Glancing at Galway

We’ve already played Galway twice this year. First it was the pre-season FBD kickabout in the Dome in mid-January, followed by the more serious National League Round 1 meeting at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park at the end of that month. On Sunday, at Croke Park we lock horns with them once again as we compete for the National League’s Division One title.

The game throws in at HQ at 4pm on Sunday. Brendan Cawley of Kildare is the ref and it’ll be shown live on TG4.

We’re fairly fond of the League and we’ve have a far better strike rate in it that we have in the Championship. That’s largely due to the famous League Specialists era in the Thirties when we won it six years on the trot. In total, we’ve twelve League titles, third on the roll of honour after Kerry (23) and Dublin (14), with our most recent win occurring as recently as 2019 when we rather joyously beat Kerry in the final.

Galway have won the League four times in their history. The last time they did so was back in 1981 but they did reach the final in 2018, where they lost out to Dublin.

Sunday’s title decider is, of course, Galway’s second national final inside the last twelve months. After they narrowly edged past us in Connacht last year, they went on to win the Nestor Cup before making Championship history by becoming the first team to win an All-Ireland Series match on a penalty shootout, when they prevailed over Armagh on spot kicks at the quarter-final stage.

After a cagey first half against Derry in the semi-final, Galway fairly opened up after the break and won that one easily. They gave it socks in the final against Kerry too and, even though they lost by four at the finish, they were level with just four minutes to go and, had that free against John Daly been given the other way (which it could and probably should have done), then the outcome to that Sam Maguire decider could well have been very different.

After the opening two rounds of this year’s League campaign, a clear narrative was taking shape that Galway were in trouble and might do well to avoid relegation. At that stage, they’d taken just one point from their matches against ourselves and Roscommon. We were fortunate enough to snatch a draw against them – thanks to Ryan O’Donoghue’s late, late strike – but Galway’s one-point loss to the Rossies at Pearse Stadium a week later seemed a particularly careless defeat.

Since then, however, the Tribesmen have rallied impressively, winning four of their remaining five games to finish second in the table, behind us on points difference (of which more anon). Indeed, our blotted copybook from last weekend lends weight to the argument that Galway are coming into Sunday’s decider as the form team in the top Division.

Those five matches played out as follows. In Round 3, they beat Tyrone at Tuam by 0-16 to 0-13, in Round 4 they drew 1-9 apiece with Donegal at Letterkenny, in Round 5 they beat Monaghan by 1-16 to 0-10 at Pearse Stadium, in Round 6 they beat Armagh at the Athletic Grounds by 1-8 to 1-6 and last Sunday, back at Salthill, they turned the tables on All-Ireland champions Kerry, winning that one by 1-13 to 0-14.

Over the course of this League campaign, they’ve developed a deserved reputation for their mean defence and the 91 points they conceded over the seven games was the lowest of all eight teams. That said, Roscommon only let in 92 points and relegated Armagh were the only other team to keep their concession rate under 100. We, by the way, conceded 102 points.

The points-for column doesn’t make the same kind of positive reading for the Tribesmen. They posted an aggregate 93 points over the seven games, the worst total aside from shot-shy Donegal (76), with Armagh the only other team to fail to reach the 100-point mark. We were way out in front on this metric, with a total of 126 points.

All of which sets up Sunday’s decider as one that pits the team that has – at this stage of the year at least – the best attack against the one with the best defence. Something’s got to give.

Galway are very narrow favourites to prevail on Sunday but, like so many recent meetings between the counties, this one has all the hallmarks of one that could go down to the wire. It has to be decided on the day and those of you who’ve already listened to our League final preview pod on Patreon (here) featuring Colm Boyle and Ciaran Murphy will know that Boyler’s match prediction involves a penalty shootout.

In conclusion, I’m not going to ask if you think spot kicks will be needed to separate these great rivals at Croke Park the next day. I will, though, ask you how you think it’ll go and, given that there has to be a winner on the day this makes it a straight yes/no one.

So, then, what do you reckon – will we do the business on Sunday?

Will we beat Galway in the League final?

  • Yes (58%, 601 Votes)
  • No (42%, 428 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,029

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130 thoughts on “Glancing at Galway

  1. Galway seem to prevail more often in tight games against us while in recent years when we prevail its with a bit to spare. Comer and wslsh missed a lot of league so when both on pitch on Sunday you can expect scoring average to increase. I feel we are bringing something different this year with a lot of players on gorm and that it might be enough to win by 3 on Sunday.

  2. If anyone had told me after the Roscommon game we would end up in a league final, especially with trips to Donegal and Armagh and Kerry and Tyrone at home I would not have believed a soul…
    I was in Pearse stadium last Sunday and it was fantastic to see how committed especially our defence was in turning over Kerry lads , hunting in packs , Cian o Neill handprints all-over it.
    We have so far this season massively improved this defensive system.
    Up front we are still not playing to our full potential, this in reality is down to injuries throughout the league.
    Shane Walsh is back but still rusty, Comer the same, Finnerty should hopefully be good to start on Sunday.
    Cooke has added so much this year.
    If Cillian Mc Daid is free and starts I think we will win.
    P joyce spoke at an event on Sunday eve after the game and stated clearly that he wants to win the league, 1981 is a long time ago and as he said you can beat having a team in a winning groove..
    Hopefully a good open game between two top sides..

  3. Tuamstar I would reckon ye are warm favourites on Sunday. Your defence has been outstanding in league. You are getting your top forwards back and McDaid is as good a midfielder as is in the country. Ye were only a little bit off ultimate glory last year. Though it’s early days, ye seem better and Kerry seem to have regressed. Could be a great year for ye.

  4. Post from Tuamstar is the reality , Galway are the team most likely bound for glory , im still coming to grips with how impressive they were at the back on Sunday . The overall picture with them is like they are about to have a serious rattle at taking Sam maguire this year . Players like Sean Kelly , conroy , daly , Tierney etc they are just motoring , hitting the form of their careers and wait till comer and Walsh hit top gear , it absolutely pains me to say it but they just have it written all over them , they’re going to do it .

    I fear for our bucks Sunday , our defence is just far too open to cope with what’s coming but I doubt we will get a trimming either cause it’s a decent mayo side who should come good next year and the year after when the likes of Tuohy and callinan gain some experience and develop into first team regulars.

  5. I think Galways defence will be the difference on Sunday the way they handled Kerry on Sunday was impressive plus they have forwards who know where the posts are. In saying that Mayo have had a great league so I wouldnt be suprised if we win but its a tall order with Cillian and Hession out. We are a work in progress definetly going in the right direction but I fear Galway are a little bit ahead in their devolepment at the moment

  6. Agree Seán Burke, Galway defence has been outstanding in the league. They are keeping games tight and then lots of scoring options when they turn teams over, as they do regularly. Tierney is showing his full potential. Walsh and Comer not at full tilt yet and Finnerty just coming back gives us a chance. Will be really interesting to see how our defense holds up and how our young lads fare against their tight defence not to mention the battle in the middle. It’s the two best teams in the country going toe to toe and expect it to be close. Roscommon the real winners as they sit back and wait for Sunday week! Remember what happened against Roscommon in Castlebar after winning the league last time!

  7. Don’t over play Galway’s win last Sunday.Both Clifford’s off form.
    We saw the problems they had last when we man marked Paudie.
    All to play for.

  8. A lot of pessimism on here or maybe realism I don’t know which. I also was impressed with galway defence against kerry and posted it here but jeez our 1st 6 games has to count for something and based on that I’m going for a mayo win. Other than Walshs outstanding final performance remember their forwards were on the poor side in their last 2 big games in Croker. Ok I’m ready to be shot down now. Go for it.

  9. Even aside from their defence, which is the best in the country, Galway have just had an attitude adjustment in recent years. A couple of years ago, I would never have backed them in a tight match because they had a very flaky mindset under pressure. But now, they’re coming out the right side of all those battles. They’re relishing it, in fact. Very strong mentally.

    As for us, the scores we are conceding each match tells its own story. We’re wide open. The number 6 position isn’t working and will be ruthlessly targeted on Sunday. I expect it to be exposed quite painfully. We are also just inexperienced at the back. Comer etc are cute enough at this stage and will have the wiles over us there. Kelly will try to drag Aidan all over the place, but Aidan needs to stay put if he can.

    We also seem to be without Hession and Cillian, so not playing with a full deck either, which is unfortunate.

    I do also think that from here on out, as the games get tighter and more competitive, we are really going to see the impact of the loss of Lee and Oisin, I’m afraid. They’re not easily replaced players and it’s in tight games when you’ll see how much they are missed.

  10. I agree with JR kerry are off form Atm our backs will hold up on Sunday yes Galway have a great team but so do mayo they are young team and Galway older more established team so that may hold for them on Sunday.

    On the other side our young team pace energy and stamina will be crucial for us against a much older Galway side.

    Mattie ruanne it will be a big test for him mid field.

    I think people are reading way to much into the game they had against kerry . Kerry are just not the same team they where last year they will be a different animal come the summer.

    Can see why Galway are slight favourites though and I mean slight.

    @Tuamstar course Joyce wants to win the league why would he want to loose it ? More pressure on your guys to win it then mayo if ye loose then that will show how good ye really are.

    I still think mayo by 4 or so mcstay won’t want 2 losses on the bounce.

  11. I believe that we are good enough to win,we have played very well all year no reason whatsoever to be pessimistic,in a tight game Mayo by five

  12. Galway looking defensively strong but is this at too much of a cost for their attacking play? I don’t have the stats but Galway’s scoring rate is much lower than ours. We concede more, but we score more too. Finding the balance between both is key.

    Galway do have a knack though of grinding out wins, especially tight games. So if it’s a cagey one, I’d fancy Galway. If it’s open, then I’d back us.

    Still think we’ll both be in the shake up later in the year and think we’ll be meeting in Connaught semi final too (no disrespect to Roscommon). So there could be a few more battles to come yet

  13. Galway conceded 14 points vs Kerry. We conceded 1-10

    Galway conceded 13 points vs Tyrone. We conceded 12

    Galway conceded 1-9 vs Donegal. We conceded 0-9.

  14. I really don’t get the narrative that Galway are an “older more experienced team”.If you look at the average ages of both squads there would be nothing in it. Considering Galway have only one player over the age of 30 in Paul Conroy

  15. “Older more experienced “ ummm ok I’ll put it another way they have a larger cohort of players at the prime stage of their career .

  16. Paul Conroy needs to be curtailed. He’s a workhorse for Galway. I think it’s hard to judge anything from the Kerry matches especially away games they don’t seem to be tuned in fully yet. Cmon Mayo.

  17. Anyone know story on tickets for Roscommon game. Are they likely to go on general sale or all via clubs?

  18. @dreamy I agree with you on aido and would hope he’ll be in the corner. Let Carr track Kelly.

    This league has turned out perfectly for Galway. Tipped along, worked very hard on systems, got results, players coming back…

    Unfortunately, a lot of the hype and chat in media was focused on us and now we are back in a situation where if we lose it’ll be ‘same ol mayo’

    I’m hoping it isn’t. I’m hoping we go out and go for it. We were embarrassed in the final last year let’s be honest, Id hate for that to happen again after all the positivity so far….

    The momentum is with Galway yes, and as posters say if its a tight game, they seem to know how to win, but we’ve torn in to teams in the past with success in CP, I’d love to see that again. Maybe I’m being naive.

  19. Galway have as many reasons to fear us as we have them. It is a big test for both sides.

    The wide open spaces of Croke Park and the pace we have in the team could just swing it for us. The extra weeks rest wont have done the likes of Diarmuid and Paddy any harm either. Michael Plunkett is a welcome addition back into the ranks and hopefully Eoghan Mc will be fit even if it is just from the bench.

    I don’t think there will be much in it. Hopefully James Carr will save his best for Galway again. On a defensive note we need to be wide awake to the danger that Tierney poses.

    Mayo by 2
    Mind the House at all times.

  20. Don’t agree Sean Burke, Mayo got to an All Ireland in 2020 and 2021 with a good batch of those players still available. If you look throughout both teams experience is well matched.

    Clare – as for age profile, I think you have that wrong. I would bet age profile is very similar.

  21. @JKEL88 I think i will go and back the draw at 15/2 after seeing those stats

    I have huge respect for Galway, a lot to like about their team but this stuff I keep reading about them winning tight games. They didn’t beat Roscommon in a tight game, didn’t beat Donegal in a tight game, didn’t beat Mayo in a tight game either. Just about beat Armagh in a tight game thanks to a Rafferty howler. Beat Kerry in a tight game thanks to another goalkeeping howler.

    A good side they are with some fine players but lets not talk them up too much. We have a lot of reasons to be hopeful ourselves. Too much has been made of the Monaghan defeat. Had we picked the best 15 we’d have won that game. Any other team that made 10 changes from the week before would have lost that game also.

    We have a great chance on Sunday.

  22. @John 51 maybe I do but I thought Galway where an older side not by much but some of our guys are 18 /19 don’t think there’s any around that age for Galway.

  23. We are at a disadvantage as COC and young Hession apparently will not be available for this game, how this came about is another matter ie challenge games etc,,and we have to ask have we a bench strong enough to replace them,going on Sundays performance I think not,,Galway are improving on very game, getting key players back and they are inform, so reluctantly I am going for Galway,

  24. Galway are good. Mayo are better. The only reservation is that management have the team mentally prepared. Galway tends to be more aggressive on the field and will try to bully Mayo. I do not mean just a mental attitude of being superior. Rather a more sinister Nd disrespectful attitude. The amount of off the ball incidents I have witnessed in the past committed by some Galway players is unpleasant to say the least. Umpires and linesmen should have a greater role in stamping out the culture of disrespect in our national game. Combative football is good. Physical Intimidation, sledging and all that goes with it is disgraceful. The goal of players acting out these dark arts is to disrupt the opposing player or cause him to retaliate and possibly be sent off. Some of the stuff I have witnessed in the past is appalling. The victim of this abuse must have a discipline not to retaliate and be prepared for this obnoxious behaviour. This attitude has been part of our game for a long time. Hit him he is no relation. If he is beating you take him out. Send in the hatchet man. Coaches have to look to themselves also. They are the custodians of the ethics of the game and must teach respect above all other things. I am not saying that all teams do not use these tactics. It seems to me that some teams practice them more frequently than others. Galway is one of those teams.

  25. If Tommy Conroy is fit to make the bench at least on Sunday I think that increases our chances of victory big time. Not sure why there was no sign of him last weekend. I’m sure he would have benefitted from game time. Don’t know if McStay was asked about him or not but let’s hope he’s good to play some part. A speed merchant in a big field is a major plus.

  26. Just throwing it out there for Sunday
    Coyne McBrien Callinan
    Paddy Loftus Coen
    DOC Mattie
    Flynn, Carney, Bob T
    Carr Aiden Ryan

    Agree we will miss Cillian and Hession ….IF neither tog

  27. I would agree with a previous poster. Put Aiden corner forward where he is laying the ball off to a player through the centre. Carr to do the tracking back. O Shea making occasional ramblings no further than midfield. Fionn a better option than Tuohy at this stage imo. DOC will have to operate at 6 to give loftus free role. Carney operates chf to midfield.
    Its a defensive set up but we have backs that break quickly from defence. Coen working hard and picked off nice point v Monaghan.
    Its an acid test against an all star well balanced Galway team. It will go down to the wire, tbrow in a bit of luck. Galway were so good at managing their lead over kerry…

  28. Interesting debate on the football pod on OTB about how hard Mayo should go for this on Sunday.

    I have always been firmly of the opinion that we need to go for it full-tilt and full strength.

    Who are we to turn our nose up at a national title won in croker, theres feck all mayo men walking around with national medals, especially when its against Galway who’s momentum needs to be halted with a marker laid down.

    With the new championship structure the way it is a provincial title is almost meaningless to Mayo who will be looking to all Ireland series anyway. I think Mayo need to go full tilt this Sunday and I believe they will ( though anyone in recovery or carrying knocks should be spared)

  29. What are yer thoughts on matchups, specifically Walsh, Tierney, Comer, and who will track Sean Kelly when he takes off? Do you think we have a chance on breaking even on long kickouts? What’s this Power buck like in goals? Could he wobble under pressure or will he go long most of the time?

  30. No on the long kickouts imo. Some brilliant match ups on both sides. Conroy could be a trump card. Coming in as a ‘dark horse’ under the radar. Big game needed from jordan flynn, looked like a match winner early season, but ‘sitting on his laurels’ type of performances recently. Maybe the open field that is croke park and the big occasion will get the best out of him.

  31. Lads, Kerry were not interested last weekend. The Clifford’s were clearly taking it handy, it was like a friendly game. This thing about the Galway defence is nonsense, they are clearly susceptible to the high ball. They do not have a solid goal keeper. Conroy is 34 in May. their main threat is definitely Tierney, I don’t know who will mark him. Half the Galway defence are rookies, McGrath, Fitzgerald and Hernon. I’m not saying they are bad players, but they are not experienced at this level.

    Winning the mid third will dictate who wins this game. We were extremely naive against Galway last year we left the defence wide open and comer and conroy had a field day we can’t let this happen again. We can’t let this happen on Sunday.

  32. Would agree with a lot of what you’re saying driveit – if you look at the Galway Kerry game again Kerry had three good goal chances, if they had taken any of those it would have been a different story. Galway defence is probably overstated but in saying that the league table doesn’t lie with scores conceded.

  33. Some good points here. Missing players from both teams will have big impact and always do especially in tight matches in finals. Let’s be honest, c o connor, t conroy and e hession would be starters IF fully fit so there are big losses. Galway down l silke and k molloy long term. Plus I understand c mcdaid is struggling a bit. So all crucial on how the game will play out. Going back to all our recent finals, keeping goals out (single goal would be acceptable) will be the key to winning this game.

  34. It’ll be fierce even I’d say, a draw could well be on the cards. Does it go to a replay or is it decided on the day regardless?

  35. 45Mayo, just to answer a few of your questions. I believe McBrien will pick up Comer, on first thought I thought Durcan would pick up Walsh. However, considering the form Callinan is in he might risk him and try him out on Walsh and Durcan then can pick up Tierney.

    I don’t think they will designate one man to track Sean Kellys runs,

    I do consider Power to be a better keeper than Gleeson, he has been around the block a long time. But last Sunday was his first game since 2021 I believe, he has a nice kick out. He has had a number of shaky moments over the years, he can melt under the heat.

    It depends if Mayo push up on the kick outs, but id say he will have no concerns going long. Considering he will have Conroy, Maher, Tierney, Cooke etc to aim for.

  36. Let Carr track back on Kelly if he roams up field, leave the Bear Around The Square and Kelly wont be long coming back to mind his house.

  37. Clare your fellow County fans are correct. Mayo are not younger than Galway in terms of overall age profile. Quite similar actually. Remember PJ in our league game in Armagh started 7 u20s from the 2020 the all ireland winning squad plus 2 more of those u20s came on as subs. The development of the squad has gone unnoticed in some quarters. Having said all that Sunday is quite evenly matched with us on a upward trajectory while Mayo have managed not to regress while integrating some younger players.

  38. Ontheditch – Jordan is doing just fine IMO, he went off the boil a small bit after the Kerry game but has kicked 0-2 in his last 2 games and has showed well around the pitch.

  39. Harder to see on the TV, but might it also be the case that Jordan’s marked out now as a player than can do real damage anywhere from feeding ball from the middle or being in and around the square.

    Re Conroy, was Mattie on him last year? That could be one for DoC this year.

  40. Mr Negative Breheny wrote that piece in 5 minutes with the old copy and paste buttons taking the workload. He has never a good word to say about anyone or anything.

  41. Cant believe 45% think Galway will win considering this site is primarily made up of Mayo folk. Galway appear to have a defensive set up but their defence stats are similar to ours. We however score more. Based on last two competitive head to heads you might say there maybe nothing between them but I’d go a step further and say we now have a reasonably healthy squad and tested new system since our league meeting. On that basis I’m going for a comfortable win. Mayo 6 plus…

  42. I am concerned with the amount of new young players. I almost agree with most lads team selection on this outlet. Looking at Reape and the complete full back line I don’t think that any of them have Croke Park experience or a match of this magnitude under their
    Belts. But I do agree they all deserve the start.Hope it goes well for them particularly for the younger lads and our new keeper Reape if he is selected.

  43. That’s a huge boost that Tommy should be in contention for the weekend. Fingers crossed.

    With regards to Jordan, Tyrone put Connor Meyler on him in the league game which is praise indeed. The good thing from our point of view is that it feels that we have multiple scoring options. If Jordan had a quiet day then somebody else has stepped up. Teams cant put their best defenders everywhere.

  44. @Thedarkyfinn.
    People finding it very hard to gauge exactly where we are at.
    In the league Rod got a great point to get us the draw after a poor Galway turnover.
    Galway have Walsh, Finnerty and Comer back since so they will surely be fancying their chances.
    We ourselves have had a great league but now we need to see how the younger lads take to Croke Park.
    For sure, alot of questions to he answered on Sunday, but you would feel if we can put in a Stormer of a performance it will be the making of this Mayo team.

    We are at the very start of our team development whereas a loss for Galway will be a big blow to them.

  45. Make no mistake about it , a loss for Galway to our gasuns in croke park after Joyce has made no secret of his determination to win this years league title would be a massive blow to Galway .

  46. Does anyone know if a special train is on from Ballina and or Westport?. I just looked on line the last train returning to Mayo departs Dublin Heuston at 6.15PM , Not a whole pile of good, for a match the throws in at 4PM you might say , and of course their is the possibility of extra time, for both the curtain raiser Derry/Dublin and the main event Mayo v Galway ..In any event Mayo fans wouldn’t be able to hear too much of whatever Sawdoctor Song is played after the final whistle, or hear Paddy Durcans speech,.I don’t know how Paddy would begin his speech, but I do know that it ends with 3 Cheers for Galway, we wouldn’t be waiting around for Séan Kelly’s serenade of Mayo in any case, because that would be a long wait. .. And you can’t even book the train on-line because of some ridiculous spurious reason. Back in the late Nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the GAA had the foresight to build their intercounty stadia near railway stations. In 2023 you might think the GAA authorities would have the foresight to schedule National finals around the time of the train’s arrivals and departures. It would enhance their “spurious” Green Crediantails, after all the infomercial about the “Carbon Neutral” Croke Park. I wonder what’s the Minister for the Environment doing about it..No I don’t wonder what the Minister for the Environment is doing about it at all..Photo opportunities on his bike, and virtue signaling, same as Croke Park!

  47. John51 yes Kerry had 3 goal chances but we missed 2 sitters plus Peter Cooke was dragged down with a goal on. Muckle with respect all teams are doing what you accuse of. No team are made of angels including your own. Have you ever asked yourself why Kerry have won 38 all irelanda. A mixture of great ballers plus what you describe as the dark arts. Football has been about inches for many years and I am not aware of a top team or any team for that matter who don’t look after themselves.

  48. @ leantimes, presumably Irish Rail will put on a match special but as usual the communication is desperately poor. As it stands the option is stay in dub sunday night.

  49. Interesting feedback there, it will be something to mull over for the next few days. Was O’Shea on frees from the right hand side the other day and if so, did he pop them over? It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll be our regular free taker from that side, I hope he will as it will help him grow in confidence. Will be interesting to see how he gets on with frees or marks in Croke Park as well.

  50. @Ontheditch…Phew, the only way I could afford to stay in Dublin for the night is to get myself arrested a night in the cells.

  51. Revellino, just to confirm Comer and Finnerty started against us in the league game. I know Finnerty went off injured.

  52. I wouldn’t start Sam Callinan or Bob Touhy on Sunday. I’d save them for Roscommon.

    Padraig O’Hora in for me in the fullback line to mark Walsh, and free up Paddy Durcan. Jordan Flynn to play more centrally, with either of Mattie Ruane or Jack Carney to play wide left.

    That would leave a half back line matching up as follows: Coen on Tierney, Loftus on Heaney, Durcan on Cooke.

    This looks better when presented in terms of channels:
    Left – Coen & Ruane/Carney
    Central – Loftus & Flynn
    Right – Durcan & McDonagh

    Obviously not quite as straightforward as that, particularly the central channel.

    McDonagh has been solid, without putting in the kind of stellar performances of Jordan and Jack, but, he’s also the guy who may be most suited to Croker

  53. Fifth national final for Mayo in as many years, second for Galway in the same time frame. 2 Connacht titles to Galways one.

    The above makes Mayo the more experienced team imo

    Won’t be too many playing for Mayo who played in 2018, 3 I’d imagine starting both but there’s a few more who will have been involved, and that experience of winning a final in Croker is more than Galway has

  54. I would expect 4 of Mayo`s team from the 2019 winning league final to start on Sunday. Durcan, Diarmuid, Aidan and James Carr.

    Galway should have 6 of their starting team from the 2018 league final loss starting on Sunday. Heaney, Cooke, Conroy, Sean Kelly, Comer and Walsh.

  55. I expect the game on Sunday to settle into a shoot out after both sides square off for a while defensively. Realise a lot of people compare the defences and it goes without saying that goals conceded in past finals were killers but I think we will be comparing the front 6’s most especially come Sunday night.
    And to that end one of the main things for us will be the forward strength we keep on the bench and fresh for the Connaught challenge a week later. I’d be guessing Tommy C, Bob T Kevin McL and Cillian will be the lads in that category.
    The big wish is for it to be settled in the 74 minutes… extra time whatever else.

  56. It sounds like Galway are the team that have put themselves under pressure to win given PJ’s comments and all that. Mayo by 4 with Conroy causing trouble for the Maroon. Some of our lads are young yes but they dont appear to lack ability and willingness to give it a go.

  57. This Galway team would be nothing only for Cian O Neill.
    It’s not that long ago Joyce was facing the chop. In truth Joyce us only a good club manager he’s out of his depth at this level unlike his playing days.

    They beat us by a point in last year’s champo and if Orme had worked the ball to get a free instead of a shot in the wilderness things might have been different.

    They got to a final last year without meeting Kerry or Dublin. Yeah Kerry beat them in the final but the facts are Kerry are a one man team with a couple of supporting players.

    Armagh an average team should have taken Galway out but they got through on penalties.

    Yes Galway’s defence is key this year but there nothing special.

    Like Kerry who brought in a northern coach to tighten up the defence after spending year’s moaning that northerners played puke football, the irony.

    Galway have had to bring in O Neill to do similar.

    Key on Sunday will be working a goal or 2 if we do that we should take them. We have a better middle 8 so midfield should be ours.

    Mayo by 2

  58. For all the talk of a defensive masterclass v Kerry, it took a poxy, flukey goal to win it for Galway against a Kerry team only now finding their legs. It always amazes me that Galway have the name of serial winners in finals, yet from Brehonys piece above, their failure rate in recent history is almost on a par with ours. Almost.
    A team that we struggle to beat but also a team that always has luck on its side. For example, in ’98 they only had the one-hit-wonder Kildare to beat in a final, last year they had Armagh (now a division 2 team) and Derry (then a division 2 team) to get through to get to reach an AIF, in a comparatively easy run.
    They have the slighty more seasoned and settled team and in Heaney, Conroy and Tierney they have players that we struggle to deal with. For me, they are under pressure to win as this is Joyces 4th year and for all his talk at the start of his tenure he still hasn’t put a National trophy on the table. As Galway have the longer break before championship there is nothing stopping them going flat out, 100% with the team selection and I expect them to do just that.
    Mayo on the other hand have a few lads that still need minutes in the legs pre-championship and McStay has a decision to make regarding his starting 15. We probably have more lads who are new to this stage but it will be a true guide of where they are at. I feel we robbed them of a point in our league game earlier this year, and you could see it in Joyces interview afterwards that he was spitting feathers at the draw. A great sight to see. Apparently we dismembered Finnerty that night, but miraculously his leg has been reattached and he seems fine for Sunday. Funny that.
    I expect it to be close but Mayos real eye will be on the following Sunday and I expect that to be enough to give Galway a slight advantage and the win.

  59. I don’t understand all the pessimism from some people after the Monaghan defeat, we had an experimental side out against a team who were fighting for their lives. Can these pessimists not comprehend that or what?

  60. Very good article by Aonghus O Maicìn in this weeks Western.Very much on point.I see Mayo winning but avoiding injury crucial

  61. @JKEL88

    It’s actually 5. Mattie Ruane started that day as well.

    Hennelly, McLoughlin and Doherty all started.
    Plunkett and McDonagh were ruled out by injury.
    I’m not sure if Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus were involved, neither made it onto the pitch

    So roughly a third of our match day squad will have been involved.

  62. Forgot to add, I hope Galway come to play football and not look to waste their customary 10 mins tieing boot laces, rolling around feigning injury or clutching their head at any sign of contact. They have used the old “hold the head” delay tactic to good effect in recent games, knowing full well that the ref has to stop play and no one is going to take a chance with a possible concussion. They’re good enough without having to resort to that shite.

  63. I can’t call this game. Imo Galway Mayo is 60/40 in Mayo’s favor. Injuries to Cillian, Hession and Conroy probably make that closer to 50/50, still favouring Mayo imo.

    Mayo are looking to a second national title in 5 years and doing so would put them as “serial” winners imo. Galway looking to make the breakthrough. Previous experience of winning a final at Croker, both 2019 and 2021 Connacht final, will edge it imo

  64. Given that Galway are off on their hols after Sunday. I propose that every Mayo starter begins by saying to their opponent “I remember our last team holiday. Got the whole way to the airport, only to realize my passport was expired. Had to watch the lads fly off without me. You have checked yours haven’t you? I’d hate to see the same happen to you”

  65. Also acceptable:

    “Have you upgraded to the new biometric passport. I heard that because of Brexit, they’re no longer accepting the old ones”

  66. @FrostTHammer

    If Sam Callinan or Bob Touhy Start against Roscommon seniors on April 9th they won’t be allowed to play in the Connacht U20 championship semi final against Galway or Roscommon on April 12th (currently a 7 day rule in place)

  67. Are there many of this panel that actually played in last years final against Kerry. Can’t Remember myself.Don’t think we had many good performances that day.Or indeed who stood out for us that day.

  68. @Chick 79

    Mayo will probably have 8 starters from last years division 1 final which we lost.

    Galway will probably have 9 starters from last years division 2 final which they lost.

  69. Ticketing question here, I’m looking to book an OAP and juvenile ticket but all week I’m just getting section 301 or 311-316.. there are no seats at all available from 302-310… is it possible that these are completely sold out or might better seats come online later in the week.. it just seems really bizarre.. I know Dublin are playing in the first game so perhaps these are all reserved for season ticket holders?

  70. I propose that for now until Sunday evening, beating Galway had to be priority No1 to the exclusion of all else, and we don’t starting thinking about Priority No2 until afterwards. If Mayo are fortunate enough to win on Sunday, we fans and our team should celebrate it like a National title deserves, if the lads get out to let their hair down on Sunday night, no harm in that either..By training time on Tuesday our next No1 priority will be Roscommon in Castlebar and that’s soon enough to worry about them..If we lose , we have no time at all for feeling sorry for ourselves and we focus our attention immediately on Roscommon,. even before Séan Kelly.has started up the steps of the Hogan Stand.

  71. Yes. Of course @ DriveitLong@hard. It was since that game that Comer had gone out injured.

    Having said that, regardless of age profiles of teams, PJ is under massive pressure because of the amount of time he has been in charge in Galway.

    I think it becomes evident when you see him punching the air after run of the mill league games.

  72. Revellino, I think it’s 6 of 1, half a dozen of another. McStay has been bigging up the league as well, even after game Sunday. So pressure is equal on both teams. The Mayo Squad isn’t brand new either, Tuohy only nee man in.

    I see it as a real 50:50. First game I can’t call (I called last week wrong, first prediction I’ve had wrong so far I think!).
    Both teams as JKel88 says are equal mix of greenhorn and experience. Should be a cracker.

  73. Anyone selling tickets for Sunday ?
    Ticketmaster is throwing out the rubbish tickets.

    Should the Div 1 final be played in Roscommon?
    This is the first pressure test for management and players.

  74. @mayomagic

    Roscommon game takes priority for me and I wouldn’t be releasing Sam Callinan and Bob Touhy for U20 games at the time being.

  75. Totally disagree PJ is now under pressure , two national finals in a row, with a team developing well.
    So many young players from our recent All Ireland under 20 win coming through..
    Jack Glynn, Sean Fitzgerald, Paul Kelly, Cian Hernon, Tomo Culhane, Johnny Mc Grath, Ryan Monaghan, Cathal Sweeney, Matthew Tierney, Patrick Kelly (10) from 2020 is a lot from one team so it’s great to see.
    Joyces first few years were during Covid so one defeat and we were gone so in fairness a good sign from a county board not to press panic buttons and let them grow.
    Even if they lose I don’t believe it’s the end of the world as they’ll head off for a sun break on Monday and be ready for championship. A defeat for a stong Mayo team six days out from championship could be catastrophic.

  76. So defeat for Galway and alls grand , defeat for mayo and put us in the obituary section .

    Nah , not Havin that , it’s Joyce that’s bangin the counter this time , him and his sceal about uncle billy from 81 . Way hup outta that , Galway need this one .

  77. Revellino you are correct about PJ. He was jumping around celebrating after beating a bog standard Armagh team like he had won seven all irelands in a row.

    Pebblesmeller you are 100% correct, Galway are the worst in the country for play acting, look at Kelly against Monaghan, even when they were 6 points up with a minute left. He was still rolling around faking injury. I went back and had a quick look at Galway v Armagh last year. At least 8 times in the second half of that game they went down feigning in the second half alone. Each time their medic team came out onto the pitch. All players were perfecting fine, not one of them actually went off injured.

    Is there anywhere were you can get the full drawn league game against them from back in January?

    Id love to go back and look at that game, they were time wasting the whole game that evening. It was disgracefully really…

  78. Tuamstar if PJ loses Sunday it will be 3 national final losses in 12 months, don’t forget about div 2 final.

  79. Don’t think there’ll be time to write Mayo obituaries after this game. It’s straight into the Rossies after.

    Even were we to lose both, that’s massive prep for the challenges ahead

  80. If Galway lose Sunday, no Biggie.
    If Mayo lose Sunday, no Biggie.
    If Mayo lose Sunday week to Roscommon, no Biggie.

    Both teams are in top 4 in country, system is designed to give the best teams the best chance of getting to last rounds. Barring a disaster both will be there near end game.

  81. Ticketmaster have been trying to flog the shite tickets all week with the result that tickets sales have been very sluggish. They have now put a message on the site that that there is low availability left for tickets, which is bullshit. Hang tight Mayo88 you have till Sunday morning to purchase and I fully expect decent tickets to go on general sale by Friday at the latest

  82. @The Maroon Rover, I really hope you’re right.. I find it really hard to believe that all central tickets are sold unless they are reserved for season ticket holders.. with Dublin in the early game that could eat up a huge amount. I’m inclined to just go with the rubbish tickets and move once the dubs leave to go to the pub!

  83. New pod is up on Patreon, this one is an interview by Mike with Ciaran Treacy, who scored the final goal for us in the League final of 2019.

  84. Kickhams man – pointless comment

    What would Mayo be without Roch and Buckley? See ye Sunday

  85. @Tuamstar hardly catastrophic if we do loose you to you guys on Sunday. Ye are expected to win on Sunday. If ye don’t that will be a major blow for you guys.

    We have pretty much new team and are rebuilding in a way to so if we put in a good performance on Sunday I will be happy hardly a disaster if we loose to ye we have a more important game coming up the following week against the Rossies !

    I still think our strongest 15 will be to much for Galway to handle mayo by 4 or 5 that’s if Galway guys don’t get ridiculous frees for feigning an injury and that carry on that they do so well . Every team does it but Galway do it more then most.

    Here’s to a good game Sunday and no injuries from either side hopefully!

  86. Certainly no fan of Galway but I do respect the fact that they are in the process of building a really serious team. The comment that a one man Kerry team beat them in AI Final last year. I presume that was the same one man Kerry team that didn’t need to raise a gallop to beat us in quarter final. Scenario has worked out perfectly for Galway. Last year they were a bit slack on the bench with no sub having the ability to make an impression. They have blooded lots of fellas during the league and have their top players returning. While they only beat us by a point in Connacht, they were certainly better than us. We hit the last 5 points that day. The league was perfect for them as they motored nicely under the radar. We were very good in league, playing the best football and winning lots of praise, but whether we want to believe it or not, our defence is suspect. Galway can go full tilt knowing they have a decent break til Connacht semi. We have to go full tilt to have any chance, but Ross are up a week later and contrary to what some posters say here it it is a crucial game for us. If we lose we will have to listen to all the experts crowing about Mayo losing another final. If we win it will give us a great psychological boost. If they win it will really put us on the back foot entering the championship. Maigh Eo abu

  87. Strangely for a league no one wanted to win, I think it will be a hammer + tongs job.. not a classic, a few black cards.. winner will get a turbo boast for rest of year.. the new Mayo style negates the 2022 Galway double-sweeper approach to us, so may come down to a few match ups.. our new angles in forwards might dizzy some heads.. Mayo to score 2 goals and concede none.. and win.. (please god :))

  88. – Paul Conroy is and has been a brillant footballer but there is no way in hell he will be flying around Croke Park for 70+ minutes. Ruane to mark him tight to let Diarmuid roam
    – Mc Hugh should be able for Tierney, who should pick up Heaney ?. I dont think Coen has the pace for him.
    – Comer was like Long John Silver the last day only short a stick. Still he can do.damage by bulldozing his way through, Mc Brien should be okay on him.
    – Carney should be a handful for Daly.
    – Aido.may get plenty of possession but unless he calls the mark I just dont see him getting the time nor space that he will need to lay off a good pass.
    – 50/50 game
    – As a season ticket holder I got a ticket in 307 on Monday evening but even then 305 and 306 were unavailable so not clear who were allocated those sections

  89. @pebblesmeller, not sure about the lucky aspect. They won Connacht last year and got Armagh as their reward when the other two draw options were Clare and cork? My ex college group with a few of themmuns were spitting fire over it. Did they not play every good team bar Dublin? We went into the qualifiers in 2016 and 2017 and were rewarded with nice draws every step of the way lest we forget. That was when things seemed to go our way, not the sick luck with injury we had from 2019 on

    The lack of good tickets is quite annoying. Two of our party have season tickets but they don’t have the bring a friend option anymore so they’re sitting alone and the rest had to take tickets for the corners. Hoping it won’t be an issue to move across once the dubs clear out

    The lack of a late train back also is annoying, it limits options to driving really

  90. I think we will see a different approach from McStay and Rochy to this game than some of our swashbuckling displays earlier in the league. I think it’s vital that we protect our young inexperienced full back line and goalie at all costs next Sunday. This will mean pulling Diarmuid, Jordan and Fionn back in front of our D to give that extra protection. We have seen Mayo drop all 14 back inside our half during the league especially after we score a goal. I expect to see this tactic used a lot more on Sunday. Its not going to be pretty but its all about Sunday week in Castlebar. Conserving energy by keeping things tight and to a certain extent keeping your powder dry is in my opinion the way to go. If Galway want to roll and lie down feigning injury again I would recommend sending out Sean Moffatt for a 2nd opinion, just incase! The slower more broken up the game the better. Hopefully it might be enough to sneak a 1 or 2 point win but either way it will be better than getting our holes opened in a classic 1 week before the Rossies in Castlebar.

  91. Jaypers lads, you woudnt want to believe everything you read on here, Galway Shawl, handy draws, handy all Ireland in 98, feigning injury. We must be doing something right. It wasn’t long ago, the comments were “can’t name one Galway player that would make our team”(I was in agreement btw), and “Aidan has never lost a game to Galway” I have it as a 50/50 game.

  92. Cannot see how Galway don’t win this one. They have a poor record in recent finals in Croke Park so you can be sure Joyce is treating this like a championship game. Kevin lives in Roscommon Town, and alot of rossie fans are rubbing their hands at the thought of beating him in McHale park. Kevin is fully aware of this, so I’ve no doubt all eyes have been on Roscommon since the final whistle of the Donegal match. Once we don’t get an injury I don’t care how much Galway win by.

    We still have players in bad need of game time so I hope our team selection includes these players. I agree with a blogger above, Joyce is under a bit of pressure, 4 years is a long time in gaelic football. The stars aligned for them last year and they came up short. If they don’t make the final this year, the pressure will be ramped up on Joyce and co.

  93. Their the Joyce Country Ceile Band, Playing away and their doing grand, taking it handy for the first few steps..Oh Holy Moly, hasn’t Carr gone and burst the Net..How are ya fixed for a seat back home!

  94. There will be an awful lot of richer people in Mayo on Monday morning. Considering plenty think Galway can’t possibly lose then Even money at the Bookies is easy money for ye all isn’t it?
    A few outlets reporting that Cillian isn’t completely ruled out and he appeared alongside Comer earlier in the pre match photoshoot so maybe he could yet play some part.
    I wonder how significant the extra weeks break could yet to turn out to be for plenty of our lads who didn’t tog last week?

  95. @Gizmobobs

    It wouldn’t take disaster for one if not both Galway and Mayo don’t reaching the last 4. Not winning the group will be Prem QF tie and then up against a rest Kerry,Dublin and Ulster champions in the QF.

    In other news on the Irish Indo. Cillian O’Connor ‘it’s going to be tight’ to win fitness battle for Mayo’s League final tilt with Galway

    “We have training this evening (Wednesday) and the lads will obviously then pick the squad and we’ll travel up at the weekend,” he said.

    “So I’m kind of in limbo at the moment, I don’t fully know. But obviously I’ll be trying to push as hard as I can.

    “It was just at the back of my knee below the hammer, I had a bit of a nick that just flared up a few weeks ago and I just couldn’t go flat out on it so I had to rehab that a little bit and just do modified training and pare it back a small bit,”

    “But I’ve gradually ramped it up again in the last fortnight. I’d love to play but I don’t know what way it will go yet.”

    “If I’m able I’ll definitely be putting my hand up. I won’t be holding anything back because you can’t really rest on your laurels in any big squad.

    “If you say ‘I’ll set this out and get ready for the next one,’ someone could have a stormer and then all of a sudden it can be a hard team to get into.

    “So in any competitive group if you’re right and you feel there’s no risk of recurrence, you’re going to go for it.

    “You know that said, it’s the physio who ultimately will make the call, deems that it’s a high risk of whatever then he will just pull it. I will try my best but I won’t get a word in.”

  96. And if they don’t win the League final, I think Martin Scorsese, I mean Padraic Joyce will be under some serious pressure.

    After directing 15 + actors to run down the clock (something akin to see what you might see in a Bond movie), to the last second, some might feel he was robbed of the academy award.

    Galway did scoop the best make up award for been covered head to toe in (not blood), and then were very unlucky not to scoop several other awards for their method acting. I think they were robbed. Its not every actor that’s willing to make a complete gobshite of themselves by rolling around on the stage.

    Galway don’t get the credit, no not half the credit they deserve.

    Them lads spend every Tuesday and Thursday evening rolling around on the Lough George grass under the watchful eye of Scorsese. It takes some of them up to 7 minutes of (what we in the business call), shiteology, before they realise that they feel fine.

    Shiteology of the highest standards, and why wouldn’t it be after having been coached by the greatest shiteologist of them all. Martin, I mean, You know who.

  97. Looking forward to a titanic battle Sunday local rivalry there will be plenty of bite it’s realistically a 50\50 game thinking otherwise is daft neither team is any way ahead of the other,some people keep believing the last game of the league for each team is the bench mark on how each team is going to show up on Sunday it’s simply not ,each game takes on a life of its own both teams have performed well both teams have not fully fit players and both teams gave players that are in great form both teams will be happy how their league campaigns went, even though a medal is a medal a win or a loss won’t define either teams season

  98. Mind the House.
    I’d take the photo you mentioned as a sign that Cillian won’t be involved on Sunday. We’ve seen it before, where we sent a panel player to do this kind of thing before a big game. Don’t know if Galway are taking the same approach with Comer.

  99. I will be interested to see who are the 11 on the bench on Sunday. I would definitely say that Mayo’s bench could play a big part in the result on Sunday.

  100. Why risk young Callinan and Tuohy on Sunday? play OHara and COC instead. Some years ago I remember Mayo coming to Cork and beating the Cork B team. A week or two later , Cork easily beat us in the final. You should put your best and most experienced team out in any final. I believe our B team would have the measure of the Rosie’s on Sunday week!

  101. O’Hora looked well off the pace last weekend, so I think Callinan has to start unless Enda Hession is available. Don’t think Tuohy will start.

    Cillian has been injured so definitely won’t start.

  102. 108 comments and counting on WJ’s piece on Galway. Tells a story. We’re worried, very worried, and rightly so I believe.

    They’re getting stronger with every passing day. Sunday is a big match for both sides.

    Looking at McStay’s body language after the Monaghan loss signals to me he was very disappointed by our performance and the result. Interesting to see if there’s a response on Sunday.

    The honeymoon period is well and truly over. Time now for the real stuff.

  103. A near full strength team only beat the rossies by 2 points a couple of week ago which included a Diarmuid O’Connor block away from them winning in injury time. They finished 3rd in Div 1 for a reason @michaelincork and half of B team didn’t have measure of Monaghan last Sunday so that’s a strange belief you have.

  104. This is a very decent Galway team but not unbeatable. Ultimately they reached the AI final last year and ran Kerry close so that must be respected.
    They have not blown teams away this year like we have, are we that good or were the opposition poor on the day? Galway have demonstrated that they can win tight matches, something that we have struggled with in recent matches.
    I do think that Galway have had some breaks in some games but there is a consistency in their performance. We will need to have a strong performance to win and need leaders to step up coming down the straight. This leadership is something that we lacked towards the end of Armagh and Monaghan games, do we have sufficient leaders on the field of play? This is something that we will learn on Sunday.

  105. @Liberal role in the tie alot of comments yes haha and quite a few seem worried and down beat on this match.

    I honestly don’t know why yes Galway have a great team but so do mayo we got the draw against them in league and it was our first proper game . Yes they were missing Shane walsh but he’s only one guy not superman. He was playing against us last year in connaught and we only lost by a point.

    Don’t get all the doom &gloom after the monaghan game it was an experimental side sure 10 changes and Robbie hennelly first game back thought he did OK but rusty enough kicked some balls out wide. Colm reape number 1 for me .

    We have plenty to be positive about we are in a much better place then last year ! Competition for places in the squad is huge Atm and that’s great as it makes everyone want to play better.

    If we do loose Sunday I wouldn’t be worried. Much bigger game against the Rossies which mcstay will def want to win. Yes we will get the usual slagging over another final loss if we do loose but sure what’s knew on that front don’t really care what other counties think anymore haha these guys have given us great days out more then a lot of other counties have done .

    Anyway I am still going mayo by 4 here’s to a good game always is against the old free Galway haha!

  106. Hope so Clare. The Rassies will be laughing now, with all of Mayo talking about Galway. We could be ambushed in two weeks time.

  107. It has the makings of a cracker. On paper there’s very little in it. Boyler could be right, a penalty shootout which is a lottery.
    When it comes to match ups, all the other guys mentioned can do some damage but Walsh and Comer are the 2 to have a serious plan for. Against the rest, we can handle 1 or 2 having a great game but those 2 and Finnerty do the most damage. I think it’s straightforward, Durcan for Walsh and McBrien for Comer. Marking those 2 requires both pace and physically and those 2 have it.
    I think Callinan starts and maybe Coyne as well with O Hora as a sub for any position in the back 6. Heaney is good but doesn’t do damage in every game. Tierney does seem to have improved but we’ll see. The intensity the next day should be a notch above the other league games and time on the ball will be less. Tuohy or Fionn is 50 50. I think Tuohy is a future star for Mayo. Kerry dropped Crowley a top forward on form when Gooch came on the scene so maybe we should do the same and back Tuohy.

  108. I don’t think there’s much “doom and gloom” ATM

    You get a nice feel for how people are feeling from here but you also see how different people process differently.

    The thing about the Monaghan game is that a lot of us didn’t see it, and that leaves a good amount of uncertainty out there.

    It does take a few days to process a result properly and the emotion to dissipate, Wednesday is probably the day that happens.

    Seems the predominant feeling at the moment is nervous uncertainty about Sunday.

    There’s a lot of reasons to be confident for both sides, but I think the vast majority of people realize that if this was played 5 times, it’s very unlikely that either team would win all 5.

    What’s very noticeable is the lack of a “hype train”, there’s no “this is our year” etc talk (yet)

    There’s a few things that I don’t think people outside of Mayo realize about us. Firstly, all those All Ireland defeats, have each in their own way, been different, and secondly, that we actually do learn from them as supporters.

    In other words it’s easy from the outside to be dismissive and say things like “when will Mayo fans learn” but in reality, each time has a different lesson, and we do learn and grow through each experience

  109. Deel River, they’re always at it. Tuesday only Cusack on the end line. Got them at 11 yesterday 328 Lower Hogan and now you say you can get them in the centre. I suspected this but afraid to take a chance. Cowboys Ted.

  110. Yeah Big Mike hope anyone from Mayo could think there is such a thing as a handy All-Ireland is the one that gets me but the defeats have eaten away at some people bit like the hurling for us but we got over the line in 17 but 1 All-Ireland in what 35 years. There is absolutely no such thing as a handy All-Ireland.

  111. Galway beat a team in the 98 final who hadn’t contested a final since the 1930s and I don’t believe they have been in one since . Yeah , it was a handy all Ireland but yeah I’d love a handy one .

  112. @Sean Burke That Kildare team beat Kerry,Meath,Dublin on route to the AI final who was the 1995,1996 and 1997 All Ireland champions.

  113. Sean you will recall Kildare were the favourites to win in 1998 so Galway were actually underdogs on the day.

  114. True on both counts guys but doesnt hinder my view in the context of all ireland winning pedigree re kildare 98

  115. @Frost the hammer you made some very good points!

    The final losses have definitely thought us a lot and especially the 21 did anyway.

    There’s been no hype not in my circles anyway more from my Galway mates but sure haha

    Yes true a lot did not see the game I was lucky to be at it.

    I thought we played Ok against monaghan but the 10 changes they definitely looked nervous I think they were thinking I better show up here today and impress mcstay &co to book my spot on the team huge competition for places in the squad a way it’s good.

    That’s the feeling I got off them anyway when I was watching as they made silly mistakes sometimes and hennelly was off pace and kicked the ball wide from shoot outs but sure first game back but great to see him back but as I said reape number 1 for me.

    Hopefully a good game either way but I do think the Rossies game mcstay is eyeing up.

  116. Move on guys,
    Galway won the 98 final when the game was there for the taking in 2nd half.
    Galway won easily in 2001 final, destroyed Meath in 2nd half, I was in the Hill to witness it myself.
    They were able to get the scores when the opportunity presented itself.

    I am not sure as to the layout for the All Ireland this year but we could be seeing the preview of the final this coming weekend.

    History had a habit of repeating itself.

  117. @mayo88 it could well be a mayo v Galway final this year for Sam alright what a sight that would be haha

  118. Kildare 1998 was managed by Mick O’Dwyer you don’t get much better Ireland winning pedigree than that.

  119. Carping about 1998 is a bit churlish in my opinion, they did something we didn’t do in a long time, fair play to them.

    That said, we have won a national final a lot more recently than them, so the pressure should be more on Galway. They don’t want to lose several in a row, as we know well.

    A lot will come down to how we manage their forwards, if we can limit their return from play then we have a chance.

  120. Any senior all ireland is hard won.
    Michael Donnellans medal from 98 looks the same as his father’s, uncles and his grandfather’s.
    Great players who won the ultimate prize, same as the Mayo men of the 50’s. To be respected, end of story.

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