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NFL Division 1

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Replying To Young_gael:  "As I feared, it has come to pass. A pasting in Navan was always a possibility, but many felt not against this particular Donegal opposition. A return of 0-7 in Division one, at home game nonetheless, isn't remotely good enough. I reinforce what other posters have said about Meath posters on this site, you need a reality check and today the proof was in the pudding, as I for one, have been quietly pointing out for a few weeks, and I say that not looking for an ego boost, its just the reality. Im a fan and always will turn up for Meath games, but today was very, very disheartening. As I said in posts in the past few weeks, we got promoted in 2019 with a full squad at peak in the spring, and that now seems to be backed up by the lethargy and inefficiency we've seen against every division one side they've faced since. We're now operating off of an injury depleted squad and a team who simply don't have a goalkeeper. Without grating players or management, we're quite simply miles off and must get real. I fear that this league may do serious damage to our panel, and I lament the away games including the game vs. Dublin in Croke Park. We must treat them all as free shots, and the players should be encouraged to express themselves and play as much at they can in every occasion. This must be made into a learning curve if we are to progress in any way in the coming years."
It's difficult for the Meathteam, management and the fans but the gap between Di and D2 is much bigger than people realise. We see teams like Meath, Cavan, Roscommon and Kildare struggle to survive, having earned promotion from D2, It is suggested that playing against stronger teams will bring them on but often it seems their experiences in D1 demoralises them rather than encourages them. I don't know how teams can overcome these transition problems but one sure thing is that unless the promoted team has strength in dept they don't have a hope.

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1637 - 02/02/2020 19:17:57    2264591

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Even the most optimistic Meath supporter would struggle to find any positives in todays abysmal showing. Playing with a very strong wind in our backs we showed no ambition. every possession had to be funnelled backways/sideways giving Donegal all the time in the world to get their defence set. We are back to our playing style of two/three years ago, coupled with the same lack of confidence and fear of making mistakes.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1324 - 02/02/2020 19:33:04    2264602

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Replying To neverright:  "It's difficult for the Meathteam, management and the fans but the gap between Di and D2 is much bigger than people realise. We see teams like Meath, Cavan, Roscommon and Kildare struggle to survive, having earned promotion from D2, It is suggested that playing against stronger teams will bring them on but often it seems their experiences in D1 demoralises them rather than encourages them. I don't know how teams can overcome these transition problems but one sure thing is that unless the promoted team has strength in dept they don't have a hope."
very true

meath1977 (Meath) - Posts: 440 - 02/02/2020 19:33:49    2264604

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Good wins for Kerry, Donegal, Dublin and especially Monaghan.

A lot of people tipping Monaghan to go down but they seemed to play quite well down in Galway despite losing and got a good win today. They'll come to Croker next week in good shape.

Meath finding out what Div 1 is all about at the moment. They would have been targeting their home games so to have a 10 point beating in their 1st one is going to hurt. Their last 2 games are away from home as well so they're gonna need points on the board soon and their score difference has taken a bit of a battering early on which could prove important.

Kerry looking good early on to be fair, great win last night.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12867 - 02/02/2020 19:35:11    2264605

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Replying To kiloughter:  "In fairness Meath are in the division on merit. Some Meath fans bemoan the missing players but all counties have some absentees. Whether Meath can survive in the division is questionable but talent wise they are behind the other 7 teams. Meath's biggest issue is quality depth. Monaghan as an example did very well in recent years but possibly did not have the depth either. However they had a strong first 15 something Meath don't enjoy presently."
Not excusing Meaths performance today but the team is down 7-8 core of last years team.

It's the league and all teams are down but Meath are down their 3 free takers (Newman, Lenihan, Walsh); 2 corner backs (Lavin and Gallagher); centre half back (Harnan); Mentons midfield partner for 2019 (Shane McEntee) and as published extensively - goalkeeper.

It is a major factor in how Meath are performing. I do think we are still off the pace. But losing the amount of central players has made a difficult task impossible.

Royalio11 (Meath) - Posts: 739 - 02/02/2020 19:38:47    2264608

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Good win today early days and Tyrone will be a different animal come the summer but happy enough with the displays so far particularly given the fact mcmanus has been quiet. The bit of grit the team has shown over the years seems to have come back after the lacklustre 2019 which is good to see as no matter what the football is like thats been usually our calling card.

seanie08 (Monaghan) - Posts: 1435 - 02/02/2020 19:44:54    2264610

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Replying To neverright:  "It's difficult for the Meathteam, management and the fans but the gap between Di and D2 is much bigger than people realise. We see teams like Meath, Cavan, Roscommon and Kildare struggle to survive, having earned promotion from D2, It is suggested that playing against stronger teams will bring them on but often it seems their experiences in D1 demoralises them rather than encourages them. I don't know how teams can overcome these transition problems but one sure thing is that unless the promoted team has strength in dept they don't have a hope."
Was just about to post the exact same thing. I think Meath are in that Roscommon/Kildare/Cavan bracket. On their day, with a full team they're well capable of giving any Div 1 a bloody nose (bar Dublin). Squad depth is a huge thing at Div 1 level though. If a team like Meath is down a few players who ordinarily would be starters, it makes things very difficult and a couple of early league defeats can quickly demoralise and worse disillusion.

I don't mean to sound condescending because it wasn't all that long ago we were in the same boat.

In today's game I felt you badly needed to bake hay with that wind in the first half, then defend like beavers in the second. But our two goals put paid to that. Once we got the early second half goal it was curtains and I thought we played within ourselves.

A great result for us but Galway will be a big step up next Sunday. PJ has them playing good football. They are a big physical team with plenty of pace and lots of quality. Even at this early stage I have them as All Ireland dark horses.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6649 - 02/02/2020 19:54:24    2264614

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Replying To sam1884:  "For all the talk of Meath being a top 8 team and making inroads today confirms what a lot of neutrals already knew. A 10 point defeat in Navan is quite a result for Donegal, no Meath team in the past would have allowed such an embarassing result. Meath are in the top 14 teams but a long way from the top 6. They wouldn't be guaranteed promotion if they were playing Div 2 this year never mind trying to compete in Div 1. My prediction was they'll end pointless and it's hard to see that not happening after today - sad state of affairs for such a great footballing county."
Patronising. Thanks.

Embarassing performance, I don't agree.

Not good currently, yes. But we will improve, or should I say, have to improve.

Yes we will most likely be relegated, something I feel most knowlegdeable Meath fans would expect (or should have expected before a ball was kicked). But can we learn? most definietly. I personally just hope we learn quickly, because some of these young players are naive, eager and most importantly inexperienced. But need guidance and confidence.

As a Meathman, and loyal realistic supporter, I will keep the faith and belief. We need to believe in ourselves and learn. Yes Meath as a team/squad are probably only a top 12 team, but we need to strive to get up to the top table and then develop again. Our strength in depth is being tested now, so it's how the team and management recoup and evolve from these experiences (defeats).

I do think we did some good things again today, like defending as a unit, and tenaciously. We turned Donegal over alot especially in first half. Stopped Donegal shotting from distance, but got ruthlessly punished when we made basis mistakes. Division 1 is definitely not division 2, where we got away with some of these mistakes.

On the flip side, we were rudderless and very blunt upfront. Quite surprised really. Okay, the Wallace brothers are quick but ffs can they lift their head when carrying the ball. If they let the ball into Thomas O'Reilly or Cillian O'Sullivan, especially in first half, Meath may have created opportunities. Bryan McMahon seems confidence-less. And the continuing lack of a Goalkeeper, is IMO stemming the problem(s).

But embarassing, I feel not. We need to learn quickly and implement these learnings. Development is progress, on a road to success!

David (Meath) - Posts: 551 - 02/02/2020 21:05:12    2264659

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Replying To Royalio11:  "Not excusing Meaths performance today but the team is down 7-8 core of last years team.

It's the league and all teams are down but Meath are down their 3 free takers (Newman, Lenihan, Walsh); 2 corner backs (Lavin and Gallagher); centre half back (Harnan); Mentons midfield partner for 2019 (Shane McEntee) and as published extensively - goalkeeper.

It is a major factor in how Meath are performing. I do think we are still off the pace. But losing the amount of central players has made a difficult task impossible."
Niall kane and Dara Campion are injured also. Kane if fit would be pushing hard to start in the defence, after Campions excellent performance v kerry last year, he would starting or very close to starting. Its not an excuse, we are not good enough at the moment, simple as, and all teams are missing player. But the forwards look blunt, the same way they did v Dublin . If you had forward line of 10 Cillian Sullivan 11 Thomas Reilly 12 Dara Campion 13 Donal Lenihan 14 Shane Walsh 15 Mickey Newman. Its a completely different forward line, its not as blunt as today, all those players can win ball and score. We have pacey small skilful player who can run with ball and create space, but not great at scoring from play, But if you add Campion, Lenihan, Newman and Walsh to the mix up front, its much more dynamic and less blunt, more options upfront. Maybe this year will be a washout league and championship. But having Walsh and Newman back for Galway game hopefully and couple more , it lessens the headache and concern with injuries. Its not an excuse, We are not good enough. If we lose v Mayo, we are on the verge of relegation.Its all about experience and even 1 victory this level with help us later on in the year. Our league could be finished next week in terms of staying in the div. But the year is not . 4 months til championship. 4 months is long time in football. If we go down, we need to use this time as experience a massive learning process. But so far div 1 has being a very tough experience for Meath and with Dublin and kerry away and Monaghan in Clones, a rejuvenated Galway under Joyce and Mayo who need points in Navan, its going get even tougher. At the moment it doesnt look like Meath can break the div 2 team hoodoo, it does look at the moment we are a yo yo team. As someone said above, there is a serious gap between div 2 and div 1. Even though div 2 is a brillant div and the most exciting. Already this year its really being very competitive. But to try and go from 9th or 10th or 11 th best team in the country into the 6 or 7, is a massive task and Meath are failing miserably at the moment at achieving that.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 955 - 02/02/2020 21:05:28    2264660

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Was just about to post the exact same thing. I think Meath are in that Roscommon/Kildare/Cavan bracket. On their day, with a full team they're well capable of giving any Div 1 a bloody nose (bar Dublin). Squad depth is a huge thing at Div 1 level though. If a team like Meath is down a few players who ordinarily would be starters, it makes things very difficult and a couple of early league defeats can quickly demoralise and worse disillusion.

I don't mean to sound condescending because it wasn't all that long ago we were in the same boat.

In today's game I felt you badly needed to bake hay with that wind in the first half, then defend like beavers in the second. But our two goals put paid to that. Once we got the early second half goal it was curtains and I thought we played within ourselves.

A great result for us but Galway will be a big step up next Sunday. PJ has them playing good football. They are a big physical team with plenty of pace and lots of quality. Even at this early stage I have them as All Ireland dark horses."
I think that summed everything really well. A good piece of anaylsis.
Just to list the players missing, its not an excuse, we are good enough, simple as, many teams are missing players. But for a div 2 teams thats trying to establish themselves in division 1 its a massive headache and not the ideal situation taking on the best teams and best player in the country. The elite in any sport will hurt you if show any sign of weakenss.

Ten Players injured today for Meath

Niall kane
Dara Campion
Seamus Lavin
Shane Gallagher
Padraig Harnan
Mickey Newman
Shane Walsh
Donal Lenihan
Andy Colgan
Shane McEntee

Thats our goalkeeper, our two corner backs. our centre back, Menton midfield partner last year and our three best forwards and 3 best freetakers and couple of more players also. But we just not good enough. Donegal had players missing they dealt with. Overall so far div 1 has being a very tough experience for Meath and with Dublin and kerry away and Monaghan in Clones, a rejuvenated Galway under Joyce and Mayo who need points in Navan, its going get even tougher. At the moment it doesnt look like Meath can break the div 2 team hoodoo, it does look at the moment we are a yo yo team. There is a serious gap between div 2 and div 1. Even though div 2 is a brillant div and the most exciting. Already this year its really being very competitive. But to try and go from div 2 team into the div 1 team, is a massive task and Meath are failing miserably at the moment at achieving that.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 955 - 02/02/2020 21:31:47    2264671

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Replying To Royalio11:  "Not excusing Meaths performance today but the team is down 7-8 core of last years team.

It's the league and all teams are down but Meath are down their 3 free takers (Newman, Lenihan, Walsh); 2 corner backs (Lavin and Gallagher); centre half back (Harnan); Mentons midfield partner for 2019 (Shane McEntee) and as published extensively - goalkeeper.

It is a major factor in how Meath are performing. I do think we are still off the pace. But losing the amount of central players has made a difficult task impossible."
All teams are missing players, Galway missing Power, Silke, Burke, Molloy, Kerin, Conroy last night, Donegal missing McGrath, McMenamin Gillespie, McGee, McNeilis and McBrearty today, Mayo missing Clarke, Barrett, Keegan, Seamus O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor last night and Dublin missing Cluxton, Fitzsimons, Con O'Callaghan, Cillian O'Sullivan.....

EDH (Galway) - Posts: 342 - 02/02/2020 21:43:56    2264677

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "I think that summed everything really well. A good piece of anaylsis.
Just to list the players missing, its not an excuse, we are good enough, simple as, many teams are missing players. But for a div 2 teams thats trying to establish themselves in division 1 its a massive headache and not the ideal situation taking on the best teams and best player in the country. The elite in any sport will hurt you if show any sign of weakenss.

Ten Players injured today for Meath

Niall kane
Dara Campion
Seamus Lavin
Shane Gallagher
Padraig Harnan
Mickey Newman
Shane Walsh
Donal Lenihan
Andy Colgan
Shane McEntee

Thats our goalkeeper, our two corner backs. our centre back, Menton midfield partner last year and our three best forwards and 3 best freetakers and couple of more players also. But we just not good enough. Donegal had players missing they dealt with. Overall so far div 1 has being a very tough experience for Meath and with Dublin and kerry away and Monaghan in Clones, a rejuvenated Galway under Joyce and Mayo who need points in Navan, its going get even tougher. At the moment it doesnt look like Meath can break the div 2 team hoodoo, it does look at the moment we are a yo yo team. There is a serious gap between div 2 and div 1. Even though div 2 is a brillant div and the most exciting. Already this year its really being very competitive. But to try and go from div 2 team into the div 1 team, is a massive task and Meath are failing miserably at the moment at achieving that."
I meant to say we are not good enough in the first line. the line should have been

"I think that summed everything really well. A good piece of anaylsis. Just to list the players missing, its not an excuse, we are not good enough, simple as, many teams are missing players."

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 955 - 02/02/2020 21:50:07    2264679

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League taking shape now, will be a tight affair. I reckon 5 points will be needed to stay up this year minimum, bit like 2016 when Cork went down on points difference and 4 teams on 6 points

Meath were bad today they lost it in the first half with a strong wind behind them, tactics of falling back allowing Donegal build patiently, at home, was baffling, was like how not to use the wind. They should have pushed up. They are essentially on -1 compared to the rest taking points difference into account

Tyrone while still hard to beat are finding games hard to win

Dublin, Kerry, Donegal and Galway seem to be progressing well and will probably fill top 4 places
The Galway line of form gives me optimism for Monaghan staying up we seem to be back to 2018 level, or close to it.
It goes without saying Mayo must beat Meath next up.

mhunicean_abu (Monaghan) - Posts: 748 - 02/02/2020 21:50:55    2264680

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Interesting weekend, the officials took centre stage unfortunately. Mayo/Dublin ruined. Complete farce in Tralee not allowing Mc Daid back on for 12 minutes. Galway must lodge an official complaint. The mark is a disaster also.

maroondiesel (Mayo) - Posts: 1006 - 02/02/2020 21:55:37    2264682

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If we can beat Galway at home next weekend we'll be in decent shape. It's in Letterkenny though & we have an inexplicably woeful record there. The complete opposite of Ballybofey. Like it's 20 minutes up the road, a large rectangle of grass with goal posts at either end but I think we've only won 2 league games there in the last 13 years.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6649 - 02/02/2020 22:22:24    2264690

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "Interesting weekend, the officials took centre stage unfortunately. Mayo/Dublin ruined. Complete farce in Tralee not allowing Mc Daid back on for 12 minutes. Galway must lodge an official complaint. The mark is a disaster also."
I'm not sure that's fair, it's too easy to say it's the refs fault. The Flynn tackle was around the head he did connect and if you want to start taking player welfare and concussion more seriously then that had to start considering that kind of foul a red. The mcdaid tackle was a black. The 12 mins I believe did include 2 mins injury time so what's the deal. Mcdaid won't do that the next time either.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 263 - 02/02/2020 22:39:27    2264693

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Mayo Dublin ruined alright. By idiotic tackle by Mayo player.

Bellewest (Westmeath) - Posts: 142 - 02/02/2020 22:51:46    2264697

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Have to be happy with a 10 point away win. I felt we had another gear too so that's also pleasing. Niall O' Donnell looks sharp for his first introduction. Some other good performances too from Mc Hugh, Brennan and Murphy.
All that said, I was very disappointed with Meath and couldn't understand why they pulled all 15 back behind the ball in the first half with the wind. They turned us over on a good few occasions but had no out ball and by the time they ran it out we were all back. Baffling.
With three more home games for us hopefully we're can get another 4 points and stay safe. Galway look very good though and will be a tough game for us in a venue we're haven't had success in years!

Tir Conaill Abu (Donegal) - Posts: 1569 - 02/02/2020 23:01:17    2264701

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Replying To EDH:  "All teams are missing players, Galway missing Power, Silke, Burke, Molloy, Kerin, Conroy last night, Donegal missing McGrath, McMenamin Gillespie, McGee, McNeilis and McBrearty today, Mayo missing Clarke, Barrett, Keegan, Seamus O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor last night and Dublin missing Cluxton, Fitzsimons, Con O'Callaghan, Cillian O'Sullivan....."
Im not making an excuse. Im just saying its headache for Meath. For a div 2 team trying breaking into div 1 having well over half your first team players injured is not ideal. An proven div 1 teams with missing players have the depth and experience , talent and know how to navigate these issues. For div 2 team trying to break into div 1 football having over well half your first team injured is not ideal and the highest number of players injured in the division is a big concern. Its not an excuse Im just saying its headache , a worry concern for Meath. Lets look using your information a div 1 county player injury list in descending order. For a team coming from div 2 surely not an ideal situation to be in facing the best teans and best players in the country with these injuries. Its not excuse. We are not good enough. Simple as.

Dublin 4 Injured- Cluxton, Fitzimoms, Callaghan, Sullivan.
Mayo 5 injured - Clarke, Barrett, Keegan, O ' Shea, O Connor.
Galway 6 injured - Power, Silke, Burke,Molloy, Kerin, Conroy.
Donegal 6 injured - McGrath, McMenamin, Gillespie, McGee, McNelis, McBreaty.
Meath 11 injured - Campion, Kane, Lavin, Gallagher, Harnan, Colgan, McEntee, Newman, Lenihan, Walsh, Kennelly.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 955 - 02/02/2020 23:55:53    2264711

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Replying To EDH:  "All teams are missing players, Galway missing Power, Silke, Burke, Molloy, Kerin, Conroy last night, Donegal missing McGrath, McMenamin Gillespie, McGee, McNeilis and McBrearty today, Mayo missing Clarke, Barrett, Keegan, Seamus O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor last night and Dublin missing Cluxton, Fitzsimons, Con O'Callaghan, Cillian O'Sullivan....."
Looking at that again. Fitzimoms started for Dublin last night and keegan came off the bench. So a revised injury list would be

Dublin 3 injured players, Mayo 4 injured players, Donegal 6 injured players, Galway 6 injured players, Meath 11 injured players.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 955 - 03/02/2020 00:09:29    2264713

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