Galway 0-13 Mayo 0-14: best in the west

Photo: GAA

With so much riding on the result of today’s Connacht final at Pearse Stadium, it’s not surprising that what we got to see in this behind-closed-doors provincial decider was short on quality but high on excitement. The Mayo/Galway rivalry is a close, keen one and there have been plenty of Connacht clashes between us that have been decided by razor-thin margins. Today’s was just the latest.

We arguably had the greater need to win today. Five years without a provincial crown and with the sting of Division One relegation yet to subside fully, defeat today would mark a sour end to the year for us. Victory, by contrast, allows all manner of flights of fancy to take to the air.

The fact that we prevailed by just a single point probably adds to the sweetness of the result from our perspective. We know – from all those All-Irelands – what it’s like to lose a high-stakes showdown by the minimum margin. Coming out on top by just one certainly feels satisfying.

We made one change to our named team before the ball was thrown in at a windy Pearse Stadium today. Ryan O’Donoghue started instead of Mark Moran, which meant that we fielded with the same fifteen who lined out against Roscommon. Gareth O’Donnell replaced Tom Flynn from the start for Galway.

Playing against the wind in the first half, they got the opener, debutant Conneely finishing a quick downfield move inside the first minute. Straight away after that we had a goal chance, Cillian O’Connor slipping Silke but Power was more than equal to the shot.

Tommy Conroy, with a fine strike on the run, opened our account. Cillian then swung a shot in off the wind from out the left as we took the lead.

We pretty much dominated the game up until the first water break. Galway, a sort of shawl deployed across their backline, sat deep as we probed for openings.

We found a few too.  Tommy shot over off his left, Diarmuid O’Connor cracked one over from distance off the outside of the boot and Paddy Durcan raided forward to boom another over.

We should, though, have done more with all that ball. Our wide count was up to four by the water break and Mattie Ruane was guilty of a few misplaced passes that simply gifted possession to the grateful opposition.

Their second score came from a Shane Walsh free just before the water break. We added the next two, however, the first from a forward mark claimed by Ryan O’Donoghue and the second – after a long break when the injured Johnny Duane was treated on the pitch and then taken from it – from Mattie. That was a lovely score – Mattie started the move, did a neat one-two with Ryan and punched over.

An edge had entered into the contest before the break. Paddy picked up a ludicrous yellow card for what was a perfectly executed shoulder charge and then Paul Conroy followed through nastily on Aidan as he was on his knees. The TV replays showed just how nasty it was as Conroy stood on Aidan’s hand and then connected with his knee to the head. Tommy Conroy took a belt to the face as well after he was wrapped by two Galway defenders.

Two points from Walsh, the first from a free, cut the gap to three. Cillian popped over a free after a foul on Tommy but a Paul Kelly point for them left the margin at three on halfway.

That lead didn’t look sufficient, as Galway now had wind advantage in the second half. More to the point, though, we’d been on top for most of the opening half and should really have been much further ahead.

We made our first switch during the halftime break, with Ryan O’Donoghue giving way to Bryan Walsh. It was a good change – on a day for power and pace, the Ballintubber player enjoyed a very productive second half. 

O’Donnell cut the gap to two straight after the resumption to underline the fact that this match was there to be won by both teams.  

We righted ourselves nicely, though, hitting three without reply to stretch the lead back out to five. Mattie Ruane – who was excellent for us in the second half today – went on a great downfield run and fired over. Then Bryan Walsh found Tommy Conroy who still had plenty to do but he found the target. Shortly after that Bryan let fly himself, cutting elegantly across the ball from out on the right.

There was a period then when I felt we could have burst clear from them on the scoreboard. We had a long period of possession, moving the ball over and back as we sought a decent shooting opportunity. This lasted close on five minutes but we eventually coughed up the ball without adding to our tally.

Galway then reeled us back in. Points from play by Walsh and Conroy, followed by a Walsh free, brought the home team back within two points of us.

Another Cillian free, after Kevin McLoughlin was pulled back by the jersey, brought some much-needed respite for us. Comer then joined the fray for them – to much breathless gushing in the RTÉ commentary box – but he looked patently unfit and had no impact at all on proceedings.

We messed up a restart and Conroy punished us for it. That left the margin at just two points at the second water break.

It would be trite to claim that it was now a case of which team wanted it most. As the increasingly frantic finale played out it was pretty obvious that both sides craved the win and both did everything in their power to get it.

Mattie showed this in a wonderful cameo where he executed a perfect rob and then got hauled back as he headed for goal. It was another tap-over for Cillian who duly obliged.

We owned the ball for another longish period, which once again ended with nothing tangible to show for it. Paddy let fly off his left but it tailed off wide, our eighth of the afternoon.

Walsh hoisted a super score over the bar from distance for them but we then had a chance to put this game to bed. Eoghan McLaughlin burst through powerfully and his shot had ‘goal’ written all over it. Power had other ideas, though, as he superbly batted Eoghan’s piledriver out for a fifty.

Eoghan was back in the thick of it again straight away. He pulled off a great rob on Sice out the field and the swift break we instigated ended with Bryan Walsh sensibly punching over.

That was our final score of the game and, with injury time approaching, it was, as it turned out, a winning tally too. All that stood in the way of the Nestor Cup was a heart-stopping six minutes of injury time, in which Galway pared our lead right back to the minimum.

Conroy – always a threat for them today – cut the gap to two but Walsh then missed two difficult frees from way out on the right so with only seconds left we were still two to the good.

Galway claimed another restart and this time they came hunting for the goal that would seal the win for them. Seán Kelly – another strong performer for Galway today – took possession and bore down on goal.

He really should have been nailed earlier and when Eoghan got to him it was just outside the large parallelogram. The hit was late and it was cynical and it won us the Connacht final.

Eoghan was gone on a black, Walsh shaped up as if he was going for goal but he tapped the free over. After a bit of messing we won the ball from the restart and the ref eventually blew time.

So we’re once more Connacht champions, for the first time since 2015 and for the 47th time overall. We now lead Galway by one in the provincial roll of honour.

Eleven of our lads – Oisín Mullin, Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin, Conor Loftus, Mattie Ruane, Ryan O’Donoghue, Tommy Conroy, Bryan Walsh, Jordan Flynn, Mark Moran and Fionn McDonagh – won their first Connacht SFC medal today. James Horan deserves huge credit for bringing so many of these lads through, as, once again, he’s led us to the top of the hill in the west.

After five weeks on the road, we now have a three-week break. Next up it’s Croke Park – where we always play our best football – in which we’ll meet either Cork or Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final. For us, in this strangest of years, the plot thickens anew.

Mayo: David Clarke; Oisín Mullin, Chris Barrett, Lee Keegan; Paddy Durcan (0-1), Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin; Conor Loftus, Mattie Ruane (0-2); Kevin McLoughlin, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1, mark), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1); Tommy Conroy (0-3), Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor (0-4, three frees). Subs: Bryan Walsh (0-2) for O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn for Loftus, Mark Moran for Conroy, Keith Higgins for McLoughlin, Fionn McDonagh for Ruane.

Who was our Man of the Match against Galway? Pick your top three performers

  • Eoghan McLaughlin (32%, 1,452 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (17%, 770 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (16%, 717 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (5%, 228 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (5%, 213 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (4%, 171 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (3%, 135 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (3%, 120 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (3%, 119 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (2%, 109 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (2%, 94 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (2%, 84 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (2%, 83 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 52 Votes)
  • David Clarke (1%, 50 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 20 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Mark Moran (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (0%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,332

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109 thoughts on “Galway 0-13 Mayo 0-14: best in the west

  1. We need more aerial prowess in middle of pitch….this along with poor forward play kept Galway in it. Do we have any real options in terms of who can field a ball against big midfielders.

    The O’Connors and K McLoughlin too quiet today We need more from them.

    Think we also are unsettled at CHF..not sure about O’Donoghue.

    Still, against a good team, and against the wind in 2nd half, and 5 games in a row, we ground it out.

    Defence much improved…but can we win aerial battles in midfield…and can we achieve stability in the HF line?

  2. Also, pet hate of mine is that foul at the end. Defending team should not be allowed to have anyone other than keeper on the line…rules should favour attacker and not the team that committed the foul.

    BTW our defence kept Galway away from our goal bar chance at the end.

    Barrett is a great defender.

  3. No style points — survive and advance. Not our best game but the end result was sweet. EMcL was huge, what a game. Glad Comer made an appearance, lol.

  4. Game of two halves, Mayo the best 1st half and should have led by more than 3 points. 2nd half Galway the better team and won the 2nd half 0-8 to 0-6. Eoghan deserves MOTM for that late tackle as if he didn’t do it we would be talking about a game that Mayo managed to lose.

  5. Another to notice in praise of our defence- did you notice that a lot of Galway’s scores were long range points from Conroy and Walsh?

    We kept the out whereas we’d a lot more presence around their goal

  6. That’s the way to beat Galway. Very sweet. We have lots of room for improvement. Great team spirit . I expect it will be Cork in semi. It will be a game for big men and it won’t be pretty. Our experienced subs bench could swing it for us. Dubs not that impressive today. Hopefully Donegal in final. Keep up the good work Willie Joe and keep safe everyone

  7. I thought our transition from defence to attack was excellent. We did 90% right. We were patient, but unfortunately some minor, silly errors made us turn over ball in key positions before punching through to the scoring zone. That, coupled with our poor wides were our issues today. But as the man says, you wouldn’t worry too much about that, its the other 90% that’s the real hard bit, ie getting to those positions, as it requires a plan, skill, pace, energy, and everyone on same page. Scores will come, we’ll get slicker and more accurate in the final third, mark my words. We have the fire-power and we have options on the bench, along with the option of Aidan O’Shea going into FF. So teams will still be guessing.

  8. Our forward line is very talented but is unsettled. I reckon the reason for this is the fact that Aidan O Shea is moving in and out of FF far too much. He himself doesn’t know where he is playing and neither do the other lads. He needs to be either a FF or MF but not both. It simply doesn’t work and it didn’t work for Breaffy either.
    If we have problems winning primary possession around the middle expecting Aidan to solve that AND be a threat in the full forward line is a non-runner.
    Put him at FF and leave him there and put in the likes of Jordan Flynn or Tom Parsons (if he is still up go it) at midfield.
    I was sad to see Keith badly exposed on a couple of occasions. It could have cost us the game except for the ref being nice to us on that occasion. I hope it was just a bit of rustiness and not something worse.
    Credit to Eoghan McLoughlin, Barrett and the rest of the backs for holding a potentially very dangerous forward line.
    Room to improve for certain but we are on an upward curve no doubt.

  9. A great win, and alot better than the 1 point win.

    If we got that goal, Galway were done! Plus the amount of long distance points Galway got, on another day would be wide.

    The 3 week rest will do them wonders and the not to look past against Cork/Tipp

    Connacht Champions 2020 baby !

  10. Gritty win, and great experience for the newer lads. In reality, we could have lost but should have won by more. We created more goal chances and also some poor shot selection, in particular in the first half.
    There is plenty to work on over the next three weeks and Cork or Tipp will fancy their chances. We will go with a mobile midfield and hope that we take our scores at a higher %. COC, DOC and KMcL will have better days, and thrive in CP. Lets see what happens, Horan will make good use of the three weeks, but overall, we have to be happy where we are at this evening.

  11. Lots of Galway folk on social media giving out about the ref, he wasn’t great for either us either, Durcan’s shoulder, Brian Walsh fouled for sure, no free, Galway score from turnover, poor overall.

  12. I’d imagine Horan (rightly) feckin ate lads at halftime for poor shot selection in the first half. Then unfortunately what we saw in the second half was lads paralysed by fear not wanting to take on the shots even when in good positions to do so after slow build up play.

    We need to improve our shot selection going forward but equally lads have to be willing to take on the shot when in the scoring zone

  13. Spotlight, I agree with your comment on our HF line and I think our forward play has been disjointed in our last two games because we havnt settled on a reliable 6 up top. Aidan is lining out at 14 but spends more time dropping deep because without him in the centre we dont have the physicality to compete and this problem will be amplified further in Croke Park. Mattie got motm on RTE. He had a good 2nd half but the quality today, as WJ alluded to, wasnt great so I would read much into the award. Cillian too, drops deep and I think Mayo need him in the danger zone. Conroy is decent but as a corner forward probably needs to be scoring even more for us. Diarmuid showed patches of form returning in the 1st half in the Hyde but I really believe Mayo need him at 11 and in the think of it. NOT on the wing!!!

    Then we have combinations of Walsh, ROD, Carr, McD, Moran and Kev…(none, so far, prolific scorers; Carr has the most natural scoring ability of this bunch), but it’s all very unsettled. I get that it keeps players on their toes and competition for places high but at All Irl semi final stage you should know your strongest 15. Right now, it doesnt look like Horan knows his strongest attacking unit. We fell over the line against a Galway team that battled but put in a mediocre footballing display. Ours was not too dissimilar. We appear to have a settled 1 to 7 and on paper too for numbers 8 and 9, but we are having to rob Peter to pay Paul with Aido dropping back. Lots for Horan, McDonald and the team to work on.

    By comparison, Donegal are far more settled.

    *Darren Coen…he looks in better shape than last year. How is he not on the field. Lethal from left or right from within 35 yards.

  14. Winning one off / knock out games when you don’t really perform is always the sign of a good team / better to come.

  15. Much was made of Galway being without a championship game till today. In reality I doubt if playing Sligo would have been any help whatever to Galway. Sligo are, after all, at the bottom end of Div 4 so a good hard training session/game would have been of more use. In addition having five games in a row is not of any benefit to a team what with the lack of recovery time for any knocks/injuries. Luckily Mayo did not seem to have picked up any serious injuries but I’m sure that they had to have had some more minor knocks which would have impacted performance.

    I do not think that we can go to Croke Park with Conor Loftus at midfield. He just does not have the physical presence for the job and his contribution otherwise does not compensate for that deficit. Trying to have Aiden O’Shea compensate by moving around is taking away from his contribution too.

  16. Horan must have had strong words at half time but they seemed to backfire because nobody wanted to take the shot in the second half. K Mc had a goal to take but opted to go on his weaker foot and skied the ball, those small things add up very fast and will end up costing us a big game before long. So if we were to arrive in croke park on December 19, and that’s only if, and Dublin are awaiting us, who do we put on Fenton and Callaghan? And we seen how Clarke buckled under Galway pressure near the end, the dubs can do that pressure for 70 minutes, our defenders were overpowered on the last few kick outs. Big problems in our next game or 2 and hard to say if the fixes are there on the bench or can be addressed on the training pitch. This evening we can truthfully thank the referee and Shane walshes wet boots for us still being in the race.

  17. Yes, AndyD but Aido has been exposed in recent years in Croke Park. Maybe he just had off days but it’s a while since he had a big game in Croke Park. It’s a bit of a head scratcher. I think he can be a huge asset for us stationed at 14, but only if proper ball is going in. Hard to do if a sweeper sits in front.

    I agree re Loftus in midfield and I think a strong opposition in this sector could be a concern for us. Maybe we can borrow P Joyce magic wand and Tom Parsons will miraculously hit some form. He must be close enough if Horan had him on the bench today but rustiness will be key. We saw that with Keith today.

    3 weeks gives lads on the periphery more time to get even closer and sharpen up but it’s unlikely Horan will give much game time to any player now who hasnt featured already. I’ve said it before but I’m gonna say it again, we really could do with one of Carr or Coen to hit some form because either has the potential to hit 1-2 or 4 or 5 points on a given day in Croker. With respect, I dont see this (yet) in Walsh, Moran, ROD or even McDonagh. And if Cillian has a quiet day we need someone else to chip in.

  18. How did we manage to win that! A bad reffing decision and a professional foul in the last few minutes got us through.. but it was really a poor game over all with both teams under performing. The kick out a real problem. We couldn’t manage to get the ball out of our own half for the last 6 minutes. We were well beaten at midfield and our decision making and shot selection very poor. No evidence of Ciaran Mc Donald effect today. We certainly have a great chance in the semifinals but on today’s form.we would be destroyed by Dublin.
    But I want to say congratulations to team on winning connacht and I am particularly delighted for AOS to lift the cup.. God bless all!

  19. The midfield is just too bare. We’re not winning any clean ball there at all and it’s going to catch up with us. It nearly did today. Whoever we meet in the semi will be targeting this area and god forbid we meet Dublin at any stage…Fenton and McCarthy will clean us out completely. I don’t think it’s a problem that is fixable in the next 3 weeks either because we simply don’t have any options there other than what we already have and what we have isn’t working.

  20. I think accumulating games was a factor today. Also we kept Galway in the game by poor shot selection much like we tried to do vs Ros a week ago but Galway seemed a tougher bunch than Ros.
    I agree with other posters on AOS but think either MF or CHF better because it frees up a space for either Carr or Coen who are natural scorers. We are absolutely going to be punished in the air from midfield if we encounter a more clinical team.
    On a positive note our backs were excellent and but for some Shan Walsh genius we’d be out of sight, he has to be the most skillful forward in the Country. Who should drop out? I’d say one of our rookie CHF options or Loftus. All have potential but getting to the point where someone new has to lose out to fix the problems. Either that or simply swap Diarmaid and Conor. One clever change could fix our forward cohesion problem but the change has to happen in 3 weeks not in final if we get through.

  21. Looks like Dublin V Donegal will decide All Ireland Winners this year. Dubs walked through Laois today. Expect Meath to give them a game next weekend but only Donegal seem to be anywhere near their level this year. Fair play to Mayo on grinding out a result today and would expect to see a much improved performance in 3 weeks.

  22. Well done to the lads and management. Ya , lots to improve on and loads to analyse but feck it for this evening . We are Connaught champions, after beating the Rossies and Galway on the way !!!. We have the Munster final to look forward to watching next Sunday and an All Ireland semi final In 3 weeks with a panel of experienced and new exciting players. Let’s enjoy the journey

  23. The Aido debate is incredibly tough. If you leave him in FF and he’s double marked out of it, we’re likely losing more than the opposing side, especially if we’re getting beat in midfield.

    When Loftus and Ruane are firing and we generally have a strong mid 8 turning ball over it looks great, but the fielding issue is there for everyone to see. If Tom was back in that role and able to quickly play the ball forward / offload to runners would that field presence vs lack of pace be a fair trade? Very hard to know without the evidence to back it up. As an alternative DoC’s fielding and engine is generally great, but how does the HF line look without him in it, and is that another change that destabilises the forwards?

    Billy Joe’s article (in Mayo News) at the restart, highlighting a clear advantage for teams that know their system seems massively relevant here. There are areas of weakness in the team (and a ton of strengths), and gauging how much of a risk to take from here on out looks to be a very tough decision.

  24. Very little point in leaving Aido at FF if we don’t kick it into him. He came out around the middle in the second half and made a big difference. Caught a few balls and distributed it simply.

    We’re a lot better defensively but can improve our possession game as we move forward. I thought we lost our shape in the second half and had too many coming deep.

  25. Imagine if Shane Walsh was treated the way O Shea is…. He was fouled constantly for the first 20 mins. We struggled going forward when he moved out. He needs to be inside with the wind.
    Defense was very good. Need to work on a plan B around the middle.
    Great to win Connaught again. If we are being honest, few of us saw it happening this year. Let’s enjoy the win, fair play to the lads, 5 weeks in a row. Let them have a break now and really go for it.

  26. Folks it’s galway in a connacht title for the first time in 5 years in the middle of winter and we win after playing 5 games on the trot. Thinking we need to cop on as anyone that played football at a level would understand not all works on them winter pitches. playing Cork or tip in an All-Ireland semi-final is a huge bonus this year with what we are bringing though. Don’t mean to p people off but a bit of perspective here. Mayo abu

  27. KEITH HIGGINS was winning his eight connacht medal today, no mean feat. overall mayo looked tired today and made some bad decisions on the ball but just about held on to win it. i think they will be flying it in three weeks time in the semi-final and will qualify for the all-ireland final.Everything seems to be falling into place for us this year MAYBE just maybe this will finally be MAYO’S year.

  28. Dunno why people are giving out about players not shooting in the 2nd half. We were ahead and playing against the breeze. Holding possession was the smart thing to do. In that situation it’s probably better there’s no mayo fans groaning in the stands!

  29. Well Jimbo, you just never know but performance wise we have far too many issues. In sport though, and on any given day…who knows. Maybe Santa will bring us that magic gift!!

    I think for Mayo to win anything we need to win more breaking ball in the middle than any opponent. That comes down to luck, tenacity and hunger. Pity Doherty is out. Great man to win ball. Anyway….let’s see how it goes in 3 weeks time. Cork looked very athletic and capable v Kerry. You have to be serious team to beat Kerry.

  30. Getting the balance right between the old guard and the new unfettered youth is going to be crucial. We are exciting and unpredictable at times. We have abit of breathing space now. Opportunity to calibrate. Seamless welding the new to old and clinching both these potentially extraordinary strengths, could make us both a serious and frightening threat. At times we are bursting with energy and Other times tentative and dittering. Get the balance right. We can…

  31. How did the colour blind people find watching the match today as a matter of interest? Very difficult I’d imagine with the glare of the sun

  32. Found Dessie Dolan very annoying on commentry today. Very biased against Mayo too in his commentry especially in relation to referee decisions.
    Horan and his team will know that performance wont come near winning a semifinal. Thought Tommy Conroy had great game – scored three points and worked hard in turnovers. Would like to see himself and Cillian stay closer to the goal. Hadn’t seen much in Bryan Walsh before today – but fair play to him today had good impact after coming on.
    John Kiely mentioned it after the Limerick game – but there were 8-10 members of the Mayo and Galway panel who couldn’t attend the game today- this is not right when you can have 20 plus journalists at the fane

  33. Delighted to get the win first and foremost.
    These are the positive facts, we are after winnijh connacht for 1st time in 5 years, a lot of lads have their first medal. A lot of the big guns (tyr, kerry, Galway) all gone. We have a badly needed 3 week break now and injury situation looks good. We will be playing in croker as strong favourites in a semi and plenty of lads still have barely hit form yet.A great place to be.

    The game itself a hard one to analyse, jh will have lots to ponder. Defense mostly solid. Ruane back to form again which is great. Half forward line and midfield needs surgery. AoS needs a week off, he has been poor in the champo, looks gassed. We won without getting mvp performances from a lot of our big guns which bodes well.

    Also, let us never cry again about cynical play from opponents. It was a cynical act which won us the game today. Would prob have done same myself but let’s not go looking for any moral high ground

  34. Well done to all the debutantes who now have a Connaught champions medal. I am fortunate to have a few and know the value of them, long after the day is gone by.

  35. Look we won. This thing about a problem at midfield is a little over the top. The problem is the half forward line not coming in for the breaks and allowing their markers win the ball unopposed. It happen no end of times this afternoon.

    In that middle eight, we’ve lost Parsons,SOS, Vaughan, Doherty there big players to replace.

    So the real issue is the half forward line more fight is needed from them.

    Five weeks straight in high intensity games in poor conditions has to be factored in. Shot selection was poor two weeks running but again needs repairing.

    Over all we did it the hard way, relegated then went straight in against Leitrim and won, onwards to Roscommon and now Galway. A tough three weeks something we’ve never had to do to win Connacht.

    The Durkan yellow was warranted. Like rugby the player has to be in control of the ball before he can be tackled. The Galway player wast when Paddy hit the tackle.

    Refs dont win games but they probably loose them. A free should have been given against Higgins.

    But look those are the breaks and on we go to another semi to our ninth in ten seasons. Not a bad feat!

  36. Not many would have backed us to beat Galway twice since the re-start. Even fewer would have backed a Mayo v Cork/Tipp AI semi final.

    Eoghan was very good today as was Chrissie Barrett and Matty Ruane in the second half. 5 games in 28 days were bound to have an effect but we kept them at bay – just
    The one thing we had to do after the Tyrone game was tighten up at the back and Barrett has made a big difference. Roscommon didn’t have a sniff of a goal attempt last week and Johnny Heaneys attempt today I would class more of a half chance. Sean Kelly didn’t get a goal chance courtesy of Eoghan.

    I’m not one to heap praise on the opposition but Sean Kelly was fantastic and Shane Walsh – what can you say. Unplayable but thank goodness his radar went down just in the nick of time!

  37. @Our time has come, “colour blind people”
    Are you referring to Dessie Dolan who may as well had a galway jersey on?

    Well done to the lads today regaining the connacht title. That will mean a lot for the younger players helping drive on mayo football tradition. Mayo Abú

  38. It doesn’t matter how you perform to win, you take the result.

    Sure we could have scored far more but we didn’t, some bad wides in the 1st half. Taking shots from the stand side from distance was the wrong option, the other side of the pitch with the wind favoured those opportunities.

    Overall a team performance, dug deep and played hard. 5th game in 5 weeks.

    EMcL took his card expertly. In the past we wouldn’t have a man to do that.

    Great to see AOS hold the Nestor cup high. Hard to believe it’s 5 years.

    Now, prep for Dec 5th.

    The fire still burns.

  39. Our win today was really really sweet…..and needed. Back where we belong after five long years, and (I didn’t know, although it was a tally I was steadily keeping in the past) we’ve now overtaken the Tribesmen by another Connacht and heading the all-time list again. A sweet win because Galway were seriously up for it, make no mistake about that. And the slimmest of margins will do us nicely, thank you. The Mayo lead through the whole match of of 2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 was worth putting bodies on the line for and protecting and the fellas ran the socks of themselves. I agree with posters above who say that we have a very talented bunch of forwards and attacking half backs now, but James just needs to get more certainty into the shape and get the fellas fully tuned into the synchronicity needed with support play and lay-offs. Galway’s top 2-3 men did give an account of themselves…..S Walsh left/right soloing and kicking 6 points was impressive, and his a bit of sideline ‘war dancing’ on the spot near the end, in his attempt to wrong-foot 3 of our fellas marking him was amazing. But for all the beauty and balance of that move, I don’t think Shane escaped that particular trap. Second half with the wind and, don’t forget, the sun in the eyes, was always going to be a tough one. But for all Galway’s effort, the lads hung on in. Barrett was majestic in defence, and fair play to Eoghan diving and taking a black to save the day…..Great blend of youth and experience to perfect over the next 3 weeks and then unleash again. Aidan smiling as he raised the ‘Nestor….does the heart good !

  40. I’m colour blind, Our time has come, and it was very difficult at times, especially, as you’ve said, when the sun was shining brightly. I’m already dreading a potential semi-final against Cork from that perspective – I find that clash the worst of the lot and can never understand why both counties are allowed to play with their usual strip for it. Another reason to root for Tipp next weekend!

  41. Ha ha FhiftyShixty……you’re right, Dessie did let the guard down a bit at times. He’s from a maroon county too….

  42. If our lads can ‘live’ together now for the next 3 weeks, keep themselves healthy and safe, train and practice the hell out of support runs, lay-offs, plans A, B, C, figure out the strongest 15, we’ll have a seriously potent side ready to face Tipp or Cork in the AISF.

  43. Delighted with the win today, hard to believe that it is 5 years since we appeared in a Connacht Final. I think I aged a few years watching that today. We were the better side but turned over a lot ball to Galway and this left a nervy ending for us. Once again Galway got away with a lot of fouling again today and Hurson wasn’t in the slightest bit interested. Admittedly we got away with a big one towards the end there but they did get their free. Conroy should have walked for that simultaneous stamp on his left hand and belt to the head of Aidan O Shea after they had already knocked him to the ground. It was off the ball. It was dispicable but in keeping with their antics towards Mayo over the past 8 years or so. When they meet Dublin or Kerry they are like lambs. Thought Padhraic Joyce would have moved them away from this type of stuff to a more classier style of football. Anyway, well done to Mayo, they have a well earned rest for the next few weeks.

  44. Ah here, Ive never seen either Coen or Carr score five points in croke park, particularly on a big day. Conroy still scored 3 points from play, Mattie made a big effort in the second half, Mullin mopped up lots of ball and Eoghan Mc should have won man of the match. No-one saw this game as a game for individuals to stand out. If we were told about this scenario two years ago in that shitehole in Newbridge we wouldn’t believe it. No youth, no players coming through, no forwards. Galway were considered All-Ireland contenders a few months ago, we have a young team, they’re not the finished article, but a Connacht title in a pandemic or not is a huge stepping stone for Mayo. Im not the usual optimist, but we’ve being on the losing side in games like today too often, when it mattered for Walsh he didn’t convert them, there were other options for him to work it in for a better chance. They had all their main men there today, so its a great result for Mayo today, lots to work on.

  45. Paul Conroy should be highlighted on the Sunday Game tonight. He’s a good footballer, but he’s dangerously dirty, always sly little digs, just like Aido’s today..could a broken his jaw. Kicked keegan in the nuts deliberately too. He knew exactly what he was doing, A pure coward in that regard. I love hard hitting footballers like McMahon, Connolly, Boyle, even Comer hits hard but usually fair, and we hit hard, but that today was pure sly, funny how even the Galway biased Dessie Dolan didnt mention it……

  46. Well done team Mayo, we are playing to our current strengths, great to win a trophy 2 year’s in a row now, and knocked Galway out of the championship 2 year’s in a row as well, hopefully we keep it up, we are at a different stage compared to other counties but anything can happen this year. Both Tipperary and cork have an axe to grind with us, the pubs better be open on the 5th

  47. Oisín Mullin was quietly effective again today kept Burke scoreless and won a great ball against comer when he came on. He should thrive in Croke Park too!

  48. Carr probley not on panel because he missed a sitter of a point against the Rossies, Horan was fuming. Maybe thats the standards he’s setting? Im only speculating here, but he was raging when he missed it. I think theirs about 5 players guraunteed to start under Horan, everyone else seems to have fight tooth and nail to keep their place on the panel…..maybe not a bad thing either, it will keep standards high.

  49. Well done to everyone in the Mayo camp team, panel management & medical. To come through 5 weekends in a row as tough as those and come out of it with the Nestor cup deserves huge credit and congrats to one and all. Time now to reset expectations. The only really worrying aspect of today was our last three kick-outs. For certain sure if you are the trailing team like Galway then you are sure to throw caution to the wind and pour lots of bodies into the middle of the field. So down a man for the third kick-out makes the losing of that kick-out understandable but for the two prior kick-outs, we should consider and rehearse kicking at least one of them long and out over the sideline. At least we won’t have half our bodies on the ground whilst almost all of the Galway backs pour forward.
    Would need to look at Paddy’s yellow again but I don’t think it deserved a card at all. It was shoulder to shoulder and he had one foot planted on the ground when he made initial contact with his shoulder. Yes it caught the Galway lad a little unawares but that is part of the physical game. And no its nothing like rugby as one poster suggested. The ball does not have to be in the hands at all in order to make a shoulder tackle.
    On we go.

  50. Very proud of all the players and management we didn’t think 5 weeks ago that we would be connacht champions everything from here on in is bonus territory can’t wait to see all these young lads let loose in croke Park it would really shorten the winter if we could reach the promised land just wondering Willie joe would there be any chance of gaa moving the all ireland final out of croke park if Dublin are in the final there just 20minutes up the road where if we get to the final have to make 4hr journey with no crowds I think mutual venue should be agreed now in line of covid fairness and all

  51. Eoghan McLaughlin man of the match, awsome game for a young lad & I don’t think he is twenty yet ?? He has played terrific since he came into the team. Croke Park here we come, will there be any supporters allowed ??????

  52. Well done to Mayo for maintaining composure in second half. This game will bring the new lads on a ton. You’d have to fancy Cork to make the semi, and they too will continue to improve. Forget about other side of the draw, and just concentrate on playing what’s in front of you.

    A lot of fight in that team – I wish you the best of luck, and hope you go all the way. In a year where very little is predictable, and of course the Biden influence, who is to say these young lions won’t be stepping up those lofty steps.

  53. A poor performance but a great win. Great for the young lads to have a provincial medal in the back pocket which will hopefully spur them on to greater things. I don’t think we should read too much into that game today as the real deal is the semi final. CP should suit our pace and running game given the wide open spaces. 3 weeks to get a game plan in place and hopefully sort out any niggles after today. In some ways today was a sort of typical Mayo performance. Heart attacks all round. We were concerned how we would advance after losing a lot of the stalwarts of the last 10 years but JH has an abundance of riches which in itself creates a new problem when trying to pick your best 15. A good complaint in my opinion. This will be less of a problem come the new year and more retirements. Well done today and we are now in bonus territory so all to play for.

  54. Quayman – how many Mayo players on the current panel have scored more than 5 points in Croke Park? Now I’ll admit to we don’t know what’s going on in training but Darren Coen scored 5 against Tyrone in the league and I think 4/5 against Galway last year in Limerick. If he is on the bench though he must be doing something right.

  55. Kevin D says: we got there v Roscommon and Galway. In reality we we 8-9 point better than Roscommon and 3-4 points better than Galway but probably not gaining primary possession in middle of field costing us. Also we need to up considerably, our strike rate for 45s, what is is for three championship games? Pretty low I’d say, Dublin Deano puts over , probably 60% , can make the difference in close game but hey we live to fight another day . Great bunch of lads, though! Never say die!

  56. I said it already but McLaughlin was quality today and took one for the team at the end. If that was a penalty ithe game was gone from us. He and Mayo may get some negative comments on Sunday game tonight but being me nice guy doesn’t cut it if you’ve got your eyes on the big prize. That black card could be remembered yet as a key moment in this particular journey for Sam! Well done Mayo but they certainly do it the dramatic way that’s for sure.

  57. I’m thinking if the next test, probably Cork in the semi, a very dogged team, but have they enough link players from midfield up to the opposition goal.
    Meath v Dubs is another long standing rivalry, finally Meath have a team to push them all the way but the Dubs will come out on top.
    Donegal are the only side left capable of beating the Dubs and this could happen, they say lighting never strikes twice but in this strange year just maybe the Professional Dubs will have an off day.
    Mayo are not efficient enough in front of goal yet as a collective are hard to beat.
    Great to see a new winner this time.
    Maybe there will be a twist to come, Covid19 could be a factor.

  58. Very hard to analyze that one. We dominated for most of it, yet we were pretty much decimated in the middle. I think Horan has brought the team through a bit quicker than he may have planned. Delighted to have a Connaught title in the bag.

    But I feel we may be there for the taking if a team presses us high. We need to sort out winning primary possession or our goose is going to be cooked sooner rather than later. We won’t be allowed to go short against a team like Dublin or Donegal. But an all Ireland semi awaits, and a lot can be worked on in 3 weeks!!

  59. Coen has mighty ability and so does Carr, my point is they are not an on/off switch to getting things right. If Coen is brought in, Tommy goes, don’t think thats justified. You could make the argument throw Aidan into midfield, but James Horan is going to stick with him at full forward I think. Starting 15 all started on merit, I couldnt understand Bryan Walsh being brought in, but I was fairly shut up quickly.

  60. Disagree with ye there Quaman, there’s space for both Conroy and either Carr or Coen by bringing Aido out and dropping Ryan OD or Bryan Walsh / Mark Moran. While all 3 have done fairly well at times, we have a team balance problem to sort and that should take precedence. If Tom P isn’t going to be picked then move either Aido or Diarmaid out to midfield and let Conor Loftus compete with the other half forwards for his place. He’s done fairly well just like the other lads and is mobile but bear in mind the Galway midfield has been decimated (lost Tom Flynn before the start and Steede despite being injured was brought on because their rookie midfielder wasn’t performing), and they still won way more ball than us. Having a big go to man will help Clarke with kickout options. Winter football suites Aido so play him at midfield or 11 and he can show from there for the kickouts.

  61. Jordan Flynn will be good option around the middle, physically very strong, I can see parsons in for semi

  62. Wide Ball (7.03) you nailed it. Knowing when to play ‘keep-ball’ is essential for success – we should have learned that lesson in the 90″s. The opposition is impotent without the ball but the heroes in the stand dont appear to get it.

  63. Anyone know what andy moran was doing at the game, I see limerick manager giving out that all the panel not allowed at match yet 20 reporters standing in front of him, he has a very good point.

  64. Absolutely delighted with a Connaught title 2day and well done to the lads……

    Few points though imo…..
    1) Barrett quality 2day
    2) Mullen a great addition to the team but slightly concerned about his 1 on 1 marking
    3) Need more out of Keegan (it’s coming I feel)
    4) Need more strength around the middle (not Aido)
    5) Our forward unit all over the place 2day, need Aido, Cillian and Conroy ( class player) closer to the goals

    Following 5 straight weeks, a welcome rest is needed and a huge chance to get into the final. Well done again to all involved.

  65. Said it earlier and still think coen should have come on for the last 15 minutes or so to hopefully kick a score or 2 to keep scoreboard ticking over. Quayman Brian Walsh wouldn’t have been my choice either but he knows where the posts are. Think he kicked 3 against galway in the league game and is a good prospect. Today was all about winning and as we know from past experiences that’s what will be remembered in time. Well done to all.

  66. Take a point win over Galway in salt hill any day.
    Performance was what it was, some link play and points from distance (diamruid and paddy) but besides that was about the slog the determination and you know this team hadn’t been to the well yet and came out other side so was a great win to galvanise and make this team a team
    Sure the experienced war horses were there in Barrett Durkan keegan Aido and Cillian but Conroy Mullen Eoin Mac Ruane Walsh all stood up when needed and showed their older men they were there to be counted on.

    Best possible win even though not an easy watch should stand to this team 10 fold.
    PS don’t be dissing lads who weren’t 10 out of 10 performances it’s an amateur sport and new blooding team there will be times they are losing their individual battles but they grew as men and a team today

  67. Shuffly Deck, I agree with you, but Horan has him set to play FF in Croke Park, he didn’t introduce Coen today and Carr wasn’t even on the bench. I take your point, I’m just basing mine on what Horan is likely to go with, don’t fully agree with it though.

  68. Just watched it back and did anyone see the punch from Mulkerrin on Tommy Conroy at the end of the first half just before Cillians free in?
    A straight red if the referee sees it.
    A sly dig from Mulkerrin which wont have gone unnoticed. I hope we lodge that one in the memory bank.

  69. Consistently competitive was Horan’s mantra and thats what hes delivered. League title last year, Connacht title this year with essentially a new team. 9 all Ireland semi finals in 10 years. It’s incredible really. I remembered leaving newbridge in 2018 thinking we may be in for a few barren years, no new players coming through, older lads looking tired. how wrong I was. Think today’s result will bring the new lads on a huge amount.

  70. Mayo exile (9:47) I get it alright and support it as a tactic. However “keep ball” which ends in getting turned over is not good enough. If you work the ball into the scoring zone, you have to have various lads willing to pull the trigger and back themselves. Dublin do…..and that’s the difference. Scores win games at the end of the day but yes starving the opposition of possession is important. If we can tweak things we can go further

  71. I think James Carr is made for Croker. He can play 12 or even inside he’s a handful. Direct running open space shooting on the run

    Fionn McDonagh too is a serious player who must be hitting boiling point another runner and accurate kicker.

    Then add in Coen and even the unproven lads in o Donoghue Walsh and Moran I’m sure they will enjoy wide open spaces of Croker.

    Interesting Tom P was man picked for midfield would have felt Seamie was best placed having played a lot of football over summer but horan knows best
    Nice to think if nothing else that Tom P is there or there about the player he was previously.

    I’d be excited and delighted to have that win over us think Loftus and Ruane will learn from that game but Jordan Flynn is a serious operator too
    Nice photo at end of Jordan running over to Ciaran Mc D and horan running up to them

  72. Clarke is now the elephant in the room. His kick outs are an utter liability at this level. Once Galway pushed up late in the game with even a moderate press he was totally at sea standing over the kick out restarts. Ball after ball was won by Galway and sent back in. The McLaughlin black card was due to another awful Clarke kick out. The last kick out directly over the sideline another disaster, and only for the ref did us a favour they would have scored. The game have even moved on more in the last 3 or 4 years in terms of restarts and unfortunately for David it’s so depressingly predicable that we will be found wanting in this area against Dublin or even possibly Cork/Tipp. Couldn’t understand why he cant just drive it out 60 metres on top of Aido and let us fight for the breaks. It might sound old fashioned but at then end of the day he cannot play like Patton or Beggan etc.
    Maybe parsons would help if he got himself more match fit for the semi.
    Either way it’s a massive issue.

  73. Dont like the Sunday Game hyping us up…with respect to Tipp, it’s like Corks victory over Kerry never really happened. Cork ran us awful close a few years ago in Limerick. Squeaky bum stuff!! **They also put in a major shift v the Dubs in Croker last, it was a close fought game. Remember Cork were only 3 points behind Dublin with 8 mins to go. Dubs got a few late goals to put a different complexion on matters.

    They were really athletic and dogged too in their win v Kerry. Cork have such a huge pick that they are capable of coming from seemingly nowhere to suddenly challenging. And they never lack in confidence. Cork are dangerous.

    Whoever we play in 3 weeks time, we need to be absolutely ready for it. Today’s performance wouldn’t be enough.

  74. What does Colm O’Rourke expect the Mayo defenders to do when Shane Walsh starts running, 5 or 6 to track him and tackle him. I doubt he’ll be getting the Meath job any time soon.

  75. Larry Duff, it is a concern but nothing is gonna change this season. I have a hunch there’ll be a new face between the sticks next year. For now, Horan will leave it as is I’d imagine.

    Outside of the Boot; i agree Carr should excel in Croke Park if given the chance. Got two superb points just after HT v Kerry in the league final last year…and everyone rems his goal down in Limerick. He has loads of ability.

    McDonagh is more a workhorse middle third runner. Yes he can score but his accuracy levels arent great. Last season he had some great performances in the league, I was up in Omagh and he got something like 1-3. But as the year developed his form dropped and his conversion rate from shots did too. But he showed a bit of swagger and bite. Mayo need all the lads buzzing but Carr and McD havnt had the opportunities, be that due to form/selection or injury. I think if we are going to progress in this championship we need one of them really hitting form.

  76. No way Cork will be easily beaten. They’ve improved incrementally and never lack confidence.
    Most thing that impressed me about them against Kerry was their composure right from the start. I think they’ll overcome Tipp.

  77. Absolutely great to see Chris B really match fit and anchoring the FB position so steadily today. A powerhouse of a performance. So much discussion on our blog of Mayo No. 3 selections over the last few years, particularly coming up to Donegal and Dublin AIFs, it’s really great to see such an experienced player, irrespective of now being 30-plus, giving a great account of himself. He’s a tough warrior and hopefully will carry his form there, under the posts, for the next two games…..

  78. Bazham…Cork beat Kerry and it was a very solid display. Kerry were 2nd favs for Sam a fortnight ago.

  79. Whatever happens this year, next year in Div 2 has to be the time to find a new keeper. Is Luke Jennings worth a go? He’s young, but have to be looking to the next five or six years. Other than that start Byrne in league, we know what Hennelly can bring, we have to be looking for new options.

  80. Once again we are going to Croke Park with a serious goalkeeping issue. Who ever we are playing are going to squeeze up on Clarke.
    I would think most Mayo supporters would not regard us as serious contenders this year – that’s why our semi final will be a 50 – 50 game

  81. Horan has gotten mayo to an all Ireland semi final every year he’s been in charge (2011,2012,2013,2014,2019,2020)
    If they beat cork/tipp it’ll be an all Ireland final in every second year statistically (2012,2013,2020)
    Absolutely unbelievable going considering the job he was left with at the start of both spells.
    Can question his tactical Prowess at times but the man is simply a superb manager

  82. Thing is it’s so very hard to predict a team like If professional footballers in the FAi setup are contracting the virus and even the great Mo Salah what hope has a mere mortal of a gaa amateur player.
    It will be a squad and a big squad of quality that will win this title can’t be hoping on a 15 and with that in mind I’d say we at least second or third strongest squad

  83. Mayonaze. I expect Cork to beat Tipp and from our point of view with all due respect to Cork I’d much prefer to be playing Cork than Kerry at this stage.
    Cork will be dangerous no question and will have nothing to lose. They caught Kerry napping but their element of surprise has gone and as long as we are wide awake we shouldn’t get caught out.
    James will know we have plenty to work to do but we are still standing.

  84. What I did like about Cork against Kerry was that they went hunting in packs. A real ferociousness about them and they fought for every ball as if their lives depended on it.
    Kerry were dragged into a place they didn’t want to go but should still have closed the game out.
    We cant say we dont know what’s coming and have 3 weeks to be ready for it.

  85. Congratulations to James and the lads. Great victory. Thought we were getting tired near the end but in fairness the substitutes stood up.

    Fair play Willie Joe as well on the blog here. Makes for great reading.

  86. By the way, thats truly an amazing stat re James bringing us to an All Ireland semi in every year he’s been in charge. Given that, you can bet he won’t be taking Tipp or Cork for granted. He’ll show them the utmost respect and our prep between now and then, and indeed our attitude on the day, will reflect that.

  87. Sean Cavanagh just dispelled of not one but two teams in the one sentence on the Sunday game.

    He said Dublin players are fighting for jersies be it for next weekends game against Meath or the AI semi final against Donegal.

    While he might end up been right about Donegal and Dublin progressing he will be getting a bit of flack from the Meath and Cavan camps.

    I give Mattie Ruane the score of the day for that wonderful solo run and point. Sublime.

    Also felt Bryan Walsh did his bit for us and 2 crucial scores.

    Don’t think anyone will fancy going up against Eoghan MC for the remainder of the championship which hopefully will be 2 more games.

  88. I expect Cork to beat Tipp and if they don’t, I expect us to beat them. As for Cork, they beat Kerry who most people would have suggested are better than us. That said, Kerry weren’t clinical on an awful day for football. If I were James Horan, I wouldn’t worry too much about either opponent, I’d instead focus on getting our team prepared and focused and also on getting the team pick right for the next day. I honestly think we’re probably better than them but midfield needs to be sorted cause if we face Dublin or Donegal the Conor Loftus experiment will likely fail. And if Cork have a strong midfield we could be in trouble. Our midfielders are performing well enough in the loose to keep them in the team but winning primary possession is worth hell of a lot. Ruane is big enough to leave there, Loftus isn’t. His confidence will be high from all the game time and the no. 11 shirt is still an option or no. 12 is if Diarmaid moves to midfield.

  89. Had a takeaway pint tonight to celebrate. Hung on and won ugly; great to be on the right side of a result like that, as we have been on the wrong side of so many. Puzzled by some our play though. Where did the FF line go after the 10th minute? No target to aim at and some terrible options taken.

    We did a lot of good things in the second half, but left big gaps at the back. Again kicks out were scary towards the end. Galway fouled all day, though we did get lucky with Higgins’s tackle near full time.

    Agree with Ciaran Whelan that the young fellas stood out today. But the oldies give them a great structure to express themselves.

  90. Mad thing to be questioning after a Nestor cup win but with all the talk of Big Davies kickouts does anyone actually think putting Robbie in would be a success??

  91. Firstly, well done Mayo on winning the Connacht Title, as it is too long since the last one and it is a great achievement, considering the big numbers introduced to the team. We did a lot of good things today and played well in patches, but many of our old faults were still there, wides, wrong options, poor decision making-think poor decisions cost us a few goals. We were playing the ball over and back and holding possession for long periods and then someone would panic and have a Hail Mary shot. We also lost a lot of ball thro’ turnovers in attacking positions and one of the main causes of this was taking the ball into contact and getting swallowed up-Ruane is a particular offender(he had a great game otherwise), but by no means the only one. Having said that things were made difficult by the ref. letting Galway away with a lot of pulling and dragging. The ref. didn’t have a great game and we got away with a few, Keith and the sideline being retake. Conroy should have got red(he is a dirty bastard) and Paddy’s shoulder was perfectly fair and legal-you are allowed shoulder an opponent in competing for the ball-he does not have to be in possession, as some pundits suggested. Don’t think we have any chance of troubling Dublin, but this run will be of great benefit to our young lads. I the meantime, we need more physicality and a ball winner at midfield-Parsons, if fit enough or Jordan Flynn and I would play Aidan at 11,to allow him to help out for kick-outs. Tommy, Cillian and Carr in the Full Forward line.

  92. Chesnut grover – one point worth remembering is that our restarts were absolutely butchered last year in the 2nd half with Robbie in goals. That certainly doesn’t mean it was entirely due to him, but does suggest that a David / Robbie switch might not be the answer.

    Also – Connacht champions!

  93. Couldn’t face posting here yesterday post match.
    Disappointment was too much.
    All that’s to be said is congrats lads.
    Neither team played well but imo ye were just slightly the better side and deserved the win.
    No issue here re McLoughlins challenge. Cynical absolutely but that’s what you have to do to get over the line sometimes. I’d have done the same myself (and I have done at club level). That’s the type of buck you want on your team.
    Well done again but gaillimh Abu!

  94. Fair play Galwayman and all the other sound Galway contributors who have posted here before and since the game yesterday. Tough result to take from your perspective as we know too well given our experience with one-point defeats.

  95. Bear in mind cork took us to extra time in 2017 in limerick, tipp gave us our fill of it to, can’t remember what year in Croke park, there will be no soft semi. And if our kick outs problems not addressed, I wouldn’t fancy meeting Dublin in a final

  96. I think James Horan deserves massive credit. He came in last Year and won The league. This Year a connacht title and he has unearthed and given a Chance to youth and talent like mullin, oisin Mclaughlin, conroy, flynn, carr, o hora, mcdonagh, plunkett, Brian walsh, o donoghue etc. All new players. He has put galway back in their box and we are going to croke Park now being kingpins in the west. The competition to get on even get on the subs bench seems to be fierce!
    Maybe knockout football suits us. The do Or die attitude seems to spur us on. The 3 week break will definitely help us to freshen Up. Some guys looked leggy towards the end yesterday… Cork or tipp will be no pushover. Cork have lots of decent players and I remember the helter skelter game in limerick a few years ago when They nearly turned us over. Plus they have Cian O Neill with them and he knows some of our lads well. Tipp have good forwards but I Expect Cork to take them. Onwards and upwards. Up Mayo.

  97. Just like to echo WJ in giving kudos to galwayman, chesney and the other galway contributors here. Always good to hear the view from outside, a lot of what they were saying came to pass

    my motm was actually a galwayman, thought Sean Kelly was the star performer yesterday right across the 70 mins, even though he only looks about 12 years old

  98. @chestnutgrover: Absolutely not. For all the talk of Robbie’s supposedly superior kickouts, his restarts went to pieces in the first half of last year’s semi-final against the Dubs and were lucky not to have cost us two goals directly from them (ditto the 2016 final replay).

    We need more of a presence in midfield at the mo, I do wonder if Loftus will be starting in his current role once we get back to HQ.

  99. A big congratulations to Mayo on finally winning Connacht. Having said that we’re still faced with the same old problems – midfield weak, kickouts a liability, poor shot selection and a shortage of scoring forwards. But delighted for Bryan Walsh who scored an absolutely game-changing point – his composure not lost on James H in post-match interview.

    I agree Darren Coen’s pinpoint accuracy should be part of the mix; Loftus a good player but not a midfielder. Keith has been a tremendous servant but has been over-run in the past 3 years – his USP, blazing speed, now a thing of the past, unfortunately. I think Boyler should be on the bench – but any update on his form?. Looking forward to the final is a recipe for disaster – we’re not 70 mins away from the final – in fact we’re 70 mins away from being eliminated in the semi-final stage. Kildare in Newbridge in 2018 anyone? Roscommon in McHale park in 2019. When Mayo become favourites they cannot handle it – a self-image thing. But Go Mayo!!

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