First thoughts on Monaghan match

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Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Midweek already and so it’s time to start thinking ahead to the next challenge awaiting us in this National Football League campaign. Round 4 this coming Sunday sees us taking on Monaghan at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, where throw-in is at the slightly later time of 2.30pm. Cavan’s Joe McQuillan has the whistle for this one.

The Farney County are going okay so far this year. They plundered a late win, courtesy of an injury time goal by their All-Star forward Conor McManus, against Roscommon at Kiltoom on the League’s opening weekend and then made it two wins from two the following Sunday when they got the better of Down by two points at Clones. Their 100% record went by the wayside, though, last Saturday night at Croke Park but it was a match they only lost by the minimum margin. Monaghan were actually out in front with time running out but a late Dublin surge, capped by a bit of Bernard Brogan brilliance, proved the visitors’ undoing.

Central to Monaghan’s positive display on Saturday night was Conor McManus, who accounted for twelve points – nine from frees – out of his side’s total of sixteen. It goes without saying that we’ll need to watch him closely up at Clones on Sunday.

The Clontibret clubman was a late withdrawal from the Monaghan team we last faced, which was in the third round of the League this time last year. We beat them soundly that day – their complete lack of discipline saw two of their players ordered off on straight reds and a few more of them should have walked too, given the amount of swinging they were doing. Those advocating a more pugilistic mien from our lads might, indeed, do well to reflect on how far that hard-man approach got the Farneymen that day. Once they were down to thirteen, we beat them at our ease and ended up with a thirteen-point margin of victory.

The last time we played them on their home soil was at Iniskeen back in April 2011. We were already safe, they were battling relegation but their two-point win over us that day in a high-scoring open game wasn’t enough to prevent them taking the hop down to Division Two. What I recall most from that day was the glorious, warm sunshine and those lovely green and red seats in the little stand at the picturesque Kavanagh Country venue.

Iniskeen

You have to go back further, much further in fact, to find the last match we played against them at Sunday’s venue. That was in November 1989 when, still flush from our first glorious near-miss with Sam in decades, we had five points to spare over the home side. That wasn’t the most recent time we beat them up there, though – we got the better of them in Clontibret in March 2006, winning by 1-16 to 1-11.

With the exception of that 1989 game (by which time I was domiciled in London), I was at all of the other contests between us that I’ve mentioned just now. I doubt I’ll make Clones on Sunday, though – matches involving the kids up here have now established a fairly firm foothold on The Lord’s Day and there are at least two separate ones to get to this Sunday. I’m still not ruling myself out 100% from this one – not least given that it’s such any easy drive from here in Dublin – but I have to be rated extremely doubtful for it.

Indeed, a bit like Keith Higgins, my appearance at any other League matches this year is up in the air. I doubt I’ll get to the Kerry game and the Roscommon game is on Easter Sunday so I’m not sure about that either. That only leaves the Down match, which may or may not be a crucial one in our fight for survival within the top tier.

Turning to team news, the only definite news is on Keith who looks set to miss our next few games due to the hamstring problem he picked up in Ballybofey. Depending on the severity of the injury, the Ballyhaunis man might be back in time to face Roscommon but it could well be the summer campaign before he’s ready for road once more. We just have to take it as it goes there.

The Mayo News (paper and digital versions) reported yesterday that Caolan Crowe, Kevin Keane and Alan Freeman are all still out of action and are unlikely to be available for Sunday. With the likes of Seamus O’Shea (whom I’d say is a cert to start on Sunday), Chris Barrett and Andy Moran all available again, as is Michael Conroy, the pool from which to pick a starting fifteen has begun to deepen. We’ll more than likely name our team for the match on Friday evening.

The bookies have made Monaghan very slight favourites, at 4/5 (Paddy Power odds here), in what is a real backs-to-the-wall fixture for us. Another defeat, no matter how encouraging, and we can start packing our bags for Division Two. An overdue first win in this campaign could, in contrast, prove an ideal, if belated, kick-start to the year for us.

I’m optimistic enough about our chances on Sunday: how about the rest of you?

How will we fare against Monaghan?

  • Win (74%, 209 Votes)
  • Lose (20%, 55 Votes)
  • Draw (6%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 282

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43 thoughts on “First thoughts on Monaghan match

  1. I refrained from commenting here after the Donegal game simply as I felt some posters are dredging up past matters and it wasn’t constructive for what is going on pitchwise. We are not doing too bad, I posted here just after Rochie got the job and what I said then I’ll say again, I didn’t think we’d get any points after the first 3 games as simply we were at a standing start whereas other teams were on the ball! I believe after the performance Sunday I think we now are in a position to challenge for points, and we should get them! Getting players back on the pitch and getting game time was important and I think the management team have done this well! We need to push on now, players need to start backing themselves, if they do the job at hand will deliver an escape route and stay in this division, it’s imperative that monaghan, Kerry and down are beaten simply as the head to head v cork could relegate us, and the rossies have too much a head start with winnable games ahead! With seamie, Andy, Connor loftus all getting games, our bench is strengthening, Harrison, Diarmuid and nally being our standard this far I’m very confident we will get at least 3 wins from 4. Will it be enough, I hope so, will it have significance of we don’t, I don’t think so! Up Mayo, and let’s get Clones bound

  2. I don’t tend to do predictions Willie Joe, but all I will say is that a win is a must. Three defeats can be explained away, but if it becomes a habit it won’t be good for anyone.

    I was impressed by Monaghan on Saturday night; they managed to do something I hadn’t seen for a while – make Dublin look ordinary and vulnerable. Brogan’s point was unbelievable, he had been awful up to that, and it needed something like that to shake off Monaghan.

    Also they are tough and put themselves about against the Dubs. I felt we dropped a bit on Sunday from our own eyeballing of Dublin and we need to up it next Sunday. I’m not advocating a gungho and damn the consequences approach (sorry Pebbles), but a don’t mess with me attitude that keeps a tight rein of discipline.

    I feel we badly needed Seamie in midfield over the last few games – he literally has to come back and put in a big performance in this one.

    As for the forwards, as others have posted, it’s a matter of getting really good ball to our inside men and whoever is there is capable if given that service.

  3. Against Donegal, away from home, we had a referee from Derry, Donegal`s neighbouring county.
    Now we have a similar siituation next Sunday..We`re away to Monaghan and will be refereed by a ref from Cavan, Monaghan`s neighbouring county…..Where are all the neutral referees gone to?

    Should we lose next Sunday, the last thing we need is for Down to beat Roscommon. Two points for Down in that scenario would be very bad news for Mayo, if we lose in Clones

  4. Mayo beat Monaghan by 13 points in the league last year or be it a Monaghan side that finished the game with 13 men. In 2014 Kerry lost their first 3 league games and then won their next three games to secure their status in division one. I think Mayo could repeat that this year.

  5. Observer 2. Yeah, i was just going to say the same thing myself. A ref from Derry last Sunday v Donegal and now a ref from Cavan for this Sunday v Monaghan. What genius can we thank for this decision. I feel another shafting coming on.

    Trousers at half mast now ye good people of Mayo.

  6. In fairness, I don’t think we can claim to have been shafted by the ref the last day. He wasn’t great, sure, but he was poor for both sides and I don’t think his handling of the game affected the outcome. We’ve had good days as well as bad ones with Joe McQuillan too – at least we know (or should) plenty about his style of reffing at this stage and can plan accordingly.

  7. As somebody who has never attended a match in Clones before, has anybody got any advice on parking on the day?

  8. Team for the weekend
    Clarke
    Harrisson Caff Barrett
    Nally Boyle Keegan
    Seamie Parson
    Diarmuid Doherty Mcloughlin
    Regan Aido Loftus

    Loftus, Doherty and Regan can take care of the frees and this in turn will hopefully stop us bringing up the keeper, which at this level is ridiculous unless you have a keeper of cluxtons accuracy

  9. Yes, would agree with that Willie Joe. Cant blame any of our 3 defeats in this league on the ref.

    “Shaftings” i refer to were from pre 2016 era. I would hope Joe McQuillan keeps a good handle on the game with all his experience.

    Forever the optimist. Agree 100% with you about bringing the keeper up to take frees. Some of the time when he comes up, he takes a short one anyway. What is that all about ffs?. This really needs to end now. Surely this is a management matter and its time for Rochford to say enough is enough of this clowning about.

    Anyway, 3 games played and not a goal scored from play yet. We will need to get that net bulging against the men from the stony grey soil on Sunday.

  10. After the Donegal match i would be quite happy that having started training a month later and given they had a weeks training camp, mayo did very well. Monaghan will be very tough but mayo shud win even allowing for the brilliance of mcmanus but worried about out current ff line. Looking at the last 3 games they are all winable and i think the rossies are very over rated. Will get a serious culture shock against Donegal in 2 weeks and a fully fit mayo with a full panel at end of month.

  11. Young fella, Loads of parking in Clones, if there is a big match the locals will have car parks at the side of the house open for a few euro (Clones tradition) but dont be afraid to drive in. The protocal for big Ulster championship matches is drive in close, turn the car and face for home, if the traffic is very big the gardai are known to open two lanes out of the town and stop the traffic coming into the town, but the crowd will be small, Monaghan not the biggest fan base.

  12. Observer 2
    If we had a Rossie reffing us, we would not expect favours.
    Same love between Cavan and Monaghan.
    No excuses, even if not win or bust

  13. Agree with that that team above , would love to
    See Conor loftus and Clarke to get the start

    Maybe Andy too

  14. Gaa loopy, I’m laughing to myself reading your post on parking in clones, you’ve summed it up perfectly! I’d recommend turning the car for home and parking along the road, the fields will be in shite with this wet weather and I’m sure the crowds won’t be big enough to merit opening fields and gardens anyway.

  15. This victory would set us up for survival nicely. And I hope the lads can produce the goods . But it certainly won’t be easy.

  16. Last Sunday was a tough hard championship style battle and I think it will have brought our lads on a lot. I’m confident of a win if we cut out basic mistakes which cost us dearly against Donegal.
    I’m not sure who is available for Sunday but I reckon that if Conor O Shea and Evan Regan start against Monaghan they will really need to put in big performances if they are to feature in the championship 15. Conor showed well against Cork and the Dublin game was such a miserable damp affair it’s not fair to judge him on that occasion. Against Donegal he was ok but not hugely impressive. Sunday is his big chance to impress.
    Evans free taking has been good but his overall contribution from play hasn’t been impressive so far. I think he had very few possessions against Donegal. He needs to get on the ball more and threaten the goal like he did for the penalty. Sunday too is probably make or break day for him. I hope he turns it on against Monaghan as I have been looking forward to him returning after Killarney last year.

  17. Off topic I’m hearing the U21 semi final v leitrim will be played on March 19th in Carrick on Shannon.

  18. With just thee games played it seems as though we re further into the league than we are.How much wiser are we at this stage than FBD time?
    There’s certainly less talk about inadequacies in the FB line.
    Our goalie situation is still a topic.
    HB line is looking good.
    MF is fine and strengthening .
    DOC is a jewel.
    E Regan is waiting on his first goal to propel him into the team.
    AOS is spluttering on the edge.
    COS is trying hard
    JD is in and out.
    KH was shaping nicely!
    All in all this league has been more competitive than was expected from the point of view of the opposition.Most thought that Ros,Monagham Down and Donegal wouldn’t be a worry but surprises always liven up the plate!
    There will be no complacency on either side on Sunday and what a game we re in for.Clones will surely tell a tale or two by three or four and there abouts!

  19. Inbetweener – Very positive there!

    Think it’s a bit early days yet to judge progress with management only over 2 months in the job and having had a lot of players unavailable, however I’m a bit worries that we haven’t (yet) started to really see any measures to fix our perennial problems of a) our forwards set-up / scoring return and b) our gaping holes left through the middle of defense. If anything our forwards are performing worse than normal….I count only 7 scores from play from our starting forwards in 3 games. Concern is that there appears to be no noticable difference to how we set-up and in our style of play as of yet and with the same personnel in the same problem positions even. Any I get weary at the Keith Higgins half forward thing, surely we can come up with something more progressive after all this time. But lets give them a few more games to really see it there is a pattern emerging. A win on Sunday would be a good start.

    On another matter – there has been little if no debate here on the proposed changes to the rules got through last week. Not sure on the mark – always appears to me to be the worst aspect of the Aussie Rules game as it slows down the play. Plus the reduction of U21 and Minor to U20 and U17…..does this mean that there will be a bunch of lads at both age groups that will miss put on a year at minor or U21? Very unfortunate if that is the case

  20. Whether we have success or failure for the rest of the year,league and C’Ship will depend on a convincing,fruitful pattern emerging for the purpose of notching up winning totals.That pattern’s purpose is to get players , preferably forwards into scoring positions as often as possible.The onus is not only on the forwards to produce the necessary….it’s a whole team thing…all have to buy into it…from goalie up…including no gifts..half tackles..bad kickouts..mistimed runs,passes and shots.Its not by any means an easy task to achieve as some seem to think.Doc has been showing the way. When one phase is done you can see him straight into the next job..100% in the game! They all need to be in that mode as much as possible…a very big task!

    Come along Clones,open wide your gates!

  21. Agree, but that pattern isn’t emerging yet it appears…..our starting backs / midfield have scores 0-6 from play vs our starting forwards scoring 0-7 from play. Forwards are there to score and ours don’t just do enough of if for whatever reason and it needs to be fixed

  22. Even if you look at our county champions, Castlebar, in their semi-final win, it was a mid-fielder and a half-back that got most of their scores from play. We have a serious problem in the county with scoring forwards. I have lost count of the amount of games I have watched, being played in windy conditions and I seen very few points been kicked by forwards, using the wind to their advantage, i.e. kicking straight through the ball and floating the ball over the bar. James Horan gave an exhibition of this kind of shooting in 1996 against Meath in the All-Ireland final and the replay. I can’t remember another Mayo forward doing something like that since, in a major match.

  23. Firstly there are a lot of posts regarding refs, I personally dont think this is an issue, we have had good refs and bad the same as other teams and we should just move on. What is a problem is the constant criticism and booing (particularly in McHale Park) of refs which has the potential to create a bias in their minds which can really hurt us down the line.

    Secondly regardless of the result this sunday I dont think we will be relegated. Down are goosed and I think Cork will be caught particularly with their points diff. 4 points might actually be enough this year. Whats more important is a good performance with the young lads getting more game time. Lets be honest, its all about the championship and that is what the team are being trained towards.

  24. I remember hearing when Micheal O Muirceartaigh was training the Dublin members of the great Kerry 4-in-a-row and some Mayo players, how they would spent 30 mins kicking points from 14/21 yards out with the left and right foot, until it became the most natural thing in the world. I never the impression our forwards have that instinct. If they get space they will solo or pass in preference to taking a point.

  25. This weekend has potential trapdoor consequences for quiet a few teams, luckily due to the dominance of Dublin and donegal the danger is a little more widespread and there is a reasonable chance for the losing teams to scrape over the line later depending on results.

    The general consensus in the local media this week here tends to give advantage to donegal on Sunday. Momentum is a big thing and donegal have more or less an injury free team where as we have some really big players injured. Its hard to judge where kerry are as Down were shockingly poor last Sunday and it was the first game where we had real experience return along with Sheehan as a place kicker.

    Mayo are without a number of championship nailed on starters so it is hurting the team badly in play and confidence. When I learned of Cillian O Connors injury I was naturally sorry to hear it but I thought that with his absence other forwards would step up to the plate and show what they were made of.

    I have always noticed that the mayo forwards tend to look for Cillian when they are attacking, now it’s natural to seek out your number one target man I know. The point I am ( respectfully ) trying to make is that they seem to waste critical time trying to play him into the game and many excellent shooting opportunities are spurned. This all too often results in a flurry of hastened hand passes in increasingly restricted space from where a player has to squeeze off a shot from a far less rewarding position or situation than was initially available in the attack. Is this reluctance to shoot born out of a team approach of get the ball to one or two recognised sharp shooters ?? or perhaps the fear of missing and being pulled ashore if two or three misses result from genuine efforts. I’m not trying to piss into anyone’s tent but I often wonder why excellent players seem to balk at the moment they have the opportunity to clip one over. It’s just an observation and I think opposing teams have the mindset of tightly marking a few of your best in the knowledge that far too many others will over carry into the tackle or start to recycle when the shot is on. Just my opinion but I think it has proved your down fall on far too many occasions. Good luck on Sunday and I hope ye win it and your last two games ,!!

  26. Having said all that, in the big games we rely too heavily on a few to make up on the deficiencies we have. Semi final games last year, contrast the two top forwards on both teams, COC was expected to be our main goal threat, take all the frees other than those on the extreme right, tackle back in the half forward area when Mayo not in possession and yet try and be in a good support possession when the ball was played into the full forward line. Brogan meanwhile plays his game essentially in his corner zone, has a quiet enough time both games, but he is always in the right zone when Dublin on attack and he knows that his primary role is to get crucial scores that win games. That is what he did. Lets face it, and its hard to say it, but we lack the talent up front and compensate by putting workers into the forwards. It has got us a hell of a long way, but will it get us over the line? Keegan, Vaughan, Kevin Mc, Jason D, DOC, etc,….sure they all pretty much fill a similar role on the team. I really think we have been afraid to nurture forward talent properly over the years (probably this has filtered down to underage too) to a point where most of our experienced and established players are the worker type now and we cant now expect to suddenly find some star forward out of nowhere. I think from Horans era this was a necessary strategy to get us properly competitive from where we were, however now the legacy is that we have little forward talent in the squad with the right experience. The annual clamor to move Higgins, Keegan, Vaughan, Durkan, etc. up to the forwards is testament to this. For a county of our size and football history, to have only had two (and brothers at that) break into the team as a forward in the last 6-7 years says something is fundamentally wrong with our approach to attacking play in the county. Think its not going to be solved this year and if I had advise to SR it would be that he will essentially have to go with the same thing and with that 1) Once and for all shore up the back properly and 2) Devise a proper attacking plan that maximises the use of AOS, COC and Andy when introduces and go got broke with that 🙂

  27. Well said Kl. Great post.. Gamechanger, you make a lot of good points. An outsider can often see the solving of problems that the are missed by the locals!!

  28. Lionel, yes those boys did get some great scores for us alright but I suppose I meant in games like All-Ireland finals. James Horan scored 10 points from play in 2 and bit games so I reckon that was the best return for us. Andy Moran scored 1-2 from play in 2013 final and Kevin McLoughlin scored 2 points in the 2012 final. Plenty of forwards have scored one off inspirational points for us in finals like Michael Conroy, Enda Varley, Kevin McStay and the real Willie Joe himself! I think Alan Dillon scored 1-2 as well from play in the 2004 final. Great displays by forwards for us on the biggest day, are few and far between, (we mostly relied on great free taking) and probably one of the major reasons why we have not got over the line. Our midfielders and defenders have tried to make up for this, which then left gaps at the back. While the 2013 winning minor team had a number of forwards who stepped up to the mark for us, one of whom is unfortunately no longer with us.

  29. Off piste, but I see Rossies v Down moved to Longford! That’s where we’ll be playing them too.

  30. Somebody posted a link to an article in the “Western” about Kerry’s system of Junior and Intermediate amalgamated teams taking part in the Senior Championship. It was interesting but omitted a few vital details. Firstly whether the amalgamations are fixed, i.e. same teams/clubs every year. If so some amalgamation would be losing a vital part of their set up every year as a club won the Intermediate and were promoted to Senior, e.g, South Kerry will be losing St Mary’s for 2016. Secondly he makes no mention of the reasons amalgamations, which were tried in the past, were abandoned in Mayo. It would take some considerable time to build a tradition of amalgamations and would have to be persisted with even if seemingly a waste of time initially. I always thought that it would take some special elixir to make my old neighbours, Ballaghaderreen and Charlestown combine into one team. [In my college days one half of my class were from Tipp and Cork, equally divided. As they were not on great terms somebody came up with the idea of a Cork plus Tipp v the Rest match. Neither the Cork or Tipp lads would refuse the challenge and lose face. If you can imagine two seven a side teams playing a 15 a side team, that is what you had. Needless to say the Rest won, comfortably, Amalgamations can sometimes be a bit like that].
    The writer, I cannot recall the name, proposed six possible amalgamation combinations but omitted the six teams which would have to be relegated to keep to a sixteen club championship. One of his points was that Hollymount/Carramore, nominally the 17th best club in Mayo were meeting the nominally 9th best CLUB in Kerry, meaning that the Kerrymen had a natural advantage. Similarly with Ardnaree and Templenoe. And several of those St Mary’s and Templenoe men had the advantage of regularly playing Senior club championship.
    It was an interesting article and might be worth a bit of discussion somewhere.

  31. I think Kerrys advantage is in the schools the past twenty years. They have two schools dividing up munster titles and winning Hogan cups.
    In Kerry you can be trained by likes of Tommy Griffin from first year and you probably have been encouraged to own an ONeills.
    There are schools in Mayo that get the jerseys and footballs from the local club. If you checked with every schools player and club player if they owned an ONeills I would say majority dont. I’v advocated for a while the owning an ONeills strategy to tackle our skills deficit.

  32. I think the key point in Anthony Hennigan’s article is that good Junior and Intermediate players get to experience Senior football and prove their worth at a high level. They also get seen by county management.

  33. Re Anthony Hennigan’s article re club amalgamations I agree that his key point was that top Junior and Intermediate players get to experience Senior football and get seen by Co management. But my point is that he did not go into detail about the reasons past amalgamation attempts in Mayo failed or he did not go into detail about how exactly the system works in Kerry. As always the devil is in the detail.
    I would suggest as a talking point that there should be eight Senior clubs in Mayo plus eight amalgamations. Taking the eight quarterfinalists of the 2015 championship we would have Castlebar, Knockmore, Ballintubber, Breaffy, Aghamore, Kiltane, Ballina & Garrymore. Then the amalgamations might look like
    1, Erris, [Belmullet, Cill Chomain, Ballycroy & Ballycastle.
    2. Conn Rangers, [Crossmolina, Moygownagh, Ardagh, Kilfian, Lahardane].
    3 Moy Valley [Swinford, Moy Davitts, Bonniconlon, Ardnaree.
    4. Costello. [Charlestown, Kilmovee & Ballaghaderreen.
    5, Gallen [Kiltimagh, Ballyhaunis, Balla & Parke.
    6. Clanmorris [Claremorris, Davitts, Eastern Harps.
    7. Moytura. [Kilmaine, Ballinrobe, Shrule Glencorrib, The Neale].
    8. Carra. [Hollymount Carramore, Tourmakeady, Mayo Gaels].
    9. Murrisk. [Louisburgh, Westport, Kilmeena, Burrishoole, Achill. Islandeady].
    OK, that’s nine, an inconvenient number so further refining needed but I understand the same situation exists in Kerry and a playoff between two of the amalgamations takes place to eliminate one of them before the championship proper starts.
    Apologies to any club overlooked – it’s getting late [or early depending on how you look at it].

  34. It’s a very good attempt at club amalgamations for Championship Andy.
    Ballaghadereen to Charlestown to Swinford to Foxford used to be a four town line that produced between the four a lot of talent.
    The 1998 U21 A final between Swinford and Moy Davitts was one of the best finals.
    It was very poorly selected from for county U21. In particular (and I have said this before) Swinford seemed to get ignored for the last 20 years bar David Heaney.
    In my view it inset frustration that playing for Swinford was like a Glass ceiling to the Mayo underage teams.
    Case in point. The lad at midfield Robert Mccroghan who dragged Swinford kicking and screaming to was it the u16 or minor A title. He dominated midfield so much Swinford won an A title (it was I think minor). He did not go on to even bench for the Mayo minors.
    This was a lad who had the size, skill and mobility. He would have been a ‘name’ playing for a bigger club. So I think there is something to the amalgamations. It would democratize who the county potential ‘names’ are a little more.
    Little prediction, that young lad James Devaney in Swinford if continues to improve at current rate will be a very good player.

  35. Aidan Campbell played for Mayo seniors. My overall point is that I have seen about every five years talented players ignored from Swinford at underage n hence never get on a path even towards county minor.
    Kevin Keane Swinford is the best player I seen to never play county at any level.
    But I make the point to agree with Anthony Hennigan and Andy that doing well in senior championship would help such players.
    * Kevin Keane did play senior at time when Swinford were senior (brief spell when he was maybe 19/20?)

  36. * * Last sentence confusing. Kevin Keane played senior club football when Swinford were senior.

  37. Apologies accepted AndyD! Killala,the only team left out.We can put them all in goal for Conn Rangers!
    Altogether a very interesting idea….love to hear some of the responses from the areas concerned!

  38. Gamechanger 10 Some great points there, and something I have often mused over myself. Give the ball to the best forward is a saying you hear the pundits use a lot. Give the ball to the man in the best position is a better option always.

  39. JP the idea of owning an O’Neills is spot on. I live in South Galway and you won’t see a young lad without a hurl in his hands.

  40. A sister of mine used live in Nenagh for many years, used be up and down regular. It amazed me (suppose hurling isn’t as prominant in Mayo) but every kid no matter what they were doing always had a hurl in one hand. Their neighbours kids, even the youngest just learning to WALK, had a small hurl in his hands, I kid you not! You’d want to see the distance they could pelt that sliother down the field, I couldn’t even manage to hit the sliother, whacked plenty of air mind! :-0

  41. Even the famous 46a in Dublin you hear the clunk of the hurls on the steps getting on/off for the school there St. Endas I think its called.
    There is a strange idea that you shouldn’t have an ONeills outside of a GAA grounds. You rarely see them. I have known senior club players never owned one. I’m pretty certain I know a Mayo senior player who never owned one. You go to Elverys they often dont have the size five in stock is another annoying one.

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