Will Galway bate Mayo?

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“Not if they have Willie Joe” was the lyrical response to this question when sung in the famous Saw Doctors song. The age old rivalry that is the Maroon and White versus the Green and Red never fails to get my excitement levels revved up to their limit.

One of my earliest memories of following Mayo in the early 2000s was a defeat at the hands of our neighbours. As we walked back to the car, I remember a chant being sung at the time by a group of lads my own age “Galway are the best in the West”. It must have been my first taste of defeat because it boiled my blood even at the tender age of 6 or 7 years old and the chant was just the tip of the iceberg. Not only were Galway the best in the west at the time, they were one of the best in Ireland having won All Irelands in both ’98 and ’01.

Skip forward a decade and things have changed so drastically. Mayo have now become the dominant force in Connacht while Galway haven’t beaten our men since 2008 nor won a provincial title. I juggle two jobs – one as a journalist for the Western People, the other as a shop assistant in Galway. Therefore, I have gotten a taste of the build-up to the game in both counties.

In Mayo, it’s business as usual: game two out of six. It wouldn’t matter who the opposition was, the papers would still fill their pages with the pre-match build-up. With it being Galway, however, the coverage is massive in each paper, trying to jam in every last detail possible.

In Galway, though, the mood is different. The papers have, at most, four pages worth of content on the upcoming match. This may seem odd to us folk in Mayo but, working in Galway, I can see why there’s so little. Basically, the focus in the last few years has shifted to hurling more so than football in my opinion.

Where I work, I have good conversations about sport with regular customers. When asked about ‘Saturday’s game’, they would reply back with their predictions on the Ireland match. When specified, they have no hope nor heed about how Galway might do. One customer however, was angered by the fact that we didn’t sell tickets for Saturday evening’s game and was happy to tell this Mayo man that he would love to see Galway hammer us. That’s the sort of passion that I was used to growing up when talking about these two teams.

It would be nice to see Mayo get put through their paces by Galway but that seems highly unlikely considering the inexperienced team they announced. Galway have named five (you could nearly count six, as Declan Kyne only featured for a minute in last year’s championship) debutants for Saturday’s meeting.

Mayo’s team is much stronger. If Stephen Rochford doesn’t make any last minute changes, it gives a good chance for Conor O’ Shea, Evan Regan, Jason Gibbons and the likes to put a marker down and make the manager’s selection choices in the future that little harder.

Francis Farragher said in the Connacht Tribune this week that it would take “a brave man to bet on Galway at 4/1 but only a rich man could make money off Mayo at 2/9”. Most definitely, it will take a brave performance from a Galway team to beat Mayo. Mayo on the other hand, much like the betting man, are rich with talent.

66 thoughts on “Will Galway bate Mayo?

  1. I’ve no doubt Mayo will win but wouldn’t it be great if Galway really put it up to us and asked some hard questions and we escaped with a one point win (tho I think it wlll be 10 points) we need a few hard games before we hit Croker the more hard tests we get the better

  2. If there are no changes on our team before throw in (unlikely), I would prefer AOS to move into the FF line along side Evan and Cillian. I don’t think Conor O’Shea is suited to corner forward and would be more effective further out the field.

    Hopefully we defend better as a team. Keeping a clean sheet would be a good achievement as the likes of Comer and Walsh are quality forwards by any standard.

  3. I reckon we got this well be to strong for them we just have to move aiden to full foward hell for sure be up for the challenge I’d say Evan for motm the connacht final can’t wait to see the disappointment on rossies faces

  4. Regardless of what team we field tomorrow evening, I’m confident that Rochford will have those players primed and ready for action. At this stage of the season all panel members should be capable of stepping up to the plate and doing a job for the County, if not why else would they be there. This is one game where I would have no worries about winning, it may not be pretty, Mayo matches rarely are, but in the end I would expect a comfortable five or six point victory.

  5. Flew into Shannon this Morning, Staying in Breaffy House tonight and Saturday Night
    A Galway Man and also a ex college mate of mine who was a selector with John Tobin is also staying here tonight. He told me that It is rubbish the story about 52 Galway Players turning down Kevin Walsh. Some were dropped. not putting in the effort, Some not good enough, and two not committed. He thinks Galway will catch us on the hop and has 1000 Euro at 4 to 1 on Galway

  6. With or without Willie Joe (the Belmullet one or the Aghamore one) Mayo will not be bate be Galway.

  7. Too many saying it will be a fairly easy victory tonight; I hope it will. However, the footballers greatest enemy hasn’t been mentioned anywhere….. over confidence. The Mayo lads are mature enough not to believe everything they read and everything is about a Mayo victory. As a mayo chairman of a large Galway club, I’ve seen some of the new lads in action and they are good club players but how their skills transfer to Champioship football; that question will be answered tonight. It’s also true what OSULLIVAN said above, 52 players didn’t turn down Kevin Walsh. I know just one who did and as a Mayoman, I’m glad he did!!!! Less than 12 hours left and I’m itching to get home to Mayk

  8. If I was you O’Sullivan, I’d be enjoying this weekend with your Galway friend as I fear it could be your last together. It would appear he has had a late calling to be Trappist monk and is ridding himself of his worldly possessions.

  9. Interesting quote from Shane Walsh in the papers this morning –

    “To be honest the football at under-21 level is perfect as a forwards game really because it’s so open and it’s so honest that if a player’s been beaten then he’s been beaten, it’s just the player he’s marking has been better than him on the day. Whereas at senior level, he’s not let have that influence.”

  10. Best of luck to Mayo today and hope every enjoys the game. Mayo will win as they are much to strong in many sectors and have the experience. It will be interesting to see what kind of game plan is used. Variation is important but the running game is our best tatic almost unplayable when we go at it. Also given our scoring weakness it helps us gets scores easier. Mayo by 6 -8

  11. Best of luck to the Mayo players and mangement tonight. A huge test of players mental attitude and whether the complacency shown by many here and elsewhere has seeped in to scupper players’ preparations in the lead up to this game. The training sessions are now complete and game plan rehearsed so its over to the starting XV now to show that demonic intensity and ruthless determination from the throw in that we have seen so often over the past four years. We should also expect another voice driving them on too – the events of last Sept must be a motivator to all involved last year. Hopefully we will have a great crowd cheering them on also. If the players get the focus right for this game by laying down a marker early on and refusing to let an ambush take place and we will be well on our way to a 6th Connacht title in a row.

  12. One interesting thing I’ve noticed over the past few weeks, in all the team discussions, player analysis and general footballing talk, not one person has mentioned Donal Vaughan. I don’t believe he’s injured and yet he has dropped completely off the radar, has his form or stock dropped that much?

  13. The Mayo fans are way overconfident in my opinion. Talking to a Galway insider they have gone for pace over muscle and the young Moycullen corner back Wynne is very pacy and sticky.
    He believes they’ve picked a team specifically to beat Mayo and we both agree Galway have had a huge ammount of time in the long grass to plan for this one. If Walsh hasn’t a decent game plan I’d be shocked.
    So the idea we use our running game may be the wrong tactic. This may be the first time we see Rochford’s kicking tactics honed and because of Galway’s pace tactics and inexperience it makes sense to use a big man inside for this one.
    What could stop Galway’s game plan is not enough firepower up front. After Walsh and Comer, they’re relying on Danny Cummins pace as the out ball which he will win off almost anyone even Keith but his decision making can be short what’s needed. Sice is a worker and will probably play in their defensive structure.
    We could see dour Ulster style first half with score about 5-4 and both teams struggling to break the others defensive system. If that happens Galway will be thinking game on.

  14. Mayoman in Meath, just read that article by McConville. You should have said that youd have to wade though some serious shite talk before arriving at a couple of decent opinions. I would agree with him about Regan, he and all corner forwards should be judged on the scores they get, thats what they are there for. (wish he said it in the first couple of lines though)

    I would say best of luck to the Mayo team but its not about luck so I will say 100percent focus, trust in the training you have put in and stick to the game plan set out and the result will come

  15. I didn’t enjoy McConville’s article at all. Thought it was nonsense for the most part. Filler.

    Expecting a win today and hopefully a solid performance. All the best lads!!

  16. Liam, I think he has struggled with form for sure. He made at least two errors in the league at crucial times that proved costly. I feel Durcan and Nally are ahead of him and more comfortable on the ball. Donal is a fantastic player to bring on, as we seen in Salthill last year, but I don’t think he is a starter right now.

  17. Donie has struggled badly with injury and form over the last 18 months. Still has a role in this squad but may have to adapt to the emergence of Durcan and Nally.

  18. The power of the blog thanks a million folks I got a lift to Dublin after match. A poster going to Maynooth even offered to bring me into Lucan. Thanks a million everyone. Let’s win this today now.

  19. Durcan should be playing at wing forward. he’s the obvious option for another high work rate wing forward who can score pts similar to Diarmaid O’C

  20. Centerfield, does that mean he would take Diarmaids place or KMc as these are two nailed on starters in the half forwards when fit.

  21. I think mayo should play Kieth h in centre forward, put stephen cone in also instead in back line with Conor o Shea loosing out.
    Named team concerns me.

  22. Best of luck to all concerned today. Can’t see us losing based on player selection and previous performances only unless Kevin Walsh gets his tactics spot on and we don’t.
    Stranger things have happened but deep down I expect us to be in McHale Park on the 10th of July.
    Safe travelling all.

  23. If we can’t beat these showers well then our goose is cooked. Come on Mayo

  24. Come on the tribesmen. Going up hoping to see a good performance from us and will see what happens. Hopefully you will take it easy on us

  25. All the green and reds to play like a team and we ll be out the gate with a much deserved win. Enjoy the evening all!

  26. mayomad says:
    June 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Centerfield, does that mean he would take Diarmaids place or KMc as these are two nailed on starters in the half forwards when fit.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Durcan, AOS, Diarmaid
    Cillain Regan

    would be my forward line. with a full time sweeper (Coen)

    Kevin Mcl needs to be a lot better in Champ this year to be nailed on starter.
    He was probably our best player in 2011/2012 but his level has gone down a bit from then

  27. Luck will have nothing to do with it.

    No messing about especially in front of goal. Take the chances and ya win the game.

    Wayward shooting and horrendous wides and ya leave the door open to an inferior team.

    Which will it be?

    Simple as that.

  28. Centrefield, while I agree a sweeper system is required I dont feel it is required full time like today. I def dont think we should be sacrificing a forward to accommodate a sweeper. If we go with a two man ff line with say Cillian and Evan the free corner back from the opposing side will move across to the dangerman Cillian and mark him out of the game. Sweeper needs to come from the halfback line where midfield can cover the space infront of him, Dublin with Cian O’Sullivan do that so well.

  29. Think Mayo should get by with 6-7pts to spare. Will be physically too strong. Regarding a comment above on Kevin Mc, think he has looked a bit burnt-out over past 18 months and wonder if he would be better to come in as an impact sub for final 15-20 mins. Still has pace and can find the back of the net too.

  30. Well that’s it then, the end of a great run in Connaught is finally over – the back door now beckons and what ever that may bring !

  31. No heart, fight or passion.
    Major questions to be answered about management’s decisions, ie Regan left to battle alone up front, taking Keane off when he had Comer in his pocket, what the fuck was Aidan O’Shea meant to be doing? He was anonymous.
    Boyle the only one to show the heart and fight you need as a basis point in championship football. Only question now is who do the players want as manager now?
    Bullied and outfought in our own back garden.

  32. Standing in a field in France listening to that. I can scarcely believe it. All the talk before the game about how much we’re going to beat them by and whether a trimming was in store or not. Talk about an ambush. From what I gathered we were well off the pace and key players didn’t perform. I suppose our streak had to end sometime. We are well humbled and hurt tonight but let’s hope the players gather that negative energy and use it to good effect in the qualifiers. We won’t complaint about having to go in the back door if we end up going out through the front!

  33. We were a shambles all over the place, no game plan, no desire, nothing. Reminded me of Cork v Mayo 2011 with us being Cork. We were awful

  34. Mayo were terrible today James Horan on Sky .
    Hard to argue with that.
    classic Ambush job by Galway.
    where to now we have poor record in back door
    Is this a whole new world or what.?

  35. Here in Bordeaux after a terrible Irish defeat, South Africa beating us last minute in Rugby and now a very underrated Galway beating Mayo – a right kick up the arse for Mayo!!

  36. Lee Keegan put on Damien Comer? Anybody able to explain that one. When you see that kind of thing you really have to wonder.

  37. There was a full Commentary on radio 1.

    Some good has come from game. 1. Avoid Roscommon and all the hype that woud bring.
    2.Everyone will have learned more in every sense.
    3. Remains to be seen.

    Maybe Cork eased up to avoid Kerry. Now we mighr get them in Qualifer?

    AS GOOD A TIME AS ANY TO LOSE. MORE CHANCE OF CORRECTIVE. ACTION.

    IT LOOKS LIKE AIDO BACK TO CENTREFIELD?

  38. We have to qualify for QF’s nothing is changed really. The problem is these lads could just be sick of it. Its been a long 6 years. Its not the ability just at some point you get fed up

  39. That’s a fair point but if you’re sick of it, no one is forcing you onto the team

  40. looks like we are going backwards, the one think we are known for is having the best attacking halfbacks in the country and our game plan is to keep them in our own half. Our big name players didn’t show up and Aidan o Shea look like an old man in there today, very lethargic and to easily dispossessed. I think everyone knows how much a fully fit Aidan o shea means to mayo football but he looked a shadow of himself there today and its probably not fair to pick him out as he is held to a higher standard. For anyone looking for a Rockford master plan, well i hope we see it soon as the season will be over real quick based on todays display.

  41. Supports need Cool heads and on the up side
    … potential more games for us 🙂

    No with that in mind .. can someone link to qualifier schedule

  42. Talk of changing manager are completely off course – let’s try to wrestle back our pride.

  43. This might be a god send to et a couple of extra games in the playoffs to work on things. Matthew Ruane needs to be call up. our midfielders are all carry knocks we need someone fully fit to play this position. Liam Irwin anyone ? surely he’s better than what we seen today.

  44. cloubnine not sure what Horan said but he should stop going on the media saying we’re going to hammer a county that’s won 9all itelands. whatever about Gal they always play with pride and can beat us on any given day and vice versa

  45. Vie from group of Galway and Mayo fans here in Bordeaux is that proper kick up the are of over confident Mayo / bit wf can still feature in later stages of All Ireland .

  46. Feeling not great but how must the team be feeling? There are times when things don’t happen and that was surely one of them. Hard luck all…could be worse!

  47. Sorry for typos ,- but – view from fans here – kick up the arse but we can stil feature.:.

  48. Well, it’s not all over but the hill has just gotten allot steeper , Galway deserved to win, more hunger, desire. Walsh got his tactics spot on, Rochy didn’t.. No point over doing the blame game. Should Rochy have taken off Aidens OShea? I think so,! Would it has a difference,? Probably in my opinion, There still great lads, hope ft a home draw against the best team in the qualifiers,, do or die now!

  49. It need not be all doom and gloom a run through the qualifiers might be just what we need if we get to a quarter final in August it won’t matter how we get there and we’ll be more seasoned with two hard games under our belt were down but not out the glass is still half full

  50. back door Sam. 3 games to get to QF from what I can see in the fixture list.

    we need to get everyone fit asap

    This can go either of 2 way now I think like that year we were beaten in Eniskillen or maybe get some momentum find the best team and get battle hardened.

    we sleep walked into this one

  51. Someone asked about rochfords game plan? Zonal marking and kick passing. It was on display for the first 20minutes and we were terrible at it. The manager and everyone should understand we are a hard running team which uses our half backs as an attacking platform and are the best in the country at it wen we are focused

  52. Why would be over confident? We have been on the downward curve since last Yeats defeat to Dublin. This team has run out of gas. Never had defensive or attacking system under any management team any from here on are playing for pride. This reminded me of the peerless Willie Nelly almost singlehandedly beating a very fancied Galway team in 1981. This must taste as sweet to Galway as that did to Mayo. New manager seems to have feet of clay and any time a Mayo team are not motivated for a clash with Galway then we are doomed for a spell in the wilderness.

  53. Someone said to me nobody died, then I got a call to let me know that a relative passed away peacefully ironically around the final whistle.. Put the whole the no in perspective as he was a diehard GAA fan! My kids asked me afterwards why I had tears in my eyes… I looked at the little one and said we have been Connacht champions since you were born… Such is life.. And life goes on! The qualifiers could be the making of this team, not so long between the front door mstches, afaik the qualifier game will be one week earlier than the Connacht final… We have tried the front door the last few years and it didn’t work, time for an alternative approach?

  54. Hard to take but the reality is we just weren’t good enough. Too depressed at the moment to think about it in depth but we were outplayed all over the field. Only Boyler showed the real heart and desire needed to win championship games.

    My wife watched on sky and they said qualifier will be the day before the Connacht final. How does the A and B section of qualifiers work? Which are we in and who else is in it?

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