Mayo 2-14 Galway 2-8: Croke Park Connacht champions

We’ve had so many incredible days out following this Mayo team. Most of us have memories to last a lifetime from the totemic clashes we’ve been involved in over the past decade.

The team have us given so much down the years and today – now infused with a significant dash of youth –  they’ve done it again, giving us another Croke Park day that will live long in the memory. We’re the Croke Park Connacht champions thanks to the utterly comprehensive way we dismantled Galway’s challenge in the second half of today’s game.

We’ve all been through so much – in our own separate ways – due to this bloody pandemic and so today, with Mayo back in action at the big house and, with tickets for the game in our hands (well, on our phones) , it felt like a throwback to other, more carefree times.

Walking down the Drumcondra Road and then in along Clonliffe Road to the stadium, the Green and Red significantly outnumbered the Maroon and White. Round One to us.

We lined out as selected, making no changes either to our subs’ bench. It’s a while since we’ve done that.

Aidan O’Shea took up station in midfield, though, renewing acquaintances with Galway’s great centrefield warrior, Paul Conroy.

We started on the front foot, pushing forward as Galway shrank back shawl-like. From our perch in the Upper Cusack, the pitch down below was a verdant carpet, but someone had clearly left the underfloor heating on. It must have been very hot out there today.

We got the first two scores, the first from Mattie Ruane and the second, following a nice bit of trickery with his feet to make room for himself, from Ryan O’Donoghue.

Shane Walsh then made his opening bow. He took possession well out, put the foot down and clipped it over. Already the match-up that saw Lee Keegan tailing him looked wrong.

Conroy swung over the equaliser but we then reclaimed our two-point advantage. Paddy Durcan got the first of these with Ryan knocking over a close-in free for the second.

These opening thrusts and feints gave the contest a cagey kind of hue. The game’s flatness wasn’t helped by a longish break in play when Rob Finnerty went down injured. That was his day over and their star defender Seán Kelly hobbled from the fray too before the half was over.

Conroy had bagged his second before the Finnerty incident and at the first water break we were one in front.

Galway grabbed the initiative in dramatic fashion on the resumption. Another shot at the posts from distance by Conroy came back high off the upright and Walsh was fastest to claim possession. He drilled it to the net.

Our attempts at a response came to nothing, as we hit three bad wides on the spin. Then Galway struck for a second goal, Walsh leaving Aidan in his wake and offloading to Comer who’d evaded Paddy and thumped it home emphatically.

Now we were wobbling badly. When Darren McHale pointed it ended a 22-minute scoreless spell for us. Sweeney responded with a point for them. As space finally began to open up for us in the Galway rearguard, Conor Loftus shot for goal but the ball seemed to take a deflection off a defender and it skimmed the crossbar as it went over.

Tierney had the final say of the half with a point from play for them. It looked as if Cooke’s effort had given them a six-point lead to take into the break but Conor Lane went to HawkEye, which delivered a negative result.

We were in serious bother then. We had no punch upfront, with Galway defending the zone in front of the D and forcing us wide every time we came forward. At the other end we had the match-ups all wrong and had paid a heavy price with those two goals.

Changes had to come and it was no surprise to see Eoghan McLaughlin and Kevin McLoughlin both come on for the second half, Bryan Walsh and Darren McHale making way. The more direct approach both injected was key to our second half revival.

We simply had to get a goal quickly to have any chance. A superb ball lofted in by Kevin McLoughlin, swiftly caught and offloaded by Aidan O’Shea to the in-rushing Mattie Ruane, gave us the opening we needed. Mattie was hauled to the floor (a black card offence, surely?) and Ryan put the jittery Gleeson the wrong way from the spot.

The game was now back on and we soon made it clear that we were there to play ball. Maybe the schemozzle in the tunnel at half-time had put fire in our bellies or perhaps it was the bollocking James Horan surely gave his players in the dressing room. Whatever it was it had the desired effect.

Galway were now reeling as we came at them in waves. The loss of Finnerty and Kelly to injury in the first half was testing their reserves and Walsh was never right after the tangle he had with Padraig O’Hora shortly before half-time.

Soon we were kicking points for fun. The rejuvenated Tommy Conroy – whose second half was as good as the first one had been poor from his perspective – belted over and points followed from Mattie and Kevin as we edged in front.

A well-known political insult – usually hurled at an opponent attempting a comeback – is that the soufflé doesn’t rise twice. That was now the task facing Galway if they were to reclaim the Connacht title and it became increasingly evident as the afternoon wore on that this wasn’t going to happen.

The second water break probably came too soon for us. Having hit 1-4 without reply since the half-time mark, we had the look of a team that wanted to keep the pedal to the metal.

The Tribesmen definitely needed a breather as they sought a way back into a contest that was spinning rapidly away from them. But they were still only two down and so their cause was far from hopeless.

But we kept tacking on the scores, sucking that little bit more from their wilting challenge with each score. Points from Tommy Conroy and Conor Loftus pushed our lead out to four.

There was a long stoppage when Swanny went down injured and he was unable to walk from the field of play. The Ballina Stephenites man was a fearsome competitor at the back for us today – the epitome Dog of War – and there was relief later on when RTÉ reported that the injury was a damaged rib, which shouldn’t keep him out of the semi-final.

We kicked for home in the final quarter but there was rising frustration in the stands at a series of scarcely believable harsh calls against us by Conor Lane, who I felt had a real off-day today. The decision to rule out Ryan’s goal for a nudge in the build-up was ludicrous and Lane followed this up with a few extremely charitable frees awarded to Galway.

They needed all the help they could get at this stage, as they failed to score in the second half until the 61st minute. In the end, all they could muster after the break were three pointed frees.

Before the end we broke through for a second goal, this one emphatically deciding the contest in our favour. Mattie went on a thunderous run, charging directly towards their posts before slipping it under Gleeson to the net.

Mattie’s Breaffy team-mate Robbie Hennelly banged over a ’45 to stretch our lead to six as the game went into injury time. Eight additional minutes were called but Galway’s sub Farragher was ordered off on a second yellow and they were never going to be able to beat us with fourteen men.

We had a great chance for a third goal deep in stoppage time after a terrific long ball in split their defence wide open. One-on-one with the ‘keeper, however, sub James Carr blasted wildly over. I still can’t fathom that – surely the better option would have been to round the goalie and roll it into the net?

That bizarre score was the final one of the day. With the hostilities over, the sweet sound of ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’ came wafting across the summer air over the tannoy and Aidan O’Shea went up the steps of the Hogan Stand to claim the JJ Nestor Cup.

Photo: @Inphosports

Today’s win means it’s a 48th Connacht title for us and it stretches our lead over Galway on the all-time head-to-head in the Championship to three. It also, more pertinently, secures us our place in the All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks time, where, all but certainly, our old nemesis Dublin will once more be there to meet us.

There’ll be plenty of chat about that game over the next few weeks – with Dublin still having to get past Kildare in Leinster before they turn their thoughts to us – so for now it’s better to luxuriate in the after-glow of today’s cracking win.

It was a victory that had looked slightly improbable at a sun-drenched Croke Park at half-time today. As the sun begins to sink low in the sky on Reek Sunday, however, we can all look back on and savour the latest powerful Mayo performance we’re able to add to the memory banks. 

This team that have given us so much continue to give. Onwards we go. Up Mayo.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (0-1, ’45); Lee Keegan, Padraig O’Hora, Michael Plunkett; Paddy Durcan (0-1), Oisin Mullin, Stephen Coen; Mattie Ruane (1-2), Conor Loftus (0-2); Bryan Walsh, Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor; Tommoy Conroy (0-2), Darren McHale (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (1-3, one penalty goal and two frees). Subs: Eoghan McLaughlin for Walsh, Kevin McLoughlin (0-1) for McHale, Jordan Flynn for Loftus (blood), Rory Brickenden for O’Hora, Enda Hession for Plunkett, James Carr (0-1) for Aidan O’Shea, Conor O’Shea for O’Connor. 

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

  • Mattie Ruane (31%, 1,100 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (19%, 675 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (15%, 525 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (12%, 423 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (6%, 200 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (4%, 132 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (4%, 124 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (2%, 79 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (1%, 46 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 35 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 16 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (0%, 8 Votes)
  • James Carr (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (0%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,690

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90 thoughts on “Mayo 2-14 Galway 2-8: Croke Park Connacht champions

  1. I think you mean “Semi-Final” Willie Joe not “Final” in relation to O’Hora’s return.

  2. All I’m going to say is we can never, ever beat Galway enough times. Oh and the 2nd half was immense. That. Is. All. Boom.

  3. Unbeileveble, one of Horans greatest achievments imo. No collective training, No D1 ball, No Cillian, No Clarkie, No Barrett, No problem :). As sweet a win we’ve ever had in Croker. No point analysing things now, every one of them done the County proud.

    Honestly dont care what happens next, that game will live long in the memory over the dark winter months. The Auld ememy reeled back and beating having been 5 points up. This is some feeling!

  4. Great report WJ. I was wondering what your take on the Ryan O Donaghue disallowed goal would be. Also a pick up by AOS that was deemed off the ground. Very sporting of Galway to remain on the field for the presentation. This hatred talk is nonesense. I never had it so difficult to nominate 3 players for MOM. a unique occasion we will never forget for sure WJ.

  5. The best way to illustrate how we’ve reinvented ourselves is to reflect that only three starters today also started the 2017 final when we came so close to winning. It was thought at the time that we had our chance(s) and Sam had slipped from our grasp for that generation and perhaps for a long time.

    It’s a testament to the great job that James Horan has done to keep us feeding at the top table while rebuilding our squad and we’re now looking good to remain contenders for multiple more years.

  6. Yes agree, great audio report. Like you Willie Joe thought we were so flat in the first half and that a comeback seemed unlikely. Just thought it was going to be Galway’s day. Was so glad to be wrong.

  7. Any chance of posting AOS speech here obviously didn’t show it on RTE, very impressive 2nd half

  8. Connor Lane certainly was worth about 5 points to Galway, altogether he did well with his one hawk eye call.. last week he was equally poor, given Dublin a very dubious penalty and didn’t give an clear cut penalty to Meath.

  9. So delighted over today’s result. I feared the worst all week and said so on here. At half time, I was incredibly despondent and feared we were in for a hosing. Thank god I left the phone in the car as I may have posted messages on the WhatsApp groups that I’d have regretted later. Never been so happy to be wrong. This was the classic game of two halves from a Mayo perspective. We were as buoyant in the second half as were flat in the first. The stray passes and poor tackles in the first half were replaced by crisp passing and forcing incredible turnovers on the second. Not only did it blow Galway away, it blew me away too.
    O’Hora, Mullin and Ruane were class. Kevin Mc brought an incredible presence to the game – a man who has been utterly amazing for us over the years made his experience tell.
    As Willie Joe said, not a time for thinking ahead to Dublin. Let’s savour this for a few days!

  10. I dont think anyone has mentioned Robbie Hennelly today, I thought his kickouts were brilliant, dont think we lost any of them but am open to correction, we are very quick to criticise him but fair play to him.

  11. Thanks Ontheditch. I thought the ref got both of those calls wrong – can you imagine Con O’Callaghan or David Clifford getting pulled in the way Ryan was? No, nor can I. It was a cracking score and it definitely should have stood. Not for the first time, Lane was very poor from our perspective today.

  12. Well said, Jp2 – I only mentioned him in relation to the 45 he scored but his restarts were superb. There was one heart-in-mouth moment in the second half when he contested a ball with Comer that came off the crossbar but Swanny knocked it clear. Overall Robbie did very well today.

  13. The last time, i think, that Mayo had a resounding second half performance after a dismal first half was in Croke Park in 2014, the drawn semi final v Kerry. Boyler led from the front that day.

  14. AIDAN has today collected his eight connacht medal to equal Keith Higgins ‘s haul.no mean achievment .i thought the two mcloughlins changed the game in mayo’s favour when they came on. does anybody know the date for the all-ireland semi-final?. Things are looking bright again after our downers during the last week.

  15. Yes, his kickouts were excellent as was his 45. Under the high ball is still the concern. Couldn’t believe it at half time when McHale was off and not Loftus. I thought McHale was having an excellent game. Was on the ball a lot, linked play well and scored. Loftus should have goaled in the first half and had very few possessions. His performance improved somewhat in the second half, but he doesn’t work hard enough on tackling and turning over the ball which is a trademark of the Mayo team over the past 10 years. A great win all the same. Why the 2 Mcloughlin’s didn’t start was a crazy decision by management. That said, without them, our bench is very underwhelming I’m afraid. Would love to see McCormack, Orme and Doherty on the subs bench. They would offer us so much more that those that are been selected at present.

  16. 2 % vote for Paddy Durcan so far. Was I watching a different game. I taught he was immense

  17. Trapped in America — what I would’ve given to be in CP. Thrilled for Robbie, glad that was mentioned. Couldn’t help smiling ear to ear when he nailed the 45. The fitness differential was noticeable and huge. Mix in greater depth and you get a Connacht championship.

  18. Jp2 he lost one he tried to ping out to McHale on the right in the first half

  19. Darren isn’t a full forward Wide Ball. He scores heavily at club level coming from the middle of the park or the half-forward line. His work rate is phenomenal so I just dont get what’s going on there. I would put Diarmuid with Ruane in midfield and have McHale instead of Loftus on the half-forward line. 2 birds with one stone.

  20. Very disappointing P Joyce’s sour grapes after the game. Throwing the toys out of the pram over O’Hora flatting walsh. Comer tried to nail O’Hora under the cususk and Farragher gave him an awful kick. Lane had the Galway shirt on all game. He would be better off keeping his mouth closed and eat his humble pie. Proves he not a shrewd operator…

  21. A sweeper is badly needed against Dublin it will go along way to preventing those goals.

    It’s the big tweak required for the next day.

  22. Lads, Kevin Mcloughlin changed that game. He might have only been on for a half, but he was my MOTM

  23. Paddyjoethornton, yes, I agree with you, Paddy Durcan was immense and more, especially in that first half when we were trying to gain a foothold. I feel he knew we were minus Cillian and needed both scores and to drive our men forward. What an amazing show of leadership. He is a treasure.

  24. Ruane had a great game but I thought Kevin McL was the difference and gets my MOM.
    I would not be on the hennelly brigade but I thought his kick outs were excellent today and added a point as well.

  25. Horan cant win. Jim Gavin was praised as Dublin manager for not starting his best team and having subs to bring on to lift the team. Today was the first time in a long time Mayo subs came on and changed the game. Yet Horan is criticised for not starting his strongest team – he cant win with some people.
    Same with Robbie and Aidan – I cant understand how so many Mayo people are waiting for these lads to make mistakes and then criticise them. Bar his shot for the point I thought Stephen Coen was quietly efficient all the way through- especially in the first half when things weren’t going well.
    We should acknowledge again the S and C work these lads have done – it was obvious we were much fitter than Galway in the second half. There is only one way to reach this level of fitness – hard work. Well done lads.
    People should also remember this is a new Mayo team- not the team we had even three years ago.

  26. Tubberman I agree. Kevin was the nan that steady Ed the ship. So intelligent. Came long.came short. Picked up the dropping ball and also ran ar them. A massive congratulations to James horan for doing what his predecessors couldn’t do. Nail 2 connaught titles not with a handed down team but whilst rebuilding. A massive achievement. . Matty. Kevin.aos.paddy.o hora Rod all good. Conroy got going too. Great heart to come back after looking dead and buried. I’m pretty sure he 2 mcgloughlin s will start the next day. Kevin is so experienced. He for me was the turning of the tide.

  27. Criticism of Loftus might be a bit harsh. I am a latecomer to the Loftus fanclub and I thought he put in a good shift today kicking 2pts along the way. He can play a few different positions. Anyone have any thoughts on Carr taking a point instead of going for goal?

  28. Robbies kickouts all day were fantastic.I noticed PJ and a selector hold the Galway players back from entering the dressing room at half time.Aido was our last man off the pitch and then they followed.Maybe nothing but it looked unusual and i commented on it at the time.

  29. I’m glad I didn’t post anything at half-time but thoughts of “they’ll probably go on and beat Dublin as well” had crossed my mind. Horan’s in-game management comes in for criticism at times but you’d wonder if he was toying with us all along. The introduction of Eoghan and Kevin in the second half was like an injection of nitrous oxide into the engine. We went into overdrive while Galway looked completely gassed by the second water-break. All after a calamitous first half where we did not press home the kick-out advantage we had. Galway seemed to manage the flow of the game in the first half with all the injury stoppages. We could not get any momentum going after the first goal. We looked listless and badly missing Cillian’s physicality and incisiveness.

    But Galway’s injuries took took their toll and it looked like PJ decided to switch Comer and Walsh? Neither looked at the pitch of the game in the second half. It’s a shame there are only three options for MOTM because there are easily ten players you could have gave it to. Swanny’s finest hour in the Green and Red and hopefully better to come! I didn’t think some of our more experienced lads had a good time of it today. But the younger guns stepped up and Horan’s decision to back them is paying dividends. We will have a serious cut at the Dubs the next day. Up Mayo!

    Contrast all that with the shambles that occurred down in Killarney today. Days like today in Croke Park make it seem like the provincial system is worth wading through all the dross but playing teams off against each other on the basis of geography is increasingly looking anachronistic. But that’s a debate for another day…

  30. Great second performance from Mayo, Mattie man of the match, k Mc was great when he came on, Paddy Durkin was brilliant, good team effort in second half. Looking forward to huge semi final in 3 weeks time Possibly against Dublin?

  31. I don’t know have I ever seen a football match turned so completely from 1st half to second.

    Galway very good in the first half. Mayo were simply brilliant after the break.

    The changes at half time were spot on.
    Several players could almost be given 10/10 for their second halves.

    There were a couple of brilliant turnovers when Galway were in possession. O’hora and O’Shea come to mind.

    I wouldn’t give out about Carr taking his point. It was another nail in the Galway coffin.
    A save from a goal attempt might have given them heart although I think they were on the canvas at that stage.

    I thought we were goosed at half time so that second half was particularly enjoyable.

    Congratulations to both management and all the players, to a man. Simply a brilliant win today.

  32. We outscored a rampant Galway by 2-8 to 0-3 in a cool, calm and collected second half performance that was a sight to see , what more could you ask for , well besides a couple more goals from Loftus and Carr that were easier to put in the net than over the cross bar

  33. Don’t know what came over my phone in the first half I think it overheated In the Croke Park Sun or else a Galway fan hacked into it lol or maybe it was frustration from conceding goals that we tend to give up. Im not a fan of Horanball cos it leaves us open at the back but by God has James Horan and Mayo given us some fantastic days out and better heart scans and checks than you’d get in the Mater or Galway clinic. Surely one day soon a Mayo captain will climb the Hogan and collect Sam and I
    Hope James Horan is manager when we do. Delighted for James and Aidan and all the panel tonight.

  34. Still on cloud nine after that – I thought Mayo looked flat and rusty first half which meant that the Sligo and Leitrim games were clearly of no benefit whatsoever as prep for today. But for those two goals we shipped, I thought Galway weren’t up to much – even though they led by 5 at half time. The McLoughlins changed the game but there was always going to be a kick from Mayo once the rustiness of the first 35 mins was shaken off. Swanny was brilliant, Matty deserved his MOTM award by RTE, Paddy Durcan immense and Hennelly’s kick-outs like missiles. If Tommy goals could play more consistently to the level he’s capable of for the full 70 mins then we have a real star in the making. If Horan saved the best wine for the 2nd half on purpose then full credit to him – its a great sign in a team to have options off the bench.

  35. Congrats to the team today!

    It’s going to be a huge step up for the young lads in the semi, regardless of the opponents.

  36. @jeff – I don’t agree about Loftus Goal chance. He struck it well and it was inches from the roof of the net.

  37. Was at a christening today and saw none of it but caught up on Sunday game there. Mayo’s pace and athleticism looks phenomenal. So sweet to see that victory over Galway..absolute legends that Mayo team!!
    36k unto the semi final, is that right? Tickets will be tough to come on I’d imagine. Perhaps a donated kidney might get me one? ?

  38. Great second half.

    Huge credit to management and players. Another great day at HQ following the Mayo team.

  39. I don’t agree that the McLaughlins necessarily changed the game – they were very good but everyone upped their game significantly. I have to agree with those who thought Paddy Durcan was excellent. We’ve come to take him for granted by now. And the young lads came good in difficult circumstances.
    I was very annoyed at the performance of Conor Lane – if we had lost by a point or two….,,…ouch!
    He simply should not be reffing big games. The disallowed goal was the most obvious but there were several really bad decisions.

  40. I totally understand the half time critiscism and the affect Kevin Mc had when he came on just proves the point. He was the difference. There’s no way that Mayo team should start ever without Kevin, we’re not that good! I’d have Eoghan Mc in for Coen all day as well, so much more threat going forward. Horan got lucky in the 2nd half between Galway injuries, that tunnel row definitely sparked Mayo, and the difference of Kevin and Eoghan.

    Lane is a very poor ref. The Aidan pick up and Ryan goal were awful decisions. Hopefully it’ll be Gough for the semi final.

    And hopefully Mullin doesn’t go to Australia!!

  41. Well done to Mayo. Your S&C is second to none. I’ve given O’Hora man of the match for the way he “neutralised” Shane Walsh. Top man..

  42. A brilliant win today, thought we were goosed at HT considering the conditions. Some really bad refereeing errors today by Lane today and not for the first time against us. Remember the pick of the ground by a Dublin player in the last few seconds of the 2016 final. The free would have been from a very scorable position for Cillian. Lane saw it but ignored it and he.s fond of giving frees for those.

  43. Subs coming on helped Mayo, in the present game good subs are needed, no point in not having good players to come on late in game. so full panel has to be used to full effect. Apart from subs second half saw a far better performance from O Hora, Mullen and O Shea, and the team started to play as a unit unlike the first half when everyone was playing for themselves. Also is that the first Aiden was taken off in a Championship game, he had a great second half.

  44. The more I look back at the game, Padraig o Hora had a brilliant game.
    He saved a certain goal when Comer was in the square midway through the 2nd half.
    There is a great bit of toughness in the lad.
    I hope he will be fit for the semi.

  45. @gbxi what do you mean “Horan got lucky”? If Jim Gavin brought on Kevin and Eoghan to spur on the team he’d be a genius.

  46. Lane was shocking today. Up til Matties goal, the match was still there for Galway. Lane at that stage was giving them every chance. Diabolical refereeing performance, unacceptable at this level.

    Today’s second half had echoes of the drawn semi against Kerry in 2014. Awesome from Mayo.

    I agree with posters who say that Aido should now be left at 14. He had moments of excellent tackling outfield today but overall can do more damage at 14. He had an awesome second half, central to our comeback.

  47. Yep the two Galway injuries, forced Joyce’s hand. Finnerty I know has been in very good form with his club and Kelly was a huge loss. He has been one if their best players this year. Conroy clearly ran out of gas and with that and Kelly’s spark now absent combined with Mayo ‘getting the finger out’, Galway couldn’t stem the tide. Perhaps an element too of Galway being almost too comfortable going in at HT. Mayo’s defence were at sea 1st half and as the 1st half wore on our forward play was pathetic. 23 mins was it, without a score?

    Mayo were marvellous 2nd half but we all know what’s required from now on in.

    On Carr, can understand why he popped it over. On Joyce, hard on a new manager with 2 Covid seasons. It would be unusual for someone of his ambition not to want at least a chance in hopefully a non-covid season and very harsh if the Galway Co Board didnt allow him another year.

    Tbh I dont buy all the S&C stuff. Lots of that Galway team have been senior for several years now. They are doing very similar stuff to Mayo. For me, they lost their momentum at HT and our very early goal and point gave us huge belief. We never looked back and with the much improved performance, the game was won.

  48. Ryan’s disallowed goal not even mentioned on the Sunday Game. What a terribly decision that was. Also I thought Aidan did not pick the ball off the ground as it was bouncing at the time.. Great to be there.

  49. Carrig Dubh, yes, you no have the man to “Mark” Con and in the event of a final appearance, David Clifford. Best of luck to ye on that score…

  50. Hennelly needs to dominate his area.
    Saved by the crossbar on Comers punch.
    Goalkeeper has to be agressive in that scenario.
    Carbon copy of the Brogan goal in 13.
    45 was a great kick and he was otherwise good today

  51. – Credit to Team and Management on an super second half display and win. Mighty to have been in.CP roaring them on.
    – We were getting plenty of possession in the first half but too slow in the build-up which allowed Galway to push us right into.the corners with too tight angles so had to recycle or take pot shots.
    -Galway had 3 kickouts that went straight over the line in the first 10.5 minutes so we were being gifted opportunities but could not take them.
    – Leaving someone like Paul Conroy run the show for the first half was crazy. Would be like leaving Fenton or Feely free in the semi..
    – Subs did make a difference but the majority of our lads caught fire for the second half so more down to change of attitude and upping of work rate.
    – You would think that Galway would have learned after all of these years that skirmishes in the tunnel do not suit them.
    – in fairness they did stay on the pitch for the presentation.
    – Will it be the blue Mother Teresas or the white Lillies next ?? Eitherway 70 minutes of work rate and correct attitude required for starters.

  52. It is great that while we win there are plenty of improvements required, but there will be a pep in the step in training over the next few weeks.

    Just a few additional benefits from today,, many which have been referenced above:
    Robbie’s kickouts were spot on,
    O’Hora was great at fb, he has a bit of a mad streak in him that can put the fear of God in attackers,
    Ryan’s frees including the penalty,
    Both Tommy C and Eoghan Mc having powerful second half performances that should give them confidence the next day and
    Conor Loftus stepped up and demonstrated why he is in the team, this should also be a confidence boost for him as he has the talent.

    Finally, in Horan we trust, some are still wary but he continues to learn and develop, we may still be behind the Dubs and Kerry but James is making sure that we continue to make progress.

  53. Someone commented earlier that there will be 36k allowed in for semifinal. Not a hope. 20k tops.

  54. Thank you Willie Joe for the report. Thanks to the Mayo team and all involved with them too. You’re a bloody tonic. I wasn’t worried at half time but I was hoping/expecting what we got. It’s a joy to behold, Mayo team in full flight with confidence and determination. Truly no one can stop you when you fire like this. Believe in yourselves… I do and the amazing thing about Mayo support is that we all do…we believe in you. Thank you for today. Thanks for all your hard work. We’re with you… always greener and red… Maigheo abú

  55. Massive credit must go to James Horan for his trust shown to so many young players. Questions were asked last year when the likes of Brickenden were getting game time ahead of more experienced players. Several young guns came off the bench today and did a superb job. Experience given to them by JH totally stood to them and we’re reaping the benefits.

  56. O’Hora a great find for Mayo…..Really out to make a point and nail his place as FB and he left everything on the field today…..Tough as nails I recall following his journey on that Irish Arny Rangers series…..Hope his injury today was minor a s that he’ll be fighting fit for the Dubs……

  57. WJ…….You’re absolutely right about Ryan’s disallowed goal. In face you’ll see on TV that clearly he gave no nudge at all….It was the Galway lad who hopped Ryan with a nudge…….then our fella caught it beautifully ran at goal and buried it beautifully……Ref should be put in front of a tribunal for that call……

  58. I think there’s something to the S&C.
    True Galway bulk up like us but stamina wise we seemed far better in the last quarter.
    Oisin Mullen was my MOM although Mattie did kill them with some runs especially as 2nd half wore on and Paddy and Ryan excellent too as was Robbie apart from 1 jittery moment.
    I would say Oisin didn’t feature as much in 2nd quarter but for the other 3 he was really classy.

  59. congrats. to JAMES and all the team on a great win . i hope O HORA is ok for the simi final . on the disallowed goal i could not see any foul. RYAN might have broken the 2 meter distance rule .

  60. great win and massive congratulations to the team and management on this achievement. I had my doubts before hand and at half time. But the determination and grit shown after half time that the entire team produced were a credit to themselves and the County should and I’m sure does appreciate it. Well done all !!

  61. Well that was some win. That 2nd half was something else. Yes Galway folded, but we came with an intensity they just couldn’t cope with.
    Serious questions now for Joyce. The mentality of those Galway players is in serious question. They fell apart just as they did against Monaghan in the league.
    But enough about Galway. Time again to praise our lads, defeat just doesn’t seem to come easy to them.
    A few turning points in the game, but the main one had to be the half time”altercation”. It looked like the Galway fella (Heaney?) started it, and Christ did that backfire. That seemed to give us the fire up we needed.
    It’s easier to say after you win, but fuck me the ref was brutal. Some of the most bizarre decisions I’ve seen.
    What exactly was wrong with ROD’s goal? A foul? too many steps? I have no idea. Hopefully that’s his last game this year.

    Anyway, looking forward to the semi. Dublin are there for the taking, but they’ll still be very hard bet. If we had Cillian, Harrison and Doherty I’d be very confident. As it is, we’ll need an exceptional performance to beat them, but we’re more than capable of that.

  62. Great performance. Fitness levels awesome. Beaten in final last year because we ran out of gas. Won’t happen this year. Also much better depth in the squad this year. We have the weaponry to beat the Dubs. Hennelly very good today but agree with Centre field. His positional sense and decision making under pressure can lead to goals for the opposition. We were also ball watching for that first goal. Reminds me of KOC’s kick coming off the post in 2017and we were caught ball watching. Must always be prepared for this sort of thing. Focus 100% of the time. Ruane is awesome but this was a win for a well drilled fit team with room to improve.

  63. Great decision by Connacht Council to shift the final to Croker, Mayo supporters were brilliant and helped on the team This team is made for Croke Park and if we get over the next hurdle Who knows.

  64. South Mayo Exile, can’t agree more. James gets a lot of heat for his naive tactics. He wasn’t naive today.It’s so encouraging to finish with the strongest 15 out to there.
    I’m really hope O’Hora can play against the dubs.
    Success has many cousins but failure is always an orphan.

  65. What has occurred to me is the amount of crying and ologoning since we lost minor and U20 to the Rossies last week. To my mind underage matters little since the age brackets were reduced by a year recently because there is far to big an age gap between minor/U20 and Senior. Look at today’s team. How many minor medals do they hold. By my quick reckoning the figure is seven [not counting subs today or medals won as subs]. There were Hennelly 2008, Plunkett 2013, Coen 2013, Ruane 2014, Loftus 2013, O’Shea 2008 and O’Connor 2013. At a quick guess both Rosc and Galway have at least twice as many as they were minor winners when we were not, i.e. every year bar 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014

  66. Good point AndyD. Plus, we’ve lots of young players on the senior team making a real impression now, so the form of our underage teams is therefore even less relevant.

    And speaking of whinging, I hope all those who were less than happy about today’s match being played in Croker sleep soundly tonight!! It was a brilliant decision, not just because it suited us, but because it was clearly a special occasion from the first whistle, supporters’ first outing since Covid. Hugely significant and marked in no better way. Galway had their chances too so they’ll have no complaints.

    Sure where else would you want to be. High summer, Croker, knockout football. Come on.

  67. Second half was such an enjoyable clinic of everything we can be. The question is, can we do that for an entire game, or at least avoid the 17-minute pitfall like we had after the first water break. Lots of praise to go around, but certainly some questons that JH will need to address. Can’t wait for the Semi’s in three weeks. Thanks as always, WJ.

  68. I was very worried at half-time and thought we were done. We were loose in defence and Galway were getting thro’ us with ease. Conversely, similar to the U20’s against Roscommon we were running up against the Galway blanket, passing latterly over and back and down into the corners to no effect. I said to a friend at half-time that we needed to bring in the two Mc’s and be direct and run at Galway at pace, as that is the best way to beat the blanket defence and, also, is our natural game-Horan must have read my mind. The subs made a difference, as did our different approach and I think the tunnel fracas also ignited us-I suspect that it was started by Galway players making comments, which came back to bite them-they thought they had it won. Heroes all over the place in the 2nd half-O ‘Hora and Mullin superb at the back, Durkan and Kevin Mac around the middle and O’ Donoghue, Conroy and Loftus up front and the magnificent Ruane everywhere. Don’t get me started on the ref., who was atrocious and Mayo mainly suffered-Ryan’s goal was perfect, Aido’s pick-up was fine, Cooke played the ball with his hand off the ground, not even a foul, never mind a yellow, for the full frontal on Loftus, some bewildering frees to Galway and surely the foul for the penalty should have earned a black card. I never liked Lane-he is a terrible referee. Great win and always nice to beat Galway and more valuable experience for our developing young players.

  69. Pep in the step today….we are on the hunt again…but the tests get bigger from here.
    That second quarter was a worry and again two bad goals….however we have a team for the next 10 years thanks to Horan…..
    I like OShea at FF for a big part of the next 2 games….he keeps 2 defenders locked up in battle which reduces the opposition attack

  70. Good Monday morning to all on here this morning may I ask who is the Mayo player named as swanny who is
    mentioned on the different articles above
    What a great performance by this Mayo team yesterday their work rate was phenomenal
    Remember the motto from the Film The 3 , Musketeers: One for all and all for one

  71. James – it’s the one and only Padraig O’Hora. The Ballina contingent can, I’m sure, provide background on the origin of the nickname, which, if I’m not mistaken, is family-related.

  72. Padraic grandfather was a great GAA man back in the 60s in Ballina.. He was in charge of the United team in the town league… We knew him as Swannie.. Never knew his Christian name… I seem to rem that his party piece was the Al Jolson song “swannie”… Padraic was brilliant yesterday

  73. Padraig OHora showed Yesterday the value of having a defender in the full backline whose main attribute is physical toughness.
    We’d have an All Ireland by now if we’d been less “Nice footballer ” focussed in our full backline.
    Tom Cunniffe fit the tough mould as well, we missed him.
    You want the forward thinking “Ah feck it, this guys not 100% sane”

  74. One of the great days. To win a Connacht title with this set of players, having lost Cillian, on the back of all of the retirements, and with only Sligo and Leitrim for preparation, would have been achievement enough. To do so when 5 points down at half time against a rampant Galway makes it so much sweeter. That was the best second half I’ve seen Mayo put in since the draw against Kerry in 2014. Relentless intensity, focus, discipline and execution. You couldn’t ask for more.

    James Horan has got a Connacht title – his sixth as manager – out of a very young team, and for my money, this was the pick of the six. He now effectively has a ‘free hit’ against the Dubs, as not even the most generous pundit will tip Mayo to beat them. If we could even improve 5% on our showing against them in December, and if Cluxton was still out of the picture, it would be very interesting indeed to see what happens.

    As for Galway? Once again, when an opponent put it up to them and Joyce had to come up with a Plan B, he couldn’t. Great players do not automatically make great managers. If they did, we’d have won Sam under Jack O’Shea. The Galway players looked gassed from an early stage too. I saw Kevin McStay question their conditioning on the Sunday Game last night. I think he might have a point. With their hurlers also out, it’ll be interesting to see who’s at the helm in both codes in 2022.

  75. I said 6 and they did it fair play, I was a little worried at half time but still new they had more to give,

  76. Padraic O’Hora’s grandfather was Gerald (“Swannie”) O’Hora a great GAA man in Ballinaa in the sixties.He and Willie Casey (a club mate of his on the United team) used to love singing Al Jolson’s songs on the bus going home after a match. Swannie, of course, was Gerald’s favourite song, hence the nick name.. I played against both of them in the Ballina street league

  77. Thanks WJ and the people on here who enlightened me on the nick name Swannie belongs to Padraig o Hora

  78. Willie Joe , surely you can’t believe the clear push that led to the disallowed goal was a legal challenge con you !

  79. Jeff – I saw no clear push, not by Ryan at any stage. He stood his ground and the Galway lad bounced off him. No foul there as far as I could see.

  80. I was behind the goal and I couldn’t see the foul, thought I missed something but couldn’t see anything wrong on Sunday game last night

  81. Didnt see much wrong with ref lads. mean foul on Walsh off the ball put him out of game lucky ref didnt see it. Galway poor but Kelly a massive loss. Mayo far fitter but fitness wont win ye the All Ireland. Predict ye beat the Dubs and get a savaging from Kerry in the final. If Kerry somehow lose their semi ye could actually win it after 70 years. As for Galway I dont know but there are young players coming through but changes are needed. PJ needs to bring in new coaches but he might walk away and Rochford comes in.

  82. Fantastic 2nd half yesterday. Horan got big calls at ht bang on. Surely Matthew Ruane has to up there with best midfielders in the country now? Come on so much last 18 months. Have to be confident going in to semi with most likely Dublin with the pace, power and fitness they showed 2nd half.

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