Aidan O’Mahony: Cox was great against Mayo – but he wouldn’t start for Kerry

Despite a star showing for Roscommon against Mayo last weekend, I just don’t believe Cox would cut it against Kerry’s current crop of forwards.

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First of all, I’m delighted for Conor Cox. He was with Kerry for a few years while I was there and it just didn’t happen for him.

Maybe he would claim that he never got a chance, maybe whoever was looking at him with Kerry would have thought he was short something.

He’s a strong lad and a beautiful kicker of a ball though. The system Roscommon use really suits him too.

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But, when you look at the options Kerry have in the full-forward line in Paul Geaney, David Clifford, Stephen O’Brien and James O’Donoghue, would Cox get in before any of those?

Now, I’ve great time for him and I’ve marked him plenty of times, but I have to be honest and say that he wouldn’t.

That being said – after the performance he put up against Mayo – he’ll be a marked man for the rest of the Championship.

More Mayo misery

There was massive hype around Mayo after the National League final. Kerry had a young side that day and Mayo seemed to become the nearest team to challenge Dublin on the back of that win.

There was always going to be a kick in Roscommon and they played a very good system on Saturday evening. They dropped back and invited Mayo’s half-back line onto them and James Horan’s men left themselves totally exposed in defence – which is not like them.

Maybe that’s because Donie Buckley is gone from their backroom team, because they certainly were not minding the house. They weren’t expecting what Roscommon brought to it, that’s for sure.

They looked like rabbits in headlights for a lot of the game.

I was surprised when James Horan said that they should have beaten Kerry by 10 points or more in the League final. It was strange coming from him.

I presumed he was more of a shrewd operator and he wouldn’t let his guard down to say something like that.

How you can have big, physical men like Aidan O’Shea and Matthew Ruane in midfield and not kick the ball out to them. The two boys were totally dominant in midfield, so why not persist in going ‘long’ with your kick-outs?

Then you look at Kevin McLoughlin’s missed free to draw the game at the end. Three lads went to take that before McLoughlin eventually did. The players should know who is going to take the frees.

Dublin would never do that.

I don’t believe Mayo wanted to go into the back-door system either.

You can’t keep feeling sorry for Mayo

I’ve been to All-Ireland finals Mayo have lost and remember walking down Jones’ Road saying to myself “their poor supporters”.

Without doubt, Mayo have the best fans in the country.

I don’t like to see them losing and you’d love for them to get over the line at some stage, but you also have to stop feeling sorry for them.

I really thought they’d kick on from winning the League and they proved me wrong.

Mayo to should through the backdoor though, and I don’t believe too many teams will want to play them either. They can use the loss to Roscommon as a learning curve and with a few tweaks, they’ll be back on the road.

Rossies ready for Galway

I can’t see why Roscommon won’t beat Galway.

Kevin Walsh has constantly resisted calls for Galway to go back to the old style of football and he is persisting with the defensive set-up. Damien Comer’s fitness could have a big say on the game.

The Corofin players have brought a lot of steel to Galway since they returned from club duty because they’re in the habit of winning. Roscommon will have no fear of them though. Anthony Cunningham has a great way about him as a manager and his players feed off him.

They have their tails up for Galway and they’ll be going in as underdogs again. I reckon they have a great chance to cause another upset.

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