Rossies survive Stateside scare

Ros NY final score

Photo: @ManhattanGaels

With all of our excitement it was only on Saturday evening that I realised Roscommon were over in New York this weekend taking on the locals at Gaelic Park. The traditional opening shot of the summer campaign is always a bit of an oddity, taking place so early and so far away, but last evening’s astonishing contest in the Bronx – from which the Rossies emerged with just a one-point victory on a 1-15 to 0-17 scoreline – threatened for long stages to be the result of the championship.

We know for ourselves the perils of going in undercooked to a championship opener on foreign soil. In fairness to New York, they did say plenty in the build-up to last night’s match that this was the best team they’d fielded since they’d run Galway close back in 2010 so Kevin McStay and his colleagues should have been expecting a stern enough challenge.

But, of course, the stats would have told them that since that seven-point game with Galway six years ago, the best the Yanks have done has been to keep the margin down to sixteen points (historic data here). The Rossies would surely have taken the field last night expecting to emerge with a victory of similar proportions.

They didn’t, though, and by the sounds of it they could easily have fallen to what would surely have been the biggest shock result in championship history. They never shook clear of New York at any point – the furthest they were ever ahead was just three six points – and it seems they wilted alarmingly as the Yanks, with Brian Gallagher from Claremorris leading the charge from midfield for the locals, came at them in waves at the finish.

But the Rossies survived and the question now is what this result – and the Sheepstealers’ abject performance – means in the broader scheme of things. It’d be easy from our perspective to ladle on the schadenfreude: that’s where Kildare-esque early-in-the-year form gets you, this is what peaking in April looks like and all that.

We’d need to be careful, though, with that type of reasoning. The most important thing that Roscommon needed to do last night was win and in that they succeeded. They’re still in the Connacht championship and still on a possible collision course with us come July. But that’s all further down the road.

John McGahern once said that the biggest task facing the writer was “to mind his sentences”. In that context, the most important one that needs looking after is the one that comes next. One step at a time.

Roscommon next face McGahern’s own countymen up at Carrick and they can expect Leitrim to have a right cut at them then. Win that one and they have another hurdle to surmount before they can even start thinking of a Connacht final appearance. The best thing they can do now is keep the heads down and concentrate solely on the next hurdle facing them. We’d be well advised to do the same.

83 thoughts on “Rossies survive Stateside scare

  1. Pity Jamie Clarke didn’t play with New York last night.

    Roscommon last year were all out for Mayo and forgot about Sligo. We won’t be playing Ros if we don’t beat Galway. Anything can happen. But either way up Leitrim.

  2. Just a slight correction WJ – Roscommon had the lead out to 6 points on a few different occasions during the second half. It was a late run from the New Yorkers that reeled them in (which included one of the points of the season from Westmeaths Luke Loughlin from way out on the left).

    NY got it back to one before Senan Kilbride kicked an excellent point himself at the other end to put Ros two up. NY came back with one more attack and had a goal chance right at the death. It was blasted high and over though which allowed the Rossies to escape with the one point win.

  3. Thanks for that correction, Declan – I should have checked back on the scoring from last night before sitting down to write the piece!

  4. You may stay for another week WJ, but make that your last mistake this year. We won’t put up with the standards dropping now that we have an All Ireland won.

  5. Yeah I remember they looked like they were pulling away at one stage in the second half.

    But agree overall WJ. A few kneejerk comments on Social Media last night about how Ros already look a busted flush and inferring we’ll hammer them in a Connacht final. Christ, people really need to know better

    No team of human beings can subconsciously motivate themselves 100% in a match they know they’re always likely to win. They went over there with one primary objective only and they achieved that and now go on to a Connacht quarter as expected. One point win or thirty points, they all mean the same

    I don’t think it will have any sort of meaningful effect on their chances. I still expect to see them in a Connacht final and we have our own two games to navigate before that

  6. Agree with Ciaran…it’ll have no impact whatsoever on the rest of the championship.

    I always thought Brian Gallagher had something about him. Very good footballer.

    On the topic of exiles….when will Hanley throw in that Aussie stuff and get back home to fulfil his duty and destiny. Time waits for no one.

  7. Remember 2011 when we were so lucky to overcome London and we havent looked back since. In Championship its all about winning and moving on to next game. The draw is ideal for Ross, Tight match v New York, away to Leitrim and then home advantage v Sligo in semi, three challenging contests that will leave them in a good way for Conn Final on July10. Hopefully thats against us but first of all we return to London and then a huge game v a very quiet Galway who will be absolutely desperate to stop us beating them for the sixth time in a row. Promises to be an exciting summer and hopefully the feelgood factor that we are all experiencing this week end will last into September and beyond

  8. The Rossies tend to underestimate teams as Sligo proved last year. I don’t think that will happen when they play a traditionally stronger team such as ourselves. Working in Roscommon myself I’m amazed by their arrogance though. They rate themselves incredibly highly and I’m not sure where it’s coming from.

  9. Not sure what to think about Ros result. In one hand its very amusing it must be said but like our London trip, McStay will use this to bring the Ros squad back to earth and it will help focus on Connacht. In the long run i dont think it will have much bearing for the summer.

    I left the Hyde this year feeling very confident that we will overcome the Ros if we meet them and that still holds true. We simply have way too much power around the middle third for them to handle.

    Mayonaze, im afraid there is not much chance of Pearse returning to play for Mayo. He has make a great career for himself and has totally immersed himself in Aussie life, he even sounds Aussie. My fingers are crossed that Cian will be swayed by what his team mates achieved last Saturday and will consider giving Mayo one last go for the big one.

  10. He could do a Tadhg Kenneally on it. I think Hanley will regret it in the future if he doesnt come back for a year or two. Australia ain’t goin’ anywhere!

    Cian is decent but not anywhere close to his brother. Pearse was a special talent that the co board let slip. Although the player has to want it himself.

  11. Sorry I don’t want to open up the Hanley debate again WJ…its long been debated!

  12. It was so very nearly the perfect weekend 😉

    But this will have no bearing on the summer.

    I wish people would leave Pearse alone at this stage. Duty? He has no duty to anyone but himself and surely after all this time it’s evident he has made his choice. More power to him, and to Cian too.

  13. Fergal o Donnell’s interview after the game was as poor as there performance.never mentioned how well the new york players played.
    He’s full of excuses when they lose or play bad, the pitch suited the other team all the side shows etc.
    Honestly Roscommon have serious work to do to stay in this championship.v caden from Sligo had a massive game in goal.new york only had one game to prepare,ros had 8.
    Glad to see new york compete its not easy with the mixture of players and the lack of competitive games.well done to Brian Gallagher put in a good shift in mid field.

  14. If was a Roscommon fan, Id be delighted. It was a no win game for them out there and as Ciaran said championship is all about getting to the next round it doesn’t matter the margin of victory. You’d also like to think this will sort out any complacency issues that they have against Leitrim and Sligo.

    Having said that I still think they are a long way short of the top teams.

  15. He made his choice alright.

    My use of ‘duty’ was a bit tongue in cheek but it’s the disappointment of seeing such a super talent opt for something else, that’s all. Anyway, sin a bhfuil.

    Really impressed with Ruane over the past few games. Where does he play for breaffy?

  16. Let Roscommon be lads we have bigger things on our radar .. Let’s concentrate on London and lay down a marker for the rest of the year

  17. Pearse Hanley could easily slip into the Mayo panel for a few months to give a bit of a push if it suited his schedule, I wouldn’t say no to him being parachuted into midfield or even ff or chf.
    Anyway, for now we will just continue to dream.
    The rossies had 15 against a New York 15, or does this not match up with the theory that Dublin on have 15 on the field too? There should be nothing but a fleecing handed out by Roscommon to a team like New York that are thrown together and have nowhere near the training the rossies have done. It’s a matter of just going through the motions and they done the same last year against Sligo, except Sligo had the power to finish the job that particular day. I reckon mcstays biggest job is to make his guys concentrate, because they clearly didn’t on the 2 occasions I mentioned.

  18. Read in the Western there that there’s a senior team challenge match against Fermanagh in Balllaghderreen this evening at 5?

  19. This was a blessing in disguise for Roscommon it will take the pressure off them from their own supporters and it will ensure they won’t be complacent against Leitrim and they will be taking it one game at a time which is exactly what we should be doing but I have no doubt our lads will take it one game at a time they always seem to be fully focussed on the job in hand to be fair now who’s going to Parnell park to support the ladies in their league final?

  20. One thing I think is a bit much is our senior goalie and some fans empathising with the Cork U21 goalie, it’s very patronising. It’s the lack of ruthlessness that’s cost us countless all Ireland’s and when for once we exploit opposition error to capture an all Ireland we feel sympathy for them. I can’t recall the Dubs, Kerry or Donegal empathising with us when they exploited us when we cocked up in the full back line, that’s why they have the all Ireland’s. Credit to u21s, champions because they go for the jugular

  21. True that kl, with the beatings we have taken the last thing we should do is have pity on anyone. The goalie kicked out a bad ball and our man had to beat 2 defenders and a goalie and pick his spot after that, they deserve no pity. Do you think cork or Kerry or Dublin care about our sensitivities after the beat us in a final?
    Exactly. We need to toughen up mentally as a county.

  22. I agree KL…winners go for the kill on the pitch and off it, smile and say very little…unless your a boxer or MMA fighter!!!

    I’ve seen keepers have far worse days. I mean he couldn’t stop the first two goals, absolutely no blame there. In fact twice in a minute we were allowed a free man in the left corner forward position, where was the marking!??

    While he’ll be disappointed he didn’t tip Loftus’ shot for the 3rd over the bar, he still can’t be blamed. Conor hit it with good power. The 4th, yes it was a poorly executed short kick out and if you look at it, his run up was quite long for such a short pass…it gave Loftus time to alter position, intercept, but he still had to fend off two defenders and rifle it to the top corner. The 5th, he came off his line which most keepers are encouraged to do when ball goes over the top(in hindsight it was the wrong decision because the angle the pass came in at meant the ball was travelling away from the danger area, but his error certainly does not fall under the ‘howler’ category). Irwin got there first and in fairness no one in Ennis, apart from Liam that is, thought he’d nonchalantly flick it into the net. It was a very classy finish made look easy. Split second thinking.

  23. Their midfielder who dragged Coen to the ground and correctly got black carded. Now that was pure dumb.

  24. For cork goal no Mayo man on the line could have cost us.
    Great win they play like a band of brothers that’s the key to there success.

  25. Mayo will be Connacht champions 2016 make no doubt about that roll on London Roscommon very poor team they looked good in January because the big teams only getting going now when Roscommon getting to the end of there tank they will be no were to be seen in June or July mayo for Sam this is the year !

  26. Re the Cork goalie, he’s very highly regarded. My brother and I watched Cork warm up and they fed special kickers balls like a tennis machine to wallop at the keeper. My brother remarked that we wouldn’t get much joy out him for the evening!

  27. Mayo 0-9 to 0-03 up against Fermanagh at half time, we’re against a very strong wind in the second half. Good game so far.

  28. KL, it’s really only basic empathy at the end of the day, nothing more. He’s a 20-year old young fella that will have felt like utter shite after that performance, and on a personal level it’d be hard not to feel for anyone in that position. If he were your own son or brother you might think differently and we can still enjoy every second of the victory over one the auld enemies without becoming mean-spirited about it. We had a fine bunch of footballers out there, as tough as nails mentally and physically who did their job, which is what matters. At the end of the day, what any of us on the street say or think or feel has little impact on what goes on out there in the heat of battle so I don’t really buy this “toughen up as a county” talk. I doubt any of us lost too much sleep over him at the end of the day all the same!

    I just hope some of the audacity and brazenness those lads showed on Saturday rubs off on our senior panel. U21 by its nature is more spontaneous and caution is thrown to the wind that bit more. When Stephen Coen made that dashing run through for the fourth (I think!) goal, I remember roaring at him to put it over the bar … It just shows how conditioned some of us are to that conservative mindset. I’m very glad he took no heed 😉 Maybe such risk-taking would be punished at senior level … or maybe, just maybe it’d be rewarded!

    I saw a tweet on Sunday morning along the lines of “well done to the u21s, but Mayo still have no scoring forwards”. In light of this campaign, I think I’ll just leave that one there without comment.

    Mayonaze, it is our loss – no doubt about it – but the quest for Sam (bizarrely!) just doesn’t hold the same religious appeal for everyone. Such is life I suppose.

  29. Well said, Anne Marie. The Mayo lads showed their ruthlessness on the pitch, which is the only place it matters. No need to get nasty or smug off the pitch.

    Who knew it was so frowned upon to empathise a bit with a 20 year old kid having a nightmare in an All-Ireland final?

  30. Full time, Mayo 1-14 Fermanagh 0-13. Jason Doc with the goal, Cillian played the full match, looking sharp. Lots of chopping and changing personnel wise. Boyler done the majority of the sweeping, Jason Gibbons played well tracking back an breaking up play. Kirby, douglas, carolan all got plenty of game time. Clarke and Hennelly played a half each. A good run out and no injuries sustained.

  31. Well said Anne Marie,it does not cost anything to be civil,as regards Ros,well we will have to wait and see,I just think we are well ahead in connaught,and am very hopeful that this is our year,we have certainly strengthened our panel,so have a lot of options,mind you I have often felt like:this before

  32. Nice one Juan, thanks very much for the updates from Ballagh! Great to see some of our newer guys getting game time and that goal will do Jason Doherty’s confidence good.

    Corick Bridge it’s the hope that kills us! 😉 But it’s hard not to feel optimistic on a weekend like this all the same.

    Backdoor Sam I’m heading up to the ladies’ game – I’d say it’ll be a cracker! It would be great to get a few of the Dublin-based Mayo crowd into Parnell to get behind them.

  33. Good updates Juan and fair play Anne Marie in your comments re Cork goalie. He is just a young lad who had a bad game. No need to gloat about it. Not sure if I agree with you re shouting at Coen to take the point because our efforts to get points from play were not good to say the least so especially against the wind we were as well to work it into goalscoring situation. Anyway 5 goals is worth 15 points so who cares as long as we ended up with the cup

  34. I’ve Managed to gather a few hardy souls for the ladies final mind you concessions had to be Made to the ladies travelling that want to visit Dundrum and Liffey Valley we’ll all be up very early Saturday morning anyway doing darkness into light Cork as ever are good and always competitive but you never know we could be celebrating another National title on Saturday evening

  35. Hi All,
    Congratulations again on a great U-21 success….just a quick word, my good friend Willie McGee who served the Mayo jersey with great pride hasn’t been too well since the start of the year. I never worked with Willie or played football with him as there are a good few years between us but we are good friends none the less through family ties. I spoke to Willie on Saturday to wish him and the Mayo team well and thank God he is in great form. I know he wont mind me posting this as he is a true legend of not just Mayo GAA but GAA in general and I wish him a speedy recovery. I know you will all join me in doing the same for 4 Goal, cheers……

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  36. Thanks Juan for the update. How did Kirby, Douglas, Carolan play? Any notable point scorers?

  37. Anne-Marie,
    I couldn’t agree more with your comments. When the game is over it’s over. I felt for that young fella. Not, might I add, until almost when the final whistle was blown! My nephew was a member of the togged panel. If the shoe were on the other foot etc.

    HOW we win and HOW we lose says so much about us. I’d love to think that there’s a decency in us westerners. Ah, I know there is.

    Finally, what a bloody great weekend!

  38. Team that started was:

    1. Clarke
    2. Crowe
    3. Keane
    4. Harrison
    5. Vaughan
    6. Keegan
    7. Boyler
    8. Kirby
    9. Gibbons
    10. Douglas
    11. Ronaldson
    12. Carolan
    13. Sweeney
    14. Cillian
    15. Conroy

    Nally/jdoc/hennelly/higgins/Andy/ConorOshea all came on at some point in the second half. For me, Kevin Keane and Jason Gibbons played well. Clarke is some man to marshall the defence. Cillian got most of our scores, mickey c got a peach in first half. Lots of players present but not togged i.e cafferky/dillon/barrett, AOS was put through his paces before the game but left the ground before kick off. To sum it all up, defensively we were good through out, but should have made better use of the wind first half, we avoided going for long range points with the wind at our backs, always looking to work it in nearer and nearer.

    It was a challenge match so lots being tried out.

  39. Don’t agree at all Ann Marie. Why comment at all?….we won…their goalie had a bad day(corks problem his age is irrelevant)…move on. Agree with other posters no body ever showed us any sympathy! …ruthlessness is necessary to be winners.

  40. Thanks Martin for the usual nice comments.
    So sorry to hear that one of my childhood heros is going through a tough time. I saw him play in the flesh a fair few times but quite a few more on the wireless. He was part of the first Mayo team I remember. Men like Prendergast, Morley, Loftus , Cribben , Early, and of course Joe Corcoran and many more.
    The wireless in our house was on a shelf about ten feet off the ground , to keep us young bucks from breaking it . ( of course it was probably five ) but I used to stand on a stool to listen, as I couldn’t hear properly like every everyone else if I sat down. My Dad had no interest in football and if he was alive today, would surely say, I never grew up.
    Long may it continue .

  41. We should have the rosssies for breakfast ,dinner and lunch on the basis of that result alone . Still one game at a time .

  42. Great post there Juan. Interesting team, but now is the tough call for management because they have to decide who is getting the chop (sorry, being released back to their clubs).

    I’d be tempted to call up a couple more of the U21s (Akram, what pace, Ruane, ditto), and our senior U21s all performed very well. Loftus in particular was exceptional on Saturday – he has improved every time I’ve seen him this year and his eye for goals is very impressive.

  43. Maybe the Rossies played too much pool before the match. ?

    Thanks for the updates Juan on the challenge match.

  44. I am sure Rochford and his team have some difficult decisions to make on who will be cut from the panel and who may or may not be brought in from the u-21 team.

  45. Thanks for the good wishes Martin. Willie McGee was before my time but I was just looking up a few articles about him, he must have been some player! He set the record of scoring 17 goals from play in one season. Of course he is best remembered for the 4 goals that he scored against Kerry in the 1967 U21 All-Ireland final replay, a game we won on a scoreline of 4-9 to 1-7. Best wishes to him at this time. I’m sure that he is still a hero to many people.

    In relation to the game last Saturday, if you just compare this year’s U21 final to last year’s one. There was such a feel good factor about our win. Last year’s win by Tyrone was shrouded in controversy. The losing finalist Tipperary did not allow the Tyrone management team into their dressing room after the game, as is customary, they felt that Tyrone’s antics on the pitch did not merit their entrance into their dressing room. For us this year, it was great to win with some grace and dignity, long may that continue.

    Also as mentioned above winning at U21 level guarantees us nothing. Reading those articles about Willie McGee, we hammered Kerry in that U21 All-Ireland final replay by 14 points but we still lost to them two years later in a Senior All-Ireland semi-final by a point. Members of that team did win a league title in 1970 but they didn’t manage to win the big one. For our players who won the U21 All-Ireland title last Saturday, the really hard work probably starts now, up to this, everything has seemed to come easy to them, they have taken everything in their stride. They will be marked men from here on but you’d hope that they are the kind of players that will thrive on that. Best wishes to them all for the future.

    Thanks for the update on the Mayo match too Juan.

  46. Tough decisions to be made by Rochford this eve. .personally I love watching Akram on a pitch..so talented..I’d definitely have him on the panel..

  47. @mayo dan,
    I don’t know exactly how much we got from open play, but it was in or around 1-5, would have been alot more but for Fermanagh fouling just a player was about to shoot.

    @Mayo51,
    Clarke played well i thought, he’s bullet fast with the restarts, and the constant organising of the defence is impressive. He fumbled one ball off his chest, but that had more to do with the gale force wind to be fair. I like robbie but id pick clarke to start if he’s fit. Conroy impressed me aswell, looked very lively, scored a sweet point in first half, good pace and the ball in to him stuck, could be a great impact sub come summer.

  48. Team Sheet, life would be pretty damn boring if we all agreed on everything 🙂

    But you it I can be as “ruthless” or not as we like on here and it won’t make one shred of difference to what happens on the field, and that’s a fact.

  49. No need to rush these under 21 lads in. Senior football is a different ball game and they have to be allowed find their feet over the next league or so. How can they be expected to integrate in a team and panel within 6 weeks? It’s nonsense and not real world stuff. Crucial thing is to ensure we let them achieve their potential.

    For this season Diarmuid will be critical. Coen may contend. Other than that Loftus and Hall are likely to be bit players

  50. Mayo 51 – maybe but all the cuckoos except the one in Roscommon will be half way to Africa by the time the semi finals are played.

  51. Write the Rossies off at yer peril! The humiliation of yesterday leaves them with a massive point to prove, and with a Mayoman at the helm what better team to prove it against but ourselves?

    Assuming, of course that we overcome Galway and that they don’t bottle it against Leitrim 😉

  52. The only U21s who look like they can physically handle senior football are Diarmuid, Irwin and Coen. Dublin is the level and they’re going to have to match up to Connolly, McMahon, Small, Bastik, OSullivan, MDMA, Mccarthy, Brogan, Andrews, McManamon.
    There will be a few more ready next year and a good few where U21 will be the highest level they play.

  53. Anne Marie, so now we are going to have Mayo commentators feeling sorry for goalies letting in goals scored by Mayo! Do you you really think that any other county would react like that? Would you ever hear Cork say that about a Mayo goalkeeper if the roles were reversed? how smug and arrogant this appears. We need to look after our own sons/brothers/nephews who have been on the other side for long enough.

  54. Anne Marie
    I agree 100% with you. Yes players need to be utterly ruthless – on the field, during the game. But there it should stay. Once the game is over thats it and yes I feel a certain sympathy for any young lad who has a bad day in an all Ireland final. I’m sure kevin keane had the sympathies of most fair minded GAA folk after his horror day.

  55. Hi all very sorry to hear about Willie McGee one of my all time great ff
    i wish him the very best. i was at under 21final in67 when he got 4 goals he was a hero that day . hope mayo get sam this year for men like him

  56. Toto, I’m a bit baffled as to how you think empathising with a young lad who’s had a bad day on the pitch is “smug and arrogant”, but each to their own, I suppose. And as for your comment about “looking after our own” – well, I’m afraid you’ve lost me completely there.

    Speaking of “our own”, members of our own (winning) team have also supported him in the face of the nastiness aimed at him online – I wonder if you’d paint them as smug and arrogant that light too?

    Anyway, the lad in question – who, in his own words, is only human – was apparently back in action for his club today, so I’m delighted he is giving the two fingers to his detractors and getting on with it.

  57. Anne Marie does not need me to contextualise her point for her as she is very articulate to put it mildly but I do think her point about feeling empathy with the cork keeper is being taken out of context . It’s after the game was won and we are crowned all Ireland champions , how in the name of fuck can that have any bearing on anything football related ? It’s not as if anyone is suggesting we needed to sympathise during the match , sure we all rejoiced in their ruthless edge , the way some of you are reacting it’s as if she is saying Loftus should of passed the ball back to the keeper instead of hitting the net.

    Let’s see how the ros get on in their next game /s , New York game most likely a calculated risk that nearly went wrong ie heavy training program aimed for priming in July

  58. Ann marie and Diehard you’ve had the last words.
    Mention of Willie McGee steers the memory to great times and marvellous footballers.Im thinking Willie will always fill the no 14 jersey for me.When he was in the team you always felt something special would happen and when it didn’t you wouldn’t ever blame him.Must have been about 6′ 4″ or more and sure was a handful for the many great full backs of the time.
    I’d say he was on the team for up on ten years.He was in the habit of coming out the field a bit to take a high ball on the hop and laying it off then to some flyer like J Corcoran.That was when you usually played where you were put!….funny how the image stays with you which makes it feel like yesterday.
    Sad to hear he’s not been well and wish him the best with the health.
    So now I pick my six for their time :
    Willie McGee
    J Corcoran
    J McGrath
    K McDonnell
    A O Shea
    C OConnor
    A daft thing to be doing but I have to say I like looking at the line up!?

  59. Just catching up on the blog now after the weekend. I agree with Anne-Marie completely in relation to the young Cork goalie. The game is over, we won. Us supporters being d*cks does not help our lads on the pitch. I was one who sympathised with him & nobody will tell me I shouldn’t have either.

  60. Ok, I to have to agree with Ann-Marie regarding the Cork Keeper. The game is over, we won. The lad had a bad day, I dont see the problem with some people showing a little sympathy. From what I seen on social media it was mainly other keepers and players who commiserated with him and they are the ones who really know what the lad will be feeling like. By all means be ruthless on the pitch and punish every mistake, but no reason not to be gracious in victory, we dont win enough to be arrogant about it.

    Regarding the players stepping up to senior, Coen DOC,Loftus and Hall are already there. Out of the rest Irwin is prob the only one I can see pushing for a senior panel spot. I would like to see Ruane, Akram brought into training camps, they are natural athletes with alot of promise. Cant see Akram breaking into hb line though so possible revert back to hf. As the seniors are dangerously short on corner backs O’Donaghue might be fast tracked, he looks like a real old fashioned corner back, sticks like glue to his man and gives him nothing.

  61. The young fella in goal for Cork had a shocker. He was struggling from the first minute with his distribution. The meltdown at the end was coming.

    I’ll bet he wanted the ground to swallow him whole on Saturday evening. It’s a tough lesson for him and I hope he gets through it alright. Delighted for our lads but have no desire to see a kid pilloried either. We’ve had our fair share of final nightmares so should know better.

  62. it cracks me up that people seem so afraid of the Rossies…why? you respect every opposition that you come up against, but the trepidation and almost fear some people seem to have around them, baffles me. Is it some deep rooted psychology that we always think we are going to be “found out”, I hear it at matches sometimes, some of the support always seem to think that deep down, its all a big sham, that losing by 12 points in an all ireland final is who we really are. That the men who wear the jersey that have won 5 Connacht titles in a row without nearly breaking sweat, that are the only team that seem to worry Dublin these days, that went and won an U-21 All Ireland on Saturday despite great adversity and came back where many lesser teams would have wilted, in not just one game but almost all of them during their championship campaign, are what??? Fraudsters? Its all just luck? And that you’ll see a lone magpie on the way to the match and because of that it’ll all end??? (Sorry, that was a long sentence).
    Well they are not fraudsters, its not all built on luck or sand – those men are some of the best footballers in the country, indeed some of the best young men in Ireland and its time some people stopped looking over their shoulders all the time believing it is all going to come crashing down one of these days so they could say “I told ye”. Its time to get some belief and stop worrying about teams who can be respected as the opposition of the day but most certainly not feared.
    Think back only less than 2 months ago, before the Rossie league match. On the back of a few handy wins in the league, and some relative success at underage (where they have won 0 All irelands recently despite all that “success”, we have won 2 in the last 3 years), the Rossies are seemingly the coming force. The “see I told ye” brigade had the Rossies beating us out the gate, condemning us to Division 2 and going on to win a League and All Ireland double while dumping us out of the U-21 Championship.
    And what happened? Reality did….we beat them, stayed in Division 1, they lost the next 3 games including a right hammering in front of the country in Croke Park and were very lucky to beat New York.
    Please, have some belief. Belief is not arrogance. We can respect the opposition without fearing them. these are great times and I personally believe they will only get better.
    I was fortunate enough to be on the periphery of Munsters Heineken Cup journey, despite the hardship and setbacks they had,and there were many, over many years they never gave up and always believed, until in one moment you felt that no matter what happened, they could not be stopped. That day in Wales against Biarritz it felt that, even going into the game, everything had finally aligned, it was the day of destiny. All the days they had tried and come up short, the days when to paraphrase T Roosevelt “it was only the critic who counted”, had led them to that, and that victory was so much sweeter because of it. Mayo’s day will come too, I’m surer of it now than I ever have been and its because we keep going, we continue to put ourselves in a position to capture it. We just have to Believe, all of us. And that collective belief, will eventually carry us over, and it’ll be sweeter even more because of the journey.

  63. My god, eastcorkexile between reading that post and reading the papers this morning I won’t get a tap done today. Excellent post, good points, well made. I think Saturday will also give us a massive injection of belief and hopefully lift the burden a little bit for our seniors.

    On reflection, I should really know better at this stage than to fear that our lads might ever become complacent against a lesser team. Have I learned nothing over the past five years?! Clearly not. Carry on!

  64. Last comment…..
    To be clear I wasn’t saying that we should be nasty or cruel to the Cork lad, I was saying we should shut up and not be so patronizing when we eventually do win. The game was in the balance…. if it were our goalie made a mess-up at that stage and they got the goal instead and won, well we would be dealing with the same old Mayo chockers story and I dont think anyone would have sympathy for us. Capitalizing on that mistake won us an all ireland, all our recent senor finals and semi’s were lost because of our mistakes. Mistakes cost all irelands, that’s my point and we should know that. No need for us to go back empathising to cork about it. I just don’t get it really

  65. I was in Ennis last Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the win. I thought for a while we were going to kick it away for sure. But it seems the players had more faith than I, I was hoarse shouting at them to take their points as they proceeded to go straight in for goals. So I shut up after the third one I think! I spent some time out on the pitch afterwards and it was a great feeling, usually half way out of town on other occasions!
    There are some definite worthwhile additions to the senior squad from this squad of players. Their winning mentality will surely rub off on some of our more established players. Now is the time to bring them while the going is good. Look at some young newly established Dublin players winning All Ireland’s such as Costello, Small, Fenton, etc
    At the same time under age success is no guarantee of future senior success, just look at our minors of 71, under 21 of 74 and not even a Senior Connacht title throughout the whole of the 70s.
    Still this team has given me huge optimism for us to keep punching above our weight at senior level for another few years.

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