Monday match reports

Mayo v Tyrone

Photo: @kellymike87

Okay, let’s get this over as quickly and as painlessly as possible. I’m pushed for time today on the work front so it’s just as well I don’t have all that much time to dwell on the large volume of match reports that are out there on our smothering by the Nordie blanket at MacHale Park yesterday. Here they are:

GAA, RTÉ (report, quotes from Pat Holmes, highlights), BBC, Sky, Mayo Advertiser, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Belfast TelegraphThe 42, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

In case you missed it (and have three minutes of your life that you’re willing to waste), my post-match audio witterings are here.

Photos from Mayo Mick, Sportsfile and Inpho.

There’s also a piece on Joe.ie on the two major talking points from the reffing point of view – Aidan’s black card and Cillian’s goal – and the video evidence on both clearly shows that Eddie Kinsella got both of these major calls wrong. This isn’t, as a number of people in the comments wrongly alleged last night, that I’m trying to attribute our loss to poor reffing – instead, it’s merely to point out that, yet again (as with Maurice Deegan at Croke Park on Saturday night – I was there and he had a shocker), a ref in a high profile match makes an utter balls of things. Will he face any consequences for this? Will he hell.

The only other talking point to cover from the above, I guess, is what Pat Holmes had to say, in particular his perhaps overly candid admission about how playing fifteen men behind the ball was all a bit much for us and where he then added the following:

“It’s something that we got to look at it and see if we’re faced with it again that we deal with it and cope with it better.”

Note to Pat: Monaghan are up next and they’re likely to try something similar, then we’re away to Derry and they’re definitely likely to copy the Tyrone playbook as closely as possible and even the attack-minded Dubs, who we play after that, aren’t averse to this tactic either – they played 14 behind the ball (it would have been 15 only Kevin McManamon had been sent off by then) in the closing stages against Donegal, with much the same success as Tyrone enjoyed against us. So, my humble advice would be that we need to start planning sharpish on how to deal with #pukefootball15 as every team worth its salt – and they all are in Division One – will see that this is a sure-fire way of causing us trouble.

That’s your lot for now. If you haven’t yet voted in the MOTM poll, then please do – it looks like Kevin Keane is galloping towards his second gong in a row but the minor placings are still up for grabs there. I’ll do an update on this later on and, if time permits, I’ll also post a quick update on the prediction mini-league where, whatever about the rest of you, I had a better day than the lads did on the field yesterday.

34 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. It’s 2015 and honestly I would have expected our management team to be operating like Jim Gavin/Rory Gallagher/Eamon Fitzmaurice/Malachy O’Rourke/Mickey Harte.
    – In depth awareness of how the blanket operates in all phases of play
    – Many, many hours put into permutations of how to counteract it.
    Not turning up all innocent.
    “Haha, tis not too often you see so many players behind the ball”
    Actually it is quite common now the last 4 years.
    I’v a fear our response is going to be an overly simplistic “Pump it into Aidan in the square.”
    A tactic like that will be heavily dependent on refereeing. Against Monaghan/Donegal Drew Wylie and the McGees take no prisoners. If there is a lenient ref you simply end up with Aidan O’Shea taking a battering for 70 minutes from the fullback, goalie and sweeper.
    Donegal left the square empty last year against Dublin. Smart teams are realizing that the lack of space and extra coverage (goalie/sweeper) means it’s a mugs game to kick the ball high to the full forward. Far better to have two big men out wide between full forward and half forward.
    I have a feeling we’re not exactly very scientific about things tactically.

  2. No need to panic yet. It was very poor stuff from us yesterday but we will improve. The thing that got on my nerves was some of the so called “fans” following us these days. Fella behind me never shut up about Horan all through the game (who suffered league defeats to Tyrone himself) to other people walking out with 10-15mins to go shaking their heads and saying “we are going backwards” to the tirade of comments by clowns on social media last night hammering our management team, player, the ref, Tyrone style of play…I am surprised nobody mentioned Limerick…..we come across as sore lossers who go overboard in victory and in defeat….a bit of patience please.

    The real fans will be present against Monagahn the next day while the other will probably be at home watching Ireland v England.

  3. Sunday saw two teams play the way they always have. Tyrone masters of their style, Mayo masters of the free flowing have a cut at it ethos. However when Tyrone gets their style right and when ours gets gremlins in it, there is only one winner.

    All the top teams have a distictinctive palying pattern. We tend to be the exception apart from a high intenstity tackling regime in 2013 expertly displayed against Galway and Donegal but since consigned to the drawing board. For a team that has operated at top two/three for four years our naivaite can be shocking at times. Tyrone turned up under pressure on Sunday. Big names cut or gone from the panel. Harte the master tactician went back to basics and simply outscored and outsmarted us.

    It what we do next that will define us. If we decide to go with a permutation of six from the following McLoughlin, Dillon, Doherty, Conroy, Freeman, O Connor, Andy Moran, Varley, not forgetting Carolan and Feeney then we got to build a gameplan around that pick. Midfield seems too static, the wing backs seem burned out from four years of bombing forward . So Holmes and Connolly were picked to chart us on to the next level. Regan needs games and recovery time, Gallagher needs games but as the heat rises the tendency will be to revert to the old hands. They took us so far, the trick was the new management team was to to take us the rest of the way.

    Feigning surprise at Tyrones defensive set up doesnt bode well. Brian Cullen said after Dublins fade out in 2010 that doing the same old stuff again and again wasnt an option. Gilroy took asunder the “startled earwigs”, built a new team with new tactics and slayed the ghost. Holmes and Connolly are not here to build for the future, they are here to capitalise on the present. That starts next game v Monaghan.

  4. Yes, agree with a lot of above. Naivety of players and management surprising. Examples: at least two dissents leave frees moved into scorable positions for Tyrone.

    Contrast Tyrone:

    * pull a guy down and hold on to him thus preventing quick free.
    * Hold onto freetaker when ref is heading towards goal with his back to freetaker.
    * Sean Cavanagh manufactures frees out of thin air.
    * And, while I didn’t have a great view of our goal, what I did notice was an immediate barracking of the ref by Tyrone players (no punishment). Reminiscent of their approach in ’13 semi when we got the penalty – immediate pointing to the big screen by their defenders,
    subtly pressurising the ref, and ourselves. Freezer answered that one though.

    I could go on. They are masters of the dark arts of gamesmanship.

    We could study Tyrone on the video and learn more from that than looking at ourselves.

  5. Agree with most of above. Looking at the bigger picture, when the lads took over they said we needed bigger more physical players in key positions. Apart from re-emergence of Keane all the new guys are light weight and won’t make an impact. So it’s basically the same squad as the last 4 years. And the big question then is can the likes of AOS, Keegan, Boyle etc, key players reach those high levels again. It’s a big ask if they don’t see fresh viable talent backing them up. Players need to feel there’s something new, that makes them a better team than before. I can’t see anything ‘New’

  6. In fairness, tyrone were correct to complain about our goal. I couldn’t believe that it was allowed. The ref was worse than bad but we were our own worst enemy, 2 missed goals and 15 wides suggest we had enough done against the blanket defence to beat it. We move on.

  7. Have to agree with JP, Mayo ‘fans’ are incredible! Some of the stuff you hear at matches is amazing….sometimes I almost think some of these fans are actually trying to be as outrageous as they can with comments so that they can get reaction in the stands, however I actually think they really mean what they say! Like, yes, yesterday was a very poor display and for a team that has played in some of the biggest and most intense games over the last few years, well we looked very naïve. But honestly ‘fans’ should support the team – no team has a god given right to win a match, every game is there for both teams to win. Yes be critical in respect of the football being played, but for gods sake personal abuse of managers and players should be left to the premiership grounds!

    Lets be fair for a moment, Connelly and Holmes have only been in charge a wet week. Ok maybe 5 or so weeks, but most of that time has need finding their ground and correctly casting the net and giving potential players a go. Any new management team have got to do that. And people have to remember and accept this is NOT Mayo of the last 4 years with only JH missing just needing tweaking here or there – this is a new Mayo set-up and must be given time to implement their way. Remember Horans first championship game anyone? He was only learning about the players even after that years league campaign. The most important thing is that over the league that we see things being worked on and a good progression with game styles and plans. Yesterday did not demonstrate that, but maybe you need games like that in order to advance what needs to be done.

    One big positive for me is that for the first time in years we have young players coming through that are showing real potential to make a difference. People have to remember that in reality it takes2-3 years to really get up to the full level of the senior inter-county game – judging them after one or two games is crazy! It can be clearly seen with other counties also where the young lads can fade as the intensity of the championship increases (McCaffery, McHugh, etc.). So give these lads a chance. H&C really need to pursue with the youth during the league…Coen, Durkin, Hall, Gallagher, O’Connor, Regan – these are the lads we NEED to give considerable game time to during the league, we cant expect them to play one or two FBD or league games and then expect them to be real options come championship. I know Andy, Dillion, Ritchie, Cunniffe are on their way back, but I think it would be a big mistake just to revert to these lads as a default when we could be giving the young lads a real continuum of real game time. Certainly yesterday I thought the young lads were among our better performers.

    Last thing, and this will be a tough task for Connelly and Holmes – they need to take a hard look at the squad and make hard decisions on what the future is – very hard task given that some lads have toiled and committed for4-5 + years, but it is something that has to be done if we are to make real progress and show real intent.

  8. KL they may be 5 weeks in the job but if that’s the case 6 weeks before that they did not want it!!

    The quote on the blanket defence is alarming. JH set an agenda with the media. We were not to be taken lightly. If this is the type of guff PH is coming with, as well as the youtube interview the two lads gave, then the respect factor the team built up is gone.

    Yourself, and other ole olers are missing the fact that in those 5 weeks a lot if good has already been dismantled. Mayonaze pointed to the appointment process earlier. reality is that the lads have one championship to prove their worth or their heads will be on a plate given what went before

  9. Relax. It’s a league game in February. Means nothing. And, whatever else goes on, I have to say I am proud I will never see a Mayo team line up to ‘play’ that way. Sure what’s the point in that? Result yesterday doesn’t bother me in the slightest, we will end the summer with more than Tyrone, that’s the only thing I took from that game.

  10. I agree Steve.This was the second game I was at where I thought we looked like sore loosers .Some buck stood up at half time and spouted shite to the ref as he was walking off the pitch.I cannot handle that bullshite. Its bad enough that we Mayo supporters get abuse for not being able to do it on the big day but I’m not going to be able to take being called sore loosers as well.You can definitely sense the air of frustration from last year and all the other years of being so close but some people need to get a grip of themselves. Our lads out there burst their arses off trying to be successful for themselves and us the supporters. The least we can do is not make eejits out of ourselves in the stand roaring at the ref as he comea off the pitch.

  11. Agreed also re early in year etc but whar about a few positional changes to freshen things up .

    – Ger Caff at No.6, here he give aerial presence, acurate passer , keeps it simple and most importanly will hold the position and make surte no soft runs down the middle.
    He has played there for Ballina . Worth a go I think, he could play ther “Ger Brennan Role”

    – Keegan at centrefield, again his club position and will give better kickout fielding than Donie, excellent going forward and covers every blade of grass . Ability to kick on the run.
    Could play the “Michael Dara Role alongside Seamie.

    – Parsons/Donie at 11. Giving a physical presence, aerial threat, very brave players who will pick up alot of breaks. Tackling presence high up the field . more mobility in the same role AOS played last year .

    – Full forward line of
    – -Cillian–AOS—-Doherty
    Get our most powerful and acurate in close to goal, all three posses goal threats .
    Experienced and battle hardened trio who can win there one ball and also the softer type of frees required to tag on a few points when things not going so good.

    Other than that be great to see
    – Cunniffe in fullback line, He, Keane and Higgins and very strong and quick .

    – Cathal Carolan back in the fold after his cruciate, great lad to win breaks, great runner ball in hand , very quick also great foil to “dirty” ball winning half forward line .

    – More game time for Hall, Durkan and Coen, hopefully Regan too

  12. Agree with Puckout that it’s a bit worrying that the new talent all seem small.

    Still, if Kevin Keane keeps playing well, Diarmaid O’Connor progresses, Cathal Carolan comes back, ditto Conor O’Shea, there is a bit of bulk between all of them.

    And, as I mentioned before, I did like the cut of Michael Hall, small though he is. Great bit of skill to foot the ball past a Tyrone defender on the sideline, for which he was penalised of course.

  13. @ Cynical Cynthia
    Are you a comedy act? Seriously? Maybe it was you that was hollering from the off yesterday in the stand behind me?! Your writing certainly appears to sound like that voice 🙂
    Jaysus what has been ‘dismantled’ in 5 weeks?! Ffs it’s the second game of the year! I’m certainly no Ole Oler for Holmes and Connelly, but wait until we have a bit more evidence before we flog them!
    What do you want them to do? Play the same 15 who started in Limerick and employ the same tactics so nothing is ‘dismantled’? Sure you or I could do that!

  14. Regarding the referees, some fans will blame the ref no matter what. There’s a couple of mayo fans fairly prominent in twitter and on this blog too, and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard then not give out about the ref whenever mayo are playing. It’s hard to take these people seriously anymore to be honest. I thought the ref had a fairly reasonable game yesterday in the end. We had a few soft frees awarded against us, but were gifted a goal that should never have stood. In fairness to kinsella, it was Marty Duffy on the line who made the call on the black card for AOS, from what I could see. Also the umpires were consulted and failed to spot Cillian in the square for the goal. Incidentally the mayo gaa banter page in Facebook had a post rudely ridiculing the analysis of another non partisan gaa site for the mayo goal, and claiming they didn’t know the rules of the game for saying it was a square ball!! Funny enough that post disappeared fairly quickly. That’s the kind of idiots your up against nowadays though.

    The wider issue of refereeing standards that Willie Joe raises is valid though. Standards need to improve. It’s for the gaa top brass to resolve – maybe refs should be paid on a full time basis at intercounty level to improve standards?
    Most people would hate to be a ref, though they never stop abusing them at the same time. WJ there was an article in this weeks mayo news online calling for referees within mayo, perhaps you could link it here? It might help drum up some interest in people becoming referees. They need roughly 100 refs in mayo to run the program of games every year but there is only about 70 or so, creating extra pressure for existing refs. I’d love to see some of the whingers on this site put their money where their mouth is and become a ref at club level. I currently live overseas myself, but when I do eventually move back to Ireland it will be one of the first things I do. Maybe I’m crazy but I actually like the idea of becoming a ref, despite all the unfair abuse!!

  15. If the ref thought the ball had not left the square, then it wouldn’t have been a square ball. The ref was miles away so he could not see, so I can understand the decision.

  16. Blanket defence. Can’t go through it, can’t go round it. Can’t go under it, as all the tunnelers are from Donegal. Therefore, must go over it. I see the opposing views on big men around the square. This takes me back to kicking from further out. It’s not the first time our shooting from distance has let us down. The first half misses against Dublin just one example. I am sure an enormous amount of time and effort is focused on this skill. In rugby there are coaches dealing with kicking and nothing else. Could Ciaran Mac provide some assistance?

  17. I cannot for the life of me see what was wrong with the Mayo goal scored yesterday. The square ball in general open play was abolished at least 12 months ago so unless the ball was delivered in from a free, which I do not think was the case, it should stand. The only other possible gripe might be the challenge on the Tyrone player which resulted in the ball going loose and I could see nothing wrong with that either.
    What I cannot get over is a manager admitting that they were not prepared for the Tyrone tactics since Tyrone, and most Ulster teams, have been using them for ages. If they had tried to circumvent those tactics and failed I could accept that. But they tried nothing and made no change in personnel until midway in the second half. Presumably they have been following Mayo for the past few years so they should know the capabilities of the regular players pretty well. And don’t forget that they managed most of them at U21 as well.
    I was in Castlebar yesterday, was in Killarney last week, will be in Castlebar again for future games and in Derry and Cork too, if the Lord spares me. But after yesterday I’m beginning to wonder about our current management. Did they really want the job and are they prepared for it or were they pushed into it by County Board officials?

  18. It’s early February so isn’t it the best time all year to get found out by this defensive setup…
    Have some faith in our management to come up with something well prepared and ready to go before the business time of the year to beat this form of tactics.

  19. Keith speaks in the times how difficult it was to play Tyrone with their defence, well im afraid there will be more of that to come from our ulster friends. On Mr Kinsella, not the best ref but he did give us a goal. We were lucky Sligo Marty was not the man in the middle. We have to go back to the drawing board re our shooting, because with tyrone you will not get in near enough to score.

  20. When even Kerry played with 15 back in AI final you know it’s a case of adapting. The majority of the 14 wides yesterday were wild wayward shots players were in better positions for a pass and with the right shot selections more scores would have came. I also thought to leave the defence so exposed to the Tyrone break aways was poor tactics. However you learn plenty in defeats like this and I would expect a much improved performance against Monaghan. No reason why 2pts can’t be picked up in Derry either as they seem to be freefall.

  21. AndyD, to the best of my knowledge, the square ball from open play has not been abolished but only amended. I think you can enter the square before the ball in open play but only after the final pass. I’m away to Google it now!

  22. I think what Pat Holmes said was, that he was surprised to see a team play 15 men inside their own 45 yard line. That was the most defensive any team has played maybe bar Donegal against Dublin in the 2011 semi-final. I wouldn’t read too much into that comment or maybe I’d give him the benefit of the doubt this time. The Monaghan game should tell us a lot more, remember they beat that Tyrone team by 7 points away, so things won’t get any easier from now on. It’s not an easy thing to do, getting through the blanket defence. Remember the supposedly super Dublin forwards failed miserably to do it against Donegal in last year’s semi-final. They kicked a load of wides that day too. The same fate befell Kerry in the 2012 quarter-final and Cork in the semi-final that year against Donegal again. Only for Andy Moran’s introduction against Roscommon last year, we would have fell on the same sword that day. His positioning that day was interesting when he came on, he played between the 45-metre line and mid-field. He acted like a quarter-back to open up the play, kick a few long range points and suddenly the wides other players were kicking earlier in the game, started to go over. Maybe Cillian O’Connor could have played that role for us yesterday. Eamonn Fitzmaurice was part of Kerry’s backroom team for a number of years, right back to 2009 before he became manager so he had a number of years to study these tactics. He figured it out for this year’s final. When Tyrone were winning All-Irelands, Kerry could never get the better of them. We are not the first team to fail to break down the blanket defence. Our management didn’t get it right yesterday but in saying that Tyrone looked much fitter than us and if only a few of those wides went over we still would have won the game. Tyrone just seemed to have more to play for yesterday, i.e. avoiding a second loss. Maybe we’ll learn more from the defeat too. Roll on the Monaghan game!

  23. agree with above FF line of:
    -Cillian–AOS—-Doherty
    kicking it long and early into them

    Saw one of the new lads being pretty tentative going for 50-50 ball yesterday think that should be the end of the road for him!

    Personally would like to see Keane at CB would worry he would be in danger of being exposed for pace and size in croker if we get there!

    Also don’t understand the McLaughlin at CF and Vaughan at MF experiments though I think Vaughan might work in a Paul Galvin roving wing forward role. I don’t think this constant chopping and changing of McLaughlins position is helping him either

  24. It was definitely a square ball, Andy. The new (2012) rule reads that it’s a technical foul:

    For an attacking player to enter opponents’ small rectangle:
    (a) During Play (excluding Set Play), before the final play of the ball into the small rectangle
    (b) In Set Play, before the ball enters the small rectangle.

    If the “final play of the ball into the small rectangle” is deemed to be the shot by Jason Doc that cannoned off the upright into Cillian’s path (which I think it has to be – Jason was outside the square when he shot) then Cillian was definitely standing in the square before, during and after this “final play” occurred. (The highlights – here – from 6.20 on show this beyond doubt). So it was definitely a square ball, though it’s also an impossible rule to police!

  25. Living over here in America the past 13 years you would be shocked with the amount of sunshine supporters that we have..after the 2012 all ireland a mayo man came up to and said that ciaran macdonald was shiite today.. that sums it up..

  26. Great variety of comments since Sunday. Hope the nonsense of shoe-horning backs into midfield/forward positions is over, Forwards in general, are better ball-players, more elusive, better balanced and more instinctive than their 1 – 9 colleagues.

    Quality score-makers (of any code) put the ball where their colleague is going to be in a split-second and not the telegraphed predictable pass, which is meat and drink to a quality defender.
    To implement that on the field of play requires instinctive speedy forwards, who with a vision of the possibilities, through training sessions, should improve upon our dismal record of forwards’ under-achievement when the chips are down. Get to it boys over the next three weeks – we need a transformation up front.

  27. Danny kirby or Conor o shea have to be looked at full forward. Also think Brian Gallagher would be a good option at 12 can score from distance.

  28. We definitely cannot blame the Ref for this one. There were a few words used earlier in different posts describing our attack: “deliberate” “pedestrian” “obvious” “slow” “telegraphed”. This is why we lost.

    Obviously management know the way Tyrone play, with 15 men behind the ball. I think they just mishandled the media here, the wrong quote got out and got jumped on. It is a good lesson for them though. Be careful what you say as it will be jumped on.

    Tyrone were better on the day and the BEST TEAM WON. That said I would like to echo what Catcol said earlier. Tyrone are masters of the “Dark Arts”. They have the diving and the crying down to a tee. I would like to specially call out their CHF who rolled on the ground with his hands to his face every time. You’d swear someone scratched his eyes. It is pathetic to see, soccery in appearance and the definition of puke football. But hey if you can get away with this unmanly nonsense…why not?

  29. While the management didn’t cover themselves in glory at the weekend. Id like to point out that had McStay gotten the job, and made a similar cut at it against tyrone, we’d be turning on him in the exact same fashion. Just like we turned on Liam McHale in the build up to the management appointment. We should really consider that.

    A manager getting something wrong doesn’t mean you can completely turn on him and turn into complete cut-throats, saying anything you like and expecting them to take it. Most of it is complete nonsense anyway. Some people would really want to wind their necks in a bit, nobody owes you anything. We as fans are considered a joke because of this sensationalist behaviour. How many more all Ireland finals do we have to contest before we steady up, and frankly, grow up a little bit? Complete meltdown after our second game in the league, some people never learn.

  30. An away win for tyrone, the sum of their parts was greater on the day than the sum of mayos. it was like the team bus was parked between the big square and the small square, and they were told last man on the bus at the final whistle is walking home. fifteen men behind the ball and still 4 point winners, how did it all happen.
    well if you contrast the two styles of play some of the answers may reveal themselves.mayo were poor on the day- the team looked flat ,compared to an industrious performance from the tyrone boys.looking at the wides tally 14 wides is too much to expect a win from. The foot kicking and shooting was again not good enough in contrast to tyrones crisp kicking and accurate shooting. There was daylight between the two styles of play tyrones high octane “give it and go” looked well. mayo were playing a baffling “give it away” or “go and give it away” basically they were giving the ball away cheaply, when ball was delivered to the full fowards it was well outside the large square and left the corner men with no opportunity but to kick from impossible angles.M Conroys miss was the bad start that mayo did not need but all mayo fowards need to steady up before takilng a shot at goal.i also reckon that midfield is holding onto the ball for too long especially vaughan .i would suggest management work on kicking the ball or foot passing and delivery of quality ball into a full foward line.A speculative lob would have worked as well as the wayward diagional cross field passes in evidence last sunday. quick direct ball is what defenders dislike most , they dont have time to see it coming.
    any way that is my musings.a forgettable day at the office .a good win against monaghan would help but thinbgs are going to have to change.

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