"Second half was much better from Mayo" says McStay even though they scored one point in last 25 minutes 3 months ago

"Second half was much better from Mayo" says McStay even though they scored one point in last 25 minutes

It was an experimental Mayo team but, let's not forget, out in Mayo, discoveries are what's required.

They need players, they need them like Chelsea need a buyer but they didn't find them tonight. It was an experimental Mayo team but this was an abysmal Mayo performance. It was an experimental Mayo team but that doesn't excuse them from, for the second week in a row, looking like they did not know what to do in front of the posts.


If anything summed up their evening it was Jack Carney, with a gilt edged chance, kicking the ball towards goal only for his own team-mate Jordan Flynn to get in the way and block it. It wasn't as if Tyrone needed any help in that department because, in conceding just one point in the last 25 minutes of this game, they made defending against them look easier than topping an egg.

Mayo had a wind at their backs for that second half but it wouldn't have mattered if they had a hurricane.

There were passes from Kevin McLoughlin that ended up over the end-line. There were wides from Boland, Orme and O'Donoghue and there was an overall look about them that that they'd never played together before. Maybe they haven't, but with the second half, with all its final third sloppiness, with all its wayward passing and lost frequencies, looking eerily similar to last week's in Tralee, they certainly look like a team who who are struggling to find the players that they need to find.

Indeed, Matthew Ruane was the only attacking player who like doing something when he got the ball. Ruane was as energetic and as effective as he's been throughout the last few weeks but even Ryan O'Donoghue - who had been next best up to now - was off-colour in Healy Park and with the brilliant Diarmuid O'Connor not involved - Mayo looked so limited and so rudderless in front of goals.


Tyrone, it has to be said, didn't look like All-Ireland champions either and if you'd been lucky enough to watch the free-flowing brilliance of Thursday's Hogan Cup final between Naas and Killarney, you might have thought that this was a different sport. You certainly wouldn't have thought this was a meeting of the two teams who'd played in last year's All-Ireland final.

But still Peter Harte did enough in that first half to win the majority of games. The ageless half back kicked three divine scores, the third of which had him selling Aidan O'Shea the type of dummy that has a crowd oohing and aahing. Harte is a class act and he was a joy to watch out there.


In the commentary booth, Eamon Fitzmaurice raised concerns about Mayo's sloppiness and wastefulness but the verdict of the night goes to Kevin McStay.

"Second half was much better from Mayo," he said. "They gave it a good shot."

Let that sink in...