Mayo 1-11 Galway 2-8: Ryan rescues precious point

A draw can feel like a loss or it can feel like a win. When Ryan O’Donoghue launched a screamer into the night sky at the Galway posts deep in stoppage time tonight, the enormous roar that went around MacHale Park showed what the home fans felt about the result the Belmullet man had pulled from the fire for us.

This was a match we should really have won, having largely dominated the play after the break. Equally, though, it’s a game we could have lost, that careless concession of Galway’s second goal putting them in the driving seat against the run of play and then Kevin McLoughlin’s clumsy foul early in injury time giving Comer the easiest of conversions fourteen yards out to nudge them back in front. I guess the only conclusion was that the draw was the fairest result.

We made two changes before throw-in. Donnacha McHugh and Fionn McDonagh didn’t start and they were replaced by David McBrien and Bob Tuohy, the latter joining Colm Reape and Jack Coyne in making his League debut tonight.

There was a real air of anticipation around MacHale Park under the lights tonight. A huge crowd of 13,654 came through the gates for this encounter and what they saw was a cagey enough contest, in which fortunes shifted back and over for much of the evening.

Galway drew first blood, with Ryan cancelling McDaid’s opener with the first of what would end up as a seven-point haul. Comer then put them in front before we landed the first significant blow of the night.

It came courtesy of James Carr, whose thunderous shot to the net had echoes of a similar score against the same opposition in the qualifiers in Limerick back in 2019.

Almost immediately, Galway responded with a goal of their own. Johnny Heaney launched a long ball in where Matthew Tierney outmuscled Aiden Orme to flick it past Colm Reape to the net. Paul Kelly added a point from the restart.

Ryan steadied us with one from play and then Rob Finnerty, after Galway had held possession for a few minutes, put them two up again. That was his last contribution, as he was carried from the field soon after.

Jordan Flynn, making space in a crowded sector thirty yards out, shot over a nice score. That, though, was our final point of the half, in a period where, despite the fact that Galway had Eoghan Kelly in the sin-bin, we weren’t able to make use of our numerical advantage.

The half finished in frustrating fashion for us. James Carr (twice) and Ryan had shots that fell short, Aiden Orme put a free from the sideline wide and then Matthew Ruane thrashed a wild shot wide from a good position. Galway deserved the two-point lead they took into the break.

We were brighter on the resumption. Mattie clipped over a nice score, after a wonderful feed from Bob Tuohy (who enjoyed a hugely positive debut), Ryan popped over a free and then Diarmuid landed one from distance, the ball dropping sharply to land on top of the net.

We were now one to the good and appeared to be gaining the upper hand in this contest. Then Galway’s full-back Seán Kelly waltzed through our backline, a neat give and go putting him clear in on goal and he made no mistake.

Paul Conroy, in the thick of the action despite his father having passed away the other day, landed one from distance. He does like to score against us and a great score it was.

Galway had their tails up now. We brought on Aidan O’Shea and Eoghan McLaughlin, though, and slowly the tide began to shift in our favour.

Another Ryan free cut the gap to two. Bob Tuohy then notched a fine score off his left but when Mattie got black carded for something that had the Galway sideline extremely agitated about – Joyce and his colleagues on the sideline did a great job in the performative outrage department throughout – that looked like a hammer blow for us.

But the visitors failed to press home their advantage on the scoreboard. Then McDaid rugby tackled Aidan to the ground and he was in the sin-bin too.

Another foul on Aidan, on the 14-yard line while the ball was out the middle, gave Ryan the easiest of chances to level it up. He made no mistake. Just then Cillian O’Connor trotted on to join the fray.

As Mattie came back on, Galway were awarded a free over fifty yards out. Peter Cooke, who’d replaced Rob Finnerty in the first half, drove it over off the ground to edge them back in front.

The atmosphere was now bordering on febrile, with supporters on both sides sensing this was a game that could go either way. When we shot two poor wides, Eoghan and Ryan the culprits, it looked like we’d come up short.

Then Cillian landed one from out the left wing, an almighty roar greeting that levelling score.

We’d all have taken a draw then. The game was now in what would eventually run to six minutes of stoppage time, but there were still two twists to come.

When Kevin McLoughlin conceded the foul that led to Comer’s tap-over free, that really did look like it for us. But then in the dying seconds, Ryan’s outrageous strike from out on the left hauled us level and snatched for us a wholly deserved draw.

It would have been enormously frustrating, not just for Kevin McStay and his management team but for the players and supporters too, had we failed to get anything from this one. We were on top for long stretches but absent Ryan’s late, late strike, the post-match narrative would have been all about the chances we’d failed to take and how we’d let the match slip from our grasp.

The fact that we snatched something tangible from the game, with a far less experienced selection compared to the team they togged with, makes this feel instead like a positive opening to this year’s League campaign for us. Yes, this draw did feel in large part like a win. We’re off and running once again.

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Enda Hession; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, David McBrien; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor; Bob Tuohy (0-1), Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn (0-1); Aiden Orme, James Carr (1-0), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-6, four frees). Subs: Aidan O’Shea for Orme, Eoghan McLaughlin for Diarmuid O’Connor, Cillian O’Connor (0-1) for Carr, Kevin McLoughlin for Carney, Paul Towey for Tuohy.

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Who was our MOTM against Galway? Pick your top three performers

  • Ryan O'Donoghue (29%, 877 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (16%, 484 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (14%, 438 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (7%, 227 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (7%, 209 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (6%, 181 Votes)
  • David McBrien (5%, 155 Votes)
  • James Carr (5%, 145 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (2%, 70 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (2%, 53 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 40 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 37 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Aiden Orme (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (0%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,626

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111 thoughts on “Mayo 1-11 Galway 2-8: Ryan rescues precious point

  1. In reality it’s much the same as previously with Mayo..decent round the pitch but lacking something up front. Conroy and ROD apart we need someone else up front..there’s still lots of sideways and static movement when attacking.

    Coyne and Tuohy look like additions but I’m running out of patience with Orme…what does he do?

  2. Snatched the draw in the end. I thought Galway were slightly the better team. Could not throw off that Galway shawl. Early days for the young guns. Could have done with O’Shea and Cillian in earlier. I’m not super confident in our attack, we looked light and ponderous at times. No defensive master plan yet. Not a bad start for a young and inexperienced team. The sooner Tommy returns the better. We have to build a strong forward unit around Carr. I can see us struggling through the next few rounds of the league and coming into our own towards the home stretch. The pitch looks like it could do with some TLC, will be tested over the next few weeks. What was with all the pitch invaders?

  3. Orme is obviously been used for his huge workrate Spotlight. You wont see the Kerry corner forwards been asked to track back into their own box. Apart from one shot that dropped short, I thought he worked very well in terms of what he was being asked to do. What is Carney’s role?

  4. The West is Best- I feel Orme lacks composure in front of goal – there are plenty of players that can play that role…however we badly need another inside forward and Orme is not really a score taker in my view.

    Carney has aerial ability around the middle third.

    When all is said and done our season will be defined by how good we are in attack and there’s plenty to work on there! Same as ever I suppose with Mayo.

  5. Bob Tuohy was very good for Mayo, direct running at opposition defenders. Good to see Peter Cooke back for Galway, looked a bit rusty but will be one of our better players I would hope this year.
    Ryan O’Donoghue, have to give it to the man, missed a few but showed serious metal to nail that one. Finnerty was a loss, wish him a speedy recovery.

  6. I wouldn’t be so sure about no injuries Liberal. Diarmuid was deep in conversation with the physio after he was subbed.

    I wonder could we push for the CCCC to look at the fact Galway had 17 on the pitch for most of the game. 15 players along with PJ and the selector who was man marking the linesman the whole game

    I’m joking of course …….

  7. Delighted with tonight’s game.

    Make no mistake.

    Galway came to Castlebar and fully expected to go home with all the points. They had all the available AI team on the pitch. A very settled side for them with a well rehearsed style of play.

    People keep mentioning that we are further down the road in our preparation.

    The modern day player keeps their fitness up to peak levels in the off season and are flying as soon as they get back to team training. This baloney that we are miles ahead of Galway in our prep is not the case.

    We have a very new group of players who are barely acquainted at this stage.

    Our lads showed great spirit to come back on a couple of occasions from 2 points down.

    We have the kick in to the goalies hands to sort out and we must protect the goal a bit better, but tonight was a very positive start overall.

  8. Great atmosphere at that game, something electric about Saturday night games. I think Galway will have more doubts than us going forward, they put out the best team available and came up short. They’re used to their system and a lot more settled bit couldn’t see it out. When you think Paddy, Robbie, Padraig, Tommy and even Plunkett weren’t togged, we have far more scope for improvement.

    Galway fans know deep down they made the best of a once in a life time draw last year. I highly doubt they’ll ever get the chance to play such in experienced teams in a quarter and semi final again. I think they had their chance, and are only a Shane Walsh injury/year out from falling back further into the chasing pack.

    I was very impressed with McBrien and Tuohy. Its no easy task marking the beast that is Comer. Hate being negative towards players, but I cannot see what Aidan Orme adds to the team. He’s had plenty of chances, but fails to make an impression. I presume he does it in training, but just looks nervous all the time. Great to see Kevin and Cillian come on, the former looking sharp. Only fear is the last time we drew our opening game we got relegated, hopefully no repeat this year.

  9. Would gladly have taken the draw before the game started .Galway looked far stronger on happy out with the new lads / attitude/ work rate ..
    Agree with @Spotlight…. as was opposite it… Kevin Mc didn’t foul ( ” clumsy foul”) as Galway buck just slipped and meal of going to ground ..
    Bit harsh in Kevin considering all the mistakes that were made by both teams during the match

  10. Fair play to a young inexperienced back line, well done. Enda H very energetic, Toughy looks promising.
    Hoping DOC not injured, could have done with Cillian earlier.
    Flynn & Mattie some pair, Ciaran Whelan big admirer of Mattie, says he is just behind Fenton!

    Go Leroy, you did great! We miss you though.

  11. I really like the look of Bob Tuohy. He is a bit light for this year most likely but he has the physique to get stronger. He is exactly what we need in a centre forward . Someone who can kick a pass forward accurately !!!

  12. Eh, how good was Bob Touhy? Most people on the blog didn’t know who he was last year. Scored, carried ball, had at least two assists. Glides around the pitch, and we know he’s a good fielder. At 19, he’s a way bigger prospect than Carney.

    Orme is a good worker and picks up some good positions but I’ve seen enough now. Towey in for the Armagh game please.

    Ruane had a great 2nd half but he had a terrible first half. Needs consistency but well done to him for turning it around.

    Hennelly still the best keeper in the county. And we are very lucky to have Ryan. He’s a marquee forward and would start for every other county.

  13. The kids down at the end of the goal has been a problem for a few years now. Announcing that no one should enter the pitch on the tannoy is pointless as they won’t taken heed. How hard could it be to line up some stewards to act as a deterrent. Thought it was farcical how they went onto the pitch towards the end at a key moment. Needs to be dealt with or it will only get worse.

  14. We are now in full blanket mode but it has a few holes in it at present. Big example being their second goal. We are still lacking up front and need to show a bit more composure when a scoring opportunity is there to be taken. I agree changes should have been made earlier in the second half and bringing a player on with a minute to go is ridiculous.

    Overall very pleased with the draw especially as it was the last kick of the game. ROD will only improve as the league progresses and hopefully he will soon have Conroy in to help share the load. Onward to Armagh!

  15. Very enjoyble game for January. A great comeback and some strong performances from a lot of players especially the newer guys who came in. I felt we were lucky to get a point at the end and I think PJ will be disgusted that they left that one behind them. The main concern I’d have is the poor concession of goals that we gave away. A high ball into the box and the FB coming all the way up with the defence wide open and no one getting to him. A bit worrying that and hopefully it will be addressed. But it was the first major game of McStays tenure and he was obviously delighted to get off to a positive start. Congrats to him and the team for the way they dug it out.

  16. Now that the dust has settled and on reflection i am happy with that result from a mayo perspective.

    Id expect Robbie Hennelly, POH, Paddy Durcan and Tommy Conroy to come into the starting team when back. Im not sure Galway have that calibre of Player to come back outside of Shane Walsh.

    If a fully loaded Mayo team who were all Ireland finalists the previous year had given up a draw against a experimental Galway team with the last kick of the game i would be annoyed tonight and i got the feeling P Joyce was after the game with his comments on the rob finnerty challenge saying it was a “Late tackle on him as he was kicking a score.”

    Sorry but there was no late tackle there.

  17. @km79, there was one Galway backroom member with a cap on him who was particularly irate for most of the game it seemed.
    After they got turned over in front of the stand at one point he was roaring and jumping at the linesman. he got a finger wagging and other backroom members had to calm him down.
    Galway wanted to lay down a marker big time, delighted we got the draw – but some obvious weaknesses in the team we played.
    that’s not a criticism though, we need to give the players their chances now so they can be judged in a real high intensity game

  18. @Revellino, Galway didn’t have all the AI final team available. 3 of the 6 defenders tonight were making their debut. Eoghan Kelly, Neil Mulcahy and Daniel O’Flaherty hadn’t played for Galway before

  19. Considering the concerns of plenty on here before the game that Galway would run riot I thought we did OK defensively tonight. The first goal was avoidable. Similar to McShanes in 2021 our goalkeeper simply has to clean out man and ball. More aggression needed. Second half we restricted them to 1-03 which was a good effort.
    I pray we can get Ryan,Tommy and Cillian on the pitch at the same time and anywhere near full fitness. They would take some minding.
    I thought Ryan and Jordan were the pick tonight and the back 3 can be satisfied with their nights work.
    Plenty to ponder, much to improve on and big players to come back.
    The glass remains half full.

  20. Seanie CH – Patrick Kelly, Molloy, Walsh, Silke, Ian Burke, a fit Finnerty and Tomo Culhane are a better calibre of player collectively than you have mentioned imo.

    Can’t read into much this time of year, enjoyable game and great atmosphere

  21. @Seanie CH

    Walsh is probably a top 5 player in Ireland, Silke is an all star, Molloy could’ve been an All star and Burke is a former all star. It’s hardly a mad statement to compare them with some former all stars of ours?

  22. Molloy is out for the season, Silke has opted out for the season sure throw in Keegan, Harrison and Mullin onto my list so.

  23. Sean – facts are facts. I’d no.2 forward in Ireland Shane Walsh over TC for a start. All star Silke over O’Hora is a no brainier. Rob Hennelly I’ll give you that, Paddy Durcan I’d take or leave.

  24. Sorry John don’t want to get in a back and forth over who is better than who.

    I’m talking about who’s available to both squads this year and Silke won’t be for Galway so don’t see why you’re using him as a case. Galway don’t have the same calibe of back’s to come into their squad as Mayo do. Walsh fair enough and ian burke has it all to prove but might get a starting spot now if finnerty is out long term.

    Best of luck the rest of the league im sure we will go toe to toe again over the year.

  25. We can’t be certain about Tommy coming back to previous glories until we see him. He did do an ACL after all. It’ll be similar for Joyce with Molloy, he said he’s aiming to be back for May. They do have Mulkerrin also who got injured the same time as TC (was it the same sigerson game?)

    Is Hennelly the unquestioned favorite to start over Byrne? Not certain. Durcan is top class and tonight is evidence that we need drive from half back and he should play there, he’ll be a huge addition hopefully

  26. Sean agreed on back and forth, but your overall statement on better calibre of players to return is incorrect in my opinion. We shall leave it there

    For what it’s what it’s worth, I thought Jordan Flynn and Touhy were outstanding for Mayo tonight. They will be big players in 23’.

  27. Hope Rob isnt badly injured it would be a pity for him. Silke and Molloy are huge losses no doubt PJ has to play it down. Mulkerrins fingers crossed. Shane Walsh is marquee so him back at 100% adds hugely to Galway. I was concerned to see McDaid playing with the strapping and he went down at one stage. Mayos kicking to keepers hands is shocking and looking at that Im happy with a point. Its too early to really form any conclusions but im sure both camps will be glad to have a point to build on. I thought ref gave some very soft frees to both sides im not gone on him at all.

  28. The Galway people complaining ab6 the ref in the pub tonight as were the Mayo people on the blog.
    I thought he was fair and had a good game
    He made less mistakes then some of our players
    Something will have to be done with the 10 minute blackboard rule
    Ref could easily have blown up before we got the equaliser
    Give refs a break.

  29. I’m delighted with our 4 debutants this evening, what a game to start their inter County career, and fantastic to see Cooke back, that free off the ground amid the thousands booing and whistling, a real pressure kick.
    As Man of the match Sean Kelly said afterwards, 8 of them missed pre season so a long way behind but tonight will bring them on..

  30. Good man Tuamstar, ye started 11 of the all ireland final team and nearly beat an experimental Mayo team!

  31. I think Mayo will be happier. Galway struggled hugely in the 2nd half and Kelly’s goal while well taken was against the run of play and had Cillian started instead of Orme you’d have to think Mayo would have won by a couple of points.

    Conroy was very quiet bar the good score he kicked. McDaid scored a beauty but turned over a lot of ball as well. I actually thought Cooke was so quiet when came on, obviously kicked a great free. To be honest, it all sums up what we already know. Galway have more natural scorers and Mayo are crying out for natural scorers. On the flip side, Galway would love to have Mayo’s pace and athletic ability around the middle third. Durcan and Eoghan Mc didn’t even start/play. Molloy is decent but he’s no Durcan. Galway would would also love to have Hennelly. What we would give for Rob Finnerty though!

  32. GBXI would you have finnerty above Rod, cillian or conroy? I think he’s lucky to be starting for Galway tbh

  33. I think Orme and Jack Carney may struggle to hold their places next weekend. They didn’t do enough for me. Same with his club, Orme gets on lots of ball, he’s great when on the ball and great at gaining a yard, but he misses too much. I don’t know what it is with him. When he shoots I’m always expecting him to miss.

    Carney looked lost at times today. Simple as.

    I’d be giving a jersey to Towey and Conor McStay for the Armagh match.

    Reape also. He’ll be lucky to hold his place. He should have done better for the goal, and also dropped an easy ball in the FBD against Galway if I recall correctly.

    Players shouldn’t get too many chances at this level. There’s lots of competition.

    But overall, a decent days work today. A good point gained. Up Mayo.

  34. @tuamstar, is that a joke about Kelly being man of the match? Ryan got 3 from play off him! And Comer was so much more important to Galway. Mayo couldn’t handle him.

  35. Tubberman – only a fool would read anything into tonight, regardless of who was or wasn’t starting each side.

    The real football will be played in July.

  36. @tuberman, I’d have him ahead of Cillian. With Cillian to come off the bench. Obviously I’d pick Shane Walsh first but was just referring to players who played today!

  37. Thought the work rate and tackling of the forwards were actually better than the backs . Also I though at 6 Loftus should have provided some support for comers high fielding . Comer was allowed to much space in front of him and even when he didn’t field cleanly he had time to gather it in front of him . Just too much space given up allowing him to control space behind and in front of him meaning the full back had no chance .
    Forward play despite its appearance showed some sign of development in that they are working on tight space around the 21 but the lateral play and shot selection was again below par .
    Cillian’s introduction seemed to give space for others just by his introduction alone . Ryan and Mathew man of the match . Diarmud did look like he was carrying something . If we had Tommy right and either Mcdonagh with Cillian and Ryan we would have been more formidable . Not to mention not having paddy , padraig, Robert , etc missing

  38. GBX1 Rte interveviwed him after and announced him as man of the match.
    That goal he got was a super finish, all the way up from full back..

  39. Bizarre that people think this was a good game for Mayo. Our tackling was great, but that aside, we had no gameplan. No full forward. No cohesive forward play.

  40. @tuamstar it was a lovely finish but he did little else. Could have given James Carr the award on that logic. Very surprising choice for the award.

  41. The second Galway goal was horrific defending. McDaid went on a fairly innocuous looking solo run and appeared to be going nowhere with a literal wall of Mayo players in front of him. He was able to lob a simple handpass into an area between our 14 and 21 yard line with no players from us present and take about 5 Mayo men out of play. .
    This is a team defence responsibility. There is no way a goal like that should be given up so cheaply. Coaching is what will prevent goals like this being conceded. It had nothing to do with the ability of our individual defenders and everything to do with the defensive unit as a whole.

  42. @tubberman, his pace to get space for a shot, which I think Cillian has lost. I’d fancy him to have the legs to track a corner back if needed too. It was hard watching one of our greats against the Kerry corner back last summer.

  43. Finnerty (who should probably be playing for Mayo I might add!), was probably the most inform player in the country coming into today. I think it’s 4-4 from play in his last two sigerson games, and a host in the FBD also. You’d take 2020 Cillian over him defo. Finnerty had a very good championship last year though. He was the bookies favorite for man of the match before today’s game strangely enough, ahead of ROD Comer etc

  44. Regarding James Carr, the goal shouldn’t give him a free pass. Apart from that (despite its brilliance) he had a really, really poor game. Seemed like he completely tuned out. Not good enough.

  45. Stephenite, Finnerty has lived in Galway all his life as far as I know, he’s a Galway man sadly.
    But he’s easily injured, easily put off his game, I wouldn’t worry about facing him at all tbh

  46. Scoring an outrageous goal once every 4 years won’t cut it. Look at Clifford, it’s all about consistency, not just year on year but also within the match itself. The bar is high, and so it should be. We are a top team. Carr I feel has the talent, so I’m not quite sure why he drifts out of the match for such long periods of time.

  47. Yeah Carr is too inconsistent I’m afraid. Will have flashes of brilliance and then just nothing. Not gonna cut it at this level.

  48. Also, I think Carr struggles when he doesn’t have space, something he’ll have far less of come high summer.

  49. I think the bottom line is that whichever players are still to return and never mind who is fitter than who at the moment there is very little to choose between the teams.
    Salthill 2020 a point between the teams
    2022 Castlebar a point between the teams
    Tonight level scores
    Croke Park 2021 being the exception but at half time in that game we were in serious bother.

    A draw was a fair result I felt.

  50. Some good comments on here so far. I thought Cillian looked very sharp when he came on actually, he’s such a smart player. He’s not finished by any means. Still only 30, he’s got a lot to offer yet. I think we will need to start him pretty soon though in games as we can’t afford to leave him on the beach like that in a serious match. Himself and ROD are the only two forwards that we had out tonight that you can really 100% rely on in championship.
    Carr I feel doesn’t get his head up enough when he has the ball. He seems to be so focused on controlling the ball when he’s in possession that his peripheral vision is not quite what is needed, contrast that with Cillian and that lovely handpass he played to Eoghan McL I think it was, to create a opening deep in their defence. It doesn’t mean Carr is not going to be of value however. The management team need to find a forward unit that plays to the strengths of the lads with various limitations.
    I was rather disappointed by Jack Carney tonight. He looked very heavy footed at times. There was one instance in the second half that a Galway player in possession glided by him with easy and he looked very slow. What are his best attributes exactly? He will need to be more than a good fielder of the ball to make it long term at this level. I’d agree with someone earlier here how said Tuohy looks a better prospect already in the long term. Hard to understate just where Tuohy has come from in the last few months. He was a Mitchell’s B player last September at club level when the championship started.
    An an aside – is Sean Morahan of Mitchell’s in with this panel at all does anyone know? He can’t be too far away from breaking though either. Maybe a year early still for him.

  51. Finnerty is a fantastic player, if he was a mayo man and was putting in these performances in the fbd and sigerson (as well as club champ last year which he nearly won with an underdog side as their main man) we wouldn’t hear the end of it on this… mayo management would give their right hand to have him.
    Seems to be a weird reluctance from some on this to give credit where it’s due to rival players.. that said I’d say the last time many here actually last saw him was the AI final. Just look at some of the stuff written about Shane Walsh last year 😀

    For Galway fans I would however be a bit concerned with Conroy’s form, they really haven’t seen the best of him since the league last year .

    Anyhow, watched it back and like with any draw you’ll take it when going behind late in injury time, but some of the misses throughout really were criminal and two very silly goals conceded. When mayo went the point up and with huge momentum I really I thought it was there to push on and win, but then allowed mcdaid oceans of room to cut through to set up the goal.. that said I thought mayo defended spectacularly well as a group outside of that

    In a competition of 7 games, getting a point in the first one is never to be sniffed at by any team, and these games will be long forgotten in April . Very big test now next Sunday, Armagh will be more advanced than Galway and have good incentive in this competition

  52. We probably had enough chances to win but in the end my motm Ryan got us out of jail so a draw was acceptable. Along with others I was delighted with Touhy and Coyne was very good too. Too much made beforehand of Galway’s lack of preparation because they didn’t look too unfit to me. Hope the Galway lads in particular Sean Kelly who picked up major looking injuries in the first half all recover fully. Coincidence that they all happened when their teammate was in the sin bin, but all jokes aside there needs to be an independent timekeeper for sin bin offences. Every team including Mayo will get up to the same antics when it suits and it’s time it was dealt with.

  53. Some very different views in evidence here. No doubt Galway had a strong team out and they will be delighted with the performance of their newcomers. But they will be raging with the concession of the last point. Mayo players worked incredibly hard. They are a new team but showed lots of character to come back on a number of occasions. Some of them did not play that well but talk of disgarding them based on one match is nonsense. Likewise grumbling about us having no game plan etc is equally ridiculous. It takes years to develop a definitive type of game. Players have to buy in and huge amount of coaching is required to fine tune it. Overall a draw was a fair resul Players on both sides made errors but its only January and the effort from all players on view was outstanding.

  54. First day out so a bit early to draw too many conclusions. Looked like a cracking occasion, apart from the weather. Great to see the excitement. Excellent effort from both teams and a really committed performance from our lads, which seems an early vote of confidence in the new set-up. McStay comment about nerves beforehand was interesting but not too many on show on the field.

    Likely to be a different line up next Sunday for a big test in Armagh. A win there and we’d be looking good for another year in Division 1 with Monaghan, Donegal and Roscommon all still to come.

    McBrien, Coyne, Hession in the second half and Tuohy did well for me. We were solid around the middle also against the likes of Conroy, Tierney, McDaid and Heaney.
    Balls dropping short to the goalie again and two soft enough goals the main negatives.

    Great score from Cillian when things were in the melting pot.

  55. Peter Canavan put it well at half time saying Mayo have no kick passers in the back 9 like John Daly and Paul Conroy, and no target man in the Full Forward line, James Carr doesnt seem to stay in the square and plays too off the cuff to be a targetman full forward , Aidan O’Shea as soon as he went in at Full Forward last night he wanted to come out and roam as Ciaran Whelan said after the game. He does not look comfortable with his back to goal, anyone can see that except Kevin ,Cillian looks the only option in panel to play 14 now but not a target man either.Conor Diskin of Claremorris is the best target man Full forward we have in the County but new management have not called him in.Also the idea of Loftus at 6 isnt working.Micheal Plunkett and Eoin O’Donoghue would be a better options as half backs that can kick the ball.Dissapointing night thought Rochford and McStay would have much better ideas than we seen last night.Dont seem to have a deep knowledge of players in the club scene in the County.

  56. Achill75, Eoin O’Donoghue is in Australia, so you can hardly criticise management for not playing him.
    I’d agree there is plenty of work to do, especially to get a good balance in forward line, but I think a draw was a decent result.
    McStay seemed a bit giddy in post-
    match interview. Big night for him obviously, but I hope that isn’t the height of his ambitions.

  57. – Most noticeable difference in style is way more kick passing which is good even if 50% of it is across the pitch.
    – The tackling was tough on both sides and of championship intensity with Jordan Flynn in particular getting close attention.
    – The second goal was so annoying because of its simplicity and timing. We had just gone ahead and were really digging in and then let in that goal.
    – Four shots into Gleesons hands in the first half alone is something immediate to work on.
    – Coyne and Tuohy from the newbies did well with Mc Brien steady. I thought Hession got through a power of ball and Flynn made an big impact with Ryan delivering in the end.
    – Our swarm defence was one sided with the Galway No. 17 left unmarked near our goal on a number of occasions.
    – Good start all round.

  58. I agree with posters that Carr has to contribute more for sure but to describe him as an enigma and just decide he is incapable of contributing more is plain wrong.

    I make out James carr has started 13 games in either league or championship since his debut in 2019 i make it he has scored 6 goals and 13 points in them games . we need to find a way of getting the best out of him for 70mins , he is a proper footballer in my book . All about opinions i suppose though

  59. Agree with your points To win just once.
    The players and back room team will be judged on what they learn from these games.
    It is no surprise that defensively we got caught out occasionally as it takes time to make a strong unit. Liked the confidence of Coyne and Hession to go forward, Reape needs to be more assertive but the player and backroom team need to be given some time to work on this.

    Middle third worked well and have real potential to be a strength during the year. Developing a slick forward play is the most challenging part for any team. I am sure that there is work being done on building positivity and confidence in those named, this is not easy when supporters are assuming that some players are just having a place until the championship player is returning to fitness.

    We need 26 players who truly believe that they can contribute when asked, this means setting clear expectations for players but also providing them with the tools so that they build their resilience and inner confidence. This is not straightforward or easy, and reading some of the comments here would not help.

    Overall a decent start but things will not get any easier in Armagh so let’s be patient. Looking forward to it as it is my first time going there for a match so another venue to tick off the list.

  60. I think we definetly have stuff to work on but as others have said above no surpise got caught with that galway goal .

    I thought we played a decent 2nd half and Ryan O D a class act again . For everyone thinking Galway where going to bate us I say fair play to the young mayo team they stood up and only Jan def need to improve but I will take the draw!

    I don’t think Galway where happy after that .

    They thought they just needed to turn up with their 11 players from final so what they didnt get pre season training 8 of them it’s up to each team to be ready with fitness wise! Mayo definetly the better side 2nd half .

    Armagh will be a tough game I would say hopefully have paddy Durcan&robbie hennelly & padraig o hora back for that! Only Jan and we can only improve and loads of matches with the round robin to do that!

  61. Jack Carney is an out and out mid fielder and should really be positioned there. While he had a quiet game last night, he is an excellent all round footballer and reader of the game. Still a young lad so I would stick with him. Really impressed with Bob Tuohy last night. Very composed on the ball. His name will not be new to anyone associated with Mitchels or the local schools as he was a stand out player for St Gerald’s over the past couple of years. Overall a solid performance last night from a developing team and a real positive for our lads to get something out of the game after all their efforts.

  62. @Sean Burke

    31 points from 13 games from Carr is a very respectable return indeed and most of those will have been from play.
    Of course we would prefer more consistency and had he scored 0-03 from play last night instead of 1-0 we would probably all be purring. It doesn’t matter how you get them as long as you get them.
    The main thing for me is that he is on the pitch and playing after his injury issues.
    Plenty of raw material to work with and I couldn’t think of too many in Mayo over the years who have come up with goals like he has.
    Perseverance is the key. A fit James Carr with a run of games is a very good addition to our panel.

  63. Had no idea at the game last night why Mattie Ruane was given a black card. Just watched the match again and still have no idea. What did Joe McQuillen think he had seen? Or was he advised by by one of his assistants? Whatever way, it was a ludicrous decision and unfortunate because I liked the way he let the game flow without blowing for every challenge.

  64. Just a word on the players and their interactions with young supporters again. It’s something that’s taken for granted from amateur players.
    Cillian and Rod (and I’m sure others) were absolutely mobbed for autographs , photos etc and they waited until every single young persons request had been fulfilled .
    It made a lot of young boys/girls very happy including my own young lad .
    It’s a personal bug bear of mine the abuse Aido gets with insinuations that he is a big headed ego maniac. I’ve seen him on the pitch and at local Gaa events and he is an absolute gentleman who is so accessible to the young people there.
    A great ambassador for mayo Gaa who will probably only be appreciated for his on pitch contributions when he retires in the next couple of years

  65. Take it easy on the team.Lots of inexperience all round.
    A defensive plan can be put in place and a target man for the forwards
    They gave it their all on the pitch
    The black card time wasting is a blight on the game,all teams do it.
    Some new faces did very well.

  66. 9 of the Mayo team that started last night made an appearance in the 2021 All Ireland Final. 10 of the Galway teams that started last night played in the All Ireland Final.
    Jack Coyne was on the Mayo panel in 2020
    Rory Brickenden started last years NFL final
    Enda Hession has played in an All Ireland Final
    Stephen Coen has played in an All Ireland Final
    Conor Loftus has played in an All Ireland Final
    David McBrien played against Galway in Tuam in 2020

    Eoghan Kelly has never played for Galway before and only joined the squad in 2022
    Sean Kelly is an experienced player
    Neil Mulcahy has never played for Galway before, joined the panel in the last 3 weeks
    Dylan McHugh is an experienced player
    John Daly is an experienced player
    Daniel O’Flaherty has never played for Galway before and joined the panel late 2022.

    They are the facts. Experimental vs a seasoned team,I’m not sure where that’s coming from

  67. Hard to know what to make of that game but its far too early to make rash judgements on forward play & defensive systems.
    Thought McBrien was quite good considering he was on Comer. Great learning for him & he needs as much learning as possible pre Championship.
    Maybe my eyesight is fading but I found it very hard to distinguish who was who at times.
    The 2 Galway goals were badly defended. We have always been susceptible to the first goal, and it doesn’t matter what personnel we have on the field it seems. The second goal was well taken by Kelly but how on earth he was let ghost in behind unmarked is beyond me. That is what Kelly is all about. I’m sure McStay & co made that clear post match.

    But a draw was fair I think. Neither team deserved to win it in my view. Poor enough performance but we’ve had worse in the league for sure. Touhy & Coyne did well & Carney will have better days.

    Eoghan McLaughlin has so much potential. I know he missed an effort in 2nd half but he is so elusive. Him and Tommy Conroy when fit bursting onto lay offs would punch serious holes if worked on.

    Possession play is a scourge of the modern game unfortunately. I did notice a lot of times where Galway were content to keep ball a bit deeper than we would (often inside their own half). It can be dangerous, however when they broke a tackle, they had space to exploit. We held possession much higher up the field, but there was no space then as everyone was inside one half of the field. Just an observation but I thought it was interesting.

    Onwards to Armagh!

  68. Willie Joe, I disagree with many of posters….I thought it was a poor game of football. Too much of handball and back passing . Hard to watch at times. 2 soft goals given away .. On the plus side…very fine Carr goal and brilliant final point by Ryan. Need to improve to beat Armagh

  69. See a lot of Galway people are saying that theref delayed blowing the final whistle?? What really hardly doubt that now no wonder he needed a guard to escort him off the pitch refs get so much abuse these days ..

    @michaelincork entitled to your opinion of course things to improve on but I will take the draw faur play to the young ones was not a wash out like many thought it wouls be only Jan like.

  70. Big Mike – agree with you to an extent. There has been way too much talk about a Mayo rebuild, new eras etc. We lost 2 players over the winter. Same as Galway with Silke and Molloy. Kerry have lost David Moran and Jack Savage (not a starter granted).

    It’s a Mayo squad with experience of winning connacht titles, playing in AI finals and beating Dublin in championship. At the same time, average age of the team last night was around 23.5. So we don’t have an old squad.

  71. Went to a great concert in the magnificent Wexford Opera house last night. Three incredible artists- Sharon Shanon, Mary Coughlan and Frances Black accompanied by 3 amazing/gifted musicians. Exhilarating and would highly recommend!

    Watched Mhuigeo v Gaillimh when we came home- taped delayed/phone switched off! Good match in my opinion and we were lucky to get a draw thanks to Ryan ODonoghue. Gifted them two really soft goals!
    Need to shore up defence.
    McBrien, Touhy, Reape, Coyne-newbies did well! Cillian and Aidan made a difference when introduced.
    Ryan O”D, Ruane and Flynn were our best players!
    Onwards and upwards. Let’s be positive as it’s early season!
    Mhuigeo Abu!

  72. The narrative from some Mayo fans is we over achieved by getting a draw last night with a new look team.

    The narrative from some Galway fans is they over achieved by getting a draw last night with not having any collective training done together.

    A draw is a fair result with how the game played out but i think the Mayo camp will be happier today as we snatch the draw with last kick of the game.

    No point getting to bogged down about who’s is better than who as we both have plenty of other quality opposition to face before we come across each other again.

    I would like to see a 3 changes to the starting team for next weekend. I dont think the players did much wrong i just think they are positions / spots on the bench up for grabs and i would like to see some rotation and other lads given a run out.

    1. Rory Byrne in for Colm Repae
    2. Sam Callinan in for Rory Brickiden
    3. Paul Towey in for Aiden Orme

  73. whats needed after that game, a proper full forward who can field the ball and either score himself or lay off to in coming player. Aiden O Shea not the answer, he needs to be facing goals not back to goals, he is needed for his strength coming on around midfield in second half. Also needed a proper sweeper who can read the game and cut off players like Kelly coming forward and taking easy scores. There is a good team comimg forward after all the retirements and injuries from last few years.

  74. We don’t do a free form rotating defence very well. McBrien was the obvious candidate for Comer from the very beginning and for 70 mins. No other defender we have comes close.
    We need to sort out a target man.
    Overall promising.

  75. Watching the match back, the lads in studio pointed out that McQuillan had the whistle in mouth ready to blow at the end just before the ball was gifted to Ryan. Then he obviously decided to allow the last play. Thankfully Ryan delivered.

    Sorry Galway, but there was nothing wrong with that. Galway messed up. I think it was Whelan or Canavan) who said that if Galway had even just kicked the ball over the sideline the ref would have blew up. You could tell Ryan knew he had to kick it immediately. Ref wasn’t going to allow anything more. We were certainly lucky but Galway will be kicking themselves. Makes the draw that bit sweeter.

  76. Yes time was up but our lad should have kicked it away. Lesson learned. Its a stupid GAA ref thing though give them a chance instead of just blowing it up bit out evens out over time well you would hope. Armagh will be a tough propositoon for ye next week.

  77. All this talk about a target man . Have we forgotten Cillian O Connor exists ? He hasn’t been bad in there for the last decade ……..with Rod and Conroy we can now leave him in there and they can play off him too

  78. @Chesneychet there was nothing wrong with what the ref did not a stupid ref thing at all Ryan O D got the point& draw fair&square always the refs fault they get a lot of abuse..jist my opinion and everyones entitled to it if Galway had got the draw that way wouldnt be complaining about it .

    Yes Armagh is always tough we beat them last year be tough for ye to. . Our young guys did well last night and stood up against ye and was not a wash out . Good match all around and no injuries I don’t think!

  79. This narrative that Galway are well behind Mayo and haven’t as much work done is pure nonsense.
    Loads of these players have been playing competitive sigerson games over the last few weeks for one.
    The reality is that there is very little between these two teams. If they met in a knockout championship game I would be very hopeful that we would beat them.
    I thought Galway really struggled to handle Jordan Flynn around the middle of the park. He’s going to be a real weapon for us in this years championship. Still hasn’t played a huge amount of football either so the ceiling there is very high.
    I think it’s important that eoghan McLaughlin plays as much league football as possible this spring. You can see that he’s not as natural a player as some others and he didn’t play much underage football but the raw talent is enormous. If he played every minute of the league at wing back and stayed fully fit, he could be really improved a lot by summer.
    McBrien was another positive. He did a decent job on Comer and matches up well physically. Let’s hope he stays injury free too.

  80. Jeez, some seriously deep analysis going on for a first competitive game of the season. In January. In the rain! I didn’t get to the game but it looked like a truly great occasion, fantastic atmosphere and maximum effort from both sets of players. When are the GAA going to capitalise properly on this fantastic product that is Saturday night league games? Imagine what the atmosphere would’ve been like in a properly appointed, fully covered stadium? An absolute cauldron of noise and entertainment. On the game, a draw absolutely the fair result given the soft free Galway for at the end, as has been previously mentioned. I think it’s fair to say Nato could learn a lot from Galway’s composure in the final third. Improve there, with a first choice fifteen out, I’d back us to prevail. Let’s bear in mind it’s early days and not be too harsh on those lads who will know they can perform at a higher level. Onward!

  81. I too did notice Kevin McStay appearing rather too jubilant after the game on RTE with the draw.
    Happy to give him the benefit of the doubt now after his first game.
    But wouldn’t like to see an attitude seeping into this panel where we assume teams are superior to us and we are the plucky underdogs. Especially against a team like Galway who are no world beaters and very much on a comparable level to us.
    Hopefully Kevin realises he’s not managing Roscommon anymore. This is the big league now.
    The bookies have ourselves and Galway as joint-third favourites for the All Ireland in 2023 at 12/1.

  82. There was five minutes extra time
    Mayo brought on a substitute in extra time
    ROD kicked the point just after five minutes had passed
    Don’t know why the complaint of time being up?
    It was not up!!

  83. So much for the “give McStay time to build his own team”……One fecking game!! Lord give me strength.

  84. Just on Mayo shots dropping into goalie’s hands last night that breeze was pretty strong in the first half. It did die down when the rain came so I wouldn’t be overly harsh on players for at least some of those.
    As for McQuillan a few of his decisions were baffling. Ruane’s black?? Should have been both players or none…also missed a dubious pick up and charge out from the Galway square in those last frantic seconds.
    Overall happy enough with the draw though.

  85. Liberal says Carr struggles when he doesn’t have space but look at his moves for the goal – he didn’t have much room eventhough not sure he was going for a goal.
    All the forwards & I agree especially Carr need more heads up football. They also need to be told to aim at least 10 yards past the goalposts to avoid dropping the ball into the keepers hands. Cillian passed to Eoin McL when he could have taken a point himself, but his later point was a delight.

  86. With Callian ‘ O Hora & Durkan to come back would there a possibility putting hession in the forwards. Gets on some amount of ball rarely gives it away and brilliant at link up play.
    I hear he played in the forwards for colmans

  87. Totally disagree with attutide that children should not be allowed on the pitch after a game. Is the arguement the pitch not fit for 10/15 minutes of kids after a game..and all the money spent on it?
    The announcement over the tannoy sounded unbelievable on TV.
    The players have the choice to leave the pitch after a game but as said the likes of Cillian, Aidan, Diarmuid, Ryan, Robbie etc are class lads & give every child their chance to meet them.
    Surely we should be motivating our young people not excluding them. Children are Mayo supporters too & the future of the game.
    Kids dont get onto Croke Park the least they can hope is to see their heros in McHale Pk.

    Speaking of inclusion its about time wheelchair supporters were given some type of shelter in McHale Park, a fantastic facility..but at least give less mobile supporters the chance to stay dry like other patrons.

  88. The New Departure. Not a bad call on Hession. He played as a forward for Mayo in his Minor(U17s) year and in his 4 games scored 2-16. Was moved into backs at U20s but he does have attacking ability. Still think he’s needed more in backs though.

  89. We drew first game v donegal last year and were not relegated give reape another game at least mc brien at full back jordan n mattie at midfield mc donagh for real pace conroy carr Ryan inside .

  90. Shallowtail, im not so sure on your opinion that players have the option to leave the pitch after the game. If they dont sign an autograph and want to get into the dressing room fairly sharpish, they are the worst in the world, and thats not just the reaction of the child, but ive often seen adults take umbrage to a player for not stopping . Ive seen grown men have a life long set against players when they didnt stop.
    Its as if some people think thats its in a players contract to stop and chat with the fans

  91. @WillieJoe, quick correction. Some of the match reports floating around have the incorrect scorers on them, like your one above. I’m pretty sure Ryan scored 7 points (4 frees). He definitely got 3 from play anyway.

  92. GBXI – Ryan got 6 in total, only 2 from play. Not sure are you counting Diarmuid’s shot that dropped short? Ryan jumped for it but I think Gleeson was the one who ended up tipping it over.

  93. @Mikey3 what way were you expected McStay to react moment after Mayo grab a draw from the jaws of defeat in the 6th minute of injury time with the last kick of the game. As the headline states here, it could well be a precious point.

  94. @Mikey3

    Not sure I’d say “too jubilent”. Not sure if you saw his pre match interviews, but there was a massive amount of excitement and pride in his demeanor. A touch of nervousness too. He carried this into his post match interview imo

    Saturday night, first game at McHale park etc clearly was a big occasion for Kevin. He was like a man on his wedding day. It was great to see tbh

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