Mayo 1-13 Kerry 1-14: stirring comeback just falls short

At half-time this game couldn’t end quickly enough for us. Thoroughly outplayed in a chastening opening period, a hammering at the hands of a lively, inventive Kerry looked more a probability than a possibility.

Few of us in the 8,069 crowd that had gathered in perishingly cold weather for this match could have predicted what was to unfold after the break. We roared back into it in what was a veritable game of two halves. And then some.

In the end, we came up agonisingly short. We lost by just a single point and would have snatched what would have been a deserved draw had Keith Higgins not miscued a scoring chance right at the death.

But let’s wind the clock back to the start. We made three changes before throw-in, with Padraig O’Hora replaced by James McCormack, Keith Higgins in for Eoin O’Donoghue and Tom Parsons starting instead of Michael Plunkett.

We opted to play with the wind in the opening half. A deceptive wind it was, though, blowing at best diagonally in towards the stand. It was a wind we found hard to judge in the opening half, with the visitors almost as badly perplexed by it after the break.

We suffered a nightmare start. After James Durcan screwed his shot wide from our opening attack we then conceded 1-2 before five minutes had been played. Keith was the prime culprit for the goal, attempting a high-risk pass out of defence that Tommy Walsh gobbled up before feeding Sean O’Shea who finished calmly.

An O’Shea free and a fisted score by Gavin White put Kerry five clear before Darren Coen, from a placed ball, got our opener. But we were already reeling at this stage.

Kerry had the chance to land the killer blow soon after. Keith was again to blame, pulling Moynihan down in the square. Clifford went for power, however, from the spot and the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.

Kerry came at us in waves after that, necklacing handpasses that tore through our backline at speed.  The scores quickly mounted up so that with a minute to go to the break the gap between the teams stood at a yawning 1-8 to 0-2.

Tom Parsons had scored our solitary rejoinder in that spell, a point that proved to be our only one from open play in the first half. Two Kevin McLoughlin points from frees cut the gap from a yawning nine to a slightly less forbidding seven at the break.

We made three changes then. Tommy Conroy replaced Darren Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin came in for James Durcan and Tom Parsons gave way to Eoin O’Donoghue.

Immediately – and despite the fact we were now facing away from the tricky wind – we had more purpose to us. Soon it was Kerry’s turn to start staggering in this increasingly compelling contest.

Key to our recovery was how Diarmuid O’Connor took the game by the scruff of the neck. The Ballintubber player has seemed completely out of sorts so far this spring but today, for the first time in 2020, we saw the real Diarmuid and we were so much the better for it too.

Aidan, along with Keith, Kevin and Lee were also to the fore as our recovery gathered pace. But it wasn’t just the older lads who had fire in their bellies. Ryan O’Donoghue, Eoghan McLaughlin, Tommy Conroy and Eoin O’Donoghue were also prominent as we stormed back into this game.

At the back, Oisin Mullin was also playing his part. He gave Clifford a bellyful all day and I’d thought he’d got away with a deliciously unvarnished cynical hit on the Kerry superstar. Too unvarnished as it turned out because the ref – Martin McNally, who I felt was one of the better officials we’ve come across in a while – spotted it and Oisin spent the next ten minutes kicking his heels in the sin bin.

Two frees off the deck by Diarmuid gave us the perfect start to the half. The May-Oh! chants that began to ring out around the ground helped too. Oisin’s time in the bin didn’t, surprisingly, slow our recovery either.

Twice in succession, Aidan was the man giving the pass to the player who pulled the trigger. First it was Ryan O’Donoghue, then it was Eoghan MacLaughlin. Suddenly this was a three-point game and a match there to be won.

Points from O’Shea and Clifford finally got Kerry motoring. In truth, it was their ability to bag points from out the field in open play that eventually saw them home in this game, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

Eoghan MacLaughlin’s rocket to the net with fifteen minutes of normal time left to play dragged us right back into it. Points from Eoin O’Donoghue – after a long, patient period of possession – and Aidan O’Shea, who carefully wove his way around the Kerry cover like a cat sidling along a wall, brought the pot to the boil.

Stephen O’Brien cancelled out Aidan’s scores before our cheers had died down. Tommy Conroy, following a great surge by Ryan to make the score, cut the gap once more to the minimum.

Kerry, however, got themselves some precious breathing space coming down the closing stretch, with scores from Geaney and O’Shea (free). That was a winning total, but points from us from sub Paul Towey (free) and Kevin McLoughlin meant we ended up losing by just a single point.

It was rough justice to come away with nothing after that second half display but, in truth, this game was lost by us in that horrendous opening period. In that spell it was like we’d taken up where we’d left off in the second half in Clones and all manner of alarm bells were jangling at half-time.

It’s to the lads’ great credit that they put in such a fighting performance in the second half. At half-time most of us would have been forgiven for writing off this League campaign altogether but, even though we ended up losing, in an odd way our top tier cause no longer looks quite so hopeless.

The defeat pushes us closer to the trapdoor, of that there is no doubt. But we came into today’s match needing to win two of our remaining games to stay up and that’s still the target now.

Can we do this? I’ve no idea but today’s battling second half by the lads would suggest that we have at least a fighting chance of doing so.

Mayo: David Clarke; James McCormack, Oisin Mullin, Lee Keegan; Tom Parsons (0-1), Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan; Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Stephen Coen; Jordan Flynn, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2, frees); Kevin McLoughlin (0-3, two frees), Darren Coen (0-1, free), James Durcan. Subs: Tommy Conroy (0-1) for Darren Coen, Eoghan MacLaughlin (1-1) for James Durcan, Eoin O’Donoghue (0-1) for Parsons, Paul Towey (0-1, free) for Flynn.

Who was our MOTM against Kerry? Pick your top three performers

  • Aidan O'Shea (36%, 473 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (17%, 218 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (10%, 129 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (9%, 123 Votes)
  • Eoghan MacLaughlin (8%, 112 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (5%, 67 Votes)
  • David Clarke (3%, 42 Votes)
  • James McCormack (2%, 30 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (2%, 28 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (2%, 20 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (0%, 4 Votes)
  • James Durcan (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 716

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86 thoughts on “Mayo 1-13 Kerry 1-14: stirring comeback just falls short

  1. Hats off to the lads for putting in a mighty 2nd half. We might not have won, but still feeling very good by the that 2nd half display.

    We needed points today but we needed hope alot more and we got that.

    A half of football can really make the future look alot brighter.

    Great match report WJ.

  2. Great to see a young team with a bit of seasoning doing so well. Hope it’s a sign of things to come from Mayo. Maybe we will go down but we’re definitely not out. Maigheo go deo.

  3. I think this was a case of the agony, the ecstasy and finishing with thrive agony. At half time it looked like it was all over, the second half performance was at the opposite end of the spectrum, but it wasn’t enough. There are some glimmers of hope here and they are coming mainly from the newbies which is promising, notwithstanding AOS s second half.
    Willie Joe, I do have to take issue with your analysis of the referee’s performance. Accepting my green and red tinted glasses, I thought he let Kerry away with murder. I did not see what led to Oisín Mullen cars, but there were several Kerry cynical tackles that didn’t warrant a free never mind a card, and on several occasions he pulled us back when he could have played an advantage.

    I Also noted two former players lamenting the first half performance on Twitter. In fairness one of them recognised the second half fight back.The criticism was justified, but why do these fellas feel the need to put the boot in, when their counterparts from other counties stay stumb or back their successors. If they want to offer constructive feedback privately to the new lads I am sure it would be well received.

  4. Absolutely loads to be hopeful about but it would be a real disappointment to drop to Div 2, albeit we could have no complaints. I wouldn’t blame management in any way though for trying out all the new players. Each and every one of them has done well and the experience gained will be invaluable. It’s always so hard to get the balance of trying new talent and retaining our status. To stay up in Div 1 would truly be a godsend. It’s still possible.

  5. Do you follow ex county players of all teams on twitter Head down stay goin? Otherwise you can’t possibly say they don’t comment
    Either way it’s silly . They are perfectly entitled to their opinion as much as anyone else
    Some people are far too sensitive
    We were awful first half . We were excellent second half .

    Also
    The booing of opposition free takers (and the ref) is gone beyond embarrassing at this stage

  6. I was nearly sick at halftime. I was sure we would suffer a terrible hammering that would end the careers of a few players. I don’t blame anyone on here who made negative comments at halftime. There were plenty of them flying around where we were sitting. But by God that second half was special. We sent out a very strong message to everyone and anyone – ‘we haven’t gone away ya know’!
    The lads who stood up in that second half have to be admired and deserve a starting place next day. Unfortunately, Tom Parsons doesn’t seem to have recovered his old form and I suppose that is understandable but nonetheless sad for himself.
    Well done to the auld lads particularly Keith Higgins who could have given up after a couple of howlers. He, Aidan, Lee, Kevin and Diarmuid gave the leadership that was needed and the young lads stepped up and delivered during that half. That will have done them a power of good.
    No reason why we cannot beat Galway and Tyrone. We proved we are good enough – when we decide to play!

  7. First half worse than second half in Clones. Looked like third division team!
    Second half hard to believe the contrast. Still got nothing out of the game. Equation very simple now. Lose to Galway and we are gone. That should concentrate the minds. Two week break to get sorted. We can do it but no room for error. Galway would love to send us packing. We cannot let that happen. Pride and passion in front of a huge support. Nothing less can be tolerated. Get it done Mayo!

  8. Rousing second half performance, even when down to 14 men for 10 minutes and the wind was particularly strong against us during that 10 minutes, Mayo dominated and Kerry were pinned back, 15 behind the Ball…AOS pheonamal second half, Ryan O Donahue, Kevin Mcloughlin, Diarmuid O’Connor,Osian Mullan, and more certainly gave everything!.. We were lucky to have 3 points going into the Match today, but more than a shade unlucky not to coming out with 5 points, if ye get my meaning.. Maybe I’m biased, but I taught that the Ref let the Kerry goalkeeper away with murder for persistently taking an age to restart… Also there was a blatent take out of AOS off the Ball, as Mayo tried to set up an attack stand side in the second half.. The guilty party Sean O Shea went totally unpunished…If we can put four 35+ minutes performance together for Galway and Tyrone we still have every chance of staying up… Disappointing result today, but positives as well.

  9. Unlikely scenarios where we can stay up if we don’t get a point against Galway are either

    – Monaghan losing to Kerry and Meath and Mayo beating Tyrone combining into a minimum 16 points swing.
    – Tyrone and Kerry beating Donegal and Mayo beating Tyrone combining into a minumum 33 points difference swing.

    A scenario where drawing with Galway and beating Tyrone doesn’t manage to save us is:

    – A draw or a Tyrone win against Donegal in Round 6 followed by Monaghan or Donegal winning on the last day.

    A scenario where drawing with Galway and beating Tyrone does manage to save us is if Dublin and Monaghan beat Meath and Donegal beat Tyrone.

    There is a (very much possible) scenario whereby Mayo beat both Galway and Tyrone and still go down on point difference (assuming there is not a 16-33 points difference swing if Tyrone beat Donegal, Donegal beat Kerry and Monaghan beat either Kerry or Meath.

    As such we are already relying on results elsewhere. The only way we can go into the last Round with our destiny in our hands is if Donegal take points off Tyrone next Saturday in Ballybofey.

  10. Mayo have delivered many times coming from behind in games, but to get that winner had proved difficult.
    I see Meath after being promoted from Div 2 last year, very competitive in games this year but just unable to get a win.
    There are a number of things that I fear for Mayo if relegated this year,
    1, May be stuck there for a while.
    2, May find it too difficult if promoted to Div 1 if they were to get demoted and win Div next season.
    The going is tough in Div 1, many very unusual outcomes in games, ie Monaghan beat Mayo, Donegal hammer Monaghan and yet Donegal drew v Mayo.
    Galway hammer Tyrone, yet Tyrone beat the Dubs .
    Better go now the Virus is coming very close to us in Dublin. NOT JOKING ABOUT THAT.

  11. Lots of positives today from some of the experienced guys and the young lads

    MacLaughlin looks a player and Towey took that free acid he was a seasoned operator. Add in RO’D, Conroy etc and of course the superb Mullin and the future looks bright

  12. Andy did a great job in mid west today. Great football brain and a super positive person. A real breath of fresh air.

  13. Digits.. Does head to head not come into effect first?
    Like if Mayo and Monaghan finish on the same points, Monaghan would stay up on the head to head rule.
    Whereas if Mayo and Donegal finish on level points because ye drew than it goes to scoring difference.
    On a side note if ye play like ye did in the second half today v Galway ye will win in Pearse..

  14. team selection is worrying me , why cant he give players a chance in a position and a few full games.
    My Choice would be something like this.

    Clarke /Hennelly toss up and keep the winner there till an injury or loss of form.
    Harrison
    Mullen
    E O Donaghue
    Keegan
    S Coen
    P Durcan.
    Ruane
    D O Connor
    McDonagh
    R O Donaghue
    C O Connor
    Carr
    A O Shea
    Conroy.
    Subs from S Coen, Higgins, Boyle, McCormack, Boland , Towey.

  15. I don’t understand why Eoin o Donoghue wasn’t started today. Any time he plays he impresses me. A few forwards that started today have got a few starts now and to me haven’t impressed. Would love to see Conor Loftus and Brian Reape start next two league games. If they are deemed not good enough then – don’t continue to carry them in the panel to make up numbers. How are all these players not playing at the moment – Barrett, SOS,Ruane, Vaughan, Murray, Treacy, Cillian, McDonagh etc – going to be match fit for championship. Some people think these lads can turn out the day of championship game and be up to the required intensity – this doesn’t happen.

  16. Maybe Paul Towey can be the anwser to our free taking problem? He looked assured and confident when he came on I’d say he’s going to be a big player for us along with Ryan O’Donaghue.

  17. At half time, it was relegation and a short summer! we were simply that inept and woeful!! At the end of the match, far more optimistic of a summer jaunt, but a drop is very likely and so be it, if we are blooding players to play like the second 35 mins, bring it on! Very impressed with the 2x o Donoghues, Conroy and Eoghan McLoughlin. They drove us on, its a pity that the first half was so poor, otherwise we would have got 2 points.

    I thought the ref was way too whistle happy, flashed yellow cards for fun but other than Mullins black (Correct decision!) he let the cynical fouls go, and this caused in part mayhem on the pitch and stands, especially with Clifford and Higgins. He needs to understand what “Playing advantage” means. I counted 3 for us and 1 for Kerry that he pulled back when the advantage would have resulted in major scores.

    Plenty reasons to look forward to the next 2 games, and focus on getting 4 points. Its very possible on todays second half showing.

    Hon Mayo!!!!

  18. Culmore How did Ruane come into the reckoning. He hasn’t kicked a ball in the league yet so have to presume he is injured. Great to see Boyle in your panel. Unfortunately he will possibly be unavailable for most of the year. Cillian makes your cut as well. He too has not played any league games but we desperately need him back. Must presume that Carr must be injured as well as otherwise one has to expect he would be playing. Think Harrison may be out for another while as well. Absolutely crippled with injuries yet some of the young lads drafted in have performed well while the old brigade stood up strongly today. We must keep going Galway would love to send us packing but that’s all the more reason to stand up and be counted. These guys may get relegated but the second half today offered a small bit of optimism. Some of the other teams are much nearer full strength than we are. Keep on battling. No more we can ask for.

  19. If two teams finish level on points, they are seperated by the head to head rule..
    If they drew (as in Donegal and Mayo), then points difference will be used to seperate them.

    If 3 or more teams finish level on points, then they are seperated by points difference only.

  20. We have absolutely been crippled by injuries
    Which makes Horans aversion to starting Eoin O Donoghue all the more mind boggling
    Excellent when he came on AGAIN
    Kicked a huge score again.
    Not sure what more he has to do . But it just isn’t going to happen for him under Horan. He seems to make his mind up on some players one way or another and that’s it .
    Might be why the selector turnover is fairly high. Their voices not being heard perhaps ?

  21. Was very please with Ryan O’Donoghue’s 2nd half, was afraid he’d be pulled ashore at half time.
    Keith was yellowed in 2nd half for of the ball scuffle with Clifford, didn’t see it from the start, but certainly saw them separate and Clifford go back in to re-ignite it.
    Pity we didn’t get that last chance, would have been very satisfying.

    All in all, very promising 2nd half – Horan using the league well, I’m not sure we’ll see Tom or D Coen again 🙁 , but also giving O’Hora, R O’Donoghue a good chance to establish themselves.

  22. We are in transition….we have a raft of injuries and new young faces…it’s no shame IF we drop division 2. Don’t write us off yet though.

    Let’s see how we can do against the All Ireland champions in waiting in 2 weeks time.

  23. Ah come on km 79.i have never seen such a bunch of young lads playing so good.
    Far play James Horan.
    And fuck the begrudgers.

  24. We are currently missing or didn’t start this team. Hennelly; O’Hora, Harrison, O’Donoghue; Plunkett, Barrett, Vaughan; Ruane, S O’Shea; McDonogh, Boland,Tracey; Towey, Carr and C O’Connor. For one thing that’s a decent team and when Horan can pick from both, we’ll be ok.PS I too thought the ref was brutal, both ways. The free for Clifford, and a card for Keith, was crazy.

  25. Surely the positive from the permutations is that Donegal and Tyrone can’t both have max points from the next game as they play . Meaning if we can manage a victory v Galway we will be in with a shout in the last round .

  26. I couldn’t believe how poor Mayo were in the first half. 1 point from play 16.02 minutes into the first half from Tom Parsons & 3 pointed frees was not good enough . Aidan was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty, I honestly thought he was fouled inside the square. However James Horan should have made a few changes after the first quarter. Mayo were brilliant in the second half & were unlucky not get a draw out of it . The next 2 games will be important but are winnable.

  27. Monaghan have Meath at home last game so will prob be safe regardless of Kerry game. So the key game is Donegal at home to Tyrone. If Donegal win we stay up if we beat Galway and Tyrone. If Tyrone beat Donegal we’re relying on Kerry beating Donegal in last game. So 2 wins we should be ok.
    Glad we’re playing Galway when they are flying and better still playing them away, sure they’ll beat us out the gate??

  28. Had to listen on Midwest. Agree, Andy was wonderful with the commentary. Loved when he asked the question “We can be biased, right?”. Too funny.

  29. We are showing great depth at present to put out a a team/panel to face a Division One side with these young lads coming in. Believe we had 18 players unavailable for today’s match day panel for one reason or another of the original 2019 35 man championship panel, plus all of the 5 names development panel members. I find it strange when some posters give out about team selection.

    Retired
    Andy Moran
    Ger Cafferkey
    Caolan Crowe
    David Drake

    Injured/not fit/not selected
    Colm Boyle
    Chris Barrett
    Brendan Harrison
    Donie Vaughan
    Matthew Ruane
    Seamus o Shea
    Fiona McDonagh
    Jason Doherty
    Cian Hanley
    Conor Diskin
    James Carr
    Cillian o Connor
    Evan Regan
    Brian Reape

    Development panel
    Schlingermann
    Ben Doyle
    Shairoze Akram
    Oisín McLaughlin
    Mikey Murray

  30. I’m afraid I cannot agree with the comment earlier about how good Andy Moran’s commentary was.

    Andy was one of out best ever forwards and knew how to whip the ball over the bar and take scores even when nothing to appeared be on. So he understood more than anyone the importance of taking chances and going flat out to take the chance.

    So I just cannot believe he really felt James Durcan was showing great positivity after getting on the ball in the 1st minute or so and kicking it wide. I wanted to hear how close in James was to goal and whether it was a really bad wide or not – the sort of wide that can affect a player and the team‘s confidence in a game. But there was nothing on that. If composure and focus was not there when it should have been, then Andy should have had no hesitation in calling this out. If it was Kevin Mcstay doing the commentary, I hasten to say there would have been a lot more discussion on how wasteful Mayo were in the 1st half in front of goal. But Andy did not paint this picture.

  31. Much appreciated Digits. Succinct and laid out for all to digest. Can we stay up, off course we can.

  32. Evan Regan is team nutritionist/retired
    Schlingerman has signed for Galway United
    Cian Hanley, Diskin and Reape not being selected in the midst of this injury crisis suggests they are not in the managers thinking
    Boyle won’t be back this season
    Doc as good as won’t be either
    Some of the others will be back but some haven’t kicked a ball in a fair while and it is far from ideal that so many will be nowhere near match fit come Championship.
    Not ideal.
    It was noted last year that we were picking up an awful lot of injuries outside of matchdays, The trend seems to be continuing

  33. Yes have to agree with the comments about Andy on Midwest. He was so positive right the way through it was brilliant. Great positive attitude. Despite losing and getting no points I too feel surprising happy this evening. Mayo always play great when their backs are to the wall. Two wins is definitely a possibility after that 2nd half performance so here’s hoping the lads can produce more of the same!

  34. If Reape couldn’t make a 29 man match day panel today it must be that he has been released, same goes for James Stretton and David Kenny. James Horan mentioned on his podcast that players were released and new younger players brought in four from the U20s and Eoghan McLaughlin from last years U20s. Surprised we haven’t seen his brother Oisín who was part of the development panel

  35. Let’s not kid ourselves, and certainly don’t let today’s second half performance mislead anyone, that first half was as bad a showing as I can remember in the last 15 to 20 years. Utterly shapeless, clueless in attack and second in mind and body to every ball. Unable to retain possession in our full forward line where we dropped two efforts short, with the wind!, and registered 5 wides (3 of them very score able). We played like a very bad second division side and that’s most likely where we’re headed. One point from play in the first half, 2 points in total in the first 34 mins and showing yet again an inability to close off the central areas in our back line. Shambolic.
    In truth, Donegal should have been home and hosed at half time in Balleyboffey where they kicked 7 wides and dropped 3 short in a totally dominant first half performance against us. If Meath had continued to run straight down our middle they would got the victory their performance deserved. We robbed two points in Navan along with the one in Donegal.
    The second half performance is relatively easy to do when the game is gone and there’s no pressure. It really was a case of bolting the door when the horse was gone. We cannot afford to lower the standards that have been set over the last 8 or 9 years, otherwise we’ll be gone off the radar for 10 years, and it will happen as quick as a flash.
    Now, to counter that, I feel we have no choice but to stick with the young lads coming through and give them the time to learn the game at this level, and also time to make the mistakes they undoubtedly will make, in their development. If that means relegation then so be it. What we cannot do though is drop standards to such a point that today’s first half performance is deemed anywhere near acceptable.
    A big two weeks preparing for Galway is in store.

  36. Don’t know where to start, the best and worst of a Mayo team in the one game. 7 points down to a full strength Kerry team against the wind for 35 mins, and we almost nicked it!!…insane. Theirs no doubt about it but we are gone from D1, but im happier now than i was before throw in. I saw enough in that 35 mins to be hopeful for the summer. If and its a big IF we made the super 8’s this year, then relegation wont matter as much as it does right now.

    Imo theirs 3 ways you approach the league:

    A. Go full throttle fitness wise from October, with your 15-20 regulars, all flying fit and used to their playing patterns, combinations etc. The Positive-you’ll stay up, The Negative- your squad doesnt really develop, burnout will hit in July, followed by a shock exit in qualifiers, or tame showing in the super 8’s. Examples of this over last 3/4 years, Monaghan, Roscommon, Kildare.

    B. ( This is us imo) You aim to peak in high summer, by training heavily through the league and not before. You rest some key players and give youth/panel members their chance. Dublin do this all the time, but with the depth of talent they have, they stay up with relative ease. Negatives: High risk of Relegation…us most likely, Tyrone and Donegal a couple of years ago.
    Positives: Flying fit come summer and bursting with energy. Possibility of previously untried players adding real depth to championship squad. A long run in the summer can ensue, ending in a semi or a final.

    C. Somewhere between A and B. Relevant examples would be Galway and Kerry. Your basically playing your championship 15 or very close to it. Your at 80% fitness and not 100% like Monaghan. Your playing in a style that your trying to implement as the norm for your team, and bring it into the championship. Positives- you’ll go far in the league and stay up comfortably. Players will gel together well, and believe in the “system” your playing, will be super confident come championship. Negatives-Hype starts to build from the media and fans. You’ll be touted as the only challengers to Dublin. You’ve shown your hand too early, and other teams have plenty of tape to review your style, and take you out in high summer. More than likely you’ll navigate to the latter stages, but thats where it ends.

    Theirs no doubt we are in the B. Camp. James certainly went a lot harder in the league last year, but paid the toll in the second half of semi against the Dubs, we wer burnt out, running on fumes. I believe he is going all out for peaking in summer this year.

  37. If, Mayo beats Galway and Tyrone. & Tyrone beats Donegal. & Donegal beats Kerry. & Monaghan beats Kerry. & Meath beats Dublin & Galway beats Dublin. THEN DUBLIN AND MEATH GET RELEGATED ?.
    Just saying.

  38. Felt strange being in the middle of a Galway crowd today in the stand in Navan cheering the Mayo hurlers and also great to hear them getting applauded off at the end…anyway, back to the usual stuff in 2 weeks time!!!!

  39. Such a bizarre game. We were absolutely inept in the 1st half but especially the opening 10 minutes when Kerry missed the penalty as well. A very bad day for a handful of our players. It could be last chance saloon for 2 or 3 tbh.

    Mullin excellent again, a bit unlucky with the black card. I’m not one to blame referees but Aidan and Diarmuid were taken out off the ball on occasions with no punishment given out. James McCormack played well in the full back line. Don’t know why he was dropped for the Monaghan game after playing well vs Meath. Speaking of guys who did well against Meath, why isn’t Eoin O’Donoghue starting these games? It seems such an obvious selection as it would allow Keegan to play as a half back.

    Aidan and Diarmuid dragged us back into the game but you’d have to question why it took them 35 minutes to start playing? Eoghan McLaughlin made a big impact off the bench. Reminds me of a young Donie Vaughan and that was a top class finish for the goal. Ryan O’Donoghue stepped up in the 2nd half along with Kevin Mc and Tommy Conroy.

    I’d be hopeful that we’ll improve over the next 2 weeks but whether it will be enough to get the two wins is another matter.

  40. Fair play to you big Mike! Hurlers put on a good performance!
    Am I paranoid or does Pat Spillane take every opportunity to bury Mayo? Kerry won by 1pt with a full team yet to hear him he’s writing off Mayo completely. I just hope we get a chance this summer to set the record straight.

  41. Mayomessi,
    James Stretton was announced prematch on public address as wearing the No 2 jersey in O’Hora’s absence so obviously he is not gone from the panel. Too many people are reading between the lines and getting entire works of fiction for their troubles. But I would like these to keep these works to themselves as I am not interested in works of fiction about Mayo football.

  42. I wouldn’t be to bothered about going down, the talent is there and maybe div 2 would be the springboard to success
    Keep the faith

  43. I wouldn’t say Ky had a full team today. Missing from starring team – Peter Crowley, Gavin Crowley, Sherwood, o Beagley, David Moran, Stephen o Brien, Geaney and James o Donoghue.
    I wonder is Towey a regular/ reliable free taker. He took a good free today. Our two main free takers today – Kevin Mac and DOC don’t even take the frees for their clubs.

  44. Yes Puckout! Spillane is a complete sickener and Wheelan isn’t a lot better. You would expect at least they would mention the fighting, never say die spirit Mayo showed in that second half. To fight back from 9 down to almost draw the game with 14 men for 10 minutes says something surely. I would love it if we shut them up later in the year and we just might do that! If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last ten years following this particular team and it’s you can never predict what they might do.
    Today showed the worst and the best of Mayo football. At our worst anyone could beat us……..at our best we could beat anyone.

  45. 2 points from play from the starting forwards is a real concern. Forwards seem to have forgotten what their primary duty is !! Why is nobody making use of the forward mark ?

  46. Pebblesmeller…you have it spot on. Easy do it when the game was over and pressure off…. We knew Tyrone won so it was up to us to do the business and they produce a 35 minutes like that?? Pathetic is the only word. We love to call them warriors and heroes and yes, they usually are but ignoring the first half and saying we were brilliant in the second is either naive in the extreme it plain stupid. In the build up to the Galway game I’d be hoping the camp focuses on the first half rather than the second… Otherwise it’s division 2 football for us next year I’m afraid

  47. Half the team injured or unavailable,lots of young lads on show doing well,kerry with near enough their championship panel playing,should have definitely drawn it and possibly won it and yet you have so called Mayo fans calling that “pathetic ”
    Have a word with yourself there wayne.

  48. Twas awful cold near the end though…we were freezing our giblets off!!! Anyways feck it, todays game is gone. MAYO as always did us so proud!! Salthill in a couple of weeks is where it’ll be happening. There’ll be a bit of needle in that wan I’d say!!? Mayo to win it by 1 in confrontational circumstances and then come from 6 points down in McHale park a week later against Tyrone to also win by a point and survive with a pitch invasion to follow which was never seen before. We’ll subsequently wait in the long grass for most of the summer, then see what unfolds and aiden oshea to win player of the year

  49. FW… Ok… It was a great performance and we were unlucky to be so far behind at the break. Are ya happy now?
    Yes I’m a mayo fan, massive one in fact, not a “so called mayo fan” but I also live in the real world.. that first half was a shambles, are we not allowed to criticise now? Just because we support them are we supposed to say they are brilliant and heroes when today that clearly was not the case in the first half? It was a complete malfunction of performance, tactics and execution. I’m not making it personal on any individual team member , but as a team that was pathetic. I stand over that.

  50. Wayne and FW – could you both dial down the emotion a bit? Criticism when made after a match needs to be measured and focused on specifics and those commenting should refrain from direct critiques of others. In light of this, you’re both offside so in time-honoured GAA reffing practice, that’s a yellow card for both of you. Right, I’m off to bed. It’s been a long day.

  51. These were the top scorers in the Senior Club Championship in Mayo last year.
    Neil Douglas Castlebar 1-29
    James Shaughnessy Claremorris 2-26
    Andy Moran Ballaghadareen 3-24
    Cillian O’Connor Ballintubber 1-28
    Liam Irwin Breaffy 0-23
    Darren Coen Hollymount 0-17
    Peter Naughton Knockmore 1-14
    Ciaran Treacy Ballina 0-17
    Gary Boylan Belmullet 0-15

    Excluding Andy Moran retired and Cillian O’Connor injured only 1 of the rest got game time today, something isn’t right, we seriously lack men who can kick a ball between 2 posts forget your Strength and Conditioning and size, first thing you should be able to do as a forward is score. Compare that with Kerry, the top 4 scorers in the Kerry Senior football championship all played today, Tony Brosnan, David Clifford, Paul Geaney,and Sean O’Shea.

  52. A monaghan referee, not a good idea when they are not safe either, the ref was brutal, London Eye is right, Andy should should give an honest opinion, j durcan missed a good chance, not a lot of positivety in that, but a great comeback, pity about the first half, aos man of the match

  53. How can a team be so bad in one half and so good in the second? You could easily ask the same question of Dublin. How come they were so bad in the first against Monaghan or indeed against Donegal? I don’t have the answer but I reckon it has to do with work rate. It was obvious yesterday that we lacked the energy and competitive bite needed to compete with Kerry. We were second to the ball, our marking and tracking were poor and we looked dispirited. Kerry on the other hand were all over us when we had possession and didn’t give our forwards an inch.
    Why would this be the case? I don’t know for sure but I’m sure the management team will be looking hard at this. They need to.

  54. A few points to raise with evidence.
    – Eoin O’Donoghue shutdown scoreless from play Sean O’Shea in the Sigerson, we did nothing with that information. It seemed to be the much looser Keith Higgins on Sean O’Shea, a terrible match up in my view.
    – Why is Eoin O’Donoghue even benched? He’s been good this league in his brief time.
    – It was lamented that we stood off. I would say moreso our defensive plan was focussed too high up the field leaving the full backline 1 v 1. Then players of older age returning to play don’t have the pace to track runners from middle third. We in 2020 are not automatic about protecting the D at the D quickly. That is a 2020 default.
    – Is there much point starting older slower players? Aren’t they going to be more effective coming on when their lack of pace is better hidden.

  55. To be honest im in the ‘cup half empty’ camp today.
    They showed good determination and pride in coming back in the last 20 mins but cant get the stench of the first 40+ minutes out of my nostrils. The 1st half was our worst half of football in years. Inept in every line.
    Some of our worst offenders were our experienced soldiers like Parsons and Keith Higgins.

    Lads done well off the bench, young eoghan mcloughlin looks an addition, and there will be a good player in Conroy too after a few years of senior s&c

    Voted Mullin motm for second week in a row as he was the only one who played well throughout.

    We need to double down and back the young ‘uns for the rest of the campaign now. Its going to be a necessary evil as we regenerate the team, cant really be looking at guys like Vaughan, Higgins, Parsons etc as starters anymore

  56. Tuamstar – just a little tongue in cheek at the giddy galway fans…getting very excited ye are and rightly so.

  57. We are enjoying a more expansive attacking game but that’s it really, I wont be getting too excited yet, that result against Tyrone needs to be looked at in more detail. We struggled yesterday, were lucky v Monaghan, so it’s a case of been realistic. Mayo should really fancy their chances in two weeks..

  58. The league is preparation ground for the championship. Relegation is not a disaster so long as your team gets straight back up to Div1. With the ammount of players James has tried out all getting experience we should be capable of that. Both Donegal and Tyrone have been down in 2 but are consistently competitive. Donegal are in the frame for AI this year having backed youth. We have been flirting with relegation several times before and fighting spirit plus luck sometimes has kept us up. Would love to win the last 2 and stay up but I still think we’ve a strong panel. I think a fit Ruane would greatly boost our chances. We haven’t unearthed as many players as Kerry and Donegal but James is trying. Since his return we’ve at least seen some forwards with promise emerge. Carr could be a real handful if he gets a clear run and some people excited by Towey. Eoghan McLoughlin bagged 1-1 yesterday and played midfield during a big recovery so maybe he has something in midfield. Spillane is right it’s all about forwards. Find one or 2 marquee and we’re in the frame. McBrearty showed the value in that yesterday.

  59. Tuamstar, you’ve little to learn about online GAA blogs, i genuinely tip my hat to the way you “play” it on here lol, your a pro.

    Have to say, if i was a Galway fan, the last thing i’d want to be doing is winning the league. It done us zero favours in reality. Ambushed and Embarrassed by an extremely average Roscommon team, with a good kerry man doing the damage for them. Best thing Galway could do now is lose their last 2 games, and let the media go back to fawning over the Kerry young lads…..who in reality, are not that young at all…but don’t let the truth get in the way of a kerry gaa story.

    Anyone notice yesterday that clarkes kickouts seemed to have a lower trajectory than normal? Maybe it was my eyesight, but they seemed alot lower and zippier?.

  60. @Mayodunphy
    Yes I said that at the game too about Clarkies kickouts!They were the best theyve been in a while

  61. They really were very good. Its obvious he’s been working overtime on his technique. I was impressed with how vocal he was in the second half, he was constantly instructing Mullin and McCormack, and they were visibly responding to what he said. No question on who our number 1 is if this new technique is here to stay.

  62. It’s hard to know what to make of a 19 point beating of a 13 man team alright Tuamstar but they didn’t relent and kept firing over points at ease. Shooting practice almost. Then to kinda struggle against Meath as Tyrone beat the Galacticos? Still, ye’re on top of the table on merit and that’s what counts.
    As much as the Walsh/Tally method bored me the Joyce/O’ Domhnaill one makes me a bit anxious.
    Right, that’s the end of the plámás. See ye in a fortnight.

  63. Clarkies kick outs were mostly sent in Aido’s direction but he was generally double teamed and our lads didn’t get their share of the breaks in the first half. We were far quicker on the breaking ball in the second half. He also made a top class save in that first half. The modern keeper needs to be able to take two steps back and ping a forty yarder into a player’s chest because he’s only free for a second. That’s what the top keepers are doing. If you have to go back five or six paces and then look up for a runner it’s already too late. Stuff to be worked on for future games.

  64. I have never left a game early, any game, but so help me God, I seriously considered getting back on the road at half time yesterday. If I skipped out now, miss the traffic, I’d be back in Dublin before 5. That first half really was the worst I’ve seen since JH took over.

    Anyway, I didn’t and was delighted by the second half, though frustrated at that last attach. Why didn’t Keith fist over?

    Much, much more energy in the second half. Aido imperious, but my memory of the match – that image that stays in the mind long after – is of those tackles and attacks by Eoin O’Donoghue, who had a massive game when he came on. McLoughlin of Westport was another to catch the eye. He’s strong mobile and doesn’t shirk anything and great goal to get. Tommy Conroy still has stuff to learn I feel. Paul Towey really caught my eye. He’s light also, but there is a presence about him; his handling was assured and that free he kicked was seriously impressive. So was the point he got in Clones.

    Best performance of the league so far, which explains the good humour of most I met on the way out. There’s hope, but crikey, can we get a few guys off the treatment table soon.

  65. Have to agree re Towey. When that free came his way he had the cut of a fella born to the task. I had no doubt but he was going to score it

  66. A tall order but two wins would put a fair spring into our steps going into the championship anything less and we can forget the super 8’s and given that this appears to be the most open championship in years here’s hoping.

  67. Yeah, Mayo67, Towey looks good – 9 points against Galway in u20 match is an indicator also. Of course JH could just be throwing in young lads at the moment because he has no other option and they will be cast aside come championship, with next year as their goal.

    Meant to say earlier, I was also impressed with Clarkie; great reaction to the Clifford penalty off the crossbar and his kicks out have definitely improved. I was not, repeat not, impressed with the ref. Crap – sorry Willie Joe. His first free to Kerry was ridiculous and Aido didn’t object he just looked at him and the goddamn ball was moved 20 yards. I felt we got SFA from him and there was continual booing in our section of the terracing at some of his more bizarre decisions.

  68. Leave the hoping to the Hill. No need for that nonsense in Mayo. Castle bar should be a fortress where we get behind our own team not abuse lads taking free kicks. Don’t think a few boos will bother Clifford or S o Sheap

  69. Abject first half performance, really clueless tactically, suppose we did pick it up in the second but had no choice either get hammered or show some kind of fight. Really disappointed as they knew the significance of the Tyrone result on Saturday, expected a lot more urgency added to the fact that we were playing at home and Kerry had to hang around in Mayo for an extra 12hrs trying to pass the time.
    Kerry missing a good few players too: Moran, Geaney, O’Donoghue, Crowley. No more than Mayo, Kerry’s league form is very patchy, draw against Dublin (just back from holidays) , robbery against Galway, beaten by Tyrone, struggled against Meath at home. I wouldn’t be getting too carried away about running this Kerry team close.
    On another note, when people are listing out players injured or unavailable, why do they include recently retired players, like Andy & Caff, great servants, but they’re gone. You might as well put Willie Joe Padden, Padraig Carney or Sean Flanagan on the list also.

  70. The booing when a free is being taken is creeping in alright but in fairness I think it is only when frees are given which are blatantly NOT frees ,that the booing starts.

    At least I’m hoping it’s the decision to give which is being booed. (If ya know what I mean).

  71. Strange.
    When Dublin fell well behind Monaghan earlier in the league and came back people said it was because Dublin are a great team.
    When Mayo fell well behind Kerry and came back to within a point, people (our own), saying, ” it’s easy play well in the 2nd half when the game is out of reach and the pressure is off”.

    We did very well in the 2nd half yesterday whether people want to recognise that or not.

    If people want to call a spade a spade that’s fine, but some people are calling a spade a spade for our 1st half performance and calling a spade a pichfork for our 2nd half performance.

  72. Aiden went into full forward late Into the 2nd half. 1 on 1 with the full back for a few minutes. Mayo had possession several times and recycled the ball at the half forward line countless times and never seemed to notice he was waiting for the ball to be lumped into him. Youd have to fancy him to get a forward mark 1 on 1. Seemed to be a lack of communication, In the end he gave up and headed back to midfield to retrieve possession for himself.

  73. I am more interested in the performances over the next few matches, this will tell us more than if we stay up or not. Last year Cork finished strongly in the league even though they were relegated. They managed to bring this through to the championship and performed well in the super 8’s.

    If we fail to perform then it will be hard to raise it later in the year. I feel that James is learning about the players at his disposal, and there is a balance in which of the experienced players will best help to develop the newer players, the example of Clarke above is a case in point.

    I would love to know what was said at half time, or what was not said prior to the game! Either way, we need leaders to develop and help us through this transition, there were signs yesterday that this may be happening but next two matches will tell a tale.

  74. That’s a fair point, Revellino. And of course the game wasn’t out of reach at all – but for that awful miss at the death by Keith we’ve have snatched a draw.

  75. A lot of people saying it’s a tall order to stay in division one, why? It’s just the equivalent of championship football now and only 2 games, well within the remit of these players, Let’s stop doubting and roar these guys on in salt hill and Castlebar , I saw some very young and not so young men play amazing football into the teeth of a cold wind against the so called next Sam McGuire winners, Mayo did that and will bate Galway and Tyrone, I have no doubt of that !! ???????????????Mayo forever

  76. This is going to take time, remember those 3 years when we blooded nothing under Holmes /connelly and Rochford, that’s the reason why we are where we are, when keegan and aos and sos and zippy were 27, that’s when we needed to have men pushing them for their places, o Hora is not a young man, mullen, Rod, conroy, mcgloughlin, all look very promising, where is irwin?,

  77. Goodman Half & Half.

    Whether we win the next 2 games or not, let’s remeber. When James Horan got the reins for his 2nd spell, people were exuberant because they said he was the best choice to bring in new blood and guide us through transition.

    We are seeing some young players now and they are playing great football. Let’s remember, it has to be nerve wracking for youngsters starting out with the seniors on whether they might give a bad pass or put a foot wrong.

    I was a big Rochford fan, but having said that, I’m delighted with some of the performances the young players are putting in. They will be great mayo players.

    We are missing some game winners in Cillian and Mattie and James Carr and so on, and the back room team are new also, so under the circumstances we are not performing too badly at all.

    Whether we survive in Div 1 or not let’s not forget about how everyone was looking forward to see new lads getting a run in the league.

    When this panel begins to gel together and injured players make their way back to fitness we will have a very good team.

    Regardless of our remaining 2 league games (I know they would be nice to win) the future is bright. I believe, even in transition we can look forward to the championship.

    The canvas might look a little bare at the moment, but it only takes a few strokes of the artists brush to turn an ordinary landscape into a masterpiece.

  78. @.MayoDunphy I don’t think Tuamstar needs to be reminded that the extremely average Roscommon team as you called them went on to beat Galway in Salthill in the Connacht final. The way this league campaign is going the rossies could well replace Mayo in Div 1 next year but still two games to play and hope spring eternal.

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