U20s outgunned by Galway

Mike Solan’s Mayo U20s came to Tuam Stadium this evening seeking to land the county’s second Connacht title in a row at this level. While Galway went into tonight’s provincial decider as favourites, there were high hopes that our lads might upset those odds and land us another win over the neighbours.

Sadly, however, it wasn’t to be. Galway took control in this game early enough in the first half and, by the break, were already on their way to victory. We never looked like mounting any kind of strong comeback after the break either, as the contest petered out in the drizzling rain, with the home side easing to a six-point win on a final scoreline of 0-16 to 0-10.

Our best period in the first half occurred in the first two minutes. An Evan O’Brien free after a foul on Tommy Conroy opened the evening’s scoring in the first minute and then Tommy Conroy cut in off the left to point soon after.

We had plenty of the ball in that opening spell but we failed to add to our tally, four efforts at the posts all going wide. Galway, meanwhile, steadied themselves and just before the tenth minute had hit back to edge in front for the first time.

We continued to dominate the possession but our failure to hold onto the ball, often in situations where we were under no real pressure, was now starting to hurt us.

By half-time, our profligacy in that department was an open wound. Time and again, we kicked the ball to the opposition or else simply lost control of it as we tried to go forward. An increasingly menacing Galway attack began to make us pay for gifting them so much of the ball.

We had to wait nearly twenty minutes for our third score – a Tommy Conroy point, which cut the gap to two – but they kept tacking on points at the other end. By half-time the Galway lead had stretched to six points, 0-10 to 0-4, and already a win was looking like a tall order for us.

They added another immediately after the restart and added the next two as well as the game slipped further from our grasp. We pulled two back – an Evan O’Brien free and a nice one from play from Tommy Conroy – but they then proceeded to add on two more at the other end.

Points from Paul Towey and Evan O’Brien (a free) cut the gap back to seven with ten minutes to go. But we needed a goal now to have any hope and that, in truth, never looked on for us.

Paul Towey, fed by sub Kuba Callaghan, got our third point on the spin and an Evan O’Brien free brought our tally into double figures. The tide in this contest was finally running in our favour but it was too little, too late.

Galway were content to do a bit of keep-ball in injury-time but then in the dying seconds got a free about thirty yards out. Tierney planted it to close out a six-point win for the young Tribesmen.     

So, our hopes of three wins in a row over the neighbours inside a week have been dashed. We’ve no complaints about tonight’s result, Galway were full value for their win. The best of luck to them from here on and hard luck to our lads, it wasn’t to be for them in this one.

Mayo: Jamie McNicholas; Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Oisín Mullin; Aaron McDonnell, Conor Beirne, Eoghan McLaughlin; Evan O’Brien (0-4, three frees), Gavin Durcan; John Gallagher, Paul Towey (0-3), Paddy Goldrick; Aiden Orme, Stephen McGreal, Tommy Conroy (0-3). Subs: Nathan Moran for Gallagher; David McBrien for McDonnell; Kuba Callaghan for McGreal; David Gannon for McLaughlin; Ciaran Gavin for Orme.

43 thoughts on “U20s outgunned by Galway

  1. Galway good value for their 6 point win. Mayo so error ridden and disorganized tonight the tribesmen the opposite.

  2. County board defo made the right call on James Horan over Mike Solan on the Senior manager job last season, still has alot more to learn I feel before he gets the hot seat ,was poor on the line tonight and in Last years All Ireland final v Kildare.Don’t want to sound to harsh he has brought a serious amount of talent through in the last 4 seasons but his calls on the lines have been poor during the big games.

  3. Can have no complaints on this one…better team won. Thought our ball handling skills were atrocious, and most of the time we were punished. Shot selection was poor too. Disappointing because we are not as bad. Thought we were slow to make changes on the line too.

  4. Galway the better team by a mile. Very well coached. Their tackling, intensity, team-work and decision-making was way ahead of ours. Mayo’s attitude was very disappointing in contrast to the never-say-die spirit our Minor and Senior team bring.Very disappointing for the management as they have put a lot of time into these lads. Most of these players will be around next year so maybe a shake up in the coaching/management approach is warrented to keep them motivated.

  5. TH, I don’t think the county board had Horan in mind at all. They effectively ousted Rochford (A very bad mistake in my opinion) and were lining up Solan for the senior job. Horan then threw his hat back in the ring and Solan opted out.

    I don’t think you’re being harsh on him. Tonight’s performance was woeful in every capacity and manager had to shoulder some blame. You correctly referred to the dismal strategic decisions in the AIF last year v Kildare and we got an easy run to that final.

    In 2016 he inherited an outstanding bunch from the 2013 and 14 minors. I think, with respect, any of us would have managed them to an All Ireland. In 2017 his team with players like Akram, Cunniffe, Ruane, Reape and Carr flopped against Galway in Tuam and tonight was another flop. The worst flop of all.

    If Solan has ambition to manage Mayo he should start by managing another county OR a senior club side in Mayo and cut his teeth there.

    Coming away from Tuam tonight I felt terribly disappointed. The team really underperformed and unless you were at it you won’t realise the amount of handling errors, poor decision making and plain lack of any system in place.

    When we were 9 points down in the 2nd half the obvious thing to do was bring out our half forward line, who were anonymous anyway, and kick long ball into our full forward line. Ciaran Gavin should have been on from the start too. We needed goals and Conroy looked like he had the beating of his man when the ball got to him.

    Defensively we have Galway far too much room. It just looked like a poorly coached bunch of players. Granted this isn’t all on Solans shoulders as these players have clubs too!

    I feel this team was talked up over the past week. We were lead to believe our forwards were better than Galway! Ha ha.

    The only lads tonight who look anywhere near ready to step into a senior development panel would be Tommy Conroy and Oisin Mullen.

    Durcan from Castlebar did ok. Gavin from ballintubber when he was introduced looked decent and composed on the ball and Towey showed glimpses but that’s about it.

    I can’t see many more featuring for Mayo at senior level unless there’s a sharp improvement. The full back maybe but he certainly didnt beat his man tonight.

  6. I wouldn’t be too despondent if I was a Mayo fan tonight, it was one of those nights where nothing went right for them, its swings and roundabouts for both counties at the moment, the key really is hoping some of these players on both sides make it through to senior in 2 or 3 years time.
    I have to say from a Galway point of view there was a very different atmosphere around Tuam today and in the build up and at the stadium tonight, one of hope and slight excitement at this management teams and their style. There was a fine crowd and a healthy Galway contingent and the scene after was a flashback for me of 98 , maybe it was PJ and Divo been involved. They’ll be a big push to get them in at senior now.
    Interesting to see Kevin Walsh in attendance.
    We needed that win tonight after a tough week.

  7. A lot of the squad underage next year. Mgmt wise I think it is time for a freshen up.
    A real off night for us.

  8. Tuamstar – Galway fans around me very vocal and partisan…have not witnessed that before. Definetly a buzz about that Galway setup. Best of luck in the All Ireland series.

    I actually think that Galway team didn’t play to their full potential there tonight and Mayo didn’t show anything so it was an unusual game:

  9. Handling was atrocious all night. Silly pass’s that weren’t on also cost us big time. Gavin Durcan and Tommy Conroy played well, we just couldn’t get the ball to him enough. That few minute spell before half time killed the game. Galway got 3 handy points in about a minute.
    Solan was very poor on the line, changes came far too late. As said above, he needs to manage a Senior County, or at least a senior club before he’s even considered for the top job again.

    Crowd was big too, lots of Galway supporters, it brought me back to been a teenager in ‘99. Really hope they pump money into Tuam an redevelop it.

    Congrats to Galway though, great team and fully deserved the win. We can’t win em all I suppose, they were due one win this week. Pity no back door. Now all eyes on Killarney.

  10. Number 24 or 22 for Galway very impressive, best player on the field I felt. Disappointed because we’re not that poor but no excuses on the night. Agree a change of management could freshen things up as most of this team are U20 next year. Tommy Conroy has a lot of talent but he needs to learn to pass the ball. Joyce made 2 changes in the first half that seemed to change the momentum of the game. You could tell by the exuberant Galway crowd that the thought of losing 3 in a week to Mayo must have been giving them nightmares.

  11. Really poor display tonight. It’s a long time since I’ve come away from any Mayo game that disappointed about a performance. There were only a handful of players (ones named by Mayonaze) who showed something but some of their teammates left them to it. The half forward line didn’t play at all. The lack of options for the backs coming out was shocking. The amount of handling errors and bad passing was really poor. Nobody wants those lads to have such an off night. Something wasn’t right. Galway were good and pushed up on us strongly in the first half. They were also much more comfortable on the ball and decisive going forward. We made a marginally better fist of it second half. I actually thought our U17 team from Friday would have beaten this team tonight (apart from maybe physical size)….
    Last thing – the ref made some crazy calls tonight against both teams. The second half decisions made no sense. If this was a tight game he’d have been slaughtered!!

  12. Who from the team is overage next year? Evan O’Brien, Gavin Durcan, Stephen McGreal and Tommy Conroy are anyway.

    Can’t comment on performances as I wasn’t in Tuam but expected us to be much closer than that. Playing so defensive in the 1st half sends out a bad sign straight away. It naturally invites the opposition on to you which leads to turnovers. If we kept an orthodox shape there would have been more space to work the ball out.


  13. It seems that at least everyone is in agreement and that Galway fully deserved their win. It seems the bookies were correct after all about who should be favourites.

    Did anyone notice how Cunningham the Galway corner forward played ?

    I hope it is just a case that maybe the Galway lads were ahead of our lads skill wise and not a case that the coaching was the big difference.

    It would be disheartening if we were doing things right at the U17 level and then slipping backwards at the U20 level due to coaching. The strong building would need to continue from U17 to U20 and then on to the Senior set up.

  14. Yew tree, as known the Galway supporters are quite fickle, and over the last 5 years there has become a terrible divide in the county over styles, management, players etc.
    I saw lads at that game tonight that I haven’t seen at a Galway game in years..

  15. That’s right DiaisMuireLinn, there were lads out there tonight who looked disinterested at worst and just lacking in composure and footballing intelligence. Changes needed to be made long before they did. Where we lost tonight was our half back line and half forward line were well and truly beaten by Galway. Extremely disappointed with both lines. The amount of balls spilled and possession lost was mind boggling.

    New management is definitely required at u20 for next season. Preferably someone who can at the very least inspire a team to perform to optimum level. If you see your team play to a certain level and lose you can accept that but losing like this and the way we lost in Tuam in 2017 were both pretty awful. You look at Galway tonight…Padraic Joyce, John Divilly, Liam Sammon…3 All Ireland winners. Young lads need guys who they can look up to and while we unfortunately don’t have anyone with this pedigree sureky there are some top former players who can get involved….James Nallen, McDonald.

    Somone like Rochford would be an ideal coach. But that’s never gonna happen.

    And yes a mention on the ref. Shocking performance. Got so many calls wrong for both teams it got to a point where we were laughing about it with the Galway fans beside us.

  16. @Revellino the Galway lads looked far better coached, unfortunately. I would say that we couldn’t have played much worse. And I hate saying that. I take zero pleasure from being so critical but sometimes it just needs to be said and the shame is this has been a familiar theme at underage for much of the past 6 years bar the odd rare exception.

    Galway fully deserved their victory. They were cohesive and had purpose. They were a team

    We were disjointed, played as individuals, off the cuff stuff and really didn’t look like we had any plan. Anyway, I’ve said enough!

  17. Think a few need to step away from the keyboard, a lot of anger in some posters. We beat them at U17 and Senior, I’ll give them that one. Like a lot of things we do in Mayo, we’re either at the top or the bottom in most peoples opinions, we rarely seem to be balanced. Let’s focus on the positives the odd time and focus on stuffing Kerry.

  18. Watched alot of Minor football last year and I thought Pat Lambert and Mark Moran were head and shoulders the best 2 underage footballers at minor level last year very surprised not to see them tonight along with Cathal Slattery from Garrymore, James Jennings Mayo Gaels and Ciaran Gavin Ballintubber.
    Tommy Conroy has a lot of things going for him but will find it hard make it at Senior level, has no vision tries to do it all himself.

  19. @Mayonaze in fairness that was a very good Galway U21 team that Mayo lost to in 2017, a team that included Sean Andy O Ceallaigh, Kieran Molloy, Cillan McDaid; Peter Cooke, Micheal Daly; A O Laoi etc who went on to beat Kerry and gave a star studded Dublin team a good game in the final. I don’t think tonight can be regarded as a flop as Galway was favourties going into the game and how strong this current Galway U20 team shall be seen in the AI series.

  20. Liam, were you at the game this evening?

    I don’t pick up any anger in messages just fair comment and facts on results. I don’t see anyone saying we are at the bottom either.

    There has been huge focus on positives in the past week after the minor and senior results. There was little or no positives tonight and it was both disappointing and concerning to see how poor we were. Having been at the match tonight and all of our u20/21 championship games for the past 4 years I think the comments so far on this thread have been balanced, accurate and fair. I accept it’s not positive and doesn’t make for nice reading.

  21. I would say that after the high of last Sat. in Limerick, it was always going to be difficult for young Mayo players to be fully tuned in.

    Also, Galway’s confidence was up after beating Cork, Kerry and Dublin in John Kerins cup.

    It’s all about gradual progression for this age group. Several players will grow skill/character/tempermentally, once kept in the system.

    Like the u-17 game, nice to see football played in a positive manner.

    I think it’s back to “love all” again between Darragh Berry and his Tuam girlfriend…lol

  22. Felt that Only a handful of players played to the level required tonight. Not sure what the sideline was up to to be honest we were down by 9 points and we wanted to run the bench of defenders we were getting our arse handed to us in midfield yet Joe Dawson was getting splinters on his arse. Disappointed but Oisin Mullin and Tommy Conroy have bright futures. A lot of individual mistakes bad handling and passes and not clinical enough in front of goal. Costello the late replacement for Galway was a constant torn. Gavin Durcan was the better of our 2 midfielders Evan O Brien had a poor first half got more into it in the second but except for the first 5-10 minutes we lost control badly, Durcan got a three marks o Brien one.
    Orme had an off night with a few wides, goldrick was poor but left on. Towey has potential.

  23. @Mayomagic it was a good Galway u21 team in 2017 but I still feel we very much underperformed that day. Remember we had EOD and Akram in the backs, Ruane and Mikey Murray in the middle and 5 of our starting forwards were Fionn Mcd, Ryan OD, Reape, Carr and James Kelly. We still lost by 6 points.

  24. TH…..singling one of the players out for criticism is a bit unfair. These young guys are still learning and hopefully a good few of them will make it at senior level. Players develop at different stages, so ease off on the personal criticism of the players please.

  25. Tommy Conroy was the most positive thing tonight from a Mayo perspective in my opinion, even if by his own standards he had a ‘middlin’ game. The ball hardly went near him. I’ve seen enough in him last year and this year to say that if brought into the senior set up next season he will develop further. He is as good as any of the Galway forwards at his level and I predict he will be a future forward on the Mayo senior team provided he works hard enough for it.

  26. Let’s face it, there was a huge difference in class between Galway and Mayo tonight. Galway could shoot points from distance at their ease, Mayo could not get a smell of a point from distance when it mattered.We even managed to miss three eminently scoreable frees when it mattered in the first half, with three different takers. Mayo’s marking could not be described as marking in any sense, particularly from Galway kickouts. The Galway ‘keeper had his choice of targets.

  27. Mayonaze
    I wasn’t at the match but if what you said above is true, that the comments on this thread are balanced, accurate and fair, then it must have been truly woeful.
    Disappointing, as team on paper looked good to me and was quite excited about our forward line.

  28. All – I need to ask everyone to dial back on the criticism of Mike Solan and his management team. I’ve let some comments up, with others, less fair-minded, ones consigned to the bin. Interesting that these kinds of contributions are coming mainly from people who have either never commented here before or others who only tend turn up when there are rocks to be flung. Last night’s performance by the U20s wasn’t hectic and I’d be surprised if the U20 management team wouldn’t be the first to recognise this.

  29. This same group of players got hammered by Galway two years ago at minor level in McHale Park and management was scapegoated for that result.
    Solan can only do so much with this bunch as they are out of their depth. Galway didn’t even have Evan Murphy playing, who was there go to man in 2017 and they were still far superior to Mayo. Looking at the names listed in the squad that are underage again next season I am worried about the lack of quality coming through.

  30. On watching Saturdays game, and a couple of people said to me they thought Fionn McDonagh was quite enough. Fionn spent much of his time tracking players and could be seen tackling back on our half back line on several occasions.

    I often moaned when I used to see Cillian back working hard in the back lines and used to think that this was not where our ace marksman should be operating.

    I have a sneaky feeling, and I hope I’m correct, that we will see Cillian directing our forwards from here on out. I didn’t see him tracking deep on Saturday and I think this added to his threat up front and he had a very good game.

    Fionn may be getting the old Cillian tracking role.

    I read an article this morning which said Cillian averages 7 points a game.
    He has played 51 championship games and has scored in 50. He was black carded early in the game where he failed to score.

    He is 4 points off the Gooch (the phenomenal gooch), who racked up his tally having played to the age of 33 and amassed his tally over 84 games.

    It’s staggering that Cillian is only 4 points off Gooches total having played 33 games less.

    I’m not taking away from the Gooch who could do things no other player could do, and had that perfect balance, but Cillians scoring totals are incredible.

    I believe he is only 27 and when long injury lay offs are also penciled in, it makes the overall total even more impressive.

    May he play up front exclusively from here on out and may he wear his Mayo jersey for another 10 years.

  31. Wasn’t there last night either, but none of the players as Man of Aran said should have had last Sat in their minds. None of them played.
    Not going criticise anyone because I wasn’t there but going by some of the comments that are allowed, it must have been terrible stuff.

  32. 1982 Willie Joe??
    Hopefully with the work been done we will get more big games in Tuam so it wont be so long for you to visit again…

  33. Well said Revellino about COC,but also about Fionn,I thought that he done a lot of work in defence last week,it used to make me tear my hair out to see COC back in the full back line collecting kick outs and defending and then been our main scoring threat,it is important that he stays in the scoring zone,and that is why I have been in favour of Rob in goal,but with Fionn doing the defendii it helps us a lot ,all the best to the team and management on Sunday

  34. As someone who was at the game last night I agree we need to go a bit easier on Solan and his management team. He can hardly be blamed for some of the most basic handling errors and poor passing. That was down to the players alone.
    There were lots of mistakes early on by both teams- poor passing, fumbling etc. There was a big crowd there and I’m sure that contributed to a bit of nerves.
    Once Galway got a lead they seemed to settle whereas we didn’t really get going at all. They were able to pick their scores much easier than us.
    Overall Galway seemed to be that bit better than us and deserved the win.

  35. Hopefully it won’t, Tuamstar! Great to see the work that’s being done at the ground. That long gap was largely due to my living outside the country for several years, following which it took me a while to get re-engaged with the football. By the time I did, Pearse Stadium was your default home venue, though admittedly I should have made the FBD game at Tuam in January …

  36. firstly the connacht u 20 final deserved a weekend time slot. secondly we were outnumbered in tuam last evening ,where were all the mayo supporters. I was in the stand and it was practically all galway supporters.this was a game we could have won .the 3 frees we missed when the game was close in the first half sucked the life from the team also galway 3 points in first half injury time increased their lead from 3 to 6 points at half- time.we needed a good start to second half but galway got it and all of a sudden it was 13pts.to 4 pts and our goose was cooked.I NOTICED galway maor foirne john concannon was all togged out and spent most of the second half running on and off the pitch after every score,wide and break in play .he was sent from the pitch once by the referee.i dont think the wet and slippery conditions suited the mayo forwards especially tommy conroy.I was really disappointed with the whole evening but we have to lift it and now get ready for killarney on sunday.all mayo supporters have to be very vocal on sunday.

  37. Was in Tuam yesterday. It seemed to me we tried to play to much if a running game with a reluctance to get the bal to the full forward lone early allowing Galway to smother us out. Management can be held accountable somewhat but also the players need to look at themselves also. Running ahead of the ball, handpasses going behind the player. I lost count of the amount of interceptions against us. Tommy C was crying out to be giving the ball in space. Fair dues to Galway. An excellent team and will be hard stopped.

  38. We tend to be very fast to point the fingers at management when results not going our way such as JH after Ross game and Solan after last night and AI Final v Kildare. Its not always down to manager. Sometimes we just come up against a better team. Sometimes players don’t play as well as they can. Sometimes we just don’t get the lucky breaks. For example in the Ross game JH was hardly to blame for last minute free we missed or for the kick out that cost us a goal. I wasn’t in Tuam last night but it appears that Galway were quite a bit better than us. Simple as that.

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