Looking at the neighbours

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

With matches coming one after the other so rapidly in the National League, there’s little time to reflect on the one just gone, seeing as the next one is already just up ahead. That’s no bad thing for us after Saturday night, with all the bad memories from that one needing to be boxed away without further ado as the focus shifts to this coming weekend and our meeting with Galway.

Our Round 5 clash with the neighbours throws in at MacHale Park on Saturday evening at 7.15pm – note the slightly later start time. Maurice Deegan (I know, I know – don’t start me) has the whistle for this one. As was the case at Croke Park the last evening, the lads’ match will be preceded by the LGFA League Division One clash between the same two counties. That game throws in at 5.15pm.

I think we can all admit that Kevin Walsh’s Galway are a team that have very successfully got under our skin in recent years. Our dominance over them was ended abruptly in 2016 when they pulled off a shock win over us in that year’s Connacht Championship semi-final.

Since then they’ve beaten us three further times, twice in Connacht as well as in last year’s League meeting. They even got the better of us this January in an FBD League penalty shootout.

Because we’d gone on to do markedly better than them in the Championship in both 2016 and 2017, those provincial reverses didn’t sting all that badly. Last year, though, when they beat us decisively at Pearse Stadium in the League and then got the better of us again the Championship, as we once more hit the self-destruct button but also lost Tom Parsons to his horror knee injury, the losses cut fairly deep from our perspective.

With our Championship over before the end of June, all we could do was look on as both Galway – and the Rossies – went on to take part in the novel All-Ireland quarter-final group stage. Galway’s success in making it through the Super Eights – with their win over Kerry in Phase 1 proving instrumental to the Kingdom’s demise – only served to underscore further the rapidly changing fortunes between us. They even managed to beat Kildare at Newbridge, a feat we were unable to accomplish in the qualifiers but which they did in Phase 2 of the Super Eights.

But last summer didn’t ultimately prove to be some kind of fairytale trek through the sunny uplands of the Championship for the Tribesmen either. Already guaranteed an All-Ireland semi-final place, they slipped up badly against Monaghan in Phase 3 of the group stage, plunging to an eight-point loss at Pearse Stadium.

That defeat, in effect, torpedoed their hopes of making it to the All-Ireland final. This was because, instead of topping their group and going on to face Tyrone in the penultimate round, they now had to play the other group winners, Dublin. Unable to beat them in last year’s League final with a man extra for the last twenty minutes, it was no surprise that Galway were no match for the Jacks in an all-or-nothing All-Ireland semi-final showdown. Dublin won that one with embarrassing ease, on a scoreline of 1-24 to 2-12.

Fast forward to the start of this year where we didn’t have long to wait for the first locking of horns between James Horan and Kevin Walsh. That meeting took place in mid-January in an FBD semi-final fixture at Tuam, where both counties fielded reasonably strong sides, Galway’s pick bulked up by some of the Corofin contingent.

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It looked for much of that day that James had got his tactics right. We came out of the blocks quickly at them and established a six-point lead early in the second half, which rendered their troglodytic shawl stratagem redundant as they now had to come out of their shell (or, to extend the analogy, their cave) and take the game to us. Which, in fairness, they did, drawing level at 1-9 apiece with an injury time goal before then winning the shootout 4-2.

The Tribesmen then, however, went on to lose the FBD final to Roscommon by five points but they bounced back the following week by winning their Round 1 League match against Cavan by 0-13 to 0-11 at Salthill. The Breffni lads were a touch on the indisciplined side that day, at one point having three players in the sin bin at the same time for a while in the second half.

Next up for Galway was a trip to Croke Park and another flailing by Dublin, much similar, in fact, to the one we suffered at their hands last weekend. In fact, Galway managed the same miserly seven-point total as we did but Dublin hit them for a few more, running up 1-15 on the way to an eleven-point win.

The following weekend, though, Kevin Walsh’s charges rebounded from that depressing result and they did so in impressive fashion too. Iniskeen, up in Monaghan, can often be a hard place for visiting teams to get a result – that’s the venue with those nice green and red seats – but Galway chiselled out a win there by the narrowest of margins, 1-9 to 0-11, two weekends ago.

Back on home turf – Tuam on this occasion, where the new dressing rooms were officially unveiled – last Sunday, the Tribesmen went toe-to-toe with Peter Keane’s up-and-coming young Kerry side, a team emboldened by their win over Dublin the previous weekend.

Kerry led by five at the break in that one but Galway battled back in the second half and a goal by Danny Cummins five minutes from time put them briefly ahead. The Kerry youngsters held their nerve impressively, though, to close out a one-point win, on a scoreline of 0-14 to 1-10, and so maintain their 100% record in this League campaign.

Which means that Galway, like us, go into Saturday night’s meeting on the back of a loss, though they’ll undoubtedly feel less glum about their narrow reversal against Kerry than we will following that thumping the Dubs gave us. Those two negative results for Saturday night’s opponents means, however, that both will be wanting to steady the ship once more with a win.

It’s a win the bookies fancy us to achieve – Paddy Power have priced us at 8/13 to prevail – but you don’t need reminding from me that the money men have been wrong about contests between us more than once in recent years.

So, let’s turn it over to the people – how do you think Saturday night’s meeting with the Tribesmen will go for us?

How will we get on against Galway?

  • Win (63%, 422 Votes)
  • Lose (25%, 166 Votes)
  • Draw (12%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 666

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79 thoughts on “Looking at the neighbours

  1. Think we need Aido around the middle to this one, especially if DOC not playing, our Neighbours have strong and improving midfield if all available.

  2. Serious sense of arrogance among Galway fans these days if the online comments are anything to go by (health warning: these can be unrepresentative).

    Mayo need to match up to Galway in the physical stakes first and foremost, the scenes in Pearse Stadium last year were unacceptable, no Mayo player should be manhandled without the cavalry charging in.

    Would support Soprano’s initial observation, would like to see AOS and DOC around the centre if both are available.

  3. Looking forward to this Match… Recent Galway/Mayo Match’s haven’t been great from a Mayo point of view, and indeed haven’t been great viewing for the interested Neutral either. Last Saturday’s chastening experience might easily become a positive by 9pm on Saturday, plenty to work on. We can and definitely will be better in several areas, we will need to be. A good start, an improvement around the middle third is vital. The weather is fantastic here in Mayo just now, as good a February day as I can remember… Hope it stays that way, the pitch will benefit from a bit of heat and a bit of sunlight, I kid you not, the weather is that good today…We need guys coming off the shoulder at pace, a faster pitch will help with that. Galway will almost certainly have plenty behind the ball, needing that Galway Shawl to keep themselves warm even in balmy Spring conditions…2 point’s on Saturday is more important to Mayo than a good performance was last Saturday… I’d take a one point lucky win and enjoy the pint allot better in the Sportlann afterwards. Note to (some) not the majority by any means… There is no Election, or Referendum at the moment, no need to be putting up any Plackards around the Breaffy area, or any other parts of Mayo either.. Come to MacHale Park, support your team and we’ll have the craic afterwards!

  4. I think Michael Meehan’s comment on the podcast that we need to win more on this occasion is pretty accurate. I don’t think a loss is fatal to either side, but we really could do with restoring some semblance of order to this fixture.

  5. I don’t want to state the obvious but after Saturday’s no show now is the time we really need to beat Galway and begin our journey back to the top table. I knwonits been mentioned here before but Horan has got to determine what position AOS is playing in and needs to make sure he stays there.
    Against Dublin he drifted much too far from centre forward. In my opinion he did what any of our half backs could have done, i.e. bring the ball from the 40 to the opponents 40. In drifting back so much he freed up Cian O’Sullivan who orchestrates Dublin on the pitch and had complete freedom to do that last Saturday as he had no-one to mark.
    It also isolated our young half forwards who could of done with a bit of support against two very experienced half backs and of course Cian O’Sullivan. I don’t see what the benefit of AOS in this role does but management seem to be sticking with it.
    Perhaps a while at full forward to test out that young Dublin keeper last Saturday may have yielded a goal that was badly badly needed.

  6. From a Galway point of view, at the beginning of Kevin’s tenure we would have taken any win over Mayo and get us out of Div 2 no matter what style we played. However now, its beginning for me anyways to be trying my patience. Considering the talent we have up front this slow sideways handpassing is hard going. I understand the amount of players (possibly 6 starters) for championship that wont be available this weekend but i would love to see us throw off the shackles. I’d agree with Mike Meehan, home ground , JH back for his first serious game v Galway and how understrenght we are.. I’d have to seriously go with Mayo by 3 even though i pushed the Galway button above…..

  7. Interesting comment from canavan that maybe it was better that mayo didn’t beat the dubs (try to ignore his silly comment that we’d lose the run of ourselves if we did!) but maybe the way we set up Horan didn’t want to win it, it sounds crazy but the way we set up points to it.
    Different story on Saturday where Galway need to be beaten, I think Ruane definitely deserves another start, thought he did ok, and showed some good pace around the middle.

  8. Just to go back to the penalty miss. Comerford had moved at least one meter forward before Doherty struck the ball. Should have been penalty retake and yellow card. How do referees miss these things, not difficult to adjudicate.
    I’m not trying to say it would have made any great difference to the result, Dublin we’re unarguably the better team on the night but it’s a poor reflection on playing the game by the rules.
    Indiscipline a major concern for us now facing up to Galway game. I hope Treacy is back. Reap does not need anyone to tell him his game and attitude has to go up a notch but I hope he starts. And hopefully Diskin in and give Andy a rest. Bounce back factor is crucial.

  9. Galway have definitely improved. Apart from their collapse in the second half of last year’s semi, they had a really good year. What’s noticeable is how competitive they have been in the league so far considering all of the players that have been missing – that’s a worry really in a lot of ways. They’ve become very defensively strong as well.

    As for us, I hope Reape starts. We need new men in the forward line and he’s needs a chance to redeem himself after last week. AM should be used as an impact sub and due to a loss of form, I’d bench Keegan and Boyle.

    As for KH, right back to when he marked A Brogan is the ’06 semi, he is not really a tight man-marker and instead has a natural instinct to roam……so put him in the half backs or forwards.

    I’d also like to see a new option in the FB line…..we need pace in there. Would have to be worried for EOD if he does not get a run out soon, surely now’s the time.

    I hope we’re not too hamstrung with injuries – would be nice to have Durcan and young Tracey back.

  10. We need to lay down a marker here with a decisive victory. They’re without about 10 players who could be considered starters. We’re at home, have circumstances in our favour, and surely can’t lack motivation for this one. Hopefully the weather holds off and at least leaves some chance of an entertaining contest

  11. I am sure we will win this.
    Saturday was just one of those games that this team seems to produce throughout the year regardless of management ie complete no show.
    In the past we have strung a few together. I dont think this will happen on the weekend.

  12. AOS needs to be sent to Full Forward where he caused havoc a few years back and where the likes of Reape and Doc can feed off him. He needs to stay there aka The Star Donaghy.
    Plunkett needs to be retained at Centre Back and with a pacy player in FB like Drake or Crowe tested here before Championship.
    Would not rest Keegan or Boyler try to sharpen them up before New York. Need everyone firing on all cylinders v Galway. Ruane and Diarmaid in Midfield. Rest Andy and give Diskin his chance.
    Robbie kept in Goal. DV and SOS , AM and Kevin Mc kept in reserve, the legs are going.

  13. Galway have, as others have said, become a tough nut to crack. And, again, as others have also said, they are doing reasonably well so far considering they are missing a few.

    Their ball-winning ability around the middle will be a problem for us unless we do something to rectify it. This has been the situation with every team we have played so far. JH needs to show some serious tactical nous on Saturday or we will be in bother again.

    There are also a few basic issues. Free-taking is one of them. Jason Doc on the left side has done reasonably well, but Kevin Mac gives me the shakes when he takes them. We really have to nail this down.

    James should be looking at the videos – the Dublin ones not the Galway ones. What Comerford managed to do was hit his men – quickly. We haven’t wised up in this area yet, and we are terrible when pressed high, as I’m sure Kevin Walsh will have noted. I feel if we get good momentum the forward line can do damage. And, remember, we created 14 chances last week; that in itself is not all bad.

  14. Galway have serious talent at their disposal. They “could” win an all Ireland in the coming years but it won’t be with Walsh and this style of play.

    We really need a win against them this time around to restore confidence and pride. With Galway missing a few there can be no excuses. I really hope our younger lads start.

  15. Team I would like to see v Galway
    1.Robbie Hennelly

    2.Lee Keegan marking Shane Walsh
    3.Chris Barrett
    4.Brendan Harrison

    5.Keith Higgins
    6.Michael Plunkett
    7.Paddy Durcan

    8.Diarmuid O’Connor
    9.Matthew Ruane

    10.Fionn McDonagh
    11.Kevin McLoughlin
    12.Jason Doherty

    13.Conor Diskin
    14.Aidan O’Shea
    15.Brian Reape

  16. Weather forecast very bad again for this Saturday evening. Looks like it could be a repeat of the Roscommon game. Lets hope not.

  17. For this particular game i would go with the most combative 15 we have got the first half hour:
    Clarke

    Barrett
    Harrison
    ODonoghue

    Crowe

    Higgins
    Keegan
    Durcan

    DOC
    AOS
    SOS

    Vaughan
    Doherty

    Conor Diskin
    Brian Reape

  18. I’d be much more concerned if we lost to Galway than what happened last weekend. They’re missing a whole host of starters while apart from cillian and tom we have close to a full deck to pick from.

    Connacht will be interesting this year, what makes is that the Connacht champions this year will have to play 2 away games in the super 8’s like donegal last year. It’s a big disadvantage, we actually could be better off losing a Connacht and getting into the super 8’s that way.

  19. Canavan reckons our young forwards didn’t perform against the Dubs, I though McDonagh did well even is he was running out of steam a bit, that stamina will come in time. Treacy too was doing ok until his injury, he looks a bit light yet and definitely would struggle against Galway defensive system. Reape didn’t perform, I would persist with him though, think he will come good and has physique to handle the Galway backs as does Diskin.

  20. Willie joe. I wonder why you talk of bad memories of last Saturday’s game. You weren’t there. We had 14 men for 20mins. Our two former players of the year had poor games. The penalty should have been retaken. The guy who gave away the penalty should have been black carded. Two of our 5 newbies did well but the other three seemed overawed by the occasion but show plenty of promise. Two of our subs. Won’t name them. Seemed to be carrying a few pounds. Cillian will be back soon so I would be optimistic for the future. I expect a win on Sunday but I’m afraid I can’t travel 2 weeks in a row. Up mayo

  21. Went for the draw, mainly in the hope for some excitement because I’m pretty certain we’re not going to get any entertainment. Still have a bad taste in my mouth for the muck we had to endure in last year’s championship clash.
    Anyway regardless of the quality of the football on Saturday, a draw would represent progress v galway and virtually guarantee div 1 status.
    Of course a win would certainly go a long way in instiilng much needed confidence for our upcoming championship clash with the same opposition. Also banishing the memory last weeks performance for which I haven’t commented on and don’t intend to as its all been said here, from the well thought out observations to the ridiculous suggestion of match throwing.
    Would take a draw today as the thought of losing our last 4 league games (which would become a probability if we lose on Saturday) would be both sobering and worrying.

  22. Michaelincork..Even though some things went aginst Mayo last weekend. most mayo fans would agree that we were beaten fair and square all over the field, and only for a brilliant performance by our keeper. It could have easily been a hammering. Saying anything else is clutching at straws. hope for an improved performance aginst Galway.

  23. Weather forecast is stormy for Saturday that will suit us better as it will make it sow scoring game suiting us better given our lack of scoring power. I would agree with Yew tree(even though he told me I was talking rubbish last week when I suggested Dublin would win!) that Galway are closer to AL then is in next few years especially if Stephen Rochford were to come on board. Although they will have to get behind Kerry in the Q…

  24. Good team TH would love to see that team start on Saturday night. Aidan slows down the play to much when played at number 11. Plenty of pace and energy in that half back line, midfield and half forward line. Boyler, vaughan and andy should not be startin come championship. This is a must win game

  25. Hennelly

    Barrett,gerr caff, Drake
    Higgins

    Boyle, Cathal Horan, paddy D

    Leroy and Diarmuid.

    (Docherty\ mcglouhlin\ mcdonagh, pick 2 out of them )

    Diskin, aido , Reape .

  26. Big night coming up for manager and players alike. The stuffing received by a Dublin team operating in 2nd gear will have made this a pretty tough week for everyone. Let’s just hope they can bounce back. Otherwise it could be a comfortable enough win for our noisy neighbours.

  27. Lahanman – you know ow as well as I do my reference to you talking rubbish was in reference to tvrownjng in the towel post you had before we even played Dublin…it was no surprise to me Dublin won. I actually backed the draw but I didn’t think we would put in a no show performance against the dubs.

    Galway game is a must win. They are laughing at us and they are beating us at home too often….it’s our f€&king home ground and this should be drilled into every Mayo team before they leave the dressing room…we should not be loosing games at home at the rate we are…I don’t care who it is against or what competition it is….

  28. Need to lay down a marker to this Galway team, 6 losses on the trop which is torture when living there. Give Ruane the league campaign, there is huge potential there, Fionn & Reape too. We never got the noise levels up in Croker, we need to drown out any Galweigans willin to travel.
    Dust ourselves down & go again : )

  29. You would have to wonder where we will get our scores from v Galway. Our forwards were poor v Dublin and the way Galway play with their very defensive set up has posed huge problems for us. I don’t like the way Galway play but their system has been effective with only the dubs and Monaghan in a game that didn’t really matter beating them by much. I agree that if K Walsh allowed them to throw off the shackles they could be a really serious team. Always felt this game was far more important than the dubs game but can’t say I am confident about the result.

  30. Centerfield and Sean Burke – What’s the idea behind starting 7 or 8 backs at once? That would just lead to a load of soloing and carrying the ball up the field slowly. The Galway defence would have loads of time to set up and Reape, Diskin, Aidan etc would be starved of possession for the whole game.

  31. I can’t help but believe that the nature of the defeat on Sat night has done serious damage to us. I think that would have been one of the main aims of the Dubs – to humiliate us and put us firmly back in our box. The more experienced lads have to be seriously wondering now if they will ever be able to beat the Dubs. The hope of winning an All Ireland,after all, is what has kept them going through thick and thin for several years.
    The younger lads also saw just how high the bar is set to win a Senior All Ireland.
    This is why the game against Galway is a must win – not because we need the points or because we owe them one, but because we need to restore hope, confidence and belief. If there is to be one big kick in this team it has to start at 7:15 next Saturday evening. I will be there of course hoping and praying and roaring them on like a lunatic (yet again!). I urge everyone to get there and give them the lift they badly need right now.

  32. Sean Burke…big call starting a 20 year old, at centre back. With no experience playing senior football. And only plays at junior level. I would start plunket at 6.

  33. It would appear yew tree that JH and team read my post and decided to throw the towel as well!. Losing to Dublin was not the issue it was expected. It was the manner of the loss the lack of the performance and tactical nievity that is a real concern. There needs to be a reaction this weekend…

  34. TH – I do like the look of your team sheet. Fingers crossed that Horan has time for a cheeky scroll through the comments here.

    Galway dominated us last summer and ended our campaign, we do need to go out all guns blazing and shake of the hold that Galway have had on us in recent years. Who marks Walsh up front will be the most crucial pairing of this game. I’d sit Keegan out, seems not to be his usual self so far this year.

  35. This weekends game is going to be very difficult to prepare for tactically.
    Galway will have 14 behind the ball when we have posession.
    Without a lethal free taker on the pitch they won’t be one bit hesitant to foul us 40 yards from goal.
    The quick ball in will not be quick enough because they are so quick to drop back.
    I think I would be instructing the corner forwards and left and right half forwards to hug the sidelines and bring their markers with them. That would clear out a bit of the clutter.
    I would instruct keegan Doherty Diarmuid Durkan Mcgloughlin and Ruane to shoot from 40 yards out if they have as much as 3 yards space.

    If we could nail a few from out the field despite their 14 man defence that would be so satisfying.

    Walking the ball in to the 20 yardline is going to be nigh on impossible on Saturday with the way they set up.

  36. It’s amazing what one result has done for the thought process of Mayo fans. A win Saturday night and all will be good again. With Sean Kelly and Shane Walsh added to the injury crisis its very hard to see how Galway will win this.

  37. To win just once , seen his name mentioned in here last week after the challenge game in coolaney , suppose I got a bit giddy ,lol. Still surely playing junior football or being 20 shouldn’t rule you out either.

    Diehard points out the only thing in our control , can we all just let the shakles off sat evening and give them an almighty roar onto the pitch and stay with them . Let them know we are still here with them . It’s pure daft to think it could be worth a score or two and we don’t do it . Just do it .

  38. Tuamstar – There is no middle ground with us 😉

    We have always found it very hard to break down defensive teams and Galway (you have to admit) are playing that way. It is a shame from your point of view because ye have the attacking talent to really go for it.

  39. Why does Aiden OShea not try and score more and go forward more. He is after all playing in the half forward line. I think he should be contributing more in the scoring area and indeed scoring points from distance as well. He works hard but delivers little. Brolly did have a point about his play.

  40. Why all the big grousing about Aidan O’Shea? He had a reasonably good game last Saturday, a superb game against Cavan (MOTM in my opinion) and a pretty good one against Tyrone. One player played really well last Saturday, but if AOS was absent we would have had a worse hiding.

    What exactly is the problem?

  41. I can’t believe people still calling for AOS for the full forward position. Based on what? Bar Sligo a few years he’s been ineffective there when the chips were down.

  42. Problem is he wins a lot of ball and works really hard but delivers lateral or backwards when he should be going forward with intention of scoring himself or passing to someone in scoring position. Concentrate on getting ball into net or over the bar or possible free. I believe he is well capable of that and has strength for that. We never remotely looked like scoring a goal on Saturday night and not many points either.

  43. In fairness if Aos got 25% of the frees he is entitled to he would be a far bigger asset to mayo. I think it’s because of his size he doesn’t get a fair shake from the refs.

    Any update on Cillian o’connor or is he still stuck in the back of that eir high fibre broadband van ?

  44. Aiden O Shea should be played midfield and operate between the two 45 mts lines ,getting the ball from defence and kick outs and moving it quickly forward or to the runners coming from defence . Let Ruane and D O Connor also operate about the middle of the field and do most of the hard running

  45. Folks I’ve said it before – look at how much ball was delivered into the forward line last Saturday night while AOS was up front (little or none) vs the amount of ball the forward line was receiving when he was outfield.
    Now you can deliver any amount of ball to the forward line but with 14 wides and 4 dropping short, there’s the argument for what is done with the ball at the end, and that is another problem for another day.
    Also given that he’s the least likely player to be awarded a free, I don’t see the benefit of putting him in the square as defenders know they can foul him several times before anything will be given.
    And he’s less mobile than other players so the quality of ball into him has to be top notch, which is an area that we would really need to work on in order to benefit from that positioning.

  46. Poor Cillian sticks out like a sore thumb in the back of that van revellino. Think he should take a break from the acting career and make a return to the football.

  47. I don’t like the way Galway changed their game to an ultra defensive system and believe with the talent they have they could challenge for national titles if they used their gifts more wisely. They are very difficult to break down and will apply severe pressure on your forwards with the amount of them in defense. Kerry were lucky enough in Tuam as the sin bin period for the Galway player seemed to distract or effect their defensive structure and we got five unanswered points in that ten minutes before half time.

    One thing that mayo will definitely have to do is break with speed if ye get a turn over inside your forty as they like a herd of cattle and tend to move collectively in both attack and defense. Ye will get little change from posting Aidan o Shea in the square as he will be swamped by Galway players. I know he has to drift in there now and again so when he is in there I hope the team have practiced scenarios where he moves to areas to allow an attack in less populated areas that develop with his and of course other forwards movenemts. Hard to do though in truth but I expect Walsh to have O Ceallaigh stuck to him if he ventures in and no doubt Kerrin will be instructed to go full jack russel on him as well. Maybe a twin towers approach would cause them a little difficulty, particularly if they could create space for pace. Galway will be well aware of COC’s absence and I expect tactical fowling will be on their prep sheet.

    Good luck and I hope ye win, Galway are playing football that’s just hard to watch and the more that trench warfare comes out second best the better for out game.

  48. That’s a very good analysis Gamechanger. I agree that AOS in a forward role could be counter-productive next Saturday, hence get him playing defensively, where he is really good at turning over would be attackers.

  49. It seems whenever we lose a gamen it’s pinned on poor Aido. It was widely accepted that he was playing fantastic stuff before the Dublin game and after one loss we’re back talking about his best position. Aidos best position is and always has been between the 45’s. He’s not a natural scorer and Reape,Cillian or Andy is a better option in the FF line. He’s needed further out the field more so without Tom and Aido. We should give Galway the short kickout in this game, last thing we want to the them winning primary possession out the middle of the field with the likes of Tom Flynn. If Hennelly’s kick outs are as good as they’re meant to be he needs to make use of the mobility we now have in the middle third. Long range frees will also be important as Galway will be tactically fouling out the field.

    It’s a game we really should win, a Galway lad at work was going through the list of injuries the have and they really are depleted, I also don’t think this is a game they will have targeted as must win as they still have Roscommon to play at home. Win that and they’re safe.

  50. Team for Sunday

    R Hennelly
    C Barrett B Harrison C Crowe
    P Durkan
    L Keegan M Plunkett K Higgins
    A O’Shea M Ruane
    F McDonagh K McLoughlin J Doherty
    B Reape Andy Moran

  51. We are too reliant on hitting Andy as our ff line target man. We need a full forward who can be a focal point for winning/distrabuting good ball.
    The worrying factor from our clash with the dubs was our failure to create scoring chances. We we’re forced to take on shots from ridiculous positions hence our 14 wides.
    Galway should be a little easier to open up so I expect we will bounce back. Weather as other posters have mentioned not looking too good, wind and rain, but we will have the fire…

  52. Mayo’s major problem against Dublin was a lack of support from the half back line and midfield when the ball was played into an attacking position. Forwards were forced to take on stupid shots as they had no options. Hold onto the ball too long against Dublin and you will suffer. Their tackling was admirably ferocious. 18 missed chances, a missed penalty, a missed easy free things could have been a lot better. I also admit that things could have been a lot worse!. Sickens me when Mayo supporters are all ‘Mayo for Sam’ when we beat Tyrone and now that we got beat by Dublin we are atrocious. We were neither great against Tyrone and the world has not ended with the loss to Dublin. I feel this blog merely reflects Mayo support in general. The negativity I heard in Dublin on Saturday night was very depressing to listen to and the abuse being heaped on AOS was ridiculous. I had to go to bed early, couldn’t listen to any more. We all need to settle down a small bit. Its bound to feed into the Mayo GAA mentality which eventually infects the team. Trust your players and trust your management team.

  53. Disagree On the ditch. We didn’t hit from ridiculous positions (I was right ‘on’ Reape in the second half). We just hit ridiculous shots.

  54. I wouldn’t be too worried about a novice playing senior v dubs in croker hitting a few ridiculous wides . The accuracy will come cause it’s in him , stick with him . An apprentice brickie can be slow but if he has it in him the speed will come eventually through natural progression.

  55. I was away at the weekend. Didn’t see the Dublin game.

    Sounds about the same type of match as last year’s league game against Dublin. At least up until Loftus came on and started showing a bit of accuracy in front of goal.

    We got a slightly better scoreline than Galway against them.

    Wondering how we’ll break them down at the weekend.

  56. I didn’t hear too much negativity or criticism of Aidan O Shea on Saturday night. Certainly, there was great disappointment at the manner of the defeat and a sense of anxiety about the future. I though Aidan did ok and he certainly didn’t look out of place against the Dubs (others did).
    I think his best position is between the 45s (third midfielder) operating nearer his own 45 because there is less ground to cover back there and he is one awkward customer to try and get around in tight quarters. Placed at No.11 allows the CHB to break at pace and leave Aidan for dead causing trouble for our defence.
    We will only know his real value when is no longer with us.

  57. Hennelly
    Donoghue
    Harrison
    Barrett
    Keegan
    Aiden
    Durkan
    Diarmuid
    Ruane
    McDonogh
    Higgins
    Tracy
    Diskin
    Reape
    Doherty

  58. Wouldn’t start without Moran if I were horan, he’s as cute as a pet fox and will win a few frees not to mention he is the most accurate forward ye have. It will be difficult to get the ball to him but if anyone on that forward line knows how to maximize minimal possession it’s him.

  59. Well said Sinabhuil
    Been saying it for years, the Mayo psyche has to change. You notice it more when you don’t live in the county.

  60. Diehard, I don’t buy that theory that the Dubs set out to humiliate us. I think we had every opportunity to prevent a bad defeat last Saturday and we didn’t look even slightly up for it. Dublin were no great shakes themselves, which makes that result all the more disappointing for us. I didn’t comment here after the game, but my primary emotion after it wasn’t really disappointment, it was mostly mild annoyance that I’d filled the tank with diesel and given up my day and driven for six hours to watch that. I know it was entirely my choice, and I know that supporters support regardless of the circumstances, and I know that (most of) those lads owe us nothing, but boy did I feel like a bit of a fool for expecting at least an attempt at a performance, especially after the last few league outings against Dublin. Mind you, the last few batterings meant that this one barely registered on the upset scale; we all know that it doesn’t really mean anything.

    But I’ll know better next time that fixture comes around, and I will be watching it from my couch.

    Just a word however to acknowlege Rob Hennelly’s outstanding performance; I have certainly doubted him in the past, but he deserves serious credit for the shift he put in at the weekend. I did think Fionn McDonagh and Matty Ruane represented themselves well too. The less said about the rest of it, the better. We move on.

    I did make one resolution last weekend, and that was that not one single red cent will I be leaving in the capital this year if we do get to visit Croke Park. Last summer was probably the best year in about a decade economically for many towns and villages in Mayo, and that is no coincidence. I won’t be contributing to the millions leaving our county this year, if we do go on an extended run. And if that comes down to making the ham sandwiches and filling the flask with tea (or the hipflask with brandy!) then so be it. Both the Dublin football team and the Dublin economy already have every advantage conferred upon them and it’s clearly all about the money in HQ too; I feel our county needs the cash far more than Dublin does.

    Mayonaze, was that you, the solitary Mayo fan on the Hill?!

    As for Saturday, I expect our women (who were phenomenal last weekend, unlike their male counterparts) to put in another strong performance. I would hope that the lads might up their game for this one, but I expected that the last time we played Galway in a competitive fixture, the time before that and the time before that, so I won’t be setting myself up for a fall this time.

    Hopefully by Saturday I will be feeling marginally less grumpy about the whole thing. A win would do wonders for the mood and eating one’s words is always a bit sweeter if accompanied by a side portion of two points!

  61. have to agree with the Shop local, buy local plug there Ann Marie. Sadly for those of us based in the Capital we can only make the right contribution once we are west, which is all too rare for some of us.

  62. @AnneMarie I have no doubt about the motivation of the Dubs. We were their greatest threat and up till sat night some thought we were the only ones capable of stopping the drive for five. So why wouldn’t they go out to give us a hammering.
    I am slow to accept that our lads weren’t up for the game or didn’t do their best. They simply came up against a much better team who completely outplayed them all over the field.

  63. We’ll have to agree to differ Diehard. I don’t believe for a second that we’re not capable of playing better than we did on Saturday.

    FDB, well I know it; I spent a few years up there myself. It also has the effect of making every game for you – bar one – an away game!

  64. Diehard, Dublin went out to will the game, were the better team and deserved to win, simple as that. All to often I hear the term “lay down a marker” when describing what Mayo need to do. Is this not the same thing you accuse Dublin of doing? or are Mayo the only ones allowed to lay down markers (whatever the hell they actually are)

  65. @Mayomad. I’m actually not accusing Dublin of anything if you read my post. Saying that Dublin went out to lay down a marker is not an accusation – it is a compliment if anything. That is exactly what I would try to do if I was Jim Gavin.
    AnneMarie I don’t think I suggested we cannot play better than Sat night. I certainly hope we can and next Sat night would be a good place to start.

  66. Diehard, in your post you actually said Dublin set out to humiliate Mayo, different wording to laying down the marker

  67. I agree with you it’s the same thing but Im not suggesting Dublin did anything wrong. Quite the opposite. They only did to us what I would love to do to them – or indeed Kerry for that matter.

  68. @Rober, it’s usually announced at around 9pm on a Friday night, varies from time to time though.

  69. I’m really sorry Mayo didn’t win an All Ireland in the past few years considering the quality of their panel and how they dominated Connacht. However Galway are on the rise again after nearly 20 years in the doldrums. Walsh is finding players and instilling a will to win in them. Soon they will have 6 forwards capable of scoring and the defensive game may be set aside. As they showed in Tuam recently they have no fear of Kerry who are seen as the heir apparent to Dublin.

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