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3 talking points from Mayo’s loss to Kerry


NOWHERE TO RUNMayo’s Neil Douglas is held up by Kerry’s Shane Enright during Saturday’s NFL match in Castlebar. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

1 The physical exchanges
ONE of Mayo’s greatest weapons in recent seasons has been their ability to get the upper hand on their opponents when it comes to the physical stakes.
Their strength and conditioning, abrasive edge, and array of power-plays means that Mayo can wear teams down better than almost everybody else.
But last Saturday night Kerry took that weapon away as they fought fire with fire initially, and then raised the stakes.
From Shane Enright at corner-back all the way to Barry John Keane at corner-forward, Kerry did unto Mayo what Mayo did unto Kerry last summer at Croke Park.
And it worked.

2 Those last twenty minutes
IT almost beggars belief that Mayo could only manage one point from a free in the last 20 minutes, despite the fact that they had two extra men on the field.
After losing Ronan Shanahan and Gavin Crowley to a combination of cards, Kerry switched seamlessly from an offensive game-plan to a defensive system.
Mayo found it impossible to break them down from open play, with 13 Kerry men blocking up the space, while a string of missed frees from Cillian O’Connor and Jason Doherty were a major source of disappointment.
In contrast, Kerry’s game-management was excellent.

3 Mayo’s next big challenge
THE perfect opportunity for Mayo to bounce back comes next Sunday when they travel to Salthill to take on Galway.
But there seems little doubt that Stephen Rochford will have to call on as many of his trusted lieutenants as possible to win this Connacht championship warm-up game.
Colm Boyle and Andy Moran were both pulled out of the first XV before throw-in last weekend, but both will surely start against Galway.
Conor Loftus is also likely to get his first start of the year while Tom Parsons could well return to the match-day squad too. It’s all hands to the pump now!

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