Should Stephen Rochford let Aidan O’Shea loose on Saturday?

Aidan O’Shea spent Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final at fullback where he was tasked with dealing with the threat of Kieran Donaghy.

It must be said O’Shea did well to nullify the high ball into Donaghy but the Tralee man was able to adapt and had an outstanding game on the ground. Joe Brolly described Donaghy’s performance as ‘magnificent’ on RTE, and highlighted his role in both goals.

If Rochford failed to address the overwhelming presence of Donaghy and didn’t seem to have any specific plan in place then he probably would have been criticized for that too but throwing a player into a new position because he’s physically big was not the answer.

The fact that O’Shea was deployed at full back probably gave Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s charges a mental edge going into the game as well, knowing that Mayo were willing to disrupt their own attacking play and structure for the sake of man marking one player.

Gragham Geraghty echos this sentiment in his piece for the Irish Sun, and also suggests that Donal Vaughan would have done a better job on marking Kerry’s big target man.

“I thought it was very unfair on Aidan to ask him to play there.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford was trying to nullify Kieran Donaghy — but he nullified one of his own best players in the process.

It came as a big shock, and even more so that Aidan stayed there for the full match. It didn’t really work and Rochford should have reacted and changed it as early as possible.

Full-back is a specialised position and there were times in the first half when Donaghy was gone five yards with the ball before Aidan even reacted. That wouldn’t have happened if Donal Vaughan was in there.”

Kerry did look there for the taking early on and were at sixes and sevens defensively. However, Mayo would have had a better chance to put considerable distance between themselves and Kerry, had Aidan O’Shea been in a more advanced and natural role.

It will be interesting to see if Rochford will change things up in the replay but the fact that he did not make the change at some point in Sunday’s game shows that he is possibly willing to live or die by his decision and we may see O’Shea at fullback again on Saturday.

 

 

Social Sharing

Posted in

Newcastle West outlast Clonmel Commercials to book Munster final berth

The Magpies needed extra-time to see off the Tipperary champions in Thurles this afternoon. Newcastle West are into ...
Read More

Report | Fossa dominate Castlemahon in one sided Munster semi-final

The game was a sell out in Coolyroe as the Clifford brothers backboned the visiting side. Fossa powered ...
Read More

Caoimhe Costelloe in the running for Camogie All-Star Award

It will be a busy weekend for the star who plays in London in the All-Ireland Junior Club ...
Read More

PREVIEW | Na Piarsaigh face Ballina for place in Munster Intermediate Football final

The Caherdavin men will aim to go one better than 2014 when they were defeated in the semi-finals. ...
Read More

PREVIEW | Newcastle West look to avenge 2015 heartbreak against Clonmel Commercial in Munster Club Senior Football Championship semi-final

The teams meet for the first time in seven years this Sunday in Thurles with a place in ...
Read More

Jimmy Lee says Newcastle West are”mentally very strong” after retaining title for first time

Newcastle West are seeking a first final appearance since 1987 this Sunday in Thurles. Newcastle West are back ...
Read More

“What Clonmel went on to achieve makes it hurt a bit more” | Iain Corbett hoping to avenge 2015 Munster Club loss to Commercials

It is a repeat of their meeting seven years ago where the Limerick side let a four point ...
Read More

Preview | Castlemahon face tough task of Fossa and the Cliffords with a place in the Munster Junior Final on offer

A six point victory in the quarter-final over Shamrocks of Waterford two weeks ago booked Castlemahon's place in ...
Read More