Game day – knockout Connacht clash at Croker

It’s Connacht final day but not as we know it.

While there’s nothing novel about Mayo squaring up to Galway in a Nestor Cup decider, doing so at Croke Park is certainly a new development. But Covid has wrought change in so many areas that this one doesn’t even count as remarkable.

So Croke Park it is. The match throws in at HQ at the early time of 1.30pm this afternoon and, if you’re not planning on being there, it’s being broadcast live on RTÉ, with radio match commentary on RTÉ and Midwest. Cork’s Conor Lane is the ref.

It’s possible to put forward a plausible case for each team to prevail today. It’s as easy to deconstruct in short order the argument just advanced for victory by either side.

Our pitch starts with the pitch – Croke Park where, over the past decade, we’ve played our best football. We’ve beaten everyone worth beating on this hallowed turf since 2011 (though never all of them in a sequence that would have landed us the big one) and switching the game to HQ favours us greatly. We’ve got the speedsters to run them into the ground and that’s what we plan to do.

But, of course, all that football we’ve played at HQ was played, for the most part, by warriors who have now left the stage. Our current team – now with youth in abundance – doesn’t have as much in the way of Croke Park experience and it’s not a given that we’ll perform today like we’ve done consistently over the past decade. Plus, for the first time since 2009, we’re starting a Championship match at Croke Park without Cillian O’Connor in our ranks and we come into the game on the back of a Covid outbreak in the panel in recent weeks.

Galway’s case is based on their harder run of matches this year, the cleaner bill of health they enjoy and the greater potency they claim to have in their attack. They’ve been playing Division One football, while we’ve been swinging the lead in the tier below but, unlike us, they’ve managed to avoid accumulating a large injury list. Even Damien Comer is fit and ready for action, as is Shane Walsh, with both forming part of a forward line that’s ready to cut loose in the wide open spaces at HQ.

But while Galway have played in Division One, they don’t have a whole load to show for it. Walloped by Kerry, beaten by Dublin and, almost comically, throwing away a winning position in the relegation play-off against Monaghan, all Galway have done this year is getting relegated and beating Roscommon twice. While they don’t have players injured, they have a few who have walked off the panel. And where exactly is this evidence that Galway are capable of putting on a show at Croke Park, a venue where they’ve won just one Championship match since 2001?

Those are the two narratives – or at least caricatures of them – so I guess, depending on your standpoint, you can choose whichever one that fits your world view best.

Personally, I’m a bit torn about what to think about this one. We’ve had a productive year to date – with six wins from six starts – and so we’ve built up a nice bit of momentum as we head to Croker. But we know we’ve only beaten modest opposition so far this year.

Last November, we only scraped by Galway in the corresponding fixture. Since then we’ve lost Cillian, suffering too the raft of retirements back in January while they have the excellent Peter Cooke back in their ranks, as well as serious young emerging talent like the Kellys and Matthew Tierney, alongside their more established operators.

In short, I haven’t a clue how today will go. I am, though, expecting the lads to perform the way teams that James Horan sends out to battle at HQ have performed so often since 2011. If we do that we’ll be competitive and if we play as well as we’re capable then I don’t see why we can’t do the job.

For those of us who are at Croke Park today, it’ll be the first chance to see the team in Connacht final action since 2015. After completing a five-in-a-row of Nestor Cup successes we then went four solid years without even making it to a provincial decider and, of course, when we finally managed to do this once again, last November’s final at Pearse Stadium was played behind closed doors so none of us could be there to witness it.

So it’ll be good to be back today, even if – or maybe even because – this Connacht final today takes place in a very different environment and a changed venue to where the destination of the Nestor Cup is usually decided. It’ll be even better if the lads do the business today.

Let’s get to Croker, let’s get this cup. Up Mayo.

171 thoughts on “Game day – knockout Connacht clash at Croker

  1. Agreed WJ. Good to be back in Croker for this quarter final match. Energy sapping day, bench will play a hugh part in outcome.
    Any news on that score from official programme?

  2. The best of luck to Mayo today…it’s shaping to be hot here in the west again today so if it’s similar in the east we might have to conserve a bit of energy and vary our game. As the man said maybe a day “to let the ball do the work ” I think our superior bench will drag us over the line.

  3. Hoping for a big performance today. It has been a bad week so far at underage. Galway had a bad day at the office yesterday in the hurling so hope we can do a Waterford on them!!

  4. @williejoe. This must be the first time in years you don’t have to travel far to go to a connaught final… . I’m really looking forward to the game and seeing how the youngsters react to the pressure on connaught final day in Croker. I think mayo will win by 6pts after a good test. Hope to see another strong performance from Mchale today. Good luck to all involved and safe travelling to everyone

  5. Huge match today for both teams, for plenty of different reasons. Where are Mayo really at? Are Galway all huff and no puff? Does Croker suit Mayo better or Galway? Can Mayo not concede stupid early goals? Will Galway be prepared to fight? So many more to think about for the next few hours pre heading into Croker…glad to be going.

    It’s currently 19d here and no breeze at all. It’s due to be 21/22 for match time, hydration is huge and also is fitness to last the 78/79 minutes. Slow and steady will with this.

    I do think Mayo will win, 3+ at the end but it won’t be without self imposed drama (when is it ever not)

  6. It is for sure, No Doubt! I was in Mayo (the home place is in the east of it) for a few days before and after the 2015 final so that was a short enough hop to Roscommon that day but normally it’s a cross-country round-trip. Today it’s a stroll in the sun of under half an hour.

  7. Best of luck to the players and management today.

    We will cross the Shannon with a trophy.

    UP MAYO

  8. I think we have some improvement in us on last year, the young bucks have another year on their backs and with that valuable experience should win. Also looking back at last years game Mayo should have pulled away in the first half and won much more comfortably than they did. I’m not overly convinced Galway are any better this year. My only concern which a few have eluded to is our defense – Chris Barrett played a stormer in last years game and his brilliance will be missed I fear the most. Mayo by 10+ ! (rose tinted glasses firmly on ! )

  9. I’m confident our young players will really come of age and a fit Damien Comer( first time in three years) will lead the way ..
    Galway by 4

  10. I think I remember not so long back a decision been made, that if we were to win the all Ireland at that time we would have to leave Sam in Dublin to deter celebrations and avoid the Covid spread.

    Here we are today dragging 2 counties across the country to play a Connacht final in Dublin.

    Regardless of who Croke Park suits I am not one of the people that believes this fixture was made for any other reason than euros.

    This is a sell out of who we are as Connacht people and more importantly a catalyst for increased covid cases.

    I’ll be still roaring on the lads today from in front of the TV and of course hoping we can do it but I am sorry to see our Provincial final played outside our Province and us bowing to a cross country fixture and to a Lord that told us only months ago that had we won Sam it was too dangerous to let Sam come home with us.

  11. I’m the same as you Willie Joe, I am completely torn. They have probably their two best players (Walsh & Comer) while arguably our best player, definitely our best scorer is injured. Last year was a close affair with us beating them by a point if I am not mistaken. Even though some of the games they played certainly didn’t go their way they have played against big teams ( and Roscommon!) and will be ready for us. We on the other hand come in with a perfect record but only having played Div 2 or lower quality teams, due respect to them. The only thing really in our favour is we have more experience and definitely a better record than Galway at HQ.
    The only left to say now is,
    Hon Maigh Eo!

  12. I don’t know how anyone else feels but the feeling of excitement I have tastes likes an Ireland final.
    It’s a hard one to call it really is and really because we don’t know where we are at . We don’t really know where Galway are at either .
    If our athleticism is as good as we think it is we may get the edge on them coming down finish line with lads making an impact off the bench .
    Hon Mayo !!!!!

  13. The closer it gets the more I think Galway will do it. As the mayo news podcast said, I feel they have several more natural footballers currently. Either way, up Mayo!

  14. Tuamstar is right…..D Comer is so dangerous and back fit again. But it’s up to one Mayoman to stalk him like a hunter and limit the damage……

  15. Solid sunshine again and excitement building up for this ‘exile’ here in Sligo…….Flag flying and looking forward to the build up and throw in at 13.30…….Anyone travelling either there since yesterday or well on the road by now……The breath-catching first glimpse of manicured Croker grass awaits them…….Safe travel all, best wishes to all on this Blog and the Mayo diaspora worldwide……Even though ‘only a CF’, because of the Croker and knockout factors, feels funnily like an AIF………Two big prizes on offer today……Another Connacht Title and gap extension of 2 over the Tribesmen and if we win, another shot at the Dubs in an AISF…….Really looking forward to it……Hon Mayo !

  16. I think we need to get Donie Buckley back to coach our new defenders in the art of intensive tackling and defending, especially against teams who move the ball quickly and run at us.

  17. Expecting Damo Comer to be stationed very close to robert hennellys square for the 70+ mins. Anyone have an opinion on what horans plan is for this scenario now that chris barret and david clarke have retired? Iv a feeling he will do something similar to 2014 when donaghy went in there for kerry

  18. Big day today, first real test of the year. Hard to feel confident given the lack of Cillian, the unsettled feel to the backs and the potential for lingering COVID effects in the squad. Galway have some fine footballers but you feel it’s hard to know where they are at as well.

    A new team is taking shape, I make it only seven of the same starters vs Dublin the 2019 semi. You feel we’d need to come through a right battle today to be ready for Dublin in three weeks.

    Best of luck to the lads, and to all travelling for the match.

  19. Terrific piece, WJ. No need to scramble for the papers this morning, you’ve said it all. Well done. Enjoy the day and safe journey to all travelers.
    Hope we get a good clean game with no serious injuries

  20. @MayoDunphy, the sides roads behind the Grapevine shop is your best bet, narrow roads but always parking there.

  21. My computer crashed and didn’t allow me to wish the best of luck to all our players and especially Killian for whom today will be tough. Keep ‘er lit.
    Up Mayo.

  22. The heart says Mayo the head says it’s going to be one hell of a battle but I think we will just about win. Let’s not concede any early or silly goals and we’ll do enough to win. It’s a day for Darren McHale, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’D to light up Croke Park they are well capable of it

  23. Pod of 2 tickets for the upper hogan available, let me know if interested.
    0876772690

  24. Agree WJ, difficult to call but in Horan I trust. I just think that we have a better mix at the moment but today will come down to who performs on the day, will one of the new Galway players star or will Tommy C build on last year’s AIF.
    On the way, really looking forward to it, plenty of Galway people travelling which might reflect their confidence but I think that we will be happy on the return journey!

  25. I’m up in Dublin now. Sweltering heat. I think this will suit the more nimble lads such as Conroy, O’Donoghue’s etc. There has been very little talk of the Galway bench. But of what I have seen so far this year it is nothing to be afraid of. Johnny Duane isnt going to light up croke park. This will be a good test for our newer players such as o hora, hession off the bench and O’Donoghue’s on the frees. I think o hora can really stick it to comer.!! My one major concern is Hennelly in goals. We all no he can be nervous on a big day. I hope the heat doesn’t get to his head today!! I’d say we will be looking at 16,000 mayo fans at this and around 2,000 Galway!!

  26. Worst time to be out in this heat is between 2 and 4.
    Wouldnt put a dog running around for 70 mins in it..
    Mayo by 2.

  27. In the big smoke at the minute. Not a Galway jersey in sight, they must know that they have little hope today or they are to mean to pay €35. Hon Mayo!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Where are lads going for a few pints before? Any recommendations of a good beer garden..

  29. This is a day where the benches should be crucial to the outcome. If the game is still there for winning at 50-55 minutes, then having the likes of Hession, Eoghan Mc, Fionn, Kevin Mc could be key for us. I don’t think Galway have as much depth off the bench and some of the speed and experience we can unleash will be massive.

    If we are forced to make big changes earlier for injury or because the game is going away from us, then we will lose that advantage.

  30. Has anyone got the subs list?
    Best of luck to James Horan and all the players. Mayo by 4 for me.

  31. Good luck Mayo! Good luck supporters too.
    I have fingers and toes crossed.
    I have an inkling the youngsters might stand up and drive it on today. I’m hoping they’ll take it by the scruff of the neck and not let go. Up Mayo!

  32. Galway have just 1 championship win in Croke Park in 20 years since the 2001 final. It’s a graveyard for them.

    Mayo by 8.

    Mayo 2-16 Galway 1-11.

  33. Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo inniu. Mile buiochas WJ for the lovely piece and le hagadh an blog!
    Mhuigheo abu!

  34. One championship win in 20 years is horrific but it was an All Ireland win. No All Ireland in 70 years now thats truly the stuff of nightmares. Galway by 6+ tearing into the Mayo defence.

  35. If Applegreen is anything to go by, support is 80:20 Galway. Disappointing if its like that in Croker.

  36. Subs: Byrne, Boyle, Brickendin, Hession, O’Shea, J.Durcan, Flynn, E.McLoughlin, K.McLoughlin, D.Coen, Carr,

  37. Energy levels in the final quarter will be critical today and out lack of impact subs for midfield is concerning.I would play Aos inside for the first quarter to conserve energy but that will not happen
    If we have the 2 mcloughlins coming in in the second half that would be a big boost
    I like OHora in the full back line, he adds some toughness and will stay home and would be a good choice on comer if he plays inside

  38. Best of luck Mayo..anyone’s who’s up there enjoy the game and atmosphere. I have my doubts about this one but Mayo are box office and are capable of anything but Galway will be like dogs. They will not want to lose their third final in a row.The spread is only 1 point so it will be closer than close. Extra time? Possible penalties? Grrr…..

  39. Best of luck Mayo. I’m feeling the same level of excitement as I did in Castlebar in 1966. The first final I attended

  40. we’ve been way more than 5 points down before, but our attack needs to get going. Maybe Kev on at half time

  41. Absolutely shocking play so far. Our forward line is utterly toothless.

  42. O shea and loftus completely lost in middle of field. Paul conroy running the show

  43. Forward play is very disjointed. Galway are comfortable at the back. Need macloughlin in there. Too many lads having no effect on the game. Need to man mark conroy.

  44. Even we did get it together. More goals for galway is the big danger. Very open at back.

  45. JH still hasn’t learned how to organize a defence, and it shows. The first goal in particular was very preventable.

  46. Big changes needed for second half, not just subs but to move the players to other positions, where is the forward running of Oisin Mullin will be really needed in 2nd half.
    A few guys MUST come off at half time, I do not want to name them.

  47. Paul Conroy destroying us with his foot passing, Aido supposed to be marking him but too loose. Stick Ruane or Diarmuid on him and stick to him like a leech.

  48. This is shocking stuff and the usual goals by the opposition. We definitlely are missing Cillian. Aiden is going to be shook after that clash. Conor Loftus should have taken his goal. There will have to be changes..

  49. The next Mayo manager must prove he can organise a defence and keep it tight at the back. Galway know well there’s more goals in this for them. The Conor Loftus at midfield experiment needs to end at half time he’s not an inter county midfielder

  50. Shane walshe ran in from outside the 45 to collect that rebound. Nobody followed him. Keegan not the man to mark him

  51. Side line needs to sort out this. Losing battles all over the park. Kevin Mac and Carr needs to start 2nd half. Cillian loss is now very apparent.

  52. Put Diarmuid on Conroy second half. Bring on Kevin Mc for Loftus.

    Galway have lost probably their best defender to injury. We surely have to cause them more bother

  53. To be honest the players on the pitch don’t seem how to organise a defence.Really slow to react to that rebound

  54. Going as expected. Small forwards up front being pushed out to the wings. Galway will hit at least 2 more goals. Cant understand why McL’s haven’t started or why o shea is in the backs

  55. Carr for Conroy Coen for McHale. Mcloughlin for Loftus…we need to be able to take scores.

  56. Worst Mayo performance in a long time all over pitch. Injuries, retirements and impact of Covid a step too far. Galway could put this to bed early in 2nd half if they go after us.

  57. It’s not just about Cillian though. We are missing him up front obviously, but we have totally lost midfield and our backs are like statues, not reacting at all. No sense that anyone is doing proper marking.

  58. O Shea is having a howler. Conroy got by him with easy on four or five occasion..and he wasn’t arsed chasing walsh for there second goal. He got to lift things big time in the second half. Tommy Conroy really needs to tune in.. desperate stuff all over the pitch

  59. Paul Conry destroying us. Can’t understand why AOS is picking him up. Dosnt have the legs for the job. Match ups all wrong

  60. Even if there is a good performance from Mayo in the 2nd half it matters little, imagine what the Dubs could do in semi final.
    Take off some of the older players and see how the subs fare out, expect alot of kicking into Aodsn P Shea at full forward.
    The defence is a shambles.
    Boyle and 1 more defender needed now.

  61. Well, unfortunately this is going as I has expected. Worried about our defence. Porous all season and again today.

    Losing midfield. How many times have I (and some others) said that Aido and midfield is never going to work in Croke Park against a good side. Loftus very quiet and should have buried his chance. Ruane trying and firefighting, again as predicted.

    Up front. Obviously Cillian is a loss, notable on one free he would have slotted which we ballooned today. Tommy C has talent, for sure but has always struggled to give back to back k performances and his shooting today has been off. McHale, average. ROD, have away two sloppy balls which cost us. He also never scores enough.

    I’d be looking at bringing on someone who can win a game. Carr. Ok, he could completely misfire, but if he finds his groove could really damage Galway. Put Aido into 14. Bring on McLoughlin. Push Mullin to midfield.

    It was as poor as we have seen from Mayo in Croke Park in a long time BUT are still in it.and have a chance. Hopefully Horan makes the right calls.

  62. I’m afraid the manager will be too slow to change things at halftime, no point in waiting until final 20 minutes.

  63. Galway by far the better team,Mayo in for a bad beating if big changes are not made by Horan at half time, both in personal and switches.

  64. I think it’s harsh enough to blame O’Shea for the second goal. Yes Walsh burned him for pace but once he passed him on, Paddy D was also left for dead. Hard to see how a big man could have kept with him when our fastest man couldn’t either.

  65. We were well on top in first 15 minutes but didnt have the forward quality to make it count. Galway get and take 2 goal chances. Thats the difference.at 7 scores to 6 at half tine.

  66. The one good thing for the 2nd half is that Mayo always do well when kicking into the Canal end in 2nd half.
    This has been the way since as long as I remember.

  67. Mayo need to take Loftus off now, who to come on ?, Diarmuid O Connor to midfield ?

  68. Stephen coen on conroy. Good changes at half time and now we will drive on . Big improvement. O shea battling well

  69. A clear man off the match performance from Matthew Ruane, this guy is way underrated.

  70. Well done. Ye were right that Mayo were fitter. We totally ran out of steam. Disappointing weekend after the hurling horror. Maybe ye can take the Dubs but obviously the first half wont do. Horan had more experience than Joyce and it showed. I expect Horan will say well done then hammer them for the first half display. Sorry to see poor Kelly and Finnerty going off injured.

  71. Did Galway leave Shane Walsh on for whole of the second half even though it looks like his right shoulder was gone? That’s terrible management if so

  72. What a second half. Mattie Ruane and Oisín Mullin outstanding. Swanny has arms like an octopus.

  73. Kudos to the management for turning it around at half time. Different team in the 2nd half, Different class.

  74. Well done. Bringing on the McLoughlins at half was Horans trump card and Aidan woke up!!!

  75. Men against boys in that second half. 2-8 to 2 frees.

    Hope they take their beating and crawl back under their rock, had to beat the ref also.

  76. First half was one of the worst Mayo performances that I’ve seen in Croke Park in a long time. Second half was maybe the worst Galway performance I’ve seen in Croke Park.

    Fair play to management for making the necessary changes quickly and turning it around. McLoughlin was a calming influence, I felt.

  77. Superb second half showing, big increase in intensity and Galway couldn’t match it.

    Hopefully P O’Hora is ok, couple of huge turnovers from him before he got injured.

    Referee (Conor Lane?) needs some time off, several mystifying decisions today, most notably Comer’s booking and Ryan O’D’s disallowed goal.

    What did the Galway lad get his marching orders for? Tv didn’t show it.

  78. Now we’re sucking Sucking Green and Red Diesil.. Hope Padraig O’Hora is OK, he was having some game fair play to the Swan. Safe home to all both Galway and Mayo supporters who made the long trip to Croke Park

  79. There’s no other team in the country that can be so bad and so good in the same match.

  80. Fantastic change and full credit to management for the changes – there’s often criticism for slow changes from the sidelines so hopefully everyone will recognised they nailed it. Great to see a 3rd quarter blitz in particular given the impact we know it can have on us. Great performances all round, particularly good to see how strong Robbie’s performance was – kicking was immense and great to see the 45 go over

  81. Games aren’t over at half time lads…Should have won by 10+. Brilliant second half. Galway didn’t have the legs. Glad the disallowed goal didn’t impact the result…one of the worst decisions i have ever seen!

  82. Superb Second half display. Our fitness and conditioning way better than Galway’s. Majestic display from Matthew Ruane throughout the whole match. Padraig O’Hora was really playing well when injured. Lets hope it is not to bad. Our bench also far superior. Row in the tunnel probably helped as well to fire them up.

  83. Mcloughlin made a big difference. Aido created the penalty by winning the ball at 14.

    Our defence got tight. Finally.

    Tommy and Ryan both stepped up 2nd half. They showed real determination.

    Ruane MOTM.

    Well done for not giving up to all. I think Galway thought they had it at HT and psychologically they never came out.

    Loads to do but yhats a chat for another day. Well done Mayo.

  84. It’s been said on here countless times that we have lost big games from the sideline, well today Horan won that game, ho made the correct changes and match ups at half time that transformed the team. Credit has to go to the management for this win

  85. For all the criticism Horan gets, he sorted out the match ups at half time. Was it Stephen Coen that went on Paul Conroy? Stephen is great at doing a job like that.

  86. Congrats to the boys..Great to turn it around in Croker and against Galway..Learned my lesson years ago not to come on the blog at half time and write the team off.

  87. Congrats all it was an unbelievable second half by Mayo, Galway were totally out played and looked bereft of any tactical plan. On top of their lack of direction they looked gassed and a beaten docket ten minutes into that second half which shows the level of intensity that Mayo brought to the table. The dubs will be very nervous as if Mayo bring that game in both halves of the semi finals I’d give a huge chance. Delighted for you all

  88. Well well well. That first half was as poor as I can remember in many a year. But by God the 2nd half was incredible. Whatever was said at half time certainly worked!! Only Mayo!

    Now for the semi against the Leinster champs. Matchups will be key & a repeat of anything like that first half & we are toast. But that 2nd half was just superb & will live long in the memory

  89. As I said. Mayo 2-16 Galway 1-11. Nearly spot on.

    Also as I said we will get shafted for tickets for the semi final. 100% spot on with that one.

  90. Like Kevin Walsh before him PJ has no clue in management, two great All Ireland winning players cyt can’t cut in management.
    Throw in the current Rossies manager, I think we all can agree how lucky we are to have Horan as boss.

  91. Fantastic win for Mayo in Croke Park, they didn’t get moving in the first half but they really blew Galway out the gate, Mattie Ruane was superb in second half he was the man that put Galway on the back, Oissin Mullen played Fantastic stuff altogether, as did several of the players especially in second half, well done James Horan, very good decisions made, O Hora’s tackling was outstanding, well done Mayo, very good going forward now, hard luck Galway.

  92. That was very sweet. Hopefully O’Hora is ok. He is our best man for getting his hands on dirty ball.

    Eoghan Mc is absolutely made for Croke Park and has to start the next day. There is nobody that can stick with him.

    Kevin Mc made a huge difference also.

  93. I should have gone to paddy power with my 6pts prediction in the morning. Terrible 1st half but turned it around well in the 2nd half. Ruane outstanding, ó Donoghue very good and of course Kevin mc added hugely after coming on. Need to see ó Donoghue disallowed goal again can’t see where the free was other than using his body to win possession but didn’t think it was enough to warrant a free

  94. some win for the green and red..just reading a few comments above and talking about how useless management are and then after the game praising management …too many reactionary comments …Mayo88 is probably the main culprit

  95. Congratulations to Mayo. Fantastic 2nd half performance. But Galway did stop playing.or were stopped playing more accurately! Injuries hadca big impact for Galway but this will leave a psychological scare for them. I didnt like the show boating from Mayo at the end. Carr not taking his goal was criminal.We should have kept piling on the scores. K. Mcloughlin is an incredible player for Mayo for so long now. Made a huge difference when he came on. Ryan O Donoghue also I thought did well stood up when it mattered.
    Cant see anything to trouble the Dubs in tge semi though…
    I think James Horan should get MOM as he transformed team at HT

  96. Always best to keep the powder dry till the Fat Lady Sings. Lots to work on but brilliant win. Go on Mayoooo

  97. Lots of hurlers on the ditch on here this afternoon.

    Congrats James and Team. Super second half. Tons to improve on.

  98. That was some performance from Mayo in the 2nd half.
    The power and running was brilliant.
    To keep Galway to 3 points from frees in the 2nd half was unbelievable.

    This mayo team makes me proud and we are so lucky to have James Horan as a manager.

  99. The impact of kevin mcloughlin was unreal the difference he made in the second half, also the introduction of eoghan Mc added so much more penetration.

  100. Agree about the comments during the game. Comical really how posters changed during the run of play. Always better to wait until the final whistle blows and then judge things

  101. Let’s enjoy tonight and hope that lessons are learned for 3 weeks time!

    And that O Hora is fit. Thought he was outstanding today. Suprised me tbh

  102. Let today officially be the day when talk stops about the heartache involved in following this team. They’ve given us the days of our lives this last decade and they just keep giving. So, so proud of them.

  103. Congratulations to players and management. After a poor 1st half that match turned out very much as I expected. Croke Park let’s be honest a huge advantage to Mayo as it basically shows the difference in strength and conditioning.

    James Horan far too street wise for a rookie like Joyce and Galway can do much better than having him as manager. Dublin have regressed and lads do not be surprised if Mayo reach another AI final

  104. What was goal disallowed for? We were in hogan and couldn’t see anything wrong…

  105. I’d say Ryan nudged him slightly. Very slightly. Ridiculous call.

  106. @no doubt: the comments posted during the game were perfectly valid. Any repeat of that first half performance and the Dubs will have us on toast.

    That said, Horan got the switches right in the second period and deserves credit for that. AOS in particular was revitalized after being switched to full-forward.

    The question is: why do we drift in and out of big championship games, having hot streaks and then going 15 minutes without scoring?

  107. Well done Mayo great win.
    Great to see Mayo getting a cup in croke park.
    Kildare will not be easy but we will get to play them in croke park not Newbridge ?

  108. Okay, Man of the Match poll is now up. I’m not normally for slating technological progress but the WordPress update to the widgets (in which polls and other stuff sits) is just putrid. Anyway, poll is up, have at it. Match report later but spuds first.

    I did an audio report from Croke Park too (though I had to be reminded to do it, I would have totally forgotten otherwise) – that’s here.

  109. Are we assuming the semi will be a late Saturday evenings throw in to suit our Leinster opponents ……

  110. @it means nothing to me. Even though points may be valid at the time I’m just saying hold at least the negative thoughts until the end and let the team redeem themselves because especially with mayo those early posts can may people look silly. Nothing wrong with criticism at the end if it’s justified

  111. Immense response to a very poor second quarter. The first Galway goal knocked us completely out of our stride. At that stage we were standing off too much and were far too passive.

    Second half a different story entirely. Maybe the row in the tunnel did Horan’s job for him. Ruane thundered into the game at midfield and suddenly there was a platform for Oisin and Paddy to pile forward.

    Tommy Conroy had a really rough first half, so fair play to him for turning it around. Ryan O’Donoghue is also developing into a proper top class forward.

    Fantastic to see Aido lift that cup after a few barren years. And important to back up the win last year.

    Onwards.

  112. Joanne Cantwell on RTE just said that they asked Mayo about Padraig O’Hora and were told his problem is a damaged rib but that he’s okay.

  113. Just announced on RTE that Padraig O’Hora is okay. Just a rib injury so should be okay for semi=final. Was really playing well when he went of.

  114. I like Swanny as a defender! I don’t know what happened between himself and Shane Walsh but Shane did very little after. I love the way Oisin Mullen plays – he has the whole array of talents and confidence to burn.
    Well done to everyone.

  115. Just to add, 10 out of 11 semi final appearances.

    The blip being 2018.

    Some record, Horan beats Galway again.

  116. Is it a tactic by mayo management to have the two pony tail guys playing in pink boots, I said it here before, to gave a guy that won the very physical Army Ranger week from hell sitting on the bench is stupid.
    Can I say the Dubs HATED to see Mayo winning today, I heard them give out all through the game, they just hate Mayo.

  117. Fair play to team and management Lucky they didn’t pack it in at half time like some posters here Fact is that games last 70 or 80 minutes and when it’s over then the analysis can begin Sure they had a poor second quarter but watching hurling and football matches this season shows that very few teams are consistent for the whole game Sure even the mighty dubs had a poor second half v Meath and the even mightier Kerry men wouldn’t be too happy with their first quarter today Anyway a great result and one I didn’t really expect. Maigh Eo abu

  118. Good news about Padraig O’Hora, definitely a contender for MotM award, hopefully we will all be shouting Go’On the Swan from the stands for the All Ireland semifinal .. Not taking anything from Mathew Ruane, who was incredible again today, just like he has been in every other match this year.. Mayo’s Player of the year so far..

  119. Awful sour grapes from Joyce in interview afterwards, he should learn to take a beating.

  120. I heard Joyce on the radio. I don’t think he said anything too bad Young Fella but it was edited. What did you hear ?

    He did seem to be under the impression that he would be Galway manager next year. Hopefully he’s right

  121. There are a few posters here who only appear during or after a poor performance. I get the feeling some just have an agenda and love slating Horan for every goal we concede. Or saying we’ve regressed massively.

  122. Well done Mayo. Never write these men off. Ever! Well done Mathew our man of the match. Some of the whinging on here at half time. The less said the better. Come on Mayo!

  123. The importance of playing in Croake Parke today can’t be emphasised enough. Our team is built for croker and we now have strength and depth in the panel which we put to great use in the second half when galway were completely gased. Defence needs work but it was nice to see Harrison in the Jersey. Would love to see him back to his best.. he will need to be to get back into the team!

  124. Wide Ball, our 1st half performance justified the criticism. But all posters on here hailed our 2nd half turn around by the management. It was quite obvious before the match that if you stop Conroy, Walsh and Comer you more or less stop Galway. They caused us untold grief in that 1st half. Why wait 35 minutes to sort this out ?
    The young lads rose to the challenge, Mullin, ODonoghue, Conroy showed great leadership today.
    Mattie was outstanding and Loftus kick passing was superb. Kevin Mac was also outstanding. Such a clever player.

  125. A different Mayo team entirely in 2nd half. Think Pádraig Joyce is out of his depth. Galway were 6 points up and needed to keep doing what they were doing. They lost all shape and credit to Mayo for taking full advantage. Clearly Galway ran out of legs as well! 3 week break to Dublin game is badly needed to get everyone back. Hopefully O’Hora will make it as immense in 2nd help. Huge congratulations to James and all players on a sensational turn around after half time.

  126. Stephen Coen may have done a reasonable marking job in the 2nd half but that feee kick from in front of goal was dreadful – nothing about it was right. The wrong stance, ball skied up in the air way wide. Needs work on this basic skill.

  127. The outing in croke park is of immense benefit to us. Caught asleep for ball coming back of post and out of position for second goal.weaknesses were patched at half time anvd massive second hand effort by all.
    I dont know why some posters are so worried about P Joyce’s future.
    Our strength in depth sees us in with a chance in sf

  128. Well done Mayo, much the better team second half and fully deserved the win.
    The switch at half time won the game, Kevin McLoughlin doesn’t waste a ball and those switches actually brought Ruane into the game. Some brilliant defending from both teams in the first half and some bad misses but Mayo then just took over. It was ironic that with all the talk to of Galways clean bill of health we lost Finnerty, Sean Kelly and effectively Shane Walsh by half time. A good day for James Horan. The loss of Cillian O’Connor was not felt at all.

    Finally, and this is a genuine observation from a Galway fan and I would appreciate thoughts, I would give Mayo a great chance of winning the all Ireland if they make a tough decision regarding Aidan O’Shea. He was badly exposed out around the middle in the first half and will be targeted by a better sideline. If the full forward thing doesn’t work he may need to be an impact sub.

    Best of luck for the remainder of the championship

  129. Nerve racking first half. I’m still not fully over it. But I’m proud of that second half performance. I feel it was decided ahead of time to switch play to this style in the second half.
    The switching around of personnel made a great difference. The introduction of Eoghan McLaughlin was key.
    Pádraig O’Hora played brilliantly and Oisín Mullin was so capable. Paddy Durcan showed great leadership in the first half.
    Let’s consolidate now and move forward. Delighted.

  130. Well done and congrats to our ‘always never give up’ team. So proud today!! Feels like an all -Ireland!!
    Incredible 2nd half and a joy to watch.
    Dont understand Ryan’s disallowed goal at all!!!!

  131. Always knew there was a bit of fight in these lads!! Fair play to the Galway supporters after the match. It`s hard

    to be generous after a defeat – – but they were . And the craic was good. It held a mirror up for me ! ……. I often run

    away when we are beaten. Guess I`m not a good loser. So thanks.

  132. Always great to beat galway as it will keep them quiet for at least another year.
    Pity we didn’t drive on at the end instead of playing keep ball….we could really have put them to the sword.
    Anyway it was a much needed win after seeing our two under age teams being put to the sword by Roscommon earlier in the week.
    Now we can wait for the Dublin kildare game next weekend and see what the opposition are like…

  133. Well said Big Mike. Firstly I’d like to say Galway acquitted themselves much better in Croake Parke than people were saying they might and there is a very good Galway team coming through but I’m not sure if ye’re manager is the answer. Re Aiden O Shea I think the whole country has an opinion now on where he should be played. I think he should still start at full forward and drift in and out but leave midfield and tracking to others

  134. I think what today’s game showed more than anything on here is the amount of good time supporters commenting on here. At half time there were people commenting hoping that the next manager could organise things better. And then back on at full time praising the entire setup. Constructive criticism is fine but at least leave it until the game is over before slating everyone in sight.

  135. Great workout for the heart today. Congrats to all the Mayo team esp Ryan OD and thought OHora was immense. Bring on the next lot!

  136. the well informed analysts can and should take a break for a while PLEASE

  137. Well done to team and management an outstanding performance,much as I expected playing a lower division team,Galway were a decent test ,we will improve but we need to,it is interesting reading comments from posters at half time,we have a great opportunity this year

  138. Galway dominated them last 25 minutes of the first half today with just a few of our lads holding it together and limiting the damage in that period.
    Fair play to Hennelly’s great kick-outs, Mullin & Durkin – marking, and driving out of defence, Ruane & Loftus – great covering and work rate, and Donohue holding it up.
    The switches at the break and the attitude change in the second half was brilliant – we did what we do best – used the space in Croker and went at them from the off! Everyone of the lads played well, once they started to boss Galway.
    Saw Harrison there but regrettably, it’s too late now for him this season to get the game time and too be at the pace required for championship action.
    Cillian, the Doc and himself back next February, fit and well with God’s help! They’ll battle it out with the young lads for places then!

  139. Galway were a bit unlucky with injuries during the game but the deflected 1st half goal had a big impact so maybe evens out. Walsh though was the real loss. He was almost anonymous in 2nd half so have to assume he was injured. Oisin Mullen is a very classy player. A real find for Mayo and does everything right.
    Shocked how much fitter we were than them near the end. Lot of talented Galway players nowhere near the panel aswell whatever is going on there whether injury or unable to commit. I do think Joyce knows the game but his team just not good enough yet. Lads that made good appearances against us in the past didn’t perform. They can’t keep relying on Conroy at his age. Comer wasn’t the threat of old because of long spell out. Walsh a nightmare to mark when on form.
    We were helped also by an inexperienced Goalie who had a mixed game with his kickouts.
    Can’t afford a spell in semi where players have little support like in 2nd quarter today and forced into individualism. I thought Bryan Walsh did fine but Kevin Mc has buckets of big game experience. McHale was quiet enough but blooded now for more big games ahead. Aido a much bigger threat at FF. Carr taking wrong options again especially shooting near side of pitch, would prefer maybe to see more of Conor OS. His first pass was incisive.

  140. If Conor Lane was reffing the “82 final Kerry would have won their 5 in a row…nothing wrong with RO’Ds goal today.

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