Minors go under to Galway

Photo: Rob Murphy

From the highs of Round 2 to the lows of Round 4, Mayo are down, not out but they need snookers in the Connacht minor football championship. A seven-point home loss to Galway tonight, on a scoreline of 2-12 to 0-11, marked a second straight defeat for the Green and Red and it leaves them needing Sligo to beat Roscommon on the final weekend to keep their hopes alive. 

This was no thriller, Mayo edged a poor first half in terms of the balance of play with most of the ball and the bulk of the scoring chances coming their way but the sides were locked together at four points apiece at the break. Galway had converted four of their seven shots at goal, Mayo managed just four from 13 attempts and had a spell of 19 minutes without a point after opening up with two quick points. 

The second half was a different story however as the sides traded scores in a barnstorming few minutes of play before Galway started to take control and pull clear. By the midway point of the half their lead was three and Mayo were in trouble, struggling even to get within shooting range. 

The killer blow then came on 54 minutes as Warren Seoige was adjudged to have been fouled in the square and Tomo Culhane crowned a fine afternoon with a penalty. That was that, Mayo fought back through a succession of Mylett frees but a late Niall Cunningham goal sealed a fine win for the lad in Maroon who are now one win over Leitrim away from securing a place in the final. 

It took Mayo three shots at the posts to find their range in this game and Irwin was their catalyst in that regard as he kicked a couple of neat points under very little minimal pressure into the Albany end. The scores quickly dried up, however, as the attacks continued, with Mayo missing their next three shots. They went 19 minutes without registering a further score.  

Galway took the impetus from that point onwards. Having managed just two attacks in the first 13 minutes with not a single score, they suddenly hit three in as many minutes. Daniel Cox picked off a great point to get the ball rolling, Evan Nolan weaved through the defence and tapped over soon after before Tomo Culhane kicked a free from 35 metres to put his side ahead. 

The Mayo cause was aided considerably by wing-back Eoin Gilraine on 22 minutes as his long range point bucked a trend of poor shot selection and wayward efforts. It was followed soon after by a free off the ground from Ciaran Mylett on the left hand side and Mayo were briefly in front only to be pegged back by the dead-eyed free taking of Culhane before the break.

The second half started at a blistering pace with the sides going score for score in the first five minutes. There was some high quality football in the process with Ruairi Keane and Ciaran Mylett kicking points from play for Mayo only for Galway to have answers from Cian Hannon, Nathan Grainger and the hugely influential midfielder James McLaughlin. 

Mayo sub Conor Reid kept his side within touch but Galway were now dominating kick outs and surging forward. Culhane added a point from play and from a free to ease his side further clear and, with a three-point lead, the final blow came from that penalty as the side that had lost in the opening round to Roscommon completed their impressive turnaround in this competition. 

The permutations are not too complicated as Galway should beat winless Leitrim in Tuam based on all current form. If they do, they’ll be in the play-offs, straight into the final if Sligo join them on six points, as the head-to-head favours the Tribesmen. That leaves Sligo, Roscommon and Mayo on four points. Should Roscommon beat Sligo they’ll go to six along with Galway and into the final ahead of the Tribesmen on the head-to-head rule. This outcome would leave Sligo and Mayo tied and Sligo hold the head-to-head advantage there. However, a Sligo win will mean it’s Mayo who go through, as they beat Roscommon in Round 2.

So it’s not looking good, then, although Sligo have some added incentive as a win over Roscommon will give them a home semi-final against Mayo, while a defeat will mean an away semi-final in Hyde Park against Roscommon. Hope springs eternal. Here’s a mind-boggling stat to finish: Mayo’s last win over Galway at senior, U20 or minor was Salthill in 2015.

Galway: D Halleran; J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan; C Hernon (0-1), E Fiorentini, D McNulty; J McLaughlin (0-1), D O’Flaherty; E Nolan (0-2), D Cox (0-1), D Brady; N Grainger (0-2, ’45), T Culhane (1-5, 1-0 pen, 3fs), W Seoighe.
Subs: C Gallagher for Brady; R Burke for O’Flaherty; N Cunningham (1-0) for Grainger.

Mayo: L Jennings; A Morrison, O Tunney, A Cosgrove; E Murphy, R Keane (0-1), E Gilraine (0-1); D Thornton, E Henry; P Heneghan, P Walsh, C Boland; C Mylett (0-6, 5fs), F Irwin (0-2), R Morrin. Subs: S Dempsey for Murphy; C Reid (0-1) for Morrin; R Hughes for Boland; C O’Connell for Heneghan.

Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim)

44 thoughts on “Minors go under to Galway

  1. At half time I felt that neither team wanted to show their true colours in anticipation of another meeting in the knockout stages. As it turns out there may not be a meeting in the knockout stages. Mayo were second best in so many areas. Until they started to break the ball at midfield in the last quarter they were second best in the air and on the ground. Their full backline looked vulnerable and the half forwards looked like they would not burst a wet paper bag. Only Frank Irwin really looked the part and his influence waned as Galway seemed to have him double marked anytime the ball came his way in the second half. Why he is named at full forward when his best football is as a half forward I do noot know. The Mayo shooting was deplorable. Why left footed players choose to overlap up the left side of the pitch putting themselves under pressure when shooting I do not know.

  2. Rob would a draw in Sligo/Roscommon not rule us out, would Roscommon not have 1 point more than us then? I think we need Sligo to win.

  3. I remember Galway beating us four or five times in a row in the early to mid naughtiest then we held the upper hand over a similar amount of games up to 2014, however there was rarely more than a kick of a ball between the teams then,
    Now there seems to be a noticeable gulf in class developing ,which I think is the most worrying thing about the current bad run.
    It will be interesting to see if this carries through to u20 level if we hopefully get to meet them this year.if it does then we should be really worried.

  4. We had the better under 20 team last year we have the better under 20 team this year guys calm down dissapointing yes worrying no.

    Mayo were the better team tonight a penalty that wasn’t a penalty and a late goal on the counter attack galway didn’t posses much flare but the annoying thing is neither did we.
    Problem in this game was we were missing a few big lads such as our midfielder sam callinan.
    Another issue I feel needs to be addressed is the goalkeeper situation give conor canny a chance a great goalkeeper

  5. Ah stop, there is absolutely no way Mayo were the better team tonight. Galway were far superior in the second half and well worth their win.

  6. Rob, you said above that if Galway beat Leitrim, they are straight into the Final.?

    But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.
    If Roscommon beat Sligo, they too would finish on 6 points, and would then have the head to head advantage over Galway, ..
    So unless I have it all wrong, it’s the Rossies who are straight into the Final if they beat Sligo. Then it’s a Galway/Sligo semi final

    If Ros and Sligo draw, it’s Galway into the final (if they beat Leitrim ) with Ros and Sligo in the semi final.

    If Sligo beat Roscommon, Galway are into the final (if they beat Leitrim), and it’s Sligo and Mayo in the Semi Final

  7. A draw between Roscommon and Sligo will knock Mayo out also as both will have 5 point and Mayo 4.

  8. I don’t agree that we were the better team tonight. I thought Galway were physically stronger than us and were a lot cuter.
    However with only 1 minute of normal time left there was only 1 score between the teams. If results go our way next week and we learn from tonight then hopefully we can beat them next month in the Connacht Final.

  9. Mayoforsam2k19, Mayo weren’t the better team not, the more wasteful one but not the better team. Mayo U20s were lucky they didn’t play Galway last year and Galway U20s look like the team to beat in Connacht this year not Mayo. The record v Galway at all levels is very worrying and showing no signs of stopping.

  10. Absolutely horrendous result from the Mayo minors tonite,took there eye of the ball against Sligo after an impressive win over Roscommon.
    I would defo say there was very bad scouting of Minor players in this County by management. looking through the starting 15 only 1 player was involved from the St Colmans College Claremorris team who were Connacht Colleges Champions this year.Only 7 clubs were involved in the starting 15, with only 2 clubs making up our 6 best forwards in the County, yet Muredachs were operating at B Colleges level this year with 1 midfielder and 3 forwards from Ballina in the team.I watched alot of Minor Club football last year and Westport and Knockmore were by far the best teams yet no player was involved in the starting 15 this evening along with Claremorris,Garrymore,Hollymount ,Davitts who had all players playing in an All Ireland Schools semi final in April.Funny how a Castlebar Selector is involveda team with 3 forwards in a County team.Did u ever in your life see a County team have only 2 Clubs represent there starting 6 forwards.We definitely have a problem in recognising Forwards in this County.Hard working ,physical forwards are preferred to Scoring Forwards in this County.

  11. Chris – The St Colman’s team from earlier this year would have included a lot of U18s and U19s which is probably why so few are on the minor panel. A more relevant schools age group would be junior (U16). St Gerald’s Castlebar hammered St Jarlath’s Tuam in that grade earlier this year and lost the AI semi-final narrowly after extra time.

    Minor club football last year was U18 so all of those players would be overage as well. I don’t have any knowledge of current U17s throughout the county but it’s to be expected that Castlebar and Ballina would have a bigger pool of players than other areas.

  12. Chris, What ever we had in the forwards v Galway would not be classed overall as “hard working , physical”. As I said in my first contribution above our half forwards would not burst a wet paper bag. Hence when one of them got possession it was played backwards or accross the field giving the Galway defence time to settle and set themselves.
    Drawing comparisons to college football is nonsense as there is now such a disparity in the different age structures. Most 2019 college players would be over age for minor [U17] football. After all the reason the minor age limit was reduced was to take those Leaving Cert players out of the minor picture.

  13. I don’t think schools football is as important to minor results as it once was. Galway schools have done nothing in recent years but they are still going for 5 in a row at minor/U-17 level. Meanwhile Mayo schools dominate Connacht. There is obviously a disconnect there somewhere. In the past if you had good schools teams you generally won Connacht at minor.

  14. You know some people think that it’s wrong to moan … if Indeed ‘Moaning’ is the proper word for it at all….. sometimes it’s just telling the ‘True Fact’s’ and the ‘True Fact’s’ on occasion don’t suit everybody, especially some vested interests….. This is particularly true of all aspects of life in Ireland in my opinion, where should I start on that particular topic, I don’t intend to, it’s too big of an issue in the first place… But why should the GAA be any different……
    A day or two ago someone on this Blog , (and a Mayo fan), suggested that we Mayo fan’s were a laughing stock because he/she lived in another part of Ireland and could hear what was being said about us, moaning about the time of the Throw In, and somehow conflated that with making excuses or blaming something else for Roscommon deserved victory over us… and blaming virtually everything except ourselves for virtually every defeat we ever suffered!..Anyhow this concerns, not only Mayo, but Roscommon and every other County in Ireland , that isn’t Dublin (and of course it’s somewhat mirrored in the General Governance of Ireland) , Anyhow there is an article in yesterday’s Independent by a hurler from Carlow, Paul Coady, very interesting it is too and it deatails the gulf in funding coming from Croke Park (allot of Mayo’ money went to help pay for this, by the way and it didn’t come back in this direction either) for the coaching of the Individual Carlow Player at €144.50 per Player, and €457.09 for a Dublin Player…. Now correct me if I am wrong?, but I am not the only one moaning . …. The rest of Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora abroad paid for Croke Park, not just Dublin, they have their Parnell Park, which they paid for…Every possible advantage is being given to them, and subsidized by the rest of Ireland, including the use of the National Stadium, paid for by the Nation for virtually every Championship Match, as both a home and neutral venue…. The whole paid administration of the GAA has serious questions to answer, , …. Sport is supposed to be fair, or if it’s not, it’s not Sport …

  15. Mayoforsam2k19 , you must not been at the game last night if in any way you think Mayo were the better team. Both teams were very defensive in a dour first half, but Galway took the shackles off in the second half and were very deserving winners. Will we win 5 in a row? Possibly but I believe Sligo are the best of the rest and I’d see them beating Roscommon next week.
    On the schools point , as much as it pains me , Using Saint Jarlaths as a yardstick from now on, is pointless for any other school. Claregalway college , a new secondary school won first year, juvenile connacht this year and will continue to grow and be the main Galway college in the next 10 years. Finally Galway u 20s under PJoyce and John Divilly won the John Kerins cup during the week with a game to spare. They beat Kerry, Cork and Kildare and play Dublin today. So although not championship, great strides been made there. Looking forward to the u 20 Connacht championship this year.

  16. Galway by far the better team. I can’t remember one goal chance for us and the goalie gifted us one point. I think we only scored one point from play in second half.
    Galway created several goal chances. Our keeper had to make several one on one saves…

  17. Very true Tuamstar – it looks like Claregalway College going forward will be the strongest Galway school in the schools competitions.
    Mayoforsam2k19 I wouldn’t necessarily agree re u20s. We’ll soon find out but our lads aren’t bad and beat Mayo by 13 points at minor 2 years ago.
    I think the two teams are close in standard.
    Last years u20 management ruined a good set of players.
    Colleges football doesn’t seem to be as important in Galway anymore in terms of the minor team.
    In years gone by our minor teams would be flooded with North Galway lads who went to Jarlaths.
    Last nights starting team had 10 West Galway players between the city and Connemara.
    A lot of these lads attend small schools that aren’t going to be able to compete in colleges football.
    Guys that attend city schools can be spread out among 5 or 6 different schools so there is a dilution of talent there that means they won’t be winning A colleges titles.
    It isn’t as important as it once was I think

  18. Thanks for the heads up on my mix up in the permutations folks. Writing match reports in the car is fraught with danger. Podcasters have it awful easy by comparison. John has kindly edited and corrected the second last paragraph.

  19. Re the minors / under 17’s, it seems to me that things haven’t changed much in Mayo since the late 1980’s, ie, best players not being picked.
    I looked at the team line up yesterday evening, saw 6 forwards, 3 from each Castlebar and Ballina, I thought it was unusual, must be very strong at club level.
    There is obviously a huge problem at development age in Mayo u14 up to u20, coaching just not good enough and ‘yes’ men appointed as managers.
    Too much emphasis has been put into the Senior team. The 2013 All Ireland had a collection for great players, but there was a greater spread of players from many different clubs around the County.

  20. Your 100% spot on Leantimes.

    You’ve had managers ran out of county jobs, managers name calling fans, fans swinging at managers. We are great in this county for trying to magnify what is happening when in fact it’s the same in every county.

    The only 2 counties with a bit of credit are kildare who kicked up about Newbridge and I think Donegal had a motion defeated some months back. Fair play to them. They bit back.

    Sure I stopped watching Sunday games myself. Games analysed, and the game changing wrong decisions not even shown or discussed.

    As far as funding goes, it’s like giving a woman 300 euros a week to feed her 6 children and giving the next woman 50 euros a week and telling her to feed her 6 children with that. Them giving the money tell you that both families are equally fed.

    I found it very annoying to see John Horan coming out and saying that Dublins massive funding had nothing to do with their success. He said the success was due to unpaid volunteers.

    The gaa’s survival and success is due to all that play the sport, and yes, the brilliant unpaid volunteers who do trojan work all over the country.

    It’s a bit rich to hear a man who is paid a kings ransom supporting and justifying the inequality in county funding. I find his position on this and his denial of what’s happening to the football championship sad and disgraceful.

    Croke Park.
    How dare we have an opinion on Croke Park ?
    Eventhough we paid for it.
    How dare we even go to warm up at the hill end ?
    Who the fuck do we think we are ?

    Why shouldn’t the greatest grant receiving team of all times play all their games there ?

    The country bums paid for the place and now the City slickers almost have it as a training pitch.

    People Thank God are no fools.

    Through the passage of time, I believe there will be more thought of the likes of Leitrims Connacht final win in the early 90’s or Clares Munster final win under Maughan, than there will be of the clutch of AI’s Dublin are now winning.

    Achievement can be measured best by those who succeeded, despite not having what today’s Oligarchs have.

  21. U17’s should be enjoying their football. They should be under no pressures to win. There will be plenty of pressure when they are men and grown up and hopefully get to play senior football someday. For now let them go out and enjoy it and make their mistakes. Sure they are still only childen. If they win great and if they don’t I hope they are enjoying every minute of it.

  22. “The Mayo shooting was deplorable. Why left footed players choose to overlap up the left side of the pitch putting themselves under pressure when shooting I do not know.”

    This right here is what the powers that be in mayo football need to look at . Our forward play is terrible , it’s so lacking , we struggle badly . It’s like there is no forward coaching of the basics , our scores are so hard earned its ridiculous . The mistakes made are so simple not to make but it’s like there’s a whole chapter, a vital one at that, been ripped from the coaching manual in mayo and it has created an awful problem .

  23. I listened to the last minutes of the U17 game on Galway Bay FM (was not on Midwest). Commentators mentioned the number of wides by Mayo. Sound familiar? Appears to be an issue with all Mayo teams and has been an issue for many years. How do we address this issue? Is it a coaching problem or is it something in our DNA?

  24. Just to clear up any confusion some people might have, this is the current league table:

    Pos Team P W L D F A Diff Points
    1 Mayo 4 2 2 0 72 45 27 4
    2 Sligo 3 2 1 0 53 39 14 4
    3 Galway 3 2 1 0 51 44 7 4
    4 Roscommon 3 2 1 0 55 52 3 4
    5 Leitrim 3 0 3 0 26 77 -51 0

    Assuming Galway defeat Leitrim, the only way we take 3rd place is if Sligo defeat Roscommon. We get it on head-to-head. A draw or win for Roscommon and we are out.

  25. Very bad news of an injury to a player in a sector we were one injury away from disaster in
    Disaster has struck

  26. Mayo u17 did not seem to play to any specific plan. Irwin looked A decent target man but came out deep for ball. Frustrating Slow build and crossfield passes insured we would never get much space inside. Not one goal chance created

  27. That injury is reported in the independent now. Matthew Ruane broke his collar bone – massive blow.

    Article reports that Vaughan, O’Shea and O’Connor are back playing

  28. Yeah it’s confirmed, most likely out until August so we definitely need everyone else back now .

  29. Clarke
    Keegan (man mark)
    Harrison
    Barrett
    Boyle
    Plunket
    Durcan
    Diarmuid
    AOS
    Higgins
    Doherty
    Kmcl
    Cillian
    Coen
    Regan

  30. Bogman……good question. In my youth I played on an under 16 team that won a county championship. The same lads won nothing at U12, U14, Minor or u21. We started every training session with 45 minutes of point kicking. We started off on the 14 and worked our way out to about the 45. We won our divisional, county semi final and county final without scoring a goal, and defeated much stronger teams in the process. Most lads would be comfortable takin a shot from anywhere inside of 35 yards….a few of the more mature lads could hit them from 40/45 yards. Our full back could also bang over 45

  31. Listen if their not good enough, then better out…
    What’s goin on with mayo teams, loads of chances but cannot score, like old days…..what are they doin in training n surely fowards shoud be picked on merit , boys that know were posts are and watched at clubs by coach or selectors …this north South East west selection prkcess doest seem be working….it’s benefited every one else in province but us….rossis, full county , Galway…county n city…bloody joke…..wake up n front up in connacht first of all , …f….rest them.
    We gonna be left behind….
    Sorry but frustrated supporter.

  32. Best news for Galway is PJ managing the U20’s so maybe much to look forward to in the coming years. Terrible news for Ruane. So many injuries these last few years. I believe Conroy is nearly ready to come back but no sigh of Comer or your man Parsons who is badly missed. If Mayo are 3-4 up with 10-15 to go then its game over for Down the next night. They need to make it a scramble to the line and Mayo need to be very very clever about their shot decision making as its costing them winnable games most recently against the Rossies.

  33. FYI tuamstar i was at the game yesterday and intend to go again if they get through

    Galway deserved the win yes one player can make a monster of a difference which was there midfielder he looked like he could fit in a senior squad.
    Without sam callinan we missed that driving force going from midfield
    Dylan Thornton aswell
    Mayo have the better footballers than galway
    It’s minor these are 16 and 17 year olds mayo football is as far from doomed as your making it
    Rory Morrin is a serious bit of stuff but wasn’t given ball yesterday
    Oisin tunney fullback from breaffy full of promise
    Calm down on the negativity heads up.
    Mayo and galway under 20s are even

  34. I take issue with a number of posters on this and other recent threads who question the coaching methods, particularly at club level. As a club coach myself, I have met and know some very good club coaches who are working at all underage levels throughout the county.

    It’s very easy to blame losses on not having a plan, etc. which might be the case sometimes. However, much more comes into play with 16/17 year olds playing for their county in Championship matches. It’s amazing how decision making is affected by nerves and the big occasion. This should be a learning experience for these lads who will hopefully improve further at U20 and senior level.

    Of course everyone wants to win, myself more than anyone but these things do work in cycles and I’m sure Mayo will have their dominant spell in Connacht again soon.

    Finally, for those of you who are criticising coaching throughout the county, get out and watch some of the minor championship this summer where you’ll find some great football on display.

  35. @Take Your Points, coaching is only part of it, having the know how at winning a game is a completely different thing altogether, ie, knowing how to get the best / most out of any bunch of players at your disposal.
    I laugh at some of my kids club games here in Dublin, the so called managers haven’t a clue, don’t know how a game is won, can’t read it and can’t see where changes need to be instantly made, this is the way the GAA seems to be going, club bosses picking celebrities and people that never played the game to look after the teams.
    It could be the same in Mayo, I know one guy for a fact that is involved in coaching in my former club, this guy never togged out at any level in Primary or Secondary School or for the club.
    As somebody that doesn’t go to many Mayo games, I cannot comment on the current managers, but I was in Tuam Stadium for Mayo v Galway in March of 2017, Mayo had no plan, didn’t know simply to keep the ball away from Galway two best players, the midfielders, Mayo had no plan B.

  36. @mayo88 I would consider know how, game plans, etc. all part of coaching. Coaching is far more than just the skills of the game. You’re trying to coach lads tactically, technically, mentally, physically and emotionally. Well that would be my opinion anyways.

    I find in most cases that taking an interest in young lads lives and not just worrying about the skills can go a long way to fostering team morale and building character for when things get tight in big matches.

  37. Yep…like I said earlier today, Galway u20’s buzzing. Will be hard stopped and it’s the result of having dominance at minor and tedd webb.

    It really is concerning times for Mayo’s production line. Yes, we got to an Al Ireland final last year u20 (and I was at every one of those games) but compare to the last decade when we were routinely competing at the business end of minor and u21 champsionships.

    It needs to be looked at and if it’s being looked at I hope it’s being done right. This ‘Mayo Way’, I hope it works!!!

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