Salthill in July?

Up until yesterday afternoon, I’d thought there was a real chance that I’d be missing the second successive Mayo/Roscommon Connacht final of this decade (I have told you I’ll be away then, haven’t I?). Instead, however, it’s now starting to look very much like I’m going to be passing up on a Pearse Stadium provincial decider.

Oh well, I’ll just have to make do with the Turkish coast instead. It may not be Salthill but at least the weather should be a bit more dependable over there.

Aside from the game itself (assuming we keep our part of the bargain, which I think we will, and Galway do the business over Sligo, which I also think they will) I won’t exactly be crying bucketloads over missing a match at the Salthill venue. What with the 80% terracing, the godawful location and the fact that no traffic management ever seems to be put in place for the event (with the city seemingly too caught up in its own arty-farty dominated summer) it’s got to be the worst possible place for a Connacht decider. I know we beat ourselves up over McHale Park but I’d have it any day ahead of that kip.

But Pearse Stadium it’s likely to be. The Yeatsmen should give Galway a game (well, more of a game than Roscommon did yesterday) but if the Rossies weren’t able to make any impression on events at Hyde Park I somehow doubt that Sligo will trouble the Tribesmen too much in poxy old Pearse Stadium. Likewise, I don’t expect us – our misadventures in Ruislip twelve months ago notwithstanding – to have too much trouble disposing of whomever emerges from the Leitrim/London quarter-final.

After the final whistle sounded at Hyde Park yesterday, you could almost hear the inevitable questions wondering about how good Galway really are. That’s not one that can be easily answered – not least given how desperately poor Roscommon were – and I think that it’ll be a case of us having to find out for ourselves on the field of play come mid-July.

Spillane was bullshitting after yesterday’s game about how great it was to see the lovely catch and kick football Galway were playing but any fool could tell him that those tactics won’t get them too much change out of any team that goes about their business in a serious way. Paul Conroy, who bagged an impressive 1-4 from play yesterday, won’t, for example, be afforded the same freedom inside by Ger Cafferkey and it’ll be interesting to see how Galway’s forward unit (including their high profile impact subs) are able to cope in the kind of suffocating company our backline now tends to provide.

Galway were utterly dominant at midfield yesterday but you’d have to think that any centrefield battle in which Joe Bergin emerges as the standout performer isn’t one that’ll go into the annals as any kind of classic. If we have Aidan O’Shea back and pumping properly with Jason Gibbons or whoever alongside him, you’d have to think we’ll more than hold our own there. Without Aido, though, we’re not the same force around the middle and it would be truly galling to see (well, I won’t see it but you know what I mean) Bergin dominating these exchanges like he did on that disastrous day for us in Salthill back in 2007.

The Galway backs looked alright yesterday – in particular the wing men Gareth Bradshaw and Gary O’Donnell as well as debutant corner-back Kieran McGrath – but the sector as a whole is obviously unproven. We’ve plenty of experience (some would say that much of it is of the wrong kind but there you go) in the forward line at this stage and you’d have to think that lads who’ve now had a few recent appearances at Croke Park against the top teams should have what it takes to shine in the kind of company that the Tribesmen are likely to provide.

So, impressive and all as Alan Mulholland’s Galway were yesterday, we should still have our eyes firmly fixed on a second successive Connacht title if and when we get to meet the Herrin Chokers in the decider in Salthill the month after next. As they always do, Galway will, if it comes to it, no doubt relish the opportunity to put us back in our box but you can also be sure the feeling will be mutual.  I feel kinda sorry I’ll be missing such a possible Connacht final now but, then again, it’s also likely to mean I’ll be missing a trip to Pearse Stadium and, sure, by the time I get home we will, hopefully, have booked a return date to HQ for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

22 thoughts on “Salthill in July?

  1. I can see, especially in Pearse Stadium a repeat of 2007. The hype in which followed Mayo into that game will probably be there this year too, granted, both teams keep to their side of the bargain and make it to the decider.

    I’m sure Galway will contain any optimism and will allow the Mayo supporters and players to come with all the hope in the world and go home, as like 2007 and 2005 with their tails between their legs.

  2. Well if Galway beat Sligo as we expect them to do with home advantage I feel it would be much better to win a hard fought small margin victory than an easy learn nothing encounter. For one thing it would keep our feet on the ground to some extent. Secondly it would give us a good tough examination and expose any flaws and thirdly it would be a good confidence boost to gain an away win in a Connacht Final. However lets not write off Sligo just yet especially if the game is in Tuam. Could be a little cracker if Sligo get some traction in the game and they have some gutsy little players if it gets tight !

  3. that galway victory takes all the pressure off Mayo.
    ross were dire.
    sure the Galway forwards are good if they are not marked
    Let Spillane & company talk up Galway

  4. I wouldnt fear Galway as such but by fuk id respect any team that can spring Joyce and Meehan from the bench.

    It will be tough, Galway are on a mission imo, they have a decent side there.

    Its a fair point to say our back line wont be near as loose as the ross were but that high ball into conroy and meehan (when he came on) will be hardwork to deal with.

    A ose is vital to our plans , hope to god he is flyin fit for july 15th.

  5. The best midfielder on view in Roscommon yesterday was from Mayo in the Junior game – Mc Namara

  6. MANof the match performance can not be ignored especially as we continue to strugggle around the middle. R McNamara would strengthen existing panel.J. H. has 8 weeks to a connaught final,lots of time to add strength and depth and tutoring. Congrats to juniors.

  7. Galway are a fine team but are not at that top level tier yet. Question is where are we?
    Well the Simple truth is that if we are as good as we think we are then we have really have to win this game.
    There should be no wasy we can lose it if we consider ourselves in the top tier.

  8. Just on touching on something WJ mentioned re Spillane & co’s shite talk. why o why are RTE persisting with that panel ?? I’ve read on this forum numerous times about the sloppy journalism out there and to a large extent I agree with some of the commentary here.
    I cant understand why the GAA are letting those guys have a national platform. Their commentary is often blatantly one sided, ill informed with them having their own agendas which they continually shite on about.
    These guys should be giving technical insights to games, telling us how and why teams win, how do you stop such a team, give fair, balanced and insightful commentary. Not rubbishing teams or indeed players, they should not be biased.
    I as a license payer I demand a better service from RTE as a member of the GAA I demand more – these guys do not represent my opinions and I would guess a large swath of the GAA public aswell – It irks the shite out of me to see Spillane and co bad mouthing teams/ counties / players, and give poor ill informed and sloppy opinions – we’re in competition with rugby soccer and everyone else, we should be demanding more – look at the Dara O’Brien on RTE and his rugby coverage – its really good stuf with knowledgeable panels – Even the golden oldies on RTE soccer are better .
    What RTE should be doing is look at their private counterparts – TV3, Newstalk much much better. They seriously need to shake things up. Sure no wonder our games suffer when we have clowns like these representing us on the national stage.

    Anyway rant over, sky plussed Rossies V galway – listened to the rubbish and had to vent.

  9. Spillane is not the worst. Why do people constantly moan about who says what , they are entitled to their opinion and for the most part give a balanced view.

    Galway v Ross!! what did spillane say that was so wrong? He complimented Galway, he likes direct kick passing and said Galway did this with good effect ,which they did.

    What did he actually say that was wrong? Did he say someone didnt play well, that did or visa versa?

    Bradshaw, bergin, Conroy and the two subs stood out for Galway, im near sure he said that too.

    Roscommon were dreadful, he said that too i’m sure (worded differently maybe so to not offend).

    Id like to know what you disagree with.

    Rugby …pftttt

  10. Going back to the stadium location..dire. If in consultation with the Garda Chief the GAA learn that adequate manpower cannot speedily clear the city post event then it should not be allowed to proceed. From past experience if there happened to be a major tragedy I shudder to think what would happen. Has anybody taken any notice lately how the P.S.N.I have us all cruising along without delay i.e Armagh during the league and Omagh. The Chief Fire officer alone should have the authority to ban big events from that place

  11. well Sean, yes Spillane is completely entitled to his opinion and yeah he did say the Rossies were dire, which they were, and Galway looked very impressive and they play the game the way the game should be played. All very true and he’s more than entitled to say that.

    My comment shouldn’t be taken in isolation with regard to this match. Its the comments he and the panel will make throughout the year and have made in the past that IMO isn’t good enough.

    For example Donie Vaughan being singled out in the league final by brolly for play acting – He should have looked around the rest of the pitch that day. A young amateur player being singled out like that not good enough.

    Spillanes constant ranting about beautiful football and how the game should be played and how any team that doesn’t do that are in his opinion rubbish, boring inept etc – His goes at Ulster football over the years is a case in point it mightn’t be pretty but it works – Infact it worked so well both Dublin and Cork have adopted varying degrees of it.

    From a purely aesthetic view the man has a point – but thats not the world we live in. Its a results game and not every team can set themselves up to play like that, not every team has a Joyce or Meehan they can spring from the bench.

    In the Sunday game he was given the opertunity to comment on Alan Mullhollands admiration for Jim Mcguinness (awfull stuff but it works) he says all they have in common is their hair style (That spillane guy cracks me up )- why didn’t he give his thoughts on how a free flowing Galway would do against Donegal – both teams could meet later on in the championship. How would Galway get on etc

    IMO I just think we could get a bit more from that panel after all we pay his wages.

  12. Wouldn’t read much into Galway’s win on Sunday. Did you see Roscommon’s zonal marking? London would have beaten them playing like that. They were always going to go down hill once O’Donnell left.

    Galway now have expectations they would be able to handle & i feel this will be one of our easiest Connacht titles to win yet.

  13. If someone is being paid for something, they are doing it in a professional capacity. Some of the football ‘analysts’ on RTE do not provide analysis but voice their opinions widely. One of the panel on the live programme stated before the game that Galway had developed a type of game similar to that of Donegal. No back up evidence was offered and the next hour showed that he had been talking off the top of his head. We get this type of laziness all the time and are paying for it through the licence fee.
    All that is being asked for is fair, researched analysis delivered

  14. Galway Footballers now have revived their Supporters Club with some new people on board. They have a special dinner on the eve of the Sligo match. The dinner has been a sell out at €850 per table. There is a bit of an “uprising” in Galway Football with everyone talking about Alan Mullholland’s good management.m

    Have we no supporters club in Mayo or what can we do to support James Horan and his team

  15. Willie, Were they not shafted? That is my recollection. they were raising money and should have been retained????

  16. You may be thinking about Club Mayo Dublin there, Peter. Cairde Mhuigheo is very much in existence and is now the sole supporters’ fundraising vehicle of the County Board. The supporters’ club in London also operates under this banner.

  17. I think you will find Willie Joe that the Pearse Stadium issue is like a broken record here in Galway. Reality is that a new stadium pre 2003 should have been built out near the racecourse but we have what we have. Moreover Tuam was never a reality as a county ground (to serve football and hurling) because most hurling people south of the Galway Dublin raliway line do not acknowledge football do not mind the traditional home of Galway football. That is what you are up against when you come from a two code county. One salient point about the much revered McHale park (which i do like as a ground) i cannot for the life of me understand why the new stand has to be reinforced by those pylons. Granted the restricted view is only for a very small minority but i do not know any other new stand in any code built like that. On the football front last Sunday in fairness was refreshing and i do not see anything wrong with Spillane comments. All the stuff about the Rossies been poor etc is laughable given that the majority of those players lined out in the last two Connacht finals. What was surprising was that they had no u21s even on the bench. In terms of us we are a work in progress but the curve is defintely upwards. I said on this forum last year that Mayo were ahead of us in terms of development. We are progressing and if we make the Connacht final the current situation suggests that Mayo are still ahead of us but the gap may not be as great as people think. One more thing. In terms of our midfield people forget that we will have Fintan O’Curraoin (starred for DCU in the Singerson tghis year) from our u21 all winning team of last year who will be back from injury. He is likely to partner Joe Bergin at some point later in the Summer so ye won’t have midfield all your own way at midfield if we do happen to meet in July. The final thing i would say is that if we meet and ye beat us it could be the making of ye in terms of propelling ye all the way given that this is probably the most talented squad certainly with the most stable managament that we have had since 2004/05.

  18. Peter could you even see Mayo pulling off an idea like that dinner, never mind selling it. Galway win All Irelands because they all work together. In Mayo we have the team, the politicians and the supporters. All pull against each other.

    Sadly we have never had a Supporters Club like a Club Tyrone or Club Kildare. What we have is a season ticket.

  19. Cynical Cynthia .

    I am begining to agree with you. We have very good G.A.A. politicians in Mayo. If they get power they are slow to relinquish and make many mistakes. I am told we had not great arrangements for travelling to Dublin and Tralee during the past few months.

    Lets get the benefit of the knowledge of Club Mayo in Dublin and form a supporters club similarr to Kildare and Tyrone. Galway footballers who failed to gain access to Division one of the League are able to generate the public to get behind Alan Mulllholland, his panel and selectors. James Horan deserves better from Mayo.

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