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Messages - Mourne Rover

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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.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 10, 2019, 12:01:09 AM »
We may not exactly be producing sparkling football but it tells you something about a squad when you come from behind to hit an injury time winner for the second week in a row. The manager deserves enormous credit for the changes he made in both games, and he completely outsmarted opponents who had an extra man for two thirds of the match.

He has us brilliantly organised at the back, and our tackling has improved beyond recognition.To only concede four points in the second half with the numerical disadvantage was an outstanding performance. It helped that Westmeath were so conservative throughout but we were the team who wanted it more at the decisive stage.

Burns had an excellent penalty save, after a little advice from his coach, and is good with the ball in his hands even if he had very few options with his kick outs. The entire defence combined well, with O'Hagan an outstanding captain and McKernan supervising everything.

Our midfield is not really big enough to win primary possession but has plenty of pace and did a decent job on the limited opportunities from breaking ball which came our way.

Havern has ability but his follow through after the missed goal chance was foolish and could easily have cost us the result. Fortunately Ryan Johnston had his best ever game for Down and O'Hare ran himself into the ground and was man of the match by a mile.

Tally sent on Harrison at the break but realised he was not fully fit and took him off again in favour of Jerome, who was replaced early last week but had the maturity to secure and score from the crucial mark.

We have a tough trip to Longford coming up but two points from our last two away fixtures, and hopefully a maximum return at home, may well get us over the line.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 04, 2019, 05:40:15 PM »
If Sligo keep producing the kind of intensity on display yesterday, they will give anyone in D3 a game. The margins were very tight in Collooney, and the result could have gone either way in injury time. When Sligo took the lead, Barry O'Hagan had a decent late chance for a point but the ball faded wide. If it had gone over, two exhausted teams would probably have settled for the draw. Instead, Down had no option other than to throw men forward, and it paid off with the goal from Mooney. Sligo will find it tough going to Laois without Hughes this Sunday but, when back to full strength, have definite prospects away to Louth and at home to Offaly in their final fixture.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: February 03, 2019, 09:05:38 PM »
Sometimes you wonder why we are mad enought to drive to Connacht on the coldest and wettest day of the year, particularly when Sligo take the lead in injury time. Then Mooney hits the net with practically the last kick after a brilliant move and it all makes sense again.

The conditions were so bad today, on a pitch with unusually long grass, that it turned into a battle of attrition, with repeated handling errors and tackles flying all over the place. Sligo were quicker to realise the value of the long ball and it looked bleak for us when they led 1-2 to no score after barely five minutes.

Murnin and  Jerome were a little unlucky to be replaced so early but the changes helped us to get back into it with McKernan a steady influence when he went to full back and Darren O'Hagen always impressive beside him. The keeper, Burns, was rock solid under the dropping ball but midfield was a lottery and plenty of breaks went against us.

Poland had probably his best game for Down so far while O'Hare has a touch of class and it was important to give Harrison a run in the last quarter.

Mooney still takes the odd wrong option but his 1-2 from play was crucial in such a tight contest. Down showed great coolness by
putting together a string of passes right at the death, and, when a point was there for the taking, O'Hare was able to pick out Mooney for a decisive finish.

We will need to improve sharply against Westmeath next Saturday, but, with other sides dropping points this weekend, another win would put us right back in the mix for promotion.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: January 27, 2019, 04:32:15 PM »
Smurfy, although you have named eight players as `likely to miss large parts of the league', there is every prospect that six of them will be in the squad for our second game next Sunday. There is some uncertainty about McArdle and Maginn, but no one has suggested they face lengthy lay-offs.

If we slip up against Sligo, we will certainly be in trouble. However, they lost by double scores to Carlow today so a Down side with some familiar faces returning should be capable of getting a result at Collooney.

We need to use D3 as an opportunity to give us options in as many positions as possible, so there are inevitably going to be twists and turns along the way.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: January 27, 2019, 12:07:04 AM »
Jerome called a mark for a catch from a free kick which is not permitted. He also had a bad miss at the same end but produced a brilliant first half. If we have Darren O'Hagan, McKernan and Ryan Johnston back next week, with probably Mooney, McKibben and O'Hare coming in and maybe Harrison and McArdle available, we will hopefully get our season up and running.

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