Galway 2-8 Mayo 1-15: unconvincing but still a win

Galway Mayo full-time 2015

The day we thumped Galway two years ago at Pearse Stadium was one that no Mayo fan will forget for a long time. Today’s win at Salthill – our fifth successive championship win over the Tribesmen, the first time we’d managed this in over a hundred years – was an historic one but had none of the coruscating exhilaration of the trouncing we meted out that day. We weren’t overly convincing today, they were for sure overly physical but in the end we did enough to dig out the win.

Pearse Stadium will never be my favourite place on earth but I have to say that the place looked its best in the bright sunshine this afternoon. The pitch was in great condition and there was a super atmosphere in the packed ground as throw-in time approached.

Once the match got underway, the script became clear right from the start. A tangle just after the throw-in between Lee Keegan and Michael Lundy saw both pick up yellow cards from ref Padraig Hughes before there was a minute on the clock. This kind of off-the-ball messing – the bulk of it, from what I could see, being instigated by their lads trying to play the hard man – continued on and off for much of the opening half.

Although this resulted in most of our scores in the opening thirty five minutes coming from placed balls, our opening score was an audacious one from play by Andy Moran that was squeezed over from way out on the right wing.

A feature of last year’s championship was how Aidan O’Shea couldn’t buy frees but our next two scores – both pointed by Cillian O’Connor – came after fouls on Aidan. In between those two scores came Galway’s opening point, also a free, scored by Paul Conroy after a foul on Danny Cummins. The Galway corner-forward was in the book after ten minutes, and so too were Gary Sice and Colm Boyle after another tangle.

Sice got a nice one from play for them but we tacked on two more, the first a tap-over free by Cillian, awarded from where the ball landed after Andy was fouled and the second also from Cillian, this one from play, a lovely inswinging effort to push us three clear.

It looked like we were establishing a bit of dominance on proceedings after what had been a fairly tetchy opening quarter but Galway then hit back quickly, scoring three points in as many minutes to draw the contest level. These scores came via a Conroy free, one from play by Cummins after we lost the ball from the kickout and one from play from the combustible Damien Comer.

Andy, who looked like he’d picked up a knock (and would be replaced soon after by Alan Dillon), guided over a neat point to edge us back in front. Then came the score of the day, though, with Gary Sice knifing right through our rearguard and burying it to the net. It was a cracking goal and it put the home side into the lead for the first and only time.

The goal came with the 35 minutes up and it looked as if it would be enough to leave Galway with a morale-boosting lead at the break. However, another foul by them at the back, this one resulting in a yellow for Finian Hanley, presented Cillian with an easy opportunity to square it up and he made no mistake from the close-in free.

I was fairly chilled out at the break. Galway’s tactic of fouling at every opportunity was annoying but they didn’t look like they’d have enough nous to take us once the match began to stretch a bit after the break. That said, we looked anything like a team with a clear idea of how we wanted to win the match either.

Right from the restart, though, we started to impose ourselves on the contest with intent and within two minutes we had burst clear from them. Aidan caught the ball from the throw-in and pumped it into Diarmuid O’Connor who – you’ve guessed it – was promptly fouled, with Cillian tapping over the resultant free.

In our next attack, Aidan O’Shea charged towards their goal, lost control of the ball but then, as it bobbled around loose, Galway’s keeper Manus Breathnach pulled on it only for it to ricochet off Finian Hanley into his own team’s net.

Yet another free from Cillian, this one a long-ranger that he floated up delightfully into the wind and over, put us five up. Then Aidan got fouled, was given advantage and slipped the ball over. Six up with half an hour to go and we looked in complete control.

The next ten minutes were messy, with horrendous wides from Mark Ronaldson (who’d replaced short-lived sub Alan Dillon soon after the break) for us and Comer for them. Lundy pointed a free for them and Jason Doherty got one from play for us after good link play by Mark and Cillian.

Then Paul Conroy executed one dumb foul too many and the influential midfielder was shown a deserved black card. That looked like the last straw for them but, in fairness, this setback prompted them onto the offensive and a good move ended with Cummins pawing the ball beyond David Clarke for the home team’s second goal of the day.

A free from Sice cut the gap to just two and with fifteen minutes still to go it was clear that, at the third time of asking, Galway were at last going to keep a championship contest against us live into the last quarter.

But they never got closer to us from then on either. Donal Vaughan, on for Boyler, made a super burst through the middle and offloaded to Ronaldson who pointed neatly to steady the ship for us.

A minute later Seamus O’Shea bore down on goal at speed. He might arguably have gone for glory but instead – correctly in my view – lashed it over to stretch the lead once more to four points.

We had to survive just one more scare when a needlessly conceded ball – from a free for us, kicked straight to them – led to a dangerous ball into the square. Cummins connected with it but Clarke deflected it away for a fifty that they ballooned wide.

With time running out, Galway were reduced to fourteen men when Hanley, already on yellow, dragged down Aidan and the resultant black meant he was off on red. Once more, Cillian was unerring from the free – his eighth placed ball score of the day.

A Sice free for them finished the day’s scoring – with us four points to the good –  but the game’s denouement was a multi-player fracas down in front of the stand. This one was instigated by us with the clear aim – in the style of Kerry down in Limerick last year – of ensuring that the four minutes of injury time wouldn’t be used for kicking ball.

Lee Keegan held onto the ball like a terrier, Comer assaulted him – having attacked Aidan in the middle of the field just before, on a day when the same player put himself about like a bull in a china shop in what was ultimately a pointless and self-defeating hard chaw act – and everyone and anyone joined in. Eventually order was restored, Lee got a second yellow, Comer finally got an overdue first yellow and most of the injury time had been used up. Seconds later, the match was over and we had Galway beaten for the fifth successive time in the championship and the third time on the trot at Pearse Stadium to boot.

Our performance may not have been hectic today but, after a ten-week lay-off, this was only to be expected. Faced with an opposition determined to hit hard and foul all day long, we stood up to the challenge and eventually came through playing well within ourselves.

In truth, I never thought we looked like losing today. Galway had two chances to put it up to us – which came right after their two goals – but on both occasions we dug in and turned the match back in our favour. That, for me, was the most impressive thing about today’s hard-fought win.

What was also good about today was how the workload was spread out, with all of the lads putting significant effort in while a few – such as Keith Higgins, Cillian O’Connor and the peerless Aidan O’Shea – really stood out. Aidan, in particular, put in another storming championship performance and the only way Galway could stop him was to foul him. Which they did frequently but at least today those fouls produced frees, which in turn produced a fair few scores.

The other positive about today – which The Brother mentioned just now – was how we used the bench. All of our substitutions made sense and were made at the right time. That’s not something we’ve always done in recent years.

And finally, the nature of our win today should mean that we’re able to continue flying under the radar for a while longer. We’ll be favourites, of course, to win the Connacht final, whether it’s Roscommon or Sligo we’re facing, but because today’s win wasn’t a demolition job, talk about our decline will most likely continue – and perhaps even grow louder – in the lead-in to the provincial decider. That’s okay: we can leave our talking till the lads take the field in pursuit of an unprecedented fifth successive Nestor Cup success.

Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Tom Cunniffe, Colm Boyle; Seamus O’Shea (0-1), Tom Parsons; Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin; Andy Moran (0-2), Cillian O’Connor (0-9, eight frees), Jason Doherty (0-1). Subs: Alan Dillon for Andy Moran, Mark Ronaldson (0-1) for Dillon, Donal Vaughan for Boyle, Barry Moran for Parsons, Alan Freeman for Cillian O’Connor. (Mayo goal an o.g. by Finian Hanley).

70 thoughts on “Galway 2-8 Mayo 1-15: unconvincing but still a win

  1. Perfect for us. Hard tough and physical. That one will certainly blow any dirty diesel out of the system. Two great responses from the lads, once the start to the second half, the other when Galway came in to a couple of points. Good stuff. Backs tightened as the game went on. Happy days.

  2. Mystic Pebblesmeller forecast a 4-point win for Mayo! Any thoughts on the Lotto numbers Pebbles?

  3. they say a win is a win is…. a win. Don`t know what to say about this one. Great day

    for A. O` Shea. Hope the others will chip in the next time out. Having said that it was

    strangely very much a team effort, One for all etc. Glad to be able to say that!!

    Every last one can hold their heads up. Don`t want to hear a little vibe of negative

    comments lined up here. Unseen work goes on. Thanks lads.

  4. FB line not fit to go man to man. Simply have to sacrifice a corner forward and play a sweeper between CB and FB and drop a corner forward. Play AOS and COC as 2 man FF line.

    Positives AOS immense. Diarmaid OConnor huge improvement. Clarke more commanding than Hennelly in goal. COC should be much better once fitness back

  5. No complaints from me whatsoever. Great response when Galway put it up to us. We never looked like losing after we asserted ourselves in the third quarter. Some of the backs looked a bit off the pace in the first half but overall our superior conditioning stood to us in the second half when we looked to have that extra yard of pace. Keith Higgins was superb today, MOTM for me. Ronaldson was impressive also, showed for the ball at the right moments. Areas we need to work on for the final are the backs (cut open far too easily for the 2nd goal) and perhaps our shooting. We were too reliant on Cillian today who once again showed why he is the key man.

  6. Thought we were a gonner at half time fair play to the lads though they dug deep and ground out the win and a win is a run there’s a lot of work to do if we’re to put Roscommon to the sword (no disrespect to Sligo) but we are still alive so who knows

  7. I thought Galway did an awful lot of pulling and dragging and we’re trying to be very physical. The ref let a lot go which I think suited them. There was a lot of negativity on Midwest but I thought it was a very hard physical battle where it was difficult to play quality football. The lads did what they had to do and that’s good enough for me right now.

  8. Not a great team effort, but a good win. COC will be better next day, he still scored nine. Aidan, what a game kept the show on the road. Had the pleasure of listening to cake Curran on the way home, what a clown, sure didn’t give Mayo much chance this year, and HE should know. Eamonn fitz Maurice silenced him though when he asked him about Kerry tactics.

  9. Jesus is aidan o shea going to have to go through another year with 5 or 6 lads on his back.the goal was justice because he was fouled 3 times in that play.seems mayo didnt bother to much with the physicality of things today. Alot of improvements to be made but plenty of time.higgins needs to stick to his own man.

  10. Are there any consequences for those that got sent off today? Thought Lee could have been a bit more careful at the end knowing he was already on yellow. Maybe this is what we learned from Kerry in Limerick last year? If there are no consequences, then it was the correct course of action.

  11. Happy with that. Andy looked to really have his shooting boots back before injury, good intensity and the only concern was trying to cope with Comer. Galway stupidly brought him out to CHF before half time at a time they were dominant. Caff should have been on a lot sooner, before half time even and not for Boyler who was very tough and did nothing wrong all day. That said backs tightened in 2nd half.
    Don’t know who let Galway no. 4 slip unnoticed to set up Galway’s 2nd goal but that was one of 2 lapses in concentration (first we escaped when Cummins wasn’t tall enough to score from a high ball in), Sice’s goal I’m putting down to brilliance. Nearly all the lads played well with probably only Aido standout and no one had a stinker.
    Hope Dillon OK, he only got few mins, presume injured. Ronnie looks like good sub option if we can get good ball into him. Roll on Connaught final (hopefully Ross).

  12. Thought we were always in control today and couldn’t see us losing,but it wouldn’t do later on in the summer against the Dubs or Kerry, we simply haven’t got enough scoring power and depending too much on Cillian to get scores. But as someone else said a win is a win.

  13. Our defence was very porous to say the least today. Vaughan and Caff should have started. Still relying too much on cillian and aido. If cillian hadn’t played where would that 0-9 come from. I think Boyle got a hard time from the ref( who seemed to indicate to Boyle late in the first half that he was on his last chance.jason Doherty was quit. What’s the story with Freeman? I think he has a lot to offer.

  14. Surprised with the initial negative vibes about that, I thought it was the perfect game for us.
    We’re forever playing down the opposition when we win a game. It’s our first day out and we’ve beaten Galway in Salthill by 4 points, a team a lot fancied to possibly catch us out.

    We did what we had to and against one of the most cynical teams we have come across.
    I haven’t seen the stats, but just how many fouls did Galway commit??
    Spillane being the bollocks he was, questioned the fact that we “only” got 7 points from play. We were forever being pulled and dragged every time we got near the Galway goal, sure what were we supposed to do? Very naïve on Galway’s part to think they could intimidate us physically. For fuck’s sake, we’ve been on the road long enough to be well able for that craic.

    It seemed that Galway used Leitrim as a testing ground on how to try and stop us.
    It failed, we won, so let’s be positive and look forward.

    I had doubts about our hunger and appetite for another year of battle, I have no fears now.

    Anyone know if Keegan’s sending off was a straight red? And what was it for?

  15. Keegan got a second yellow for lying on the ball and not releasing it for a Galway free. There a fairly decent ruck.
    As regards Spillane you’d have to ask how many points we would have got from play if we hadn’t been fouled so much.

  16. Spillanes analysis about only scoring 7 pts from play was daft. The tapover frees were coming at the end of nice footballing moves.
    The ball sometimes was being moved in quicker. Agree with Brolly, Boyle and Keegan dont seem to operate to the teams gameplan of letting the ball in long n quick.

  17. Cheers diehard, wasn’t sure if I missed something he did off the ball.
    I thought our lads generally kept their cool without backing down physically.

    Spillane is hilarious at times, how he didn’t mention the constant Galway fouling just shows him up as the incompetent analyst he is.
    If that was an Ulster team, he’d be doing cartwheels all the way back to Templenoe

  18. Dan, “Surprised with the initial negative vibes about that, I thought it was the perfect game for us.” It was a good game for us, far from a perfect. A lot more to do and that’s not negative, i.e. still leaking goals. Hopefully, it will be corrected.

  19. We beat Galway on their home turf without too much bother. I’d have taking that result before the match. There are alot of improvements needed if we are going to progress. Clake was my man of the match, with Aido running a close second. Galway had all the positive momentum at half time but Mayo were able to quench that early on in the second half. Overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives and on we go…

  20. Joe Mc, didn’t mean “perfect” in terms of our performance, far from it.
    Just meant that it was the perfect game for us – first day out in the championship, away to our neighbours and we beat them with relative ease without showing our hand too much.
    All good in my book. Bigger tests lie in wait.

    Kerry won in Tipp by 6 points, conceding 2 goals. I’m sure they’ll sleep well tonight though, knowing the bigger challenges still await

  21. Great result by the lads today – More in control than the corresponding game v Ros last year where they had to dig it out with 12 min to go from 3 down but tough enough to leave them spot on for the final. I’ll take that all day long.

  22. Predicted a 3 point win in a physical game where lessons would be learned.
    Full back line needs support and quick high ball into O’shea is effective. That said Galway didn’t play a sweeper as was expected.
    A good win with very little praise from the media. Just as you would want it. Similar win V Roscommon will do nicely.

  23. Serious challenge as i expected and questions asked of us. Especially after their first half goal and again in the 2nd half when the lead was cut to 2. We didn’t buckle and responded well.
    Got the job done and into another Connacht final. Improvement needed for further down the line no doubt. The drive for 5 is still on.

  24. Living on the frontline with Galway this was an enjoyable historic day 5th consecutive win over Galway. Enjoy this great team while we have them won’t last forever. Result was never in doubt did enough to win in 3rd gear. Not about peaking in June in salthill. When the hoofing & poofing is over we will be one of last 4 standing .

  25. Never mind Galway’s pull and drag today. This match wad alwsys one judt to get over. On the Mayo side we have two new managers but the same defensive short comings.
    It’s going back to the same team as last year – who came up short the last few years – and no new names or system.
    For the love of God play the best players in their strongest positions and move the ball quicker.

  26. Well said Border Boy. For us Mayos living in Galway this is a result to be savoured. 5th consecutive win over Galway, 3rd consecutive win in Pearse Stadium.

    I’m sure I’m not the only poster here who vividly remembers heading to Tuam in ’97 having never seen a Mayo championship win in Galway, and wondering if I ever would.

    For all their faults you simply have to hand it to this Mayo team. They keep surpassing themselves and, wherever it takes them, we know they will give everything again for their county before the year is out.

  27. First goal came from a bad clearance from I think boyler, I am inclined to agree, much as I hate it, with brolly Spillane half backs stay at half back, and long ball to o shea. Tom parsons I thought caught some great ball. Perfect place, for I suspect the Rossi will be very confident that they can do the business, but there is little mater of Sligo

  28. Good win in end. Was bit worried at ht. think these are the kind of games you have to win and move on.

    I thought Aidan was immense. Small bit worried about the hand injury he picked up. Hope he’s ok. Also not good to lose Andy and Alan to injury.

    Thought Keith was bit loose today although he swept up lot of ball. Keegan kept Lundy very quiet. Kev mc and Doherty were very good in patches and that’s the best I have seen Diarmaid play

    Worried that we don’t seem to have any defensive game plan still. Seems to be much the same as last year with half backs told not to attack

  29. Well done to Mayo, deserved their win and as stated above they never looked like losing to us even in third gear. Physical game and a lot of silly fouling from our lads but I think we played some good football in phases.

    All the best in the Connacht final and in the All Ireland series. I’m sure we will have our day some day 🙂

  30. Mikey in fairness the more experienced team won and no issues on that but people need to take off the rose tinted glassess. What do you expect Galway to do. I said pre match on this blog that we would not lie down and if you want to extend that point we were not going to be bullied. The ref all in gave some very soft frees and both sides suffered. For instance Danny Cummins was pulled back for too many steps and he had a run on goal. Sure players are doing that every week and getting away with it. No consistency. Bottom line is Galway did not go for the jugular after that wonder Sice goal but definitely have narrowed the gap. Probably will do Mayo no harm in the long run with a stern test like that but I would not buy into the talk Mayo were only in 3rd gear. A real sign of delusion.

  31. – The ten week break from competitive football for Mayo was obvious in first half.
    – Higgins, Boyler and Cunnife were below par with Cummins, Sice and Commer causing damage in the first half but they all improved in second half. Parsons also quiet in first half but he had some great catches in second half. COC also quiet from play all thru but he scored the frees.
    -AOS mighty yet again; McLoughlin some great passing, Diarmuid worked very hard and saved a certain goal.
    – Job done, plenty to work on until 19th July.
    -Agree WJ that the subs were timely and improved things.
    -How un the heck did Finian Hanley remain on the pitch so long with all this black and yellow card offences. Seems refs will not show black cards in first half.

  32. Thought that a good run out learn more in having won and not played at very best.

    I still worry that we have no pace in full forward line and believe we should try something like this

    Barrett ,keane , Higgins
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,.caff
    Keegan,TC, Boyler

    We need an extra man back and caff is intelligent enough to play that role.

    I would drop probably Jason doc and drop inCaff to play and sweeper.
    Tom parsons is wasted playing as sweeper.
    He is better fetching and going forward.

    Positives were
    Clarke in goal. What a class act he is and doesn’t take no shit.
    Keegan done great job man marking.
    Higgins good
    Seamie showed leadership.
    Aos immense
    Cillian is different class and among elite forwards in country
    Rinaldson added different dimension

  33. Hello. Find it all exciting from the comfort of radio commentary. James Horan expected Msyo to win at half time and had noted that Parsons was dropping back yo assist just before the first goal A win over Gaway is just the tonic for Mayo. Most portantly the management and team now know where they are with the backs and can pick horses for courses. Also they had a chance to reassess Parsons and his best role. If Andy Moran is okay there is not much wrong with the forwards. can now plan much better for subs etc
    Also their is no need to sweat over Ros game and could even give time to 2 of the new forwards like Kirby and Loftus and have a back-up forward line and there mjght even be the chance to play Gibbons Barry Moran, Alan Freeman if they are on form. The Management must be over the moon. What a day for those heroes of the green and red. Ciaran 2.
    Ps. See you all in Croke Park

  34. had to watch on tv. Found it impossible to tell the difference between the jerseys.
    only when i saw which direction the player was hitting I knew which team were in possession. not sure if anyone else has the same problem.
    Keegan really needs to cut out the messing and concentrate on football especially after last year. Not nice to see.
    We seemed to have gone back a bit with no real game plan but time will tell.

  35. I watched the game back after again and it was funny to see it on TV as it looked a much better spectacle than the stop-start game and all the pulling and dragging that went on live. Also listened to the analysis of Pat and Joe and I have to admit that after seeing the game twice I’m inclined to agree with them.

    AOS in FF was lording it because Galway weren’t playing a a sweeper that deep. But the ball into him was too inconsistent. Pat and Joe identified that the problem was with Boyler and Leroy having this head down burst forward attitude all the time instead of trying to get the ball over the top into AOS. And I think they’re right.

    The problem though is that I’m not sure we have a player who can make that 40 yard accurate pass all the time. McLoughlin is the only one I have seen to be able to do it but it’s not consistent enough.

    Having said that I was v happy with the win. Any win over Galway in Galway should be savoured. But plenty to work on though including figuring out what is the playing strategy for this team under this new management.

  36. We’ll take that. Well done to the lads. I agree that there was a bit of rustiness in the first half, but that’s to be expected. Tom Cunnife did very well to come out in the second half and win two or three important balls, that showed guts and the fitness levels will improve, that is for sure. I was very impressed with Diarmuid also – linking defence and attack in his recognisable way. Great for him to get a C’ship game like that under his belt. Tom Parsons did very well and, of course, the immense Aido at his usual best.
    Media a bit negative surely but I suspect neither the team nor too many Mayo supporters will lose any sleep over that!
    Great support and colour from the fans also. Very happy with the manner in which we came back at Galway at key times during the game. Agree that the substitutions made were the correct ones and timing spot on.
    Obviously still loads to do. Plenty time now to review and get the work in.

  37. Yea facetheball. I didn’t know who was who half the time. As a photographer, i realised the camera was shooting into the light, meaning the players facing us were in the shade and back lit. If the camera was on the other side of the pitch everything would be brighter and the colours more vivid. I won’t charge for my professional observations… 😉

  38. I watched the full game again earlier. We didn’t play too badly like I thought after the game. Galway kept spoiling the game and their discipline was terrible.

    Our best players were definitely the O Se’s, the O Connors, Higgins, Mcloughlin and parsons. I thought Keegan did a great job on Lundy who is dangerous and basically bullied him.

    One thing that struck me was the amount of unforced turnovers that we gave away. Keegan, Cunniffe, Barrett, Doherty, Boyle and sometimes Mcloughlin were the guilty parties. We need to retain possession better and recycle it. I know we were a bit rusty without a competitive game for a whole but I’d like to see our guys making more supportive runs and taking the right option. Vaughan & Caff will be pushing hard to start the Connacht final. I’d prefer to see them start. Andy Moran suffered a calf injury. Dillon pulled his hammer.

  39. Great report there WJ.

    Reasonably pleased. I worried a bit before the start that Mayo might struggle on a hot day on fitness and expected Galway to be running all day. And hitting.

    And they did hit. Looking at it from their point of view they had to. Pride was on the line, they had to show everyone that they weren’t going to lie down this time. But, that’s not really going to bring home the bacon as a strategy, and it puts a big question mark over Kevin Walsh, particularly when you consider the number of fouls they committed against Leitrim.

    Still, it did disrupt Mayo for a while and our tactic of one on one, and isolating the full back line in the first half was suicidal. Galway exploited it many times with quick ball and could and should have got more.

    We then did what I felt we intended to do in the first 10 minutes. Hit them for a goal and a flurry of points. Game over really. Then their second goal to which we really responded well.

    A lot of rustiness, misdirected passes; I noted the foot passing was in evidence in the warm up, but Donie Buckley has a lot more to do on this.

    Need to watch it again, and I probably will have a different set of comments!

  40. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I did not enjoy that game.. in fact i’m getting really fed up of gaa football, full stop. For the most part we went out to play football but every time we made a run on goal we were either fouled or dragged down.. the rules on tackling are a mess as no one really understands what is legal or illegal anymore especially the referees who are just making it up as they go along.. the best u can hope for is that they are consistent. There was a time Galways tactics would have intimidated Mayo and I am glad that no longer applies to this group of lads at least, but has the game really devolved to the level of sh*#e where a player won’t release the ball causing the scene which followed all with the aim to waste time? The GAA really needs to sort this crap out. I don’t blame our lads, we’re only doing to others what was done to us in limerick.. but it’s horrible and I hate to see it now in Mayo football

  41. Sufficient for the day and perhaps that’s ideal. Galway may take a little comfort from the idea that they’re getting closer to us and I think they showed enough today to suggest that they may have a profitable run in the qualifiers. It may not be thelast we see of them this summer. Roscommon will probably take encouragement from the day and feel that they can go one better.
    Hopefully our injuries are not serious. It was worrying to see Aiden down in the last few minutes and all our subs used. I think both Cafferty and Vaughan have to start the next day. Vaughan is our best attacking half back and Caff is still the best full back in the county. Andy Moran looked sharper than for a long time and hopefully he is not out for long. And I’m still not sure about Ronaldson, I think Freeman is a better option.
    We need to support Aiden O’Shea better when he wins possession in the forwards. If he had the option of giving the ball quickly and going for the return he would be much more effective. Afterall, Kieran Donaghy’s best asset after his fielding is his quick transfer of the ball.

  42. Will have to improve that performance won’t scare Roscommon or Sligo saying that Galway didn’t let us play with all the pulling and dragging they engaged in.they clearly decided that they couldn’t live with us in a football sence .fair play to the lads they stood up to it . Roll on the final

  43. I thought Galway were very negative in fouling. Consistently!! Spillane sayin only 7 from play for mayo but every time we got within 21 of their goal they fouled like f**k. Obviously their thinking was stop the goals & we’ve better forwards than Mayo. Well obviously not!! My 4 point winning prediction was spot on!

  44. PS for those who listened to the Mayo News Podcast Aidan O’Shea has still never lost to Galway

  45. As they say, at the end of the day, a win is a win. We looked a bit sluggish early on which is understandable after such a long break. We improved a lot as the game went on, especially at the start of the second half. We really upped the tempo and intensity at that time. It seems that this year, maybe our football might not be as pretty but we seemed to play more pragmatic football i.e. do what we need to do to win the game, as other teams have done against us in the past. I was a bit disappointed when, after putting in a great effort to go 6 ahead, we then missed a few chances to go further ahead and we gave the ball away very cheaply, like kicking it out over the sideline a few times. You might get away with that against Division 2 teams but you won’t get away with that against the top teams. You got the feeling as the second half wore on, Galway seemed to be happy enough to just stay within touching distance of us. Looking on the bright side with all of the lads that came on doing well, there should be good competition for places for the next game. To beat Galway for the fifth time in row for the first time in a long time is a great achievement as well. Well done to all involved. Roll on the next game!

  46. We did enough today. A four point win and five in a row against Galway should not be dismissed. I was a little concerned going in to this game that our lack of games and form could lead us vulnerable. Our experience was crucial though and the core players (O’Sheas, O’Connor and Higgins) we’re rock solid all through.

    A few thoughts –

    Aidan O’Shea was absolutely immense. His form was excellent through the league and he’s currently playing some of the best ball of his career. Cillian O’Connor kicked nine points but still not fully fit. That game will only bring him on. Seamus O’Shea was as dependable as ever (one great strip tackle in the first half). Tom Parsons really came into the game in the second half. I like WJ wasn’t really concerned at half time. They were simply fouling too much. I probably would have moved Tom Cunniffe but Galway foolishly moved him out the pitch.

    Was really impressed today with Diarmuid O’Connor. It was a very hard working, honest and mature performance. Kevin McLoughlin was quietly effective on the other side and there’s more to come from both. I hope Andy Moran isn’t hurt too seriously as he looked to be getting back to 2012 form.

    One last comment in respect of Galway. There was a very obvious obsession with standing up to Mayo yesterday, seeking confrontation where at all possible and leaving a marker. A couple of other posters have noted how naive and dumb this was against a seasoned outfit like Mayo. Keegan was more than happy to spend the day bickering with Lundy. Comer looked extremely dangerous when he decided to play some football. Walsh was a big loss to them because he has the intelligence to steer clear of this nonsense.

  47. Frankly that was easier than I expected. All Galway had to offer was an attempt at “thuglife” football and it was a joke. If that’s all Kevin Walsh has to offer he should step aside now.
    The difference in size and strength between the two teams is something you have to be at the match to behold. Witness Lundy belting Leeroy at the very start, Leeroy is trying to stop him so just grips his arm, Lundy then tries getting a fistful of Leeroy’s jersey so he says enough of this, puts him in a headlock and pins him to the ground. Lundy is still squirming around like a fish on the hook while Leeroy is looking around for someone to put a stop to it while he lies on top of him. You can almost hear him thinking “would someone stop this eeijet”. Of course the ref doesn’t know what is going on so has to give them both yellows. Maybe that was the Galway tactic, get him on a yellow early, I don’t know, but the difference in strength between the two was unreal. It really was a man against a boy. And there were several other instances of that around the field.

    I think what people have to realise is that the days of a good U-21 or a fella who is playing good club football coming along and making a significant, consistent impact at senior inter county level, quickly, are nearly gone. It takes about 3 years of consistent, dedicated, focused S&C work to get into the shape these guys are in. That’s why if our guys continue to put in the work during the game and keep the desire levels up, Roscomon beating them is not realistically going to happen, all things being equal. Yes, we could have an injury to a key player, Cillian having an off day on the frees or a ref making some outrageous decision but what that performance said to me is that while I still cant see an All Ireland, we will still be at the business end of things come August/September.

    For those cribbing about it being only 4 points and all that, a reality check is required. When we hammer other teams its “oh they are rubbish”. Galway won 2 out of the last 5 U-21 all Irelands, they are playing at home and have thought of nothing else since last year, with two championship games already under their belts. We beat them handily enough despite everything they threw at us, job done as far as I’m concerned and fair play to the lads for sticking with it. I think a lot of us who wouldn’t have a tenth of the mental strength as these lads were crawling under the bed after Limerick last year. For them to still have the appetite is an absolute credit to them and the management team.

  48. It goes without saying it is good to get a win anytime.

    Did we learn anything. Yes.

    Doherty will have to improve. So he is a worker and scored one point. It is not enough and frankly I think we need more from him.

    Ronaldson gave us new impetus in the forwards. When he got going Galway could not handle him and I for one was very impressed.
    I do not think playing Aidan full forward will work. We need him coming through and players score off him. None of his scores actually came from full forward position but when he had moved out.
    Keegan is flirting with danger and needs to cut out silly stuff. WE need more from Parsons and Seamie too.
    The ball in the square still a problem. Thought Keith who was phenomenal otherwise could have done better for second goal.
    I also think some of the tackling was soft enough.
    I think management made right switches at right time. That was encouraging .
    Diarmaids performance was encouraging too but not sure there is room for both him and Jason in team especially if Andy is out- then we need a scorer.
    Like others I wonder did Aidan damage hand- looked like dislocated finger.

  49. Well done to the lads on their hard fought win. I have never seen a team foul as blatantly and persistently as Galway did yesterday. Ulster football was never as cynical as that display. They were at it before the throw in and kept it up right to the end. Referee did pull them for frees but should have had at least 2 of them gone by half time. There certainly good reason for the ref to call their captain aside, tell him that they were going to be repercussions for all the fouling and then proceed to issue yellows and reds. It would not be pretty but it is what Kevin Walsh deserved. I had to laugh when I heard his post match comment saying that they were not going to be bullied. Eh who were the bullies? Watched the Sunday game last night after getting back and no mention this dominant feature of the game. All we got was criticism of the Mayo performance, unbelievable.
    I think it was a great win for Mayo considering the provocation and intimidation all through. Aidan was immense again and Cillian was back with a bang at what he does best. I thought Clarke was superb with his kick outs and was a big factor in Mayo getting possession of the ball. Once again the backs look suspect but Galway were too busy fouling to take advantage. It’s a long wait until the final but hopefully they will do it.

  50. Andy Moran seemed to land hard on his knee early on. I hope it is ok because the two points he got were ridiculous and for my money he was heading for man of the match until he had to go off. We really need him in top shape.

  51. Well said East Cork Exile.
    We’re in the last 12. August football beckons for the 5th year in a row. Job done for now. Bigger fish to fry as the year goes on.

  52. Average.

    Yes, it was good to win but galway weren’t great. However they opened up our defence on numerous occasions, most notably their first goal. They walked through their second.

    While we have good individual defenders our defensive system will be our downfall. Cunniffe was at sea 1st half but improved as game went on. We were so ply far too open at the back and this will be painfully exploited by better teams….rapid improvement Required

    Some decent cameos from players but we never dominated midfield.

    An awful lot to work on. I agree with some posters saying we need an extra man back. Yes we do.

    Once Ronnie settled into the game I thought he looked effective and intelligent. He can snipe about under Aido and pop over scores. He reads the game well and has quick feet. I’d like to see him start next time out.

  53. How did people think Clarke played yesterday ?

    Thought he commanded his area very well and varied the kick outs.

    Cunniffe was lucky to stay on at half time had a very poor first half.

    Andy looked fit and has slimmed down a lot

    Great to get the win in Salthill, but I feel that Roscommon will provide a much greater test than Galway.

    Home advantage will stand to us though

  54. Was at the game, caught the Sunday game highlights and re-watched in full this morning

    Just what the doctor ordered really IMO. I never felt we were in danger of losing, we looked like we had another gear in us, got a bit of a test physically and we now stay ‘under the radar’ going into a Connacht final. That said I thought Galway were very disappointing and they look like they are going nowhere quick to me

    However, it wasn’t without its negatives from our perspective too

    – Full back line were very badly bet in the first half. Cunniffe in particular was bet up a stick by Comer in the first 35, however he really came into it in the second half thankfully. Cummins caused a lot of damage also

    – Those two goals should never have happened. They waltzed through our defence

    – Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle under performed in my view, and the former hasn’t gotten going at all in 2015. Lets hope they’re saving their best for the bigger days ahead, as they are absolutely vital to our cause

    – We need much more from Cillian in open play. Granted he kicked one lovely score in the first half and fought hard but 1 point from play won’t cut it against the bigger guns. That said he certainly didn’t look 100% fit and the game should do him the world of good. Super reliable as ever from frees although they were mainly tapovers

    – Need more from SOS.

    – Some of our passes into our forwards just are not good enough and we really don’t look comfortable shooting from distance. We will struggle against blanket defences

    – we need more than 6 scorers in future matches

    All that said there were some real positives too

    – Clarke looked very assured between the sticks and kick out was great, landing them on a plate for his target (how on earth do Galway never learn to target our short kick outs??)

    – We beat them up a stick in the middle third

    – Aidan gave an exhibition, and looks a real threat at the edge of the square. Fought like a madman too- on the ground, in the air, in front of him, he won it all!

    – Chris Barrett had a very solid game I thought. Vaughan too looked like a man possessed when he came on and Ger Caff got his leg wonderfully to a dangerous low ball played in near the end. How will we pick 6 backs? Vaughan or Zippy to 11?

    – Tom parsons- Sice goal aside- was very solid and fielded some great ball. We could maybe do with him attacking a bit more though

    – Doc and DOC both worked hard and were solid if not overly spectacular. Ronaldson too, after a shaky start, fought well and won some nice possession and kicked a score

    – McLoughlin was our second best player I thought, worked like a trojan, was first to so many breaks, linked up very well with our forwards and harried very well. I’m surprised the lack of mention he has gotten

    So anyhow onwards now to Roscommon. I think they’ll be a step up, even if not a very big one. We should still be far too strong for them and hopefully we are looking at picking up our 5th Connacht in a row. The rustiness will be gone too, O’Connor fitter and lads chomping at the bit in training over the next few weeks- can’t wait for it now!

    1 down 4 to go

  55. Great win in Salthill! Venue not suitable for big game! Traffic brutal afterwards! Surely there are Health and Safety issues with people trapped in their cars and no way for emergency vehicles getting to the hospital!

  56. I wasn’t all that impressed with Clarke – I thought he should have commanded his area better.
    That high ball in that Cummins almost punched to the net should have been taken by Clarke – instead he stayed on his line, allowed Cummins to punch the ball and thankfully it came off Clarke and out for a 45.
    Cummins is a small man, Clarke is well over 6′, he should have been out and taken man and ball if necessary. He also left a high ball for Cunniffe to take in the square where again I think he should have been more commanding of the situation.
    But on a positive, his kick-outs certainly seem to have improved, there weren’t as many of the high hanging variety.
    Mayo were quite rusty, especially in the first half where the characteristic intensity was missing. But fair play to them, they increased the tempo whenever they needed to and won the game relatively comfortably in the end.
    Aido an absolute beast, though Diarmuid O’Connor had an excellent game also.

  57. After watching all the analysis there are a few things we need to take on board..
    None if our backs were swashbuckling apart from Keith but half backs were solid and Keegan did a great job marking Lundy. Can’t figure out why Keane was moved after being groomed all winter for FB especially given the trouble TC was having. Galway solved the problem by stupidly moving Comer.
    We probably should go sweeper with either Keith (whose defensive game was mostly good but with some risk taking standing off a man relying on his pace, a few points came off him) or Vaughan picked in forwards. Donie could be picked ahead of Barrett and maybe Boyler based on what we saw Donie looked very pacey. Forwards worked hard but for me if someone is to be sacrificed for a sweeper it could be Jason. Young DOC very pacey and hard working, good defending, good physicality.. impressed.
    Analysis highlighted kick passing worked when we bothered to use it and we all saw Keith’s killer diagonal ball, Parsons & Andy also good at quick kick pass and of course Dillon who was unlucky.
    Leroy and Boyler who was combative as usual in defence need to move the ball quicker. Leroy’s stray pass likely the sun glare caused jersey confusion.
    Caff should have been on in first half, maybe management wanted to let players under pressure figure out how to deal with Comer but showed lack of ruthlessness of the Cody variety.
    Clarke really did look very commanding apart from one long ball to Cummins which don’t forget he still saved.
    Aido played the correct role (same as Murphy), good call by management on that. Parsons good but case for Barry ahead of Seamie, one great turnover might keep him in team although that’s one of the better midfields we’ll meet.

  58. Great win.
    Very rusty early on but settled nicely towards the end of the first half. Very impressed with the response when Galway put the pressure on. I think if Galway put the energy into playing ball instead of pulling and dragging it might have been a closer contest.
    Huge amount of work to be done especially defensively but I think we will be much better against Ros or Sligo.
    Andy definitely fell awkwardly on his knee early on but looked really sharp, pity he had to go off.
    Hope all injuries are not too severe. Selection nightmare for management ahead of CF.
    Pitch was immaculate but Salthill is a pure disaster to get out of.

  59. I thought clarke did well, wasnt to blame for the goals, looks alot more assured and has a greater physical presence.

    He kicked very well yesterday and picked out runners at crucial times.

    Any word on Moran and Dillon’s injuries ??

    We are definetly short of firepower up front….

    Of the 34 panal. who was not named on the subs yesterday ??

  60. Andy did win a nice ball and kicked a very good pass after initially going down injured but it seems it wasn’t an injury that could be shaken. Physio seemed to be looking at his knee mobility. Saw shot of Dillon getting his thigh area strapped with strange clingfilm looking wrapping, maybe blood injury, one of ye guys said it was hamstring.

  61. Aiden O’Shea has never lost at any age level to Galway. Thought yesterday’s game was perfectly suited to Richie Feeney.

  62. Satisfied with that – indeed I agree with the assessment above that it was a perfect outcome for us. Tough game, loads to improve on but did what we needed to do quite comfortably. I never felt for a second that we were in any danger of losing.

    Galway’s behaviour and attitude throughout was a bit pathetic, to be honest and obviously totally counter-productive. If they’d concentrated more on playing football and less on stupid fouling, they might have seriously challenged us. The amount of fouling Hanley did, combined with his goal, essentially meant he cost them the game. Conroy getting himself sent off was also stupid. It enrages me to see such behaviour from the likes of Kerry, but at least they’re a division 1 team, whereas when a team like Galway behaves like that, I just pity them a bit, because they make themselves look ridiculous. I lost count of the number of times they tried to foul our players and ended up on the ground themselves, though admittedly it was amusing too. East Cork exile, that’s a lovely description of the tussle between Keegan and Lundy and absolutely on the button too. If they knock that crap on the head, with Walsh back they’ll be hard to beat next year in Connacht, and in the meantime they could well go on a decent run in the qualifiers too.

    Sice’s goal was just pure class. Reminded me of that awful evening against Dublin where we were just carved open down the middle. He is some footballer, to be fair. But the will to win was clear among the Mayo team yesterday and despite the commentary on a national level I think they demonstrated to us that the hunger is still very much there. I’d like to think that supporters will row in behind them and the management team (who I thought did well throughout in terms of selection, tactics and use of the bench) and have some faith that the will to win is still there.

    Aidan was again a colossus for us. The man is just a machine – I’m in awe of him, not just for his power but for his discipline in the face of constant, relentless fouling. Diarmuid was (as I knew he would be!) just pure class. He is just getting better and better and is well able to hold his own. Don’t be surprised to see him challenging for YPOTY. Cunniffe had a bit of a nightmare first half – was surprised to see him stay on – but he came good in the second half thankfully. Ronaldson redeemed himself after a woeful start, again showing what a valuable contribution he can make from the bench. Andy’s point? I don’t care where he intended it to go, we will be watching that back for the next 60 years a la Ciaran McDonald’s, and marvelling at its brilliance. Kevin Mc sent in some beautiful kick passes but still feels just a little bit inconsistent. But when they work they’re sublime. Cillian appeared rusty (by his standards) which is great – 9 points and he will only improve! Doc a bit too quiet, but capable of far more. Tom Parsons came into the game well, would be happy to see him start again. Clarke did well too. Zippy was super – Cummins is no easy man to mark and while he stood off him a bit, he turned over some superb ball. Donie looked as sharp as hell when he came on. Keegan while he might have appeared quiet was busy doing a job well. His antics at the end left me rolling my eyes though. It was sheer daftness – if there was only a point in it if say nothing but there was no need to run down the clock at that point. I’d prefer to see us in future doing stuff like that when it actually counts for a change.

    Comer made an eejit of himself more than once but that immaturity will evaporate in time, surely. I think he is going to be a star for Galway, but he’d want to catch a grip of himself first. The thuggish way he dragged Keegan was uncalled for, even if Keegan was acting the clown. You’ve won nothing much yet, Damien boy…

    The weekend’s game will be interesting. On paper, it has to be the Rossies, but they seem to be floating around on a cloud of their own perceived brilliance a and pride comes before a fall. However, if there’s a fall to come, I hope we’ll be the ones tripping them up. If we do meet them in the final, they will come in extremely confident of the win having watched yesterday’s game. They are a lot less naive than Galway, and more cynical (Galway weren’t cynical, just silly) and will crowd the likes of Aidan. It’ll be an uglier game than yesterday’s but I still think we would beat them.

    Bring on the Drive for Five and hopefully another summer in Croker. Maigh Eo abú

  63. Well done Mayo! Great to see the spirit is still there and the nice fancy stylish football of the past still in the bin. Two big problems only…(1) Fallibility in front of goal. (2) Imminent appearance of blanket defence. What to do??..anything or nothing? If nothing, let’s forget about realising our ultimate dream. Good luck. We re almost there!!

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