Leitrim 0-10 Mayo 2-15: first hurdle cleared

Photo: @OfficialGAA

The reality of playing Championship football at this time of the year was brought home clearly in the form of the rain-splattered pictures beamed into our living rooms from Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon this afternoon.  The day was wet and windy and it was obvious from early on that flowing summer football wouldn’t be in evidence.

Instead, what we got was a grim battle for survival in a knockout contest in which Leitrim fought hard and bravely against a team that always looked like a cut above them. No more so than Cillian O’Connor whose 1-9 contribution to Mayo’s tally did much to separate these two teams at the finish.

The heavy underfoot conditions set the tempo for this contest right from the throw-in. Páirc Seán was like a bog, with no bounce to the ball whatsoever. It had the look and feel of a game played in deepest winter, with the rain and driving wind not helping.

We made one change in advance of throw-in with Michael Plunkett starting at centre back instead of Rory Brickenden. Leitrim had the wind behind them in the first half and they made good use of it early on as they bagged the opening four scores of the day. Four shots, four points – admirable economy of effort, not least given the tough conditions.

We eventually opened our account on eleven minutes. Aidan O’Shea cleverly flicked the ball back to Bryan Walsh who marked his Championship debut with a point. From the restart we broke again, with Aidan getting dragged to the ground and the offender, Leitrim’s Mac Cafraigh, heading for the bin on a black card.  Cillian popped over the free.

Ryan O’Donoghue saw his effort into the wind come up short but then as Leitrim ‘keeper Brendan Flynn tried to get his team moving he ended up fouling Jordan Flynn out on the right. The free wasn’t a gimme for Cillian but over it went and the gap was down to one at the first water break.

The home team, via a Beirne free, scored first on the resumption. Soon after, though, we had the ball in the net. Cillian played a quick free in before Leitrim could set their defence, Paddy Durcan collected it and fed Tommy Conroy, who finished coolly into the corner.

We were now getting into our stride. Our next score was Cillian’s first from play, Paddy recycling it after his shot had been blocked down and feeding the Ballintubber man who banged it over.

Cillian added a second from play soon after. We won a free, which was brought forward and Cillian did a neat one-two with Aidan before clipping it over.

Another bit of interplay, after we’d won a fifty which Cillian didn’t fancy into the wind, ended with the Ballintubber man getting pulled down. Up he got and converted the free to push us four clear.

Tommy Conroy had a chance to extend our lead further but his fisted effort came back off the upright. In the end it was Leitrim who had the final say on the scoreboard before half-time, McGloin’s point cutting the deficit to three at the break.

With the wind now at our backs, we might have been expected to take control decisively on the resumption. Instead, however, it was the home side who started the second half better, Beirne pointing a free after McGloin’s good run ended with a foul by Jordan Flynn.

We continued to play the ball through the hands, opting not to let the wind do the work for us. Cillian did, though, loft one in over the Leitrim ‘keeper who’d gifted the ball to our dangerman. When Cillian’s effort sailed wide of the unguarded Leitrim goal, it was the first wide of the afternoon.

Inevitably, it was the irrepressible Ballintubber man who got our next score. The ball was touched on the ground by a Leitrim player twenty yards from the posts and Cillian pointed the free with ease.

Another Beirne free, though, cut the gap back to two points. Ten minutes into the second half and this contest was still far from over.

In a flash, however, it soon was. Mattie Ruane, taking possession as we finally moved the ball down the field at pace, fired over and then Cillian bagged our second goal. There was some great interplay with Conor Loftus in the lead-up to the goal, the Crossmolina man playing Cillian in and he lifted the ball delicately over the ‘keeper and into the net.

We started to run the changes then. Ryan O’Donoghue and Bryan Walsh departed, with James Carr and Diarmuid O’Connor joining the fray. A great point from play for the home side from Dolan was replied to by the peerless O’Connor who drove the ball over off the ground from a fifty to leave us six up at the second water break.

From there it was just a question of seeing out the win with the minimum of fuss, while giving some game time to a few other players. Rory Brickenden got his first taste of Championship action as he replaced Stephen Coen for the final quarter, with Chris Barrett and Darren McHale also appearing before the finish. When the Knockmore man took the field that swelled to eight the number of players making their first appearance for us in the Championship in this game. 

We had two decent goal chances early in the final quarter but on both occasions superb saves by Leitrim ‘keeper Flynn denied us. Cillian picked out James Carr with a lovely dinked pass but the ‘keeper was equal to the Ardagh man’s thunderous shot. A few minutes later the in-rushing Paddy Durcan looked certain to score but Flynn diverted his shot onto the crossbar and out for a ’45. Cillian drove that one over as well.

James Carr got onto the scoresheet in our next move, punching it cheekily over, volleyball-style, with his back to the goal. Aidan got his first score of the day by more orthodox means, flicking the ball up neatly before sashaying by his man and knocking it over to stretch our lead to nine.

Another Beirne free for them proved to be their final score of the day. Points from distance from Conor Loftus and a real peach from way out by Cillian followed for us. With the match now in injury time Aidan, fed by the tireless Cillian who’d executed a text-book turnover to gain possession, completed our tally as we won at the finish by eleven points.

Despite the horrendous playing conditions and the uncertain start we endured in this game, we can be fairly well pleased with how we did today. We never really looked in trouble in this contest and once we got motoring it was obvious we were going to win it handily enough. And getting the win was the first and most important objective today.

Our secondary aim of blooding a whole slew of Championship debutants was also successfully achieved this afternoon. Oisin Mullin, Eoghan McLaughlin, Bryan Walsh, Ryan O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn and Tommy Conroy all started today’s game for us, with Rory Brickenden and Darren McHale getting game-time off the bench. The new lads did fine, all told, and the experience will stand them in good stead.

They’ll all certainly have learned from watching the master in action today. I’ve always maintained we’re simply a different team when Cillian O’Connor is on the pitch and the Ballintubber man fairly lit up a dank afternoon in Carrick today. His 1-9 tally included 1-3 from play but it was his enormous workrate that was even more noticeable, as he kept popping up all over the field, forever involved in the action. He was nothing short of immense for us today.

So that’s the first hurdle cleared in this year’s Championship. From here on the challenges we potentially face will be much tougher, with every match we get to play a chance to advance closer to the main prize but also one that could prove to be our final outing of this strangest of inter-county years.

Mayo: David Clarke; Oisin Mullin, Stephen Coen, Lee Keegan; Paddy Durcan, Michael Plunkett, Eoghan McLaughlin; Mattie Ruane (0-1), Conor Loftus (0-1); Bryan Walsh (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn; Tommy Conroy (1-0), Aidan O’Shea (0-2), Cillian O’Connor (1-9, four frees and two ‘45s). Subs: James Carr (0-1) for O’Donoghue, Diarmuid O’Connor for Walsh, Rory Brickenden for Coen, Chris Barrett for Plunkett, Darren McHale for Ruane.          

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

  • Cillian O'Connor (47%, 880 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (14%, 270 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (9%, 168 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (8%, 155 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (8%, 142 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (3%, 48 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 25 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Mattie Ruane (1%, 19 Votes)
  • David Clarke (1%, 17 Votes)
  • James Carr (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,061

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59 thoughts on “Leitrim 0-10 Mayo 2-15: first hurdle cleared

  1. Flynn and Walsh anonymous so expect to see DOC next week. Midfield and CHB are key for us not with maybe OM at FB.

    Good to see Car back.

    Pity SOS and TP not around to bolster midfield which is 1.30 next Sunday

  2. Interesting games in horrendous conditions.
    Cillian simply outstanding. Both the scores from play and the passes too. Thought it was one of his best performances ever for Mayo.
    Of the newcomers, thought Mullin and Conroy did best. Mullin was brilliant. Conroy got limited ball but took his goal very well. His pace causes huge problems.
    O’Donoghue tried very hard in fairness. Didn’t really think Flynn or Walsh brought a whole to it, if I’m being honest.
    Hard to see how Diarmuid etc won’t be on the team the next day. Think it was bit of horses for courses today and I’m in favour of it.
    I think midfield is a big issue. Leitrim had the upper hand there all day. Ruane works very hard but tends to come in and out of games. Loftus didn’t play that well for me, his well taken point aside. He’s not a midfielder. I’d argue, apart from Aidan, we don’t have one midfielder who will go up and bring the ball down. I see big issues in this area going forward.
    Still think there is room on the team for Darren Coen and O’Hora, possible McLoughlin too. But I do get the impression that today was about beating Leitrim and giving young lads a chance. I don’t think it’ll be the same team for the next day.
    Anyway, first test down, both for this Championship and for the rebuild ahead.

  3. Our starting team for next Sunday will tell us everything about where James Horan thinks each player is at and who’s in favour. Massive match coming.

  4. The Rossies will be a different animal next week. Our performance before the first water break won’t cut it against them. Leroy needs to move out of that position . Cillian played a blinder and is unstoppable at the moment. Overall the expected result from today. Hon Mayo!!!

  5. I voted for oisin but cillian was the best player on the pitch
    I’d love to see Lee in midfield next Sunday,
    Oisin is a joy to watch at fb

  6. Job done in atrocious conditions. Very slow start which we can’t afford the next day. Cillian back to his best. AOS a real handful but is needed out in the middle against the Rossies. Still leaving too much space at the back. I expect to see a few changes next week with McLoughlin back in the side.

    Donegal just about deserved the win. End of the road for Mickey?

    Roll on next Sunday. Will be a nail biter!

  7. I have to say I am very impressed with our forward line this year. For last few years I have given out about when we get the ball up to the forwards the pal was to go this way and that way out to the sideline . This year is is far more direct ball impressive link up play and if the way weather wasn’t so bad we would have seen more of it today . Team in transition for sure and you can definitely see Ciaran McDonald’s stamp on the lads .

  8. Fair play to Leitrim. Some fine footballers. Rossies will run straight at us next week. If there’s 20 mins in Boyler at all I’d have him in at 6 to set the tone..

  9. Rossies will go to town running at us, they defend in packs aswell, so long range shooting will be vital. If we leave our FB line one on one like the the first 10-15mins today, we’ll be bet out the gate. Need to protect that line alot better. We need to block up that no.6 channel next sunday. Plunkett failed to do that in last years ge against them. Would love O’Hora or Boyler to start ar 6 the next day.

  10. Wasn’t happy with that I have to say. Yes I know conditions were awful, but if you took Cillian out what would we have done?

    Leitrim more than matched us physically, which shocked me. I know a few more goals could have gone in, but I thought we’d be sauntering through them at 70 minutes; instead here they were down at the other end.

    Also thought it unfair not to start Brickenden.

  11. I feel a bit like you Catcol…take Cillian out today and we looked fairly average.

    I’m a fan long term of Aidan at 14 but only of we have a decent midfield. As things stand we are light there and physically we never dominated against one of the weakest teams in the country who looked better than us for the first 10 mins of both halves.

    I accept Horan was trying guys today and I agree with his decision to do so. We spoke last week of the importance of Cillian playing well. His younger brother is now of equal importance. Mayo needs Diarmuid motoring and on song. SOS is unlikely to feature again and it’s not looking great I’d imagine for Parsons. If Leitrim were able to match us at centre field then what happens when we face stronger teams, not just this year but over the next few years.

    We have a few defensive issues but nothing that cant be resolved. We have plenty of personnel, but midfield is an issue. On a mucky slower pitch Hiran might have no choice but to deploy O’Se there but he hasnt the pace for a dry day in Croker IF we get there, which is why 14 is where you’re going to see him more regularly over the coming years.

    Plenty for Horan to think about this week. And plenty of room for improvement from many established players.

  12. Catcol – fully agree with Brickenden. I hate that dummy team shit and there’s no need for it.
    Re the physical stakes, think this is what we’re going to have to accept and get used to for a while. The power that we once had around the middle is no more. Parsons, Seamie, Donie, Boyle, Barry Moran, Doherty, Diarmuid – that has all changed to younger lads who, as fit as they are, don’t have that power.
    It will come against us until they develop physically over the next few years. Such is life.
    Agree that Aidan needs to be playing around the middle of the field but I presume there isn’t 70 minutes in him there, given Horan isn’t playing him there and he didn’t play there for the club either. Otherwise, I’d have Darren Coen in there all day.
    It’s good to see new lads come into the fold but I see tough times ahead next week. The conditions in November suit more powerful teams, we saw it today in both football and hurling.

  13. Impressive Mayo win today against a dogged and determined Leitrim Team. We started slowly but the underfoot conditions caught us early on. We will have to start better against Roscommon get the scores first and pin them back.
    Mullen was outstanding at the back and Cillian was unstoppable at times. The best I’ve seen from Cillian. Midfield is a problem. I would start and Keep AOS in Midfiels against Roscommon and put James Carr in Full Forward and drive in the Ball to the square. These wet and windy conditions don’t make for Running the ball all the time. Mix it up. When playing with the wind use the wind.
    Kevin Mc Loughlin, Chris Barrett and Diarmuid have to start against the Rossies and use Carr as the go to Forward with Cillian playing off him and Aido in Midfield.
    Next week against Roscommon could be our Connaught Final.

  14. @mayomaningalway I completely agree. It’s what I said on my first comment on today’s earlier post. Ciaran having a great affect on all the forwards.

  15. Team i would go with versus the Rossies:

    Clarke

    Mullen
    Coen
    Barrett

    DOC

    Mclaughlin
    Keegan
    E Mclachlin

    AOS
    Ruane
    Durcan

    ODonoghue
    Flynn

    COC
    Conroy

    Need to go with physical team and a sweeper. Discipline could be important also

  16. @TomCoen…What do you mean it could be our Connacht Final??

    I think Carr has something about him. He missed a few chances today but he has to be rusty. On another day he could have notched a goal or two. Could be an option at 14 but needs to get a series of games. He’s in and out too much.

  17. I think Tom coen means that every game is your final in a knockout competition. Cillian was immense today and Carr and Conroy both looked dangerous too but remember that Leitrim are division 4 and are playing from a small pool of players. I thought Leitrim played some really nice football and have some quality players. It’s an uphill battle for them but they can only keep going like the rest of us.
    A few of our midfield lads ran into traffic today rather than passing the ball, they will need to remedy that this week in training. Very easy to say that from the comfort of my armchair but the truth is clear to see, they dont have the power to bust through and are turned over or called for over carrying. That’s one area that’s in need of attention on Tuesday night at training.
    It’s hard to criticise any player on anything else, given the conditions today they all played very well.
    Does anyone know if Dublin are being asked to play a Leinster championship game outside croke park?

  18. Didn’t think our performance was great today even allowing for conditions. Mullin, Durcan and especially Cillian were very good. A lot of errors from the rest.

    I think management have decided on Aidan playing full forward, can’t see them changing now. Horan is probably thinking of the next couple of years and if we want to return to the top table in all Ireland semi-finals and finals, Aidan probably doesn’t have the legs for midfield. I thought a winter championship would have suited Seamie this year but he’s nowhere to be seen.

    I’d have Fionn and Diarmuid as wing forwards next week. We don’t have a dominant midfield but at least those 2 would add more kickout options. Move Keegan to 6 and start Chris Barrett or O’Hora in the corner.

  19. Job Done in Poor Conditions . Still a few issues to be sorted at Center Back & the Half Forward Line . I would expect 2 or 3 changes against Roscommon the next day . Onwards and Upwards From Here . Seven Teams still have a realistic Chance to win the Sam . Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Cork, Kerry, . Next weekend will Remove a couple of these . Cork are a real Darkhorse in this Championship .

  20. Calling it as it is, team selection is a joke at present.Leeroy is not himself playing at corner back , needs to come out to the half back line.

    We have a very poor midfield pairing , Cannot see any Connacht Title if Midfield isnt addressed next Sunday, either Aido comes out or Tom P or Seamie partner Ruane. Half forward line was really average today.Our 2 best half forwards in the County ,McLoughlin and Boland dont even see game time.Theres either big changes for the Hyde next week or an early exit coming.

  21. Wow, COC was huge today — the work rate extraordinary.

    Got all we needed: the W and everyone thru healthy.

    Going to be fascinating to see what James does next week. So many options across the panel. Definitely want to see DOC start plus the youngsters Conroy, Mullin and McLaughlin have earned their places.

  22. Barrett would be my first choice no. 6, still has a half in him at least to be that powerful stopper. McLoughlin at wing forward to drop back into midfield and play occasionally as sweeper. I think if Keegan is to continue as the extra man in FB line he needs to provide that cover as sweeper at times as well. Im not sure what to make of him there, but I imagine thats where he will be playing the next day. A favoured sweeper tends to be a good kicker, not one of Leeroys strong suits, but its a good platform for him to start attacks if worked right I think.
    I admire Horan persisting with O’Shea at FF, but there has to be a horses for courses approach to this game. We cannot afford to leave him in FF with our lack of physicality in midfield, especially in the Hyde. A FF line with O’Connor and Conroy looks promising, with James Carr back and Darren Coen in reserve.

    If we are fully tuned in (we weren’t last year) and take our chances when presented to us, the game is there for us to take. Hard to know what way it’ll go, they’re waiting in the long grass for us in the Hyde.

  23. Dave, Dublin are playing away when they play Westmeath – but in portlaoise so make of that what you will lol.

    Look I’m not for one second taking Roscommon for granted here but can I just ask whether at present would people rather our panel or Roscommons panel of players?
    I know which side I’m want – ours. We’re not near the finished article But we have heart on abundance and will never stop. We’ll pay Roscommon the upmost respect they deserve but I believe we’ll win with 2 or 3 to spare

  24. By the looks of it from today the state of the pitches will have a bearing on the outcome of these games particularly if its tight….and it turns into a stuck in the muck job. It’s hard to think there won’t be injuries especially with a game practically every weekend if a team hits a winning streak. The hyde surface isn’t great at the best of times..I’d imagine it’ll be fairly boggy this weekend for what will be a crazy dogfight between ourselves and rossies. Colm Boyle at 6 would be interesting and Roscommon wouldn’t run through that line too easily that’s for sure

  25. Agreed @Our time has come, but theres just that bit of unknown at the moment with so many newbies starting. Its great to see, we’ve being asking for it years and no doubt will pay dividends in the long run. If they perform and conditions allow them to play, Id be confident of a win.

  26. Mayoabu20, I agree Keegan must be in the half back line, he looked out of sorts in the corner and gave away several frees.

    Stevie Coen has lots of positive attributes. He is extremely strong in the tackle. He has leadership and decent positioning. What he lacks is pace and in the modern game if you can’t match the pace of your opponent you’re in a bit of bother. I’d love to see him do well for Mayo.

    Oisin Mullin. Can we could clone him? He is young and raw but is a nailed down starter at this stage. I’d play him at no.3 next week flanked by Barrett and either O’Hora or Coen. Harry is a real loss for Mayo this year. Looking forward to having him back next season.

    Halfback line:- Keegan, Durcan, McLaughlin. With Boyle to come in at some point as he needs game time. Plunkett was ok today and has potential but not sure he has done enough yet to earn a start.

    Diarmuid (I’d never start him at wing forward; he needs to be in the centre, he’s lost on the wing). and Mattie in the centre. Aido at 14, but to come to the middle if we arent winning sufficient possession.

    Our half forward line has lots of question Mark’s. McDonagh isnt in form for whatever reason and no sign of Boland. ROD did ok today, do you play him at 11? Can he play on the flank? He deserves to hold onto a starting jersey. I don’t think Loftus is a midfielder but he has done decently in recent games so I’d be inclined to include him. Maybe at 11. Next weekend would have been ideal for Doherty, another big loss particularly in winter football. Great winner of dirty ball. Flynn, the game kinda passed him by today…at least he didnt get sent off!!;) He has potential but not sure next weekend is the time to start him. I think next seasons league will see more of him. Walsh, didnt really see him today. If Kevin McLoughlin is fit I would definitely start him next weekend at wing forward, with loftus and ROD. Another possible option is Cillian at 11 but he had a great game today at 15. However he didnt play an orthodox corner forward role.

    Tommy and O’Se… with Cillian. If cillian plays 11 then start Carr or Coen.

  27. A good win today against a dogged team but Mayo were patient and COC was immense.

    maybe I am missing something but why in God’s name are we not kicking highball into AOS in full forward?

    every full back in the country would struggle against him and worse case scenario the opposition would have 2 players on him. LOok at him against Galway they went man to man on him and he played havoc, against tyrone they had 2-3 on him and the likes of Tommy Conroy and Darren Coen were good!

    today Mayo really had to work for those scores passing around the half forward line and then waiting for a running midfield or half back to comewhich is energy sapping.

    i agree with the comments on midfield but today and happened in previous games the amount of ball we lose by running into tackles is so frustrating.

    i don’t mean to sound negative as I can see Mayo beating Roscommon but if we can even mix it by kicking high ball into that Roscommon full back line they will be shitting it.

    Hon Mayo

  28. Will be so interesting to see whether Horan brings in a couple of veterans next week, ie Boyler or Barrett. I suspect he won’t start with them as that would only be looking backwards, and not trusting the younger lads. Plunkett might hold his place. I think I’d stick with him. He has enough experience. There’s definitely merit in having Chris start in the full back line as we’re short there. All depends on his fitness and how he’s going in training.
    Horan has been consistent in stating that those in form will play, so I wouldn’t expect too many changes the next day. Big difference between form in training and doing it in Championship though…… So who knows.. who’d be a manager eh? Massive selection decisions for James.

    I liked the look of Carr today but he needs to be less selfish on the ball and lay it off. Hes composed enough and has vision enough to lay it off, but tends to take the lower percentage shot at times. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. Apart from that, I’d have very little criticism of him. For a big unit he’s good at finding space too.

    We need to get much more from Matthew and Diarmuid. Massive players at their best. But form isn’t like a light switch so we do have problems in the middle of the park for sure. Haven’t a clue where to position Aido but he’s in good form which is key.

    Next week will truly be a fascinating clash and come 3.30pm next week post-match we’ll be a lot wiser. Hopefully with a Connaught final to look forward to. But its anyones game. I’m worried about the Rossies this year.

  29. Job done today and Cillian O’Connor led by example.

    @Wide Ball same surface and sized pitch as Croke Park i believe. In theory the new Hyde Park pitch should suit Mayo better than the home side.

  30. Unless we get a hold of midfield we will struggle next week . Offside thought but would Mullen be an asset in the middle ?

  31. Think there’s a little bit too much negativity around. A slow start alright but got the done comfortably in the end. Remember the bad pitch and bad weather is a big leveler plus Leitrim have pride in themselves and this mixed with blanket defence made it harder to play against. Probably see a few changes the next day in what will be a 50/50 game

  32. – Every other opponent we play from here on in will be trying to win the match unlike Leitrim today whose sole purpose was damage limitation with 15 behind the ball.
    – The slippy pitch and strong wind helped them way more than us as it limited good football.
    – Mid-field is way more than just number 8 and number 9. It’s that whole diamond area which is why a sniper like Kevin Mc has to start the next day. We have the men to.play O’Rourke, Compton or Killoran likely a combination of DOC, Aido and Ruane.
    – Loftus has done enough to start on the half forward line, he got way more ball today than Ruane who just has to get more consistent.
    – Carr had a goal if he only went two more yards but good to see him back. Barrett playing means he is in the frame for next week at corner back maybe on Cox releasing Keegan to half back, maybe centre half back but he would have to relinquish his right to bomb forward as whoever is played there has to stay in position.
    – Dont underestimate the value of COC, great workrate and return today. He can be one of the biggest thorns in Roscommon side next weekend.

  33. with the pitches the way they are and will be for rest of games, why are all games not played at covered pitch at centre of excellence.

  34. Oisin Mullin could play centre field no problem or chb and hold his own in either spot but I think it would be madness to move him from the full back line where he is bedding in nicely…personally I’d prefer to make him our long term no.3. We have problems out the field but easier solved I think than a leaky full back line. As someone said Leroy gives away quite a few frees but at times he only needs to be in the neighbourhood, for the ref to finger him. I think either he or O’Hora need to be at 6 next Sunday to meet the Roscommon runners head on…even at the expense of the odd free. Today was better overall than last weekend and with improvement again next week we will be in the Connaught final.

  35. Culmore, games could be played in the Dome but they couldn’t be televised properly, no room to get a camera to the right height and distance from the pitch to capture the action.
    Olive, very unfair to suggest Leitrim didnt try to win. They did what they had to against a superior team, they were the better side for the first 20mins until mayo got to grips with the game. It would be very naive of them to go man for man, they would have been slaughtered.

  36. I think lads done sound today weather and all things discussed taken into account.

    Team I’d like to start the next day would be
    —————-Clarke
    Mullen—Barrett—OHora
    Durkan—Keegan—Eoin Mc
    ——Diarmuid—Ruane
    Mcloughlin—Loftus—Carr
    Conroy—AOS—-Cillian

  37. We won today as expected, so job done. But when you drill down a bit it’s fair to say, we have major problems at midfield. In the second half, I don’t recall Mayo winning a single ball from the Leitrim kick out, and also lost many of our own too.
    We simply don’t have a tall guy to contest a high ball, and with the mark now in play, it’s crucial we fix this problem before the Roscommon match…. Good luck with that James.

  38. How would lee get on at midfield six backs of coen mullin barret durcan Boyle E mcloughlin keegan ruane doc coc k mcloughlin t convoy aiden Darren coen horan has more left in the locker didn’t play coc last week scored 1. 9 today if he played last week you would have to think we would have beaten Tyrone .Not showing his full hand i wonder ?

  39. Next Sunday’s 26 will be the 1st time Horan shows his hand so a nervous time for the 6 older guys who have seen very little or no action: Chris, Keith donie, Boyle, seamie and Parsons. Tom and seamie must be well off the pace at training as we’re struggling at midfield. Think we need Chris at 3 and lee at 6 next week.

  40. Most of what I think has been said already. COC was lethal and it was great to see. Aidan O Shea was very good too and he is adjusting to FF very well.
    It’s hard to know who he will start against Ros next Sunday. We have a lot options most of them fairly decent and the Rosie’s will find it hard to plan too much against us on that basis. For instance you would imagine Aiden O Shea will again be at 14 but Horan might just stick him at MF for this game. We have a couple of hardy older bucks too in defence (whose appetite to reclaim the jersey must be fairly ravenous by now) that he might choose to give a start to.
    James Carr was fairly impressive when he came on and far be it from me to criticise any Mayo player but he went for a long range effort when we had two players free inside and a goal chance available. I will be kind by saying I hope he learns from this!

  41. Just a thought could connacht gaa not make a decision and use the dome in bekan with weather the way it was today especially when we have the physicality for players welfare

  42. Maybe Seamus will start at 6 but I do like the idea of fluid move ball fast midfield so think Diarmuid is the most experienced in that regard

    The old guard is shook no doubt doubt we will see Boyle Vaughan or parsons again.
    Barrett looked a little on the heavy side but is such an influencial and cool campaigner he be worth his place.
    Leroy is a worry at the moment doesn’t look like man of old

    There’s big changes ahead and a massive challenge in Ross only thing about Ross is there defence is far worse than ours.

  43. I find it almost confusing at this stage as to what team is our strongest team and have no idea what James Horan is thinking, it’s like we have too many options. Certain things are obvious Lee Keegan should not be playing in the full back line and we are going to struggle massively at centrefield against better teams. Cillian o Connor setting records that will never be broken pure class

  44. I dont know if anyone else mentioned it but I thought the performance of the day went to the Leitrim goalkeeper.
    He got one brilliant save ….I think it was from Paddy.
    I would say it was save of the year already!

  45. Not sure. Think there’s been someone ahead of Gooch for a while..

    Interesting that the winner of Mayo/Ross has a day less of rest/preparation for the final..

  46. Cillian has a total of 384 points in his 56 appearances in the championship. He overtook the Gooch’s total last year during the game against Kerry, in Killarney.
    He’s scored 26 goals and 306 points in Championship football, with 18 goals and 66 points from play. The rest are from placed ball.

  47. Does anyone have any opinion on why Horan left O’Shea on the pitch so long with a big match next Sunday and the potential of another a week later?

  48. Mayonaze I posed that question before. If he is so important surely he should have been called ashore when match was wrapped. He will struggle next week at ff as against a decent defence he never produces in there. Back to midfield with him and leave him there.

  49. No.6 is still a huge issue for us and we’re going nowhere unless we get it sorted, quick. For me, I can’t see what Plunkett brings to that position, he is too small and fails to block off that area. He neither dispossesses the ball carrier through clean tackling, nor does he stand them up through sheer intensity and strength. He is nice and neat going forward but, given that Horan is more attack minded and happy to commit bodies forward, we need a 6 that shuts down the central area and Plunkett doesn’t do that in my opinion.
    I though Stephen Coen was very poor also and gave away 4 or 5 balls through poor decision making and poor execution of the pass. I counted 3 hand passes that he threw away in the first half alone! Two other passes were so poor that the intended target struggled to get the ball and we were turned over. He has enough experience at this stage to know better but I worry that he is not going to kick on and make a position his own. He is becoming the Jack of all Trades but Master of None in the Mayo set-up as he gets switched from 6 to 3 to 8. These are specialized and key positions and, to date, Coen has shown he is unable to claim any one of them.
    With our glaring openness at center half back, the Rossies will be licking their lips at counter attacking straight down our middle either through the hands, or, dropping ball in front of Cox for him to run out to. His strength and ability to kick from distance will have to be addressed because if he gets ball anywhere near the scoring zone we will be in trouble.

  50. “Or dropping the ball in front of cox for him to run out to “ Boom top answer . And they did it last year too , when a team you’re up against has a better than average forward unit , is it not nearly necessary at this stage to adopt a sweeper system of sorts ?

    . Roscommon a far more settled team , also they have not only matched our s&c the last while but I believe now they are better equipped . Loftus & Ruane will struggle in the physical stakes here . I’d bring out o Shea Put Cillian on the 40 and I’d also start Colm Boyle .

    Cunningham has introduced a right tough edge to Roscommon , they won’t be shy of hard hits .

  51. This winter football simply needs lots of physical power and size. Look at Donegal yesterday how many were big physical players.
    Yesterday several times when our smaller skilllful players tried things like sidesteps they just ended up clogged up in traffic.
    It’s not pretty but we will need to be finishing games with SOS, Donie Vaughan, Chris Barrett and Colm Boyle to give a physical boost with the game on the line on 50 mins.
    If a game ends a draw, those four would still be fresh for extra time.

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