Our championship record against Galway at McHale Park

I know, I know – it’s ahead to Sunday we should be looking at this stage and not back into the history books and, yes, there is life beyond our frequent showdowns with Galway but we’ve named our team and they’ve yet to reciprocate so here’s some history stuff to keep you occupied in the meantime.

As we’re all well aware, we’ve played the Tribesmen a gazillion times at this stage – full details apart from our most recent league meeting are available here – but the question that came into my head earlier on this morning was this: how many times have we met in the championship at McHale Park?

Twenty times is the answer and full details of same are set out in this handy table which I’ve culled from my results archive. They’ve won eleven of those clashes to our nine so the first interesting stat to pop out is that we’ve never yet drawn with them in a championship match at McHale Park. Given all the uncertainty surrounding the mental condition of both teams going into Sunday’s contest (“We’re shite!” “We’re even shiter!”) what are the odds on a first ever summer stalemate between us at Castlebar? 7/1, according to Paddy Power.

This will be our first meeting in the championship on home soil in the current decade and in the decade just ended our McHale Park clashes ended 2-2 apiece, as did our meetings there back in Eighties.  It was during the Nineties, unsurprisingly, when we had our best run at home against them – we recorded four straight wins over them at the venue between 1989 and 1997 – and it won’t come as a shock to learn that they had it largely their own way against us in Castlebar during the 1960s.

Before then, summer clashes between us at McHale Park were very much a rarity, as the vast majority of our championship showdowns with them in those earlier times tended to be played on neutral ground.  Our first ever championship clash with them at the venue was back in 1944, less than two weeks after D-Day.  We beat them there then and, sure, won’t we beat them there on Sunday too?

9 thoughts on “Our championship record against Galway at McHale Park

  1. Quick point on attendances as I saw one or two comments on an earlier thread. i reckon there willl be between 15-20k with Mayo outnumbering Galway by about 3-1 easy. They won’t travel. However, cast your mind back to 1998 in Castlebar. I know there was no back door. But we played them in a preliminary round in Mid May and it was v close to a full house, circa 31k. I know we were on the back of all-Ireland final appearances and they had O’Mahony at the helm but why the change? Or is this more a socio-economic point?!
    I’ll never forgot the roar when each team came out of the tunnel. Place went mad. I’m flying back from London for game on Sunday but the excitement is not what it used to be.

  2. Good stats Willie Joe. And yes emarty ye will outnumber us. But that has been the case since the mid sixties. Part of the reason and it is not an excuse is that the hurling parts of Galway (i guess half the population) generally never support our footballers. This is largely due to the non dual status of most clubs (at senior level) and that hurling people in general think the game is a special preserve with football a very poor relation. What i would say is that the hardcore band of Galway fans love their football as much as anyone from Mayo, Kerry and beyond. 1998 was a special occasion in Castlebar as it was one of the few times i can remember where Galway fans travelled in huge numbers (in complete contrast to those hammerings we took from ye in ’91 &’92 when i started to think if ever the good days would return). Those Galway people who know their footballl knew something special was coming with our footballers in 1998 such was the talent coming through. There is less expectancy on this occasion but funny enough in my opinion there is a steady stream of serious talent on the way. Converting that to senior success is obviously the cahllenge.

  3. Lads this back door has it ruined, I know youth tends to amplify everything but was there anything on earth like the anticipation of a Mayo Galway championship clash in June or July back in the knock out days? Nothing would be talked about for weeks before hand, or depending on the result, after. Now its a 5 minute wonder.
    I still maintain the solution is, one loss and your out of the competition for Sam, start a straight knock out Plate type championship, the final of which is played the day before the Senior final. It would take a while to catch on, but once there was a bit of history built up with it it would be something to aim for and it would gain momentum, for a team that was rebuilding. the Tommy Murphy was getting there before they canned it. Declan Browne described winning it as the best day of his life.
    It would bring back teh excitement to the provincial championships and allow fellas to get at least two championship games which is what they are guaranteed now with the back door.

  4. excellent idea, east cork exile. The back door has taken most of the excitement of of the championship. The highs and lows of a championship match without a safety net are incomparable. Back to the days of ‘all duck or no dinner’ asap.

  5. Did anyone hear Liam Hayes on newstalk last night, called us two mediocre GAA counties and this match was akin to a wooden spoon game. Jesus he pissed me off listening to him.

  6. Didn’t hear Hayes, no lover of Mayo, never was. However if his context that Galway and Mayo were always mediocre then he is wrong. If he made that comment in the context of the last five years , then I agree with him.

    Like many Meath players Hayes is a product of another county’s influence. His was Carlow, now that is mediocre. Likewise O Rourke from Leitrim by birth. The O Malleys, Harnan, and the Lyon’s are of Mayo stock.

    Dalton from Kildare and who’s son now will play for Meath soon is also of Mayo stock. Donegal, Kerry and Galway also help refresh the rather thin football gene pool up here football wise.

    So never take too seriously what Meath men say about Mayo because most Meath opinion is formed on a basis of what county mammy or daddy hailed from in the first place.

    I laughed out loud when I read of some former Meath panel member moaning on about the Keys of Tara being given away to Banty. They had no such problem when John Nallen and John Gibbons from Mayo played for them, or using O Rourke whose brothers played for Connacht and Leitrim.

    Pinch of salt Islandeady, dont let Hayes bother you. Sour auld man. Always was.

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