Dublin 3-14 Mayo 2-17: we blew it


Mayo Dublin final score

Photo: Mayo Mick

Okay, the good news first. We secured our Division One status for another year with the point we got tonight. We saw superb performances from the likes of Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran and Jason Gibbons. Our goalie, while not putting in anything like a perfect performance, didn’t make a complete gobshite of himself live on TV in the way that Cluxton did. And the Dubs didn’t extend their winning sequence over us to four games.

But, of course, I can already see via the comments – where there’s far too much emotion swirling about the place, by the way – that not too many people are looking on the bright side tonight. It feels like a defeat, of course it does – six points up and a man up, we should have put this Dublin team comprehensively to the sword but instead we invited them back into the contest and would have suffered the ignominy of losing to their fourteen men had Jack McCaffrey not put a great scoring chance wide for them with the last kick of the game.

Having seen the two line-ups – with both James Horan and Jim Gavin fielding their strongest available sides – I was expecting something akin to a championship match tonight. However, although the rollercoster that was the last quarter had that feel about it, for much of the seventy minutes the pace of the match was definitely that of a League game in March.

After Donal Vaughan blasted wide from our first attack right after the throw-in, we fell a few points behind early on and took a while to settle into the game. But then we began to work our way into the contest. Cillian got a beauty from play for our opener and, after Donie pointed from play, the Ballintubber man added one from a free, following which a point from play by Andy gave us the lead for the first time.

When Colm Boyle got black-carded (correctly, the replays would indicate) just after the end of the opening quarter, it knocked us back a bit and they went two ahead again but we were back in front when Kevin McLoughlin latched onto a loose ball in the danger zone and lashed it to the net.

Kevin McLoughlin goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

Soon after that came the game’s first significant turning point. Kevin got into a bit of a tussle with Cluxton, there were words exchanged and a bit of pushing but as Kevin jogged away, the Dublin captain ran after him and brought him to the ground with a kick to the ankles. It was an act of monumental stupidity from the Parnells man and ref Cormac Reilly, after consulting with his umpires, gave him his marching orders.

Clucko offo

Photo: Mayo Mick

Everyone knows how important Cluxton is for the Dubs and having to swap him for the very ordinary Sean Currie while losing an outfield player – with centre-back Tomás Brady giving way – was a huge blow for the All-Ireland champions. All of a sudden, the match was clearly ours to lose.

We moved quickly to take advantage of the situation, with four cracking points from play by Cillian, Keith Higgins (a wonderful solo effort), Donie and Kevin moving us four clear at the break. We looked in a great position then.

Half time

Photo: Mayo Mick

David Drake came on for Brendan Harrison for the restart. I was in 301 in the Lower Cusack and so I didn’t have a good view of what was going on down the other end so I can’t say if this switch made sense or not.

The pace slackened off hugely in the third quarter though it was here that we had the chances to end the contest but failed to do so. Three horrendous wides – from Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea and Andy – did nothing to help our cause but we did at least manange to keep the scoreboard ticking over and Kevin’s sweet point with the outside of the boot was the highlight of this period.

There were danger signs then, though, when they broke through but although Robbie was left completely isolated he pulled off a super point-blank save to keep them at bay. Two more points, one a free by Cillian and the second a smartly-taken one from play by Mikie Sweeney, who’d come on for Alan Freeman, stretched our lead to six points with less than twenty minutes to go.

But then the game’s course altered again. We failed to deal with a scything Dublin move, which ended with McManamon finding the net with a chip-cum-shot that at the time looked like a horrendous score to concede but which on the replays later looked like a top drawer three-pointer.

That was exactly what we didn’t need. Up till then we’d starved Dublin of oxygen and the fight was starting to go out of them. Now, suddenly, their tails were up and they were on the hunt for more goals.

Enda Varley, bizarrely, came on for Ger Cafferkey, with Tom Parsons replacing the tiring Aidan O’Shea but it was Jason Gibbons who continued to impress at midfield, firing over a morale-boosting score to widen the gap out to four again. Soon it was down to two, however, when after they’d got a point from play, Robbie’s kickout went straight to Connolly who knocked it over.

Off the ground

Photo: Mayo Mick

We were now on the ropes and our cause wasn’t helped when Jason Doherty had what looked like a good goal disallowed, though the replays showed it was ruled out for an illegal pick-up. Soon afterwards we were the beneficiaries of a screw-up at the their end, with an attempted kickout gifting possession to us and Mikie Sweeney took full advantage by rifling it to the net.

Goal Mikie

Photo: Mayo Mick

That, of course, should have been the end of it. Five points up with seven minutes to go and still a man up as well – let’s face it, there’s no way we should have failed to seal the deal from that position.

But, of course, we did. O’Gara’s first goal was bad enough and even then we managed to claw back up to three points clear with two further Cillian O’Connor points (the second a free) but his second one was absolutely criminal. First we tried to run down the clock with a ridiculous keep-ball routine and then, after we lost the ball and Dublin poured forward, we allowed O’Gara acres of space, totally unmarked, right in front of goal. Many Dublin supporters still have no time for O’Gara but he showed his value tonight – two shooting chances, two goals and a draw pulled from the fire for the Dubs as a result.

It was a galling outcome, one that once more laid bare our defensive frailties but also our lack of killer instinct. Dublin were ripe not just for a beating tonight but for a real flaying and our failure to inflict that on them when we had them so palpably at our mercy cannot be seen as a good sign. Neither can our calamitous last quarter defending, in the course of which we shipped three goals in a match where, in advance, James Horan had acknowledged our goal concession problem and vowed we were aiming to improve in this area.

But, as I said at the outset, it wasn’t all bad. A number of players stood up for us tonight, with Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Gibbons, Andy Moran, Cillian O’Connor, Tom Cunniffe (great to see him back), Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Aidan O’Shea (it’d be great if he’d learn to offload when he should) Mikie Sweeney and, in his late late cameo, Tom Parsons, all doing well. It’s just a pity that the whole perfoermance didn’t hang together better for the full seventy minutes but, in this respect, it is worth remembering that it’s still only the month of March.

Next Sunday we host Derry and a win there will almost certainly see us into the League semi-finals (as I cannot see a Cluxton-less Dublin doing the business up in Omagh) so it’s not all doom and gloom. And, remember, we didn’t lose tonight, even if coming out it sure felt that way.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Brendan Harrison; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan (0-2), Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Jason Gibbons (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (1-3), Keith Higgins (0-1), Jason Doherty; Andy Moran (0-1), Alan Freeman, Cillian O’Connor (0-8, five frees). Subs: Shane McHale for Boyle (black card), David Drake for Harrison, Mikie Sweeney (1-1) for Freeman, Enda Varley for Cafferkey, Tom Parsons for Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea for Doherty.

192 thoughts on “Dublin 3-14 Mayo 2-17: we blew it

  1. Honestly, I’m stuck for words or ways to described that, it’s only the league to be sure, but I fear we showed again why we’re often seen as a soft touch. I dunno.

  2. I thought Sweeney looked very lively too. And McLoughlin was a revelation

    If we beat Derry next week are we through?

  3. It is awful hard not to be negative about that. The misses, the slack passing ( to the other team in alot of cases). I dont know if we have made progress at all. The only positive i can see at this stage is that we are safe in Division one. A league semi final might be a blessing, another run in croker. I didnt feel that would be the best strategy , baring in mind our early start to the championship but in hindisight it might be good for us.

  4. I’m gutted. We had a chance to lay down a serious marker for the year and instead we reinforced every stereotype about ourselves. I know when the draw was made we would have been happy to come away from croker with a point against the Dubs but we really had a chance to do a Donegal on them today.
    Can only be seen as a victory for Dublin.

  5. What was andy moran doing in playing the ball over and back in the middle of the field in the last minute. Nothing learned same old story not killing out the game wrong shooting selection and where was the extra man? We are our own worst enemy and that reflected in our game in the last 10 minutes. The sooner Clarke returns between the posts the better
    Our back line were all over the place in the last 15 minutes harrison should have not been taken off drake didnt make an impact. We blew it

  6. Scary how easy Dublin opened us up

    O’Shea’s days in the starting team have to be numbered, he constantly carries the ball into trouble and gives daft passes away

    Parsons fielded a mighty ball when he came in too

    I’d like to see Barry and Jason mid for the Rossies

  7. Henelly pulled of at least 2 savage saves, he wasn’t the problem today. I also believe Clarkes injury is very severe, I think Rob is there for the season.

  8. Maybe I’m in the minority here but we looked far more secure at the back with Harrison and Boyle than with McHale and Drake.

    Freeman was in O Carrolls pocket all evening.

    Positives were McLoughlin,Gibbons, Moran and Mikey Swenney.

    Questions about our tactics against 14 men. Criminal that O Gara had so much space for his goals and us with an extra man.

  9. So true Ciaran about easy the dubs opened us up when they needed to. We continue to leak goals.

  10. There are zero positives out of that game..All it proved that when the heat came on and the game was there to be won we fell to pieces..Surely the mental scars of this will be evident later on in the year.
    I think Rob Hennelly thinks hes in the back garden most of the time so casual with possession its incredible..What really got me, apart from the pathetic last 5 minutes, was the way we kicked possession away..Whenever we ran at them, we opened them up..Instead we launched numerous high balls down on the full forward line which just wern’t working..Abject

  11. Off the top of my head, we’d have to beat Derry by more than Dublin beat Tyrone, if we were both to win.

  12. agree. 2nd half told us everything we needed to know..

    ppl asking about the league and derry….seriously???!!! It doesnt matter what we do v derry.

  13. Actually thinking about it now, and I was LMAO when it happened, but if Ger had kicked that point instead of it hitting the upright, Dublin would’ve won!

  14. Where was freeman all through the game,aiden o shea needs to start passing the ball,thought Andy had good game and gibbons,

  15. If we had the man sent off and put the performance that Dublin put in but lost by a point theres no doubt but we’d all be positive..But the league is really of secondary nature to the significance of drawing in that manner..

    On a side note,,We all see how able Mickey Sweeney looks for that level but over the last 3 years he wasn’t even called for a trial with Mayo..If Kiltane hadn’t won the intermediate there’s no way he’d be on the squad..Does call into question Horan’s knowledge to some extent

  16. “ppl asking about the league and derry….seriously???!!! It doesnt matter what we do v derry.”

    Eh??

    If we beat them we can qualify for semis, think it matters quite a bit what we do against them

    As much as it might feel like it, this result actually isn’t the end of the world

  17. I agree mayonaze, it is really disheartening.Kevin mcstay is certainly an option to come in we also have Pat Holmes who could be options to right this ship. James has done a good job but it was leaderless with 20 minutes to go

  18. After that escape at the end it looks like staying in Division 1 is the height of it for this season.We just don’t have the killer instinct, can’t push on when we get our chance, can’t close out a game even with a one man advantage, get repeatedly opened up at the back like the biblical opening of the Red Sea.
    All our frailties laid bare in one game.
    There will be other days but this was a defining day.

  19. would Agree. At least they dont carry the ball into the tackle as often as the two brothers. Once again turnover from taking into contact 🙁

  20. Christ, talk about an overly emotional comment. Horan is the best Mayo manager in decades, a semi and 2 finals in 3 years – we’re 3rd in the league with a game to go. So we drew a game we definitely should have won against the best team in the country – relax the players and management are well good enough to go all the way.

  21. He’s one of the best keepers in the country. I’ll tell ya who’s a disaster, the goon who let his team down by getting a straight red early in that game.

  22. Horan out?

    Think some people need a while to cool off. He’s only taken us to two finals and a semi in 3 seasons. We lost to Longford the year before

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t give the ball away at the end there. Players have to face some of the blame too lads

  23. That was shockin’ behavior by Cluxton alright, I’d never have expected him to do that.

  24. Lads letting a 14 man team come back is disasterous and unacceptable lets admit it. I thought sos was bad against cork when he came on but made a costly mistake today . serious changes needed for derry…need to sort out conceding late in games and get it right for championship

  25. I missed the game my boss over here absolutely sickened …how did freeman play and from wat I’ve read on the comments above was aidan MIA again ..

  26. Ah stop, in general this is a great blog but some of the emotional comments (both after wins and losses) would embarrass you.

  27. If horan does go at end of season we need to make sure the right man gets it. After club final I dont think its holmes

  28. Settle lads and lasses- valuable lessons will have been learned this evening- tis only March after all- we’re still in with a shout for a league title and can only improve from here- in James we trust!!

  29. We’ve conceded 13 goals at the back = Higgins has to go back. Yep he scores a nice cameo from time to time but is MUST be played in the corner.

    Our attacking and shot selection was not good enough.

    Lads – wake up – I want us to win an All Ireland as much as the next, but do you not think tnte was hugely worrying?? As some earlier poster said, it was season defining. I hate to say it but i tend to agree.

    But anyway…lets hope things can improve. As fans, thats all we can do.

  30. Aidan won plenty of ball, but was frustrating using it. He’s still a great ball winner don’t get me wrong

    Barry will get scores and is a very intelligent footballer. As is Gibbons who is a new man

    Freeman was sub par but the quality of ball wasn’t great for him

    O’Carroll did roast him though, in stark contrast to Sept. Worrying enough if they meet in champ the Crokes man will be hugely confident 🙁

  31. as with cork game, subs made very little impact,, with exception of Sweeney . very disappointing from alan freeman. Higgins experiment surely must come to an end after this game, he is desperately needed in backs.

    shame for boyle going off, upset things I thought. Brendan Harrison deserved to stay on, his replacement didn’t make an impact.

    lessons to b learned…well done to kevin mcloughlin, Jason gibbons

    keep the faith….early days still. some progress made…. must do better!!

  32. Well the meltdown is well and truly underway in here. Just back from the game, disappointing yes but a bit of perspective is needed, its only one game far too early to be discussing what we will or won’t do in the summer. We’re playing Derry in Castlebar next weekend…I game I think Mayo will win and with a Cluxton less Dublin travelling to Omagh I think we’re in good shape to reach the semi-finals.

    I know people are angry about the way they threw away the game but it’s much to early to be talking about the season ahead. We were well beaten by 14 man Dublin last year and again in the Semis but I’ve seen nothing this year to suggest preparation is anyways worse than other years.

    Basically from watching the match tonight, they just weren’t fit enough in the second half and stopped running with the ball.

  33. If I had read these posts without seeing the result Id have thought we lost by 20 points. But what happened we drew with AI Champs in Croke park. True we should have won without a shadow of a doubt and Im annoyed we didn’t. Whats the response from some of the key board warriors. . Horan out, Hennelly a disaster, O Shea not up to it etc. I don’t know what game ye saw. Horan has been our best manager in my lifetime. This is the best Mayo team Ive seen and Im watching since the early 70s.Hennelly as he did in AIF made crucial saves. O Shea had a fine game. And I could go on. Two men who received huge praise here over the last few games were poor tonight in Freeman and Doc but that’s life. Players have poor games but Im sure they ll bounce back again as most Mayo players tend to do. If we beat Derry next week we probably qualify for semis. I simply cant understand this amazing negativity. Do we think were so good we should beat everyone in sight. And one more thing. Give Dubs a bit of credit. They hung in and almost snatched it.The fact that we emerged with a point might be crucial yet.

  34. Aido won a ton of ball, dominated in many ways but still persists with taking the ball into traffic and generally making a lot of bad decisions with the ball.

    Freezer didn’t shine today. But in my mind he didn’t get a good ball played into him all day. To be fair, he did knock down the ball to Kevin with which he dispatched expertly to the Dublin net for the opening goal. Other than that, he really didn’t do a lot. When I saw him being subbed and Mikey coming on, that’s when I thought to myself, Horan has got it wrong again. Andy should’ve been subbed and Mikey’s come on to work with Freezer….ah well.

  35. Actually yeah someone calling for O’Shea to be dropped? Bizarre..he played very well tonight caught almost everything that went his way…took a bit too much out of the ball at times for sure,,,but midfield certainly wasn’t the problem…they dominated it

  36. Early days yet everyone. Keep the faith. To hear people talking about replacing Horan is crazy talk. Let’s get behind him and the team and see where they take us.

  37. That’s fair enough Joe but at some point we have to see progress and say “we’ve learned from our mistakes last year and we’re putting it right”..We did not see that tonight in any shape or form..
    It’s alright saying Hennelly makes a save or two but he makes so many mistakes with possession that its impossible to have confidence in him
    Seamie o’ Shea is one of the more experienced players yet he walks into contact at the end..Further to compound his error he fails to haul down Connolly..If he does that it;s game over..Instead he just lets him go..So what if he gets a black card there’s 30 seconds left!!! Really incredible and dissapointing

  38. Handed Dublin the game in the second half gift wrapped…..same story different day. I agree with with mayosam2014 &Mayonaze Higgins has to return to his home territory. We desperately need him in the backs…Horan is making a fool of one of the best backs in the country. But this slating Hennelly doesn’t sit well with me at all……he had 2 crucial saves this eve….& they weren’t his first crucial ones for us. I reiterate my point about the backs.

  39. Just wading through the post-match comments – there’s way too much emotion and knee-jerk reactions in what’s being written and it’s obvious people are taking the opportunity to use the site to vent their frustrations. This isn’t the place to do this – if you want to comment (and everyone’s welcome to do so) then please bring some objectivity to it. If you want to spout shite, then do it on your Facebook page or some such other place.

  40. I agree with GBX1 – and though not many will agree tonight, I still think we will win the League.

  41. we rely far too much on our wing backs coming forward and getting on the end of moves, its a dangerous game, cos when it breaks down we are hit for counter attacks – hence the goals conceded count.

    Our inside forward line need to be the ones doing the business.

  42. Wrong. Completely wrong on the Horan substitution. I was arguing against Sweeney all week – he scored 1-1 when he came on and arguably should have been brought on earlier.

  43. That performance and result just proves why we are seen as a soft touch & chokers in croke park 6 pts up against a 14 man weakend team and we couldnt put them away.
    We should of wiped the floor with the Dubs they were on the ropes primed for a beating
    which would of laid down a big marker for the summer ahead and would of put us in a good position of wining the league.

    The players and manager have to take the blame for this, no dought the do gooders will be on telling us things are alright an it was good to get a draw with the all ireland champs.
    Why are will still bringing on Enda Varley when we are already shooting enough wides, when we could be bringing on the likes of Richie Feeney & Adam Gallagher or give Darren Coen a go or Brian Gallagher.a chance

    The most embarrasing thing was watching them trying to play keep ball at the end when they should of being trying to go 4 pts up its not soccer they are playing running down the clock the last time a Mayo team done that a few years ago against Galway the same thing happend

    Aidan Oshea has to learn to release the ball when he wins it.

  44. Hardly bizarre now? Gibbons is having a better league no arguments there. In fact he’s probably nailed on to start in champ right now if he’s fit and deservedly so

    One other position up for grabs, Seamus was better last year overall I thought. Barry was brilliant in 2012 and showed great form for Castlebar. Some man to take a score. He roasted the O’Shea’s in the county final too

    Honestly don’t see anything bizarre with it myself but each to their own and all that

    Liam McHale had a good piece during the week on the midfield dilemma actually

    We have great options

  45. Not basing this decision on tonight’s game, it’s something myself and the brother have discussed for a while now. What about keeping AOS for the final 20 mins. I know it would cause uproar in the county and be big news nationally, but if you think about it, we have such strength in midfield that we could afford not to start him. Can you imagine the effect a fresh, chomping AOS would have against any team coming on in the final quarter to close out a game. The roar from the crowd combined with his presence would be fantastic.

  46. The bookies were the big winners followed by Dublin because they did it with 14 men.
    Yet, we still have a place at the Division 1 table and every chance of being in the semi-final, with best guess that we will end up playing Derry two weeks in a row. You can see my simple logic below on how I believe that’s how it will play out.

    But returning to tonight’s game – I’ll take the point but how did we not win that one?
    My man of the match was Kevin Mac, followed by Gibbons plus Andy and Cillian are getting back in the form books. Freezer and Doc need lots of game time to build confidence for the big days ahead.
    And I’d say a few doubters have be won over by Mikey Sweeney,
    But jez we can’t go on conceding at the rate we are:
    Kildare 2-19;
    Tyrone 2-15,
    Kerry 1-13,
    Westmeath 3-9,
    Cork 2-14,
    Dublin 3-14.
    13 goals &84 points in 6 games

    We had the tightest defence in the country last year and now it’s like open season between our posts. And without Hennelly’s saves, it would be a lot worse.

    We have to get Keith back in defence as its the clearest evidence that I can see that besides being the best corner back in the country, he’s the cement that hold our backs together.
    I appeal to JH to restore Keith to the back line for next weekend, a must win game now.

    Finally, here’s how I see us playing Cork in the semi.
    Tomorrow;
    Cork to beat Tyrone ,
    Kerry to win in Mullingar,
    Derry to beat Kildare.
    Next Weekend:
    Mayo to beat Derry,
    Tyrone to beat Dublin,
    Cork to best Kerry ( but top anyway)

    Then the table will read:
    Cork 10 or 12 pts*
    Derry 9 pts
    Mayo 9 pts
    Tyrone 9 pts
    Dublin 7 pts.
    Kerry 6 pts or 8 pts*

    First plays fourth,
    Second plays third.
    If we won that, it would two weeks later, a league final v Cork or Tyrone.
    The week before heading to Nee York.

    It’s all a Championship from here on in!

  47. Another example of a Mayo team unable to protect a lead in the closing stages of game. . However Mayo played some exhilerating football but lack presence in a few positions. Too many potentially good footballers sitting on the bench, How about SOS going in at 6, Parsons to 11 and Higgins reverts to 4.
    Practice, practice, practice off-loading to a colleague instead of this infuriating malaise of carrying it into contact.
    All is not lost and Sunday week may just prove that.

  48. Of course that should read: ‘” How I see us meeting Derry in the Semi-Final’.
    Can’t even blame the gremlins – my head is fried !

  49. GBXI & Cloud9 – were we watching the same match? Mayo were a leaderless, rudderless, mistake ridden team with a chance to wipe the Dubs of the field and they seriously fucked up. Why am I not confidant ???

  50. Not being provocative, but do you still see Varley and Conroy so far ahead of Sweeney as you reckoned early in the week?

    As with Freezer and Doc, he needs game time and JH has decisions to make, as it’s all Championship action from now on….

  51. GBXI ” Emotions” me hole. It’s what was evident in front of us on the field, not some kind of a wishful thinking daze. It is called REALITY.

  52. Harrison was roasted alive on a quality forward for the second game in a row. Boyle was a big loss

  53. GBX, I don’t see why you say wrong, my point is Sweeney should’ve started, alongside freezer, what’s your point?

  54. Joe Mc, – too early for panic. Have a read of a post I’ve just put up a wee while ago – it might help you go from the glass half empty to half full?

  55. Calm down everyone. Not the end of the world. Played very well for long spells. The two boys were very good in midfield. AOS way better than his AI display.
    Should have protected the lead though. Higgins should not have moved past the full back line once we went a man up. I really think he needs to back to the corner. Just not doing enough in the half forward line.

  56. I agree with off loading but how many times tonight did we see a Mayo player turn back with the ball to give a lateral or backwards handpass…. it was disjointed in attack, again.

  57. Stupid comment. Laughable really. Mayo aren’t as fit as other teams and that told in the last 10 mins. Ref didn’t help us and
    WE DIDNT LOSE.

  58. Well I think we learned that when the chips are down, Dublin are still the best team in the country (despite this, they may not make the semis). You have to admire their spurit, tenacity and shear ruthlessness.

  59. Who should have come off for Sweeney though? Our 2 corner forwards were brilliant. Substitution was right, maybe should have been made earlier. Cloud9 he deserves another go after today – he was excellent when he came on. Actually thought Varley did very well too. I’d have Sweeney ahead of Conroy now but need to see more of him to be sure.

  60. We can still turn it around tho. I just hope to God things change and serious lessons are learned. It just seems that we need to be taught a harsh lesson before improving, ie coping with cluxtons kick outs. We did v well for first 20 mins tday unlike all of last year on finals day whereas Kerry completely nullified dublins kickouts in the semi. Anyway onwards and upwards I hope!!!

  61. It was a good match for 1)Andy worked very hard and showed leadership. 2) Jason G good solid performance. 3) KevinMc recapturing his old form. 4)Mickie Sweeney who showed great composure.5) Our possession rates, we won an awful lot of ball. 6) Neutrals 7)The dubs who accepted all the gifts Mayo presented. It was a bad match because 1}Carried the ball rather than passing. AOS won an awful lot of ball and worked really hard but needs to past. 2) Freeman never got into the game. 3) No plan for how to play against 14 men. 4)Too many players lost their composure. 5) Mayo were not as fresh as the Dubs in the last 10 mins. 6) Keith should have been moved back 7) Too many subs made at the same time. It was a shocking match for the referee. As i said earlier we could beat Derry and even win the league buy we all want more. Maybe another crack at the Dubs in the league semi or final might alleviate the disappointment.

  62. Freeman was in O’Carrolls pocket all evening because all the ball played into him was kicked by inmates of the Headless Chicken Asylum – It was SHOCKING. Absolutley no thought put into it just lump it in and hope for the best. And then worst of all the one time he had got himself free at the far post McLoughlin gave him a pass that Kareem Abdul Jabar wouldn’t have caught. Sailed 2 yards over his head ! Just inexcusable execution of a simple skill. He paid a heavy price for the ineptitude of his teammates tonight.

  63. Hear ,hear WJ.
    It’s not April yet and some want the manager sacked, you’d think it was the premier league…………..but even there they wouldn’t be calling for the axman if a side had a draw against the champs.
    In a way I am relieved that we didn’t hammer the Dubs in Cluxtons absence as it could give us a false positive.
    In all the blogs above no mention of all the wides we had, the coasting, bordering on complacency in the third quarter and the awful performance by the whistler.
    What I took from the game, we have oceans of talent but we get sloppy and it is the sloppiness that is our greatest threat.
    It cost us against Kildare, made Cork look good and gave the Dubs a draw but we have 7 points with one to play at home and I think Derry will suffer because of tonight.
    We need the questions now and the answers later in the year.
    Ppl are on Freemans back tonight but he was double marked for most of the game and we were too predictable and the overkill of high balls into him were both telegraphed and poor.
    At the end of the day we took a point off the Dubs at CP and secured our div 1 status, anything else this time of year is a bonus.
    MNaighEo Abu.

  64. Willie Joe, just listened to your audio report there, very good and well balanced. You haven’t lost the Mayo accent.

  65. Thumbs up on the audio report WJ.
    I think the perspective of being there, watching it on tv or listening to Midwest would all be different judging by some of the comments here tonight. We should put this result in context though. It’s March and it’s the league with arguably the two best teams in the country going at it he’ll for leather.
    Yeah it was disappointing we didn’t push on in the second half, but Dublin showed why they are AI champs and we showed why we are not.
    Btw, I know this game wasn’t on tv at home, only on Midwest so many of the comments tonight are perhaps based on listening rather than seeing.

  66. I don’t think pat holmes is any solution castlebar could have won if they hadn’t made the same type of errors mayo made this evening.

  67. Think decisions on the line cost us this game. Caff signalled to come off for several minutes. Sub was not ready and we let in a goal. We then brought on Varley and were left with no full back. Then Aidan O Shea was taken off and he was having a stormed. Finally Sweeney comes on for Freeman and we have no FF. No FB, our main threath in midfield gone and no FF. The Dubs walked through us after that. Agree they looked a lot fitter and had an extra man coming forward eventhough we had 15 v their 14.

  68. Fuck sake lads and lassies you would think we had just lost another all Ireland final.I know we should have won the game and probably won it handy but we didn’t,we didn’t lose it either.Maybe this is the shoe up the hole we needed.People calling for Horans head is madness.He didn’t kick one wide or give away possession.Yes I agree he needs to move Keith back to the corner but there are a few of the lads that were out there today that need to look at their own game and improve on the silly mistakes they made.They are simple things to put right.Great to see Kevin Mac coming back to form and Jason Gibbons gets better with every game.Even if we don’t make the simi-finals but we learn from today and right our wrongs for championship time it will be a small price to pay

  69. Ok here goes
    1 it’s only the league but it won’t be much different for Championship!
    2 why did they kick ball after ball into freeman when he won eh let me think….zero of them
    3 Robbie henelly always makes a couple of good saves but still always manages to outdo the good with unforgivable bad mistakes
    4 ah the shite hawking around midfield at the end brought me back to a day in salthill a couple of years ago when we lost the very same way
    5 Finally Cormac Reilly obviously shit a brick when he sent Cluxton off because there was definitely reason for 3 or 4 more black cards tonight! And I know the ref didn’t beat us we beat ourselves but if rules are rules use them or srap the carta dubh
    P.s. Thank God Ger Cafferkeys shot came back off the post or Dublin would have won by one!!!!!!!

  70. Not as badly roasted as some of our defenders in the second half and got in a great block on Costello early on. Unless he was injured, it was a mistake to call him ashore. We only gave up one goal chance in the first half (Cunniffes fault).

  71. There was plenty of bad ball going in but if you’re standing behind your man you’re always second favourite. Many on here were saying that he was a genuine threat in the air. Didn’t look that way tonight.

  72. Mayonaze – you’re sailing close to the wind now after that. If you want to criticise, then quote some specifics. Trash-talking of players isn’t allowed as you should know by now.

  73. Sean – I’ve had to delete a bit of that, you’ll see which bit. It’s okay to criticise players but not to label them in a demeaning way – stick to specifics of tonight’s game.

  74. Yeah Kevin definitely over cooked that pass…impossible for Freezer. But it was an otherwise great evening for Kevin.
    Your spot on about that the hit and hope into Freezer, seems that was part of the plan tonight. Only worked once and that led to Kevin’s goal. It looked to me that we needed speed in that forward line to dish off quickly to freezer. Andy was good but way too slow and too predictable. Should’ve made way for Mikey.

  75. Haven’t read back so i might be repeating what was already said. Dublin were there for the taking today and bearing gifts. Cluxton moment of madness should have been a turning point. The sub Dublin keeper was out of his depth why more pressure wasn’t put on him i don’t know. Mayo should have seen the game out when the 2nd goal was scored however seem to lose their way when AOS went off. Too many goals conceded in this years league and tonight was no different but still on course to reach the semi final and another chance to probably face the Dubs.

  76. Some posters refer to us running out of steam in the last ten minutes and not being as fit as Dublin.
    After 3 wins and a draw in the last 4 games in top flight, I’m happy that we are on a slower boil this year, aiming to peak a bit later. That’s the plan and it seems on schedule.

    Most important thing for us to get Keith back and tighter up, with Chris Barrett nearly ready to fight for a place too. Harrison, McHale and Drake also providing great competition.
    Need our midfielders to dominate but improve distribution, rather than over-carry in to trouble. We’ve great competition herd now.
    One great positive is Kevin ANC is back to his high 2012 level, and Andy looked his best in a while, while Cillian will soon be back to top form.
    Then keep faith with Freezer, Doc and give Sweeney more game time too. Blend in Feeney at 12 too with Gallagher and Moran pushing too as an option at midfield and at 14.

    As I said in a previous post, I don’t see Dublin beating Tyrone up North and making the semi, so if we can build steady progress and plug the defence with Keith back, I think we can win the League!

  77. What happens in the League now almost doesn’t matter, this was the match to win and win well, sadly that didn’t happen. Now the big question has to be, is James Horan the man to take us to the promised land ?

  78. What!? I think in legal terms what I said would constitute ‘fair comment’! Nothing I said was personal, but purely based on varleys footballing ability. He is average at best and it’s a reflection of where we are at as an at taking unit when he gets so much playtime. Am I not entitled to express this opinion!??

  79. I never like travelling to Dublin, so as well as been late and then nearly forced off the road by our good president and his cavalcade the omens were not good. My biggest concern for the night was the quality of the basic skill set.. Freezer is getting a hard time here and I feel unjustly so.. its easy look good when you receive good quality ball and equally its easy look bad when the ball into the forwards is rubbish.. others have correctly pointed out above that we were too predictable and slow..spot on.. some of the hail mary balls into the forwards wern’t even 70/30 chances.. too many over hit hand passes or under cooked around the feet.. ohh and of course kicking wides

    The team does not seem to be properly balanced yet either or that could be to do with a lack of fitness and we seemed to be bullied a bit by Dubllin but maybe that was how they were hungrier.. they just did not want the men from the west coming and beating them on their turf.. there sure is a lot of work to be done before the championship.. while there were a lot of negatives there are some positives.. Jason Gibbons for one.. without him I not sure how great our league stats would look at the moment

  80. You’re not entitled, nor is anyone else, to engage in trash-talking. You know the rules about comments – or at least you should by now – and it’s the rules, not any notion of what you deem as ‘fair comment’ that apply here. Please bear in mind for future reference.

  81. Can I not say that in my opinion a player on our team wouldn’t make another team? Hardly thrash talk WJ!?

  82. Well said WJ
    I stopped posting after September because there were too many of those posts
    There are at least a dozen names that weren’t here a year ago
    I got halfway down tonight’s messages and to take just one thread, there’s talk of getting a new manager
    Jesus wept

  83. I said I’d give myself a few hours to try and calm down before posting. But it’s 1 a.m. now and I’m still raging at that capitulation.

    And a capitulation is what it was. Spare me the stuff about positives to build on, about fitness levels, about the referee. Mayo capitulated. Let’s not kid ourselves by pretending that it was anything else.

    The last few minutes were like watching the end of the 1996 All-Ireland Final, knowing that Mayo didn’t really believe that they could win it, and were now helpless, waiting to be beaten.

    The list of mistakes is endless. Shots from stupid angles (Andy Moran, Keith Higgins, Donal Vaughan among many others). Appalling delivery into the forwards, along with a refusal to try anything other than high ball down the middle – Rory O’Carroll was made to look like Darren Fay and John O’Keeffe combined tonight.

    Aidan O’Shea’s refusal to give the ball as soon as he got it. No, better to try and plough through four players every time, right? All of which undoes the great work of winning that possession in the first place. I mean, Aidan was doing this in 2011! He got himself out of that habit and became a better player as a result. Now he’s back at this again, every game this year, wasting tons of possession. Why?

    Robert Hennelly’s erratic decision-making when the pressure comes on the defence, spreading panic throughout the team.

    The defence’s reluctance to do anything but back off from a player running at goal – what happened to the ultra-cynicism of the 2012 semi-final? So what if there’s a black card coming – take it! It’s the last 5 minutes – stop the opposition scoring a goal lads!

    But above all of this, what galls is the sheer lack of self-belief. We could not have possibly asked – could not have DREAMED – of a better chance to beat Dublin. 5 points up, AND a man up, AND in control of midfield, creating any number of scoring chances.

    And what do we do? We decide on that time-honoured method of winning games mastered by Mayo teams for generations! To hell with attacking the opposition goal and increasing our winning margin – let’s keep the ball and run down the clock! Hell, it worked for Italian soccer teams in the 1960s, why wouldn’t it work for us???

    Mayo didn’t get what they deserved from tonight’s encounter. They got MORE than they deserved. They – we – should have been beaten. That would have been the only appropriate punishment for the sheer cowardice displayed by trying to run down the clock with a three point lead and an extra man.

    Dublin got the best news they could have asked for tonight. They received confirmation that we are not a serious threat for the All-Ireland after all. Because with a full-strength team (unlike our opponents) and an extra man, when the pressure came on, Mayo were still, as Loughnane has told us, afraid to win.

  84. I would rather we blew asix point lead in march rather than late summer, dubs were way fitter than us,which isn’t a bad thing ,All this talk about getting rid of horan is stupid , some mayo supporters expectations are blinding tothe them the fact that’s its march not allireland sunday, mayo will be in the shake upin august after that ,anythingispossible

  85. Was at the game today and it was some game, I reckon what really let us down today was our fitness, both Caff and O’Shea asked to be taken off and in particular with Caffs absence the back line couldn’t cope! That said it’ll be good to see them peak later on fitness wise! As for the Higgins debate the jurys still out for me, with Barrett close to return and Higgins capable of taking and creating good scores I have faith in him in the half forward line! For me that half forward line is where the trouble is and I cant see where the scores will come from bar bar Mcgloughlin? We’re very reliant on the half backs for scores! It will be interesting to see whether Richie Feeney will feature! Smart player with a lot to offer, anybody know whether he was on the bench?

  86. I said in the build up to the game that it would be about goals and so it turned out to be yet again. You rarely win a game where you concede 3 goals. They not just add up to 9 points but they zap confidence and morale and make nervous defenders even more jittery.
    Their goals were interesting from this perspective. They came from very fast running off the ball with well-timed pop passes to support players sprinting through from deep. It is very hard to defend against by going man to man. The black card has put an end to blocking the support runner. A crowded defence is about the only way to frustrate such tactics. That means 12 men behind the ball and then break at speed. We didn’t do that and paid the price through conceding goals. 2:17 should have been enough to win. Interestingly when Keith Higgins went back their attacks seemed to have intensified. He must have been working hard out the field breaking up such attacks earlier?
    I reckon Dublin are still the best team around and unless something strange happens they will not be stopped in September by the looks of things tonight. We are not too far off the mark and but for a few awful mistakes tonight we would have won the game. But we need to adapt better to the changed game.
    As regards players I think The tactic of kicking big balls into Alan Freeman was well anticipated by Jim Gavin and they were ready for him. He needed a big game tonight for his own sake if nothing else. That didn’t happen and it easy to blame outfield players for the supply of ball going in but Most top class forwards make it happen one way or another.
    Despite a couple of comments above I though Harrison did quite well and I was surprised at his substitution at half time. Aidan o Shea is a very talented footballer but taking the ball static and trying to barge past defenders is not a wise strategy. Certainly if he was coming onto the ball at full tilt then he would be difficult to stop and that would cause mayhem in any defence. But defenders have now cottoned onto to Aidan and he needs to off load quickly or take it at speed.
    All in all lots of lessons to be learned if they are willing and able to learn them.

  87. Lessons need to be learned but if after 3 years we still make a meal of holding off a 14 man team that are down six points then we clearly are doing something wrong.
    We let cork and Westmeath back into it as well when they had no right to be even close to us, and tonight almost threw a game that we should have won easily if all were tuned in.
    No team should be giving up 2.01 in the last 5 minutes. Crazy stuff

    I imagine the paint was blistering on the walls in the dressing room after this game, horan must be going nuts watching the big leads being thrown away.
    Somebody’s at fault but I don’t know who or how we fix it, Higgins is needed back there and we need the back 6 to stay in the backs. No more heroics if you can’t get back fast enough to stop them scoring when your own attack breaks down.

  88. Not too long home after a night of head-shaking and post-morteming. I left Croke Park tonight in a fierce temper and six hours later, I still haven’t calmed down. So it’s probably wiser to refrain from commenting at this stage, until I’ve slept on it. But Christ on a bicycle, they don’t make it easy for us. In a desperate attempt at optimism I can only say I hope we’ll look back on this in September and laugh, but at this point, no-one’s laughing but the Dubs.

  89. To be fair he got plenty of chances over the years and he never took them. But he has improved immensely and he’s the type of player we need now that the game is all about mobility!

  90. Wouldnt be too worried.We really could have lost it at the end which would have been a sickener.We showed in the first half that we can beat Dublin 15 v 15.Great to see,they had no answer to our running,quick passing,men running off the shoulder game.We kicked away 8-9 balls long into Freeman,not his fault he couldnt get near them but a tactic that should have been abandoned after 10 minutes.

    Bottom line is we can take Dublin,would be very confident of that for the first time.

  91. Why are we leaking at the back? I listened to the match on radio and sometimes this can be revealing
    Is it our half back line letting players through and overwhelming the back line or is it the back line. How did Vaughan play? Boyle’s departure seemed significant. Also the quality of the ball going into the Dublin full forward was excellent. But was this a case of the half backs not doing their job. Just looking for answers to plug the holes.

  92. While we didn’t win we didn’t lose either. If half our wides had gone over, we would be applauding the team and more forgiving of mistakes. Cluxton was a disgrace but what he did was out of frustration – we were getting to him. Little mention of it above but the ref was poor in my eyes. This is March lots of time for improvement. And we need to learn not to be happy defending a lead but go for the jugular a la kerry in their prime. Just some thoughts

  93. What should we do so crawl into a cave and give up ? We can’t blame this present team for all of our losses since 51. We r gent bogged n the past.

  94. Dublin were coming at us in waves, walking right through from the middle of the field and we did not seem to have any idea how to defend against it. We were completely overrun which I think was down to losing Caff and Boyle at the back, losing the grip on midfield after AOS went off and completely running out of legs. Dubiln looked far fitter at the end and it was shocking to see 14 players run us off the field with 15 men. To say we do not have a problem after this one is papering over cracks. We have a lot of work to do, starting at the back to get the team right for August.

  95. Agree but Horan has to look at it himself and sort out his 6 starting backs that can defend and not leak goals. Still wondering why they left Caff on when he had called to be taken off, let in a goal and then took him off and replaced him with Varley!

  96. I thought Alan Brogan was giving Harrison a awful time and it was the right move to take him off

  97. The bookies are laughing loudest.

    I console myself that we are on a slower burner fitness wise, aiming to peak later.

    We’re unbeaten in the last four, even with a very leaky defence – time to move Keith, the cement of our super back-line from last year – that experiment should be over now! Plus Chris Barrett is nearly ready to return.

    We’re going to make the semis and probably play Derry two weeks in a row at that, and in reckon the Dubs won’t make it. We could actually win the league.

    Midfield is looking very competitive but AOS has to start acting like a rugby wing forward and start delivering good passes from all his possession.

    Up front – Kevin Mc is back to his best. Cillian is treading a path back to his best, and Micky Sweeney looked very comfortable in Croker for his time on.

    Freezer and Doc need more game time to grow in confidence. Andy looked better last night and we have Feeney to add to the mix.

    Sure last night was a bad result against 14 men but I think we’re actually going in the right direction, albeit as you say: “They don’t make it easy for us” .

    Big championship style games from now on, starting with Derry next weekend, Derry again in the Semi and either Cork or Tyrone in the Final, followed by New York, a week later and then the Rossies…… The glass is more than half full !!!

  98. Not much to add only that we need to get our six best backs startingand tat includes Keith 2 six. I’m not a fan of James or his style but some of the stuff that happened out there was out of his hands. Basic skill and to many errors ‘ good job it was a league game

  99. Sorry lads Freezer was cleaned out of it by Carroll. I was very disappointed with his performance. He was very stationary and never got in front of his man. The substitution couldn’t come quick enough.

  100. So one bad game for a player and “his bubble has burst”
    Could we say that for Cluxton, Flynn, Connolly, McCauley as well. They are all finished. Madness,

  101. Looking back at the six games I still believe that Mayo are in with a good shout to win the league.The next game is all that matters now. Its all about the game against Derry.We lost a golden opp to beat the dubs and dropped a valuable point but if we learn from it then that point will not be as important later on down the road. But please James move Keith back…if I have to get a petition signed I will.

  102. Agree with you Errisbeo on the point that there are certainly more potential county talent in our Intermediate and Junior clubs.

    The problem is that after minor, we become too blinkered towards senior clubs only.

    We should have four regional panels that meet and train once a week – 25 players each (fairly selected) and exclude the 30 man senior panel from the year before. Selectors for each should include a senior, intermediate and junior club manager.

    They should play each other with the top two playing for a cup and the third and fourth playing for a plate. 20 good training sessions, and four games (including finals) played on the Friday eve of county senior championship matches.

    Along with Under-21s, it would be a great window for talent to be assessed, with the best given every chance in the FBD, the year after.

    Not rocket science and very doable, if the county board put the structure and some resources behind it.

  103. It seems a lot of our usual posters on this site are keeping their powder dry for the moment, I’d imagine they’re trying to weigh up the pros and cons of, not so much the result, but the teams performance and the Managers reaction to it all. I’m at a huge disadvantage here as owing to circumstances I neither was at, nor saw the match, so I can only go on the above comments, and reading same it wasn’t a pretty picture. Where we go from here is any ones guess, and the only good thing is, we have time to fix it – but the big question is, do we have the tools and the parts to do it ?

  104. ruanejos, just curious here – what part of the county is the “Headless Chicken Asylum” ?? I have a few that I could send there. And again, who is “Kareem Abdul Jabar “? I think he could be a relation of mine who I have been trying to trace for years. 😉

  105. cloud9. That makes complete sense. There has to be more good players out there that are never found.

  106. JJ, there’s a lot of sense there, but, we have been doing this all along, and there’s no ‘later in the year’; the Championship is only a few games away.

  107. DavyJ. An absolutely brilliant post. Every word is so true. That is the best summing up I have seen !!! Nobody is saying the words, “missing hunger” which I got castigated here for using last year. Look at he Dubs; they had “hunger”. then look at us. Enough said.

    We can analyse as much as we like but until Mayo come out of the traps like dogs on fire will we ever win anything. If we had done that in the beginning of the second half and kept it up, we would have the Dubs respecting us instead of, again, laughing at a team who couldn’t beat their depleted team. It also gives fuel to the the rest of the country to scoff at us again . I am a proud Mayo man, sick and tired of being laughed and scoffed at and I question, will it ever cease???

  108. Just getting a picture here Anne-Marie of “Christ on a bicycle”. I didn’t think they had bikes in those days. 🙂

  109. Still very disappointed following yesterdays result, we have some serious issues to sort out before we enter the championship. For me I think 2 things stand out with the first being our very poor distribution all over the field but especially from the middle third/half forward line into our full forward line. That being said Alan Freeman was poor in my opinion, not showing at all for ball. The second thing is of course the way Dublin drove on in the second half and the way they seemed to have the extra man during the closing stages. One would have to question where was the basic task of players marking their players when they don’t have the ball. I do think that last night may be the end of the experiment of Keith Higgins in the forwards.

    Looking forward to Derry next week, I think we need to look at another goalkeeper as although Rob Hennelly is a fine shot stopper, he does suffer from rushes of blood to the head and his distribution is poor enough. I also think it may be time to see a change in the middle for Derry as AOS for all his great work at winning kickouts, he slows the game up no end by going into contact a lot of the time, thus giving the opposition time to track back and close out the space. Finally and most importantly I want to see a reaction to last night against Derry and if and when the chance arises we need to go for the kill and power on instead of letting opposition come back into the game.

    On a separate note, I thought that the standard of refereeing was shocking yesterday. Dublin got away with blue murder with one example being when Connolly pulled down Kevin Mcloughlin in the second half (No more or less a black card than Colm Boyles one).

  110. More than anyone I think Boyle’s dismissal affected Vaughan most.. he was caught out of position at times, gave away possession, kicked wides and the quality of ball he kicked into the forwards wasn’t great. But don’t get me wrong, in fairness this was a trend with a lot of the players last night, not just Vaughan. Vaughan performance was reflective of that of the team.. when he played well, he played very well, when he played bad, well you know the rest. I would say the lads got a roasting from James after that game and I would expect an altogether different performance against Derry next week.. I hope he perseveres with Freezer and I would like to see him play alongside MS

  111. He never got a run of games to allow himself to settle & build his confidence unlike others. Finally he proving his worth once he gets his proper chance.

  112. Thought the referee had a shocker last evening- he didnt give Mayo a fair crack of the whip after he sent off cluxton, not showing Connolly a black card after he hauled down Kevin Mc was just one example- I fear we could see alot more of this in the months to come unless refs grow some balls- that said Mayo blew it in the last 10 mins but it is a lesson well learned at this time of year-in James we trust

  113. Holy mother of Jaysus. Are some of these comments for real?

    3 years, 3 Connacht titles, two finals, league status comfortably retained… SACK THE MANAGER!! Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. All based on a league game in March.

  114. Well, it’s the morning after the night before, and a good night’s rest has done a lot to bring a bit of perspective to yesterday’s events. Yes, we should’ve won, and we should’ve won well and early on, but we came away with a draw against the best team in the country (I don’t think anyone’s in any doubt about this) and a bloody good shot at being in the semis of the league. We’ve also used the league campaign as it should be used – to bring in some new players (and bring back some old ones) and start building for the year. Yesterday’s match could have gone better for us, but, seen in the context of the year, I think we’re doing alright, particularly if we can get into the semis next weekend.

    Playing Dublin on their home patch was always going to be difficult, but the fact that they’re on home turf is one of those things that has to be factored into our plans. All the important matches are played at Croker, which just happens to be in Dublin 3, so it’s an extra man we have to play whenever we play Dublin. Similarly, sometimes the ref is an extra man you have to play (and his linesmen). I don’t normally like to criticise refereeing performances as it’s an incredibly difficult job, but I felt that a lot of dirty stuff was missed by the officials yesterday evening – I certainly saw a fist or two being thrown in a threatening sort of manner from my seat at midfield. I will say, however, that I think the ref was bang on with the Boyler and Cluxton cards. Silly carrying-on from the latter, but then I suppose we all do and say (and yell) things in the heat of battle we might not be willing to stand over the following day.

    On the subject of Cluxton (and his replacement), I thought we did very well for much of the match closing down their kickouts. I love to see their goalie going up to kick it, then having to go back as his target was well-marked. This neutralises one of Dublin’s top forms of attack and I’m glad to see us make progress in that regard. It only really waned later on as some of the subs came on and folk started to get tired.

    It was good to see Mikie Sweeney get stuck in when he came on, though I don’t know if I’d have brought him on for Freeman. I grant that Freeman was cleaned by his man all day but he did make our first goal and is a very different type of player to Sweeney or Andy Moran, both of whom are terriers who go after everything. I think it’s a valuable thing to have a player of Freeman’s size and strength on there, but we need to have tactics in place to get the ball to him when the high one over the top isn’t working.

    We did tire visibly as time went on, and I’m sure that won’t have escaped the management team’s notice. We also became mentally tired and lacked leadership, which was especially apparent in the passage of play that led to Dublin’s last goal. We were pissing around playing keep-ball in our own half, and it was obvious to us in the stand that no good could come of it. Nobody seemed to want to take the ball over the half-way line and we were punished, and, I felt, deservedly so. If nothing else, it sent a loud and clear message that this is not the sort of thing that can even be contemplated against a team of Dublin’s quality (or any team, for that matter). If it leads to us working on getting our physical and mental fitness to the level they need to be for the championship, I’m happy to take it, but it was tough to see this excellent Mayo team playing like I’ve seen poorer ones playing in the past.

    Overall, I don’t think we deserved to win yesterday, but we didn’t deserve to lose either. And I don’t think we who support Mayo should be in despair after it. It is important to see the match in the context of the year as a whole, and, if we learn from it, then it’s a valuable experience to have had. I certainly hope we can give Derry a good hiding in Castlebar next Sunday and find our way to the final stages of the league. We need as many matches as we can have at the highest level if only to give the management information on what areas need to be worked on. It’d be nice to win a national title too, though, and we’re on the right course for that. We’re in a good place, and it’s a place that all the other counties (apart from Dublin) would love to be. There’s plenty of time left in 2014 yet.

  115. The mental frailty of the team is what’s most worrying from last night’s debacle. Instead of putting them to the sword and pulling away we let them back into it and were lucky not to get turned over in the end.

    Still if you’re going to get a kick in the hole, now is a good time to get it but I would worry about the psychological damage inflicted if we are to face them later in the summer.

    I hope James scalded them and the only realistic response is to beat Derry next week and go on and win the league.

    We need something to restore a bit of confidence and belief after that showing.

  116. I wonder is Jim Gavin questioning how His side allowed 2 17 in their own ground? And if cluxton showed signs that he’s human after all and can be upset in future games?
    Mayo have lots of problems, but they have taken 7 out of 8 possible points in the last 4 games so it can’t be all bad

    Lucky to gets draw to be honest but lets remember that it’s march and its better to see these flaws today and see what can be done. Kh in defense is one step, aos giving a ball rather than busting through and wearing himself out is another
    I’m sure the football brains on this site know all the things that need looking at

    Also,a big one,I think a few of our lads lack confidence in themselves, I don’t know how youcan instill it apart from winning something.
    To see a team that we are as capable as,winning silverware while we stand on the pitch and congratulate them is grinding on us

    And don’t forget, big money and 10 times the population doesn’t hurt dublin either.
    The only way for Mayo is to do something different than we have done so far, I don’t know what, but that’s how I operate and it generally gives good results
    Danny Kirby given a shot at ff in the next game if freezer is off colour?
    Why woulda game of football be any different ?

  117. Unbelievably, we could finish this group top. But it would need some results to go our way! Anyways, here’s the picture, and what’s needed to get through.

    Cork 9 (We have these pipped on head to head.)
    Derry 9 (If we beat them, we’ll have beaten their head to head, though their points difference is superior by quite a bit.)
    Tyrone 8 (Playing Dublin last day, they have us on head to head)
    Mayo 7
    Dublin 7 (Exact same point diff, we have better scores for)
    Kerry 6* (We have them on head to head)

    Assuming we get the win we need:

    – If Dublin win, that leave us on 9, Dublin on 9, with score difference separating us, Derry, and Dublin. We go through.

    – If Tyrone win, that leaves us on 9 and Dublin on 7. We go through.

    – If it’s a draw in Omagh, that leaves us on 9, Tyrone on 9 and Dublin on 8. We go through.

    In short, if we win, we’re in!

  118. After todays results I think it is as follows
    Cork 9 points
    Derry 9 points
    Tyrone 8 points
    Mayo 7 points
    Dublin 7 points
    Kerry 5 points
    Kildare 2 points
    Westmeath 1 point

    So beat Derry or draw and into semis.
    Have to say we are too up or down with supporting Mayo. If truth be told win or lose last night it doesn’t mean anything come Sept.
    But I would like to see Clarke back and keith back in defence but Horan is right to experiment.

  119. So horan counter’s cluxton’s kickout, they dominate midfield, and create a raft of goal chances, and you say his day is done? People need to stop getting so worked up simply because it is dublin. There were a lot of positives in that game. We opened them up time and again and they barely hung on for a draw. They were gunning for that game. They were resting guys for the last 2 weeks, they fielded their strongest team, in my opinion the ref was doing all he could for them after going down to 14 men, and they still only just got a draw – and that was after we made a load of changes. Forget about the result, we showed that we have the game to beat them, that is the important thing.

  120. Very true GBXI. A win against cork B and we are going to win everythingincluding the world cup, a draw against dublin in a gamw we should have won and we should give up football. A bit of balance is sorely needed.

  121. agreed willie joe,

    there are a quite a few clowns/keyboard warriors on here. time for some of them to be suspended or banned, some of the comments are asinine.
    James horan had done a tremendous job with mayo, I shudder to think what will happen post him, people have short memories, go back and look at the three or four managers we have had from mayo, would you like them to manage again, I would not.

    Does anybody here think that James tell our outfield players that when in possession to ” let it in high lads”??, does he tell a o se to not to let the ball go early and get the shite knocked out of yourself so that you cannot finish the game. btw a o se took a very hard knock early on from a very high elbow from flynn.

    did he tell robbie hennelly who saved two clear goal chances to blast the ball out from some clearances, which led to direct dublin scores. of the above i think not

    personally I think Dublin may have done mayo a favor last night by highlighting some of their weaknesses in March. would everybody on this board prefer if mayo won by three points and not realize how naive their defending could be at the end of a game. ??

  122. So our whole season is destroyed because we didn’t beat Dublin in the league in croke park in march and Horan should consider his position after managing a team to defeat Kerry Cork and drew with AI champs. O for the good old days like the seventies when we couldn’t Connacht or 1993 when Cork beat us by 20 or 1994 when Leitrim beat us or more recently 2010 when we came a cropper to the powers of Sligo and Longford.

  123. Take Dublin for the first time?! We beat them in an all ireland semi two years ago and lost by a point in an all ireland final last year..We all know we can compete with them it’s whether we can close out games at the top level and get over the line is the issue..and yesterday showed we couldn’t

  124. Fatty boom batty says:
    March 30, 2014 at 2:34 am
    Well said WJ
    I stopped posting after September because there were too many of those posts
    There are at least a dozen names that weren’t here a year ago
    I got halfway down tonight’s messages and to take just one thread, there’s talk of getting a new manager
    Jesus wept
    Reply
    joemamas says:
    March 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    agreed willie joe,
    there are a quite a few clowns/keyboard warriors on here. time for some of them to be suspended or banned, some of the comments are asinine.
    James horan had done a tremendous job with mayo, I shudder to think what will happen post him, people have short memories, go back and look at the three or four managers we have had from mayo, would you like them to manage again, I would not.
    Does anybody here think that James tell our outfield players that when in possession to ” let it in high lads”??, does he tell a o se to not to let the ball go early and get the shite knocked out of yourself so that you cannot finish the game. btw a o se took a very hard knock early on from a very high elbow from flynn.
    did he tell robbie hennelly who saved two clear goal chances to blast the ball out from some clearances, which led to direct dublin scores. of the above i think not
    personally I think Dublin may have done mayo a favor last night by highlighting some of their weaknesses in March. would everybody on this board prefer if mayo won by three points and not realize how naive their defending could be at the end of a game. ??

  125. Far too much negative comment here.
    Parsons & Gibbons give us options at Midfield & we have tested a few new backs. we are below the required fitness levels at present. Next sunday will be interesting

  126. joemamas -“there are a quite a few clowns/keyboard warriors on here. time for some of them to be suspended or banned, some of the comments are asinine.”

    That is a very insulting comment to many of the posters here. They are just as entitled to their comments and opinions as you are!!!

  127. Hi All,
    A great game last night and well done to both teams, we did feel like we got away with murder but it was a great match. I had great craic with the Mayo gang as always and you are a great bunch….looking forward to the Championship.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  128. Joe Mc – I’ll be dealing with those comments and who’s “entitled” to say what later on. To say I’m unimpressed with the tenor of many of those post-match comments would be an understatement.

  129. Hello brothers . Hello sisters.
    It’s simple really. When you concede 3 or more goals in Croker you are NOT going to win.
    When you concede 2 or more goals in Croker it’s UNLIKELY you’re going to win.
    When you concede 1 goal in Croker there’s a GOOD CHANCE you’re going to win.
    When you concede no goals in Croker it’s ODDS ON you’re going to win.
    It’s about the big hits.
    Too many goals conceded & too many stops by the keeper over the course of the League.
    We should know this by now. Now who was marking Eoghan O Gara in the last few minutes with the additional cushion of an extra man ?
    Why was the killer space available. Where is the axeman when you need him ?
    Who is going to take responsibility & answer the killer questions ?
    I believe we have enough to get us over the line but the killer questions have to be answered.

  130. Sorry Willie Joe, I used the word ‘entitled’ in a kind of a loose sense, for want of a better word. It wasn’t meant to encroach in your territory.

  131. Where does it say to sack James Horan in here?

    If it’s my comment yer al goin mental at, I typed after 14 it needs to be reviewed.

    Another poster suggested he might of taken this team as far as he can and another lot of ye went bananas , ffs surely it’s fair game to make a suggestion of that nature. You do realise there are lot of non Mayo gaa folk out there that are of the opinion too.

    Every single genuine Mayo supporter ( 99.99 % in here) are proud of this Mayo team and what James Horan has achieved since he took the reigns.

    We all want the same thing and are as equally passionate about our county team.

    I come in here because there are people who can chat about Mayo football in an informed way , it beats chatting to myself .

    What gives any Mayo supporter to ridicule another if all they want is the best for Mayo football.

    Sometimes I feel when it comes to certain issues like Being critical of James Horans selection/tactics, it’s like your being put in a category as if you want him to fail , that’s simply bullshit.

    He made mistakes in last years final on the line and other stuff too , Evan Regan should be on the panel, even last night we persisted with a tactic of high ball into AF when it wasn’t working because despite the blind love in by some he was killed by ROC last night. Why didn’t he put an end to it earlier.

  132. Just back from Dublin .Had to make a couple of detours on way back . Just want to say Gibbons had a fucking massive game. Im a little worried about AOS i dont question for a second his character but do wonder is the last 2 years has taking its toll on him emotionally . Its just an observation and i hope i am wrong. This was the 3rd game in a row that we had a lead slip and let the opposition get back in to game. Its sinful to be letting a 6 point lead get away. At stage you want to be squashing your opponents like bugs but we took foot off gas. We lost the game because we didnt close the game out and we didnt take a lot of our chances. I am frustrated and pissed off that we didnt get the win but the ability is there we just need to get the basics right.

  133. When we look at this result in the cold light of day, it’s not at all a bad result. The Dubs wanted this as bad as we did. Loosing boiler was a big blow to our defense, while loosing cluxton was equally or arguably more damaging to them. Nevertheless, it’s maddening to think that we had them on the ropes and didn’t knock them out.

    Given today’s result in Cork, how does that change things? Yes Cork have a semi spot secured but Tyrone or Dublin would need to win to make the semi? The loser goes home. If we win we are in for sure?
    I haven’t done the math, admittedly too lazy, but what I’m getting at here is, is there a chance that both Dublin and us could make the semis and end up actually playing each other again in the league final?
    Now that would be a mouthwatering prospect.

  134. The most frustrating thing is, for whatever reason Mayo cannot put in their best performances in the big games against the best teams. Is this down to nervousness, anxiety, fear, fear of winning rather than of losing? It’s just really disappointing. Two simple examples are as follows, Mayo having a two on one, a simple hand pass to be played goes two yards over the overlapping player’s head who is in the perfect position to score a goal. Also a player picks the ball off the ground in a situation where 99 times out of 100 he’d pick it up properly and put the ball in the back of the net. That’s two more goals we should really have scored. Surely we’ have won if we had scored four goals. What do we call this virus, the Mayoitis bug. Until we can just play the games and not the occasions, we’ll continue to struggle, we do win enough ball to win these games but we just continue to not use it properly. We just lack composure at the most vital times. The amount of times we gave the ball away was unbelievable…. In saying that with Cork and Derry having already qualified for the semi-finals, you’d hope that Derry might not be playing at full tilt against us, maybe they might rest some of their players for the semi-final game, with Mayo at home we are still in with a great chance of making the semi-finals. Any word on Ger Cafferkey, I wonder will he be ok for next week?

  135. One of the positives of the game for sure – I thought Parsons looked hungry, pacey and smart when he came on and if he carries on in that vein I’d like to see Horan making good use of him.

  136. Amount of comments in response to last nights result underlines passion of Mayo fans but take a chill pill. Mayo & Dublin are 2 best teams in country and likely pairing for September.we have a lot to work on but we can plan & prepare for August when the real stuff starts.plenty of positives from league gibbons emergence as starting midfielder Freeman o connor & Keegan continuing to improve. Enjoy & cherish this team we have representing us. Look where we are compared to Galway drawing with All Ireland champs scrapping to survive in div 2. This team have provided great days there will be more come Summer time, support our boys.

  137. I could be wrong but i think if Dublin and mayo both win it will mean its Derry,Cork,Mayo and Dublin in semis with dub and mayo in opposite semi finals.

  138. I would say if O’Shea was missing the others would get bullied at Midfield but no harm in trying it out. Agreed he carries the ball into the tackle but he takes a fierce amount of heavy hitting and no referee gives him anything. He is such a powerful guy but management is there to make him release the ball early, if not take him off and he would learn.

  139. I am glad with result that mayo did not win but did not lose either dubs was so lucky with th draw

  140. Twenty four hours later, give or take that hour we lost with the clock, we’re all still standing and hopefully reading ourselves for Castlebar next Sunday. Remember 51 set it out very nicely above, as after todays results we beat Derry and we’re into the semi-finals, in our own hands in other words.

    Come next Sunday, the Dublin match will be history and beating Derry will be all that matters. In the course of the week James and the boys will be taking stock of the good and the bad, and lets face, there was plenty of both. We have to understand the lads are hurting big time, they will know they should have won but unlike our last visit to Croker, we have the chance to put things right immediately.

    I expect we will have our biggest crowd of the year at this match and coupled with a fierce determination to restore some pride, we can expect one mighty performance, one that should be good enough to see us over the line and looking forward to the semi-final draw…….

  141. I’m with you on Aido. But he’s taking some flak here over his constant carrying of the ball albeit into traffic, but seriously lads, I defy any of you to look at a rerun of that game from yesterday, he was ALL over the field, back on the fourteen covering, dominating in midfield and up in the fourteen showing for the ball. He was just immense. Without him we are simply not the same team!
    He has massive ability, but we forget that he’s young and wants, I think, to carry this team on his back. While I admire this, it’s to his detriment. He needs to be coached, repeatedly, win the ball and then dish it off. To be fair though, he needs runners to be there for that. This needs to be coached and practiced repeatedly on the training ground.
    Yes Gibbons is getting a lot of credit and attention, deservedly so, but lads (and ladies) just look at the effort this fella put in yesterday again, it’s unreal. But he needs coaching and the runners to support.

  142. Ref was terrible, we only want fair play nothing else. Consistency of the rules throughout a game.

  143. Was it good leadership to be back in your own forty yard line passing the ball across the field?

  144. Another frustrating evening in Croker. I’m not going to say much about Mayo, its the Meath B………ks that refereed this match that irritates me. As some body said coming out of Croker , Dublin started with 16 men and ended up with 15. I have never in my life seen such shite refereeing in Croker with Mayo playing and believe me in 50 years following Mayo this gobshite takes the biscuit. I was checking out all the referees who officiated at all Mayo,s league games this year and discovered that they all came from the Province that the team we were playing against. Against Kildare a Laois ref. Against Tyrone a Armagh ref. Against Kerry a Tipp ref. Against Cork a Clare ref. Against Dublin a Meath ref. This idiot from Meath had a slogan on his shirt something like “Give respect, get respect” If that is the respect he gave to Mayo players then he should not be a referee. Several times Mayo players were punched and stood on and he let it go when Dublin got the ball. When Dublin were tackled fairly in the same position and they lost the ball he then gave them a free. At least 3 Dublin players should have received black cards. He had even to consult umpires before he dismissed Cluxton and he was looking at what happened. It,s about time the likes of this referee would be removed from Inter County refereeing. But then they don’t have to answer to anyone, and if anyone in the County say a word the are banned from GAA. I see WJ where you want people to vote on player,s performance. Perhaps you should add in the ref as well as he also involved in the game and then we could weed out the bad ones. You may take offence to what I,ve written.

  145. I followed mayo since the sixties , some great great footballers ok managers , but this is the best manager by a mile, I have never met him dont know any of his family so no axe to grind. There was alot of talk after al, but from what I saw aos played very well last night , I think we still need a cf but if they are out there I am confident james will find him.be carefull what you wish for we may wait a long time to have as good team and manager again.enjoy this team

  146. Agree Olive with all you say. I was sitting there just waiting for the dubs to intercept the ball and go up and score on us, all around us could see it was going to happen. Thought Andy Moran would know more from all the experience he has under his belt now to move forward with the ball and tell the lads get another point rather than this keep ball.

  147. Got back to the local at around midnight and was met by a man who launched into a tirade about the team. Turned out he’.d been on the porter and hadnt seen the game so I came here when I came home …. lots of people here seem to be on the black stuff as well. Sure it was a terrible way to throw away a cast iron lead, we handed possession to dubs all night, but still played them off the pitch for long spells. Despite some shocking refs decisions we stuck to our guns and kept the heads until the winning post was in sight then we panicked and did crazy stuff. we were then unable to stand up to the dubs running attacks or close the holes. The goals are damaging our heads.. no doubt and the heads need to be sorted. mental toughness is more necessary for team mayo I believe than any other aspect of preparation. The most pleasing aspect for me was how we dealt with Clucker’s kick outs but the level of intensity took its toll near the end- possibly mentally more than physically- So we score 2- 17 against the dubs in their back yard, are 4th in the table, are within sight of a semi spot, and have improved our squad. overall Im hopeful but the heads have to be toughened !

  148. Mayo looked like a team playing well within their comfort zone as soon as that red card was handed out. And they probably should have won it too but they let Dublin throw the ball around on the 40 with no real pressure. There’s no authority in that defense, that continues to be a problem – no leadership when needed.

    Why do our supporters continue to bemoan Higgins’ deployment as a ‘forward’? He plays as an auxillary centre-back, often in a sweeper’s role. There’s a no.11 on his back, yes but there’s a no.10 on McLoughlin’s back and he was centre-forward, Andy Moran wore 13 but played at midfield. The traditional set-up is well gone.

    We don’t get enough out of Moran in this role -ideally he should be quarterback, firing the ball into Freeman but Horan’s Mayo are all about the runs from deep. Seems a waste.

    I have a hunch we’ll make a semi-final. Even if we don’t, Horan is looking at the summer with a stronger squad than last year – that’s one major positive that’s been overlooked this weekend.

  149. Mayo looked like a team playing well within their comfort zone as soon as that red card was handed out. And they probably should have won it too but they let Dublin throw the ball around on the 40 with no real pressure. There’s no authority in that defense, that continues to be a problem – no leadership when needed.

    Why do our supporters continue to bemoan Higgins’ deployment as a ‘forward’? He plays as an auxillary centre-back, often in a sweeper’s role. There’s a no.11 on his back, yes but there’s a no.10 on McLoughlin’s back and he was centre-forward, Andy Moran wore 13 but played at midfield. The traditional set-up is well gone.

    We don’t get enough out of Moran in this role -ideally he should be quarterback, firing the ball into Freeman but Horan’s Mayo are all about the runs from deep. Seems a waste.

    I have a hunch we’ll make a semi-final. Even if we don’t, Horan is looking at the summer with a stronger squad than last year – that’s one major positive that’s been overlooked this weekend.

  150. That was a great and accurate report Mike, which many of our contributors here appear happy to over look. I was at the match. I was worried until Cluxton got sent off. We were clinging to their coattails up to then. I would have taken a draw at that stage. Dublin lost their way in the last 5 minutes of the first half and my mood certainly lifted by half time. We had a disastrous 3 quarter and I felt Robbie kept us in the game. My worry stemmed from the fact that in every league game this year we struggle to maintain our intensity in the last 15 or 20 minutes. The rather strange ending to this game was all about fatigue IMO. A mayo supporter sitting beside me went crazy when AOS went off, even though the player looked spent to me. The success which JH and this group of players have enjoyed has certainly dragged a lot of the fair weather supporters of the woodwork. We could have won and we did not, that’s it. Every player left it all on the pitch last night, of that I am certain. I wish I could have said that in September. We skillfully marshaled their kick outs through most of the game. That was a very positive sign. They responded in kind to us in the second half and put our goalie under pressure and that kept them in the game. We missed Boyle, Caff, and Harrison big time. The ball into Freeman was hopeless all day. We need to learn from Dublin and Kerry in this regard. Overall I was very happy with our last performance in the month of March. Jason Gibbons wins good ball and moves it straight away to one of the insiders. He gives the forward the advantage in this situation. He works into a good position but does not always get a return pass because some of those around him are dancing to a different beat IMO. I did not thing much of the ref. He struggled to keep up with the play and he suspended too many of the rules of the game as I know it. To his credit he wisely consulted with the other officials and thus got most of the important calls right. So after 75 minutes of football, 5 goals, and 31 points later I walked to the gate and noted that there were 0 patrons queuing to get their money refunded

  151. Fair point that was the one big mistake Andy made but was not Andy that turned over that ball !!

  152. Positive reaction to balance a lot of over-the-top negative talk.

    I wouldn’t go just as far, but I do think JH is correcting a lot of errors from the last two years and I’m really convinced (other than his persistence with Keith in the forwards ) that he is on the right path in fitness (delayed peak fitness) this year; his attitude to consultation with his fellow selectors; renewal of the forward line; and creation of competition and cover for all positions.

    Sick of the negative no rubbish about certain young players like Freezer and Doc having blown their chances. What a load of cobblers in an amateur games!

    Get behind our lads and the management team ! Jez, if you want to start again win new management with different player preferences, we’re back to square two.

    Roll-on next weekend,

  153. When you put it like that, to win just once, you have a point and maybe we are spoiled in some regards, reaching AIF, LF and generally keeping the flag flying. And no one here I would imagine, doubts the amount of energy and time James puts into the quest for that elusive dream, but when we see how close we come so often even the God dam curse raises it’s ugly head. Anyway on words and up words we go ……

  154. Well spotted on ALL the rounds;I’d only recalled the last days Clare man,but yes-choose from the non-participating two provinces Croke park in future!.
    Reilly was as bad as Joe McQuillan v Meath a few years ago

  155. Mayos tactic was obviously to play long high ball into Freeman. The ball in to him was accurate but was about a yard or two short and meant that O’Carroll was able to come out and field ball all evening. I think we were trying to place the ball high and behind the full back but each ball was short. Mind you, it was a high ball into the Freeman and his flick that led to McLoughlins goal.

  156. Anybody out there have the full list of subs that were on the bench on Saturday? Never managed to pick up a programme.

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