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Messages - Mourne Rover

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General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: July 08, 2019, 10:58:31 PM »
Jannson is probably the best centre half in the championship but he has always been headstrong and the signs were bad when he disobeyed clear instructions from Bielsa to allow Villa an unchallenged equaliser. When he sat on the pitch and ignored his teammates after he was an unused sub in the Derby disaster, in retrospect it looked like the last straw. Leeds could really do with bringing in another centre back and striker swiftly,  but Bielsa inevitably does things his own way.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:13:14 PM »
Derry are certainly capable of winning the u20 Ulster title but they will have to cope wih the loss of Callum Brown and Anton Tohill to Australia.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:31:36 PM »
When Down u20s won the Leo Murphy Cup, there was a single post here congratulating the team but making no mention of the management.  It's pretty difficult to see how this amounted to eulogising anyone or claiming that Deegan was the new messiah of Down football. There's no doubt that our underage record has been very poor for many years, and probably hit rock bottom in 2016 when our then u21s lost by 22 points to Armagh in Newry.  Yesterday, our u20s were away to Tyrone, probably the favourites for the competition, and lost by two points. Some of our other development squads have been getting decent results of late, so, while we have a very long way to go, we are certainly not in the position we were three or four seasons ago.

GAA Discussion / Re: Down versus Mayo
« on: June 22, 2019, 11:37:12 PM »
A very frustrating night for Down supporters as Mayo were clearly vunerable but we managed to miss four great goal chances in the second half as well as a string of straightforward frees. While Mayo always kept three or four in front, and may have had a little in hand, a second goal would have changed everything. Mooney shot just over the bar when it looked easier to hit the net, Francis and Quinn went very close and O'Hare's effort was stopped at full stretch by Clarke. Luck was not on our side but getting nothing from six or seven kickable frees and 45s finished us off.

Burns was confident with the ball in his hands but his kick outs were a huge problem and ultimately cost us a killer goal.We had good defensive displays from O'Hagan, McAleenan and particularly Collins but McKernan sadly looked like his time was up. McCabe will be a great prospect at midfield in a year or two and Mooney was a regular threat. Our forwards were patchy, although Harrison frequently made an impact before he tired. The big plus is that our younger players have pace and potential, and, if we can get a fully fit Donnelly back at midfield, we may have better days ahead.

Good luck to Mayo who brought a massive support and deserved their win but, on the evidence of tonight, they are some distance away from the team they used to be. While they have deserved at least two All Irelands, even the eventual return of O'Connor and Ruane is pretty unlikely to get them anywhere close to Dublin.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 09, 2019, 11:35:35 PM »
Town Gael has confused his subs, as Devlin came on for Poland ten minutes before half time, played pretty well and scored an important point from play. Havern was not taken off until the closing stages when he had run himself into the ground and his replacement, Barry O'Hagan, got what was effectively the winning score. Down definitely should be more direct but we had difficulty working the ball into the right positions against a well organised Tipperary defence. However, if we keep switching Harrison and Havern with Quinn coming off the bench, we can trouble plenty of sides.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 09, 2019, 08:58:02 PM »
Not too many posts here about the Tipperary game which probably indicates that it was a gutsy but  largely unconvincing display against an ordinary Tipperary side. We should have been well clear in the first quarter, but found ourselves behind after conceding a goal very easily. We were then in control for most of the second half but only a brilliant save from Burns prevented a second soft goal which might well have finished us off. While there is no problem over our fitness, we could really do with a favourable draw tomorrow.

Our kick-outs were a familiar problem, although most of the defenders did reasonably well individually and O'Hagan was brilliant as usual. Flynn worked hard at midfield without creating much while Poland was replaced ten minutes before the break so the return of Mooney will be a boost.

The forwards seemed to lack confidence after some glaring early misses from both frees and open play, but Havern eventually came of age as a county player and Harrison was always a threat. O'Hare barely touched the ball apart from his regular habit of scoring a crucial goal and the star of the show was Quinn coming off the bench. He has a football brain which allows him to find time and space and there is a touch of swagger about his shooting.

Tally may not have picked the right team from the start but he got all his changes right and reads the game well. If we could just move the ball faster, we are capable of putting it up to most of the potential opposition in the second round

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 08, 2019, 01:40:02 PM »
Mooney's red card was dubious but, if the authorities were really out to get us, he could have had his suspension extended for the incidents on the pitch at the end of normal time. He was involved in very similar conduct at the final whistle in his previous championship appearance, against Cavan last summer. While Mooney is a very talented player, and capable of turning a match on a good day, he is not a teenager any more and he must know that he is not much use to the team when sitting in the stand.

Tally surprised most of us by starting his named team in the USC but there must be a fair chance of a couple of late changes tomorrow. It is likely to be a  tight game in which a repeat of the overall Armagh performance, apart from carrying the ball into tackles, might get us over the line. The big concern is our erratic home form against a side who have an excellent record on the road.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 30, 2019, 09:40:50 AM »
Down footballers do not win many matches by 22 points at any level so it was quite a result. When the same two teams met at the same venue in the former u21 championship three years, Armagh won by exactly the same margin. Last night's outcome would suggest there is some substance to the good reports coming out of the Mourne Academy, and there is no doubt that the 2018 u20 side should at least have made the Ulster final. However, given the dire record of our underage squads over the last decade, we probably need to wait under until later in the year before drawing conclusions.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 27, 2019, 10:21:40 PM »
After Monaghan, Tipperary were probably the second toughest draw we could have got. While their league form was poor, they were still a division above us  and they had a particularly impressive win over Donegal. They have had a decent record over the last few seasons, thanks to an astute manager and one of the best full forwards in the country, although their championship defeat against Limerick must be a good sign for us. A home tie probably helps us but our record  in Newry over the last four years has been disappointing. If we can find a full back, and use our younger players properly, we should be capable of getting another day out.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:21:04 PM »
Lotto has clearly forgotten about our last Ulster championship match 12 months ago when Donegal beat us by 13 points without breaking sweat even through we had an extra man for almost an entire hour. This time round, we came up with a strategy to negate Armagh's perceived superiority at midfield until Mooney got himself sent off. We then regrouped, had to cope with the black card for our keeper and then finished very strongly to come from five behind and get a draw. We could have won it in extra time and lost out by a point in the end. We had six players starting in the championship for the first time with a further four debuts from the bench.

When most supporters think we have made significant progress since last year's debacle, Lotto thinks we are celebrating failure. In Lotto's world, you can somehow push up on the opposition and keep kicking the ball in long, even if you are a man down. Lotto's tactical insight is summed up as `let the players play FFS'. Lotto did not notice the way we rotated our full forwards and pulled Armagh defenders out of possession, resulting in three goals, and obviously missed the sense of purpose which was present across the squad.

There were plenty of handling mistakes and errors of judgment along the way, we have a long way to go and much will depend on the draw for the qualfiiers. However, we have a spirit about us, the younger players are only going to improve and we are begining to look like we might become a team again. It's a start.

GAA Discussion / Re: Down v Armagh (Park Esler 16:00) 19/05/2019
« on: May 20, 2019, 12:03:48 PM »
LCohen refers to the possibility of the O'Neill/Guinness incident appearing on YouTube but it was shown in full during the television coverage last night. There is no doubt that O'Neill's open hand caught Guinness on the side of the face. The level of contact was obviously less than in the Mooney episode but by the letter of the law both were potential red cards. Mooney walked before the break and O'Neill stayed on in extra time to hit what turned out to be the winning point and collect the man of the match award. Both sides could point to other questionable decisions but, in a game of tight margins, the absence of Mooney and the presence of O'Neill were probably crucial.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 19, 2019, 10:11:15 PM »
Losing at home to Armagh in the championship for the first time in over sixty years is never going to be a good day but the way we rallied when the game seemed gone, and then probably should have gone on to win it in extra time, was hugely impressive and indicated that we may have a team again within a year or two.

While a couple of individual errors of judgment cost us dearly, Tally did a brilliant job tactically and kept his head when McGeeney was all over the place in the closing stages. We can also feel pretty hard done by as it was very hard to see how a head high tackle from Mooney was a red while a hand straight into the face from O'Neill was only a yellow as he went on to be man of the match. Havern may have handled on the ground in the very last play but he was almost certainly fouled first and, with Armagh panicking, anything could have happened from a long free into the square

The most impressive aspect for us was the way the younger players stepped up to the mark, through Daniel Guinness, Francis and Havern from the start and James Guinness, Quinn and McCabe coming off the bench. They all made mistakes under pressure along the way but they look like the best group of emerging talent we have had for a decade.

Throw in excellent displays from both O'Hagans, McAleenan, McKernan, O'Hare and Harrison and we might yet have a run in the qualfiers with the right draw.

Tally's set up meant Armagh did not have any real midfield advantage before Mooney's dismissal and he came up with a decent plan for 14 men as well. Burns had a fine game with some excellent kick-outs until he got over confident and went on one run too many resulting in his black card.

Wells tried hard at full back but struggled throughout and we have very few alternatives there after the injuries to Donnelly and McArdle. A call to McGovern may be unlikely but is still worth considering.

However, there is every prospect that this squad is going to improve both this summer and in the coming season. Tally proved his capabilitiies today and, with the players buying into his approach, some heartening progress is definitely on the cards.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 17, 2019, 11:57:32 PM »
Team named as Burns; O'Hagan, Wells, Collins; McAleenan, McKernan, Daniel Guinness; Mooney, Poland; Francis, Jerome Johnston, Maginn; Havern, O'Hare, Harrison.

We will certainly not start in this formation, and like Armagh there could still be changes. McArdle and Flynn are definitely losses and we have pace rather than size across the field. The Armagh side looks as though it as a distinct physical advantage but we will be hoping that our manager reads it better along the way.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 15, 2019, 11:34:15 PM »
Nanderson does not say which of the Guinness brothers he is suggesting. Both are well in contention, as are Poland, Havern, Harrison and a couple of others, so there will be a few tight selection calls along the way. Tally is more than capable of shaking up the team that finished the league.

General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: May 15, 2019, 11:11:08 PM »
A tough night for Leeds, so condolences to Rufus and the rest of the faithful, but we have been there before and will be there again. If Leeds had gone in at the break at 1-0, and then followed Bielsa's normal instructions, we should have closed it out fairly comfortably. Instead, we had a catastrophic goalkeeping error almost on the whistle and were then caught cold in the first minute of the second half. Derby did play well when they were given the chance, but, if Berardi had avoided a foolish red card, we still looked like finishing as the stronger side. Starting him ahead of Jansson was probably a rare selection error from Bielsa  but hopefully he will stay for another season. Plan A needs to be avoiding the play-offs, as history tells us that the weight of expectation tends to crush all but the toughest characters in the squad. While Dallas was outstanding tonight, we did not quite have enough quality elsewhere when we badly needed it.

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