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Flat Galway footballers fall again to forceful arch rivals

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Flat Galway footballers fall again to forceful arch rivals Flat Galway footballers fall again to forceful arch rivals

Galway 0-10

Mayo 2-12

By Pádraic Ó Ciardha at Pearse Stadium

IT’S not the end of the world but it’s certainly not the start Pádraic Joyce, his players and the Galway supporters would have wanted to make to the 2024 campaign as the Tribesmen once again went down to Mayo in this Round 1 opener of the National Football League.

Seven months after our neighbours north of the border came down to Salthill to knock Galway out of the All-Ireland championship, it was the Mayo crowd who once again left Pearse Stadium smiling as Kevin McStay stretched his unbeaten run against this Galway side to five games after a pretty bleak day for the home team.

From a Galway point of view, there can be some mitigation in the form of the list of names missing. Damien Comer was a late withdrawal, joining the likes of Seán Kelly, Cillian McDaid, Liam Silke and Jack Glynn on the treatment table and leaving at least a third of Galway’s first fifteen unavailable. While you’re never going to have everyone fit, Galway have been particularly unlucky in who they have lost over the last 12 months. That being said, the manner of the defeat on Sunday and the grim familiarity of it should be cause for concern.

Questions will again be asked as to why Mayo looked so much more energetic and dynamic than Galway. The gap in strength and conditioning that was between the sides when Mayo were in the ascendancy in this fixture ten years ago has surely been bridged, leaving the unpalatable conclusion that mindset played a large part in the lethargy. At home against their closest rivals and looking to get one over on the team which sent them packing from last year’s championship, motivation shouldn’t have been a problem from a Galway point of view, but there can be little argument that they looked flat at the weekend.

Pictured: Galway’s John Daly secures possession against Mayo’s Fergal Boland during the National Football League clash at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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