffed at.
    The thing to remember is that you can only put 15 players on the field at any one time and there is more to it than pure talent alone. Having players and management that will commit wholeheartedly and remain dedicated to the cause, having a county board that can generate the funds needed to train the teams to the required level and back their manager and having economic circumstances in your favour that means you can hold on to your best players and prevent them leaving for work reasons.

  55. There are bucks who played in their 4th senior final last September and were as anonoymus as they were first time out. Can’t blame any forward last night , it’s an overall thing

  56. Go on, name the player(s) that have played so poorly in 4 finals? Alan Dillon (1-2 at least in ’04)?, Andy Moran (1-2 from play last year)?

    They don’t owe Mayo football anything and one of the reasons they will go down as some of the best players to play for their county is because of the positive attitude they have towards themselves and their football. Something you might consider for yourself.

  57. Got to disagree with you there Dave – I have seen many a senior player have a mare playing for the U-21 side. In fact last year I thought Cillian O’Connor didn’t have a great game v Galway. You wouldn’t say he he isn’t anything other than a fine senior Mayo player now. They didn’t stand out last night because Roscommon were by far the better side. As I said in a previous post I though both Gallagher and O’Connor showed quality touches and never stopped trying to make things happen. GAA is a team game and a good team will always overshadow a good player and that was the case last night.

  58. the same crap that haunted the county senior team is still prevalent at under age level from the u16s up 2 the the u21s regional bias is alive and well in mayo gaa

  59. For all the stats quoted above you can easily find ones to counter argue.

    E.g. this is not picking anyone specific reference in particular but it does highlight that successful Senior teams have success at underage and U21.

    Down won Ulster titles at minor in 1986 & 87. which you could easily argue helped the teams of 91 & 94. Same with Galway who won Connacht minor in 93, 94, 95 and U21 titles in 93, 96, 98 and 00. some of these guys came through to Senior and were there for 98 and 01.

    I don’t mind the fact that we were beaten by Roscommon. It’s that it has become such a regular occurrence at this level that is the problem. And even more importantly it was the manner of the defeat last night. It was a hammering on or own ground.

    If we are to be a constant force in football no one should be dishing out hammerings to us at any level (Minor, U21 or Senior) on our patch.

  60. JPM, that is exactly my point! You can look at what Kerry and Tyrone did and say “yeah, that is the way to go”. But likewise you can look at Laois or the later Tyrone minor teams and say “well what happened there?” There is no certainty that senior success necessarily follows underage success, or, that lacking underage success means you will never win the senior title.
    I believe it comes back to the primary focus of the county board and management. Do they want to win minor/U21 titles come hell or high water, or, is the primary concern producing players that can be effective and successful senior intercounty players firstly?. If they pick up a title along the way that’s great but it’s not really what we are after.

  61. Thanks. It was hard to remain impartial given what was happening on the field but sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and acknowledge that you were bet by the better side.

  62. One loss to Roscommon in McHale park, and there suddenly set to dominate senior football in the near future!!??. Not going to happen im afraid. Dissapointed with our performance but its a blessing in disguise if you ask me. Hopefully evan regan will join up with the senior panel now along with O’Shea.

  63. Without a good senior set up the underage talent won’t be developed right. Mayo could be at the same level as Galway now if it wasn’t for Horan changing everything.

  64. They will hardly dominate. though thats four wins in a row for Ros v Mayo now at U21 level. I wasn’t that impressed by Evan Regan last night, his goal was a luck break & he only managed one point from play after that. He looks a little light for senior football. O’Shea impressed and is worth a call up

  65. Four defeats in a row is not great, but i still wouldnt be worried, its one thing coming up against your own age group but its never going to be like that obviously in the senior game. O’Shea could be a real player for the future, as will Regan i think. Not convinced on Adam Gallagher at all, but hope the young lad proves me wrong.

  66. Regan was hardly breathtaking last night and the free he missed in the first half was poor concentration but to say his goal was lucky is a bit of an insult to the lad. It was a top class finish with his supposed weaker foot while he was being fouled.
    Club hatred/allegiances wouldn’t be colouring your views on him somehow or is it just a reaction to the crazy hype/saviour talk that has surrounded him. I can’t wait for him to be in the forwards with Cillian next year and hopefully Adam Gallagher and Connor O, Shea will be there too!!!

  67. I had seen Diarmuid Murtagh before last year’s minor final and he was an exceptional player. Things did not go well for them in that final or subsequently in the All Ireland series but they were a good team. Mayo had a great start in the Connacht minor final but Rosc were closing the gap at the end and I, for one. was happy to hear the final whistle.

  68. I wonder will their be many u21 players on the mayo panel for Sunday really can’t wait for it. I think it’s on tg 4 which is great hope fully a mayo draw and castle bar win would be nice.

  69. Disappointed like all other Mayo fans at the result, thanks to those of you that were posting updates as the match progressed. Some questions for those of you in the know with regards to underage structures in both counties. 1. Are Mayo lacking with regards to strength and conditioning ?. 2. Are we training less than other U21 teams. 3. Are we focussing too much on skill to the detriment of physically ?. 4. Are we failing to keep a settled team from U14 all the way thru ?. It’s not as if Roscommon send players away at 4 years of age to training camps like China do to its promising athletes and gymnasts. On balance Zmayo football is stronger now across nearly all grades than for many years so there are no reasons to panic and despair. We will go through a poor cycle of results again BUT we will always come back to the top. Well done Roscommon and heads up Mayo.

  70. Can you name the players who should have been included? Think the manager is a north Mayo man so he should know who is out there in the north.

  71. Well done Ros, As you say ye have been on the wrong end of big scores in Castebar and it would be small minded to begrudge ye a victory. Think ye have a right good team and remember ye being unlucky against Tipp in minor 2011. Though I m Mayo to the core I do like to see other Connacht teams do well once we re out and bearing in mind Galway have won a lot at this grade lately I hope ye win it out this year.

  72. I make it that 11 of those Mayo players, between the first 15 and subs, will be in our squad for the game against Cork on Sunday. Two more will be involved for Castlebar on Monday. It just shows the amount of players that come through from just one U21 team.

  73. Judging from that report, Mayo dominated in midfield. And judging from reports from last night we didn’t.

    Traditionally we have always been strong at midfield and when the county has been at its most successful it has been largely on the back of dominating in this sector. Lets face it our most famous ever player is a midfielder.

    Anyway it might have been a different match if that were the case last night as well.
    Something maybe for management to think about going forward.

  74. Really think having a go at lads who helped Mayo get to 4 All Irelands in ten years is a bit harsh. Would have to say Dillon and Moran have been great for our county. Totally dedicated, no bullshit and passionate about their county. I don’t dispute they may be disappointed with some of their performances on final day but any player who has been around for over 10 years and was deemed good enough to represent his county by a whole series of managers is surely deserving of respect from his fellow county men.

  75. I think that the Tyrone minor teams of 01 and 04 contributed a number of players to the Senior teams of 05 & 08. Sean Cavanagh for one. The 08 team has not yet helped capture Sam but there are a number of players in the current team who, despite last Sunday, are not out of the running for the championship.
    There is not a direct correlation between minor/underage success and senior success but when you extend the view to include beaten finalists the correlation does become stronger, e.g the Galway minors of 94 or 95 were beaten in a final but still came through in 98/01. Similarly with Mayo minors of 2005 coming through at U21 the next year and forming the backbone of the current senior team. Limerick won a 3 in a row U21 hurling All Irelands and were dismal failures at senior.

  76. Jaysus lads we’re a great county for pessimism. It’s disappointing alright but it’s hardly ‘end is nigh’ time.

    Good luck to the Rossies, they were much the better team, deserved their big win and they’ll take some stopping, with a bit of luck they can go all the way and I hope they do. Last year was a bigger tragedy imo at U21 as we were as good as Galway, lost a game we could have won and Galway went all the way.

    We should remember that from 1966 to 1985 we won 4 minor all-Irelands and i think 3 U21 titles and we were nowhere in terms of senior success so we have our own proof that senior success doesn’t always follow on from good underage teams.

    The main thing is to get a few good footballers coming through each year and I’d much rather be in a position where we challenge for Sam than be picking off underage titles from time to time and the players subsequently disappearing. I suspect the Rossies and Galway would much rather that too.

  77. Please elaborate. I consider such allegations without justification about managers etc. to be as unacceptable as similar statements about players. Why on earth would any manager deliberately field a team not including all the best available talent. Sometimes there are very talented players who lack the desire and hunger to succeed and this may not be visible outside the team circle. Perhaps somebody like this is in your radar.

  78. Last nights result was a bit of a shock, but i think we should be concentrating on our senior & minor teams now, i wonder how many of last years minor allireland winners are underage again for this year it would be nice to see them do well again and then next year have a real go at the under 21s.
    I think then it is a time for the minor mangement team to step up to u21 Enda Gilvarry & co
    as they would know them players a lot better.

    Conor Oshea Evan Reagan & Adam Gallagher should now be trainning with the seniors as its forwards we need to replace some of the existing forwards that have had ample oportunities.I cannot remember the last time Enda Varley scored or even created a goal.
    There were 5 different players on the mayo team in the final of 2013 as 2012 i wonder how many there will be this year as we do need to keep things fresh.

    Really looking forward to this weekends games all the best Castlebar the whole county are supporting you & everyone should get to the Mayo Cork game never mind TG4 We have a fantastic stand with a great view.

  79. Yeah JPM, we really have produced some top mid-fielders over the years. As you said when we have had really top class players there, we have usually done well. We are fairly blessed with the quality of mid-fielders that we have at the moment too.

  80. Anyone who was following the Hastings Cup would have recognised that we are not a top notch team at u21 this year with the players we have in this panel. Perhaps, apart from young Durcan from Castlebar, there may have been better players around not included in the panel but I don’t know them.
    The games I saw we were hammered by Cavan and struggled against a poor enough Offaly team. Midfield was a problem then particularly against Cavan. So why Conor O Shea didn’t start there is beyond me! So last nights loss was no surprise at all to me. What was surprising was the ease with which Ros banged in 4 goals. We knew well how good Ros were, and Murtagh and Smith in particular. Surely we should have set up defensively (a la Donegal ) to ensure there was no goalfest and counter attacked giving more space to our inside forwards.
    As I said in an earlier post Ros were a far better team but we could have made it a lot harder for them. I am mostly positive and optimistic but this was a bad result and most disappointing.

  81. On a blog dated March 6th 2014 @ 3.48pm a blogger calling itself “To win just 1” wrote the blog I referred to. I answered this blogger o March 6th 2014 @6.31 pm. In my blog to day I did not say “To win just once” had
    wrote the blog on March 6th. I said “To win just” on todays blog. If “To win just once” thinks I refer to him its a misunderstanding on his part.

  82. Cait, What do you mean that “a Mayo draw would be nice”. It might be acceptable, just about, but how you can say it would be nice I do not know.

  83. I thought Evan fouled his defender before he broke loose it wasn’t one of his better nights though the ball into him wasn’t the best either.

  84. Was Mayo’s last win against Ross at this grade and it took a bit of freak goal to bring it into extra time. Great game and atmosphere.

  85. Who was the lad put marking him at minor last year? I remember him doing a good job on him. Was he even in the squad?

  86. Fair play, you are dead right, and I for one am sick to the back teeth of listening to it. It isnt even consistant. For instance, last week we were told that young Coen should be starting at fullback for the senior team, this week he isnt good enough for the u21s! Everything changes on the drop of a hat and we go in search of the next martyr for whatever axe we have to grind. If people have nothing of substance to add then they should keep quiet.

  87. Re Evan Regans Goal ; From where I sat at the end of the stand nearest that goal end, he fielded the ball ,was pulled back still managed to hold off and got a shot away which beat the golie, and we still criticize, I wonder why some young guys loose the hunger?

  88. You can never focus too much on skills, particularly at underage level. Show me the player that can put the ball over the bar from 30 yards off either foot under pressure consistently (aka more than 70%) on our senior team at the moment.

    I’d prefer if they had the skills by the time they got to the senior team, where 2 years on the fringes of the panel would bring them up to the required physicality. Easier to improve physique than skills when you’re in your 20s.

  89. Off the top of my head, Varley scored I think it was our 3rd goal against Galway in the championship last year. But he hasn’t been prolific in that regard, no.

  90. It was David Kenny i think. Early goals glossed over the Mayo performance really, well beaten in midfield and they were wasteful in of front of the posts.

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