Poll: will we beat Galway?

Right, it’s midweek with the team announcements supposedly set to be made at some stage tomorrow, so maybe it’s as good a time as any to test the temperature here on the site about Sunday’s big match.

Before all our League games this year, I prefaced the poll with a longish narrative on our upcoming opponents but I think you’ll agree that no such introduction is necessary in relation to our clash with the neighbours on Sunday. If, though, you want the recent back story on the Tribesmen then what I wrote before our February clash is here and then add to that the match report from that feisty Salthill meeting – here. That brings our story pretty much up to date.

Galway are, of course, coming into this fixture on a bit of a high. They head to Castlebar seeking to down our colours for the third time a row in Connacht and the last time they managed that particular feat was way back in 1984.

We’d argue, of course, that this period of mini-dominance they’re enjoying over us is all very odd. While we can’t dispute that they’ve got the better of us the last two times we met in the championship our subsequent paths in both campaigns have seen us do way better.

Not enough, it’s true, to land the big one but while we made it all the way to Nirvana’s door in both 2016 and 2017 their challenge wilted completely the minute they arrived at Croke Park. To that extent, only one of us has competed seriously at national level over the past two summers.

None of that, of course, will help us on Sunday. Galway caught us on the hop in early summer last year and the year before and it’s still only late spring now so thoughts about how well we’re able to play in high summer at HQ will be of little relevance come Sunday.

Galway’s record, to date, in 2018 is perhaps more pertinent when considering our upcoming meeting. Unbeaten in the League until the final – when they could and, perhaps, should have taken a wounded Dublin – their return to Division One deserves to be seen as a complete success.

By contrast, we diced with demotion right until the final seconds of the spring campaign. We played badly enough to be relegated and wouldn’t, in truth, have had too many complaints had we come away from Ballybofey without the result we needed to stay up.

But stay up we did and so that allowed us to segue from League to championship without feeling any significant blowback for our early season inconsistencies. With the experienced lads returning to the fray and injuries (hopefully) clearing up – though Lee Keegan’s absence on Sunday will be keenly felt – confidence on our side of the fence is justifiably rising.

The bookies, though, are keeping this one on a short leash, with Paddy Power now quoting us as the 8/11 favourites, with Galway on offer at 6/4. Our odds have drifted slightly in recent days – we were at 4/6 the last time I checked.

One historical stat before I finish up with the poll: by my count, Galway now lead us by one in the championship head-to-head between us. Our five-in-a-row winning streak over them saw us sneak one ahead back in 2015 but, thanks to their wins in 2016 and 2017, they’ve pulled in front again. They’ve now got 41 wins banked, we’ve got 40 and there have been six draws.

That’s as good a reason as any for us to want to beat them once again on Sunday. But will we? Time to see what you all think on that particular question.

Will we beat Galway?

  • Yes (72%, 745 Votes)
  • No (28%, 291 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,036

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58 thoughts on “Poll: will we beat Galway?

  1. It’s like voting in the referendum… but I closed my eyes and give Mayo the nod… I’m expecting a cracker with edge of seat stuff. This is the Mayo way and that’s why I expect us to pop the Galway bubble… Maigheo go deo

  2. Nice little update, and nuggets of info. Wille Joe, 41 v 40. Hope its all square on Sunday evening, What’s the count in connaught titles please, Good to see the voters pretty confident. The temperature is rising surely.

  3. Its so hard to know what Mayo will turn up! If this was an AI quarter final or Semi, id say we’d win no bother, we’re really an unknown quantity in May. Galway won’t do much damage in the championship no matter what happens Sunday, as another poster said, i’d still back us to have a longer summer. Galway should win this with our pathetic recent home record, lack of match fitness for key players, and i feel this game has come far too early in the year for us. Time for Galway to back up the big talk……

  4. We’re one ahead of them on Connacht titles, Mayo Viking – 46 to 45. We’re no match for them, though, on All-Irelands – 9 v 3 in their favour there.

  5. A decent start is vital if we’re to prevail on Sunday: given Galway’s blanket defence and pacey forwards (minus Brannigan) we will be playing into their hands again if we fall several points behind in the opening quarter.

  6. The odd’s on Mayo winning on Sunday are edging slightly longer according to the bookie!…. Meanwhile, the capacity of McHale Park is edging slightly upwards,.. 2,000 patron’s more than the previously stated/allowed/expected 28,000 ‘might’ be in McHale Park on Sunday.. Bringing it up to 30,000, according to John Prunty… I wonder what the bookies odds on a crowd in excess of 33,or 34K, being there on Sunday would be?…. Would the price on this outcome, be getting longer or shorter?

  7. This is a really difficult game to call and the build up must be huge locally as it is all the GAA folk can talk about on a national level. I have heard so many compelling reasons why both Mayo and Galway should shade it that I have found myself repeatedly flip flopping on my final verdict.

    I think that McHale Park should be temporarily renamed as the “O.K. Corral” for this epic fight to the death. I’m not sure what colour jersey Wyatt Earp will be wearing when the smoke clears but one thing for sure is that he will have fired all his ammo in this fight.

    Galway’s retreat to the trenches this season has definitely shored up their defensive frailty of 2017 and their penetrating runs from defense have been causing all kinds of problems for all the top teams in the league. That said they clearly targeted staying in division one for 2019 and look to have had a very distinct advantage over most teams on fitness levels.

    League and championship are two very different animals and when the fitness imbalance is no longer in the mix it tends to bring a much sharper focus to the real skill set of the teams. Mayo are a championship team full stop and what happens in the league is a mere irrelevance normally. My concern is with the magnitude of this game for Mayo on so many levels have they had the time to get themselves into a proper championship footing.

    Mayo are the fiercest warriors you can meet from late July to September but this is only early May and it’s their first game with several important players as recent returnees.

    I personally would be normally neutral between yourselves and Galway but I really hope ye win this one as I don’t like the new negative Galway setup. Keegan is a massive loss and it is compounded by the fact that comer could cause wreck without Lee snapping at his ankles.

    The GAA Championship needs Mayo in August and September as ye have been the beating heart of our game over the last number of years and I don’t see Galway being able to replace ye in those months. Another derailment that would see ye crashing into the qualifiers would have to be the end of ye but the reality is that this team just don’t know what it is to roll over so who knows.

    Good luck on Sunday, I can’t wait for the game as it’s the first real battle of the war of 2018. Safe traveling to all.

  8. There are lots of elements in this game that could swing it either way. A lot have mentioned Comer but Galway have other very good players. It wouldn’t surprise me if we managed to keep Comer quiet but that someone else did the damage. Then there’s the issue of how little game time some of our more experienced players have had. Will they be undercooked or maybe totally fresh and ready for battle? Then there’s the free taking. Will Cillian start which I think is almost certain and will he be back to his best on the frees? If so will Conor Lane punish the pulling and dragging we saw in the league? Will we win our own kick outs? Who will start?
    Etc etc!
    Personally, I can’t wait for Sunday. It’s a big game for many reasons. It’s real championship stuff.

  9. I was actually pretty positive about Mayo winning on Sunday until I listened to the preview podcast WJ . Everyone except Cora made the case that’s it’s easier for Galway to win it then for us to do it. We may just not have enough long range point taking ability to do it. But i still voted Mayo!

  10. I vote Mayo partly because Brannigan and going by 1 post here Kerin will be missed by Galway. I am also basing my confidence on our injured players being available at the very least as impact subs. While Galway have several other fine forwards only Walsh has an X factor of the other 5 and he’s been hit and miss. Daly if he’s championship fit but missing the league should ensure he at best playing to the level of our 2017 championship encounter when he was OK but not a star. Also can’t think of any Galway backs really noted for scoring. Conroy has played very well every so often against us.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to extra time. It has all the signs.

  11. Galway are young ,confident, in great form, beaten us last two years home & away , gave the Dubs are a great game in the final.

    Mayo by 9 points.

  12. Really can’t call this.

    I wouldn’t read too much into the respective league form, Mayo are a seasoned outfit on the road a long time now and the league is mainly for easing lads back and giving game time. Galway approached it gung-ho from the off, picking their full team nearly every game.

    But Galway are certainly playing with confidence and do have a few wins in a row under their belt against Mayo. They have the better forward unit and Comer can be unplayable at times, and it’s the kind of game where if he nabbed a couple of goals he could win it on his own.

    Providing Mayo do handle him and the rest of the forwards it’ll probably come down to fine margins indeed, the midfield battle, free-taking battle etc. will all take on massive significance. Could even come down to a dodgy refereeing decision or a dismissal

    I think Galway are being talked up a bit too much here and I’ve a feeling this could be a bit like our match against Tyrone a few years ago, where our experience may win out against a hyped-up outfit. We certainly have plenty of points to prove

    The bookies odds (and naturally the poll) are siding with Mayo but this really is a 50/50 game if I ever saw one.

  13. The Tyrone game form 16 is a bad example a lot keep referencing, we won but wow how bad were the Tyrone shooters in the last phase of that game. A game I honestly think the best team on the day lost.

    Look , a lot of our take on how the game will go is pure guesswork , unless you’re on the inside or have a good source on the inside , how can you know where we are up to .

    If the usual Mayo at this time of year from the last two seasons turns up , we will be beat. If a championship sharp biting at the bit turns up we could beat them handy enough unless there has been significant improvement by Galway .

  14. I wonder if galway shot out the gate in the league and are standing there wondering what next? My hunch is that Mayo will come flying out and make a good lead and then hang on while Galway try to recover. Mayo to win by a scoreline of
    2-14 to 2-12
    Galway to finish with 13 men, Mayo with 14, and
    Conor Lane better get a grip of this one from the start or even less will be on the field in the end.

  15. Yes we will beat Galway. If the last 2 years has thought me anything it’s not to write off this magnificent Mayo team. We love big games. We”ll Be up for Galway.

  16. Tough game to call, I feel that Rochford and the back room team have stepped up in big games, albeit later in the season. Went with Mayo on the basis that they will have the team ready for this one, Will not want to have this poor record on their report card.
    Will be interesting to see what happens if we get a good start, have not managed this versus Galway in recent years. Would change the dynamic and hopefully reverse recent trends in this game.

  17. Lahanman – given that extra-time will be played if it’s level after normal time I felt that it was reasonable to make it a straight choice between a win and a loss.

  18. Would, Danny Kirby, or Conor O’Shea be any good as man markers on Galway’s danger men, just wondering if they are quick of the mark and tight markers, don’t know anything about them really, going over all the different options, and my brain is tangled already, God bless our management, it must be a nightmare trying to get the match ups right, and cover all angles, without showing ur hand to soon.

  19. Viking, neither of them would be quick enough to mark a fast twisty forward, and comer would play hell with them. You need a certain type of temperament to mark that fella, Keegan has it. The bit of devilment is in keegan that annoys the top forwards. This time in his absence I’d say Vaughan or durcan will get the job. Both are physically a match I’d say more than anyone else other than aos and he’s needed up the field to plough through.

  20. Don’t think Durcan would be a good match for Comer. He’s a great attacking outlet too and I think you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul stationing him in the full back line. He’s played corner back a fair bit for us and I think it took a lot from his game.

    Also a great man to kick a score when it’s really needed.

  21. Durcan is good for a score but you need muscle on comer, who ll throw others out of his way if he gets a run on them. For me p Durcan or donie are the men to put on him. Rob Peter if you want, he won’t mind too much if hes a winner on Sunday night.

  22. A lot of talk about how we will mark Galway’s forwards. What will the Galway match ups be on our forwards? Maybe Galway contributors can give their opinion too. I’d say…

    Sean Kelly – Kevin Mc
    Bradshaw – Aidan
    Sweeney – Diarmuid
    Kerin – Loftus/Cillian
    Ó Ceallaigh – Andy
    Kyne – Doherty

  23. Big Skelpie ( B.S) came out of his winter slumber to slop on the pages of the Irish Times. And boy was it a poop fest.

    “Everything until the super eights is shadow boxing” roared the heading of his column . The sub heading was “Hype around Mayo -Galway clash is misplaced “

    Now I don’t know if he’s in sales or not but, if he is , I’d suggest a change of career . This approach will sell neither newspaper nor GAA tickets . As for excitement , there is no better joy killer than the BS’er himself . Especially if that joy might be Mayo’s.

    Undeterred the people of Connacht and indeed the whole country care not a whit for his thoughts as there are allegedly 30,000 men , women and children from all over Ireland headed to Castlebar for what promises to be a real battle .

    Someone should tell Big Skelpie that it’s already too late. It’s already sold out.

    Even though it’s only a provincial quarter final there is real excitement about this encounter and ,much to the excruciating irritation of any proud Mayo hater ,any attention , particularly of the lavish variety that might be bestowed upon Mayo the team , Mayo the place or Mayo the people simply had to be stopped either in real terms or failing that using questionable rhetorical powers of the variety we see in the headlines of his column .

    You can almost hear him patronizingly say “ you’re all wasting your time “ “ and your money “.

    He clarifies this quite well by then going on to spend two thirds of his grossly bloated “filler “ column talking about an emerging Kerry team ( who are not playing for a few more weeks ).

    “Now this is worth spending your time on “ you can hear him say to himself . Besides , there’s no money in it for Mayo in that !

    He tipped Galway to win based on his “fancy “ which is fair enough . But Jeez Darragh give us a clue why you think that ? I mean that’s what you’re being paid for writing this ridiculous column .

    But , unable to offer a cogent analysis and , unable to help himself , he once again offers his best managerial advice to Stephen Rochford re Keegan and Cillian.

    I mean Big Skelpie has the worst record on record of managing a Kerry U -21 team to NOT .ONE. single .win. in two .years .of trying . (Basically the same record as the Kilkenny football manager )

    You see his narcissism will never allow him to be anything but clueless when it comes to management. He’s in his own head too much . He’s always the star of his own show just like the younger brother Yogurt.

    And when it comes to Mayo his utter distaste for their success in any endeavor colors his column a certain dark brown every time .

    Notwithstanding the fact that they could care less about quality (when you can feel the width like this ) The Irish times can do better.

  24. Vaughan is taylor made for Comer, has the aggression and the bulk to out do him…he done a great job on Donnaghy in patches last year. You’d still need a sweeper (maybe higgins) keeping close to Comer when they’re attacking, Donie out infront, Keith close behind, and then bottle him up where possible. Keith then has free reign to bomb forward occasionally when we’re in posession.

  25. Thanks Dave, agree with u on that, let’s hope whoever is marking him, has a stormer.

  26. Will Galway bate Mayo?
    Yes they are a team on the way up.
    Yes, they had a great League run.
    They have a system which gets results.
    They can score, and scores win matches.

    Can Mayo plan for the blanket?
    Can Mayo score more from play?
    Can Mayo adapt their play to new situations?
    Has Mayo the appetite and the stamina to go again?
    Maybe, but one thing this great Mayo team has in abundance, and it can get us there……..HEART.
    Up Mayo.

  27. Galway may have a better first 15 based on recent form, but across the 21 players who will see game time on Sunday we are that little bit better equipped to see the game out.

  28. It has to be Donie on Comer. Crowe, on the other hand, could have a role after a great league that’ll have helped his confidence I’m guessing.

    What’s the story with Brannigan or is it all cloak and dagger bluffing stuff like McBrearty in Ballybofey?

  29. When has Donie ever played full back or corner back? I honestly don’t think marking Comer would suit him.

    Donie does his best work in the middle third where his strength and fitness can be seen e.g. marking Johnny Buckley against Kerry last year. Paul Conroy will probably be playing at centre half forward and Donie (if playing) would be more suited to marking him.

  30. I agree Wide Ball, Donie does his stuff further out the pitch where his engine comes into play. I don’t think Donie would have the agility or discipline to mark Comer, not to mention he is only back from injury.

  31. It’s important to realise that we have to prepare to beat 16 men.

    Whatever Galway team takes the field, we need to be ready for, but we also need to know that calls are going to go against us and we have to rise above them.

    It’s very rare that everything goes your way and if someone says that the ref gets everything right, they’re playing tricks on you.

    Plan to beat 15 men + the adverse decisions that can come your way.

  32. Difficult to know who should mark Comer. Don’t know about Donie at No 3 Lots of people suggesting Crowe. But based on what? A reasonable second half on a returning from injury McBrearty. Hardly a sound basis. This is not a criticism of Crowe. I just think it’s too much to ask of him. Will Rochford opt for Caff?. Personally I hope not. Could he bring back AOS . At least he could compete physically. Difficult decision but a really crucial one that we need to get right.

  33. People are focusing too much on “positions”. These days its all about match ups, the traditional 3 ff’s and 3 fb’s stationery inside the 13m line is long gone, numbers are irrelevant when you think about it. Players are roaming everywhere including Comer, Vaughan will get the chance to roam the pitch because Comer will have to follow him, otherwise you have one of our best ball carriers bombing up the pitch unmarked. So Comer might spend alot more time heading towards his own goal than he would like. Hammer the hammer and all that..

  34. Comer spent most of the league final in the full forward line and Galway would be stupid not to do the same this Sunday. Galway will have loads of bodies back so I doubt Comer would follow Vaughan in that case. He would just stay forward unmarked. Donie isn’t that quick off the mark so I don’t think he would beat Comer to many balls.

    Crowe or Harrison would be my choices.

  35. @Wide ball,.. Your right Comer did spend much of the league as full forward (or maybe furthest forward up the field)… At least at times he has been, the most advanced forward for Galway but probably played something of a sweeper role… Positions and the number on your back, don’t mean as much as they used to, way back in the day’s of yore.. The exception to this rule is the Goalkeeper… He is definitely the Goalkeeper, except in exceptional case of the Mayo junior’s… (but that’s another story) If Mayo can dominate possession, I expect Comer to be back around the Galway 65…. If Galway can dominate possession, I think we will see plenty of Comer in the orthodox full forward role….. The winning and losing of this game, I think will about the other player’s on both sides… Really hoping that Mayo can start well, I also hope that weather is good, for everyone’s sake,. The last two championship games that Galway won against Mayo gaa were both in very wet conditions…. The game is the talk of the place, people who haven’t gone to a match in decades, are going and looking forward to it… I think both team’s have a massive chance of success, but I don’t think it will be a Damien Comer demolition exhibition either…. Sometimes thing’s like this happen like the AOS super show in the 2015 Connacht Final, but it’s a one in a decade chance, when there has been so much talk about the same player… That’s my opinion… And Mayo to squeak home, is another opinion I hold, but not without plenty of heart palpitations!… Get yer tickets, this is the Main Event…!

  36. I voted yes but only because I can’t bear to click no against Galway! Can’t call it.

  37. The women folk and children were attending church. Their honest men folk sat around the poker table in the Saloon with an ace in one boot and a loaded piece in the other.

    The dealer had almost finished skimming the cards across the table when they heard the first shots.

    The townsfolk knew almost immediately that this wasn’t a case of some whiskey soaked cowboy firing a few shots in the air to announce he was in town. They look wooriedly around the table to each other, their poker faces gone. This was deadly.

    Nobody rightly knew who had lit the fuse to kick it all off.
    One telling had it that Seamie had enquired off one of the tribesmen

    “What are you shit squittering about ?”

    “I’m talking to Jesus, he’s a friend of mine”.

    “Well I’m goin to make sure you meet your friend today you bible squawkin skunk bucket”, Seamie replied.

    That was one telling on it.

    The gunfire roared for more than an hour. Old Judge Rochford knew this by the shadow cast from the sun dial in the middle of town. After the hour, the gunfire slowed, a final pause and then one last shot.

    The women and children hurried from the wooden church down the main street. The Saloon patrons slowly made their way out on to the steps outside. They looked to the worried face of the wise Judge Rochford.

    He knew one side wasn’t returning today. They had fought like men and died fighting. He knew his men had given everything. There was one sure thing. His men had died doing what they loved and lived for, or, they had wiped out every man from the tribe.

    They stood and waited.

    Ole folk still tear up
    With a sniffelin through their nose
    When they talk about that battle
    On the Plain of the Yews.

  38. I’m actually disappointed with myself for being so fixated on what we do with Comer.

    Fuck him – we’ll deal with it. What are they going to do about Aidan O’Shea??

  39. I think it’s fair enough to be fixated on Comer as practically no teams in Ireland have an orthodox full back any more, Galway being one of the few who have. Put a shorter fast lad on him and he’ll win high ball but mightn’t shake him when he lands. Put a tall lad on him and he’ll win plenty on runs out and possibly burn his marker over 5 or 10 yards. If we had Donegal’s McGee I’d take my chances on 1 marker. My opinion is we need a sweeper, one to attack the ball and the other (ideally Higgins) to mop and tear up the field. Of the 3 full backs (Caff, Harry, Crowe) my pick would be Harry hoping he’s championship fit, otherwise Crowe looks to be improving but only training games would really show up who’s best suited.

  40. I understood Mayo was scheduled to play Leitrim yesterday evening in the Junior Championship – why the North Korean-like silence on all media?

  41. Because it wasn’t played then Mayo Exile! It’s on tonight. Sligo have withdrawn from the other semi so tonight’s winners play Galway in the final on Sunday – that’s the curtain-raiser to the big one at MacHale Park.

  42. Is there anything to be said for playing Aido on Comer? I wouldn’t rule out seeing the big man take up the FB position

  43. Mayo junior team has been named for tonight:

    1. Matthew Flanagan – Balla
    2. Eoghan McGrath – Cill Chomain
    3. James O’Dowd – Shrule/Glencorrib
    4. Eddie Doran – Achill
    5. Ciaran Boylan – Achill
    6. David Lydon – Kiltimagh
    7. Cian Bourke – Ardnaree Sarsfields
    8. Brendan Carr – Ardagh(Captain)
    9. Sean Walsh – Kiltimagh
    10. Conor Bohan – Shrule/Glencorrib
    11. Ronan Carolan – Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin
    12. Liam Moran – Swinford
    13. Cormac Doohan – Ballaghaderreen
    14. TJ Byrne – Kiltimagh
    15. Darragh Keavney – Kilmeena

    16. Chris McGlynn – Moy Davitts
    17. Barry Leonard – Lahardane
    18. Jason Forkan – Kiltimagh
    19. James Dowd – Louisburgh
    20. Pete Gallagher – Achill
    21. Tomás Fahey – Kilmaine
    22.  James Kelly – Belmullet
    23. Keith Hopkins – Crossmolina Deel Rovers
    24. Danny McGowan – Islandeady

    Team Manager: Jarlath Trenach
    Selectors: Peadar Flynn, Cormac Gordon & Martin Trench.

  44. In light of our failure to find an athletic new midfielder would Conor O’Shea not be a viable option at midfield?

    He’s not a forward but is tall and a decent fielder. It would give us the option of playing AOS at full-back on Comer.

  45. Lads, lads relax, I’ll take Comer. I climbed Neiphin recently and that’s a far bigger unit than him. Now, where’s my bloody boots.

  46. Lads, it would be a huge mistake to put Aido on Comer. While that tactic was effective v Donaghy in certain areas, Comer is far more mobile and a better footballer than Donaghy. Aido would struggle badly. Anyway for Mayo to win we will require Aido at the other end of the field causing havoc, especially with Cillian likely not to start.

  47. Wow, team just announced on Mayogaa. Earlier than usual. Rochford giving nothing away, Caff, Cillian and Loftus to start?

  48. Would have no complaints with named team. I never felt Harrison or Barrett would be near ready for this

    Great that Cillian would appear to be available

  49. @Revellino,.. Great stuff, I can almost smell the gunpowder,.. I knew since last February, that the gunslinger’s would make a welcome return to the blog….

  50. Just can’t see us being beaten. They caught us cold in 2016, and we were overly heavy legged and down to 14 in 2017. We won’t get caught again, I expect a big emotional performance from our lads. My only concern is the emotional pitch we have to hit to win this one is so early in the season and trying to keep that engine running through to August and beyond may well be a very big ask. A worry for another day, Mayo by 6

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