Poll: who’ll win Sam?

Sunday’s All-Ireland football final is hurtling towards us with indecent haste – everything about the inter-county calendar this year has been rush-rush, hurry-hurry – with the two teams that beat us in this year’s Championship set to battle it out for the Sam Maguire.

It’s twenty-one years since Galway last won the All-Ireland football title and that’s also the most recent time they contested a final. This means they’re coming into this year’s decider with all the excitement and sense of anticipation that finalists are entitled to have and with none of the baggage that has laden us down in recent years. To say nothing about the mounting sense of foreboding we’ve always had as final day approaches.

There’s dread in some quarters of our support that Galway will now, as they often proclaimed they would when we were regularly contesting finals, win it before we ever got around to doing so. If they do, though, we really can’t have any complaints. We’ve appeared in eight finals since they were last in one and we certainly should have won more than one of those.

Galway have definitely improved as this campaign has gone on. Their defensive structure was impressive against Derry and they have strength around the middle and, in particular, up front. Questions remain, of course, about just how secure they are at the back and they can expect a searching examination of that sector when the face the Kingdom.

For all that, Galway are entitled to approach this final with a high degree of optimism. They’ve already outperformed this summer and their chances of winning Sam have been downplayed sufficiently that this almost feels like a shot to nothing for them. They won’t feel that way, of course, but it’s still a great way to be heading into an All-Ireland final.

If the Tribesmen are approaching Sunday with a sense of giddy abandonment, Kerry are surely coming into it with a greater sense of worry. Their need for success is enormous at this stage and defeat is all but unthinkable for them.

Deep down, however, they know this team is, as yet, far from the finished article. They know too that if their highly lauded players don’t catch fire on Sunday in they way they’re expected to, then the unthinkable could just happen.

The bookies aren’t buying that line, however – Kerry are strong favourites to end their eight-year wait for Sam and the form line favours them. While Munster was a cake-walk, Kerry then knocked out ourselves and Dublin to make the final, while Galway needed penalties to see off Armagh before beating a Derry side that had outperformed to win Ulster and then had a handy quarter-final pairing with Clare.

Kerry have definitely had the harder route to the final and, while they’ve wobbled a fair bit in their last two outings, they’ve nevertheless shown an impressive ability to get the job done. Seen in this light, it’s not hard to see why they’re the favourites to land Sam on Sunday.

This is in many ways a fascinating decider. It’s easy enough to make arguments for or against the both of them and, despite those strong odds favouring Kerry, it remains a tough final to call.

Nevertheless, call it we must. Who’s going to win it?

Who'll win Sam?

  • Kerry (60%, 420 Votes)
  • Galway (40%, 277 Votes)

Total Voters: 697

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51 thoughts on “Poll: who’ll win Sam?

  1. Kerrys win over Dublin will have brought them on so much. When you look at the stats, both teams are very accurate. Both teams this championship have kicked less wides than opponents. Kerry’s accuracy has been between 67 and 76% in all their games. Galway were between 62 and 75% but that did drop to 50% against Derry. One area that this game I feel will be won is that Kerry are so good on their kickouts. Even against Mayo and Dublin, they won 80% and 81% of their kickouts who would be classed as high press teams. When you look at Galway against Mayo, they only won 60% of their kickouts. Against Roscommon and Derry, they only won 62% and 66%. I think Galway will stick with Kerry for 20/30 minutes but Kerry will pull away and then manage the game from there picking Galway off on the counter when they have to push up and commit more bodies forward. I’m going Kerry 1-17, Galway 1-12.

  2. Galway are well set up and have very dangerous players all around the pitch. It is a free shot for Galway and all the pressure is on Kerry. However, i have been impressed with how Kerry have done in big games this year and handled the favorites tag all season, i think they will be all Business on Sunday and as many all Ireland`s before the bench will get the winning team over the line.

    Kerry by 3 but at no stage will it be comfortable for them.

  3. The head says Kerry but Galway are not without hope if Galway win it fair play to them.

  4. @Alan Kenny, very good detailed post..Hard to disagree with anything you are saying there. Any All Ireland final, the legal challenges allowed especially early on are likely to be 10/15% harder than normal, but they will also need to be more accurate or card’s will be the likely outcome. It should be a very good match. If Comer and Walsh can get a good start, I’d give Galway every chance though!.. You would worry about the Galway goalkeeper,. I’m sure Galway have worried about it particularly since the Armagh match, if they have rectified this apparent weakness, and get an improvement, fingers crossed for our neighbors to the South!

  5. Trying to feel how mayo support feels . I feel like I’m alone in the sense I’m dreading whoever wins Sunday , dislike the idea of either county winning it . Kerry and their horrible arrogance and Galway the support that fluctuates dramatically with form , We’ve played them in recent years and sometimes I don’t think there was 5k of them in attendance.

    Kerry lose it could really damage them going into next year , which is good for us , Galway win and it might not be as damaging as a Kerry win as I don’t rate Galway’s chances of winning it again next year if they did . (This probably doesn’t make sense but it does to me )

    All said and done , Kerry are probably 7/8 points a better team tbh though .

  6. Head says Kerry but like a few have said I wouldn’t be one but surprised if Galway win.

    It would have really bothered me in the past (Galway winning again before us) but last years final has tempered that for me with that non show. I couldn’t care less anymore.

    We’ve had enough chances to win it in the last decade but always found a new way of losing. No point hoping your rivals don’t do it. It will certainly make next years meeting with them exciting if they are champions.

    Good luck to Galway on Sunday especially the regular posters who come on here.

  7. From a person that is working up in Mayo and commuting up and down between there and home fir the 19 years, this game could well end in a draw. It will not be the open shoot out that traditionalists will want to see sadly.
    The game, like most things in life, has changed for the worse nowadays, and I’m only 46! I take issue with some posters on here ” Kerry with their horrible arrogance”, is nothing but bollocks and shit talk of the lowest order, Kerry fans in general are well behaved, yes, we do not like being beaten, but we stuck it up and move on, there’s always another day to try again, maybe it’s just begrudgery and jealousy, eventhough there’s nothing to be jealous over, Kerry is no better than any other county, every county has it’s very own things to be proud of. I desperately would love to see Mayo win an All-Ireland.
    I like most people down hear have ultimate respect for Galway, so on the day, a final could go any way at all.
    I still think that this is the weakest Kerry team since 1996, I’ve been pilloried over this by one or two down here. I’ve said it on my own forum and I stand by it.
    The standard right across the board this in football has been brutal.

  8. In order for Galway to be in with a chance of winning this game, they need to lock their defense shut for the first 15 / 20 minutes and try to frustrate Kerry as much as possible. Jack O’Connor’s game plan will be to blitz the Galway full back line and GK early on, expect plenty of long high balls into D Clifford and O’Shea, they’ll look to kill this game early on if they can. If they get an early goal or two, it could be a long afternoon for Galway. If Galway can break even after 15 / 20 minutes then I’d give them a great chance of winning, for them it’s all about staying in the game for as long as possible. If the game is tight, the doubts will start to creep into the Kerry players, the ghosts of Cork 2020 and Tyrone 2021 may re-surface. One worrying statistic about Galway is that in their last 3 games, only one point has come from a substitute player, they need a better spread of scorers than that if they are to win. If Walsh and Comer are bottled up, where do the scores come from? Galway will need 15/16 scores at least to win this game. Verdict: Heart doesn’t really care, head says Kerry by 6.

  9. I have plenty of friends from Kerry so I dont think they are arrogant but have had some fantastic multiple All Ireland winning teams in the past particularly in my childhood in the 80s. I recall my late father getting Paudi to come out of the pub in Ventry and kick football with me back in the day so Ive always liked and admired Kerry.
    This is a great occasion for Galway and I really hope we can win it but if not I pray that we are asking questions right to the end. The winning of 2 championship matches to date in Croke Park in 2022 is a highly significant advance for Galway no matter what happens in the final. I believe Galway football has turned a corner and there is an All-Ireland there for this team maybe not this year but who knows.

  10. Both teams on average are scoring around 23 points a game in the championship.

    Galway are conceding on average 17 points a game where Kerry on average are conceding 12 points a game.

    If Galway can Keep the goals out Sunday they have a great chance of bringing sam west.

  11. Kerry stuttered when Dubs scored the goal against them. Theres still a doubt there. Couple that with gallways strong forwards. So its not over yet. David Clifford is the outstanding footballer. He will strip a lot fitter this time.
    Gives Kerry the edge but ill be rooting for Sam to go west

  12. All-Ireland preview episode of the podcast is now online on all podcast platforms. Rob, Colin Sheridan and Barry Cullinane are on it. Barry’s been a regular contributor to the pod down the years and he was always happy to come on the show when Galway weren’t going great so it’s only right and proper to have him back on now they’re shooting for Sam.

  13. @Ontheditch – The same could be said for Galway about stuttering when they played Ourselves, Roscommon and Armagh. They did handle to Derry game very well though.

  14. I’ve gone with Kerry based on head over heart, but very best of luck to Galway on Sunday and I really hope my prediction is wrong

  15. Early and long ball assault on a less than really tested Galway goalkeeper with Clifford and O’Shea lurking and a nervous Galway backline. Kerry are ready – PJ has proven himself fairly well but O’Connor is the cutest of them all. Early key injuries or black or red Kerry cards with change the complexion. If Kerry bag an early goal they will follow with another and end up with a +10 points victory.

  16. – Unfortunately I can see Kerry winning this by between 5 to 8 points.
    – Beating Dublin in the semi was the making of this Kerry team for this year
    – You can do any amount of analysis and match ups but the win over Dublin will have boosted their already high confidence and arrogance
    – A major melee, a red card or a couple of black cards might throw a spanner in the works but unlikely

  17. The excitement is certainly starting to build today

    In typical Galway fashion I think they’ve timed their run to a final impeccably well.. very much shades of 98 about it all

    Facing a side who hasn’t won a title in 8 years and still with plenty of question marks over them.. a far cry from juggernauts like Dublin of the 2010s and Kerry/Tyrone of the 2000s. Make no mistake this is a final very much up for grabs

    This is definitely a game Kerry would have preferred a round or two ago.. Galway have gotten better with every game, and all the controversy they’ve been faced with has only seemed to galvanise them. The general consensus in the Connacht Tribune today is this Galway side is riding a wave not seen in over 20 years, and its hard to disagree with that – they’re using their momentum to sublime effect

    I wouldn’t worry about them not turning up – a) this is Galway – they don’t do flopping in finals and b) just have a quick look back at their penalties against Armagh – these are guys who thrive on pressure

    Its great to see stalwarts like Conroy, Comer and Walsh getting their day in the sun in a final in Croker. Their captain and vice captain kelly and Tierney are incredibly impressive young men on and off the field.

    For Kerry, well all the pressure’s on them isn’t it? A lot of these flopped at under 21 against many of this Galway side in 2017, they couldn’t even navigate the super 8s in 2018, finally looked to make a breakthrough in 2019 but its mainly been disappointment since. I have to say I was surprised they didn’t make a real statement in the quarter or semi, against the two top sides of the 2010s both in a state of decline – they really had a chance to truly announce themselves.. but maybe they just aren’t nearly as good as they’re made out to be just yet? They aren’t getting enough out of their attack outside of the Cliffords and O’Shea – and this could be a serious issue for them if it continues into Sunday.

    Anyhow, great to see a new side in the final, and all the best to them – would be great to see Sam heading west again, and I reckon that’s exactly where its headed – what a race week it might be 🙂

  18. Cullinane seems a great skin, he was kicking every ball and living every moment on Galway Bay FM against Derry

    Handy hurler in his day aswell

  19. Still surreal when I see All Ireland Football Final 2022
    Galway v Kerry..
    Great atmosphere around Tuam all week , the crack is great, the Sawdoctors are back touring, it’s 98 all over again, however I’m not a sprightly 24 year old as I was back then!
    As long as we put it right up to Kerry right until the end then this year as been bonus territory beyond belief.
    However something in me things we can do this..

  20. It’s great to see all the support we’re getting from Mayo and Roscommon – much appreciated. IMO Sun. is a day not only for Galway, but also for Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon… Forget the childish behaviour of the few “Caoroigi”. Galway and, by extension Connacht football values/traditions are going into battle with the best of Munster’s. Of course we’ll need luck, but I know we can do it.. So, let’s get this horse on the road!!

  21. I really hope Galway win it on Sunday and bring Sam for a long overdue stay in the west. I certainly won’t begrudge them if they teach us yet another lesson in how to perform in an All Ireland final. Our footballers have had plenty of chances over the past decade and blew them all. Our time has well and truly passed and Galway’s new era is only in it’s infancy as one of the games biggest contenders fpr the next few years at the very least. Good luck to them.

  22. Oh for Jesus sake , it’s one thing preferring Galway to win but fawning over them whilst slating your own county’s efforts .grow a pair, hup Mayo.

  23. Ah 45 I dont think Galway will be teaching Mayo any lessons. We have made our first final in 21 years as we were well off the pace for years. I think Tubberman that if Kerry were to ate the Galway players they would be in breach of rule 136(c) but ive seen teams successfully appeal that in the past.

  24. Terrible forecast for Sunday.
    Either Galway or Kerry are going to win the all Ireland.

  25. It’s shocking that some supporters hope Galway get “eaten” by Kerry.
    Just think about this, 2 Football All Ireland titles for Connaught in 56 years.
    4 All Ireland Hurling titles for Connaught in a few lifetimes. The Football record is by far the worst of the 4 Provinces.
    “To Hell or to ………”
    We had many chances and fluffed them all.

    I will be hoping Galway win on the day.

  26. That’s 4 Hurling titles in 99 years for Connaught ( Galway).

    Head to head Galway v Kerry finals.

    Kerry won 4
    Galway won 3.

    Very close.

  27. each to their own, I don’t like to see them win anything. I loved 2013 (I think) when we annihilated them in Pearse Stadium. until we’re ahead on the all ireland title roll of honour, I won’t be comfortable in seeing them win another.

  28. We are all die hard Mayo supporters.
    We need to support the Tribe on Sunday our neighbors to the South.

    I have a feeling that Comer will do some serious damage on Sunday.Im not sure Kerry have anybody to mark him like a Lee Keegan.
    Damien Comer is in great form this year fair play to him. Kerry are also going to have problems with McDaid who is playing well.
    My only worry for Galway is their Goal Goalkeeper.
    He would bring the heart out in my mouth when high ball is sent in on top of him.
    Galway by 2

  29. I personally wont be shouting for Galway Sunday, there is nothing wrong with being a Mayo supporter and not wanting them to win. I wouldn’t expect their supporters to shout for us in a game it’s what happens in every rivalry in every sport.

    I wouldn’t begrudge them the win Sunday. They have some great players and are due a chance to show their worth in an all Ireland final.

    Lots of Galway fans want to win so it reflects bad on Mayo and lots of Mayo fans want Galway to get “hammered” so it reflects bad on Galway. Its nonsense really, galway are there on merit and what ever the result Sunday it can only be good for both Mayo and Galway as we now have 2 teams in Connacht who know they have a realistic chance to go all the way. The standard of Connacht football will only get better over the next few years.

    Best of luck to the Neighbours on Sunday and enjoy the build up and the day out.

  30. I don’t think anyone should be telling anyone else who they should support Sunday. We all have our own reasons for wanting Kerry or Galway to win or indeed not caring who wins. If it was based on the genuine Galway supporters I meet at football matches I would want Galway to win one hundred percent .But their trolls on social media who get such great satisfaction from our misfortune really annoys me. I know we should take little notice of these guys who probably go to so few games but imagine what they will be like if the Tribesmen win. Similarly I have rarely come across obnoxious Kerry supporters at games They have been sound when they beat us and gracious when we beat them. The Galway and Kerry people who post on this blog all come across as genuine and knowledgeable and I wish all of them well on Sunday. What I hate most is Mayo people saying it will be good enough for us etc if Galway win and teach us a lesson. I passionately supported every Mayo team who played in and lost in finals. They did their best, they represent what is best about us and they are Mayo. Not winning does not define them or us as people. They were proud representatives of a proud county and ultimately if Mayo dont win an All Ireland it doesn’t over bother me who else does win it. I am looking forward to the game and hope it is an entertaining one but I won’t be out celebrating the result on Sunday night regardless of who is victorious

  31. I’ll Take a bit yara before a lifetime of digs From a high % of our neighbours. I Have to live their, play their and a coach their, maybe if I lived on Clare island or carne I might feel different.

    We’re not winning an all irl until another generation comes, so the yaras for me..

  32. I don’t know, but did it ever occur to Mayo supporters the real reason behind the stupid trolling?

    Of course it was borne out of lack of success from a Galway point of view. And yes… jealousy. The fact of the matter was Mayo went toe to toe with the greatest team ever assembled – the ultimate David v Golliath contests, and came quite close, on more than one occasion.

    Is Galway’s task next Sunday easier than Mayo v Dublin contests? Of course it is!

    Relatively recently, the Gooch conceded that the gap between Dublin and the rest was growing.. and something needed to be done about it…!! Should Kerry win on Sunday, how many Kerry folk will be talking of the big gap??..Certainly, not Pat Spillane..

  33. It’s all about timing and Galway have timed it well once again to get their best team for ages when the best team ever are gone. They did the so before and I reckon this present group have enough to edge a nervy Kerry. Kerry have been hot favourites since the start of the year, mostly because of Dublin’s decline and I doubt many knowledgeable Kerry pundits will be over confident about this team. I would expect it to be nip and tuck but the loss of Gavin White could be the difference. Galway for me.

  34. CarrigDubh, what nonsense. You obviously have no recollection of Galway supporters crossing the border on many the Sunday night we have choked and lost Finals? Laughing in our faces, planting Galway flags, painting sheds Maroon and White??
    Fair play to them for getting to the final but in my opinion they are the worst side to reach a final in 12 years. They choked going down the home straight in Castlebar and begged to be beaten by a terrible Mayo team, after Galway went 6 points up and then buckled. Likewise aganist Armagh, who were always vastly overated. Then Derry produced one of the worst performances from a team out of the North in Croke Park in living memory. 6 scores in 70 mins of football!!
    As for Galway having a great record in finals, they’ve lost more than they’ve won, 12 defeats v 9 wins. Where Galway have had great luck down the years is the paucity of their opponents in finals. They beat a “one hit wonder” in Kildare in ’98, Kildare were never seen before or since! In 2001 they drew the last sting of a dying wasp in that great Meath team by beating them handily. Many seasoned judges of football say that even the treble winning team of the 60’s had their hardest game v Mayo in Connacht and but for some “questionable” reffereeing decisions they might not have got out of Connacht at all.
    Can they beat Kerry on Sunday? Of course they can, anything can happen on the day and if many things go their way then they may get lucky again and win it out. Fair play to them if they do, but I certainly won’t be cheering for them. As was mentioned above, I still have a residual anger/frustration towards our own failings over the last 10 years and last September put the tin hat on it for me. I couldn’t care less who wins on Sunday but if a gun was put to my head I’d hope for Kerry.

  35. No need for a gun to held to my head to know who i hope wins. Some of the fawning over Galway here is sickening, some people are desperate to be liked and seen as “lovely people”… people have very short memories, I remember getting a bollocking from a Galway man after Andy scored the goal in Pearse Stadium in 2013 and we cheered. There are plenty of other instances of Galway supporters rubbing our noses in it over the last few years, i seem to remember a tweet from the official Galway GAA twitter account after the 2017 final that took pleasure in the Dublin victory.
    I could not care less that Galway are from Connaught.. i hope Kerry beat them by 10 points

  36. @Wayne Scales, Kerry have 37 All Ireland titles, and you would like to give them another one on Sunday.
    One thing I dislike about many Irish people is this type of bad minded jealousy, they prefer to see a person in the shite rather than thrive, always look for the bad in a person or a team, kinda if we can’t win we don’t want to see our neighbours win.

    Sure if, and it’s a big if Galway happen to get over the line on Sunday, for me it won’t be the same as if it were to be Mayo, but I will be happy to see anybody win a title rather than the big two both Kerry and Dublin.

    I would love to get to the final, it may bring back memories of 2001 when I was behind the goal in the Hill.

  37. We are delighted to have John O’Mahony, Keith Higgins and Anthony Finnerty in the Ard Rí Hotel, Tuam, tonight… Fabulous spectacle – the town is painted maroon and white..

    If any of our neighbours need a Hayshed makeover – no problem.. Sheep also free..

  38. @mayo88 you obviously don’t live in Galway. Winter passed easier when we were beaten. There is a spiteful hatred of Mayo and not just in the football parts. There are exceptions but a lot of that even on here is a front. Connacht my arse. Ull be getting the same ‘chokers’ whattsapps as the rest of us in a few weeks if they win. I grew up supporting their hurlers and wishing them well, till I moved here. The digs are endless, so pardon us if we aren’t all jumping on the bandwagon. It’s alright to have rivals. That’s life

  39. I have the highest respect for Kerry and their supporters who have always been sound,but there is only one winner on Sunday,Galway by five,we will beat them next year,but all the best for Sunday

  40. Some Mickey Harte fella, and of course local legend Ja Fallon will be there too Charlie.. be some craic I’d say, Larry will be a proud adopted Galway man Sunday! I think Keith is of good Galway stock too?

  41. Totally agree with a lot of the comments I hope Galway get tanked it’s not spiteful it’s not hatred it’s just the mindset and the majority of the supporters they have reveled in us loosing every final we have been in over the years and the glee that we didn’t win and that’s the reality and obviously there are a few people say it’s great for Connaught football and all that but the rivalry is real in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo you wouldn’t hear cork or tipp people saying god I’d love to see Kerry win and I don’t get this fawning over a Galway team that could win I really don’t

  42. I’ve had first hand experience of the nastiness of Galway everytime we lose an All Ireland. Galway colleague nowhere to be seen prior to any finals we’ve been in to wish us well (not that I’d expect it) but seeks me out first thing Monday morning after a defeat with spiteful comments and laughing at Mayo. His sheer delight at Mayo losing is beyond nasty.
    Doesn’t stop there either. Im sorry but I’ll be shouting for Kerry tomorrow.

  43. If it were possible I’d have neither team win. But Kerry over Galway in a terrible game, with plenty of bad play and bad decisions all over the shop. A game that’ll be easy to forget. Only because Kerry have lost count how many they have so another won’t put them up or down and Galway will make it difficult for us to forget how many we don’t have. I don’t wish for anything bad to happen to anyone involved I just don’t want them to win. Ya I know I’m shallow etc etc blah blah blah…… Tbh it’s the fawning that gets me most. Christ!

  44. In my lifetime, I have spent 4 years in Galway and 4 weekends in Kerry.
    So I will be cheering on the boys in maroon tomorrow and wish the team and their supporters the best of luck in their efforts to bring Sam back across Shannon.
    I’ll be watching the match tomorrow in a west London pub with some Kerry and Galway friends so looking forward to a very lively encounter on the biggest day of the GAA calendar.

  45. Sinéad, good to see you back, and as usual you nail it : ) Short and sweet.
    It’s good to know things are moving for us too in the background – applications for manager’s post due in by end of month.

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