Tough day for Galway teams but no need to press the panic buttons yet

Inside Track with John McIntyre

PADRAIC Joyce must be sick of the sight of Mayo footballers by now. Since taking over as Galway manager in the winter of 2019, he has just a lone victory to report from nine collisions with the Tribesmen’s arch enemy. It’s a record which must frustrate the Killererin clubman, especially after last Sunday’s league clipping in Salthill.

Galway were marginal favourites to start off their Division One campaign with a win, but it was difficult to fathom why. Last year Mayo had defeated them in the National League final, and had also come out on top in the subsequent preliminary All-Ireland quarter-final at Pearse Stadium.

Yet, few Galway supporters were prepared for their team being so passive at the weekend. They had few answers to a physically stronger Mayo outfit, for whom the recalled Fergal Boland made a big impression. Possession was lost too easily, and there was also a lot more energy about Kevin McStay’s men.

Post-match, Joyce didn’t try to sugarcoat the gulf between the teams, but there was no shortage of mitigation for an inept Galway display. The injury prone Damien Comer picked up a “knock” on Thursday night which ruled him out, while team captain Seán Kelly, Jack Glynn Cillian McDaid, and Liam Silke are other casualties.

Furthermore, there was no Peter Cooke around and he won’t be available to the Galway management at all in 2024. In that context, to see Shane Walsh limping off the field at the end of a deflating 2-12 to 0-10 defeat represents a further dent to morale ahead of a vital collision with Roscommon at Hyde Park on Sunday.

Of course, when Galway have a full deck to choose from, they ought to be a different proposition, but it’s probable that they will have to endure some short-term pain in the interim. Ten points was a poor haul and the team’s finishing was simply not up to the required level, although Liam Ó Conghaile picked off a couple of points.

Pictured: Galway’s Niall Daly tussling for possession with  Mayo’s Jack Coyne during Sunday’s Division One League clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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