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Messages - Mourne Rover

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General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: April 13, 2019, 10:37:05 PM »
A massive win for Leeds today means that ten points from the last four games will take us up. Sheffield United definitely have the easier run in, but they have lost momentum and picked up key injuries as well as the suspension of Egan. However, strange things can happen when the pressure is really on and it will probably go to the last game. While Leeds are not short on quality, winning a match by a comfortable margin has not often been possible. The closing stages of our remaining fixtures are not going to be good for the nerves.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 06, 2019, 02:07:22 PM »
The website seems to have had technical problems for some time but it is pretty poor that the service has actually got worse for the start of our all county leagues.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 24, 2019, 06:27:02 PM »
Donnelly is not the finished product as a county midfielder but he has improved steadily in recent seasons and we are clearly going to need him in the championship. He has missed the entire league through injury but it was hard to understand why he was fit enough for the bench today but not used in the final quarter.

While Tally deserves full credit for putting together a run of five consecutive wins, realistically the only opposition we dominated was a limited Offaly. Three of the games were won in injury time, and today could have been a fourth, but you cannot go on hoping to snatch results at the death. Our squad lacks depth and there are probably at least half a dozen positions up for grabs against Armagh.

Another factor is our form in Newry, where we have lost more matches than we have won over the last four or five seasons. Promotion today would have given us  a big lift but instead our confidence going into the championship may be fragile.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:41:00 PM »
Today's first half was our most disappointing performance for a very long time, and, although we improved in the final quarter, the damage had been done and we managed to miss out on a promotion which was practically in our grasp.

We were uncertain from the start, with experienced figures like McKernan and Mooney making a series of unforced errors. Mooney did get a fine point which arguably should have been a goal but neither he nor Flynn are really midfielders and the opposition pairing took us apart. Our kick-out strategy was baffling, putting the ball constantly in an area which we could not gain possession, but the keeper could only have been acting on instructions.

The spine of the team was a huge problem, with Wells and Flanagan both exposed at the back before getting taken off and Poland not making an impact at centre forward.

Darren O'Hagan was our best player as usual, and nearly pulled us over the line singlehandedly, while a little more composure from our forwards in the closing stages could easily have got us the draw.

Very few of our substitutions worked and it was surprising not to see Maginn used at any stage on a day when we were crying out for a cool head on the ball.

Next year's D3 appears significantly tougher, with Cork, Tipperary and Derry all in the picture, so we could be regretting today's result for a very long time

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 23, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »
Decent team named for tomorrow, with some strength in depth developing on the bench. It's also good to see Donnelly and Mallon back in the match day squad to give us options around the middle. The only negative element is the uncertainty over the final table because of the postponed game between Louth and Westmeath, who should pretty obviously have been instructed to reschedule the fixture for last Wednesday at the latest.

GAA Discussion / Re: NFL Div 3
« on: March 21, 2019, 04:47:47 PM »
Every county should have been informed at the start of the league that any postponed fixtures needed to be re-scheduled at the first possible opportunity. The reasons put forward by Louth and Westmeath for not fielding on Sunday the 17th and the holiday on Monday the 18th were less than compelling and they should then have been instructed that Wednesday the 20th was the only other option. If Louth genuinely did not have any venue under floodlights available to cope with what would have been a fairly small attendance, a neutral ground needed to be nominated. We are now left in a position where either Louth or Westmeath, or possibly both, may go into a stand alone game with the huge advantage of knowing exactly the result they must achieve for promotion. There is also every prospect that the D3 final will be delayed until April, a month which was supposed to be reserved for club matches. It all looks like a poor example of forward planning.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 16, 2019, 05:39:30 PM »
Seems to have been quite a game in Carlow. Our winning point came in the fourth minute of injury time and, according to the KCLR coverage, Poacher went for the referee at the final whistle. The commentators were frequently confused about what was happening but we appear to have had two red cards for second yellows in the closing stages. KCLR had no clue who went off.

The postponement of Laois v Westmeath complicates everything, and has suggested that it will not be played `this weekend'. Monday may be an option but, if that does not happen,  a decision will have to be taken on staging the final round of league fixtures next week.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:18:02 PM »
We were ordinary enough in the first half and two points looked a vulnerable lead with Offaly having a strong wind after the break. However, we improved steadily as the game progressed against admittedly limited opposition who relied heavily on generous frees from a fussy referee to keep in touch.

Our defence is capably organised with Wells settling in nicely at full back and Laverty an impressive newcomer at wing half while O'Hagan had another outstanding night and McKernan was a reassuring presence.

There is always likely to be a problem when we play two non-midfielders at midfield, although Flynn was a little unfortunate to be replaced so early, and we really need Donnelly back before long.

Ryan Johnston had one of those games where he kept beating men but only went sideways, while Jerome may have been fortunate to stay on when he got involved with an opponent right on the half time whistle

O'Hare was excellent again up front, where Guinness had his moments but really should have palmed in his first half chance. Quinn did not let a couple of misplaced passes worry him when he came on and finished clinically for both of his goals.

One more win should take us up, as well as earning a day out at Croke Park, which would have to go down as a very satisfactory debut league campaign for Tally.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: March 02, 2019, 12:19:59 PM »
Smurfy is not making much sense here. He condemns Jody Gormley for not getting Bredagh into D1 but he must know that the club's only previous short spell in the top league was some 40 years ago. He is completely wrong to claim that Bredagh were `massive favourites' in their two IFC wins under Gormley. Bredagh were actually huge outsiders against An Riocht in 2016, and available at 4/1 on the day, while the Liatroim final last year was always going to be the tight game it turned out to be. Keeping Loughinisland in D1 is not going to be easy but everyone who has worked with Gormley knows that he is a very accomplished coach

General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: March 01, 2019, 11:19:53 PM »
Big result for Leeds tonight after the QPR setback - the BBC R5 profile last night confirmed what an amazing coach Bielsa is.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 24, 2019, 08:03:21 PM »
Stiffler, John McAreavey definitely got 2-3 on his McKenna Cup debut against Donegal about ten years ago. Perhaps someone from Tullylish can tell us if he ever managed a county hat-trick as well.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 24, 2019, 05:18:46 PM »
Not too many people would have predicted an eight point win for us in Longford, and promotion is now very much in our own hands. We are sitting in second with three games left, the last of which is at home to Louth who top the division on scoring difference. Hopefully someone who was there can tell us a little more about the performance. Fair play to Donal O'Hare who has had an excellent goal scoring record over the years. He may be the first Down senior player to score a hat-trick since Mickey Linden in a McKenna Cup final against Derry at Casement Park about three decades ago, unless anyone can recall a more recent example.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 22, 2019, 11:29:06 PM »
Down team for Longford named as Burns; Collins, Wells, McAleenan; Laverty, Flannagan, O'Hagan; Flynn, Mooney; Ryan Johnston, Poland, McGrady; O'Hare, Harrison, McKernan.

It's a pretty strong side for a crunch match, with the winners very likely to be promoted. Jerome might have started but will certainly be used at some stage. Pierce Laverty is an excellent prospect and there is only one way to find out if he is a senior county player.

GAA Discussion / Re: NFL Div 3
« on: February 11, 2019, 11:54:58 AM »
Croí na hÉireann is completely right about the poor spectacle which county football regularly offers. The restriction on hand passes was probably dropped too soon although it may not have ultimately proved practical.  The next option may well be keeping three men in the opposition half, as the evidence over dropping attendances is truly alarming.

Saturday night in Newry was a fairly typical offering, although it did get exciting in the closing stages when the contest was up for grabs. Westmeath should have been well clear at the break but used their extra player poorly and Tally's game management was exemplary in the second half.

 While Down are in a reasonable position in a very tight division, we could just as easily have zero points at this stage.  There are six sides in contention for promotion and it is likely to go to the wire.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 10, 2019, 04:04:59 PM »
We have little option other than to pack midfield and try and win the breaking ball as we just do not have players available who are likely to take clean catches. Short kick outs are very risky against well organised opponents and a turnover could easily have led to a Westmeath goal in the first half last night.
Donnelly will make a difference when he recovers from injury but we never really replaced the likes of Gordon, King and Ambrose from a few years ago.  However, coming from behind to grab injury time wins twice in a row is bound to increase our confidence in a tight division. Our trip to Longford in a fortnight wil be crucial as they had an excellent win away to Carlow today.

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