Colm Boyle our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Graphic: @MayoGAA

A number of the more experienced players led the charge for us at Croke Park yesterday. None more so than Colm Boyle, a man seemingly reborn this year and who has been in flying form all summer.

He was named Man of the Match on RTÉ yesterday and he’s also on the shortlist for the GAA’s Footballer of the Week (details on voting here). It’s no surprise, then, that the Davitts man has topped the poll here on the blog as well and so is our MOTM from yesterday’s win over Meath.

Well done to Boyler and to all the lads who contributed to the win yesterday. Details of the leaderboard in the poll are below.

102 thoughts on “Colm Boyle our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Boyler, well done and well deserved. I hope that we get to see you playing in Croke Park a couple of more times this year. Brave performance from our team yesterday. We have a few extra days to recover and prepare for the next one, let us see if our opponents can deal as well with their injuries, exertions and the hype from yesterday.

  2. What a hero, he has no fear and gives everything. A few lads need to learn from him as we need 15 lads giving 100% against Donegal. Fair play Boyler, you set the standard for anyone pulling on a Mayo Jersey!

  3. Well done Boyler a true stalwart of this team.
    On a different topic wj will you be streaming the mayo v Dublin minor game for people that are away?
    Thanks

  4. Team I would start for Donegal
    1.Robbie Hennelly
    2.Eoin O’Donoghue
    3.Brendan Harrison
    4.Keith Higgins
    5.Lee Keegan
    6.Colm Boyle
    7.Paddy Durcan
    8.Aidan O’Shea
    9.Seamie O’Shea
    10.Fionn McDonagh
    11.Kevin McLoughlin
    12.Jason Doherty
    13.Andy Moran
    14.Cillian O’Connor
    15.Darren Coen

  5. Would agree with 99% of your team Chris. Would love to find a spot for James Carr cos this guy could do serious damage.

  6. @Chris Kelly , Assuming Durcan and Higgins are fit, then absolutely they must start. But, I’m not convinced we need to change keepers….I think Horan and the coaches will be working with Clark and the half back/half forward line on options, that is, kicking strategy and positioning/runs etc. It will take tremendous effort and hard work but what they will need to do early is neutralize the kick-out as a vulnerability. If they do that, then Donegal will have to adapt to our playing terms, not the other way around which means a tonne of pressure off of Clark and the FB/HB line.
    It was easy to see Rochfords blueprint all over the Donegal style of play against Kerry.
    Another thing, this is our patch and we should take full advantage of that…that is, we should have a ball boy behind the goals.

  7. Boyle is a warrior and we need to start him in what will be a dogfight against Donegal.

    However, he does need to curb the aggression occasionally. His follow through on Conlon was very naughty and could have gotten more than a yellow had the referee not been absolutely useless. We will need 15 men left on the field if we are to win this one.

  8. It appears to me that we are not making near as many runs for Clarke’s kick outs in the last few games as we did earlier in the year. I put this down to fatigue and injuries. Keith Higgins, diarmuid and paddy Durcan are normally the guys who make the runs. If everyone is covered you just have to kick it long but having 2 out of 3 of these guys back with a 3 week rest is a big plus for us. I also thought o donuhue was very lively when he came on and could be another option for kickouts.

  9. I believe Murphy will be in on the edge of the goalies area for periods of the game with high balls lobbed in to him.

    Which goalie do people want in for this
    scenario ?

    Only one answer to that question.

  10. Murphy wont be full forward at any stage of the game, he never plays at ff any more. He will operate between 11 and midfield.
    You can be sure donegal will be targeting Clarkes kickouts big time, putting on a full press, especially when they watch how much he struggled v Meath

  11. Having re-watched the game Barrett had a great game throughout, full of running and a definite starter. Coen and Moran both won’t start so it’s a question of who starts and who comes on. Clarke in goals, no doubt. I think the only way to deal with Murphy is to man mark him wherever he goes. Funny enough I would go for Stephen Coen on him. He seems to be learning from Keegan about man marking, he did nothing else but track O’Sullivan and kept him fairly quiet.

  12. Boyler by far the MOM. What a man!

    Clarke has nothing to prove surely, number 1 by a mile. Without him we would be out already and if he had played all games we would’ve won out Connaught. Work with him on the kickouts but in his defence there was a lack of movement and clear options Sunday.

    Are Durkan, Higgins and O’Connor fit to train this week? Any update?

  13. Boyler is such a warrior every time he pulls on the green and red but in my opinion the real eye opener is he has nailed the modern version of a sweeper better than any other player we have tried in this hybrid role. His attacking instincts work perfectly with the players around him at the back!! Also like Aidan he has managed to get a bit fitter and leaner which is amazing since he should be slowing down at this stage of his career!!
    I would have given Brendan Harrison a shout for a close second to Boyler with an honourable mention to Chros Barrett and Andy Moran!

  14. Well done Boyler – completely deserved!

    On the kickouts – an interesting tactic I saw Kerry do a couple of times in the Donegal game that maybe we could rob!

    If there was a longer break in play – a man down injured, the ref talking to someone, a sub coming on etc. – the Kerry guys all pushed way up the field on their own kickouts. So much so that their fullback line was pretty much standing on the their own 45, halfback line nearly at midfield. Donegal had no option but to track them up away from goal which left acres of space for a short kickout chip to a Kerry back.

    We need a few little tricks like this to try and break up games if we get in trouble. In almost every game now goalies will come under pressure and they will make a couple of mistakes. The issue in Kilarney was that it was constant for 20 mins – no let up. If we can work out two plays like that and do them both twice in the game it can make a huge difference.

  15. Well done to Colm. Worked so hard and used head very well too. It was so obvious Conlon going straight in for a goal, and no better man to stop him in his tracks. Was willing to put his body on the line for the team, and take the card too if it was more than a yellow.
    Congrats Colm.

  16. I’m not saying Murphy will play full forward Supermac. I do think though that if Donegal thinks there is hay to be made by sticking Murphy in on top of the goalie you could see that happening a few times during the game.

    I know the goalie cannot be blamed, but when I think of the 2012 final and the 2 Donegal goals and the mayhem caused by 2 high balls in, I get nervous.

    I know they play a different game now but they might be tempted to send in a few high ones depending on who we have in goal.

  17. Donegal absolutely riddled with injuries, likely missing 1st choice midfield pairing of jason mcgee and mcfadden.
    McBrearty a doubt with hamstring, ban gallagher gone for season, and neil mcgee/paddy mcgrath doubtful too.
    So we can have no excuses.

    JH needs to get his matchups right this time around, hammer the hammer as they say…
    Following matchups seem like no brainers…

    Keegan on Ryan McHugh (do whatever it takes leeroy 😉 )
    Durcan on Jamie Brennan
    Barrett on McBrearty (if fit)
    God only knows who we put on Murphy, S Coen seems the best fit physically, Killian clarke done well on murphy in ulster final and S Coen a similar type of player.

    Would agree with those posters who suspect only one of D Coen/Moran will start too, both in form but both lack pace so will likely be a jobshare of sorts there. Would start with Darren and call for Andy around the 40 minute mark. Team that finishes as important as starting team

  18. Supermac Mayo have been riddled with injuries all year and had to get on with it. Donegal and Kerry play 2 games on consecutive week end and begin to moan about the workload on players. Mayo forced to play 5 difficult games on the spin which is testament to this bonkers system of a championship. Seems designed to suit the strongest panels. Super 8s plus the shortening of the football season is having a seriously negative effect on football. Take Roscommon. Deservedly won Connacht but had no chance of progressing through a league which included Dublin, Tyrone and Cork. Look at Dublin,massive panel, massive money etc. Their first test arrives on Bank Holiday weekend and they don’t even need to win it. At least knockout football gives the under dog one shot at glory while even the greatest teams can have an off day. Crowds are voting with their feet. The Dublin supporters who are fans of probably the greatest team ever are staying away in droves. Dublin failed to get 40,000 for either their home or neutral games in Crime Park. Kerry Donegal game has saved the Super8s this year. Mayo, normally so energetic have looked lethargic in their last 2 games. Is it any wonder. And now we get a 13 day break and people are talking about it as if it was 6 months and that it will help us get our injured players recovered etc. Aside from the lads who are unavailable through injury its also clear that a number of lads who are playing are carrying injuries. You saw the ideal scenario where Kerry had a 3 week break before they played us and they tore into us. A reasonably level playing field is all that’s asked for.

  19. @to win just once, thats the price we pay for not beating roscommon when we were virtually full strength. Its self inflicted
    I do agree with your broader point though about the massive imbalance in fixtures and difficulty, as if Dublin didnt already have every concievable advantage going they are now facing into a 2 week break followed by dead rubber against tyrone where they can rest all their key players before taking on a battered/bruised/tired Donegal or Mayo team that has gone to war the previous week

  20. Congratulations to Colm Boyle, what a warrior he is for Mayo’s cause
    He was outstanding on Sunday he sets the tone for others to follow

  21. Supermac we were missing Cillian O’Connor for the Roscommon game. Considering free taking was such a big factor is that game I think that was a big loss.

    Michael Murphy was lording it at midfield in league game a few years ago and aido came on a took over. Let aido go at it again around the middle. Two heavy weights of the game! I’d wouldn’t be relying too much on donegal injuries. They’ve two weeks off and the only def player out is ban Gallagher. Don’t be surprised if other than that they take to the field with at full strength.

    Perhaps mike Connelly could give rochy a ring looking for some inside info?!!!

  22. @to win just once… Everything 100% correct in what you are saying, but that is the price Mayo, and their Supporter’s have had to pay for their very sloppy loss to Roscommon…We had a four weeks break after the Rossies game, before we played Down in Newry, the first of five game’s in 29 day’s. Tyrone, who also lost the Ulster Semifinal have had a similar schedule and have already made a Semifinal place secure… Their Tyrone run of games have not nearly been as tough as what we have had to face, nor the distance travelled even half what we endured, and also have been pretty lucky on the Injurys front… Could the CCCC not do a little better in the Schedule than have to loser of the Connacht Semifinal played on the 25th of Mayo, four weeks free and then play five game’s in a row in 29 day’s? The first three of those qualifer game’s COULD have gone to Extra Time, Seems ridiculous schedule in fairness.. But Despite our short comings it’s a conciderable achievement to be in the last five in the Race for Sam… Kerry, Donegal and Tyrone fair play to them also for being still standing!. Which brings me to Jim Gavin’s Mightly Dub’s’, I don’t think that it’s really much of an achievement for them to be already in the All Ireland Semifinal, Neither do ?the majority of their imaginary 35K core fan’s that Dublin CEO John Costello imagines they have, so much so that more are staying away rather ?than are going to Match’s. , Sure they are right to stay away, The Cricket, The Golf, and Love Island have far more to offer in terms of entertainment and drama, and after all it’s a long way to their Neutral Venue Croke Park.. The Dice has been so Loaded in their favor it would have been something of a miracle if they weren’t still in the race… But did you ever get the feeling that there is a banana skin just around the corner?.. After all, Garth Brooks taught that he was going to do ‘Five in Row’ in the Neutral Venue Croke Park and he didn’t manage It!

  23. Will posters stop, stop, stop going on about fatigue.

    We’ve played 5 games on the trot. Prior to that we had nearly a month off after the Roscommon match; we had a month off after the league final. We had a slew of games week-in week-out in the league, like every other county. We had a whole six months ‘off’ after the exit to Kildare. Meanwhile Tyrone were going until mid September, had their overseas trip and all that goes with that, and have had to travel a tricky qualifier route, plus, on paper, a tricky opening assignment in the Super 8’s against the Rossies. Don’t hear them complaining about fatigue.

    We’ve had a number of injuries – most unfortunate. However, as we know, they occurred in training. And, injuries can be sustained in a warm up – ask Aidan Kilcoyne. Furthermore the long term injured have returned – Cillian, Seamie, Donie, and Fionn to a lesser extent, so more games are needed there, not less. James has said that one of the purposes of blooding players was to enable a strong panel, and this is what we have.

    What we haven’t got – yet, is a level of consistent high standard performances, and an ability to manage a game we are or should be in control of. Kick outs, failure to deal with a high press, poor tackling are factors here. Perhaps the biggest one though is Aido’s dip in form. He still has played well, but he hasn’t given a ‘league final’ performance for a while – definitely some niggles are affecting him, and by extension, the team.

  24. Well done Boyler , warrior true and true .

    What is the most recent official capacity of mchale Park ?

  25. Jh won’t change goalkeeper it would be lunacy, we seen what happened last time that was done,

  26. @ catcol, it’s either fatigue or else who should play in goals or “here’s the team id pick” usual craic day in day out.

    It’s an open forum but I don’t take it to seriously and no point in doing same.

    Onwards to August 3rd.

    We’ll win.

  27. So because we had a 6 month break after Newbridge last year and 4 weeks after the Roscommon game fatigue shouldn’t be an issue?!

  28. Where are we at ?

    I just reviewed the Mayo v Meath game and strangely it was worse than I first thought. Mike Finnerty called it correctly. It’s unusual because almost always the review shows we played better than I thought.

    …But , I believe , there is serious cause for optimism here.

    The final score should have been 3-35 to 1-25 . But poor execution by both teams meant lots of turnovers, crazy wides ( Meath) and
    12 shots wide or short by Mayo ( in the first half alone )

    We continued to fumble the ball , give the ball away through bad passes and kickouts , same as we did in Killarney and our decision making is ( many times) not composed. Our mirroring of the standard of opposition we face continues.

    We were unable to fight to our usual 11/10 intensity but we fought plenty hard. Our running was not summer level. We looked “leggy”

    The last twenty minutes showed flashes of the boys of summer. There were some fine scores in that period. They were “ stretchy scores “ and stretchy passes. Meath couldn’t get the ball.

    There is no doubt that ( whatever about the protests by some about this and /or what their counter arguments are against the idea that the team have been fatigued , I’d be curious to know ) that this has been a mentally fatigued Mayo team ( for the last two games)and they will benefit from the two weeks lay off.

    This , to me ,is the primary problem with the last two performances although being depleted of 5 of the putative starting 15 is very significant.

    So if we can mentally settle and relax over the next two weeks , if we can get 3 or 4 of the missing 5 ( Higgins , Durcan , Diarmuid ) back then we could see longer stretches of really good play.
    Maybe something like the league final ?

    Ruane is a big loss but Seamie is playing better than ever. That’s a huge plus for us. Would love to see Ruane back too but I don’t know if that’s realistic for the Donegal game.

    Mayo are a different animal when we have a fully functioning midfield and half forward line and are fighting hard for breaking ball.

    Most impressive is our conditioning. It’s at least as good as Dublin , Donegal. The Mayo boys are serious athletes and I’d point to Boyler and Seamie and Andy and Barrett as four examples of older players extending their playing career through proper conditioning and diet. All of them look very fit and very comfortable despite the enhanced schedule of games.

    The old lions have not gone away. The young bulls like Carr and McDonagh are very strong and fast and very hardy .

    This I believe is under appreciated about this particular year’s group. Our S/C looks to be the best it’s been but it’s hidden because of the depleted panel through injuries and multiple games in a row.

    If we get the rub of the green with our panel over the next two weeks I think we can , at the very least, seriously test Donegal.

    If we dominate midfield and breaking ball we will win the game. We have several options to limit Murphy and McHugh and McBrearty from play. We have the tools to limit Donegal. Meath held them until 62 nd minute.

    Aidan is more than a match for Murphy if he’s deployed to the edge of the square under the high ball. Personally I’m not sure Donegal will risk that early in the game as psychologically it would demoralize Donegal to see Murphy being beaten in the air. However if they’re desperate they might try it later.

    However , how are Donegal going to handle Aidan if he’s sent to the edge of the square ? Again I don’t think we will try that until or unless it’s a desperado situation or if Donegal collectively switch off for a minute.

    Make no mistake , I believe our collective performance will be light years better than the last two games. The longer the season goes on then the more dangerous we will become .

  29. @catcol, my implication is we’ve no influence over what people want to talk / talk about on this blog, only WJ can take charge of that. It’s not needed however, I find in interesting to read some bizzare comments on a daily basis.

    Now back to the football.

  30. Wide Ball that’s like saying…now lads you can sleep for a year and then I expect you all to stay up for two weeks straight and no excuses…there is a tineframe where energy depletes and replenishes. Just because you have a six month lay off does not mean 5 weeks of championship football on the bounce will not take it’s toll.

  31. Catcol, I think the 2 weeks is massive, not just for fatigue, but to give lads the chance to shake off niggling injuries that we haven’t been able to. Like Lee, Aidan etc. It’s a big chance for us to sort ourselves out. Fatigue is still a factor I think, although not a huge one. I thought it looked like we were completely out of gas in the Kerry game. It does take a few days to recover the body after an intense game. Luckily for us, the Meath game wasn’t exactly intense, so here’s hoping we can nurse ourselves back to near full health!

    I see what you are saying though, because any murmurs from players suggests that they love these weekly games!

    Like Swahili, I am confident we are going to see a massive performance from the lads on Saturday week!

  32. walterwhite – I was being sarcastic! Having 6 months away from inter county football last year has zero relevance now. As does the break after the Roscommon game. I think people might be expecting too much tbh. A 13 day break won’t work miracles.

  33. Whatever about the players I know myself that … I’m fatigued … I’m no longer a spring chicken .. and trekking all over Ireland each weekend is taking its toll. So i’m glad for the week break and to saviour the battle that lies ahead

  34. Looks like a sell out folks, at least Supervalu ain’t selling any, and none available online, unless they release more in next few days. Can’t see many season ticket holders opting out on this one.

  35. @AMayoFan… It’s Croagh Patrick this weekend, not Croke Park… Kudos to the CCCC who gave Mayo a free weekend, (no wonder I am always praising them), just so all the Team and all the Fan’s can climb the Reek… Mayo Season Ticket holders get one free plemanary indulgence for all the punishment we have already had, Two if we do actually climb the Reek as well… The ‘Oratory’ at the Summit need’s new door’s, you might bring one up with you, AMayofan seening as you have nothing else on this weekend. And while your at you might say a few prayer’s for Leantimes. Many thanks to the girl with the ‘Child of Prague’ in Croke Park last Sunday, we need all the help we can get…If it’s a nice day, and it doesn’t have to Reek Sunday anymore, it goes on over the whole weekend, the view from the Top is even better than view from bottom was in Killarney last Sunday week… Now where’s my Stick?

  36. Watched recording off Kerry v Donegal & it reminded me of a Barbarians rugby match – pleasing to the uninitiated but in truth, tactically inept, particularly defences (except for marking of Clifford, who was peripheral on this occasion) The fact that it wasn’t knockout probably contributed to the lack of real fervour & edge. Well done to Colm Boyle who seems to be far more mobile this year.

  37. The fatigue is often mental as much as anything. The weekly matches mean the preparation has to be condensed and there’s very little time to reflect.

    The break gives the lads a chance to repair – body and mind – and maybe even enjoy the build-up to a huge game.

  38. Spot on Mayo Exile regarding Donegal Kerry match. Media raving about it and how they will both test the dubs, neither have a defence capable of going man to man on the dubs. Also thankfully a lot of hot air about how unbeatable the dubs are but McStay is correct in the times regarding the dubs defence being their weak point. Tyrone won’t test it either as they’re probably happy enough to face Kerry in the semifinals. If Mayo can stumble in typical Mayo fashion past Donegal the big performance will come the following week against the untested Dubs!!

  39. Goodman Mayo Exile. A good call there on the Kerry Donegal match.

    Some very entertaining posts today.

    A bit more positivity too. I hope your reading the blog James Horan. We have all the answers here.

  40. @MayoExile, I agree, while the game was entertaining and a good display of football, it lacked the hard hitting/tackling intensity that would be typical of an absolute knockout game. Castlebar will be intense and I expect Mayo to die on the hill in this one.
    Its fair to say that Clifford was marked out of that match but its also true he missed some easy chances in front of goal. Perhaps he watched too many you tube video’s of himself from the Mayo game? I’m just not yet convinced he’s as good as everyone says he is. His reputation so far is built on his dominance at the minor level and his four goals in the minor final. Sure he’s talented, can kick with both feet, is quick and intelligent, but Its a different ball game at senior level and when its knockout, the intensity and pressure will be immense. He does have a swagger about him though. …I’d like to see more of that in some of our fellas.

  41. Is it normal to check in here 10 – 20 times a day to see if theres any news. Maybe I need to get out more.

  42. Puckout, I thought the Kerry defence had improved hugely since last year. That’s having seen it in Killarney and last week in Croke Park.

    They were getting in the faces of their men, following them forward and back, harrying them and getting stuck in. The attitude and behaviour had changed and it’s definitely effective, even a bit daunting to see this improvement.

    I was impressed with Kerry largely because of this added tigerishness across the team.

    As for ourselves, it started to dawn on me that Newbridge, and all it might have connoted to us about ourselves, is in the past. At least I dare to say so. And that is massive. For the first time since summer 2017 – excepting the League this year – we’re in a game of football where there’s something really to win against a top team. That makes me excited and it’s bound to raise the spirits and competitive instincts of these warriors who have been on this stage before and see something in their sights. Think Colm Boyle, Keith Higgins, Andy, Cillian, Kevin Mc, Aidan, Seamie, Paddy D, Leeroy. I don’t think they’ll see themselves as there to make up the numbers.

    Speaking of mental fatigue, the prize that’s on offer- of a win in an All-Ireland Quarter Final, that we haven’t had the chance to contest in two years – could energise and focus the minds of this particular group of men. I feel they are competitive creatures.

    For me, what defines them and sets them apart and cannot be replicated by any other contesting team, except perhaps Dublin, is their experience – they’ve gone for this football prize across many campaigns. While Donegal and Kerry are strong and have new strategies they cannot have the wealth of experience of all kinds that this Mayo group have. It will be interesting to see how they translate that over into performance. I feel it can have a huge value. And I think they back themselves too. But let’s see.

  43. Mayo Exile – you’ve hit the nail on the head! I couldn’t put my finger on it afterwards when agreeing with people that it was a very good game, but a Barbarians type match sums it up. There’s a bit of that about all Super 8s, but we can’t complain, because a defeat hasn’t set us back too much and we got lucky with Kerry and Donegal drawing.

    Dave Johnston – it’s completely normal. Now off you go – you can post in the €60 for this ‘visit’ to me care of Willie Joe!

  44. I would put Lee Keegan on Michael Murphy Saturday week.Hes cleaned a number of the biggest names in the Gaa down through the years, Diarmuid Connolly, Sean Cavanagh, Enda Smith, Sean O’Shea,Odhran MacNiallis, Michael Quinlivan,Ciaran Kilkenny, Shane Walsh but now its time for him to take down the Donegal King arguably the best player in the Country, If hes stops Murphy he will go down as the best man marker of all time.If Murphy is stopped we have a mighty chance of winning this game.

  45. I feel a bit sorry for both goalies.

    The one position on the pitch where any mistake is fatal.

    It’s a pressure position in its own right but, them also knowing that there are mixed views about which of them should be playing, I would say at least doubles the pressure on them.

    In an ideal world we would want them both to know that we are fully behind them regardless of which one of them are given the gloves.

  46. @Dave Johnson, it’s not normal really but it happens to a lot of us all the same, if you know what I mean?

  47. A further thought on the ‘fatigue’ factor.

    It has worked out well for us coming through the qualifiers. Kerry away was tough, but on paper Killarney should have suited us. Meath in Croker was an ideal second game. Our final game is in our own hands – at home. What’s not to like? Sure McHale Park is no fortress anymore, but rather there than Ballybofey.

    Meanwhile, our conquerors and Connacht champs Roscommon should have done much better against Tyrone at home. They didn’t and got Dublin at Croker as their second helping. Now they have to go to an improving Cork for their finale, and not even in the big stadium.

    Bring it on!

  48. Maybe theres merit to putting Lee on Murphy, and no doubt Lee has the strength, however it’s the height difference that would be the worry and Murphy is an unparalleled fielder. He could drift inside and pose a deadly goal threat.
    Lets not forget 2012. If anything, Murphy is even a far more dangerous player now.
    Paddy Durcan or Lee on McHugh. Barrett on McBrearty.

  49. Fatigue! It’s mostly a mental thing. The brain needs time to recover just like the rest of the body. When fatigue kicks in the drop off in performance might only be small but it is hugely significant for our lads given our particular style of high octane, high intensity, high energy play. And it’s this type of play that has tested the Dubs to their limit in the past. But we haven’t had it so far …..at least not for any significant period in any game since the league final. We saw it against Galway in the first 20 minutes and then the collective brains seemed to decide …..’job done feck this 100 mph stuff I’m dropping down a gear’.
    The two weeks will help. I have no doubt about this. I expect a huge performance on Saturday week and to be honest that is what will be needed to best Donegal.
    But……..we really do need to get a much better return from our own restarts than what happened in Killarney and I’m sure we will.

  50. Right I see that now , so that’s the guts of six weeks till next game , Mattie ruane wasn’t long before that , I’m sure it was reported a minimum of eight weeks before either would be fit to train again . It just doesn’t add up that either would be near ready for a game and a game that you’d imagine will be full on hits and intensity, nah I just can’t see it .

    It’s very unlucky to lose such central figures to our game plan especially when you add in the long term injured Tom parsons.
    Now I’m not saying Clarke is blameless in our miserable kickout stats of late but these injuries to middle eight players , dirty ball winners has to be contributing also .

  51. Dave Johnston you made me laugh out loud. I think it’s very normal around here 😉 My husband however, doesn’t think it’s one bit normal!
    Sean Burke, June 15th was Mattie Ruane’s injury and seemingly 65 days is the least time recovery can take for an elite athlete so def seems too early. But maybe it was never broken? Or maybe it’s all mind games?
    I seem to remember Aidan doing a fine job on Murphy a few years ago in league game. So much so Murphy got very frustrated.
    Great posts To win just once, Swahili and Swallow Swoops.

  52. @Dave Johnston, we are checking in while Mayo are still hot in the title race, we will check out when Mayo go out.
    This Summer is only really starting now.

  53. Correct Sinead 37 Aidan man marked Murphy in a league game Mayo had to win to stay in Division 1 in MC Hale Park. If Aidan can prevent Murphy from scoring in open play we are half way there – let’s face it Aidan is not going to score ( or even shoot ) from open play. What has he scored in Championship to date? A decent midfielder should be averaging 2 PTS a game

  54. Boyle and Barrett seem to be quicker than ever. I couldn’t believe the speed of Barrett in last couple of games, great to see. I think theirs zero chance Ruane or Diarmuid will be back for this game. I’d be very happy if we had a fit Durcan and Higgins available. Us supporters have a massivd role to play Saturday week, no church mice need attend. If we’re to have any chance against donegal, we need to be louder than ever in the stand, it does lift the players and can possibly influence the reff.

  55. Donegal 8/13 for this one. They have a huge support base. Unless Mayo crowd turn up, home advantage will be nullified by hungry Donegal support. We need an All Ireland type frenzy from our support base and no fatigue, just like lads on pitch to ensure home advantage is used to the full.

  56. That’s ? justoutsideballagh . Donegals love a trip to Mayo too , an awful lot of mayo/donegal connections through marriage and what have ya , they will be in castlebar in their thousands .

    I’ve asked earlier but still no reply , what is the most recent official capacity of mchale Park , would I be right in saying it’s only 32 k ?

  57. Good point El Tod, When is the last time AOS kicked a score? Im genuinely struggling to remember it, think there was 1 in newry? His lack of a scoring threat wasnt an issue in the league when he was winning kickouts and turning over opposition, however he isnt showing well in those areas either during the championship so far. All his midfield contemporaries (MDMA, Fenton, J McGee, Murphy, Gary Brennan, David Moran, Cavanagh, Jarlath Burns, Peter Cooke, Conroy,Menton, Feely etc) all good for couple of scores most games.

    Going to need him to find some form out of somewhere in next 10 days, i have no doubt he has at least one big performance in him this year tho

  58. what have i said there thats wrong fearbolg? did i say he wasnt a top midfielder?
    Please point out objectively speaking what i said was wrong.

  59. I really think pointing to lack of scoring is being harsh on AOS. For me he has been outstanding this year. The amount of work he puts in across the pitch that ultimately leads to scores has been phenominal. I do think that he has been a bit off the boil since the Galway game, but I would forgive his lack of scoring for the amount of ‘assists’ he provides.

  60. Sean Burke it is officially 38k but don’t know if that gets reduced under Health & Safety

  61. I know I’ve been admonished before for perhaps being overcritical of other people’s comments and I respect everyone’s right to say what they like, but Christ it’s hard to sit here being exposed to a mindset that believes that because AOS doesn’t score 2 points a game he’s not an effective component of the team. And read your own post about AOS, Supermac, I’m fed up of people citing victimhood when someone calls them out on palpable bullshit.

  62. where am i claiming victimhood fearbolg? you appear to be reading stuff into my posts which just isnt there. Its not bernard flynn you are talking to here

    I am not saying AoS needs to be a free-scoring player, i accept that he isnt and his strengths are elsewhere, but his contribution in the last 5 or 6 games around other facets of his game isnt up to the standard we would expect of a multi time allstar.

    I appreciate i am probably scrutinising him harshly but he is a multiple allstar and needs to be examined against the standards of the other top midfielders (David Moran, Bryan Fenton etc), ie he needs to be contributing more than winning throw-ins and the occasional turnover.

    Basically he needs to get back to form he showed in last few games of league, if you find that thesis offensive or unreasonable then im sorry i cant help you

  63. 25 k they’ve capped it at , ffs I knew this was coming yet 29k at Galway last year . Is this for real h & s

  64. Wasn’t last year’s semi against Galway a capacity crowd – something between 29k and 31k if I’m not mistaken?

  65. 25k is ridiculous .This going to be another “sellout” like Newbridge last year where there was nobody behind one of the goals.There was 29k at Mayo Galway last year and loads of empty spaces.

  66. There was a huge log jam around the scoreboard last year as very few were using the Albany end turnstiles. That meant hundreds of people went on the pitch to get to the Albany end. I say that has something to do with it. That’s due to lack of organised stewarding and we pay the price of not having a full stadium for the game.

  67. That’s it I say too, casual observer.
    Lack of organised stewarding. It’s the real can’t do attitude. Probably easier to put a man on the moon.

  68. McHale Park was actually capped at 30 K last year, because apparently it’s nessary for One free seat for evey Two People at the Match… Well over 35K can sit in comfort in Mchale Park Castlebar and that’s a fact!… In Killarney a few weeks ago, over 32K were in attendance, nothing wrong with that amount of people either, could hold more, but to fair the covered stand, can only hold 6K and the Seats are two narrow Plank’s of wood on concrete blocks.. you can sit but not the latest in comfort. That left 26K+ standing… Now it’s very easy to see which is the better Venue in terms of Capisity, Comfort, Safety, Toilet’s, Access and Egress… We will no doubt get some politically correct people who were never at a match in their lives, saying that you can’t mess with Health and Safety… Last Year when Dr Hyde Park capisity was reduced to 18K , Ex Roscommon?Goalkeeper asked if those people making these decisions were Drunk? I totally agree with him… of course they reduced Dr Hyde Park further this year…. I have a few idea’s , No 1 abandon the whole thing, safest way…No 2 play it behind closed doors, but then some player or the Ref might get injured, so not totally safe…No 3 Play it out on Play station between James Horan and Declan Bonner, but what if there was a thunderstorm and both got electrocuted if lightening struck the house….I do really Actually have 2 good idea’s A, play the Donegal/Mayo Ladies Match before the main event, it will get many in early and it’s great for the girls, and the fan’s, B, failing that, organise some proper entertainment like was on Show im Killarney for over an hour before throw in….Better Still do both and let the at least 35K of GAA fan’s to enjoy the whole thing….If Donegal and Mayo fan’s are disappointed and cannot attend, I suggest that they speak to their local TD’s… And if these TD’s don’t repesent their Public and get this changed?…Bear this in mind there is election coming soon,

  69. That was exactly it, but ffs, how hard is it to put turnstile entrance on tickets and make, say, 30% have to enter via Albany end?

    It’s not rocket science!

  70. Might as well put an advert in Evening Herald to ticket touts, announce reduced capacity and then say they expect it will be a sell out by weekend. Anyone can go into SV and buy as many tickets as they want!

  71. I have looked online for News’ about this reduced ‘Capacity’ of McHale Park and I haven’t found anything…. Not saying that it’s not correct, I wouldn’t actually be surprised if it were true….We were After all sent off to Limerick to play Galway, because they the Almighty CCCC came up with the deatailed criticism of Hyde Park, apparently it was one of those very vauge things ‘unsuitable’..

  72. But sure Leantimes isn’t reduced capacity figures the perfect excuse to send fans to other Counties, other Provinces even, to play games that could have been accomodated within certain Counties.

    They can pull a number out of their arse sighting a, b or c.

    Then next year for certain games they will reference this number and tell us this is the reason the game has to be moved.

    If last week’s qualifier was not treated as a double header, and I do believe your figure of 35k + seated in comfort. Why cannot we do like Dublin and play our neutral game in Castlebar.

    There are other stadiums that would easily host the 38,000 crowd that was at the Dublin neutral game qualifier.

    Dublin now have no excuse for having their neutral game in Croke Park. None.

  73. Official Donegal GAA – Nuacht is déanai – capacity at Elvery’s McHale Park Castlebar has been reduced by 6,000 to just 25,369 for safety reasons. Donegal need plenty of support so get your tickets now before they are all sold.

  74. It is ridiculous to reduce the capacity to 25,000. The reason IMO is that everyone heads for the stand first because it’s general admission. when that’s full they move to next entrance, very easy solution, issue specific tickets for stands, Main Stand, McHale Road terrace and Albany end, not general entrance tickets. People need to be directed to these entrances early, some don’t even know the Albany entrance exists. If people know where they are supposed to enter the ground, they will head that way. I don’t blame the guards or H and S personnel for this decision, blame rests with County Board for their inability to organise designated seating for big games, remember the last time they designated seats in the main stand, that didn’t end well.

  75. BTW, anyone know what’s the story on Oisin Mullin?

    Named in the subs on Sunday, and I confess I know damn all about him.

  76. Oisin Mullin was the stand out back on the U20’s, very pacy corner back. Has a big future ahead of him. I heard Tommy Conroy was also called into the squad. Best U20 forward we had this year, tall, and has pace to burn. A year or 2 in the gym and he will be a star for Mayo, has bucket loads of talent.

  77. “This guy is not a normal player “ went the headline. They were not talking about Aidan O Shea but they may as well have .

    Aidan is the best defensive midfielder in the country. Period ! He’s a real number 8.

    We should think of him as the keystone of the team. He is big and strong and can be utterly relied upon.Without that the whole defensive operation falls apart and is not sustainable. When under pressure he is our rock.

    When we are lacking forward attacking momentum ( Diarmuid , Ruane )his defensive role is essential. If he didn’t exist we would have to invent him for this team.

    His role is that of necessity. With troubled kickouts and the need for a sweeper system because very large full forwards ( Comer, Kilkenny , Murphy ) are too much and are too dangerous for our smaller full back line.

    He’s covering for the goal keepers short kickouts , covering for the smaller full back line, and is a link person between defense and attack. He is a scary prospect for number 11’s on the attack and routinely dispossess them.

    He is the architect of many of our counter attacks. He has developed his vision sufficiently to shrewdly pick which side to launch attacks from.

    But it’s the fact that we don’t have sufficient forward moving momentum from our midfield and half forward line ( just because Diarmuid and Matthew Ruane are out – currently made worse by lack of Paddy Durcan and Keith Higgins moving forward from defense) that he can’t get into scoring positions.

    If we had our whole team in place. If we had forward momentum from the missing players coming back then you could see him moving into better forward positions. You only have to review the league final to see what he can do when our whole team is in place . He was not only the keystone but he was like Diarmuid Connolly with his arrowed “laser “ passes alternating with fabulous dink passes.

    He is incredibly skillful as a player and is a heartbeat of the team.

    My hope is that he can play soon with a full team to show everyone what he can really do.

  78. I have to say I’m with Fearbolg on the debate about Aidan. He’s carrying an injury and has for weeks but he’s just too damn important for us not to play him. Saying he needs to “find form” is just nonsense, you could with equal validity claim that he really ought to lose that injury he’s got. What Aidan’s been doing for us all year has been amazing and should be recognised as such.

  79. Akin to the AOS debate referenced above by WJ I’m genuinely surprised by the on-going criticism of Clarke’s kick-outs. whilst they do ‘hang’ in the air it must be remembered that a goalie’s kick-outs are only as good as the midfield they’re being kicked to. Look at the times Cluxton has kicked into the corner when playing us and Kerry in the past (e.g. 1st half of 2017 final ). Also, in recent Cork game he was forced long and …Cork won loads of ball. If Cluxton’s kick-outs are so good then why did he revert to short kick-outs against us or why was possession lost against cork in the second half? There was also D Moran’s domination in midfield in 2014 when RH was in goal which proves the trajectory of the ball does not guarantee your midfield will claim possession.

    Interestingly Clarke’s stats are very good in terms of finding his men (Kerry game apart).

    Only for him we’d be out of the cship by now. he’s also brilliant in the air and in my view is a better keeper than Cluxton.

    Hennellly is good too but he’s made mistakes from high balls in the past….and that’s what separates them.

    Finally, talk of switching keepers is futile…..Clarke will be No.1 for remainder of season!

  80. @Willie Joe, I agree with you- They all should lose their ‘Injurys’ and hurry up about it as well. …As for the capisity issue of MacHale Park, I have a season ticket, I’ll get in, and I’m pretty sure that I would get in even if I didn’t have one and all the tickets were sold out… I checked with Ticket’s.ie and it was Unreserved seating, last year versus Galway it was, designated Seats in the Stand for season ticket holders anyhow, can’t see why that wasn’t done again… Anyway I hope those Health and Safety people don’t find out that 25K pilgrims, or even more, are intending climbing the Reek next Sunday…. and not a ticket in sight.

  81. Officially a sell out now , CT reporting that efforts are been made to increase capacity by 5 k by securing a curtain raiser .

  82. #Séan Burke… Glad to read something is being done to try and help the situation… Donegal are due to play Mayo in the Ladies football next Saturday, play it the following Saturday in MacHale Park, seems an ideal solution if it’s acceptable to the ladies… The County Board should have been out of the block’s much earlier anyway…. I am all in favor of been in the ground early in any case… People coming in late are always an annoyance to me, coming in walking and standing in front of people already in an hour and preventing them from seeing the game that they were in in good time to see…. It’s worse if these people have been drinking alcohol as happens very often in Croke Park!

  83. Mchale Park is one to the easiest stadiums in the country to get around externally. Designated tickets would solve any congestion issues ie. Albany end tickets go in the Albany end. While I find the championship structure as a whole poorly designed and inherently unfair having what in essence is an all Ireland quarter final in Castlebar is absolutely fantastic for the town and county, needless reduction of capacity should be avoided.

  84. Yeah this game is a great boost to the local economy. While travelling around the country is enjoyable it must negatively affect business in the county. Hopefully the capacity is upped to 30k.

    Even at that there will be big empty spaces behind both goals.

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