Tribesmen justify the odds, eventually

I have to admit that I raised my eyebrows yesterday when I read that the Sheepstealers were on offer at 7/1 to beat Galway at Pearse Stadium today but, thankfully, that’s all I did. With the Herrin Chokers romping home by a 16-point winning margin, it was the 1/10 odds on Galway that after the event looked a bit generous but, of course, there was more to today’s poorly attended Connacht championship clash at Salthill than the 2-16 to 0-6 final score.

Although Galway won with some ease in the end, they looked a good deal less than comfortable at half-time at which stage they only led by two points. The wet conditions made for a scrappy, error-ridden first half , with Galway easing five points ahead before the Rossies troubled the umpires for the first time with twenty minutes having been played. Once they got going, the Rossies took a hold around the middle and began to eat into that headstart they’d given the home side. They must have been reasonably happy with themselves to be so close to the Tribesmen at the break.

The second half, however, proved a total let-down as Roscommon ran out of steam and, once Gary Cox had been sent off with ten minutes of the half played, Galway pressed home the advantage decisively. The two goals – from the pudding-bowl haired Matthew Clancy and sub Niall Coleman – came in the final ten minutes, by which time the Rossies had lost all shape and purpose.

A sixteen-point trimming was a bit harsh on the Sheepstealers and they could with more than a little justification argue that Cox’s second yellow should have been preceded by two yellows for Barry Cullinane in the first half – a point just raised by the lads on The Sunday Game now, I notice – but, of course, this was the same tool of a ref that officiated our defeat to a foul-happy Galway at the same venue almost exactly twelve months ago. Sadly, however, the final score has to be viewed as a fair enough reflection on the contrasting positions within Gaelic football’s pecking order that the two counties now occupy.

It’s probably a bit early for us to be thinking about what today’s Galway performance might mean for a potential Connacht final showdown with them. Much too early, in fact, given the potential banana skins waiting for both of us in the semi-finals, though both of us will of course be warm favourites to make it through to a McHale Park final on July 13th. Today showed the perils of going against the bookies though I don’t expect to see our lads quoted at such measly odds when we face the reigning Connacht champions in five weeks time.

10 thoughts on “Tribesmen justify the odds, eventually

  1. Barry Culinane is a disgrace. Dived to get Gary Cox sent off and was lucky himself not to walk after
    his kick but thats not the first time he hasn’t endeared himself to me, Every time We take on the Herrin Chokers they drag us to their level with their gutter football and he is always at the forefront of their usual cheating, timewasting,play acting game.
    Well when we do Sligo, We’ll show them how to play football the proper way!

  2. I’m not too fond of Cullinane myself – he’s a big, awkward individual with not too much skill – but I’d blame the ref more for yet another inconsistent performance at Pearse Stadium. This time last year, he let Ford’s Galway belt before and behind them with impunity and I remember muttering darkly at half-time that it would be one of our lads that’d get his marching orders first in the second half. Sure enough it happened.

    I can’t understand why Cullinane didn’t get the second yellow today when he clearly kicked out at his opponent and was seen doing so by both the ref and the linesman. It looked like McQuillan just bottled the decision. Will he face any sanction for another poor day at the office? Don’t think so.

    In fairness to Galway, since Ford’s departure they’re back playing good football again so I wouldn’t expect as much in the way of sly belting from them if we do get to meet them in the Connacht final. I also hope Cullinane is still playing for them then because, if he is, we’ll clean them out at midfield!

  3. we need to be be more cynical ourselves. If we go out to play nice football we will be beaten. We need to be prepared to win ugly. Cullinane is an ASAL of the highest order and did cheat yesterday but Joyce has been cheating all his career winning undeserved frees and then practically taking the free sometimes 20 yards past where the free was originally awared. How have refs not copped onto this. Meehan also cheats for handy ones as does Fitzgerald who took at least 2 dives yesterday. Of course we have our own little cheat in the corner but its just the one. I wouldnt fear them. If the team and attiude us right the result will be in our favour. Im pretty sure of that.

  4. Oh yeah, mcquillan gave galway everything yesterday. Hi DID let them away with absolute murder last year also, and Harte eventually had enough. Of course we were a little naive and not for the first time either. We need to cop onto ourselves. I really do believe that if we get the attiude right, the personel is there(again if the right selection is made) to beat Galway at home. By the way can you object to a referees appointment. Based on what I saw yesterday I would object to mcquillan.

  5. I don’t think there is any mechanism for blackballing refs but, if there was, there’s a fair few I’d have on that list – that bald Collins eejit from Cork, John Bannon (surely too portly and too old for this kind of work now) and our old ‘friend’ Pat McEnaney. At least we’ll be spared Sligo’s Marty Duffy (and his brother) for the match on June 22nd!

  6. fair enough, there might be no mechanism, but you can surely send a shot accross the bow through the national media. With David Brady now on national TV, there can be no better boy to voice concerns on Johonnos behalf. johnno has made lots of friends in Galway but he cannot let this get in the way when coming up with his tactics for the connacht final

  7. I am a small bit concerned about Teds last comment i.e re. JOMs tactics for the Connacht final. We still have to reach it, as indeed have Galway. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than see Mayo do it this year but if I am honest I dont think we have a prayer. We are being fed a load of spin about “tranition” when its actual personnel of top quality we are lacking. Meath with injuries and suspensions did to Carlow in the championship what they did do us a week or so ago in a challenge. Now I dont hear any talk about “transition” there, simply guys stepping up to the plate and getting on with it. If “transition” is bringing back Aiden Higgins, James Gill, Pat Kelly and still reying on David Heaney and Jimmy Nallen then we are bunched. Higgins, Gill and Kelly are as good as any current Mayo player in the squad but we are not progressing. The fact that Jimmy Nallen and Heaney are our get out of jail cards at full back is no reflection on the dedicated service they have given but it is an indicment on the lack of challengers coming through. Look at the four Meath boys who debuted yesterday, they did what was asked off them. Now the pressure is on the injured guys and the seven suspended to do the business. We are miles from that at present. Alan Nestor is further down the line at 19 than any of our new guys blooded this year. By the way I think the Mayo Board have lot to answer for in relation to referees. We have had some terrible decisions given against us but we seem to accept it meekly and silently.

  8. I was at the game yesterday and thought Joe McQuillan gave Galway the majority of the decisions- but then I have no reason to suspect he was doing anything other than calling it as he saw it.
    I am not a fan of most of the refs listed above, but GAA is a tough game to ref- one mans great tackle is another man’s foul. The level of contact acceptable varies from game to game it seems, there is very little consistency there, which is frustrating.
    You might want to look out for Joe McQuillans ridiculous high stepping run with arms held in front of his chest the next time he appears on tv. Looks like something John Cleese would have come up with.

  9. Dont get carried away with that Meath performance—-Carlow were equivelent to a poor intemediate club side.Some of those very same Meath backs were taken apart by Mayo in the first half last weekOur main concern is still our backs particularly our full back line.Perhaps we should play an extra man in the backs?

  10. You’re right, of course, Innocent Bystander, the refs can’t all be eejits. I doubt if it is possible for one man to ref a gaelic match, especially a high-tempo championship one. I think you need the position of the linesmen and umpires to be upgraded or maybe introduce a second ref or fourth official or something. It seems clear that one man on his own can’t do the job properly. McQuillan is still a tool, though. And Bannon too …

    It’s hard to draw any conclusions about Meath yesterday, alright but 1-25 is still a hell of a score. I couldn’t see us racking up a score like that if we had to field a team with – how many was it? – nine or ten first-teamers out through injury or suspension.

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