HAVING gone eight years without beating Mayo in either league or championship between 2008 and 2016, Kevin Walsh’s Galway side made it seven wins in-a-row in all competitions over their provincial rivals at a baltic MacHale Park on Saturday night – hard to credit.
There has been a significant changing of the guard in recent times, however, and though Mayo remain a quality outfit, they just haven’t been able to come up with a solution to the Galway puzzle these past few years, no matter the date nor the setting.
Of those seven victories, three have come in the championship, while Saturday’s victory marked Galway’s second league success over Mayo in two seasons and what a satisfying win it was.
Leading by seven points at the break having played with the gale-force wind at their backs, Galway appeared in a decent position, only to see that lead whittled down to the minimum after 56 minutes and destined for defeat having barely fired a shot the entire half.
But a tigerish defensive effort, coupled with some woeful Mayo shooting kept James Horan’s men scoreless for the ensuing 19 minutes, allowing Shane Walsh and company step-up in attack, draw some much-needed frees and secure the spoils.
This was a fine showing from the Tribesmen against a Mayo side which reverted to the tried and tested for the most part as they attempted to bounce back from a heacy defeat to Dublin.
Not only that, but Galway played 10 minutes of the opening half with only 13 men, after Michael Daly (body check) and Barry McHugh (hand trip) were justifiably sent to the stand within 30 seconds of each other after receiving needless black cards. Huge credit to Galway though for in that period, they came out on top 1-1 to 0-1.
The strength of the wind really was quite remarkable, making kickouts for goalkeepers an absolute nightmare when kicking into the teeth of it. Twice, David Clarke saw his restarts drift out over the sideline early on, and of the ones which did remain infield, Galway gobbled up the vast majority of them.
Lee Keegan was deployed at full-back to man mark Shane Walsh and they missed his surging runs, though Colm Boyle and Keith Higgins as ever bombed forward.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.