Galway review – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E36

It was tense and tight in the Connacht final at Pearse Stadium yesterday but at the finish it was Mayo who emerged with the narrowest of wins. James Horan’s team came away from Salthill with the Nestor Cup and that precious ticket to next month’s All-Ireland semi-final, where they’ll meet either Cork or Tipperary.

In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast we review the dramatic Connacht decider. Host Rob Murphy is joined by Mike Finnerty and Edwin McGreal of the Mayo News, with Colin Sheridan a late addition to the team who take us through a tension-filled final at Salthill.

Post-game there’s analysis from Paul Earley and Andy Moran, following which we get reaction to the win from a delighted Mayo manager James Horan. Rob, Mike, Edwin and Colin then reassemble to consider the significance of this first Connacht title for Mayo in five years, a win that sees the county through to its ninth All-Ireland semi-final inside the last decade.

This latest episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and Podomatic. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

The Mayo News football podcast is proudly sponsored by GRG, Game Ready Gear – sportswear designed by players for players. Check out their website at

49 thoughts on “Galway review – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E36

  1. I think the Cork v Tipp game could be a lot tighter than people reckon. The game is being played on the 100 year anniversary of Bloody Sunday with Tipp wearing a commemorative green and white jersey to honour the occasion. They will be highly up for the game due to this and also they have a great chance to win a first Munster title since 1935!!

    Combined with this they have Colin O’Riordan back from Oz for the match who is a serious baller as are sweeney and Michael Quinlivan on their day. Watch this space…

  2. Tipp caused us loss of problems a few yrs ago in Semple. Only for a fluke Durcan goal to save us.

    Mayo need serious focus now, regardless of who wins Munster and regardless of the manner of the win. When you have as many new young players as we do, you do not know how they will react in Croke Park. Horan & McD need to make sure we are mentally right and strategically prepared.

  3. Unlike Peter.? I’m delighted to be Connaught champions. We won while playing under par .
    Like most posters here I’d be concerned about winning knockouts that go long .
    One thing I cant get my head around is that Tom Parsons was a sub but yet not brought on for 15mins ..
    Having said that I’d hope he can feature in the semi final. 3 weeks should have our squad in good order .
    Great to be in the semifinal which will bring on our younger players loads .

  4. Forwards made bad choices but they will improve.
    I dont think we have a chance of winning g an all ireland but we are improving.
    We won Connacht beating 2 first division sides with Roscommon going up.

  5. ah here Mayonaze – that goal must have been something else to save us given we won that game by 8 points in the end. Tipp had bascially no subs to speak of worth bringing on and were knackered after 50 minutes. There is no way we were going to lose that game though we made hard work of it for the first while.
    That “fluke goal” theory carries about as much weight as the magic bullet that killed JFK theory.

  6. Just to add to that point, FDB, we’d lost our first choice midfield by that stage too. Tom watched that match from the stand on crutches and Seamie picked up a season-ending injury during the game. As you’ve said, despite all that there was no way we were ever losing that game.

  7. Peter – not sure when you slipped through the net but, after those moronic contributions you’ve made inside the last hour, you’re now in moderation. Just to be clear, this is a place for reasoned debate, not for wind-up stupidity.

  8. Winning primary possession on our own restarts and the opposition restarts was definitely a problem for us yesterday…A few years ago, we would have, Barry Moran, Séamus O Shea, Donal Vaughan, and Tom Parsons all big strong noted fielders and ball winners.. Only Tom Parsons was available of those was available on the named 26, Barry Moran has retired…So its 3 weeks until Tipperary or Cork, and I wouldn’t rule out Tipperary at all.. Mathew Ruane has the height and great athleticism, Connor Louftus incredible box to box worker… It’s something that James Horan, and Ciaran Mc Donald have to work on in the next three weeks… Galway were without Tom Flynn their best primary possession winner yesterday…So its a case of what might have been for Galway, and Mayo getting over the line with so many very inexperienced new players, not a bad way to be facing into Tipperary or Cork… But work to be done!

  9. I predicted a 4 or 5 point win, and it should have been if we were not so careless in our decision making up front, but, in hindsight I have been at enough Mayo Galway games to know that there is rarely much between them. Most went for a 1 point swing one way or the other (including the bookies) so I put my over exuberance down to my Red & Green tinted glasses!
    I’m absolutely delighted with the win for so many reasons but mostly because, like you W.J., I feel that we have to be masters of our own province to make it easier in getting to a final. We have to keep the neighbors quiet and keep them down. This win has the potential to be huge for Mayo especially over the next year or two. It will help with the transitional period we are undoubtedly going through by giving so much confidence and self-belief to the next crew coming through that they deserve to be in that jersey and can continue to represent their people at the highest level of the game. They will have learned so much already and now, please God, can look forward to experiencing Croke Park with Dogs of War like Barrett, Boyle, Higgins, O’Shea x 2, Cillian by their side to guide them through it. Make no mistake, this team is built to play in Croke Park. With it’s semi-synthetic pitch, which gives a fast grippy surface and sure bounce, we will tear around the place like rabbits. Our speed demons will love it and the wide open spaces will suit our quick transitional game.
    I feel we are in bonus territory because if I was offered, at the start of the year, to blood nearly half a team, win Connaught, play some exhilarating fast attacking football and get to Croke Park, I would have taken your hand off. Now we face Cork or Tipp in a semi-final which, if we get over, would give us a free hit in a final with a young fearless team. Enjoy the papers today and tomorrow, listen to the Podcast and let’s see what Cork and Tipp serve up next weekend. Leave Horan and his men to do what they have to do and let’s all keep the heads because we’ve all been here before.

  10. I suppose Leantimes the concern would be for Mayo how well we did around midfield with Big Tom out. Tipp will indeed throw the lot at Cork as they wear the historic jersey but Cork look strong themselves. I will go for Cork but Tipp may surprise. Donegal look strong wont let Cavan back into game like they have they might even push the Dubs all the way. Hard to see Meath troubling Cluxton with 4-5 goals. Pity we are out yer man that dragged Kelly down should get a medal id say he would have stuck it but I think Heaneys near miss which I cheered thought it was in and then Mayos 2 points after that was crucial. Ifs and buts eh.

  11. I think JH is committed to David Clarke at this stage. So it seems to be a question of improving our return from his kickout. If I was a JH it would be top of my list for training for the next three weeks. It seems to me he has to work on four things:
    1. The short kickout – a few simple options practiced to death
    2. The long kickout – getting decent distance on it at a lower trajectory – setting up for the breaking ball
    3. Trying a couple of different combinations at MF – Jordan Flynn, Diarmuid O Connor or Tom Parsons spring to mind.
    4. Stifling the opposition if they gain possession from our kickout so that it doesn’t end up in a quick score – a touch of cynicism if necessary
    Finally, please leave AOS and Cillian in near the goals. We need to maintain some shape to our attack.

  12. Congratulations to James and the boys, great to have won the Connaught Final after such a long time.
    Don’t care about the criticism, we won,end of story, we have been at the end of some dodgy decisions ourselves in the past.
    We should be capable of beating the Munster Champions, but only if we leave Aidan Cilliain and Tommy Conroy in the full forward where they are most productive.
    Our half forward line is weak, needs a strong robust C.F., would try Padraig O Hora there, very effective when Ballina Stephenites tried this ploy against Knockmore, .

  13. No mention last while of Fergal Boland – is he injured? I think he could potentially solve a few problems if say we had to deploy DOC to midfield. He is incredibly consistent, regularly pops up with 2-3 points and is a great breaking ball winner. Shame if he is not available, I think he is a very valuable player for Mayo

  14. Lads, Horans second coming has similar traits to his first.
    An all out running/ attacking half back line.
    Goalkeeper institu.
    Aidan O Shea at midfield, in fairness he is needed there at times.
    Wining the Connacht final.
    We saw the high ball into Aidan in 2016 v the Dubs in both finals, it didnt work.
    I am excited about the new lads and the guys that came onto the scene last year
    Alot on here giving out about the goalkeeper, look at other Counties, Cluxton has been there for the Dubs for years, with no younger guy coming in.
    I am excited about the quality of younger players on view yesterday, Mullin at corner back is a relevation, pace, power, brilliant on the ball, I was not one bit worried when Comer went on yesterday, I knew Mullin had that off the mark reaction together with a lot of strength to deal with him.
    Durcan, McLaughlin, Ruane, McDonagh, Conroy, O Donoghue add in the experienced guys, this is a good mix.

  15. Clarke was successful with 75% of his kickouts. Has kept 4 clean sheets in 5 games. My god what do we expect from a 37yo keeper. He is doing unreal for his age. It’s at other end of field where we have lost a bit of shape. Maybe fatigue after 5 games on heavy pitches. Turnovers are killers. 11 of our scores came from turning them over. Then they got back into the game when tables turned. But we got over the line. That’s what matters. 3 weeks to rest and get ready for cork or tipp. Bonus territory for a team in transition. Great spot to be in

  16. The answer for CHF is simple. He’s called Diarmuid O’Connor.

    Can score? Tick.
    Is physical? Tick.
    Good engine? Tick.
    Can carry the ball and go past opponents? Tick.
    Can set up scores? Tick.
    Can tackle and defend? Tick.

    It’s a no brainer. Diarmuid is key to Mayo’s success. If he doesnt play well, we will not win big.

  17. Also. No one is talking about the Mark. Donegal using it best so far.

    We got one score yesterday from it. Ryan

    If done properly it can make a massive difference.

  18. Aiden O’Shea – tackled by four Galway men and yet comes out with the ball,;
    tackled by three Galway players and keeps possession of the ball.
    Aiden O’Shea – kneed( deliberately) to the head and yet he doesn’t retaliated;
    Aiden O’Shea never wastes a pass in a game where misplaced passes were common place.
    Aidan O’Shea superb yesterday and is a great role model for all young GAA player.
    Proud that he’s a Mayo man.

  19. Looking at the league table Cork took max point with +43 score diff. Tipp 7pts with minus 4 score diff. On paper Tipp the much easier option if they could somehow jam a win

  20. A Neutral opinion, in terms of who plays in goal:

    Pros: Can be accurate from kick outs. Played well in the league title win last year.

    Cons: At “fault” for goals in 2015 semi replay V Dublin, 2016 game V Galway and 2016 Final replay V Dublin. Seemed to lose his composure in the semi last year for a spell. As far as I remember he tried to opt out of the panel in Horans first spell, saying he didn’t have the required level of dedication.

    Pros: Good under the high ball. Composed, even when seemingly under pressure. (Possibly a characteristic from his job). Unbelievable interception at end of the quarter final V Tyrone in 2016.

    Cons: At fault for a goal against Tyrone a few weeks ago. Long kickouts hang in the air, making them 50:50 balls.

    Overall, I’d choose Clarke, as he is a natural defender, but keep developing his distribution.

  21. Yes, Aido was unreal yesterday. Never seen him protect the ball so well under pressure for sustained periods. Class act. Takes a ridiculous amount of abuse. Draws defenders like no other. This created space yesterday but we didn’t take full advantage of it. James needs to look at this and plan for Croker.

    Wouldn’t it be grand if the gaa and government allowed even small number of supporters in from semis onwards. Have a lottery, or whatever. Prioritise us season ticket holders, perhaps!! ?

    We’d all give anything to be there but I know its fairly safe to say it won’t happen and that’s likely the right decision under the circumstances.

  22. @Centrefield, yes Cork are on a roll. They’ve won 100% of their last 8 competitive games and just to add to the morale they won the minor AND u20 All Irelands last year. Can you imagine the HYPE if we won minor and u20 in one season??!

    Cork are always dangerous. Look at the forwards they have. On paper would you swap with ours? Many would.

    I dont like this ‘Division 3’ tag on them. That needs to stop. In 12 months time it’s highly likely they’ll be heading into Division 1.

    Two old college friends of mine are from Cork, one with Nemo and the other Bantry. Huge efforts have been going on in cork football the past 4/5 years. Look at history, Cork are never long out of it. Since the 1940s not a decade has gone by where they’ve not been in an All Ireland Final. That’s a stat which only Kerry can match.

    In Cork they are very confident of winning against Tipp and are eyeing up a shot at us, not too unlike our shot at then in 2011.

    Mayo, be ready!

  23. Congrats to Mayo. Worthy winners. Took my time coming on here since yesterday but in fairness ye definitely deserved the win.
    As I stated last week I always felt Mayo were in a far better place and although both teams didnt play to their best ye were much better esp in the first half.
    I will say one thing.. Mayo are very lucky to have James Horan because he is a fine manager and his record shows it.
    We on the other hand are going backwards fast.

  24. @Mayonaze, yes indeed, Mayo need to be ready and tuned in for the battle that lies ahead in three weeks against either Cork or Tipperary. Cork Football is on a high at the minute, they’ve just beaten many people’s favourites for the All Ireland, add this in with the two underage All Irelands last year and they now firmly believe they are ready to compete with the ‘big Counties’ again. Cork don’t rate Mayo, they have never feared us. Our Semi Final record against them is poor, 1999 was bad, 1993 was even worse. We went 95 years until 2011 before we beat them. Writing off Cork is a very dangerous thing to do, they’re probably the only County in Ireland that is very hard to stop when their tails are up, I think they call it ‘Corkness’ it’s not cockiness, just an inbuilt belief that can be and are the best.

    Regarding Tipperary, they have put a serious amount of work into underage development over the past 12 years. They’ve been to 2 Minor Finals, an U21 Final and an All Ireland Semi Final. That’s serious progress for a County who haven’t been at the top table for a long time. They pushed us all the way in 2016 and 2018, two flukey goals won us those games. Tipperary have big and powerful ballers who would not fear going up against our lads, in fact some of them may have revenge on their minds for the two recent defeats.

    The bottom line is, Mayo have a massive chance here to progress, however we need to be careful, there is no such thing as an easy Semi Final, we as supporters need to avoid thoughts of a final until after the game, mindsets of ‘only having to turn up’ can creep into a panel, we must treat every team with respect.

  25. I’d expect Cork to pip Tipp but it will be interesting to see how they perform. They out-worked Kerry and every win will give them confidence. Can they back it up with a good performance? It would be dangerous to underestimate them. We’ve added some talent but we are no world beaters just yet. Roscommon were poor and Galway could easily have won that game yesterday if more than Conroy, Walsh and Kelly performed. We were just about the better team. Cork hit rock bottom and are on the way back up, especially with underage success. They are a big County. Plus, they have Cian O’Neill….Newbridge.

  26. Can I add this re goalkeepers, Cluxton evolved over time for the Dubs, he seemed to get better from 2011 onwards, by that time I think he was in goal since 2002.
    In Mayo’s case, our two goalkeepers have been there a very long time, Clarke since 2005 maybe and Hennelly may have played back in 2008, can they both improve any further ?

  27. Which of them has more scope for improvement , I’d argue hennelly. Clarke is a fantastic keeper but his kicking style of the ball hanging in the air for an eternity is not going to change at this stage , where as hennelly could improve on his composure under a high ball . All points made on hennelly mistakes down the years are true but there are a few been left out for Clarke like the last play of 2017 final when he kicked it out the cossack stand when we needed the ball no matter what .

    I’d also argue the stats don’t always tell the full story ie the 75% from yesterday’s game on kickouts won , the last 15 mins were horrendous and he just got away with it by the skin of his teeth .

    Slim chance of winning Sam but if we are going to turn that into a middling chance by winning semi final , you’ve got to start thinking about how a team like donegal could press like crazed animal s and have us beat by HT .

  28. Agree with diehard. The goalkeeper debate is done and needs to move on and focus on a set of patterns and well rehearsed options for a few critical but likely scenarios (such as we experienced at the end of the game yesterday). I don’t believe that management is naive enough to not have a couple of rehearsed plays for kick outs (they have) but have they extended this to critical ‘end of game and protecting a one pt lead’ situations? On the evidence of yesterday that question remains and it’s frustrating because;
    1. The world and his brother knows the loft and distance of a Clarke kick out whether it’s short, long, or in between
    2. The key personnel who will be on the pitch at that stage of a game are generally known and those who can come short for dirty ball and/or field or gather a break under pressure are a small cohort of that group.
    Regardless of either of the above I would venture that mayo have improved at holding possession this year. Much improvement inside the opposition 65 but still work to do inside our own.
    Just an observation but things like this, use of the advanced mark, and the old perennial of better shot selection are the key things we must improve in order to be even considered as contenders.
    That said, I’m delighted in our progress and, regardless of where we end up this year, believe that the future is bright.
    I love this blog and all on it but caution all optimism and pessimism equally. We’re in bonus territory so I’m going to enjoy it.
    Up Mayo!

  29. Let’s try win the semi first.

    Interesting that Colin Sheridan felt a positive from yesterday were Clarkes kickouts!? Obviously mixed opinions on it.

    @Diaismuirelinn, I’d nearly forgotten Cian O’Neill was leader of the Newbridge debacle. I’m sure our boys (those around in 2018) would like a crack at one of his teams again. He has experience of getting teams right and Cork are coming and fast….he will know Horan and Mayo very well indeed.

  30. In terms of goalkeepers, we don’t have a keeper as good as Cluxton on kick outs. Nobody does… Beggan is pretty good. We know Robbie H is good at times but he has his flaws unfortunately. Clarke is not perfect but I think he has proven himself for us at this stage. He has made a few important saves along the road. Until someone better than both of them comes along, no point criticising the trajectory of his kick outs. I think the Clark Hennelly debate is pointless.

  31. I dont mean to be pessimistic but im not in the camp yet of seeing this as bonus territory. I see it closer to being last chance saloon territory to be honest. Clarke, Barrett, Keegan, McLoughlin, Parsons and even AOS are no spring chickens. Clarke, Boyler and Keith are probably in their final season.

    I think Horan has done very well in developing some players. Mullin, McLoughlin and Conroy in particular but there are others, McDonagh, Carr, Boland, Plunkett, who we should be getting more from by now. All 23/24+ Horan too needs more from Diarmuid.

    It’s way too early to judge Mark Moran or Bryan Walsh. Ryan O’D has done ok but a long way to go yet.

    Plenty here think the future is bright. It may be alright but I’d argue the future looked bright at the outset of the 2011 season, despite the misery of Lonfgord still lingering.

    This time ten years ago we were building a team on the back of 7 provincial u21 titles in 9 years. One of which went on to win an All Ireland and another (04) who should have, up in Breffni Park. It was clear as day to anyone following underage football that we had huge talent coming through.

    In the last 11 years we’ve only managed to reach 3 provincial finals at the u20/21 grade. 3! And won 2.

    I know underage success is not an accurate indicator for success at senior but our records in the noughties versus the teens are like chalk and cheese so despite the very satisfying result yesterday, I can see Dublin, Kerry, Galway all being more dominant than us over this coming decade. Lord knows I hope I’m wrong.

    So, 2020 is a really huge chance now for Mayo and boy do we deserve some luck! But we must be savage like in our intensity for the semi final, be it Cork (most likely) or Tipp and IF that’s enough to get thru, we’ll need the mother of all performances to land the biggie as well as a large portion of luck.

  32. I thinks it nothing short of amazing what Horan has achieved this year. No matter what happens against Cork, we are in absolute bonus territory now. To win Connacht with so many new players is remarkable. Mullin, McLaughlin and Conroy look like so confortable at this level, can see them being a massive part of Mayo football for the next 8 or 9 years. To think Horan gets to a semi final (or better) in evey season he’s managed, shows how lucky we are to have him. To put into perspective, look at Roscommon for example, they’ve won 2 or 3 Connachts in the last few years, currently at their peak with former underage winning players, and still they haven’t reached an AI semi final in nearly 30 years, let alone win an actual knockout championship game. We take it for granted how ‘consistently competitive’ James has made us, even in transition we make Semi finals. The experience these new bucks have now is immense,,you just cannot beat playing in Croke Park on the biggest of days in knockout football. Delighted we’re in this position, we should never take for granted how much of a big deal reaching the semi final is, some Counties can spend decades getting nowhere near them. We’re now on 9 in 10 years. Unbeileveable consistency.

  33. Off topic but what’s the story with Gary Boylan and is Paul Towey training with the senior set up??

  34. Towey is still in the panel Mayonaze just not getting picked. I’d have him on the bench instead of Coen all day, he has serious talent. Admittedly I don’t know how training is going.

  35. There’s not many counties have that problem tbh mayonaze. It’s not a miracle or an aberration that we’ve been up there with the best for a good while. I’ll take it every day of the year over the 1970’s for example. For me one of the most satisfactory aspects is that, regardless of the hurt and the soul destruction, we keep making enough noise and developing to stay relevant and be part of the honours equation. Could the 2011 class and all iterations in between have done better? Hell yeah. Those guys feel that much more than we ever will. Will what was built by them wither and disappear? Judge for yourselves but I’m hoping it doesn’t and could argue that it hasn’t based on where we are now. Bottom line, we ain’t going away any time soon buiochas le Día.

  36. You’d wonder how Boland is at least not making the bench, WJ. Easily our best player pre Covid and had a good club championship this summer.

  37. Boland is an intelligent player. Physique goes against him as with O’Donoughue. I know you can be class and ‘small’. Dooher & Canavan weren’t big lads but the game is more physical now. Players have less space so if you’re not naturally big you need to be very gifted and fast. ROD was excellent the year we got to u20 final and I think will come good. How good is the question.

  38. Just watched the last 10 minutes of the league final win to Kerry last year. Amazing. The tension. The crowd. Will never forget it. Very surprised not to see Ciaran Tracey this year. I wonder whats the story there. Good to hear Fergal is on panel. He may play a part yet as i feel there’s definitely at least one jersey still for the taking in the front 6.

    Could see a scenery where Diarmuid moves to MF and Conor loses out. Will be interesting to see if James sticks with Ryan O’D. Will he see him as a player who’ll thrive in Croker? Will James Carr be brought in, and if so who then loses out. Definite Starters are Tommy C, Kevin Mc, Cillian, Aido, Diarmuid, with scope to shift one of the latter two out of the front 6. So James has a bit to play with.

    Will he stick with Stephen coen at 6. or will someone like Plunkett get the nod. Highly unlikely at this stage, certainly not as a starter. Stephen has done well but I’d love to see him raise it another level for Croker.

    Harrison is a huge loss (through injury) this year and his influence could be seen in that league final win.

  39. If it hasn’t been posted already – Aidan O’Rourke’s analysis is fair and spot on IMO

    There was so many good points from Sunday’s win but ….
    24 turnovers – hard to believe even allowing for soft pitch, wet ball etc
    8/17 shooting in first half – 2 or 3 were the famous ‘bad shot selection’, but much more often it is bad shot execution – 5 of those missed were inside the D
    Final thought – On team selection- Horan obviously wants Conor Loftus involved for what he brings. Isn’t CHF his natural position where we can use his distribution skills and beef up MF with Flynn or Parsons.

  40. I have no doubt Clarke is the right man for between the posts, is fantastic under the highball and always makes himself big in the goals. There are issues with his kick outs and cannot understand why over the Years more time has not been put in By managers and coaching staff in regards to getting it right. But also a lot of the time the problem is Out the field where options are very limited and movement is quite poor.3 weeks off will do Mayo the world of good and expect to see them Bouncing off the croke park pitch in the semis.

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