As I mentioned on this week’s Mayo News football podcast (which, in case you haven’t yet listened to it, is available here), while our defeat to Galway last year may have cost us an historic Connacht six-in-a-row it gave us back a local rivalry that had in recent years fallen into abeyance. Just how strongly that desire for local one-upmanship has once more become will be ever more evident as the days tick down to Sunday.
Galway’s win that Saturday evening last June was their first over us in the championship since 2008 and we remain unbeaten against them at Sunday’s Pearse Stadium venue since 2007. Following those back-to-back defeats to them in 2007/8, we’ve since racked up wins over them in 2009 (Pearse Stadium), 2011 (MacHale Park), 2013 (Pearse Stadium), 2014 (MacHale Park) and 2015 (Pearse Stadium). But it’s that loss to them at MacHale Park last year that has set the cat amongst the pigeons and has given the Tribesmen renewed hope that the wheel is once more turning.
The return to rude health of the Mayo/Galway local rivalry contrasts starkly with trends to the contrary in the other provinces. Dublin/Meath matches were fiercely contested once upon a time but not any more. Kerry and Cork’s rivalry appears to be going the same way, while Tyrone’s crushing of Derry the other week showed that there’s slim pickings in the area of local contests up in Ulster too.
Realistically, there are only a few provincial matches worth bothering about in the championship ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend and Sunday’s showdown at Pearse Stadium is probably the most interesting one of the lot. It’s certainly the only one where an age-old local rivalry will be given a further vigorous twist in the modern era. This is something both sets of supporters should celebrate.
The bookies reckon we’ll reassert our recent dominance over the Heron Chokers on Sunday and Paddy Power have installed us as 4/7 favourites to prevail, though the handicap is set at just two points (match odds here). What do you think, though?
How will we do against Galway on Sunday?
- Win (74%, 445 Votes)
- Lose (18%, 107 Votes)
- Draw (8%, 49 Votes)
Total Voters: 601