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Messages - Maroon Manc

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GAA Discussion / Re: Redux Connacht final 2018 thread
« on: June 18, 2018, 03:00:31 PM »
Roscommon had 2 poor wides and they were from Kilroy and Fintan Cregg and neither of them were just after half time, the rest were from difficult angles and outside the D.

Roscommon didn't score from play in the final 50 minutes and only mustered a one free in that time, they really struggled to create good scoring opportunities.

All Shane Walsh's free's were close to the 21 as were all the points from play in that 2nd half apart from Walsh's 1st point of the 2nd half.

It really doesn't fit the narrative that Roscommon threw the game away, they put themselves in a great position at half time but thats about it. There was a huge gulf in the teams in that 2nd half.

Galway with plenty of work to do going forward but at the beginning of the season if you'd told me we'd go unbeaten in the league and get to the league final and then beat Mayo and win the Connacht title beating the Rossies I'd be absolutely delighted.

General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: June 18, 2018, 02:36:03 PM »
De Gea will only leave for Real Madrid and looks like their in for the Brazilian keeper.
His howler came in the absolute perfect match from a ManU perspective.

Sure did

GAA Discussion / Re: The Sunday Game
« on: June 18, 2018, 01:41:17 PM »
The analysis was poor from O'Se last night, the one stat they did show didn't cover all the kickouts ans then what was that nonsense about Connacht team of the championship. Des still clearly has friends in high places, he's just dreadful.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 18, 2018, 01:16:02 PM »

Congrats the Galway lads.

Good game and would have been a savage second half if Roscommon had a kick in them at the end but they had nothing really - which is surprising. The Compton injury was a big hit for them I think and they got beaten up around the middle in the second half. Harney is good but he looks short of conditioning - I know he's just back from injury. The Smiths seemed to disappear? I know that Galway might have more natural pace but I thought in general Ros legs were shot last 10 mins. Galway looked far better conditioned imo.

Kevin Walsh gets a lot of criticism for being negative. I think he will be pleased his tactics worked today. A lot of pundits saying Galway played their natural traditional game in second half today. They didn't. It was as un-natural as their 1-13-1 se-up in first half. That intensive high pressing game can't be sustained for 70 mins. So a manager decides when to do it. Galway did it today when Ros had thrown their best shots but hadn't pulled away. Galway won pulling up in the end. Roscommon players looked shell-shocked by the literally hands-on intensity of some Galway players. How Bradshaw was let away with bear hugging fellas is beyond belief. There is supposed to be a card for that kind of thing? Checking a player making a run. Coldrick and his team did not have a great day and I thought Ros came out on the wrong side of it, but mostly can have not much complaints about result.

I've watched the game again and Roscommon can have no complaints about the ref, Galway were on the wrong end of the two worst decisions of the day and there was a couple of more frees Galway should have got inside the 21 in the 2nd half.

General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: June 18, 2018, 11:01:48 AM »
De Gea will only leave for Real Madrid and looks like their in for the Brazilian keeper.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 18, 2018, 10:43:59 AM »
Those are almost the most satisfying wins when it seems you are beaten twice but pull it out of the fire. Nightmare first half going in 3 points down after having a big wind at our backs. Standing off Roscommon players and letting them thread little passes around their forward line. No pressure on their kickouts at all. Roscommon then get the first score of the second half to go 4 clear. A comeback didn't really seem on given the circumstances but Roscommon wasted a few chances shooting from bad positions like they expected the wind to do all the work for them. Galway begun to get to grip on things in midfield and slowly worked themselves back into it and hit 6 points on the spin. Roscommon then reeling but get the penalty out of nowhere to go 1 up again. I thought that might swing momentum back in Roscommon's favour but Galway were impressive to be fair in closing the game out. Another 5 points on the spin and had the game gone on longer it seemed more likely that Galway would have extended the winning margin rather than Roscommon make it closer.

Kevin Walsh gets fairly tetchy about any criticism he receives for the way he sets his team out tactically but I can't believe he really thinks the approach they took in the first half with an almost gale at their backs was the right one. I mean they won in the end so he might say the end justifies the means but they put themselves in a hole of their own making. Really the only thing that kept Galway in touch in the first half was some Shane Walsh magic.

Very satisfying is right, had given up at half time. They deserve credit for that second half performance and the way they responded again after the pen hitting 5 points without reply. The bench again made a huge impact which is a stark contract to the last few years.

Kerin will naturally come back in for Wynne whilst Conroy & McHugh will be battling to hold on to their places. McHugh had a poor day but I would probably give him the benefit of the doubt and think there's more to come from him but Conroy will be very lucky to retain his place. He was poor yesterday and he was average enough against Mayo & Dublin in the league final.

Great result for Mayo, any standouts in that Mayo team?

I saw them as minors 2 years ago against Kildare and nobody stood out that day, realise a lot can happen in 2 years at that age. With dropping from 21's to 20's some people are expecting too much for a lad to go straight up to the senior panel although Sean Kelly from Galway was U20 last year and was only a sub in the Connacht Final yet started for the seniors yesterday and he was one of the smaller lads physically last year.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 18, 2018, 09:39:44 AM »
Sunday Game's only stat last night was that Roscommon only won 3 out of their 10 kickouts in the second half; What about the other 4 or 5?

Galway kicked 11 points in the 2nd half and had several other shots that went wide, Rossies must have had at least 14 kickouts.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:22:37 PM »
Looked like a sizeable difference in the fitness of the 2 sides, Galway's new fitness coach has certainly had an impact.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:16:43 PM »
Appalling 1st half but very good second half. Delighted to get the win considering what we were faced with at half time. There was nothing intensive about that 1st half, it was pathetic.

I'm laughing at the suggestion Coldrick favoured Galway, one of those early frees for Roscommon against Sean Andy looked very very soft and Donie Smith took a long time before hopping the ball for his score and Comer was clearly fouled late in the first half and thats before Roscommon's only point of the 2nd half is mentioned which was the most ridiculous of the lot. Would have to watch it again though.

Galway hit 16 scores to their 8, its a conclusive stat.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 14, 2018, 02:22:29 PM »
Galway team named:

Ruairí Lavelle
Declan Kyne
Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh
David Wynne
Cathal Sweeney
Gareth Bradshaw
Johnny Heaney
Paul Conroy
Tom Flynn
Eamonn Brannigan
Barry McHugh
Seán Kelly
Ian Burke
Damien Comer (C)
Shane Walsh

No Kerin is significant I feel as with Silke already missing, Galway are now without both their starting corner-backs and there's a bit of a drop off to the next two.

Certainly a huge loss. Flynn again gets the nod, needs a big game from him. Conroy needs a big game too, against the Dubs his shooting and kick passing was very poor and he didn't do much for the half hour he was on against Mayo; The pair of them have Duggan & Cooke breathing down their necks.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 14, 2018, 12:22:06 PM »

Roscommon coach Liam McHale feels the surroundings of Dr Hyde Park will bring peace of mind and confidence to their players and give them a big chance to retain their Connacht Football Championship title.

The Rossies are in good stead after winning Division 2 and beating Leitrim in a provincial semi-final, and received clearance to play the provincial decider in their home venue.

Speaking about that decision, McHale said: "It's huge for us. We're a young team, an improving team. There was a bit of controversy and a bit of banter. We were worried it wouldn't be here.

"Two years ago we went to Salthill and got a draw. We went to Castlebar because we didn't have this lovely venue here to play in and we got beaten by nine or 10 points by Galway. For confidence levels and for ease of mind and peace of mind for the players, I think it will be massive on Sunday.

"We all know how good Galway are and the improvements they have made as well"

"The enthusiasm has been fantastic all year. We won Division 2, we were delighted with that, we didn't play really well. It seemed to be a slow burner and that's the way we wanted it to be. The last few weeks we have been really playing well. It's a very young team but they are very skilful. They are very humble and hungry and they are really looking forward to Sunday.

"We all know how good Galway are and the improvements they have made as well. We feel that here especially, and that's how important this venue is to us, that we have a really good chance of retaining our Connacht title."

Last year manager Kevin McStay and McHale were under pressure going into the Championship after a disastrous League season, but turned things around to win Connacht.

It’s a different story this time round and it’s one the Roscommon coach knows brings its own challenge.

"We had such a rough league campaign prior to the Connacht final last year and took some really bad beatings. Nobody gave us a chance and maybe that filtered into the brains of the Galway players.

"This year it's a different kettle of fish. Both teams will realise this is a 50-50 game and if you don't bring your 'A' game on Sunday, the chances are you are going to lose. We're building up to a big performance on Sunday and if that goes well we have a great chance. If it doesn't we'll probably be beaten because we're playing a really good side in Galway.

"Our shot selection against Galway's defence has to be very good. We can't afford to kick 11 or 12 wides"

"We have to be very solid in the middle of the field. Our midfield, half-back and half-forward line has got a fair bit of criticism over the last two years. We need be really competitive as we were in the Connacht final last year and fight for every ball.

"Our shot selection against Galway's defence has to be very good. We can't afford to kick 11 or 12 wides. Our wides have to be down to four or fives and we have to be disciplined on the defence and not give away easy frees or goals.

"I've been around a long time, I've played for a long time and I've coached in Connacht for a long time. I’m normally at ease once the work is done. I think we were okay in the league and there has been a steady progression. The confidence is building all the time."

General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: June 14, 2018, 11:20:19 AM »
I don't agree Martial was flying before Sanchez arrived, he had an outstanding 1st season but has replicated that form since.

Its easy to blame Mourinho but Martial has literally downed tools in plenty of games and looked so disinterested.

Anyway United won't get rid unless they get a quality replacement.

GAA Discussion / Re: Limerick v Mayo, Gaelic Grounds. 9/6/18.
« on: June 14, 2018, 10:36:08 AM »
COC will continue to split opinion, for obvious reasons he's one of the least likeable players on the pitch. I've given him stick for his scores from play in AI semi's and finals but he had a better year last year scoring 0-7 from play in the 3 games against Kerry & Dublin.

It looks like his freetaking isn't as accurate as it was 3 years ago either and he's hardly the most dynamic forward but his record is very impressive.

If you were picking the best 5 or 6 forwards in the country would he be included?

That’s what I was getting at, and no he wouldn’t be for me.

Kilkenny O’Callaghan Connolly
Rock         Comer       Geaney

Those 6 for me. Special mention also McBrearty, McManus.

Kilkenny has never scored in an All Ireland final, despite playing in the same number as Cillian...

In all seriousness, I'd have Mannion in there somewhere.

That definitely true? He does play a different role to COC though and Dublin certainly aren't reliant on him for scores but its an oddity he's not scored in 5 finals including replays.

GAA Discussion / Re: Connacht Senior Championship 2018
« on: June 14, 2018, 10:30:06 AM »
Darragh O'Se in the times yesterday

There was a fella back in west Kerry years ago who was known as The Cricket. He was always talking about the crickets – by which he meant critics, although I’m not sure he knew one way or the other whether there was any difference.

“Don’t mind the crickets, Sé,” he’d say to you after you might have had a bad game and people were giving out about you. “The crickets will always have something to be going on about.”

I came up against Kevin Walsh a good few times when we were back in our playing days. He was big and awkward to get around and didn’t stand for any messing. The very last thing he will ever have on his mind is the crickets, even though there are plenty of them around these days.

Does he hear people giving out about Galway’s defensive style of play? Probably. Does he care? Not for a second. Let the crickets have their say, it means nothing to him.

People will always complain, regardless of what you do. I remember walking out of Croke Park after the 2014 All-Ireland final with Kerry just after lifting Sam Maguire. It was a poor game but sure what about it? The year was over, the All-Ireland was won and we’d lost enough epics to last a lifetime. And yet who did I meet on my way out of Croke Park? A Kerry fella who said: “We’re going nowhere with that Kerry team.”

Galway are a coming team, that’s obvious to everyone. They’re fast, they’re physical, they’re very difficult to play against. Even just those three things put together should be enough to carry you past most teams in the country and should definitely be enough to see you into the Super 8s. Whether or not Galway go any further than that depends on what use they can make of their most skilful players.

The team Walsh was a part of made the most out of their flair players. That Galway team was all about getting the ball to Pádraic Joyce, Michael Donnellan, Ja Fallon, with Declan Meehan and Seán Óg de Paor bombing on from the wings. They had bags of talent and serious pace and were beautiful to watch in full flow. The rest of the team played to serve those lads with the ball and no better man than Kevin Walsh to lead that effort.

Football has changed in the 20 years since they won their first All-Ireland but I think it still holds true that if you’re going to win an All-Ireland, you need to set up your team so that the hod-carriers are working in service of your best players. For Galway, those guys are the likes of Damien Comer, Shane Walsh, Eamon Brannigan and Seán Armstrong. I’d worry in the long run that their defensive system calls on these guys to do too much donkey work. Against the better teams, that’s going to leave them short at the other end.

More defensive
There’s no question but that Galway needed to develop a better way of defending than they had previously. They were beaten far too easily when they got to Croke Park in recent years and there’s no future in that for any decent team. If a team is poor defensively, you can’t be giving out about them addressing the problem. What’s the alternative?

I was at Kerry’s game against Clare there a couple of weeks ago and I saw Clare line up man-for-man with no sweepers, no blanket defence, no nothing really. And it was a lovely game to watch altogether, with a fast, young Kerry team happily running up a score of 0-32. But was it the right thing for Clare to do? Not from where I was sitting. They looked totally naïve to me, in that they didn’t do anything to address the problems that would be caused by Kerry’s forwards having lots of space.

So I don’t really have any major issue with Galway going more defensive. They’re getting a bit of grief for it but they had to do something. They couldn’t arrive back to Croke Park with the same defensive set-up they had last year and the year before. Kieran Donaghy had them beaten after 15 minutes in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final. If that doesn’t make you sit down over the winter and come up with something different, you have no business being in charge.

The reason they get a bit of grief over it is the quality of the players they have going forward. Shane Walsh can be infuriating at times. He has so much ability, class and craft that you see him sometimes and you wonder why he isn’t an automatic All Star every year.

He kicked a free against Kerry in the league match this year that had to be seen to be believed. He kicked it off the ground with his left leg with a style that I haven’t seen in anyone since Maurice Fitzgerald.

But Galway’s return from Shane Walsh’s ability is just too low. They don’t get enough bang for his buck. He is electric when he’s running the ball but what use is that to Galway if he is collecting possession in his own half-back line? The knock-on effect of it is that he sometimes overcomplicates things when he does find himself in position within reach of the goal. He sometimes looks like he is trying to show what he can do – maybe because he has spent too much time doing the mundane stuff back in defence.

When I marked Seán Cavanagh in the 2005 All-Ireland final, it took me a while to work out that he had been given special licence by Mickey Harte, excusing him from chasing back into the defence
There were a couple of games in the league where even Damien Comer found himself back in the Galway defence putting in tackles and breaking up the play. You didn’t see him do that against Dublin or against Mayo so they’ve obviously told him it’s not on his to-do list. You can see him growing by the game as a result.

Comer is a prime example of what is possible for Galway. He is loving being the leader of their attack. You can see it in him – he wants the responsibility, he wants the opposition to come up with plans especially for him. One marker, two markers, a sweeper in front – bring it on, lads. Whatever ye have, bring it on.

Transfer market
You’d pay a lot in any transfer market for someone with that attitude added to that physical strength. Galway have a unique asset in Comer so it’s vital they use him properly. He scored a point against Mayo and then chased back after the kick-out, hunting down fellas for 70 yards all the way back into the defence.

I would hope that someone took him aside afterwards and said: “Fair play Damien, great effort, great honesty – now never do that again.”

He has to be excused all the tracking back and getting in defensive formation. The system has to be designed to let him do damage where it matters. If he finds himself 70 yards from goal marking a zone, then the system hasn’t worked.

Defensive systems come in two forms – one designed to contain the opposition and one designed to give you a platform to attack. When people were giving out about Tyrone’s blanket defence away back in the 2000s, they were totally missing the point. I played against those teams and there was far more to them than just getting men behind the ball.

When I marked Seán Cavanagh in the 2005 All-Ireland final, it took me a while to work out that he had been given special licence by Mickey Harte, excusing him from chasing back into the defence. Any time he went forward, I would be doing my duty and going with him stride for stride. But when the boot was on the other foot, he stayed put in midfield and waited for the ball to come to him.

Trying to play against that was a bit unsettling. You had an advantage going forward with the ball because you’d lost your man. But you also knew you had to make it count. Half the idea from their point of view was for me to think I was away in a hack. They wanted me bombing on so that when they got a turn over, Cavanagh was on his own in the middle of the pitch and the counter-attack was on straight away.

For Galway to survive against the better teams in Croke Park, they need to give the likes of Comer and Walsh that sort of licence. That defensive style they’ve developed has to be a springboard for their forwards, who have more pace to burn than most teams.

I noticed when they were talking about the big job they’ve done on Dr Hyde Park that they’ve made it exactly the same size as Croke Park
Dublin have shown time and time against Tyrone, Monaghan and Donegal that there is no point coming to Croke Park looking to frustrate them and get men behind the ball. Galway have too many good players for that.

The Connacht final against Roscommon on Sunday will give them a really good idea of where they stand. I’m told the Rossies gave Cork a good trimming in a challenge game recently and Kevin McStay is too clever a coach to just send his players running down blind alleys.

I noticed when they were talking about the big job they’ve done on Dr Hyde Park that they’ve made it exactly the same size as Croke Park. You’d expect Roscommon to use every bit of it to try and drag the Galway players out of position. If they can do that and if they can be patient and take their scores, I would give the Rossies a good chance on Sunday.

The crickets would be fairly out for Kevin Walsh then!

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