Game day – we need to win this one

Graphic: @MayoGAA

This match should already be over and done with but Storm Jorge had other ideas. So instead of Saturday night lights, it’s an early Sunday afternoon start for our NFL Division One Round 5 clash with Kerry. Hence, by the way, the change from the usual match-day graphic above too.

The refixed game throws in at MacHale Park today at 1pm. Martin McNally of Monaghan – an unfamiliar ref to us – has the whistle for it.

The early start to the game means, in turn, an early start today for those of us based on the other side of the country. So that means less time for final pre-match thoughts, which perhaps is just as well. Today’s a day for deeds rather than words.

Tyrone’s win over Dublin in the wind and rain up at Omagh last night means that our handy route to avoiding relegation – by relying solely on beating them in the final round – has now been closed off. We’ve three games left to play and now we need to win two of those if we’re to avoid the drop.

Realistically, today’s match has to be viewed as one of these. And sure why not? We’ve a very good League record against Kerry, though not, admittedly, at today’s match venue.

It doesn’t help either that Kerry are fielding their strongest possible line-up today. They’re not yet safe in Division One themselves and so they’ve named the kind of team they’ll expect a result from this afternoon.

That makes our task all the harder today. But that could, somewhat counterintuitively, play to our advantage. In recent years the team has played its best football when its backs are up against the wall.

We need to channel that kind of uncompromising approach today. We also need to show that the second half collapse the last day in Clones was a one-off.

Today we need to see the real Mayo, putting on a proper performance. Hopefully one that secures a result for us.

Right, enough babble – it’s time to hit the road for Castlebar. Best of luck to the lads today, as well as to the women’s footballers and the hurlers in their League matches too. Up the lot of them. Up Mayo.

50 thoughts on “Game day – we need to win this one

  1. Expecting a few changes to the starting team. Can see Higgins coming in, and pushing Keegan out to centre back on O’Shea. Really need to start well today, and keep our full contingent on the pitch.

  2. Eoin O’Donoghue shut down Sean O’Shea in the Sigerson. He is the man should mark him.
    We will need to make switches putting in whatever extra physicality we can muster. The Kerry team is bigger and stronger than our declared 15.

  3. More hopeful than anything for this one .Kerry look the much stronger team on paper .
    Safe journey all

  4. With all the new players being tried out, sometimes in different positions, there was never any hope of a clear gameplan being evident in the first few games of the league. James Horan has had a few matches now to get across to his players the levels they need to reach to survive in Division 1. I hope they have worked on developing a more solid defensive strategy, quicker transition of ball from defence to attack, and running off the shoulder which is one the few ways to create goal chances. Regardless of the result today, a good performance would at least give us some hope of winning the last two matches.

  5. The conditions are still not great which is probably an advantage to us. However hard to see anything other than a kerry victory given the lack of threat in our attack. The conditions will keep kerry score down a bit but they should still win by about 6.

  6. Good luck to Mayo today, great if they can win.
    Didn’t see the halftime tunnel battle in Omagh yesterday but maybe this is the way to unsettle the Dubs going forward, did it not happen a few years ago also.
    Croke Park is 100 % advantageous for the Dubs, ie, match day Dub stewards throwing footballs onto the pitch for the opposition kickout, Dub stewards trying to stop opposing supporters from entry to the Hill right behind the goal area, Tyrone reversed this last night and fair play to them.

  7. Look like there is going to be a smaller crowd than normal here today
    I think those who are here will be in for a nice suprise !

  8. If things were done right and punishment fitted the crime, Tyrone and Dublin would both be deducted six points each for the thuggery and yobbish behaviour that took place at half time last night.

    If that took place outside in the street, a few of them would be arrested for assault.

    However, no meaningful action will be taken and they will get away with it.

  9. Either it’s a penalty or not and if it is / was a penalty then a black card should have been issued . one has to go with the other !

  10. They have a free man for every single kickout
    That is what a kickout strategy looks like

    This is absolutely SHAMBOLIC

    I don’t know what’s the most worrying
    The lack of fight
    The lack of fitness
    The lack of anything resembling tactics

    All I know is they all fall at the door of the manager

  11. Abject stuff. We have visibly gone backwards in every part of the field and worst of all, morale looks very low. Don’t know how any of these problems will be solved, but I do know it’s not something that will be fixed in the coming months.

  12. Disappointing half – let’s be realistic though, we might not like to admit it but this team is in transition due to injured stalwarts and time moving on, more so than any previous years. A lot of youth coming through and it will take a year or two for them to get up to speed but some look promising. Hope to see Boland and Towey in the second half.

    Fans need to be patient but our transition from defence to attack and shot taking needs to improve. Defence improved as the half went on. Gavin White needs minding

  13. At the match here and we are so poor. Doing the same thing over and over again and its ending the same way..dispossession or wide or kicking it into keepers arms. What’s happening with Mayo?Kerry have an option with every kick out and Gavin white is playing puck on the wing o er on the stand side all day

  14. We are in transition, but questions have to be asked about tactics. There doesn’t appear to be any.

    Also, our forward play is just not there. I think the truth unfortunately is that the players coming through are not of the same standard as those that came before them.

  15. Km the surprise you predicted earlier on is not the one I was hoping for. Didn’t expect to win this today and don’t expect us to avoid relegation but do expect a much better effort in the second half with some serious fight. Losing some of our old warhorses to injury means the cupboard is very bare and most of the young lads have a long way to go yet before they are anywhere near capable of being consistently competitive

  16. Good second half performance but the gap at half-time was too much. That said, last kick of the game we could have equalised… small margins…

  17. Excellent second half performance that just shows what we can do , but how did McLoughlin miss that !

  18. Last 20 mins is an example of how effective AOS can be closer to the opposition goal. Said it before, that’s where we will see more of him over the next few years when we have other more dynamic mobile players in centre. An absolute handful for a defence provided he is used properly.

    Granted Aido was v strong around middle too for us.

    Disappointed we got nothing but the 2nd half at least gives us some hope.

  19. Great second half .AOS sounded like he was an animal today along with Eoin O D. Have to say to Andy Moran was brilliant on Mid West .

  20. Small margins indeed Ultair – Andy on Midwest was great and the 2nd half provides a lot of hope. The other results don’t look to be going our way at all but our young players seemed to step it up.

  21. Good second half and Diarmuid put in a great shift but if we have a reliable freetaker we win that game.
    AoS massive for us again and young McLoughlin, Towey, Conroy and O’D give hope for the future.

  22. Some of the comments on here around half time is disgraceful,as for krudler it would be nice if you could express yourself,well done to Mayo and management to put up a good display even though half the team is missing and a couple of others not near full fitness yet

  23. Was our set up wrong in the first half? Certainly seemed so. Good fight in the second half and perhaps with aido being effective up front maybe a look to the future.

  24. We should have nicked a draw but our first half display didn’t deserve it stlll though Mayo displayed great heart and courage to make a game of it and almost draw. Aidan O Shea is a legend he took some hits there today

  25. Krudler,
    Did your girlfriend leave you for a Mayo lad? Or did Mayo paste your county in recent years? One of the other.
    Anyways, hats off to the lads in the second half when it was easier to throw in the towel, and very close with that last shot to have taken a draw out of a very unlikely situation. I can see the next 2 games following the lines of the second half today, they want to be in division 1 and will make it happen.

  26. Looks like we put in a better performance in second half but today was a day for points.
    If we lose next week and Tyrone win we are gone I think?

  27. 100% Ultair, never ever feed them!! Anyways great heart in the second half…all is not lost yet.
    We soldier on

  28. Based on 2nd half when we lost Oisin to the black card and threw off the shackles we played the best we played all league, unfortunate not to get a draw but we probably had our quota of luck used up. Tough that it was two of our more seasoned players who had the best chances to tie it up with Leroy playing for a free when going through and Keith could have taken a touch and punched it over. Oisin consistently good again. Eoghan Mc Laughlin made a big difference. Ryan O D,Aido and Kevin Mc again very good. Also James Stretton didn’t look out of place in among big name players. So hopefully we can find that second half form for the two remaining games and we could be ok.

  29. As has been the case with this team of ours they fought to the bitter end and fair play to them for that I expected a strong second half and that’s exactly what they produced May well go down but if so go down fighting That’s all we ever ask for and they almost always give us that

  30. A remarkable second half turnaround but just such a pity we were so poor in first half.
    While Keith will be kicking himself for the bad pass that led to the goal and the missed point at the end, he was a key part of our attacking prowess in the second half.
    Don’t think I ever saw Aidan play better and never seen him take so much abuse. There was never a moment on the ball where he wasn’t being fouled. Amazing restraint on his part. Ryan O’Donoghue immense second half, as did Lee and Kevin. Still a real sickener seeing Kerry go home with the win.

  31. What a massive 2nd half performance. to come back with 9pts down at 1st half.
    To watch them play like that is a joy to behold.
    Well done lads. Looking forward to championship already coz that’s what we’ll be seeing with everyone getting league time.
    Not the end of the world if we go down BUT NEVER ever write these guys off without a fight first.
    As for ‘CrudeLer’ above must be very sad to be so ill. You obviously don’t know what sport is either. Good luck to ya anyway.

  32. Donegal making hay with Monaghan who did the same to us..We really could have done without that Tyrone win last night..

  33. Brilliant 2nd half for Mayo and the young lads did well to keep Kerry quiet in the second half,for sure there is alot more to come from the Mayo lads. And Krudler at the end of the day Mayo supporters are the most well behaved and respectful people you can chat too. Mayo Abú.

  34. The criticism at half time was perfectly warranted . Did not see any comments of a personal nature . Are we not allowed call it was we see it at the match no ? Speaking of which there was only 8000 there ……..
    Much improved second half which puts the first half in an even worse light .
    In the end we left at least a point behind
    McCormack and Mullin were good throughout
    AOS a collusus second half . But special mention to Ryan O Donoghue. He is going to be a special player with a bit more S and C .
    2 week break now so hopefully a bit of work will be done tactically by the coaching team to give us a chance of winning both remaining game
    I would rule nothing out !

  35. Ignore the clown. The second half performance would give hope. A massive shift put in by all. In the first half we had a lot of possession that was wasted. It’s not looking good for remaining in Div 1 but won’t give in yet and I’m sure neither will the lads

  36. Ah look, if we go down the key is to come straight back up. The last thing we need is lingering for a few seasons in that division.

    Interesting match in the second half. Anytime we got level or within a point they went down the field and scored. Always just that step ahead.

    Like all the finals we played we had chances today that miss at the end just another example of our inability to secure results when mattered.

    Also, Towhy should probably have started ahead of Durkin.

  37. Excellent 2nd half. If we’re going down,rather it be with the young one’s getting game time,than the experienced players. Looking forward to our remaining league games.

  38. – Its’ a pity that was said at half time was not said before the match started.
    – The first half we were dire particularly up front with D. Coen fumbling and fostering every ball, James D made one great run past Paul Murphy and then shot a bad wide and then nothing else, Ryan O’D tried but his lack of physicality meant he made little progress although he has a great second half. Jordan little impact and DOC everywhere but up front.
    – Sean O Shea left to fly thru the centre for a great goal highlighted again how slow and confused some of our backs seem to be in the first few mins with confusion about who was picking up who.
    – We also lost all the breaking ball in midfield in the first half and coupled with that a lack of plan, energy and interest it’s no wonder we were so bad. Honestly they were only a step away fro being booed off at half time.
    – Then in the second half we actually played ball and drove at Kerry and drew plenty of fouls from a very fussy ref.
    – Now there is no choice we have to win the next two matches.
    – As for the middle aged glasses wearing Kerry man who focused his bile on our Diarmuid O Connor for the whole game you really are a bitter piece of work. Pity you did not see the few “clips” Clifford threw at Higgins right in front of you.

  39. Good second half today but cant understand team selections, why are the likes of O Hora, E O Donaghue , J Carr and Towey not getting full games , some players are getting game time and are not performing . The younger lads need full games not the last five minutes. League almost over now and Mayo still haven’t sorted out goalkeeper or free taker . and most players dont know if they will be starting the next game and what position they might be playing if selected. not good enough in second year of Management

  40. I’ve dealt with that sad, sick individual now. Apologies all, I couldn’t do so before now as I was writing the match report for here and chatting for the podcast. It’s always best not to react at all because that’s what those who engage in such behaviour want. Far better to ignore stuff that deserves no better fate.

  41. Performances from Stephen Coen and James Durcan are just not good enough at this level ,Tom P still struggling to get up to the pace of the game.Thought Jordan Flynn didnt have much impact today game passed him by, and his man Gavin White did alot of damage down that left wing for Kerry which led to alot of there scores from play, Leeroy is been wasted back in the full back line heard a few Kerry supporters comment on it.Its like keeping a Ferrari parked in the Garage.
    Positives Oisin Mullin did as good a job as any man could do on David Clifford today, how Eoin O’Donoghue isn’t starting I cant understand it, really good when he came on,2 big turnovers especially the one on Stephen O’Brien down near the sideline.Paul Towey has to start against Galway just for frees alone looked dangerous when he came on and looked very confident kicking that free.Kevin McLoughlin is back playing near his best again looks more himself out on the 40 at 10 or 11.James McCormack I thought played well kept big Tommy Walsh very quite and was eventually taken off.I think we could upset Galway if Paul Towey and Cillian start inside we are just struggling to take our scores really and need to be abit more patient on the ball near the scoring area.

  42. Sean O’Shea and Dara Moyihan did there best today to get Mayo players booked. Constantly at niggly stuff off the ball getting Mayo players to react and get booked.I would like to see it again tonight but Clifford made the most of that challenge by Oisin Mullin and the ref reacted to the loud Kerry moaning.You can’t touch Clifford now or its a free in.

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