Game day – this one is huge

The stakes are high in every match in a knockout competition. Today’s Connacht final, however, appears freighted with every greater importance.

With Kerry’s demise last weekend, the high road to the All-Ireland final opens up for the winners of today’s provincial decider, while for the losers it’s the end of their inter-county season. Welcome to Connacht final day, the turbo-charged version.

In this strangest of years, it’s certainly been a funny old one for both of today’s great rivals. Galway, flying so high in the spring, now apparently almost becalmed due to back-to-back defeats – including a right pasting inflicted by our lads – in their final two League games. By contrast, we played poorly all spring and ended up getting relegated from Division One last month but we seem to have brushed off this setback and have hit our stride with renewed vigour since then.

We’re clearing each hurdle at a decent clip. Or, maybe, we’re knackered after four matches on heavy pitches in the same number of weeks. They’re nicely rested up, just aching to explode into action. Or, perhaps, they’re woefully undercooked. Take your pick.

What we have in common, though, is an iron-clad necessity to stick to the task at hand today. This is not the day for either team to be dreaming about what might lie ahead in the All-Ireland semi-final and maybe even the final beyond. Those kind of idle reveries are only guaranteed to produce tears before bedtime tonight.

From our perspective, it’s obviously great to be back in a Connacht final again, the first time we’ve got here in five long years. During the five-in-a-row era a certain ennui appeared to develop within our ranks about winning Connacht. There’s no effin’ ennui now.

Today’s game is set to be a real battle and why shouldn’t it? It’s an old-fashioned Championship showdown – one with added frisson as it has to be decided on the day, even if that (God forbid) means a penalty shootout – with silverware in the form of the JJ Nestor Cup for the winners. And with it, another day out in early December at Croke Park.

We’re told that Galway are going to be well up for this, that Padraic Joyce will have his troops primed for action. I’m sure he will, because James Horan is certain to have his charged well ready for battle too. This is, after all, a Connacht final and our man knows all about what it takes to win one.

There was loads on the preview episode of the podcast about match-ups and tactics and all the rest so there’s no point in my doing the poor man’s impersonation of all that here as well. I think we can all take it as a given that today’s decider is sure to be a contest with several intriguing sub-plots, any one of which could be decisive in terms of how the match is won or lost.

It’s a big day – the absence of supporters at Pearse Stadium notwithstanding – for both teams today. All the more so for those lads whose first Connacht SFC final this is.

Our absence from the decider in recent years means that we’ve a number of lads making their Connacht final debuts today. From the team named to start today, seven players – Oisín Mullin, Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin, Mattie Ruane, Conor Loftus, Mark Moran and Tommy Conroy – all fall into this category, as do a number of others who are on the bench for us. The best of luck to all of them today.

Can we do this? Of course we can. The handy League win we enjoyed over them last month has no relevance today – if we want to beat them again we’ll have to perform far better than that as they’re sure to be much improved on Tuam as well.

Our form coming into today is encouraging but we need to step it up several notches this afternoon. If we do that, we should certainly be there or thereabouts at the finish.

Right, time for some fresh air before the battle for a prime spot on the sofa gets going in earnest once more. Match-day Sundays – where would we be without them?

Here’s hoping to a few more this side of Christmas, but only if we get the big job that’s facing us done today. So let’s get this done. Up Mayo.

155 thoughts on “Game day – this one is huge

  1. No Carr or Boyle in the subs. Parsons and McDonagh instead. Again, focused on that half forward and midfield area.
    The weather will play Puck today. Rotten so far.
    Very hard to know where Galway are at. Mayo will find out today where they’re really at.
    Galway have some lovely footballers – but will today suit them? The likes of Burke, Conneely etc? That’s if they start at all!
    Sad to be missing the game, not sad to be missing the traffic.
    It’ll probably be an awful game. Might, like last week’s Cork v Kerry game, come down to who wants to more and a bit of luck.
    Mayo have rarely fallen short when it comes to hunger. As for luck on big days! We just need a break or two.
    Bring it on.

  2. The big negative last week was the lack of aerial prowess in the air. Ruane and AOS must step up here: Ruane has been poor enough and AOS ok thus far, but they need to compete for the kick outs in the air. I think Flynn will start instead of Moran to assist with the aerial battle.

    We’re about to find out if Loftus really is a midfielder today.

    The winning of the game will be the kick outs. They’ll kick long because they’ll think we’re weak in the air..and the feed Conroy and Walsh. They’ll also pressure Clarke’s kick outs and force us long also.

    Can we cope with those tactics? Over to Ruane and AOS to answer that one.

    It’ll be dry with a wind speed of 20 mph.

  3. Best of luck to the Mayo team and management today. Have every faith that they’ll get over the line. A first Nestor cup in 5 years would be very welcome at this stage.

  4. Best of luck to Mayo team and management..
    Huge day for this panel .. Attractive semi final for whoever gets through. Might need a bit of luck to get over the line today ..

  5. Weather will be a big factor today,it’s been hammering down rain all week so the pitch will be extra heavy,even if there’s no wind in Galway city there’ll be wind in Pearse stadium.
    Conditions would seem to favour the more physical team,thats probably Galway

  6. Subs bench

    16. R Hennelly
    17. P O Hora
    18. M Plunkett
    19. R Brickenden
    20. K Higgins
    21. T Parsons
    22. J Flynn
    23. B Walsh
    24. F Mc Donagh
    25. D Coen
    26. R O Donoghue

  7. Best of luck Mayo….the Nestor cup would be nice, it’s been a while. Could Parsons finally make an appearance today if midfield are struggling?

  8. Mayo need to concentrate on our game not Galways.Get the match ups right at the back on the Galway forwards. JH got the Team structure perfect v Roscommon with Barrett and Mc Loughlin the Linch pins in defence. Push up on Galway today and this will enable Paddy and Eoin to run direct at their backs. Galway will go long with their Kickouts so MF today is wherevthe game will be won or lost. Win the Mid field battles with Marks or breaking ball and Mayo will win. We cannot afford the same slump in scoring effort that happened in the 2nd quarter v Roscommon too many turnovers and bad shot selections resulting in wides. Galway will punish this today make no doubt. I hope the new Lads play well and settle early they are a refreshing band of brothers and have given our County a huge lift during these strange Times.
    Mayo must tear into Galway from the start and not let them settle. Move the ball quickly into our Forwards, Moran, Conroy, AOS and the Ó Connor they will do damage.
    Keegan, Durcan, Mc Loughlin, Mullen, Coen and Barrett that’s a solid Back line to mark tight and Keep the likes of Walsh and Conroy quiet.
    Mayo to win a Tight Battle by 2.
    Go n-éirigh an Tadh le Mhuigheo.

  9. Disappointed not to see Boyler on the bench, he always gave us a big lift when playing Galway. Could read it another way in competition for places must be massive now (Boyler would have burst a gut to make this panel today so what did the other lads do to stay ahead of him !)

  10. Hi, Great the day has arrived. Like the subs. Some injured, I guess.
    Galway seem to be going with 3 from the County Champions.
    Very hopeful of a big win. More than happy with a small one. The players and Management will give all they have got. Thank you for everything.

  11. Huge disappointment not to see boyler on the subs bench put glad to see Fionn McDonagh back on its goin to be tough but hopefully we can Get over the line maith eo abu

  12. No Carr or boyler? A pity but I won’t second guess horan and co. Best of luck to the boys today and please finish with 15 on the field.
    Mayo. 2-14
    Galway 1-13

  13. If Walsh stays inside, Leeroy should pick him up. If he comes out let Paddy D drag him out. If we look after Walsh we’ll be well on the way.

    Today is a big one. A Connacht title will set this young side on its way.

  14. Too much talk all week about road to All Ireland opening up for us because Kerry beaten. Galway folk reckon we’re not given them enough respect. We had better to ready for a huge battle today.

  15. Hope Tom P comes on to start instead of someone like say Mark Moran and that he is there on merit having performed really well in challenge games. I would be more reassured of that scenario than bringing him on in the second half to bolster a floundering midfield. Would love to see Tom back to his best. A tonic like that would bate a vaccine anyday 🙂

  16. The very best of luck to all the players and management today and hopefully we’ll be Connacht Champions this evening.

    It’s wet and windy here in Galway so expect plenty of slipping and sliding.

    Hon Mayo.

  17. I think Horan’s tactic has to be to go for the jugular early and build up a big lead before Galway have realised that the championship has started. Up to first w.b.crucial. Once they find their feet they will put it up to us so I think use of correct subs in last 15 minutes might swing it our way. Mayo by 3.

  18. Best of luck today a Connacht final with fewer hands than a game of 25 has dealt Mayo a big advantage
    The Roscommon match victory has placed James Horan’s men in the driving seat against a Galway side yet to sit at Connacht championship game card game.
    While PJ will have aces up his sleeve, he is heading into the biggest game of his short managerial career without a championship game.he is unsure of his best starting 15
    On the flip side Galway will come in fresh and under the radar,Knowing that one mighty display will yield a place in the All Ireland semi -final
    Mayo looked very impressive last Sunday.With Kerry gone, a path to an all Ireland final has suddenly opened up for the Connacht championship winners
    Verdict:Mayo

  19. This game is only a stepping stone to a crack with the bigger prize, a showdown with the Dubs or maybe Donegal, I am convinced the Dubs will win again this year.
    Too many posters on about a 50 /50 high ball going to midfield from the kickouts, those days are long gone. This is where Cluxton has complete advantage over all other goalkeepers, he can pick a player running into any position on the pitch, high or low ball.
    Very simple with all the powerful runners in Mayo’s defence and half forwards, sure why the hell rely on a high dropping ball in the hope of gaining possession.

  20. Very disappointing to see carr and boyler not on the bench , people saying not to discuss it too ,why so ? It’s the wrong decision imo carr looks absolutely class when he gets on and ffs his goal last year alone warrants a place on the bench at least . As for boyler ,he brings great energy to a Galway battle .

  21. Can see Galway making at least one change. I predict one of their midfielders will drop out with Daly playing there instead. Heaney will move to 12 to keep an eye on paddy Durcan. Gary O’Donnell will come into their backline.

  22. “Mayo have their mojo back” big headline from Colm o Rourke today..
    Spillane also backing ye..
    I feel a bit more confident now after reading that !!
    In all seriousness let’s hope it’s a good game and no injuries.

  23. Not long to go now Im subdued after the hurling last night but expecting a good effort today but Mayo are hot favourites with all the pundits. Cant see a subs list for us has PJ released it? Hopefully neither team suffers injuries and Galway ask questions of Mayos mojo.

  24. Can anyone remember when a Connacht final felt more important than this one ? It has the whiff of an All Ireland final morning feel to it .My nerves are in bits .
    If we can keep our intensity and work rate up throughout we have a fantastic opportunity.
    Hon Mayo !!!

  25. Sean, can’t be relying on past performances of some players not on the Subs bench, all about hear and now.
    Let’s trust management, one thing I don’t want to see is Mayo letting a big lead slip today, this had sometimes been a trait under Horan.

  26. Have to hand it to Horan. We now have a bench. Arguably lads like Boland, Boyle, D Mc Hale and Carr are good enough to start and not even in 26. A v B games must be competitive. Looking at the bench O Hora and O Donoghue would thrive in scrappy conditions Parsons and Higgins provide experience to see game out and Coen can get a score or two if needed

  27. Just saw a video of Pearse Stadium- no rain now but very strong wind blowing straight down the field. It will be advantage to whoever has it in the first half. They will need at least a 5-6 point lead at half time.

    If mayo are against it first half then move aido out to the middle, if they have it at they’re backs aido to ff. game of containment vs game of attack. A game of two halves indeed that will need tactical management from the sideline

  28. Sun shining over Salthill with a gentle breeze. Heavy rain overnight so pitch will be soft and slippy. Disappointed about Boyler and Carr omission, especially Carr. Anyway, keep the faith. Maigheo Abu!!

  29. Delighted to see one Tom Parsons on the bench, especially with Galways midfield prowess. Hasnt Tom come such a long way from that horrible day in McHale Park. Massive kudos to him, regardless of how today goes.

    Higgins on bench and no Boyler. Understandable as James has committed now to building a new team, so fair enough. Hard on Boyler though, especially given his penchant for knocking Galway lads to the floor.
    Hope his colleagues take a leaf out of his book today.

  30. Anyone else find it way more nerve racking watching the games at home. Can’t eat with the nerves. Never felt like this at the games!!!

  31. half hour to go! do you know whats tougher than the Mayo defence? Getting lads off the fortnite so I can watch the match.It feels like an important match but in fairness its PJs first game in his first year so have to give him time no matter what happens today.

  32. There must be a decent breeze in Salthill. Just saw a video of a 45 year old Ciaran McDonald kicking points from 50 yards!

  33. This game very close to call. Wouldn’t put it past either team to win. With Comer out, it will be an advantage for Mayo today as he is definitely one of Galway’s best but one of the country’s best too. Are Carr an Boyle bringin home the last of the turf today? Thought they might be included.
    Hon Mayo!!!

  34. Best of luck to Mayo today hopefully it will be a great game with no injuries to either team,thank you again Willie Joe for this great site I love some of the comments from the posters who are lost to the comedy sector very,very clever ,hope we are back later to celebrate a great success

  35. They say they don’t know if comer is on the 26. Surely 20 mins before kick off they’ve have to have submitted their 26?

  36. We had one in knock, so it was only a matter of time before the Galway wans would match it , comer is on the bench ,miracle confirmed by Fr .P joyce

  37. Conroy and Cillian looking very sharp. Our young players have started well, Mullin and Mclaughlin on the ball early showing no nerves

  38. Couple of dirty hits from Galway on Aido and Tommy Conroy after the ball has gone, Hurson not having a great day so far.

  39. Mayo should be further ahead – good on defence but poor shot choices have cost us so far. Good intensity but will need to up it in second half against the wind

  40. Game should be over as a contest but for our lack of finishing chances. 7 out of 23 at one stage. We won’t go too far with that pairing in midfield. Flynn / Parsons or that type size needed in there. Galway are playing poorly but are being made look good.

  41. Only 3 points ahead at halftime is not good. Galway barely attacked that half. Number 11 should be off for Galway. Went in with his knee while Aiden was on the ground. Mayo should be out of sight. Conversion rate is shocking. Galway with wind in second half. Hopefully Mayo don’t rue those chances. I don’t expect Galway to be so passive in the second half

  42. throwing this away with poor shot selection. obviously bad movement as well in forwards. Galway will take us if the get goal

  43. Very concerning at the moment. Were out of it in midfield and forward play poor. No penetration. Galway close to opening us up for a goal. With wind I would say Galway favourites.

  44. Exactly Dave
    Galway are very ordinary but we’re handing this match to them. Loftus and ruane struggling
    Parsons needed to put smacht on Conroy etc

  45. Aidan kicking a short free to Cillian in the half back line…. With the wind… Says it all
    Galway will run at us now..

  46. Yes it means nothing to me, Conroy with a late knee into Aidos jaw and Mulkerrin with a punch to Tommy’s face after free given. Two red cards if seen.
    We need to be more clinical in front of goal, should be 3-4 more points up at half time

  47. Galway killing the momentum of the game as much as they can. You wont find them lying down in the second half and the kick outs will be a lot quicker. Our shot count is woeful at the minute. We really need to pick it up in the second half, be patient and be sure of our shot options. C’mon Mayo

  48. Should be 7 or 8 up at half time. Dominated the first 25 mins of the first half. Galway coming into it a bit now. Wind at their backs in the 2nd half, this could go down to the wire. Maybe Parsons or Flynn brought in at midfield to steady the ship.

  49. Only ourselves to blame, should be seven ahead minimum ,breeze with Galway now too. Jordan Flynn needs to come in now

  50. We should be 10 points ahead
    I’d have put my house on Cillian for that goal.
    Only him and ‘keeper
    He was coming from the correct angle to round him. You can do better Cillian. He’s trying his heart out ti be fair.

  51. We lose if we play the 2nd half the same way. Second best at midfield. Haven’t seen us this bad since the early Spring.

    I’m in Salthill and the breeze is picking up again. It’s worth 6 points if used correctly.

    This is a massive challenge for us to get out with a win today.

    Also…we all knew Comer would tog. And like I said on a previous thread Kelly and Connelly are big additions to Galway.

  52. Mayo will be tested in the 2nd half but will come through with a few points to spare.
    Something needs to be done in the midfield area.

  53. Thank god for that. Nerve wracking stuff. Professional foul by eoghan mcglaughin. Man of the match overall

  54. heart stopping as usual, could we ever win a break in midfield or can clarke find a man. Need changes around the middle.

  55. I think we actually played very well overall but attacks stalled when we almost punched holes through. Countless times, especially second half.

    We got out of jail at end. Tons to improve on, tons to be happy about.
    Still, very lucky at end.

  56. Cripes but we made hard work of that!

    Eoghan McLaughlin should have tapped over when we were three up in the second half.

    We need to be a bit braver with our shot selection as well, lots of times we worked the ball into the corner but wouldn’t pull the trigger.

    Still, we’ll take a Nestor Cup given that it’s been a few years.

  57. Shane Walsh was the best player on show today but when the pressure was on he couldn’t put 2 handy frees over.
    Shaky win, some subs didn’t work.
    Goalkeeper had a nightmare in the final 15 minutes.
    For some reason Mayo very slow to have a pot for a point in 2nd half holding onto ball to much.
    Some experienced players didn’t play well today.
    The best performers were Ruane, McLaughlin, Barrett and Aidan O Shea.

  58. It could be your year as ye are in the final now, referee was very poor for both sides in my opinion. You could feel the tension and the fear of losing in both sets of players but mayo deserved the win despite some dreadful handling errors.

  59. Matthew ruane was awesome. Not a good display. Alot of wasted possession. Higgins was very very rusty and lost possession and amazing how he is in pecking order ahead of o hora. That said our young guys were mighty. Salt hill tough spot to get a result. Well done guys

  60. Galway will rightly be raging over not getting a free at crucial time when Keith messed up. They’ll be very sour surely.
    But they’ve had their luck against us on the past.

    Tons of positives for us to take away from that match.

  61. Could they not have showing the presentation of the cup instead of fitzmaurice and whelan droning on!

  62. Great to be Connacht champions again. Don’t want to be negative but David Clarke’s kick outs nearly cost us the game. Something Management would need to look at again. But for now let’s enjoy the win and look forward to and all Ireland semi final

  63. This was all about getting over the line. In years past we would have lost that by a point. Fair play to lads for putting the shoulder to the wheel when galway came at us. Really opened up in the second half for a cracking contest. Great to see Mattie getting back to his best!

  64. Great performance by the Mayo team, they battled for everything, Chris Barrett had a serious good game, well done to all the players, the young fellas were outstanding. Great day for Mayo football.

  65. Gutted for us the sloppy ring rusty touches really showed the value of game time. Mayo should have scored more in 1st half ye need to take on the shots the next day. Horan wont be happy that Galway almost squeezed them out but thats better for ye than a facile win leaving ye undercooked for Cork/Tipp. Im sad we lost but please god post covid Galway have plenty of hope going forward. Good luck to ye now I will hope ye can get to the final maybe in this crazy year it will be Donegal. Also to Mayo88 they were not handy frees but he should have tried again at end.

  66. Wow nerves gone. What a win. The relief! Good man Eoghan McLoughlin. The tension! Congrats lads! We never do it easy thats for sure!!!

  67. It’s a good win. Never easy to go there and win. We have a major issue winning primary possession in the middle.
    Imagine what Dublin with Fenton and McCarthy would do against us.
    McLaughlin won it for us.
    He was man of the match excellently taken black card.
    You can imagine Galway will be pissed.
    Higgins got a soft free which really should have gone the other direction

  68. Fair play Chesneychet and I agree they weren’t handy frees but thought Walsh would have found his range for the second one after the first miss less than a minute earlier. Yee were rusty particularly in first half and that did benefit mayo. However swings and roundabouts…..if it went to extra time yee would have had the legs on us I reckon due to us playing 5 weeks in a row

  69. Good to get over the line.
    Something positive out of the year for the lads no matter what happens and croke park experience for the young lads.

    Need a lot more from Diarmaid and KMcl going forward.

    PConroy at his usual cheap shots again

  70. That’s the way to win with plenty to work on… E.McLaughlin brilliant, delighted for Mattie,maybe doesn’t win too much primary possession but worked his socks off & some great turnovers and valuable points.

  71. Have to say Brian Walsh did well when he came on, was surprised when i see him getting selected in match day panels over Boland McHale and Carr but today he made an impression and a well taken score. Think our young players stood out today and fully agreed with Ciaran Whelan who did a fine job on analysis. Ruane was very good in second half was worry in the first half with his shot selection and a few poor balls he played inside. But nobody would have given this side a chance in the spring. So a lot has to be said about Horan work he did this year in putting together this team

  72. The final third was the major problem – look at the possession we carried into the final 3rd and then got dispossessed or missed chances. The stats should tell a clear story hear. Delighted with the win even though it should have been more convincing but its just perfect for going into a semi..roll on …

  73. Unreal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fair play to Horan! Some record reaching the last 4. In transition, and still making the final 4! Unbeileveable stuff.

  74. Some contradiction that – RTE rate Ruane motm while so many contributors here bemoaning our poor midfield, which only goes to show the subjectivity involved. Mayo made it more difficult than it needed to be but a win is a win.

  75. We got out of jail. You’re right Pat, we’d have been cleaned at midfield. Ruane got motm on rte but I dont think any player really shone. It rould have been Shane Walsh if he had taken any of those missed frees.

    We have a hell of a lot of work to do;

    1st: winning primary possession in the middle and preventing opposition winning clean ball.

    2nd: converting possession into scores. 14 points is very low.

    It was an edgy tight game but average in quality.

    Horan and the boys should enjoy this evening but LOADS to do in next 3 weeks. One game at a time.

  76. I know he missed 2 frees at the end. But Shane Walsh was a different class in the 2nd half. Unmarkable.

  77. Well thats enough Cardio for one day.
    Made hard work of that and got an unusual rub of the green. Galway can perhaps be somewhat aggrieved with the refs performance but by the same measure so can we.
    Lots to work on there and we certainly are in no position to be worrying about Dublin or Donegal as based on that performance we have enough to be worried with either Cork or Tipp.
    Kickouts an obvious are that will be targeted the next day, doing so today nearly brought it home for Galway.

  78. Well done lads. Better team won, no complaints. Free taking is a huge aspect of the modern game. PJ will know that better than anyone. Ruane and McLoughlin were your 2 best, feel sorry for Paul Conroy, he couldn’t have done much more. Best of luck in 3 weeks

  79. Thanks Chesneychet… it’s hard to lose and your words are gracious. Shane Walsh was superb today. We were lucky to get over the line but it’s a good way to be moving forward.
    I have no doubt we’ll see a lot more from Galway in the coming year.
    Onward we go Mayo… thanks be to God?!

  80. Not many mentioning the performance of Aido today.
    He horsed through an amount of work and I bet the stats would show he has as much possession out there today as anyone and did precious little wrong.

    Our game management was actually quite good towards the end, despite the fact that it was edge of the seat stuff. Giving away frees on the sideline in the last minutes was clever – playing the percentages by putting Walsh under pressure – which paid off, and Eoghan mcloughlin rightly taking one for the team, in the exact right area!! Love it. You gotta play the rules, at the right times which we did.
    Buzzing after that now. Hon Mayo!!!!!!

  81. For what its worth O’Mcl my MOM, followed by Chris Barrettt (defense were phenomenal in the 1st half and to be fair most of the 2nd half also but the bar was set high from that 1st half). Mattie had a great 2nd half. DOC, COC and K Mc were quieter than one would like but I will give credit to the Galway defense they really surprised me despite an initial novice look about them…

  82. Fair play Chesneychet, very gracious.

    We weren’t great today, no doubt about it. But we were far the better team overall and deserved the win. We knew Galway would bring it to us today. We withstood it and came out with a win that will be a great learning experience for the younger lads.
    We need this 3 week break now. Time to recharge and iron out the issues we have.
    Would have bitten your hand off for a Connaught title this year, so thrilled with that. Beating Ros and Galway along the way, all whilst bringing in a raft of new players. What’s not to be happy about?

    Barrett, McLaughlin, Ruane and Mullin the standouts. I’d go with McLaughlin. What a find he has been this year.

  83. Agree with that cheap shot from Conroy. Not his first time.
    There was another sly dig on our Conroy in the 1st half.
    Ref was poor overall, hope he’s not seen again in this years Championship.

  84. a win is a win. will take that any day. McLaughlin immense and not afraid to make that decision at the end. my man of the match. roll on 3 weeks. lots to improve on but showed great resolve today.

  85. Amazing that our terrible midfield managed to get MOTM Fair play to Mayo They ground it out in the end and destroyed our nerves but they won three away games to win Connacht. Also in AI Semi for ninth time in ten years What an achievement That team give us all so much. We are so lucky to have them

  86. Keeper is a great shot stopper and has been a great servant of Mayo football , but we cannot go into an All Ireland final with Dublin or Donegal with him still in goals. Semi final last chance to get this position right , a great chance to change keeper in semi final with no crowd there to give new man one bit game, and a new man is required no going back

  87. I wonder if the average Mayo fan has stronger heart muscles than in other counties? Great result and massive congrats to the team – being able to eek that result out is fantastic and is great experience for the younger players in the team. While they didn’t go in, it’s still clear that the team offers goal scoring threat.

    I could have misremembered but I don’t think we let up the lead at any time in the game (excluding Galway’s opener)? Still plenty of stress to deal with! Whilst not all of the subs worked I thought management did have a good game as a lot of those changes did make sense. The midfield and kickouts do look to be a problem as everyone would have expected, but it felt like a number of the subs brought on did give us a bit more strength / height in the middle. Also shows that whilst our veterans are amazing and have put in great service there’s no guarantee that anyone without game time already logged isn’t going to be a bit rusty – some uncharacteristic mistakes from Keith. As for the old heads that started – Chris Barrett in particular looked phenomenal.

    Keep coming back to “consistently competitive” – in two years of transition the team’s in another Semi final.

  88. Gracious by Galway posters here. I’d be pretty annoyed by that McLaughlin foul at the end if it was the other way around. Great covering, tackling and grit throughout. Coen worked hard I thought. Willingness to take shots in possession in the second half looked poor but the wind seemed to make it very difficult to shoot with certainty. We are through and a good chance of another All Ireland final but kick outs and midfield remain an issue. Cork have a lot of physicality and running around the middle.

  89. Seosaimh Ó Brolly at HT said it was the most incompetent 1st half of football this year and that Mayo are ‘a mess’.

    He doesnt hold back does he. Fair enough, it was a very poor 1st half. 8 points with that wind was a very low return and only for Galway were ‘a bigger mess’ as per Joe, we would have been in very troubled water.

    Jimmy McGuiness who I do like to read, tipped Mayo narrowly to win. He said we should have had 1-15 at HT v ros rather than 1-8. And I’m sure he’d be quite damning of our performance in front of goals today, particularly in the 1st half.

    Pity James Carr didnt make the 26. We could do with another natural finisher there rather than workhorse half forwards. Was it me or did Cillian have a very quiet day? Darren Coen seems to have slipped back…he was our standout forward last year. He scored some unreal points. Something others do not have in the locker.

    Yes, we are winning games now but unless we start seriously improving our scoring percentage rate, then it’s just gonna be another year added to the wait…

  90. Eoghan McLaughlin definitely man of the match and showed great awareness to not allow a shot at goal. Hard to know what plan Horan has for our midfield, but we didn’t win too many kick outs in that area. Aidan has now played full forward against Leitrim, Roscomon and Galway without making much impression on the score board. We are better with him in the team, but maybe its time to get him a bit further out the field. I would have liked to have seen O’Hora get a run today, hope all is going well there.

  91. You’re grand Mayonaze. The same man can go do one – we’ve just won Connacht with eleven of the lads who played a part today winning their first ever Connacht SFC medal.

  92. Victory is sweet but nothing to feel upbeat about from that performance besides .

    All at sea at times , really poor , lack of cohesion to our play was alarming. Middle third problem will see us really exposed in croker against a better side.

    I still don’t know why James Carr wasn’t involved .

  93. What a boost this is for our County. In an AI semi with a more than even chance of making the final. These lads are something else. Not a vintage performance but when one man has a quiet day another has a stormer and nobody is found wanting in the effort stakes. Eoin Mclaughlin take a bow and keep it up.

    Now to get the whole team having a stormer at once. Maybe we’ll get our Christmas wish! I expect training to be ferocious as lads compete for a place in the 26 ahead of a semi. I think Carr and boyler if fit should be in there. Carr especially has “it” in attack.

    Regarding Darren Coen I think he lacks agility but he’s excellent if he has space but unfortunately in the modern inter county game, space is at a premium.

  94. Still recovering from the nerves and heart settling. Well done to the lads to hold the lead.
    We’re blessed with dedicated never say die footballers. Best of luck in semi, and enjoy a rest in next few days. 5 games on the trot this time of year is unreal.
    Chris Barrett my hero for today. Brillant performance.

  95. That man who doesn’t deserve mention is very much relegated to the side lines these days anyway. A breath of fresh air since his ousting from the rte panel. Good riddins.

    Another huge positive for me is the circulation of players we have. There are 2 or 3 starting places still up for grabs, and the contenders to fill those have now all got serious knock-out matches (including championship) under their belts, and have all done well and played their part at different stages.

    The 3 weeks rest and further development and plotting is massive for us now. Let’s sit back and look forward to an All Ireland semi final. Who’d have thunk it, eh?! Wohoooo!!!!!

  96. Character building win is what I would call this one. Was very worried at halftime.

    Congratulations to the new Connacht Champions and stellar performances from Eoghan and Matthew.

    It feels brilliant to be still going strong in this championship.

  97. Better to win hard than a walk over . Great respect to Galway supporters very gracious . We will meet again down the road .
    I gave my moftm to Barrett. If he didn’t get the hand in there was a goal on for Galway and that could have being the game changer .
    Lots to work on . A few times we were nearly cut open so that will be something for Horan to look at . We definitely didn’t have the intensity we had for Roscommon game so the break will do us good . The fitness levels look very good though .
    Paddy Durcan gave a soft one away and he went straight up the field after and scored a huge point for us so massive credit to him .Eoin McLaughlin put in a savage shift again today and I thought Mullin was a lot better at his defensive duties today .
    Well done lads . Nice to get the Connacht title make no mistake about it this game will bring us on.

  98. My bloody nerves are shredded.

    That’s a huge win for this new team. Didn’t play well at all but had enough to get it done. Huge learning there for the kids. And more importantly a first Connacht medal for many of them. For the older lads the rot has been addressed and we’re back on top out West.

    Onwards.

  99. Couldn’t understand Galway tactics. They have some Rolls Royce players that are employed to defence while Shane Walsh is expected to win the game on his own. They should be champions this evening. Mayo were poor on the day, and won. Thought the Maigh Cuillinn contingent done well I was delighted for them. Also GOD and Conroy had good games. Fair play to JH, no shortage of silverware since his return.

  100. Ideal result going into AI semi final, playing poorly but still ground out a win. Can someone please give a baseball cap to Clarke. Taking re starts with one hand blocking out the sunshine while kicking 2 poor restarts which cost us 2 points and could have been worse. Same applies to Hennelly as he was doing the same thing in County championship. Infuriating. Eoin Mc L outstanding. Took one for the team, stopping a certain goal. That Kelly lad at full back, a flyer and a real find for Galway.

  101. Great to get the win. Connaught title very welcome. Good to come out the right side of a dogfight. Really thought Darren coen should have come on instead of moran when a shooter was needed

  102. A few things to be taken from the game today,our play in the final third needs to improve going forward, the two o’connor quite enough, paddy Durcan doing well until he got yellow for a legitimate shoulder paul convoy lucky to stay on the field after the nasty hit on aiden could of been a jawbreaker , the young lads improving every game but at the end of the day we are connacht champions with a hard fought win we have three weeks rest with plenty to work on, roll on the semifinal

  103. Fair play to the Galway bucks coming on here, for been so gracious in defeat. Hard luck lads, ye nearly reeled us in. Special mention to Tuamstar though, he does his County proud on here, constantly trying to blow the hype up, nearly worked for him in fairness…hard luck.

    I don’t think we can over estimate how huge a win this was. Done it the right way too, not plsying as good as we can, and losds to improve on. A relatively new team winning a Connacht Title in their first year, majestic stuff. Whatever happens in the semi, this has been a fantastic year for us. We’re in ‘transition’ yet still make a Semi Final, thats 6 in 6 seasons for Horan. A consistently competive top 4 County! We’ll worry about Cork/Tipp on another day. Going to enjoy tonight. One game at a time now, its serving us well so far. Hup Mayo!!.

  104. Special mention to James Horan as well. That’s 5 Connacht titles in 6 seasons with us. This year we had to beat two top 10 rated teams away from home to do it. This was done while our squad is in massive transition.
    He also seems to know what it takes to get the better of Galway.

  105. What odds would Paddy Power have given, way back in March before lockdown, for a Mayo vs Cork AI semi final and a Mayo man in the White House(Biden was badly trailing Bernie in the Democrats Primaries)

  106. The best of luck to the tipp or cork man who will have to follow eoghain in croker lol our very own jack McCaffrey. Some speed and engine. Much more to come from him

  107. Despite doing everything in their power to throw this match away, Mayo managed to hang on. Positives are we won. 11 new lads got their hands on Connaught medals. 3weeks before our next match. We’re definitely under the radar. Dublin 2.23.Laois 7points. Dublin keep doing what Dublin keep doing. We’re still there
    Nestor Cup back in Mayo hands.

  108. This was never going to be easy or to be an example of great football. It was championship football in November on a soft pitch between two bitter rivals. We’ll take it!
    Our forward line is very talented but is unsettled. I reckon the reason for this is the fact that Aidan O Shea is moving in and out of FF far too much. He himself doesn’t know where he is playing and neither do the other lads. He needs to be either a FF or MF but not both. It simply doesn’t work and it didn’t work for Breaffy either.
    If we have problems winning primary possession around the middle expecting Aidan to solve that AND be a threat in the full forward line is a non-runner.
    Put him at FF and leave him there and put in the likes of Jordan Flynn or Tom Parsons (if he is still up go it) at midfield.
    I was sad to see Keith badly exposed on a couple of occasions. It could have cost us the game except for the ref being nice to us on that occasion. I hope it was just a bit of rustiness and not something worse.
    Credit to Eoghan McLoughlin, Barrett and the rest of the backs for holding a potentially very dangerous forward line.
    Room to improve for certain but we are on an upward curve no doubt.

  109. What is it about 2nd half performances into the wind in critical matches that we thrive on and do enough in the opening 15 minutes to hang on , not good for the old ticker but were still there .

  110. Not a game for the purists. But what do you expect between great rivals in mid Nov. All well made points about the final third letting us down but the conditions (wind) were a major challenge and ground looked very heavy. The encouraging thing for me was that we were creating scoring opportunities; conversion of these opportunities let us down. A few wild 10 percenters taken on the first half from way out – we need to see more composure and better decision making here.

    Ruane had a v good second half and is v hard to stop when running straight. He must have got a bollicking at half time for the stray passes and turnovers! This team will thrive on the Croke Park sod – it’s built for speedsters.

    Tipp won’t fear Cork – they’ve met loads of time in league. Either team should not be underestimated. Winning ugly is still a win?

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