Minors ready to take final step

We’re counting down the hours now ahead of this evening’s All-Ireland Minor football Championship final. It’s a first ever all-Connacht Championship decider, in which we play Galway. Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon is the venue, throw-in is 7.15pm and the match is live on TG4, with live radio commentary on Midwest as well. Niall Cullen from Fermanagh is the ref.

We named our team this morning for the game, as expected going with an unchanged first fifteen, for what will be the fourth successive outing. That’s no surprise – this has been a very settled outfit right from the start of this campaign back in April and there would be no logic in altering at this stage what is a winning side.

We’re coming into this evening’s Tom Markham Cup decider with seven straight wins, our 100% record in the round-robin stage in Connacht earning us direct passage to the provincial final. There we beat tonight’s opponents, as we’d also done decisively in the group game, and since then we’ve enjoyed wins over Kildare in the quarters and Kerry in the semi-final.

A fair bit has been made of Galway’s three losses coming into this final. To me, that makes little sense. This competition – quite rightly, as it’s an underage development grade – had a round-robin element to it and in that, and their subsequent semi-final win over Sligo, Galway earned their place in the Connacht final and, with it, passage to the All-Ireland Series.

Since their provincial decider defeat to us, Galway have beaten a well-regarded Dublin team who’d just won Leinster and then they got the better of Derry, who’d defeated Munster champions Cork. There’s no question but that the young Tribesmen deserve their place in this evening’s final, nor is there any doubt but that they’re in it on merit.

In largely the same vein, much has also been made about the supposed difficulty in beating the same team three times. Really, where did that one come from?

It’s not as if Championships regularly throw up triple meetings, certainly not in the quantity that would enable anyone to draw conclusions about the outcome of the third meeting. Maybe, instead, Occam’s Razor might better apply – we’ve won all our games to date and have beaten them twice already so, all other things being equal, there must be a very good chance we’re going to beat them again this evening.

Supporters – particularly those on our side of the fence – are, I sense, projecting quite a bit of hope and expectation in the direction of these young players as they head into this game. I don’t think this is either right or fair.

As I mentioned on the podcast after they’d beaten Kerry the other week, these lads are so young that their only direct memories of the Mayo football team will have been everything that has happened since 2011, with the county challenging at the top table year after year. All our old failings are, literally, history to them.

In the same way, the searing final defeats we’ve suffered since 2011 are events they’ve witnessed through the eyes of a child. Legally, they’re still children now so us adults should be very careful before we load our adult expectations onto them.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be great – wonderful, in fact – if this Mayo Minor team win this evening. But it’s not their job – as the Apollo 8 mission was credited in doing in relation to 1968 – to somehow rescue 2022 for us. It’s an underage game of football, our lads will be looking to win it – in the same way Galway will too – and we need to leave them at it, without freighting the occasion with further unnecessary ballast.

In this respect, I thought Conor Mortimer put it perfectly this morning. Wishing his nephew, Rio (Kenny’s lad), all the best for this evening, he said simply “enjoy it and do your best.”

That’s exactly the kind of sentiment we need to impart on Seán Deane’s young charges as they head for Dr Hyde Park this evening. They’re a great bunch of lads, who are a credit to themselves, their families, their clubs, community and county.

We’re all behind them this evening, we hope they savour the atmosphere to the full and that they express their talents to the best of their ability. If they do that, the result will look after itself. All the very best to each and every one of them. Up Mayo.

119 thoughts on “Minors ready to take final step

  1. Have loved watching them this season. Real good team littered with some quality ball players.

    Best of luck to them this evening. I hope they go out and perform, and do themselves justice.

    Up Mayo!

  2. Well said Willie Joe. No sense in putting any more pressure on these young lads than they’ll already be putting on themselves. As regards the expectations I’m afraid that’s just human nature but I agree it would be best if we keep those hopes and expectations to ourselves. So yes the most important thing is for them to enjoy the occasion but in fairness I always found the most enjoyable thing was winning. All the best tonight lads.

  3. Watch ye every chance i get, it’s a pleasure the style of football ye play, ye are a credit to Mayo and your families and to yourselves. Best of luck this evening.

  4. Go neiri le foireann mionuir Mhuigeo v Gaillimh anocht. Le cunadh De bheidh an bua againn.
    Great team, squad and management team. Great to listen to them on the pod! Top management team very impressive indeed. Great work at academy level. Comhghairdeas to the CB!
    Mhuigeo Abu!

  5. Does anyone know a decent pub in Dublin that will be showing the Minor Final tonight?

  6. Good luck to the Mayo Minor team this evening in their All-Ireland meeting with Galway.
    The best of good fortune to them, their management, families and the fans.
    It’s a gorgeous day here in the West today. Hope it’s a lovely soft evening with great football and fun. I hope there’s good young contingent of fans there.

  7. Travelling in more hope than anything else..
    Hopefully these Galway lads will get a good support but understably tomorrow’s game in Dublin will effect it.
    Mayo should still win well but for these 16 year old lads it’s not the end of the world and as supporters we shouldn’t be putting excess pressure on them..

  8. Best of luck to both teams but naturally I hope we end up with the spoils this evening.

    Massive occasion for both sets of lads.

    Hon Mayo.

  9. Best of luck to our minors this evening, in the semi final they played a bit below their own high standards. Kerry won the midfield battle quite decisively and a few uncharacteristic errors crept into their game. Apart from this they’ve played brilliantly in all their other championship games and if they can recapture the form they showed in the Connacht final I’ve no doubt they’ll be lifting the cup tonight.

  10. I was talking to a lad who’s son plays soccer. A few weeks ago his sons team lost a game 7-0, and in a more recent game (that mattered) against the same opposition-his sons team prevailed on a score line of 1-0. The 2 prior games Mayo have had against Galway are meaningless….if anything it’s advantage Galway, because no one expects them to win.

    Mayo are not going up to the Hyde to collect the cup-they’re going to have one hell of a battle on their hands to bring it home

  11. Galway should be a lot further ahead. They are well up for it and are well set up. Mayo looked like they were waiting for it to happen. Lots didn’t go right but hopefully they turn it around.

  12. Ref has been very soft for both teams. Frees for any challenge. Ruining the game. Only last minute did he actually allow a free out when player with the ball was surrounded. Mayo been very poor, relying on moments. Mayo look nervous but in fairness, Galway have massively improved since Connacht games. Wouldnt be surprised if it goes to extra time.

  13. Oh no, no, no. The occasion has gotten to them all, apart from Maheady who is relishing it. Lacking in energy. Just 2nd best.

    Huge improvement required 2nd half otherwise thos could be a similar scoreline to the game in Tuam, only reversed. And that would be an almighty shame.

    Cmon Mayo boys!! Ye have 30 mins to show what you’re made of.

  14. The ref giving Galway frees for the slightest bit of contact. Mayo need to step up 2nd half as that performance won’t be good enough to win this 1st half.

  15. Two fine Minor teams. Good to watch . We probably need a bit of luck in second half,. Come on lads!

  16. Regroup now at half time. Séan Deane will help to steady them so they can get a flow going and use discipline.
    Let them go out and get stuck in.
    It’s mostly that Galway are well up for this game and their forwards are dangerous.
    We are still here. We can do it.

  17. Unfortunately turning out as I had feared. No spark to Mayo, Galway much the hungrier and the team with a point to prove.

  18. Massive wides there. Can Galway keep up that intensity? Probably not but those 2 wides are sapping.

  19. Shocking stuff, mayo in a psychological doldrums. No fight yet again.

  20. We have been absolutely shafted in 2nd half by ref. What a shocking performance by him.

    Pity Mayo only started to play with 15 mims to go.

  21. The best teams always win finals.
    We can’t break down blanket defences.
    Ball given away repeatedly.
    No excuses, can’t blame refs or anything external.

    Galway were simply better. They improved as the competition came to a close.

  22. Unfortunately galway much better tonight
    Perfect setup for galway
    Learned much more in defeat than Mayo did in victory

  23. Yes hard luck and all that and they put in an massive effort all year, but I for one am sick to death of us under performing and indeed collapsing in finals. Ye urgently need a serious top down review of what exactly we are doing at all levels or this is just going to continue

  24. @JR – the ref was shocking but his performance has nothing to do with the result, Galway by far the better team tonight.

  25. Completely outclassed by a better team!
    Unfortunately there was a lot of hype re our team but unfortunately on the night they did not perform! They are young and hopefully will improve!

  26. Galway the best team, Kevin McStay was a good judge earlier in the season. Hard luck to the team and management, some of these will play senior for Mayo.

  27. Kevin McStay was lambasted on here for saying that Galway were the best minor team in the country even after the hammering by Mayo. Hes a more astute pundit than some may think.

  28. I thought the lost to Tyrone last year was bad. This was ten times worst. Headless chicken stuff from start to finish. My god.

  29. Very little went right… I dunno.
    Very disillusioned with the whole thing.
    How come we always seem to get outsmarted on the line…

  30. Galway were simply the better team on the night . Disappointing for our lads but well done on getting to final . You’ve done your county proud

  31. A disaster from start to finish no forwards all gone missing? And sorry manager left it late with subs. No plan but run with the ball what happened to earlier brand of football? Galway had the last laugh I don’t blame the players!

  32. Nah, McStay was wrong at the time, we had beaten them twice – convincingly.
    He’d be right if he said it tonight.

  33. Nothing to do with the officials. We were simply outclassed tonight. Well done Galway

  34. Absolutely Anyup Galway got their tactics spot on on the line and clearly learned from their defeats where as Mayo learned nothing and were tactically naive. Also the Galway players showed much more fight, I think complacency had set in to the squad and fans.
    Credit to Galway the better team, ref was shite and biased towards Galway but even excluding that fact Galway were better.

    Still these lads are very young and there’s some quality in that squad. Our forwards couldn’t shine as they were in the middle of a blanket defence. They’ll learn from that and come back stronger. Maigh Eo go deo

  35. Congrats to Galway, fully deserving winners. We never got going this evening. Can everyone please remember that this is a minor match that’s being discussed? I won’t take kindly to anyone who oversteps the mark when posting comments about an underage team.

  36. Fair play to Galway. Great display, we’re well beaten on the field and sideline this evening. They’ve improved an absolute ton.
    Did the hype get to our lads?
    There’s no new lessons for Mayo to learn here. Finals have to be won, there’s no medals for great displays early in the season.

  37. Some great players in both teams. They will go toe to toe again at U20 level in a few years. Thanks to Players and Managment for a great year and hard luck tonight.

  38. Hard day at the office.
    Galway certainly learned more from their journey and defeats than we did. I agree with the comment above.
    Galway’s defence were rock solid and we seemed to let them score more easily.
    I detected a touch of blanket defending from Galway. I don’t think we wanted to go in for that at this level.
    In total – Galway the better prepared team for this game. There is a lot of ability in that Mayo team. I love Maheady’s attitude. Our lads also fought to the end. They might have learned a lot from tonight.
    Great tournament throughout lads – thanks for the journey with ye!

  39. Let’s be honest lads, other than Maheady and Clarke, none of our players rose to the occasion while Galway’s did. We were out thought and out fought this evening.

    Congrats to Big Mike, Tuam Star and Chesney Chet, enjoy the night.

    We desperately need to oust this losing mentality that seems to infect most of our county sides through the age groups.

  40. Well said WJ.

    Galway are a good outfit. Our lads gave it their best. Pity the Galway keeper has that great save in the first half, a goal then might’ve been a momentum changer.

  41. One thing is that this team were so talked up since winning Connacht. Big build up ahead of the final..I’d say the players couldn’t go to the local shop without the final being spoken about. I live in Galway. Im here almost all my life. I know how people in Galway think about football. Most people here hardly even knew this game was on tonight. Those Galway players could walk about and most people wouldn’t have a clue they play county minor unless from a small village. Galway players are much more out of the spotlight. That goes for senior too.

    In Mayo we love football and our teams so much..way more, on average, to people in Galway. It’s great but with that comes with pressure and for boys of 15,16, 17 that’s huge pressure to take.

    Galway much the better side tonight. Hugely disappointing for Mayo. Looked all over the shop. Galway looked like to had a plan with and without the ball as well as a simply kickoff strategy that worked. We only started to play when they game looked up. We had chances when back to 3 points. Ref rode us on loads of decisions but it still wouldn’t have altered the outcome.

  42. Tubberman..he said they were the best team in the country. And they are all ireland champions. I think you’ll find that he was correct.

  43. I have to echo Willie Joe that this is an underage team playing Galway in their third game.
    Some of the comments above are way over the top – some cop on would be great.

  44. Disagree Tubberman regarding McStay, he saw their potential in a game versus Roscommon and in fairness they did also beat Dublin and Derry so ultimately was proven correct.
    On a separate point, Galway seem to develop clever forwards, this must be linked with how they are coached within the county, maybe we could see what they are doing.

  45. Fair play to Galway. Great display, we’re well beaten on the field and sideline this evening. They’ve improved an absolute ton.
    Did the hype get to our lads?
    There’s no new lessons for Mayo to learn here. Finals have to be won, there’s no medals for great displays early in the season.

  46. Comiserations to the Mayo team..After a great season they were well beaten tonight. Hopefully the curse mentality wont seep into these fantastic young lads..
    Perhaps kevin McStay knows more about football than we think..He was proven right in his analysis Galway Minors best in country.
    Tome to put inter county season to bed. Rool on the club championship. Why it could not be played befor September i dont understand. Looking forward to two great AL semis this weekend.. predicting Galway and Dublin to prevail..

  47. Can’t blame the youngfellas…how come the line couldn’t change things around to bring our danger men into the game. Galway blocked up the middle,gave us the flanks. We were much more generous…let them walze down the centre of our defense.
    And yes the ref was cat. Some of the frees he gave were hilarious.

  48. @DaveJohnston…Kevin McStay has never received the respect he deserves from Mayo football people. That’s my opinion. He is shrewd. Shudda got the job in late ’14….was treated abysmally…not wanting to open a can of worms…..

  49. So when Mayo beat them twice, they weren’t better than them?
    He was wrong at the time, I don’t see how you can’t see that.
    Galway were better tonight, doesn’t mean they always were or always will be.

  50. Ref definitely changed the game in Galways favour by soft frees in the first half and couldn’t keep up with the play as the game went on. But in reality the best team won..especially the best coached team. It was obvious from early on how Galway played with 14 behind the ball and Mayo needed to do the same to draw them out. As well with Galway flooding the midfield our goalie never went short and played into Galways tactics. He was only doing what he was trained to do. No more than in the seniors we need to be a 10pt better side to win by 1. Overhaul of coaching needed. In Galway all clubs from u14 are urged to play like their u17s did tonight.

  51. Please don’t all turn on management and players after praising them to the hilt on the way to the final. This often happens in finals in all team sports but one poor result doesn’t make this a bad team or bad individual players. On the game itself I thought Galway seemed more motivated. Alhough not an excuse I thought the refereeing was far from even-handed and Galway got pretty much every call. Finally I think we were naive beyond belief. When Galway turned us over and attacked we only fouled when they were within scoring range. When we turned them over they fouled us within our 45 and reset defensive lines. A poor enough final overall but these lads have been brilliant and many of them. Will have long careers at senior county level. Finally a big thank you to Sean, Gary, the panel and all involoved for a fantastic journey.

  52. Great job done by the Galway management to be fair. Completely nullified Mayo’s main men. Restricted Mayo to long range shots. The learned a lot from the defeats.

  53. Did our management team study the Galway- Derry semifinal at all.
    When Derry pushed up on the Galway kickout and forced them to go long- Galway struggled big time on their own kick outs
    We were playing with a strong breeze in first half and we let Galway take several short kick outs and walk the ball up the field uncontested to kick over handy scores or win an easy free.
    Sad to say if you were watching that game from outside the county you would say “typical Mayo” performance in a final.

  54. Super performance from Galway, they’re really going well at underage…the start of what I suspect will be a very rewarding and enjoyable weekend for them. Galway football looking very bright indeed

    Alan Glynn comes across very impressive, and I’ve only heard glowing things about him – meant to be super with the young lads. Just desserts for not appointing a big “glamour” name

    Commiserations to mayo, only lost one game all year, super season, hopefully plenty of these lads have a bright future in the green and red

  55. Folks, can we just acknowledge that Galway, having lost twice to us, had knowledge and time to prepare for us?
    It’s not often that scenario offers itself to a team.
    I think this is something to understand.
    Would you do something similar if you were outsmarted twice?

  56. Maybe Kevin McStays attitude reflects exactly the mayo my mindset, always has the pessimistic outlook when talking about mayo. Kerry or Dublin folk or pundits NEVER have that attitude going into games. Kevin and mayo and most mayo people need to loose that pessimism

  57. Two missed black cards on Clarke, second half not giving our forwards frees and the outrageous free in and yellow on a fair shoulder.
    Galway were better.
    But don’t tell me nothing wrong with that ref tonight.

  58. So disappointed to see that result today. Never got going but it was crystal clear which team, both management and players learned their lessons. I personally thought in the Connaught final we were opened down the middle all day long but Galway just made the wrong final decision. Today they didn’t make the wrong decisions.

    I don’t want to sound ignorant or beat lads when they are down because they did give us a lot of joy this year but it seemed like we thought we had the game won before a ball was kicked. Tough not to when you beat the opponent the last two times comfortably. But I think we didn’t look tuned in at all. That’s the most disappointing part of today

  59. Unfortunately I make that 6 minor finals lost this century (with the one victory in 2013?)? And several tough semi final defeats thrown in…

    Great to be getting so far on so many occasions, but our overall return in finals at all levels is extremely sobering there’s no hiding it.

    That said I’m not trying to be harsh on these particular young lads at all, only one defeat in a long campaign is a mighty achievement

  60. Sorry I included 1999 in that^^^ but point stands

    2010, 2012 and 2014 semis (from what I remember) can also be added to as ones that really got away

  61. I am not too disappointed, some great scores from both teams. A fair few of the Mayo lads capable of making the breakthrough if mentored properlu

  62. We need to look deep into the reasons why we’re losing finals in the way we are. No hiding from it. It’s wrong to brush it under the carpet.

  63. Hard luck to ye but it was a great win for us tonight I knew we were improving but really stepped it up again tonight and Mayo had no answers. I thought if we were a little bit quicker there were goals there too as Mayo were very open at the back. A very pleasing win and hopefully we will get lads through to U20 and onto senior level. Onwards to Croke park in the morning for another battle with a northern team that hopefully we can edge but its another real 50/50 game.

  64. If you keep getting beaten all year in the middle of the field sooner or later your luck is going to run out. Hard luck to our lads and we’ll done Galway

  65. Congratulations Galway, better team on the night won.
    Mayo never really got going.

  66. Galway had there homework done. Kept some of our big players quite. Stopped our full forward line from scoring high.
    At this age you can tell alot by player attitudes. Wont name who I thought were poor but have to call out Rio Mortimer. Last 10 minutes when the game was lost he kept on driving forward. Seen him pull a ball from colleagues hands to take a quick free/battling for balls in the full forward line. He never gave up. And he is young enough again next year – showed real leadership.
    Management very slow in making changes. It was very obvious early on that Galway were taking the middle of our defence out of the game and leaving a gapping hole – nothing done about it. Late bringining on subs. Dont think would have made a difference as Galway had our number,

  67. Congrats Galway and hard luck to Mayo, keep the chins up. Ye did us proud all year!!

  68. Well done to your young team, Chesneychet, and good luck tomorrow in the semi-final in Croker. Enjoy!

  69. “We need to look deep into the reasons why we’re losing finals in the way we are.”

    Are we nearly too football mad in mayo?

    You wouldn’t have a clue that game was on this evening in Galway for example, whereas I’m sure the young mayo lads understandably found it impossible to keep their heads below the clouds… We don’t half get excited when we even get a sniff of a potential all Ireland, just look at social media etc during the week

    In the senior Id doubt any mayo footballer can walk down the street without being recognised or talked to by more or less everyone ahead of an all ireland final… Take the Galway seniors and likely only Shane Walsh, comer or Conroy would turn any heads at all… It’s far easier for Dublin, Galway, Tyrone players to remain much more “incognito” at this time of year, which has to be a benefit when preparing for big games.

    If anything I’d say any Galway side nearly has a chip on their shoulder going into games like these, given they often fade into the background even when winning. The reality is they’re competing with so many sports, and (due to having a city) have a much more varied population, but it must spur them on hugely in a way.

  70. A lot of added pressure on them with the seniors not taking part this weekend. 3rd time lucky for Galway

  71. Agree with previous poster. Galway had more
    Possession and chances in the Connacht final
    But let us off the hook. We had less possession in
    In Quarter and semi final as well but were more efficient than Kerry and Kildare.
    Lack of possession was bound to catch up with us
    And it happened that evening.

  72. A real sickner to lose the AI final to a team you had already beaten comfortably. Tonight was all on the night and Galway performed much better and like a team that didn’t have the pressure to succeed like Mayo.

    Great crowd and atmosphere in Hyde Park and the pitch in excellent condition.

  73. Maybe McStay is better at predicting the future, than the much easier job of reviewing the very recent past just minutes old even with the aid of TV replay’s. Galway well deserved victory today… Galway had learned more and worked harder than Mayo especially in defense on the field of play today. Look on an another day it could have been a different result,..It wasn’t to be, some very good footballer’s on that team… Hope Galway win tomorrow as well, I think it’s going to be a very good weekend for Galway, just has that feel to it… Think Dublin will beat Kerry!..Our minor’s had a very good year all the same, and hopefully they and our minor management will learn from today for the future. Now it’s our support will have to concentrate on our women’s team !

  74. Anyone complaining about the team being talked up can you please explain what else should be done in that situation. If a team plays numerous games and are impressive in all these games does it mean that we don’t talk about the games or say the team was rubbish so as they won’t get carried away. Football is for supporters and part of this involves talking about and analysing the game and if that leads to complacency in the team then that can’t be helped. As regards the game the best team on the day won. They were hungrier and more aggressive and were more up for it. We need to go easy on them as they are still only kids and I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of a lot of these lads in the future.

  75. Very possible Ciaran.

    Our teams need to push beyond that. Sure it was the same even pre social media.

    Surely there’s a manager who can instill belief into our teams. The talent is there but expect to hear the same clichés now that we’ve no forwards.

  76. The Galway manager said it confidenty this evening in the post-match interview, that he knew Mayo wouldn’t be able to nail the 40 yarders in the second half.
    It’s all pressure pressure pressure. Nothing more.

  77. Dear Liberal, the lads did not lose the game this evening due to a lack of belief.
    The Galway team were prepared with a game plan designed to nullify us.
    They have excellent footballers and have played us twice previously this year.
    They’ve watched videos of our other games.
    Will belief cut through the rock solid Galway defence?
    Tactics might.
    But I’d argue Deane and team are coaching 16 and 17 year olds and maybe hadn’t time to design a plan B. Maybe I’m being simplistic on this.

  78. disappointing end to an impressive season. Galway were much the better team, better tactics, execution, intensity and energy. Their kickout strategy was excellent, they defended in packs, clogged up the middle, neutralized our danger men, moved quickly on the counterattack, had support runners at speed. Had they been more accurate in the first half the game would have been over at half time. Their players moved with pace into position and they got good scoreable chances.
    Our kickouts were long mostly into contested areas and we had trouble advancing the ball past midfield, we soloed into trouble, passed and kicked long into crowded areas and got turned over too often. Our scoring chances were few and difficult.We got some energy in the final ten minutes or so but our hail mary kicks into the goalmouth were well dealt with by the Galway defense. Galway continued to improve with every outing, we did not.

  79. All41n14all, I know Lonergan and Trayers from Claregalway / Turloughmore started on both the hurling and football this year anyway, some going

  80. Too much expectation then, Swallow Swoops. Listen to the brilliant analysis by Nigel Reape on the pod just now. He describes it much better than me.

  81. Just back from the Hyde disapointed but well used to losing all Ireland finals but these lads are only kids and didnt go out to lose well done to Galway their forward play was a joy to watcy they deserved to win. Hard luck to Sean Deane and the lads

  82. It’s funny, over the past month I’ve been hearing from lots of Mayo people who wouldn’t know one end of the senior team from the other how good the minor team are. I think this undoubtedly seeped into the minds of the minors and largely proved their undoing today.

  83. Just felt Mayo didn’t do themselves justice this evening – and we’ll surely see more from them in the years to come. Undoubtedly, Galway have talented players. So, it was a great achievement by management to mould them together as a team in a few short weeks. Great if we could borrow your support for senior from now on..

  84. So, a few things. Being ‘talked up’ is hyping up and to a degree over-rating. As Patjg said, Galway continued to improve [after the Conn Final], we did not. That’s fairly accurate, particularly in the Kerry match which was not a great performance against a poor to average Kerry minor side. Put it down to whatever you want tonight but the performance was utterly flat, lacking any spark or cohesion. Our play was littered with unforced errors. Only two at most played anywhere near their potential and that’s a real shame. Mgnt were far too slow to react and while I wouldn’t go so far as saying that we lost it on the line (like we did in the 2018 u-20 final), it was not a good day at all for Deane & Co. His side never got out of the traps.

    Another thing. Can we stop talking about ‘learning’ from final defeats. Finals are for winning. Nothing more.

    All these players can do now is go back to their clubs, schools etc and commit to training harder at their skills. The road from u17 to senior requires enormous effort, hard work and commitment.

  85. Team get beating 3 times in Connacht and go on to win All Ireland Final, crazy stuff have to credit Galway management to pick up a team with track record like that. Happened to Clare last weekend against Kilkenny where everyone wrote off Kilkenny just like Galway tonight. Maybe time to have a psychologist in Mayo dressing rooms to pep talk a team before they go out onto a pitch before a game that gets them over the line. We know they have yhe the ability but yet again on the big day unfortunately never turned up. Gutted

  86. Galway thoroughly deserved their win tonight and well done to them.
    Hard luck on our youngsters.

    Galway now going to try and make the breakthrough tomorrow in the Senior match. I would give them a good chance.

    Hard to believe Walshe, Conroy and company have never played in a Senior County AI final. It would be a tough loss if Galway were to lose tomorrow as Conroy is pushing on and I think Shane Walshe is 29.

    It just highlights how spoilt we have been this past decade.

  87. Not worried about the defeat, hard on the team but some serious talent coming through. 7

  88. Well down to Galway. The better team tonight. I don’t want to be critical as these are young boys however the harsh reality is it’s another final loss in which a Mayo failed to show up and the sideline was out foxed. There was no method in the play or visible game plan. It’s unacceptable as a county to be losing so many finals.

    Anyway a disappointing end to a disappointing year. Roll on the club championships.

  89. One other thing on tonight’s game , I’m going to mayo v Galway games a long time and that’s the first time in near 20 years I heard such a rousing Galway chant , I believe it was a significant one , unfortunately for us , Galway football is back . Soul destroying days ahead if they win an all Ireland or two .

    Hard luck to the minors tonight , probably don’t need pointing out but i don’t believe they done themselves justice tonight . Expecting it to clique never works , you have to make it happen .

  90. Fact is Galway were fired up for the final, they were physically a bit stronger & they played for one another for 60 minutes +.
    Mayo just didn’t get stuck in at all, they got turned over several times, passing was awful at times & a few players decided to try and do it all them selves, but it’s a team game & all players have to support one another, otherwise its game over & it was.
    Galway were ready this time & they played really well, good luck them.

  91. Tough on the young men with 7 straight wins ( I think) and Galway with 3 losses pips them.. btw no complaints better team from start to finish tonight ( well done and congratulations to them)
    Either way very very proud of our young and talented players, future looking bright!!
    On a separate note Joe Brolly is one prized p…k
    Loves poking at Mayo ( he must not have been loved as a child) taking cheap swipes at under seventeens..
    Whatever conflict in my mind I will be roaring for Galway against Derry tomorrow (rant over and apologies Willie Joe)

  92. Agreed Sean
    Galway football is buzzing now . Don’t forget St Jarlaths won the Connacht schools senior title this year too. First time in a good few years a galway school have done so. They had 4 starters on that team tonight as well .

    From a mayo POV we were so tactically naive it was hard to believe . Never mind the young players the manager has a bit to learn as well. He has done a lot right too though so hopefully he will .

  93. From a young age, I believe players should be encouraged to express themselves within reason – be given the opportunities to develop their own unique styles.

    In Galway, it’s always a privilege to play up front in the forwards. And you are encouraged to see and create pictures in your game..

  94. Mayo were very poor. Lucky not to lose by more. Backs were poor. allowed Galway to shoot from distance and not a tackle in sight. At least we have found one forward who has massive potential ie Ronan Clarke. Management and team got caught up in the hype. It’s embarrasing. another All Ireland lost.

  95. Best team won on the night, of that there is no doubt. I’d say that the Galway managment couldn’t believe their luck this evening. Mayo picking pretty much the exact same team every game, putting on the exact same subs at the same times regardless of what’s going on and running the ball straight into traffic. Sure the Galway lads didn’t need to do any planning at all.

    Galway had 1 very basic kickout strategy that they used over and over again and Mayo hadn’t a clue how to defend it. They obviously didn’t work on it in training unfortunately. It wasn’t some new kickout strategy either. Most club teams in the county are using it. Really strange that the Mayo team hadn’t their homework done in this regard.

    Some good prospects on the Mayo team and there will be better days ahead for them.

  96. Great point Left Boot. Sean Deane spoke before the match about their team mantra of making each player look better. It’s infuriating that this completely ceased today. They played as individuals. Hard on young fellas, and far from easy. I’m not blaming here, just stating fact. It needs to be acknowledged. Can only learn and move forward.

  97. Priveleged+Fan…I saw Brollys post-match tweet and there was nothing it in. Am I missing something???

    I’m playing club football almost all my life in Galway from underage to senior. I can tell you for certain that nothing particularly special if anything, is done regarding forward play. Also…plenty of coaches over the years have been from Mayo! So I can tell ye now, there’s nothing different. Get that out of yer heads. Mayo produce plenty of talented forwards…maybe they aren’t played enough (Kevin O’Neill) or in the right positions(Ciaran McDonald) or that the style of play of management hasn’t been correct etc. Natural forwards like direct/quick ball. Running style with marauding wing backs generally doesn’t suit the the type of free scoring inside forward because it clogs up the pitch in the final third.

  98. Just back from the Hyde. Commiserations lads.
    I feel this game was a bit like the first game between us in Tuam Stadium in reverse. We didn’t turn up at all that night and ye didn’t really fire a shot tonight. I knew that night we were nowhere near as bad as we looked but couldn’t have foreseen this turnaround in all honesty:
    13 of the starting team from that night started tonight and one of the other two came on and had a big impact in the full forward line.
    Totally different mentality tonight.
    Our number 2 Tomas Farthing has made a monumental difference to the team (he didn’t play in that game) – has been outstanding in every game.
    Re one of the other posters on hurlers – nope we didn’t have any extra hurlers back tonight. We have two lads that were on both panels this year (Lonergan and Trayers) but both have started every game bar the Leitrim one (rested as we were already through and they had a hurling game the next day against Clare).
    @Mayonaze – I assume you live in the city? A large proportion of city dwellers have zero interest in any sport whatsoever – or certainly a very passing interest to say the least!
    I lived in Dublin for several years and most of my (native Dubs) neighbours would have had little or no knowledge or interest in Dublin footballers.
    That goes with the territory in a city.
    Galway is very different to Mayo in that we have the city and then separate staunch football and hurling strongholds.
    Mayo has basically one serious sport across the whole county.
    If you live in the area of county Galway I do then there was big interest in tonight’s game. But this wouldn’t be the case in the city or in somewhere like Gort for example.
    In the same way there wouldn’t be much interest where I live in a Galway minor hurling final.
    That’s just the way the geography lies in our county.
    Anyhow – onto Croker tomorrow. Nervous dot com.

  99. How the mayo management team could let us out in the 2nd half without making one change is unbelievable

  100. Hunger a great sauce. Galway back were outstanding, double marked Clark. Would have move him out quicker, especially in first half against breeze. Sometimes you win a underage all ireland, and might only get one or two to play senior Mayo team. I think this team will be better than that, on production line.

  101. On a slight side bar but nonetheless an associated topic, the 3 finals where it can certainly be said that a Mayo team played closest to their potential was in ’16 (drawn match and replay) and ’17 finals, all three of which were under Rochford.

    That’s enough evidence for me to say that he deserves another crack. Above all, he succeeded in instilling the required belief (even though he undoubtedly made mistakes, namely the Goalie change). Even more impressive given the team at the time weren’t at their peak, and were marred by the heave of ’15, and under severe pressure as a result.

    Look at our history and it’s not hard to lay out the significance of this and, and conversely the inability of all other managers to instill belief. For me, Rochford is the man right now.

  102. Bogman – you clearly didn’t read my post-match warning for everyone to be measured in what they had to say. This isn’t the night for sarcastic swipes so don’t bother attempting to post anything else tonight.

  103. Claregalway also won feile last weekend km in another boost to the county

    Definitely positive times for Galway football, but sure after 20 or so years isn’t it about time in a way… Things tend to go in cycles. Still don’t see them going on to dominate Connacht to the extent we did in the early to mid 2010s – I reckon they may have a few up and down seasons – but I do think they’ll nab an all ireland or two in the coming decade due to their potential ceiling being very high

    All the best to them today in the semi, I’ve no doubt they’ll come through it, and can’t fathom how on earth Derry have been made favourites…

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