Galway minors look the part for big battle with arch rivals

Galway minor football manager Stephen Joyce who is expecting a tough challenge from Mayo in Sunday's Connacht Final at Pearse Stadium.
Galway minor football manager Stephen Joyce who is expecting a tough challenge from Mayo in Sunday's Connacht Final at Pearse Stadium.

GALWAY minor football manager Stephen Joyce has described Mayo as “formidable” opponents ahead of the Connacht Final at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (12pm).

Any time a Galway and Mayo side take to the field to do battle, there is always an intense atmosphere regardless of what age group and this weekend will certainly be no different.

Galway will be looking to retain their Connacht title after dispatching a much fancied Roscommon side comprehensively in the semi-final on a scoreline of 3-11 to 1-7. This will be Galway’s first chance to retain their Connacht crown in eight years, with their last back-to-back titles in 2004/05 at the end of their four-in-a-row.

The victory over Roscommon was an important one because defeat would have ended their season. Instead, it has set up the minors with an excellent platform to build upon over the summer and the first opportunity for silverware.

“It was good to finally get underway, after such a long-break it can be difficult with minors but we were very happy with our performance overall against Roscommon. They were a highly regarded side and we needed to play very well to beat them.” Joyce said.

Roscommon closed the gap in the second half to just five points but Galway weathered the storm well and closed out the victory effectively in the end.

Galway come up against a Mayo outfit that they have already lost to earlier this year in a league clash back in March on a scoreline of 2-12 to 1-9.

“They’ve made quite a few changes since our league game; we’ve pretty much the same side since then, so it’s not going to be easy that’s for sure. I would hope we have learned from our defeat early on the campaign and have built upon that,” said the Galway manager.

Mayo defeated Leitrim on a scoreline of 4-11 to 1-8 in their semi-final, with one of their star forwards Ryan O’ Donoghue scoring a total of 3-4 in the process. The Belmullet clubman will surely need to be marshalled well if the men in maroon are to come away with victory.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.