Kerry 1-10 Mayo 1-12: Thriller shoots us clear in Tralee

MortimerConorvKerryNFL07A funny thing happened on the way to our expected defeat to Kerry down in Tralee this afternoon. After we’d dominated the opening half but had somehow managed to reach the break a point in arrears, Kerry twice came close to rattling David Clarke’s net and it only seemed like a matter of time before the All-Ireland champions asserted control and closed out their anticipated win. Instead, however, we suddenly took a vice-like grip on proceedings and in a dazzling fifteen-minute spell, scored 1-5 without reply to put the game beyond Kerry’s reach. The home fans were spilling out of Austin Stack Park with a full five minutes left to play in today’s match and although the Kingdom – like Derry last weekend – ended up nabbing a goal with the final kick of the game, all that did was put an undeserved patina of respectability on what was a decisive victory for our lads, one that elevates us to the top of Division 1 of the NFL.

We had plenty of heroes today, like the energetic Enda Varley in attack, the stalwart Seamus O’Shea in midfield and the vigilant Keith Higgins at the back but all tomorrow morning’s headlines will, with plenty of justification, be claimed by the evergreen Conor Mortimer who replaced Mark Ronaldson early in the second half and who knocked over four stunning points from play in an eight-minute spell, enabling us to storm clear of the Kerrymen when the spoils were very much up for grabs in Tralee.

The Thriller’s intervention into the day’s proceedings at that juncture was unexpected and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one puzzled by Johnno’s decision to replace the industrious Mark Ronaldson with his attacking clubmate shortly after the restart. Within seconds, however, Conor had the ball over the bar, in the process winning his first duel with his 2006 All-Ireland final tormentor, Tom O’Sullivan. The Rathmore man had already had a difficult first half in the company of Enda Varley – somehow managing to avoid a booking despite repeatedly fouling the Garrymore sharpshooter – and Conor proceeded to fillet him, scoring four points off four balls from increasingly outrageous angles.

So often, we’ve worked our way into winning positions only to fail to sink the dagger into the hilt when the opportunity is presented to us. Not today: after Conor’s barrage put the Kingdom on the ropes, Tom Parsons steamed through for a goal to deliver the knockout punch. That turned out to be our final score of the game – and there were twelve or so minutes left on the clock at that stage – but we were in such obvious control all over the pitch that we were never going to lose it from there, even if Kieran O’Leary’s stoppage time goal for them made the final result look far closer than it was in reality.

But let’s wind back to the beginning and the team selection for the day, which saw Mark Ronaldson return at centre-forward with Seamus O’Shea moving to his spiritual home at midfield alongside Tom Parsons, while Kieran Conroy shifted back to no.3 displacing the out-of-sorts Ger Cafferkey. This latter switch was obviously designed with Kieran Donaghy in mind, as the Shrule-Glencorrib man had done alright on Star both last year and the year before that, but Jack O’Connor surprisingly opted to leave the local hero on the bench, fielding this year’s Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan at full-forward instead.

From the throw-in, Alan Dillon shifted to the forty for us, with Ronaldo inside him on the edge of the square and Aidan in the corner. As we’ve done in almost every game this year (coincidence or what?), we started brightly, with Enda Varley winning a free and pointing it before the first minute had elapsed.

The lads on the radio said that we had whatever wind was blowing but that didn’t stop Bryan Sheehan from lamping over a 50-yard free to open Kerry’s account after three minutes and they could have followed it with a goal just after but the final pass into David O’Callaghan was adjudged to be a foul one.

Enda Varley got his first from play soon after but Colm Cooper responded quickly with a free for them. The wind now began to swirl a bit and both teams were more than a little awry with passes and shots but we seemed particularly affected by the conditions, landing six attempted shots short and kicking what sounded like a few atrocious wides. Kerry were faring little better, though, and when this scoreless spell – which lasted close to ten minutes – came to an end, we were the ones to end it with Tom O’Sullivan once more fouling Enda and Enda doing the needful from the placed ball.

Five minutes later, and exactly the same thing happened. Ref David Coldrick used to be a real card-happy gent when he first appeared on the scene but he seemed to be giving O’Sullivan enormous latitude for his persistent fouling of Varley today. By contrast, poor old Seamus O’Shea found himself in the book soon after and, according to Billy Fitz, he was hard done by with Declan O’Sullivan barging into the Breaffy man, grabbing hold of him and then pulling him down on top of him. Some justice was served, though, when Sheehan screwed the resultant free wide.

Kerry had gone a full twenty minutes without a score at this stage and Jack O’Connor was clearly getting impatient, with David O’Callaghan the fall guy. The monstrous Michael Quirke came on at midfield, with David Moran moving to the half-forwards and the rejig reaped quick dividends with two points inside a minute, the first from Sheehan and the second from O’Leary, as Kerry somewhat ominously drew level with ease. Then Liam O’Malley got pinged for a foul handpass and the Gooch popped over the free to give the Kerrymen the lead for the first time just as the game approached the break.

Then, like a little localised hailstorm, all hell broke loose. One of our lads (I think I know who it was but I’m not saying – this site could, after all, be monitored by the disciplinary mullahs in GAA HQ) decked one of theirs and, after conferring with his umpires and linesmen, Mr Coldrick belatedly reverted to card-happy mode. Andy Moran, Donie Vaughan, Adrian O’Connell and David Moran all saw yellow but Billy Fitz reckoned we were lucky to be coming back out of the dressing room for the second half with our full complement on the field.

Chatting on the phone with PJ at half-time, I was fairly down in the gob about our chances of winning from the position we were in at that stage, given that we’d failed so palpably to take advantage of all that first-half possession. The fact that Kieran Donaghy was on for Kerry from the restart did nothing to cheer me up either but Alan Dillon’s pointed free within seconds of the throw-in surely helped to get the lads into the right frame of mind for what most of us probably felt could be a torrid second 35 minutes.

The Kerrymen quickly showed just how uncomfortable it could get for us when, twice in quick succession, they came close to raising the first green flag of the day. Colm Cooper had the first chance when Keith Higgins misjudged the flight of the ball in the swirling breeze but instead of placing it under Clarkie, the Crokes man chose to blast it and over the bar it went. Then Donaghy plucked a ball from the skies and fed O’Leary whose shot thumped up and over off the crossbar.

And that’s when the miraculous turnaround happened. It was actually Andy Moran who started it all off, with a ‘45 which Michael Quirke got one of his rather large paws to but who only succeeded in tipping the leather over the bar. After Conor’s first one, Cooper responded with a point from play but from then on until it was too late to matter, it was one-way traffic in our favour.

Keith Higgins began the move for our next point, intercepting the ball and haring upfield where he offloaded to Dillon who fed his globetrotting partner for his second point of the day. Michael Quirke then helped a second point for us over the bar from an Alan Dillon free to edge us one ahead and Trevor Mortimer put us two up after Andy Moran had dispossessed Anthony Maher.

Conor was clearly revelling in being back in the thick of things as he showed by knocking over another two glorious points from play to push us four clear. Kerry were now bailing a bit of water and could have done with a few scores to steady them but instead Tom Parsons appeared at the end of a move and smashed home a goal for us to kill the game in its tracks.

Kerry could, I suppose, still have rescued the match with a determined late rally but they never looked remotely like doing so. Sheehan pointed a ’45 with ten minutes to go but time was nearly up by the time the same player got their next score from a free. Kieran O’Leary’s goal was more an annoyance to David Clarke than anything else as the match ended with the ball hitting the net.

No Mayo supporter is going to go overboard about this result. We’re all painfully aware that while a win over Kerry in late March is nice, it’s what happens in late September that really counts. But the road to a possible return to September football is surely one that first needs days like today, where the lads can head into a match which everyone expects them to lose and then come out kicking themselves that they only won by two points.

Today was a good day’s work on two fronts. First, we have now undoubtedly confirmed our place in Division 1 for next year, which in itself is no mean achievement. But we have also now ensured that the battle for league honours is down to a three-cornered tussle between ourselves, the Dubs and Cork. Having worked so hard to put ourselves in such a favourable position, we owe it to ourselves to push on now and achieve our next aim, which should be a place in the final itself.

Monaghan knocked seven shades of shit out of Derry today so, like Ireland failed to do against Scotland in the rugby yesterday, we’ll need to guard against assuming that this one is won before it’s won. I’d expect there’ll be a good crowd in McHale Park next Sunday to cheer on the league leaders to what will hopefully be our fifth win of the campaign.

Then, if we get over that hurdle, the next one – a meeting with Cork down in Páirc Uí Rinn – will be even tougher but tough games are exactly what we need right now to get us in shape for the summer. After today’s result, our expectations about what the summer holds for us are unquestionably on the rise and while it’s best to keep all those giddy emotions in check, there’s nothing wrong either about facing into the long evenings with a sense of optimism about what may lie ahead.

MAYO: David Clarke; Liam O’Malley, Kieran Conroy, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin; Tom Parsons (1-0), Seamus O’Shea; Andy Moran (0-1, a ’45), Mark Ronaldson, Trevor Mortimer (0-1); Enda Varley (0-4, three frees), Aidan O’Shea, Alan Dillon (0-2, frees). Subs: Conor Mortimer (0-4) for Ronaldson, Pat Harte for Aidan O’Shea, Barry Kelly for Dillon, Mikey Sweeney for Varley.

79 thoughts on “Kerry 1-10 Mayo 1-12: Thriller shoots us clear in Tralee

  1. Never saw that coming. Well done one and all. Even the cynical like myself gotta bow to that.

  2. UNREAL!!! I would have settled for repectable!! Very proud of the boys!!! We should make every effort to win it out now!!

  3. Good performance but lets be realistic.If that was the last sunday in september i think most people would admit the score would be different.The only slight on the victory would be that because he played well C Mortimer probably thinks hes in the same league as the Coopers,Mcdonnells and the Brogans of this world.The heat of championship football will prove him wrong.However,well done today lads.

  4. bright811
    theres no impressing mayo ‘supporters’ like you. The fact that hes up there with the highest scorers over the last 10 year in championship football, close to top scorer with mayo last year when he spent most of his time on the bench.. Would you have been happier if he had not scored?? He may be arrogant but to tell you the truth i do not care, he has nearly always been there for mayo and he is one of our best forwards if not the best and when hes on a good supply which he has not been getting for years he is one of the most dangerous forwards in the country, he would be on my mayo team every time and he owes mayo nothing.. WELL DONE CONOR AND WELL DONE MAYO

  5. Well done
    Some brave selection decisions.
    No bodies place is safe.
    Real competition for places at last.

  6. well done mayo just one thing am not happy with why the manage still uses conor where was he last year against meath i remember that miss he did last summer and it was hard to take while
    he is still on the panal i wont support mayo.
    best of luck to mayo in the next game ill be supporting them at home

  7. Dont care who scored ( Parsons? ). Great win. tks 4 all the updates. Sounds like we pulled out all the stops. Not too many teams beat Kerry in Kerry. We are becoming a hard team to play against and that is what we want to be. Beat Monaghan and that should be enough for a final place ( Croker again ) possibly against Cork. Might have to play Cork twice. that will be interesting. Still, one game at a time. Great to be winning. Great to be a Mayoman. Yahooooooooooooooo! Oh yeah happy birthday to the little Dub!

  8. It was Tom Parsons who got the goal, r51 – a real coup de grace it was too. Next weekend against Monaghan could be a real cracker – the manner of their win over Derry today shows that Monaghan will be no pushover – and the final one in Cork will be even more difficult. Hard games are what we need now, though, and, as you say, we’re becoming a hard team for anyone to play against.

    BTW, how anyone could use today’s performance to take a pop at Conor Mortimer is simply beyond me. He’s one of our lads, for fuck’s sake, and he’s not just any old player either – before too long he’ll become our highest scorer of all time. There’s just no pleasing some people!

  9. I think some people here need to get back on to the Hogan Stand.
    We’ve just beaten Kerry in Tralee with Conor M coming off the bench to kick 4 points from play. What the fuck is wrong with some people??
    Well done Mayo and every single player who played their part, fantastic result.
    Yes jj, days like today do make it all worthwhile! It might only be a league game in March, but lets enjoy it anyway. We’ve suffered the lows often enough, so I’m going to enjoy any kind of high I get with Mayo!

  10. I wasnt able to get to Tralee (my first absence this year)…….but I would have loved to be there to see Kerry fans leaving with 5 minutes to go. I would have blocked the gate myself and forced them back to watch! Well done to all………proud to be Mayo.
    BTW Conor Mort deserves great credit to rise to the challenge of fighting for his place in such a decisive way. More of the same please Conor and lets get behind him and the rest of the lads to push on to greater things.

  11. i am delighted mayo won but the comment conor made in one of the newspaper mayo will win nothing without me really just shows how arrogant he is and i agree with that persons comments on him

  12. Lets remember all the good things conor mort has done. If anyone else came off the bench and kicked 4 points against Kerry we would be building statues to him in castlebar! Time to get behind the boys.

  13. Great win today. well done lads. Great to see the Young mort come on and score 4 points. Heres hopin they go all the way.

  14. You’d do well, qr, to go back and find that article (which was in the Mayo News) where Conor originally made those comments. Mike Finnerty put it to him, in an extremely pointed way that “some people say Mayo will never win anything while you’re in the team” (or words to that effect) to which Mort replied, from the hip, that they’d win nothing without him. Of course, that’s what got the headlines but Conor was simply rising to an obvious slight from a journalist who should have known better. If you’re prepared to judge him on that alone, qr, I think it says more about the kind of person you are than it does about what Conor is like.

  15. Well done to all the lads and especially conor.

    No matter what you think of him as a peron he’s still our best forward when on song and as long as he is knocking them over and banging them in then i’ll be supporting him like every other mayo supporter should.

    Up the maigheo!!!

  16. people like qr are better of left at home anyway,there are no loss to mayo gaa.. Unforgivable for that miss?????? he kicked it over the bar, scored 0-4 that day and he was a second half sub.. took the point when we were 3 points up! I also remember him coming of the bench at half time in the connacht final and finishing top scorer.. Mayo supporters did the same with ciaran mc, when it was too late they appreciated him…

    WELL SAID MAIGHEO LAD

  17. Well done to the lads today. Fantastic win especially away from home. Get off Conor Mortimers back as he has been one of our most consistent performers for years now. There is now healthy competition for places in all areas. I know its only league but its important to win the next two games and prove that the Dublin game was only a minor blip. If the lads can keep this up there could be a National League up for grabs. Well done again lads

  18. You get performances like this when there’s strong competition for places.
    Not his biggest fan, but credit where its due well done mort jnr.
    nightmare day for O’Se, first 40 Min’s running after ronaldson and the rest of the day trying to catch a fresh conor.
    Grate result well done the lads. UP MAYO!
    PS WJ will the sobering proses be days or weeks?

  19. Well done Mayo. After Prrson’s goal I had to pinch
    myself in case I was dreaming!! How any REAL Mayo supporter could have a go at Conor after
    that display is beyond me. I was there when they won in 51 and I’m still living in hopes.

  20. Great win, did I hear that this was our fourth league win over Kerry in the last 5 years?? Monaghan and Cork will provide a different test, much more physical but this will be good preparation for the championship.
    As previously stated,there is a healthy competition for places which can only be good. It appears that out fitness levels are high, just wonder if this can be sustained through the summer.
    Akamoreman, good to hear from someone that was there in ’51, according to Paudi O’Shea, Mayo are one of his tips for Sam this year, unlikely me thinks but I am definitely more positive than at the beginning of the season.

  21. well said jj the same lads giving out about conor were doing the same when kieran mac was playing and for the last three years have been giving out he is not playing!!!!

  22. Great win and yes, I did see it coming!! The two away trips have been a blessing, the weekend sojourns in derry and kerry have been great for the team development, it must be a great feeling for the lads heading back on a long journey home for a second time in succession with a win under their belts. It will be easy to get them out to training and now the real pressure for many of the players is to hold on to places or force themselves into the reckoning, that is a vital component in any successful team. For example, Ronaldo who is the new kid on the block was replaced by Wacko Mort and the ‘veteran’ blitzed kerry. Well done conor, but well done Johnno also for shrewd (or should that be ‘shrule’) man management. You can still expect to see Ronaldo start against Monaghan but conoreen will be chomping at the bit to replace any of the mayo forwards who are having an off day.

    To use the rugby parlance, Mayo now have momentum, and it is very important that we continue where we left off against Monaghan and keep ourselves in pole position for a place in the league final. Wouldn’t it be great to get our revenge for the undeserved loss to the Dubs in a league final in Croker??’ Its in our own hands…… Keep her lit boys!!!

  23. Fantastic result , Many thanks again WillieJoe for the twitter updates, I was hanging on your every tweet. Lads are there any highlights of the game to be had on the net for us overseas mayo men ?

    I can see Brighton811’s point lads but i think it was definitely the wrong time to make it , the Thriller is just back from his trip away and he comes straight out and puts Kerry to the sword.. We couldnt ask for more! Definitely drinking from the half-empty glass there lads , now lets get behind them and see if we can push on and make the NFL final.. Could be the second leg of a unique quadruple… 🙂

  24. A good win, the most important thing to come from this is that it confirms we’re in Div one for next year. It would be nice to kick on and now and make a fist of trying to win the bloody thing. Dont give me any shite about “oh the team that wins the league peaks too soon” “we’ll only get big heads” or any of that owl guff. Winning leads to winning, its a fact, and there are alot of ex U-21 lads on that team who have made a career of winning so lets not contaminate them now! Still a bit concerned about the spine of the team, particularlay the fact that we dont really seem to have a settled 3, 6, and 11. I think we now have a number of good options at midfield but as other years have shown us we need to be fairly settled down the spine of the team going into the championship. Anyway, lets not start yahooing yet, next up Monaghan. Personally I think Cork are the top team so far.

  25. Thanks WJ for all updates. Delighted for the mort….wasnt it Tom O Sullivan who gloated to his manager about how well he did on mort in the 2006 final?? Im nearly sure it was which makes his performance yesterday all the sweeter.
    Whats most encouraging for me this year is that different players are stepping up to the mark in different games. Each Sunday there are different candidates for MOTM awards and this is hugely encouraging.

  26. Great to see Mayo top of the league. I know we should not get ahead of ourselves but progress is progress. Not too worried about positions yet. Different games have different matchups so important to have lads who can play in different positions. Any update on Killer? He is going to be an important man yet.

  27. Roger – no problem, old stick. I know you’re overseas and as I’ve said repeatedly, I was in that position once myself and so know how important the link to home for the matches can be. In terms of highlights, I think (though I’m not sure yet) that highlights might be shown on the usual Monday evening TG4 show (which is usually a good deal better than RTE’s pathetic Sunday evening version). If I find out for sure, I’ll confirm here – if they do show it, you should be able to access it online in a day or two.

    I agree with you, bwp, that Cork are the pick of the bunch so far. Our meeting with them down there on April 11th should be a hell of a game. I’m hoping to get to it and it’d be good, I think, if we managed to have a good following there.

    From what I gather, r51, Killer is back in training (with a plate still inside him?) and is awaiting the specialist’s okay in order to return to the fray. If we get him and Barry Moran back to fitness for the championship, Johnno will have an almighty pick in the forwards!

  28. Great to see there is competition for places on the panel never mind the team with us having a few more lads to come back in.
    How did Conroy do at full back yesterday,Is he a better option there than Cafferkey
    Cork will be a real test for us.

  29. Have to agree that Cork are definitely the pick of the teams I’ve seen so far.
    No surprise really, as I thought they were the best team in the country last year.

    It looks like regardless of how our next game goes, that one down in Cork will be the decider. That’s why it’s a pity we let in 2 late goals in our last couple of matches. I’d say points difference will be a factor in deciding who from the top 3 make the final. Those 6 extra points could of come in useful.

  30. So who’s to make the team in the Monaghan match then? Particularly in the forwards….I was glued to Mid West and have to admit that when I heard C-Mort was coming on for Ronaldo, I wasn’t at all sure it was the thing to do. Ronaldo had been playing well up to then, but four points shut me right up.

    I personally favour C-Mort as an impact sub rather than a starter. Aidan O’Shea’s had a rough time in the frontline so far this year but I think it’s better to have a big man in there – gives us more options.

    Still, it’s great to have competition for places and decisions for Johnno to make, and any win against Kerry is fantastic, especially in the way we closed it out.

  31. judging by the number of responses and contributions to this particular thread it seems that beating Kerry generates a level of satisfaction well above wins over any other team. Not hard to understand really I suppose.

    Just curious on views if Kerry are the team to fear this year. Last year they won a soft All Ireland, lucky to survive the qualifiers, a big game against the Dubs and a final that Cork kinda handed to them. Not trying to take it away from them by any means but they were lucky to make the final last year with what wasn’t a vintage Kerry crop and are they possibly weakened this year with loss of Dara O’Se, Tommy Walsh etc ? Their position in the league must reflect something as they usually take the league serious enough.
    I think a few have referred to Cork as the team to watch out for make amends for last year so our upcoming game against them will be our best test !

  32. A v good day out. anytime we can beat Kerry is one of those. Conor has come in for a lot of criticism (including myself) but he has shown his class once again. I think his doubters point to a lack of consistency or maybe his individualism. But when hes on song hes still one of the best we have. i think we have to beat Monaghan at home to stand any chance of recahing the final as I’m v wary of the trip to Cork. If we do beat the boys from Kavanagh country we should (fingers crossed) have enough on points difference to make the final.

  33. i was watching the TV highlights last night of the NFL and they said that next wewekend they would be showing highlights of the Mayo Monaghan game. So maybe its on TG4 next Sunday. check this out as well http://www.tg4.ie/bearla/scei/sport.asp – says there is live coverage of NFL football next sunday so unless they showing Dwon and Westmeath it looks lke us v Monaghan

  34. I’m loathe to write off any Kerry team Ma-Yoman. I’ve done it before and ended up looking a fool!
    But I just don’t think they can survive the loss of those players this year.
    But if the hoors get anywhere near Croker, would you really put it past them??
    I’m hoping for a Munster semi final exit to Cork for them, and then a tough away qualifier fixture. That should finally get rid of them!
    Cork for me are the team to beat. Really looking forward to the game down there. Their attacking play is very impressive, although I think we can do some damage to their full back line.

    Still, lets concentrate on Monaghan first. A win and we’re nearly there.
    I have a funny feeling Galway might turn Dublin over next week. Cork face a trip to Derry as well, who are desperate for points to stay up.

    Our game with Monaghan is the first game being shown by TG4 next Sunday.
    I’m assuming our game with Cork will also be shown, as it’ll likely decide the league finalists.

  35. Great win, and we’ll take one over Kerry any time. What is it about us that we have to be picking on our own! So what if Conor says the wrong thing in some poxy interview – give him his due, he scored some crackers, and ok it’s not Croker in September but credit the chap when he deserves it. Well done to all, roll on the championship!

  36. Just checked the TG4 listings and it does look as if they’ll be showing highlights from our match alright. The programme starts on TG4 at 8 pm tonight.

    Let’s hope they didn’t have too many cameras there or else we could have another trial by telefís on our hands …

  37. Great result on sunday. However kerry had a perfectly good goal Disallowed because of a hand pass. they also had 2 other goal chances they would have taken on another day. Our defence needs to tighten up, if we are to win the league.

  38. Just in case any Dublin based Mayo people think that going to the Cork game is a bit too far to travel there and back in one day, consider this:
    Pairc Ui Rinn from the Red Cow Roundabout is 211km – the journey from the same roundabout to McHale Park Castlebar is 202km.

    And bearing in mind that most of the road to Cork is motorway, this trip is definitely on!

  39. Sorry guys the mileage might a bit out there (still not used to the new money!) but the difference in distance is correct.

  40. i only seen one camera there yesterday, so i dont think there will be trial by medja. everyone was looking down the other end of the pitch when all hell broke loose, not to many people seen what kicked it off. I was a bit doutfull when he brought connoreen on but fair play he kicked 4 great points when they were badly needed( a lot of wides and ball kicked short before that, hair pulling stuff) he steadied the lads up.
    There was fair mayo support there, hopefully more will travel to the cork game it could prove to be the decider yet, those two late goals against us (derry and kerry) could cost us yet.
    By the way WJ wish your young fella a happy birthday from me.

  41. JJ,I respect your comments but people see Mortimer as some sort of special player which he is not. [Remainder of comment deleted – WJ]

  42. Brighton811 – I’ve had to delete most of that comment, for obvious reasons. I cannot and will not allow this site to become a platform for denigrating a Mayo player in those terms. There are plenty of places on the internet for those interested in spewing bile but this isn’t one of them.

  43. Brief enough highlights on TG4. I thought for a while they were only going to show the Kerry scores but they did show all of Conor’s quartet as well as Tom Parsons’ goal. Conor’s were all well taken, especially the last one, which was from the tightest of angles.

    Tom’s goal was a cracker and what was interesting was that he got the ball a full 30 yards or more from goal but there wasn’t a defender between him and the posts. Conor went on a diversionary run, pulling Tom O’Sullivan out of the way and although two Kerry backs dashed back to try to cover the line, Tom shot low and hard across them and into the corner.

    We were fairly hard done by with the Kerry goal. Donaghy got a free for trying to barge his way through Conroy and then slapped him off, which should have earned him a yellow and, most likely, the free being changed to a throw-in. Donaghy seemed to take the free very quickly and O’Leary stuck it away well but Clarke was fuming about it after it hit the net.

    They had a brief interview with Johnno afterwards and he said that our away form is so good we might look to play all of matches away from home from now on. But, Johnno, what about that nice, shiny new stand at McHale Park??!

    PS: Nothing about that little matter that occurred just before half-time. That would appear to be that, then.

  44. I had no choice but to, Mick, I’m only sorry that it got up there at all. I’ve always taken a light hand where it comes to comment moderation and I obviously hope that this can continue to be the case but stuff like that clearly isn’t helpful.

  45. Didnt know you couldnt voice an opinion here.Was he cleaned in 2006 final?Would a big game player have scored with that chance against Meath last year?Did he or did he not throw the jersey of the great county of Mayo into the stands in disgust?there facts not bile so dont talk about objectivity.Last i heard we lived in a free so embrace it.

  46. It wasn’t the swear word, brighton, it was all that other hateful rubbish that accompanied it as well, some of which was potentially slanderous. Apart from anything else, I have a legal obligation to prevent the publication of actionable material on this site. That’s not fascism, it’s just common sense.

    In case I haven’t made myself 100% clear, let me do so again: this isn’t a forum for slagging off Mayo players, period. Many commentators here have often criticised individual players’ performance in particular matches – as I have myself – but in a constructive manner and in a way that steers clear of personal abuse. That, I believe, is a reasonable standard and if you feel you can’t meet it, then you know what to do.

  47. Willie quoted Dara Ó Cinnéide was writing about the bulls returning to the querencia on Saturday, the place in the bullring where they feel most comfortable when they’re threatened. And here we are now returning to our own querencia with this C-Mort debate.

    I’ve been listening to this Conor is a bollix/he’s not, he’s the finest player to lace a boot since Paddy Moclair debate since Conor first pulled on – and famously chucked away – the jersey in 2002, and I’m still none wiser.

    I think JPM is on the ball when he says that Conor is a fine player on his day. He’s never going to be a leader of men though, and that’s what Mayo need in buckets. Conor was at his best when McDonald was at 11 in 2004, and Trevor was at 14. Danger to serve him the ball, T-Mort to mind him while he was getting it.

    But Conor is not Stevie McDonnell or Meehan or Cooper or any of these, and it’s unrealistic of us to expect him to be what he’s not, when he is all that he is. (Straying a bit into the metaphysics there but I hope you know what I mean).

    I’ll say this much for Conor’s critics though. People are saying that they’re awful men for criticising him now but I admire them for it. When Mayo are knocked out of the Championship we hear tides of abuse about McGarrity but there isn’t a peep out of people when he’s doing the hard work in the deeply unglamorous league.

    And that isn’t an invite for everyone to have a go at Ronan, by the way. I’m only saying that just because you don’t rate a player that doesn’t mean that you think he’s Pol Pot, or anything. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    Until such times as the opinion oversteps the mark, as appears to have happened here. I don’t have comments turned on my own site. I don’t have the time to monitor them, and I am not my own boss so I’m limited in my access.

    But the fact is that Willie has been running open house here for Mayo fans in having the site in the first place, and in having the comments open as well so we can debate. For someone to come along and start smashing the crockery in the dresser – well, that’s just not on. Maybe somebody owes Willie an apology. A really down on your belly one.

  48. Just wondering how Aidan O Shea got on. johno is sticking with him which is good but he is not the player he was last year. Still class will out and SOS is doing mighty.

  49. I never said you couldn’t post an opinion here, just that you couldn’t use the site to launch personal attacks on players, which is precisely what you did in the comment I felt I had no choice but to moderate. You’re obviously free to spout as much shite as you want, brighton, but all I can say is that you won’t be using this forum to do so. You clearly have an issue with Conor (which is odd, as you’re a Mayo ‘supporter’ – right?) so my advice to you would be simply to get over it. The past is the past but, as the second highest Mayo scorer of all time, Conor already has a proud record as a Mayo player and I somehow doubt he’s finished yet.

  50. Brighton – this is now getting just a little tedious. Repeating unsupported allegations as fact doesn’t make them facts, just because you say they are. Last chance saloon time: move on or move out.

  51. My god, Its amazing how a predictable win over Kerry has driven everyone wild, bit like suck calves let outdoors for the first time!!! Now lads, remember to bring ye’re enthusiasm to C’bar on Sunday for a tough and physical farney army, we need a big crowd to help pay for the blue seats!!!

    Fair play wj, you’re playing a blinder!!!

  52. It could well do so, Eriad, but then again it’d be close to Christmas before I’d have sobered up sufficiently to write the match report on the final!

    It’s not just in relation to comments that it’s been mental in these parts the last few days. On Sunday alone, there were just under 2,000 hits on the site and another 1,400 yesterday (the previous high would have been the day after last year’s Connacht final). For the month of March, the total number of hits is 20,658 and counting. It’s obviously winning what does it ..

  53. No bother WJ! Wasn’t having a dig at the comment being shown. I don’t know how all this blog malarkey works. I wasn’t sure if you screened comments before they were shown on the site (although thinking about it, my comments always come straight up after I hit the submit button, so that should of told me!)
    I was thinking his comment about the 2 un-named players (who were then pretty much named…) might get this site in trouble, as they were as you point out, slanderous.
    Great news about the extra hits and exposure the site is getting. Unfortunately, with that comes a bit more policing by yourself!

    Saw the highlights last night. Some great points scored (Trevor’s reminded me of Ciaran Mc’s in the semi against Galway in 2004 – still one of my all time favourite scores, and matches) and the goal was class.
    Donaghy should of definitely seen yellow. But fair play to Conroy, I liked seeing him rile him so much. Those Kerry boys don’t like taking a beating! I just pray we get a chance to do it when it really matters…

  54. I can’t see much moderating going on the night we lift Sam alright.

    An Spailpin makes a good point about The Thriller , lets just enjoy him for what he is and not berate him for what he isn’t , a good manager will get the best out of a fella like that so it’s over to Johnno , as usual!

  55. With all the talk after the match on this blog about conor i really hope he will answer his critics me included with his footballing skills.
    Wasn`t it great to see Conroy stuck into Donaghy.
    About time we lost some of that soft underbelly in the full back line.I listened to the match on Mad West and according to Billy Mayo were much the better team but TG4 covarge show Kerry in a much more positive light than Mayo

  56. Lads I think I can explain some of the hype – for me beating Kerry is better than winning the league final. I can’t explain it any better than that.

    We put in a huge effort in Tralee and it paid off – we beat Kerry.

    It can be a Mayo mindset to find negatives and focus on them. Change the mindset. We beat Kerry. ; )

  57. Coilltemach I understand your delight and am not for a second disagreeing with you but we already have a great record v Kerry in the league. I would rater win the damn league at the end of the day rather than a win v Kerry early on. ITs how we do after beating Kerry that will define us. The signs are good, better than I dreamt off but win our last three matchs and we win the league. Thats the querencia that Dara spoke about and thats what we got to conqour. (Spelt wrong I know JJ)

  58. Apologies for bursting a bubble but I think the hype and adulation in a lot of the replies is a little overbearing and naive.

    Yes beating Kerry feels good, for a few moments but it means very little. We have beaten Kerry before in case anyone has forgotten; in 2008 in McHale Park, in 2007 in McHale Park and in 2006 in Tralee. We have a good record in the league against them so I dont understand the surprise. In fact, I would be more prone to going to Kerry or any other county and expecting a win so I dont feel the same surprise and exaltation as some of the replies.

    Its strange that people are putting the current Kerry squad on such a pedestal. When you look at their current state, as JOM rightfully pointed out that Kerry’s preparation for the league would not be the best coming off the back of an All-Ireland win, between tours, holidays and all the disruption. Coupled with the fact that Kerry were missing a significant calibre of players from last year including Dara O Se, Paul Galvin, Tighe Kennelly, Tommy Walsh, Tomás O Se it wasn’t exactly the yard-stick of an All-Ireland winning team we were pitting ourselves against.
    Should we not then have expected to win? Why is there an idea that winning in Tralee against a significantly weakened side is such a taboo? Part of our problem is the lack of ambition and gullibility of thinking that beating Kerry in March is better than winning an NFL title.

    Beating Kerry means nothing more than the fact that we are doing Ok for ourselves for the time of year. It doent mean we have an NFL title or Sam in the bag, or that we will even be in contention for the latter. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

  59. Want to add my congrats to the lads for their great win over the Kingdom on Sunday, but at the end of the day it was just one win in the League, I am happier with the 2 points that point us towards a National Final than an individual win over any particular county (well maybe Galway, but I just love to see them squirm).
    A national title would do wonders for the confidence of this team, build on it with retaining the Connacht title and then its game on.
    I am very happy that we have so many options in our forward sector and our midfield and defence are being to look so much more solid.

  60. WJ …..perfectly right to step up to your duties to moderate the site and keep the debates reasonably healthy. Woulnt like idiots to take over from genuine football followers.
    Well donw WJ……keep her lit!
    BTW has TIALTNGO packed it in?

  61. Thanks, diehard – it’s a delicate balance, as I have absolutely no desire to act in any kind of nannyish way and want to keep the debate flowing but I don’t want to see sensible debate drowned out by those who have no interest in this kind of discourse. The latter are, thankfully, few in number and hopefully that’ll continue to be the case.

    I’m not sure what the story is with TIALTNGO but I know he’s pretty busy with the day job at the minute so that could explain the lack of activity on his site of late. I don’t think we’ve heard the last from him, though, and I certainly hope that this isn’t the case.

  62. Akamoreman you were there in 1951!! and here was I thinking I was the oldest swinger in town having suffered in the mid and late sixties at the hands of Galway!
    Hopefully we’ll see it happen yet before they throw the soil in on top of us.

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