Galway – a petty kind of rivalry

I’ve tried to like Galway GAA. 

Honestly. 

Some of my best friends support the Tribesmen, Herself is from the ‘real home’ of Galway football and one of the first unique things she told me about herself was that Ja Fallon used to be her postman.

 I even find myself in weird situations where personal reasons (i.e. shouting on Galway or being in the dog house for a week) mean that I’m left cheering on Galway when they’re not playing a team in Green and Red. I try my best and in fairness, she has always returned the favour under the same circumstances. 

I roared on from Pearse Stadium as Galway handed the Rossies the easiest Connacht title of all time. I looked at Herself and felt nothing but complete heartbreak for her. 

Jesus Christ, throwing away a game that you felt your team should have won? I could write a book on it at this stage so it was no wonder that I was completely devastated for her. 

Well, almost completely devastated.

Because there’s always going to be that 1% in me that despises Galway and I know for a fact that if I was to ask her the same question, I’d get the same answer. 

She cheered on Mayo in 2016 and 2017 to the point where you’d have thought that she was Mick Barrett’s twin. The signs of a great actress because she has no problems dropping in the sly dig from those failed trips to Croker when I mention anything about Mayo being better than her beloved county.

And the road goes both ways. 

It’s easy to say that there’s a fierce rivalry between two relatively successful and neighboring counties; Cork-Kerry and Dublin-Meath for example. 

But when it comes to Mayo-Galway, the term rivalry is cranked up a notch. Each person from either county has their own reasons for disliking the other and mine is as childish as they come. 

With the help of the Mayo GAA Blog results archive, I am able to pinpoint the exact date but as for my reasons why this date is so important. I don’t need to refresh my memory. 

Galway are after beating Mayo in our own back yard by the slimmest of margins. It’s the backdoor for us and for a young Darragh, it’s my first taste of defeat. 

As my mother and I walk back to the car, distraught, three young Galway girls walk slowly in front of us with their jerseys on and flags flying proudly.  As they stroll, they sing ‘Galway are the best in the west, woohoo’ several times in some sort of melodic way.

I’ve been called many things in my life, some absolutely vile, but I honestly don’t think any of the remarks have made me as cross as what I heard that day – something that wasn’t even pointed in my direction. 

Those girls are probably in their mid 20s now. 

They could be married, have children, be lawyers, doctors, politicians, be the most respected people in the country. Jesus, one of them could have even been Herself.

They probably stopped singing that childish rhyme after two years. Maybe that was the first and last day they ever sung it but in my head they never stopped singing it and in my head, they’re still the childish young girls celebrating a Galway win.

Any time we play each other and the Galway supporters begin to cheer, I am automatically transported back to that day and it honestly makes my blood boil. 

And I remember going home and telling my father about my traumatic ordeal and he basically replied and told me to get over it – “if we had won, you would have probably sang ‘Mayo, Mayooooo’ “.

He was right.

Because even from an early age, bragging rights between the two counties is bred into you as a supporter. 

Photo: RTÉ

I was out one night recently with my friend Eoghan who grew up in Clonbur. A place where if you positioned your foot in the right spot, your heel would be in Galway but your toe would be in Mayo. 

Eoghan’s heel was in Galway. In fact, his whole foot was in Galway. Eoghan is the type of supporter who would rather have no foot at all than a working one that stood a centimetre inside a Mayo postcode.

And why?

Because he’s old enough to remember Mayo knocking Galway out in the first round of the Connacht Championship in 1997. Barely old enough but just enough to remember the pain not necessarily that he felt but the vibes that he got from his GAA-mad family who spent a summer in the cold. 

His memories of ’98 are better again but still hazy and as for ’01, he can recall the exact movements of his Galway feet.

“We went for a spin after the homecoming with the Galway flags hanging out the window. Once we crossed the Mayo border, my father turned to me and my brother and told us to shout louder than we had ever done before.”
They had saved their car horn for crossing the border and by God, were we going to hear the Galway roar. 

It’s just as petty as me holding a 17-year grudge against a group of young girls and I love it and him for it.

 My little cousin was born to GAA-mad parents – Galway father, Mayo mother. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that the rivalry stops. In fact, it gets worse and even more pettier. 

To the point where my little cousin would be dressed head-to-toe in Mayo gear by his mam only to be redressed in the opposite colours once she had gone out the door. 

His dad’s family bought him a new Galway GAA jacket for Christmas, I made him stand on the crest and jump up and down on it so I could send a photo to daddy. The cousin was amused – because he got to jump up and down, not knowing why – his daddy was not because he knew the exact reasons behind it. 

And it’s the petty stuff like that, that makes the rivalry so intense, so raw and so box-office. 

After Galway lost this year’s Connacht final, I put up a tweet that said it was inevitable that we would draw them in Round 4. It was written in the stars as far as I was concerned. 

If we weren’t going to find the fairytale final, we were destined for the dog battle. It had to be Galway, it had to be the Gaelic Grounds and it’s going to be die dog or shite the licence. We need this win over Galway now more than ever. 

In my time on this earth, there has always been a noticeable power shift between the two counties. Early 00s – Galway, mid 00s – Mayo, late 00s – Galway, early 2010s – Mayo, mid to late 2010s – Galway.

I remember vividly the hammering we gave them in Pearse Stadium in 2013 – a real low point for Galway football. I remember Donie Vaughan walking it into an empty net and the sheer joy of really kicking the dog while it was down. Kicking it hard and making sure that it was unable to get up for the next couple of years at least.

If we lose on Saturday, we’ll receive a similar blow no matter how big or small the margin is. At senior level alone, we’ll have lost to Galway eight times in a row in all competitions since 2016. 

And an even worst stat, it would be our 15th loss in 15 games against Galway at Senior, U21 and Minor/U17 level combined. Not acceptable.

 When you look at those lost games at Senior level, they’re normally decided by a kick or two of a ball and Saturday is going to be no different.

 You don’t need to fire up your squad or your supporters for a game like this but if you were to say anything, it would be that if you land on the right side of that kick of a ball, not only have you nabbed that last Super 8 spot, but you’re also exiling your most bitter and hated rivals to a summer of no football coupled with no hurling.

 No GAA for Galway: wouldn’t it be just the ideal way to kickstart a Mayo fan’s summer? 

If that is the case, I’ve already decided that I’ll be choosing my new Tinder profile pictures on the journey home (nearly three years together, sure it was good while it lasted!)

My other friend Eoin is driving up and down from Dublin and has kindly offered me a seat. A Galway-born man forced to live and educate himself in Mayo, his own individual petty reason to hate the county even more. Sure, we all have one. 

On second thoughts, maybe getting a car journey with him isn’t the best idea, no matter what the scoreline is at the end. 

Any lifts going? 

105 thoughts on “Galway – a petty kind of rivalry

  1. That’s Brilliant, we are like an old couple who can’t stand each other but are inseparable at the same time.

  2. My grandmother is from Connemara but we’ve always kept that quiet! My mother (from Laois) cannot get her head around this. 🙂

  3. My goodness going by your article Darragh I’m lucky my wife is not from a football or hurling stronghold and doesn’t know much about either tho she is in expert in handbags and shoes and the latest couture so I kinda feel your pain

  4. It is a football match at the end of the day,so while I enjoy the banter almost as the match ,please be respectful after we win,we can enjoy a pint or two as much as anyone,a win by five or six would do me nicely

  5. Personally I’ve grown to dislike them , I cheered them on in 98 though , so I dunno it’s odd , I can’t explain how I feel about Galway but I’ll tell ya for certain I fookkn hate them till the weekend is out that’s for sure

  6. Darragh, you’re just a kid – sure wouldn’t you know by the 2 “R’s” your parents agreed to put in your Christian name – supposedly to give a little distinction…

    Count yourself lucky to have the freedom of the “Home of Galway football”..

  7. I never used to have any Problems in genuinely Supporting Galway if they weren’t playing Mayo.. .Or indeed any of the other Connacht Counties, I guess I’m the Polar Opposite to the CCCC in that regard! .As two teenager’s me and a buddy of mine even went to Croke Park in 1983 to Support Galway in an ill fated All Ireland Final V Dublin… But even in 83 it was easy to see that what Galway needed was more Supporter’s like us two Mayo Teenagers, being far more enthusiastic and vocal than the Galway fan’s themselves! The Galway fan’s made up about 60% of the Canal End terrace but seemed inteminated by the Dub’s in the Canal End, I supported Galway in two more All Ireland Final’s , The 2000 replay and victorious 2001… The Galway fan’s that actually go to match’s are as good as you would ever meet anywhere, and while bigger numbers turn up for Derby Clashes with Mayo, it must be acknowledged that far fewer numbers, in fact a fraction of what Mayo might attract turn up regularly for the Maroon and White!…A few years ago just over 300 turned up for a qualifer versus Derry in Pearce Stadium. .. What I don’t like is this stupid putting up insulting poster’s on telegraph Pole’s telling us Mayo fan’s all about our down fall as happened between Breaffy and Manulla last year,… Even after our eventually successful extra time Match in Limerick versus Cork, similar poster’s were on the Telegraph Pole’s in Oranmore…Of course theese stupid acts are done by just a handful of people…. They might well be Anti Mayo in their sentiment, but neither are they Galway Supporter’s… Anyhow one of either Mayo or Galway will be victorious next Saturday… The local and European Elections are over I hope we don’t see a repeat of any insulting poster’s from either side…May the best team win, Come On Mayo!

  8. Great piece Darragh. There’s a real feeling of knock out championship in the air.. it shit or busht time.
    My season ticket has also been updated.. finally.

  9. Not following you there, Man of Aran – is that a backhanded compliment or an insult you’re aiming at Darragh? He’s a guest contributor here so needs to be accorded the respect that goes with this.

  10. My attendance for the Armagh Match has been updated as well. . But Despite my ticket being scanned in Newry to gain entry still reads as not attended .. Despite my two emails last week! .. I read that ‘Diehard’ has lost his ‘Season Ticket’ t due to an administrative mix up.. I know from personal experience dealing with ‘Season Ticket’ that most of the issues are the fault of themselves…. Not that they ever acknowledge this!

  11. Darragh very good piece and great humour.
    My own assessment it that the majority who follow Galway football deep down really really hate us to win . They would rather see anybody but Mayo win Sam. While they may not say it to your face before a final they quickly come out with the insincere hard luck again nonsense when we have tasted defeat. It is as if they can’t wait to sympathise quick enough. So we have to end this drought come Saturday.
    All the indications are that their injuries have been greatly exaggerated, Duggan being the exception. We need to plan for them being at full strength. Wouldn’t surprise me if Conroy is put in at full forward at some stage with high ball into to test Harrison out. We really need to be ready for this battle of all battles as Pebblesmeller said “every minute of every play not fecking today Sham”

  12. Darragh the woman must have you under the thumb if your shouting for Galway. No matter what the occasion or who they are playing. Only joking with you. Brilliant piece. Can’t wait for Saturday. May the best team win and hopefully Joe Mcquillan makes a good job of it for both teams.

  13. Has anyone else been charged for their ticket today? Mine hasn’t gone out yet and I am slightly concerned!

  14. “All the indications are that their injuries have been greatly exaggerated, Duggan being the exception. We need to plan for them being at full strength.”

    100% , they are so obvious too.

  15. M04Ever and Sean Burke, I agree on the above and any other ideas of them being diminished. I expect a team fully fit for action against ourselves next Sat. We could get a rude awakening when we see a rosier than life Galway team bound into the sod in the Garlic Grounds ; ) Not wanting to frighten anyone but it’s good to have a measure of things ahead of time.
    I also hope Horan and co are coolly planning for this one and that the lads are cool as ice or cucumbers as they take to the field on Sat. Not complacent but so composed they can make good decisions and execute a great game plan. And that they can reach into the depths with confidence to summon that strength to get over the line.

  16. * Gaelic Grounds (as opposed to Garlic Grounds)

    Come to think of it, Garlic Grounds could make a nice handle if I wanted to change things up a bit 😉

  17. I was unfortunate enough to have been born in Galway, a fact my dad reminds me of whenever they win a game.

    We need a win here, folks. Any win will do.

    Galwegians have gotten ahead of themselves in the last three years and need to be taken down a peg.

  18. Darragh, the legendary Ja is still my postman, we have a great chat on the mornings I’m home. Those were great days..
    With my 50 50 family I’d needless to say will be shouting for Galway but if we lose I’d be changing my allegiance straight away..
    And despite what anyone says Tuam to me will always be “the home of Galway football”

  19. Forgot to say earlier Darragh great piece well done have to say I don’t have any major dislike of Galway or their fans, I went to College there and worked there for a while and found the Galway people pure sound there was even a mutual healthy respect for each other’s football teams I never came across any badness and we had lots of chats about football. Obviously as a Mayo fan I’d give my right arm to win on Saturday as would any self respecting Galway fan. I’m confident Mayo will win even though we have a lot of injuries if we can get enough ball to McLoughlin Coen and Cillian they will do damage.

  20. Was anyone in McHale Park in 1981 when we beat them? Willie Nally with a man of the match performance from midfield.

  21. An opportunity for James McCarthy to come in.not mch game time under his belt but has looked very athletic to me. Murray and Treacy will progress from last Saturdays experience.
    The FB line still our biggest worry. Another tough one for Harrison. We still have to learn how to close out matches in final quarter.
    I would always support a Connacht team going forward. Galway are coming off a poor performance against Roscommon, that’s bound to increase self doubts when the pressure is on.
    Getting to super 8 would be a great achievement for us now. And more valuable game time for newbies.
    Big game, hard to call, we might shade it….

  22. Is it too late to bring for James Horan to bring in Aidan Orme from Knockmore, playing really well here for the Under 20s!!

  23. We’re 0-12 to 0-2 ahead at half-time, Galway are 0-11 to 1-3 up against Roscommon. Looking like another Mayo/Galway showdown next week.

  24. My Missus is from Clare we have 2 flags up 1 from each county there will be banter in our house if Mayo beats Galway and Clare beats Meath .
    Mayo will be meeting Clare in the Super 8s

  25. I’m a Mayoman who did 5 enjoyable years boarding in StJarlaths Tuam in the 70s……Many great Mayo players went through that academy…….For that reason no dislike at all of Galway or Galweigans but wouldn’t it be sweet to get one over on them next Sat !

  26. Like most Mayo people I supported Galway in 1998 despite our disappointments in 96 and 97. I cheered them wholeheartedly in 2001 as a Connacht team and wished them the best.

    When the wheel turned this decade we were entitled to expect the same support from the Macnas Heads that we extended to them. Did we get it? Did we ####. Most of the huers took more enjoyment from our defeats in those years than they ever did from their own victories.

    Of course there are some decent skins among the Galway supporters but there is a nasty begrudging seam there that you don’t find elsewhere. Fundamentally they don’t respect Mayo and they deserve to have that disrespect rammed down their throats on Saturday night. It’s win at all costs and nothing else matters.

    As another contributor to these pages put it : Not today sham, not today.

  27. What is the rule book on the U20s as regards playing Senior this year, with our squad being stretched so far at the moment,and the possibility of reaching the Super 8s, is it possible to draft 1 or 2 in, should the need arise?

  28. Willie Joe
    Just to say thanks for the memory on 1981 and that day against Galway its a special memory and where it all started for me……….and another old soldier who has lived through the ups and downs of Mayo football for the last 40 years

  29. I live in Galway and I never really had any animosity towards Galway football supporters even going back to 1998. I do sense a huge level of animosity towards mayo from some sections of their support really since that day we beat them in 2013. I think it was borne out of jealousy as we were regularly competing for All-Irelands while they were stuck in division 2. That has since been compounded by the fact that their defensive style of play has been condemned by many pundits while Mayo continue to receive plaudits for the way that we play even though Galway have consistently beaten us. It’s driving them mad.

  30. Liamontherunsince51…that sounds like the Dublin reaction to Mayo too. We’ve won nothing but are so admired for our honesty and resilience and bloody exciting football. I’d almost go so far as to say we’re better at losing a brilliant game than winning a slugfest. Hoping Mayo do it on Saturday. I’m full of hope…as always. Maigheo, grá mo chroí…go deo

  31. I’d be worried about so many injuries and Galway being at full strength. They will be thinking of returning the drubbing of 2013. I hope we win. It will be some achievement for the team if they can get out of Limerick with a win considering the set backs of the last twelve months.

  32. I do concur with you Skorenzy. Galway have this knack of writing off their chances and lulling us Mayo folk into a false sense of possibility. We’ve been clobbered once too often for my liking. I’d hate to think there might be even a hint of complacency. JH needs to have whatever team runs onto the field totally focused and switched on from the first moment till the last long whistle. I think we will make a game of it once we don’t buy into division and injuries and lads not wanting to play for Galway and all that drivel. They’ll be there and they’ll be strong and giving everything to keep Mayo where they want us… oblivion! Let’s be ready as supporters and as a team. Come on Mayo and be ready to fight for your life. Mayoforever… and ever….ah men and women and children…. always green and red

  33. Arrah we are missing Comer, Duggan,Flynn, Varley, Conroy, O Currain. Galway plagued with injuries you would think Mayo will walk it until you look at the Mayo injury list. It will come down to who has the strongest panel and im fecked if I know given our Corofin players are on the panel but not utilised as much as they could be. Mayo have the likes of Coen who was impressive the last day and Andy Moran on the bench. Who has the panel to absorb the injuries? I think Mayo have too many key injuries for the long run but for Saturday both teams will be gung ho. I hope there are no sendings off or black cards to ruin it. Only another 3 days to wait.

  34. My first Mayo game to attend was in the Connacht Final replay 50 years ago in McHale Park and they won, I think John Nealon scored the goal. Before that I had admired that Galway team having won the 3 in row years earlier. They played a classy type of game, high fielding, low ball to the forwards in front of their markers, turn on a sixpence and over the bar. In 1998 & 2001 they played a similar classy game. However, in the last few years, since Kevin Walsh took over they have left all that beautiful football behind and now play a dour physical game, especially against Mayo. I hope so much that this type of football doesn’t prevail and that we win on saturday. We need to show them that this type of football doesn’t always prevail for our sake and for Galway’s.

  35. I was there in 1981 Galway had won the league I think but Willy Nally was excellent that day. I think the two Jimmy’s from Aughamore scored the goals. That was the first time I saw Mayo beat Galway in championship. I don’t think I have missed a Mayo Galway championship game since. Especially memorable were our wins in 1996 then in Tuam in 1997 where we hadn’t beaten them for donkeys years and again in Tuam in 1999 when they were AI champions Those were all great games as was 1998 when they beat us in Castle bar before going on to win AI That great Galway team 1998 to 2002 was a likeable team with some brilliant players and I supported them in Croker when they beat Kildare and Meath. But I have gone off them There is not much likeable about the way they play now Very negative Even some of their supporters appeared to have taken great delight in our defeats while I can’t remember a Mayo person who begrudged Galway their success in 1998. I remember being in Croker in 1985 for the replay v Dublin. Galway were playing Junior A I final before the game and the Mayo supporters gave them unbelievable backing so much so that the great Jack Mahon wrote about it in the Western the following week. I don’t think the rivalry is as friendly anymore and I don’t think the present day teams are all that fond of each other. I would dearly like to beat them on Saturday.

  36. Chesneychet – I’ve a feeling the majority of those Galway players will make the 26 on Saturday so don’t be playing the poor mouth!

  37. Wide ball , wait and see, time will tell. But the medical staff are working overtime up here as well..

  38. Come here lads, what’s the story with Aidan o’shea. I’m up at a gig in 3 arena here and some fella said he’s defo out for sure. It broke my heart!! Is it true?

  39. l live overseas …lots of galway people here…and i can say a finer bunch u couldn’t meet…almost always supported us except 4 a brace of brothers from connemara but we can forgive them,,,they have alot of issues…we should thank galway two great servants of mayo ,,,the father and son duo Liam and Kevin O’Neill

  40. My Team and Match ups for Saturday assuming Aido and Jason Doc are fit to start

    1.David Clarke v Rory Lavelle/Bernard Power
    2.C.Barrett v Antoine O’Laoi/Martin Farragher
    3.Brendan Harrison v Ian Burke
    4.Keith Higgins v Johnny Heaney
    5.Paddy Durcan v Shane Walsh
    6.Colm Boyler v Michael Daly
    7.Stevie Coen/Michael Plunkett on Peter Cooke
    8.Donie Vaughan on Tom Flynn
    9.Aido O’Shea on Fintan O’Currain
    10.Fionn McDonagh v John Daly
    11.Kevin McLoughlin v Gareth Bradshaw
    12.Jason Doherty v Gareth O’Donnell
    13.James Carr v Liam Silke
    14.Cillian O’Connor v Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh
    15.Darren Coen v Eoghan Kerin

  41. As a born and bred Galwayman I never had any issue with Mayo winning anything. I actually believe that if they had won in 96, they would have added a few more. I’m also rightfully very proud of where I live and the fact that at 42 I’ve seen my county win 2 football all Ireland’s and 4 hurling. Brilliant days.

    Something worth mentioning. When our greatest ever hurler Tony Keady R.I.P. got banned for playing in the US( something 100’s we’re doing), the other connacht counties voted against his appeal, even though Tipp(our greatest rivals) supported him. Something that caused upset to people in Galway GAA that lingers in places.
    It would be akin to Lee Keegan being banned for doing something a few Dublin players were doing, appealing the ban, getting the support of Dublin GAA and not getting the support of Galway/Roscommon at the vote.

    Anyway, best of luck Saturday

  42. The Galway footballers Facebook page has duggan and D’Arcy out, O’Curraoin, flynnn, Bradshaw and Cooke doubtful. I’d take all that with a pinch of salt tho.

  43. Himself is a Rossie…suffice to say it’s been a tough few weeks in this house!

  44. Personally I think there is a poisonous environment in Social media that creates a nasty element to rivalries.
    Appreciating the Irony that I post under a pseudonym myself – people are given the anonymity via social media or the protection to say things online that the wouldn’t dare to say to another in person.
    Some counties do it more than others.
    There are plenty of clowns on Twitter, Facebook and the likes that are given keyboard bravery. The so called “banter” pages are muckrakers of the highest order and the Mayo Banter pages some of the worst.

    Personally I’ve never had any great animosity against Galway and their Footballers, I cheered them on in 83, 98 and 2001. Padraic Joyce remains one of the most outstanding Footballers I’ve seen and Meehan’s performance against Kerry in the rain was one of the best individual performances I’ve ever seen from a GAA player.

    The current Galway team I think are being poorly managed and their style of Football is very ugly to watch. I would compare them to the most negative of Tyrone teams and they have, in my view, regressed to a cynical, defensive style that does not get the best out of some outstanding Forwards such as Comer and Walsh.
    I appreciate that might not be a popular view with the Galway faithful. Eamon Donoghue has a good article in todays Irish Times which outlines how Galway have setup and it seems to be entirely around negating Mayo’s style of play. That might do them well against their biggest rivals however I think that’s precisely the problem. They’ve concentrated only on that and as a result, that is as much as they are likely to get, when there should be a much larger prize being sought.
    I do hope that Horan has something in the bag to counter the Galway setup – they will target our kickouts if Clarke is in Goal and I fear that is an area in which they will make hay.
    I don’t think Cillian will start but I think he’ll come on at some point, and I also can see Regan starting.

    Incidentally if my calculations are correct, Cillian is 9 points away from equaling Colm Cooper’s all time championship scoring record, and 10 points away from beating it. I think this game will be his 50th Championship game, vs Gooch having played 85 for Kerry in the Championship. It would be gas if he managed to bag 9 or 10 against Galway, but given our low scoring games against them in recent years, that would be somewhat miraculous. I’ll take that miracle now though if its on offer.

  45. That’s a good article by Eamon Donoghue. Maybe all the enforced change by the injuries might mean a slight change in approach to how we deal with Galway?

  46. That is a very interesting article from Eamon O’Donoghue. A little extract:

    “…The way to break down Galway’s blanket…. Expos[e] the zonal marking by moving the ball and the angle of running. Or kicking the ball long right through the lines, first time. Both approaches go against Mayo’s instinct…”.

    It’s a challenge. Other things could help – get a start early and force them to change their style. Expose indiscipline if it happens – I seem to remember some of our opposition can pick up cards. This surely adds to their nerves if the card holder is sitting in the back line.

    I love the idea of long kick passes. We do have this in our armoury though we don’t use it too often.

  47. Regarding Tony Keady RIP, Tipperary may have supported the appeal, it was Tipp that brought the GAAs attention to Keady in the first place. Classic. Until I die I’m still puzzled by the defence shown by Mayo people to Galway. The first county board meeting after THAT All Ireland Kerry hammering in 2004 brought this comment from a former Mayo county board official. “Beating Galway was the benchmark and anything after that was a bonus”. We beat them in the Connacht semi final that year. Flat earth thinking at executive level has done more damage to Mayo football than all our own goals and feet shooting ever. BTW, Mayo to best Galway, and then give the nation a white knuckle ride by beating Kerry and Donegal. Injuries and tiredness to take its toll then.

  48. P, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment. That has been my experience to a tee. Living in Galway in the late 90s/early noughties was no fun, though like yourself I cheered them on wholeheartedly at the time. That’s why 2013 was so beautifully, wonderfully sweet (and not just because it marks the day I first got to shake hands with our Willie Joe), but I will settle for a one point win on Saturday. Yes, we are up against it, but nothing else will do this weekend but a win and our lads should not be wanting when it comes to motivation.

    This week so far has felt like 354 days long …

  49. Connaught Tribune reporting Duggan, DArcy, O Curraoin, Flynn,Cooke all doubtful. Also looks like Comer will play at some stage. Tribune reports OShea and Keegan looking like missing the match.
    Also Kevin Walsh wanted fans to know that Mayo are responsible for the game being in Limerick as they refused a coin toss for Castlebar or Salthill.

  50. Chesneychet, thats great that Walsh is telling everyone to be honest.
    Let it be known that Mayo have no intention of giving Galway a sniff of an advantage.

  51. So a 50% chance of playing at home would advantage Galway. As John O Mahony says in same paper “I cant understand that,to be honest. I think it is a pity”.

  52. Or a 50% chance of playing it in Galway. Given our run of luck with injuries and whatnot, you’d be pessimistic on a coin toss.

  53. We’ve had no luck all year, so why go for a coin toss?, we surely would have lost it. Salthill a terrible venue, and our form in Castlebar is patchy at best. Limerick the best outcome. Stephen Coen should pick up Comer as I feel he will start. Has the physicality to match him.

    At the U-20’s last night, and its clear no matter what happens Saturday, the future is bright. 2 midfielders have serious potential, pace, power, and can shoot. Tommy Conroy will be a special player for Mayo, lightning quick (scorched their corner back who had a 5 meter head start on him at one point), deadly accurate as well. I know the opposition was middling, but the future o Mayo football is bright.

  54. To be fair playing in Castlebar doesnt seem to does it many favours either! The gaelic grounds could be the best option for Mayo!

  55. I was also a Mayo person living in Galway in the late nineties early noughties. Great city and lots of great people…however..when it came to football certain types seemed to really enjoy rubbing our noses in it following their AI wins. Indeed they seemed to enjoy that just as much as the win itself. I cheered them on in those finals but not after. Loved every minute of the hiding they got in 13 and I would rather Dublin win the next 50 in a row before I would see them win one. Added to that is the miserable brand of football they play, It’s awful stuff to watch. So like other posters have mentioned I definitely hope it is a case of ‘not today sham not today’ on Saturday.

  56. People can’t be that daft to not see the logic in Mayo not agreeing to toss for home disadvantage surely , it was like a heads we win tails you lose ffs .

  57. so if those rumours are true Galway dont have a single midfielder to call on for Saturday then, AOS should be cleaning up. Kick it long!
    With the hurlers out Daithi Burke should be getting the callup at this stage, thats a crazy injury list. Mayo look to be in rude health by comparison

    It would be quite something to see a game without any ‘out-and-out midfielders’ playing

    I see that Mayo Mick fool is giving interviews to the tabloids this week, more embarassment we could do without

  58. Just so’s we’re all clear, Supermac, that’s a very different Mick you’re referring to there. The Mayo Mick moniker is used here by a highly respected contributor, without whose IT help I doubt this place would still be standing.

  59. Sean I think the point John O Mahony was making was it wouldnt have mattered where it was played but it should have been played in Connaught. Roscommon really need to get their stadium in order so big games can be played there. Midfield crisis for Galway alright they will be flat out to get two lads in there but O Shea isnt 100% and Mayo are threadbare in midfield too.

  60. My opinion is what the hell s all the fuss about Galway football team, they certainly not Dublin or Kerry or Tyrone even, Mayo should play good attacking football & not the blanket stuff Galway has decided to use use & then hope some of their forwards will get a few scores, that’s not the way Galway ever played in the past before K Walsh. Mayo needs to attack them from the off & let the ball in super fast to the full forwards line, they will beat that full back line no bother cos they are no good.

  61. Yes Galway have no shortage of injuries this year. I expect Comer has no more than 10 to 20 in him and same might be the case for SOS for us.

  62. @Supermac… I know of the Gentleman who you are talking about … Don’t think that it’s right to say he is a fool! ..The Referee was so disgraceful on the day… I think that if the 30K plus of Mayo fan’s had invaded the Pitch, We would have been justified! … The GAA didn’t have a problem with the Ref on the day…. They didn’t have a proplem with the Ref who allowed a Joe Sherdian Try be counted as a Goal, robbing Louth of Silverware in the Leinster Final for the first time in 50 year’s… But when Offaly Supporter’s came on to Croke Park in 1998 to demand a replay , After the Ref made a genuine mistake in the All Ireland Hurling Semifinals, they came to their senses… I don’t agree with invading Pitch’s on the whole…. But the Top Brass of the GAA has scant regards for Fair Play, and there is something to admire about someone who protest’s when something so glaringly unfair is happening before your Eye’s as Definitely happened in Limerick in 2014!

  63. There’s no compelling logic as to why it should be played in Connacht, Chesneychet. It’s not a Connacht championship fixture, it’s an All-Ireland qualifier. If Croke Park was available this weekend then almost certainly it and the Tyrone/Cavan match would have been played there as a double-header.

    I can understand fully while they went for Limerick. If it were fixed for Hyde Park the game would most likely have attracted a 20,000+ crowd. Most likely it would need to have been all-ticket and some would, no doubt, have been unable to go for that reason – cue all the outrage that would have followed. Limerick is the obvious next-best venue, not least given the motorway links and the fact that Croke Park isn’t an option. But will 20,000+ travel to Limerick? The Mayo crowd will, though perhaps in slightly lower numbers than a few years ago, but will the Galway fans do likewise? I’d be surprised if the attendance breaks 20,000 but that still doesn’t mean it should have been played at Hyde Park.

  64. @Leantimes, close the gates if we make acceptable invading inter-county pitches to give out to referees. This makes it more acceptable at club level and without referees we have no game at all.
    Sorry, but, no we would have been naive to go for a coin toss with 50% chance of ending up in the windbowl that is Pearse stadium. We have a terrible record there.
    The pitch does not make a difference is just a cliche that get’s trotted out. Galway play a blanket, they like as bad a conditions, windy, wet of a pitch as they can get.

  65. @Leantimes i respectfully disagree 100%, he had no business being on the pitch or being anywhere near a ref.
    He seems to be embracing his celebrity too, posing for selfies in supermacs and the like
    Same goes for those louth fans, I don’t care how bad a game the ref is having, that shite is unacceptable.

    As far as i am concerned any spectator that comes on to the pitch during the game is fair game to be sparked out by one of the top level athletes that are on the pitch, they might think twice then

    Are we back to whinging about venues again?

  66. Add to the fact that if we did end up in Salthill, there would be nothing to stop Galway adjusting the width of the pitch markings to suit their game, as Tyrone did last year for Dublin’s first official away game in a not neutral venue in over 10 years.
    I’m almost sure Kildare narrowed the pitch in Newbridge last year for our 3rd round qualifier too.

  67. @Willie Joe, The Roscommon Venue was licenced to hold 25K for the Super Eight’s Clash with Donegal last year (The most recent Championship game, Up by 6’500 from the Connacht Final a few weeks previously) .. If you are right about people being disappointed and uproar about fan’s not getting tickets for the Match if it were held in Hyde Park being a big issue… Surely in the future All Connacht Final’s must be held in Castlebar or Limerick…. Pearce Stadium can hardly be an option, if people being disappointed because is such an important issue… I don’t know how many will travel, I certainly will, but if there are significantly less than the Hyde will hold for their upcoming Match V Cavan or Tyrone… I have a huge problem with the CCCC, and many other bodies in the GAA, including Connacht, Galway and Mayo board’s… Capisity of Venue’s seems to YoYo from Week to Week, a Venue deemed ‘Unsuitable’ the Hyde for next Saturday will be deemed ‘Suitable’ the following week. .. St Conleth Park was after a week of Media interest deemed ‘Suitable’ last year, the previous week it was deemed ‘Unsuitable’.. Anyhow for me this game should be played in a Connacht Venue, and even tough I am certainly in the minority of those that have posted their taughts about Limerick on this Blog… Everyone I have spoken to here on the ground in Mayo tells me that it was a ridiculous decision!

  68. @Supermac,JP,.. I said that I don’t agree with invading the Pitch on the Whole, but there is something admirable about protesting about an Injustice… I agree that we can’t condone Pitch Invasion’s, but nevertheless I think it brought to National Attention the Craven performance of Cormac Reilly on the day…. After a sit in by Ofally fan’s After a genuine time keeping mistake by the Ref, Offaly were given a replay with Clare in the Semifinals of 1998 ..Offaly went on to win the 1998 All Ireland Final!..

  69. Lads – there are Mayo supporters who are just as bad as supporters from other counties. I witnessed it first hand after we beat Kerry in the league final – the things that were been said to genuine Kerry supporters who were going about there own business would embarrass you as a Mayo person. I am sure some Kerry idiots have said similar things to Mayo people after they beat us. These kind of people are in every county. Thankfully 99% of supporters are good natured and can shake hands afterwards win or lose. If that ever changes – it will be a sad day for the GAA.

  70. I have read this thread with interest. A couple of things. I have been going to Mayo Galway games since ’84 and by and large the rivalry while very keen is generally not incendiary. Yes there have been flashpoints. I recall i think it was the ’92 replay in Castlebar when one of our former players who had changed allegiance got into a shemozzle with one of our guys. On shouting for Mayo when we are out/not involved most of my fellow Galway folk from my experience do not take delight when ye lose. Most are indifferent to be honest but still rather see ye win than a big gun from elsewhere. 2013 did turn the stomach of some Galway people with the showboating and fan selfie brigade with the final scoreline emblazoned in the background. Social media magnified that plus probably a generational thing. One thing I would say is no county has a monopoly on passion when it comes to supporting their team and while we may be smaller in core support (there are reasons that lend to that with half the county not unduly bothered being hurling only) ultimately we care as much as anyone else. Of course Mayo and Galway folk have an edge when we meet as we meet often and have closer interaction than with other counties. It is ironic when one or two from other counties (there was a Dub and Kerry poster) who come on here and being honest I sense plamas readers of the blog. Maybe genuine but part of me thinks that they plamas as they don’t see ye as a threat like they did a few yes ago. Believe me some of the interaction (as much off as on the field) between Dub and Mayo in those close battles was as close to incendiary as anything I have witnessed.

  71. @South Mayo Exile… I agree with the vast majority of Mayo fan’s are sound .. and indeed most counties….. But as Micheal O Muireahteagh used to say when he was advertising Tayto Crisps ‘ There is always one’ … actually there is allot more than one.. I have to say that I didn’t witnessed any abuse by Mayo fan’s given to Kerry fan’s after the League Final (I was too busy singing ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’!

  72. Another thing I want to say about the Match going outside of Connacht is this..In 2001, when Galway were playing very attractive football, and then had a very good following, Roscommon also after beating Mayo’ by a last minute goal of the Connacht Final also had a very good following… Both met again in the quater final in an All Ticket Match in Castlebar… I was at the Match, well over 30K others were as well…A great boost to the Town, and great for Neutral football Supporter’s from Mayo as well, and for the Culture of the GAA, bringing with it Colour and Excitement… Something that wouldn’t have happened, if that particular Match was played in Limerick…Surly the acceptance of Limerick as the Venue, makes Big Match’s not involving Mayo less likely in the Future!

  73. Maybe it won’t be released by the CONNAUGHT telegraph this time jr. More likely the Limerick Leader the way things are going.

  74. tbf i dont think there is much point getting worked up by the named team this week.
    There were 4 changes made to named team at throw in last week

  75. I can’t see how that’s relevant, Leantimes. If we win on Saturday then we’re guaranteed a home Super 8s match against Donegal with all the fun and frivolity in Castlebar that comes with it, including spin-offs for the local economy. That 2001 example was a never-to-be-repeated one: when the next all-Connacht AIQF was played, in 2017, both the drawn game and the replay were played in Croke Park and there were no arguments being made then for it to be played in Connacht. And this one, I repeat, is not a Connacht Championship fixture.

  76. Galway man here – should be an exciting game but I expect our lads to shade it due to the injury count. The pendulum is swinging (or may have already swung) in our direction and IF Galway over come this game on Saturday, it’ll be 4/5 years before Mayo challenge for top honors again.

    May the best team win.

  77. Goodman Gaa enthusiast from Galway. Would you mind stating what you see happening if Galway don’t shade Saturdays game. Thanks, I cannot figure these things out myself.

  78. Don’t know if this has been posted already but an Interesting article on Mayo stats by Eamon Donoghue in the Irish Times today.

  79. thanks Willie Joe, any suggestions where to Park?

    would you be up for a car pool?, we could sing Mayo songs the whole way down

  80. Not really comfortable with all these ‘bad luck’ comments about definitely losing coin tosses etc. We were slightly unlucky against Roscommon but were damn lucky on occasions against Armagh last week, I think we’d be rightly annoyed if we were Armagh. Galway have had more injuries than us all year before this week so not sure how they’d be guaranteed to win a coin toss. They been luckier with their Connacht draw perhaps. We should have no excuses Saturday, it’s time to atone for the past few meetings. Finally a big game with no wind forecast thankfully

  81. For those looking for parking options, Na Pairsaigh usually charge 5 euros to park in their club grounds. Pretty accessible from both the M7 and the M18 and a handy enough ten minute walk to the Gaelic Grounds

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