Donegal 0-19 Mayo 2-13: Durcan’s late, late show snatches a draw

Photo: RTÉ

Michael Murphy had already been chosen as Man of the Match in tonight’s rip-roaring League opener by the time James Durcan was brought on with just three minutes of normal time left to play. As late cameos go, though, the Castlebar Mitchels man certainly put on a bit of a show, firing over three points (two from frees) before banging home a sensational last-second goal to secure a share of the points for Mayo.

While such an outcome looked plausible enough at various stages of tonight’s game, as time was running out Donegal seemed to have done enough to claim the win. Indeed, but for their lack of accuracy in front of the posts – they shot several wides and landed more efforts short – they might have won with a bit to spare. Instead, they left the door ajar allowing James Durcan to kick it open with considerable glee.

Donegal drew first blood tonight, Jamie Brennan fed by Michael Murphy before firing over. They had a wide soon after and from this kickout we worked the ball well down the field before Fergal Boland popped over the equaliser.

Donegal dropped deep when we had the ball as they sought to steady themselves into the game. We took the lead when Ryan O’Donoghue was fouled and Brian Reape pointed the free. Our advantage didn’t last long, though, as David Clarke came out a tad wildly and pulled down McGonagle. Murphy obliged from the placed ball.

That one was a 14-yarder but Murphy’s next one – four minutes later – was from fifty yards out. Jordan Flynn fouled McGee and Murphy, his trademark tongue flapping out past his chin, easily had the distance from the free. Donegal then won the restart and Brennan promptly doubled their advantage.

Our next score was slightly weird. David Clarke advanced well past his comfort zone and then bombed the ball forward into the Ballybofey night sky. James Carr tapped it down to Brian Reape who pointed smartly.

After another Donegal wide, David Clarke miscued a short restart but Donegal were unable to take advantage, the goal effort wide on the left. That was a real let-off.

Our good fortune didn’t end there. James Carr claimed a ball inside but didn’t call for the mark and instead angled a shot that looked like an effort at a point. The lack of the mark claim had confused James’ marker but the Ardagh man’s shot confused Donegal ‘keeper Patton more as it looped over him and into the net on the far corner.

We should really have built on that bit of luck. Instead, as we’ve done so often in the past when we get on top in matches, we promptly lost our way. We didn’t score again until Fergal Boland pointed with the final kick of the first half. By then Donegal had tacked on four points and so led by three at the break.

We lost James Carr to injury just before the teams went off, Kevin McLoughlin replacing him. When our lads emerged from the dressing room we’d made two more switches, with Aidan O’Shea coming on for Tom Parsons and Tommy Conroy given a first League run-out in place of Brian Reape.

Donegal gave us a microcosm of their performance tonight with their first two attacks of the second half. The first saw Murphy – who was excellent tonight and, despite James Durcan’s late dramatic cameo, a deserved MOTM – point from a free. Then they followed that up with a bad wide.

But as the second half wore on, it seemed that the home side’s profligacy in front of the posts wasn’t going to cost them the points. They were more incisive and far more direct in attack, with our painfully slow and laboured build-ups much too easy to defend against. In addition, our restarts were way wobblier than theirs, which guaranteed the home team more of the ball around the middle third.

Tommy Conroy didn’t wait long to announce his arrival at Senior level, leaving McGee flailing to fire over. Murphy, inevitably, cancelled that one out with a free at the other end.

Soon after we saw the worst and best of David Clarke in quick succession. He made a hames of yet another restart but when Donegal drove rapidly into the square and Mogan – who took at least a dozen steps before shooting – let fly from close range, the ‘keeper got a touch on it to direct it out for a ’45. Which Murphy, needless to say, drove over.  

Four down now but still not out of it as what had been quite a claustrophobic contest at last began to open up a bit. Paddy Durcan scampered forward and was pulled unceremoniously to the floor. With Brian Reape no longer on the field, the freetaking duties fell to Diarmuid O’Connor who swung his effort in from the right and over.

Inside a minute we had the gap cut back down to one. Bryan Walsh, who, like Ryan O’Donoghue, found the step-up to Senior level a bit of a rude shock tonight, was fed by Fergal Boland and thumped over a morale-boosting score. A Kevin McLoughlin free, moved up after McGee mouthed about the award, despite a clear foul on Tommy Conroy, left just a point between the sides with fifteen minutes of normal time to play.

Thompson, a fifty-yarder that bounced before going over, and Kevin McLoughlin then traded points from frees but, with ten minutes left on the clock, Donegal had moved three clear, Langan and McHugh both pointing from play. By now Keith Higgins was in, Bryan Walsh giving way.

Diarmuid O’Connor bagged his second free of the night – though, in truth, those two placed ball scores represented the sum total of the captain’s contribution to this game – but then Ryan O’Donoghue committed a really daft foul right in front of the posts fifty yards out. A meat and potatoes one for Murphy who rammed it over.

Three down now with only as many minutes of normal time to play, we looked a beaten team. James Durcan trotted on at that juncture, in what looked to be a curious substitution as it was the hard-working Fergal Boland who came off for the Mitchels man, a player who only featured for us in two League games last year.

He wasn’t long letting everyone know he was on the pitch, though, as he took possession at pace from Ryan O’Donoghue and fired over. The home side cancelled that one out in kind, however, and so, with the game entering six minutes of injury time, we seemed destined for an opening round defeat.

Two rather charitable refereeing decisions in our favour, though, brought us back to within a point. Jordan Flynn burst forward, head down, and should really have been penalised for barging. Instead we got the free and James Durcan – our fourth freetaker tonight – knocked it over.

Then Kevin McLoughlin went to ground and, again, there didn’t seem to be a free in it but David Coldrick thought there was. James again popped it over.  

But those bits of good fortune were quickly wiped out at the other end. A rash challenge by Jordan Flynn gave Donegal a free fifty yards out. Murphy went short, the ball was worked to Thompson and the margin was back to two.

Then James Durcan went into a challenge too hard and Murphy from a tight angle claimed his eighth point of the evening and, so everyone thought, the match points too. With only seconds left to play we drove forward, more in desperation it seemed than hope. Donegal had everyone back and there seemed no way through the congested centre. Somehow, though, James Durcan found the space he needed. His shot was hard and true, the net rippled and we’d somehow managed to steal a draw.

There’s no way our overly laboured performance tonight deserved the outcome we achieved. But, of course, the sweetest result of all is the one you don’t deserve. James’ late, late goal meant we left MacCumhaill Park tonight feeling like we’d won while, for the home team, this surely felt like a defeat.

Coming into this game, avoiding a loss was always going to be enough for us to feel like a good evening’s work. We may have left it very late but the draw we secured in such dramatic fashion tonight allows us to mark this opening round clash as one to be satisfied with. In light of how the evening could – and really should – have gone, that’s a decent return to have come away with.

Mayo: David Clarke; Oisin Mullin, Brendan Harrison, Colm Boyle; Padraig O’Hora, Stephen Coen, Paddy Durcan; Tom Parsons, Jordan Flynn; Bryan Walsh (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2, frees), Fergal Boland (0-2); Ryan O’Donoghue, Brian Reape (0-2, one free), James Carr (1-0). Subs: Kevin McLoughlin (0-2, frees) for Carr, Tommy Conroy (0-1) for Reape, Aidan O’Shea for Parsons, Keith Higgins for Walsh, James Durcan (1-3, two frees) for Boland.

Who was our Man of the Match against Donegal? Pick your top three performers

  • James Durcan (31%, 461 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (18%, 261 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (7%, 106 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (6%, 93 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (6%, 87 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (4%, 61 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (4%, 59 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (4%, 55 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (3%, 51 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (3%, 48 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (3%, 39 Votes)
  • David Clarke (3%, 38 Votes)
  • James Carr (2%, 33 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (2%, 27 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Brian Reape (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 847

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96 thoughts on “Donegal 0-19 Mayo 2-13: Durcan’s late, late show snatches a draw

  1. Always good to get a result when you don’t play well, sure aren’t we always hearing it’s the sign of a good team, onward and upwards

  2. Mid West said our MOTM was Diarmuid O’Connor….

    They also said, when summarizing the performance that James Horan would be delighted with our 2nd half…

    Fair comments/opinion?

  3. What a finish from Durkin…second half performance was good, introduction of AOS and McLoughlin changed the game.
    Didnt play that well and still got a result. That is great for confidence , great start and there is no reason we cant have a go at the Dubs.

  4. Separately….Galway have All Ireland senior and intermediate club titles with Oughterard winning today. If that was us we’d be raving about it!

  5. Great to get the result when it looked like we were dead and buried. Much congrats to the team for never giving up. It was that belief to keep fighting that put them in the position to be able to have a chance at the end. And considering it was such an experimental team particularly in the fws it was even better.
    My MOTM was Padraig O’Hora.He epitomised the spirit in the team tonight with his dogged determination and bravery. I think he would/will make a brilliant centre half back if he can keep improving and he has a nice kick pass to boot. Fair play to him on his performance tonight.

  6. Great to get the draw in the end, but we were desperate at times in the first half. Disappointing that we still have to rely on Aidan, Kevin, Keith to get us out of a hole again. Clarke’s kickouts again were carnage, but regardless we’re on the board and roll on the Dubs next Saturday

  7. A big point. great effort put in all round.

    Shows if you keep a clean sheet your always in with a shout

  8. Aidan O Shea was the difference in the 2nd half – he gave the team composure & time on the ball & gave Clarke a simple option to get the ball away.
    I thought Reape deserved more time as he looked sharp when supplied with accurate ball, scored a nice point & had some nice sharp layoffs.
    Tommy Goals looks a decent prospect. Diarmuids form is a real worry
    I thought the ref was hard on us with soft frees for Donegal & ignoring several fouls on our players.
    Hard to watch our previous Manager running around like a zombie urging on Donegal but like old times seeing Ciaran Mac involved !!!

  9. 1-9 was a nice tally for the second half. Plenty negatives but plenty positives. O’Hora was solid enough all the way and it’s nice to have the option of a left footer to play ball down that line out of defense. Ryan O’Donoghue has plenty talent for sure. Got knocked off the ball a few times and has plenty work to do in terms of physicality. Tommy had a great impact. I love his pace. He and Mullin have years of great football ahead of them with a bit of luck. I thought Walsh and Flynn fought hard but did not have huge impacts on the game. A game like tonight really add to the spirit of the camp.

  10. Few positives despite our luck at gaining a point, we kept going and grabbed the draw with the last throw of the dice, young fellas will have learned alot tonight, did we miss any frees even though we had 4 free takers?

    We got an away draw against Donegal who are 3rd favourites for the all Ireland. They are a decent team and have great pace, although their backs do a serious amount of pulling and dragging. I thought that Diarmuid did ok in second half, so did Paddy and Fergal, and AOS settled things in midfield.

    In fairness, management made changes at half time that made a difference, and attitude was so much better. Lets see what happens next week!

  11. WJ, I’m not sure about your comments about how charitable some of the frees were towards the end. Maybe it looked different on TV than it did it in reality, but surely some of the rather soft frees awarded to Donegal before that more than made up for it. How did their number 5 escaped a red card for such a dangerous challenge on Ryan O ‘Donoghue when he shoved him towards the wall beside the Donegal dugout?

    Anyway, in truth it’s a draw we may not have deserved but it’s welcome, as I think we needed to get something on the board tonight, given that it’s unlikely we’ll take anything from the Dubs next week.

    Great finish from James Durcan at the end. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the highlights on TV

  12. Undeserved and so feels like a win.

    O’Hora worked hard all through and was well worth his place. I thought O’Donoughue grew into the game and was much better in the second half. Oisin Mullin had a steady start, and Tommy Conroy was very positive when he came on.

    We’re missing an awful lot of experience at the moment so that was a more than acceptable outing.

    One concern – a big one – is that our kick-outs are just woeful.

  13. Middle eight struggled in the first half. Parsons and Flynn especially had trouble imposing themselves on the game. Donegal figured this out early on and went long on their own kickout (Patton has some boot on him) and pushed up hard on ours. It was dispiriting at times watching us go short and passing the ball back and forth among the backs. We’ve seen this too often before. But when you’ve a team selection that would be considered experimental even by FBD standards then you’re not going to get total dominance against a team like Donegal in January. I thought the younger players put in a very hard shift, Durcan and Conroy especially looked like players that were out to impress. No question Donegal snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. Their build-up play in the first half was excellent but all the wides and dropped-balls tell their own story. Even then they could have been out the gate in the fourth quarter. It’s a testament to the team that they never let the heads drop. Horan will be delighted tonight. To come away with a draw against Donegal away after fielding such a youthful side has to be seen in a positive light. There is no better man to take a young team and develop them to their potential. It could be a fascinating league yet!

  14. Worried that the kickout strategy is going to put us under undue pressure. No sign of a long kick to bypass midfield. Playing out short all of the time is playing with fire.

  15. WJ
    I didn’t think Carr’s goal was lucky. I thought he caught it turned seen the keeper off his line and lobbed him.
    Maybe I am wrong though.
    Hopefully him and Tom Parsons are ok.
    This was a great result. It’s a hard place to go and get anything.
    Makes me sad to see Stephen Rochford in anything other than a Mayo strip.
    He gave us the best of days. A great Mayo man through and through

  16. Really have to give it to some of the young players fighting spirit who threw their bodies into it in the 2nd half, he might have a small frame but Ryan o Donoghue really showed what he was made of, as did Tommy Conroy Jordan Flynn was really please let with them in the 2nd half. Oisin Mullin has pace to burn and O Hora got stuck in would like to see more of him. Overall we were lucky tonight James Durcan really lit it up when he came on. Hard to judge players on first game of season with so many new players but there was a lot to feel good about. Bryan Walsh I feel didn’t get into the game But I still would like to see him given another chance. Reape I feel may have been unlucky tonight.

  17. Claremorris Native, The Tommy Conroy who played tonight is not, as some believe “Tommy Goals”. that nickname refers to Tommy Conroy of Kiltane. I don’t think nicknames are interchangeable.

  18. Subs made a huge difference, Durcan with 1-3 he earns a start the next day. To be fair to Aidan O’Shea huge impact after mayo got cleaned in the middle in the first half. You would wonder if Parsons will start in the summer. Boland took the game to them, great point to get. Keeper debate will rumble on, well done to Oughterard

  19. Made the trip to Ballybofey for the first time ever and thoroughly enjoyed it even when it looked like game over with those last few donegal scores. In truth though, this game should have been well over by halftime but for donegals poor shooting and not hitting the ball hard enough with it dropping short numerous times.
    O Hora stood out , for a few reasons, and it will be interesting to see how the dub he is marking deals with it, id like to see him put on michael daragh mccawley just to see the sparks fly. Carr done ok too, his goal was meant from where we were watching, he spotted the goalie off his line and has the courage to lob him.
    A lot of our boys carried the ball that bit too long and were gobbled up, thats one thing Horan and co will need to be aware of for next weekend, pass it off or have it taken off you. And the kickouts were just about middling, more work needed there too. Thank you to James Durcan, 3 nicely taken frees and a Hollywood hero type goal, it really was a surprise to see it hit the net and made the journey south a sweet one.

  20. On a side note did anyone else notice on slim looking Aidan O Shea was. More than just on holiday was he at over the winter.

  21. Robbery. But we’ll gladly take it.
    The gulf between the two sides was alarming at times. They destroyed our kick outs, outran us and dominated midfield for the entire first half. Their defense (all 15 of them) kept us outside their 45 and they were excellent in the tackle. To be fair, they seemed far better conditioned than us and may be further down the road in terms of fitness etc
    Somehow we managed to hang on to their coat tails to keep within touching distance. Undeniably O’Sheas introduction turned the game because it gave us a platform in the middle third to repel their attacks and win ball to start our own. He bullied their two big lads in midfield and it seemed to lift our lads too.
    At times our defending was terrible, our tackling was undisciplined and lazy and, in my opinion, I don’t see how Midwest could possibly give O’Connor motm because he was non existent for the first half.
    However, and it’s great credit to the players, they never ever quit. They slugged and threw themselves into every tackle and breaking ball and somehow scraped their way to draw level. This is a game where Mayos statistics guys will just have to bin it, because I would say in almost every statistical metric you could use to analyze that game, Mayo were soundly beaten in every one. All except the one that counts, the scoreboard.
    Well done to all the newbies and they all played their part in a game that will stand to them for the future county careers.

    Mayo. They’d drive you mad but they’re great value for money.
    Hon Mayo.

  22. It was a smash and grab, donegal were superior but a great result up there! We have a serious goalkeeping issue! The game has moved on since the new rules were introduced! Short kickouts are finished unless there are no other options! The last few years club managers have done stats for % ball received from kickouts! A waste of time! Kickouts need to be judged on return! Can we get a score? Can we set up scores? Iv seen keeper changes because they might be better popping a ball to a corner back, but what are the odds score coming from it! Very slim!

  23. Having not seen the game it sounds like ye were rather fortunate to get a point out of tonight’s game but to be honest every team steals the odd point here and there and also loses the odd one. The fact that it was an away game makes it a good result. We got a nice away point ourselves tonight, we could have won the game but I was glad of the one point we took from Croker as at this early stage of the league results are very hard to call.
    Next week it’s galway for us and the dubs head to Castlebar with their entourage., it’s nice to be back playing ball again. Good luck to you all and safe travels in 2020.

  24. I feel we are fielding too many light small Forwards in the squad to compete with the likes of Dublin and Kerry.If you look at all the Dublin and Kerry forwards tonight there all 6ft with good S and C.Brian Walsh, Ryan O’Donoghue and Fergal Boland are very light and coughed up possession in the tackle numerous times tonight.Where are the likes of Fionn McDonagh ,Conor Diskin and Conor O’Shea?? They all have the size and pace for the likes of Dublin and Kerry.I was impressed with Oisin Mullin, Padraig O’Hora, Jordan Flynn and Tommy Conroy of the debutants and they do look like they have something to offer.

  25. @Ah, Gamechanger… wait until you see the stunning equalizer goal from James Durcan twin brother in the of current All Star Paddy…(Superb Match to be at , and no doubt helped by the Highland Radio terrific and accurate commentary on the Match, listening to them while at the Match), … sounds like the Kingdom were involved in a thriller as well…. magnificent start to the Alliance Football league as far the GAA, and wider public are concerned!. In fairness we stole a point away from the ‘Hills of Donegal’ and all the sweeter for doing so.. Mayo did start allot of rookies in fairness, but despite our drawing the Match away from home, Donegal were mighty impressive…We welcome the Dubs to Castlebar….It will be interesting at least, Sure no one does drama like Mayo!

  26. Yeah id say the Kerry game was a cracker. Almost full strength teams aswell, which is probably what made it such a good game. Looking forward to the highlights.

    We completely stole a point in Ballybofey, but what an invaluable point it could be. Doing so with 5 debutants makes it even sweeter. Its hard to gauge where a player or team are at in January, so I wouldn’t have been upset if we lost either. 1 point down, 5 to go.

  27. Fair play to the lads. Great spirit shown. No matter what anyone tells me I think Carr def meant to lob the keeper. Hope his injury isn’t too serious because this lad could be really special with a full league campaign behind him. Great showing from all the young lads which is very encouraging… I think the new restart rule will really inhibit DC’s kick outs. He used to have found his man in seconds but now he has to travel to the 20 metre line to restart so for me the goalie debate is finished.. But what a finish to the game… Well done lads

  28. In all fairness, I turned off the radio when Donegal went three up and turned on the dubs Kerry last ten mins or so. What a finish that was I thought! Dubs were mighty p@%&+d off after that one. Then I watched the news and me jaw hit the floor when I saw James durcans goal, I’m sure Donegal were as peeved as the dubs. Two great contests last night, what a pity I didn’t hear out our lads finish! At least me radio is still intact.

  29. By jaysus. That was robbery! Delighted with the result tho, offered a draw away in ballybofey beforehand I would have bitten your arm off.

    Donegal were much the better side but the game will stand to us, no question

    Main positive for me was seeing JH be decisive with the subs. Always thought he was slow to make in game changes so glad to see him go Triple sub at halftime when things clearly weren’t working.

    Voted James Durcan motm, 1-3 off the bench was the difference between a result and a hiding

    Some of the newbies fared better than others.

    Kickouts were very poor. We need to be trialling a new goalie at this stage
    Tom Parsons isn’t fully there yet. We will need to be patient with him.

    Blessed with the result but with the big 4 all drawing on Saturday its all to play for now. Bring it on

  30. It was a great point to get and the lads will be delighted. A good finish to the game in contrast to the outing against Galway a couple of weeks ago.

    Some very encouraging displays from the new and fringe players but only after the old heads were brought on. You would have to say Horan got his subs spot on even if some of them were enforced.

    On a slightly negative note, I’m not sure what sort of studs we were using but we looked like dogs on wet lino slipping and sliding out there. In this day and age with all the analysis that teams have at their fingertips it was poor.

  31. Good point gained . It could be valuable by the end of the league While team fought really hard there were some sub standard performances and we were very lucky. Once again the older fellas had a big impact. Goal keeping issue won’t go away I reckon we should put big men around the middle and go long most of the time. The short kick outs were accidents waiting to happen last night.

  32. I listened to the game last night and was delighted we worked a draw away against a very tough Donegal Team. It looked like we had lost it.
    Whatever the Critics say about Us we never lie down.
    This rightly feels like a win. Can we build on this now for the Dubs? From the MWR commentary O Hora looks like a Find and must start v Dubs. AOS must start in MF and Kevin Mc. I would Start Keith in the half forwards and tear into the Dubs from the start.
    Midfield and Centre Forward positions will be vital battle areas next week, we have to win these if we are to have a chance in competing with Dublin.
    James Durcan deserves to start and I pray Janes Carr is available. DC must stay in goal. We will have a better idea where we are after next Saturday night and I hope JH keeps the youth Flying in Tommy Conroy , Mullan and O Donoghue.
    Finally this is a great Result away from home and hopefully the Lads will be buzzing in training this week. Never write off Mayo!

  33. Goalkeeping issue is haunting us which makes it all the more inexplicable why a new keeper wasn’t tried in the FBD

    Clarke and Hennelly have to be told to kick as long as possible every time

  34. A point I would gladly take. We played poor and Donegal wasted alot. I thought we would have gone for the win with a stronger team last night but delighted to see youth given a chance and snatch a point. James Durcan has come on alot and ran at Donegal. Was especially delighted to see him rattle the net after a donegal players arrogance roaring in his face previously. Much improvement needed for next week. Cannot wait. Rochford has yet to beat mayo while involved with donegal…long may it continue. Up mayo

  35. Re the goalkeeping issue. When analyzing Clarke’s overall performance, it’s only right and fair that we also credit him for the point blank save in the second half. Had that gone in we were goosed. Also the ball he plucked from over the crossbar in the first half. That’s 1-1 he prevented, without that we would have lost. Plus, the two he took from high balls under the crossbar that a certain other keeper would have panicked under.
    As regards his obvious weakness, I’d ask that people watch it again and look to see where his targets were out the field. On more than one occasion, there was little or no movement from our lads.
    Anyway, it’s January and the fire still burns in a lot of the older boys, that alone will help to guide and shape the younger ones.

  36. Was listening to the match on Mid West from my hospital bed gutted that I couldn’t be in Ballybofey. Great coverage from Michael D and Nigel Reape sure knows his football. Was very impressed that Mayo kept going until the final whistle and never gave up from listening to the radio it seems that Donegals Michael Langan mid a huge impact from midfield winning ball until Aidan came on in the second half. Good start to the league for us

  37. Clarke made a (trademark for him) superb save in the second half – but the opening had presented to Donegal from a really poor restart.

    Tom P called a kick-out on himself in the first half but the delivery hung so long in the air that Murphy was able to make his way across and come through the back of Parsons. Clarke also gave away a very poor free in the first half when charging unnecessarily off his line to try punch a long delivery clear.

    He’s a superb keeper, and has been an unbelievable servant to Mayo. But the game – and his position – has changed dramatically over the past few years. His restarts are putting us on constant pressure.

  38. Thanks PK I was wondering the same thing Langan is a famed Mayo name Tom Langan was one of the greatest and got a place on team of the millennium

  39. Lets get the negatives out of the way first.
    The kick out strategy is a disaster.I was really disappointed sitting there watching the exact same failing,hard to believe some sort of plan B wasnt worked on in training over the winter.The point can be made that there wasnt much movement last night for Clarkie to aim at and thats true,however even when there was a runner it was lopped up in the air and turned into a 50/50 ball.Contrast that to Pattons laser like pin point kickouts.
    Clarkie is the best shot stopper Ive ever seen and the best keeper weve ever had,in my mind hes our first choice.If anyone is in any doubt then think back to all those high balls in on top of him and him confidently coming out with every one including picking one from over the bar.He also saved our bacon with the 1 on 1 save and even managed an assist! However we need a solution to the kick outs
    Does anybody know where EOD and especially Mattie Ruane were last night? We were properly cleaned at mf first half. A good learning curve for Flynn though.
    Somebody mentioned Donegal would have beaten us on every stat last night. No so,our conversion rate was very unMayo like and we kicked the least wides in a game for a long time.
    I thought O Hora was the best of the new lads,besides I thought Boyle,Coen and ROD did well.
    Aido is a pure beast,just off the plane from 3 weeks in Vietnam and bullied the mf when he came on,they just couldnt deal with him and he turned the game.James Durcan had a hero cameo,tommy Conroy showed really well and the unsung hero of Mayo football Kevin Mcloughlin all helped to save the day.
    Delighted to steal a point,I think if this game was played in March and we had our full team fit with the youngs lads having a bit more experience by then we would beat Donegal.

  40. I thought O’Donoghue had a decent last quarter. Turned sharply a few times and ran directly at Donegal. The heavy ground certainly doesn’t suit a guy like him. I think there’s enough there to work with.

    Horan mentioned the slipping in his interview after the game and more or less questioned if they had the right studs for the game.

  41. Until the kickout is sorted we will be found out again and again, I’m sorry to say. Very disappointing to see that it seems as though nothing has been done here. We are immediately under pressure from the kickouts and are starving ourselves of a platform for attack. We cannot score if we don’t have possession and we are not gaining possession from the kickout. Dublin will exploit this next weekend and so will Kerry. We will never be in a position to beat the better teams while this problem persists, and indeed we were very lucky to not be well beat last night.
    Our midfield was not functioning well last night either and Tom Parsons didn’t look right. Worrying that we had to turn to a not fully fit Aidan O’Shea to dig us out of a hole there again.
    Not looking forward to Dublin’s arrival to McHale Park next weekend.

  42. Billy Joe Padden on the Mayo News Podcast had referenced the pitch and that it has always been known as a slippy, damp pitch. I walked across it after the game and it was very slippy even underfoot at that pace. In fairness the Donegal lads would know that better than us but, given the level we are at, I’m surprised we hadn’t scouted the venue too.
    I was also surprised how bumpy the surface was and if you threw your eye along the 20m and 40m lines you could see the rise and fall of the pitch.
    Regardless of everything, it’s a results based business, and we got 1 point of the 6 we most likely will need to survive the drop. In my mind introducing new players and maintaining our Div 1 status is our aim for now.

  43. Kick outs were poor last night, but we don’t have a viable alternative. Patton has a cannon on him, he regularly hit the opposite 45. Even when donegal lost a kick out, we were still miles away from their goal. We need to blood a new option that can do that, because our Robbie doesn’t have that boomer in his locker either.

    But a great result. So refreshing to see us get a poxy result for a change!! No offence to any Donegal people, but some of Murphy’s carry on is way over the top….berated Coldrick a number of times when he didnt get a decision and did the same at full time (I imagine to do with amount of extra time played, which was their own fault due to the amount of time wasting for injuries)

  44. A result we didn’t deserve but that’s sport on occasion.
    Donegal can only have themselves to blame for that – they certainly had more that enough chances.
    On the players, from the more senior players only Aido and Kevin Mc stood out. The rest were average at best I’d say but that’s to be expected at this time of year. Stephen Coen probably the only one that may have stood out a little, but having to mark Murphy is a nightmare for any player.
    Our kickouts are a problem, and Clarke was fortunate enough last night that Donegal didn’t exploit it more.
    Great to see the new boys getting a run and all of them can be happy with how they did. Delighted for James Durcan too, racking up 1:3 from 10 minutes on the pitch.
    Onwards to next week, I’d take a draw at this stage but I’m a bit more pessimistic in reality.

  45. In my last post, I should have also praised Clarke for his brilliant point blank save and he brilliantly dealt with the Donegal shots that dropped short

  46. In the first half when our kickout was under pressure – I cant understand why Clarke didn’t just go as long as possible with a few kickouts and take our chance. Worst case – Donegal would have gained possession but they would be on their own 45 and have to work the ball all way up the field

  47. – It’s about time we got a bit of luck in the last minute of a game.
    – Good and more importantly timely substitions were made by JH.
    – O’Hora the best of the newbies , Flynn got into the game a bit in the second half when he moved to the HF line.
    – Our kickouts did go long at times in the first half and Parsons/Flynn were often under the ball but Langan in particular won it over their heads.
    – In the second half it seems Flynn was asked to mark space with Odhran Mc behind him and corner back in front. Patton kicked at least 4 in a row to Odhran by looping over Flynns head who then and to turn and chase back at least 10 yards when it was too late. This was in front iof the Mayo bench and should have been corrected sooner.
    – I think Clarke was played because of Murphy and that Hennelly will start against the Dubs. We need Ruane and EOD to start next week and Kevin Mc plus Aido. DOC needs to glue himself to Fenton and get new studs as he kept slipping last night.
    – The PA never shut up last night kept announcing non match related stuff during the game. In addition he announced the arrival of the Mayo team as Donegal and only corrected himself when the real Donegal team arrived on the pitch.

  48. RTÉ news app stating Durcan goal came off a deflection, Anyone get a view from behind the goal? Can’t see any deflection in real time tv. BTW, I also reckon Carr went for a goal, no fluke.

  49. Highway robbery . The mayo team should have been wearing masks . A great point and sure to be an important one . Watched the game in a very packed pub and was pretty much the only person who though the goal was intentional 🙂

  50. People talking about studs, before the game even started it was clear that some of our bucks were wearing the wrong boots, slipping and landing on your ass in a warm up is a good indicator of wrong footwear and it happened several of the Mayo players. Anyways, learn from it and move on.
    From where I was watching, Carr seemed to know what he was trying to do with that lob, only himself can answer that for sure but it looked like he had goal in mind. He was close enough to goal so its unlikely that he dropped it short. Any word on Jason doc?

  51. Oisin Mullen’s performance has slipped under the radar, under 20 and handled the ball and his opposite number like a veteran, so seamless did he fit in that he was hardly noticed.
    The kickout were the major pressure point ,, Clarke couldn’t keep going long as Parsons, O’Connor and Flynn were completely cleaned in the air and the kickout from the 20 meter line rules out the quick short one. Has it to be from the 20m line or can you take it from anywhere inside in as long as it goes outside it?

  52. Wasnt it sad to see Joe brolly freezing his gobeen of under the hills of donegal , whilst his old mates were at rte were in a nice studio with the best of nosh, and joe j cares goal was no fluke.

  53. In contast to an earlier poster’s opinion….I taught that the pitch was in excellent condition (For the last week in January, after plenty of rain the last two or three months)… True it ISN’T as flat as a pancake, but that little imperfection probably helps with drainage….Mayo player’s definitely slipped on the surface much more than Donegal…. maybe a studs issue alright….If memory serves me right, the return from score’s attempted, via frees and 45’s last night was 100% from both teams…. Some boomers especially Diarmuid O’Connor and the incredible Micheal Murphy…. That’s an unusual stat… I’m open to correction but it was 18 attempted and 18 scored… Incredible!
    ..

  54. Deflection or not there was a lot to like about that goal.
    O’Hora slipped and was under savage pressure in the build up but retained possession – strength & crucialy poise.
    Flynn – Played a instant pass into Durcan in heavy traffic – had to be inch perfect and showed good vision
    Durcan had started his run so had momentum when he got the pass to get that yard of space
    Has the strength to Hod off his man with his right hand and bounced the ball on a wet pitch with his left hand perfectly
    possibly a bit of luck with the deflection- but skills practice and S&C work paid off there big time

  55. Yeah I don’t think Clarke should be shouldering all the blame for our poor kickout return in the first half. Our midfield was poor, Tom was a mile off the pace which is understandable, and he had little help….our movement was limited, and it was a tight pitch. David is still hoofing the ball high, which will continue to be a problem, and of course he won’t change now, but I think he may be the best we have right now and his other noteable attributes mean he’s still a top, top ‘keeper. We have to trust that management had a look at other keepers and have decided that Clarke and Hennelly are still the best we have. I think we as supporters just need to accept that for now.

    A super result. Watched it on the box but with 3 minutes to go I must admit I’d zoned out and had accepted defeat. As we all know, a point like that can be the difference come the end of the campaign.

    I’d agree with others that Carr and Reape need to get more aggressive when ball is coming in. They’re not winning their 50:50 ball. I suspect they’re forcing it too much as concentration is then lost. They need to throw their weight around more as they’re two strong lads. James Durcan will push hard now for one of those spots and with Cillian sure to return at some point, and mcgloughlin also likely to join in the FF line, opportunities may be limited. Still best to stick with the younger players for now but improvement needed.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of Jordon flynn around centre forward. Loved the link up play from him and OHora to set up Durcan for the goal. It was eye of the needle stuff, with the newcomers stepping up which is what you want to see in January. That has to please Horan.

    Lots will have been learned from y’day. Let’s hope we put it up to the dubs.

  56. Flynn did well to get that ball to Durcan for the Goal. One thing I’ve noticed about him is that he’s a very accurate passer of the ball. Something about him reminds me of Seamie. He did struggle a bit in the midfield earlier in the game, as Olive pointed out he came into the game more in the second half as he moved forward.
    I do like him as a player. I definetly think we will be seeing him as a regular starter in the next few years.

  57. Reape has talent for sure but needs to keep it simple. First win the ball. Take your man on and shoot.

    Young Rob Finnerty blazing it for Galway. Terrible shame his father didn’t get him to play in the green and red as a kid.

  58. I think we had 4 different free takers last night, Reape/Doc/mclouglin/Durkan and i cant remember use kicking one wide.

  59. The kick outs are killing us at least three or four points came from poor kick outs plus a pass to a Donegal forward who missed an open goal,as well as that the rest of the team has to work twice as much as opposition tracking back to the full back line to try and gain possession ,we cannot continue with David Clark

  60. Just a thought.
    If David Clarkes kickouts continue with this slow high looping delivery we will be targeted big time and have to build from the back constantly. So why instead doesnt he use a lower tee or better still no tee at all to reduce the height the ball goes in the air and thus the time taken for it to reach its desired destination.

    Someone will probably tell me this has been tried which is fair enuf but it would not surprise me if it hasn;t either as I haven’t seen any alternative tee so far

  61. If an outfield player takes the kickout then we’ve a player less to compete for the ball. Also none of our backs would be used of kicking from the ground so it’s a non runner.

  62. By no means a great overall team performance but boy, did the new lads step up to the plate! Fair play to Horan for giving them a chance, and what tougher would you ever get but Donegal in Ballybofey! Was late when I got home last night but managed to get some video processed. James Carr’s goal I’ve uploaded here, and what a cracker it was!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8A057NMus4

  63. Thanks very much Mayo Mick – saw your video this afternoon and was good to see some of the extended action!

  64. Clarke is pushing on & Hennely has had lots of chances but i fear one has to be dropped to make way for s new keeper.Now is the time not June.

  65. A win is a win fair play to the lads kepd going till the end
    I thought our forwards played ok the mid field i was
    more worried about plus kick outs. in reply to Mayonaze
    i wouldn.t go down that road Rob Finnerty his father
    of course is Anthony good player for the
    green and red remember 89 final a great goal
    and unlucky to miss a second but if you start
    using where parents are from like the o sheas
    keith higgins leroy tom parsons and a good few more
    in our camp could be spread all over the country
    we be as bad as the rossies lol taking goalies and
    forwards from other countys on the granny rule
    they have jack charlton to manage soone lol

  66. whats the story with Aiden O Shea , looked over weight or was he in the Gym all winter , whatever it is he changed the game when he came on, his massive strength is needed around the middle of the field, leave him there with Ruane and D O Connor to do the running to the wings for Clarkes kick out , and when the opposition follow them Clarke can kick the ball down the middle to Aiden. No need for the short kick out , that never seems to work for Clarke as there is very little movement of players looking to receive the ball.

  67. If we solve the kick out we will go long way, BUT it’s not a problem today or yesterday it’s there for few years, right now short kick out against dubs is a no no, go long as possible and crowd and hope for best.

  68. One week we are getting rid of Rob. The next we are getting rid of Clarkie. We need to be careful what we wish for,we don’t have any better options at the moment, although I do think Rory Byrne should tried in a league game when the time is right. As some posters have said, to keep the ball out of the net is the main priority for a keeper and maybe get at least 3/4 players moving for kickouts, in preplanned and well drilled moves. The trajectory of Clarke’s kicks have been the same since I first started watching him so that won’t change now. He needs to be given options and we need to support our keepers.

  69. Aidan O’Shea really does divide opinion like no other. He looked lean, he looked overweight, he has a lot to do to get up to scratch, he changed the game. For what it’s worth I thought he was a hugely positive influence when he came on and he looked as fit as he’s ever done. And if we have to rely on one of our most consistently excellent players to do a job for us, I fail to see why that’s such a disappointment to so many.

    Clarke will always be my no. 1 choice but his kickouts do give me the heebie-jeebies, and this passing back craic bugs me no end. I cannot understand why no other goalkeeper has been trialled. Where’s Rory Byrne? Where’s Matty Flanagan?

    Agree with most that the new lads showed very well; Mullin looked well capable as did Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy and it was great to see the hard-as-nails Pádraig O’Hora put in another great shift (and find extra hairgrips at half time). I hope we see lots more of him this year.

    Olive, the PA was an almighty pain in the arse during that game; especially near the end. He started talking at one stage and there was a spontaneous eruption of “Oh will you shut UP!” from the stand 😀 Nearly as much of a pain as Michael Murphy – he is undoubtedly one hell of a player and I’d have him on our team in a heartbeat, but much like the day they played us in Castlebar he never stopped whinging to the referee throughout. And he’s far from an angel himself.

    WJ, I think Paddy Durcan was captain on Saturday, not Diarmuid.

    Nothing like a bit of thievery in Ballybofey; I certainly didn’t expect to be leaving there with anything. I can’t say I’m overly optimistic for this weekend unfortunately.

  70. Yes Pattons kick outs were far superior to Clarkes but got to remember he still conceded two goals and clarke conceded none, i do agree though we need to rectify the goal keeper position over the next few weeks and no chopping and changing come championship.

  71. Pretty sure Paddy was Captain – I think he was the man to do the handshake with Murphy and the Ref before the game.

  72. This might sound like total bullshit but going to spit it out anyway. Could a defender not take some of the kick outs for Clarke? What’s to stop Clarke standing in the full back position while another player (Preferably one the full back line) kicks out the ball using a modern style with low trajectory and laser accuracy? Of course, it Kind of removes the option of a quick kick out to the corner back. But I’m not convinced that we get a huge amount of scores from those kind of kick outs anyway, against the top sides especially.
    We would retain the positive aspects of Clarke’s goalkeeping (everything other than his kick outs is elite level from David). We could go long to midfield at times with Clarke’s hanging traditional kick outs, and scrap for the breaks. And we could also have another player kicking out to 14 v 14 players and using their accuracy to set up an attack and retain possession. Once the kick out is made Clarke immediately slips back into position in goal from fullback and the kicker joins the outfield play.
    Is it a totally ridiculous idea?

  73. Problem with that Larry Duff is what does Clarke do out the field if someone else is taking the kickouts?.
    You’re inviting the team to push up if you are taking a man from out the field to take the kickout.
    You also need an outfield player to be able to take the kickout, and really it needs to be a back, or otherwise a Marathon runner as he’ll have to cover a lot more ground than others.

  74. Larry
    It’s a great idea if you have a player in the fullback line that has the qualities needed in that kick out and that he and the keeper are on the same wavelength regarding no short one to the keeper on the kickout. It must be that there is no keeper in Mayo that horan and co deem capable of succeeding the 2 current lads, we are in trouble if either or both of them were to get injured but that’s a risk we are taking. I don’t think it’s worth the risk, we should be sticking others in goal for at least portions of these league games and letting them get experience at the high level. Not that it makes a difference but Carr seemed to have glanced at Patten in the donegal goal in the seconds before the ball was in his own hands, if he did actually do that and score that goal intentionally it was some goal.

  75. Dave – to add to the point about Carr’s Goal – Patten and the Donegal defenders seemed to stall as if they were expecting Carr to take the Mark, and go for the point. He was also facing the goal when he caught the ball and Patten had started to come out when he did, so he’ll have seen that he was off his line.
    It’s really hard to know if Carr had intended to go for Goal and in truth only he knows, but he had time for the shot and he’s got quick reactions (see his first Goal against Galway in Limerick last year) so I wouldn’t have put it past him to have been thinking on the spot.

  76. Larry Duff it’s my understanding if the GK is not taking the kick out he must stay within the small rectangle.

  77. A big mistake in 2015 was when Kenneth O’Malley from Ballinrobe was dropped of the Mayo panel,in my opinion he had a better balance of shot stopping and kickouts together than Clarke.Clarke probably a better shot stopper all round.But think O’Malley was an all round better goalkeeper than Hennelly.

  78. I see Paddy O Malley has an interview in this week’s Mayo News,saying, among other things that he would be open to a return to the Mayo squad if invited but also having a cut off Mayo management so might not have done himself too many favours. A wait and see scenario i suppose.

  79. 2 Hops, I read the O’Malley article and I don’t see him having a cut at the Mayo management just giving a very honest answer to why he opted to play for Roscommon. He stated he wanted and still wants to play for Mayo but wasn’t invited into the setup, was offered senior county football and took it, so fair play to him. He did raise a very relevant point particularly with our current Keeper situation, various management setups have regularly brought in development players to the setup but never seem to include a goal keeper which is strange given how important the position is in the modern game, if Mayo are serious about developing a keeper to modern intercounty standards then prospects need to be in the setup early to receive specialist training in the position, we cant just rely on the clubs to develop a ready made solution. I hope he does really well with the Rossies (just not v Mayo) and all going well may be back in Green and Red in the future.

  80. O’Malley does make a fair point about no keeper having been added to development squads. It really is something that needs to be done.
    Surely Matty Flanagan would be a prime candidate?. He’s won all Ireland under 21, he’s played on the Juniors, he’s got a good kick and knows how to play outfield.

  81. I always thought Mattie Flanagan would have appealed sooner in a Mayo senior shirt. Was excellent at underage. Remember when mayo played Roscommon in i think junior level a couple of years back. Mayo were 2 points down with 2 minutes to go and the management announced a sub. The goalkeeper was taken off and on comes Mattie. What’s going on everyone said. Mattie however, played as a fly goalie and came up the field becoming an extra man. Layed on a pass and goal was scored. Mayo win by a point. Rossies reaction priceless. Andy has robbed them on occasion but that took the biscuit.

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