Mayo still can’t buy a win over Galway
Another defeat at the hands of Galway was not quite what James Horan had in mind as he watched his charges fail to reel the Tribesmen back in having trailed at half-time at MacHale Park before a crowd of over 10,000.
Down by 1-7 to 0-3 at the interval, Mayo had reduced the deficit to a point at one stage in the second half but couldn't overtake their local rivals and ultimately lost by two on a 1-11 to 0-12 scoreline.
The question was whether Galway had done enough with that gale at their backs in the first half but, as it transpired, they played even better in the second half into the wind, with Shane Walsh unerring from frees and he ultimately guided them over the winning line with five of the best.
It is now four years since Mayo beat Galway and this latest setback is not exactly what the Green and Red had in mind ahead of a possible championship meeting later in the summer.
James Horan and his team have a lot of work to do before then, with two more big games against Kerry and Monaghan before the league ends.
But Horan will be disappointed at Mayo’s failure to use that strong gale in the second half, although they were within a point of Galway at 1-8 to 0-10 with six minutes of injury-time still to be played.
It was during that injury time that Donal Vaughan and Diarmuid O'Connor had Mayo closing in but three frees from Walsh secured a deserved win for the Kevin Walsh’s team, who were that bit more physical in the tackle and won a huge amount of breaking ball.
Ironically, it was while two of their players were looking on from the sin that Galway struck for that all important goal in the first half, Danny Cummins finishing a very good move to the net. It left Galway leading by 1-7 to 0-3 at the break, all of Mayo’s scores coming form frees from Jason Doherty.
Mathew Ruane nailed an early point for Mayo in the second half as they began to run at Galway and further scores from Doherty, Darren Coen and Andy Moran had them back in the hunt.
But Galway were deadly on the fast break and Mayo were forced to give away too many frees, which were punished by the unerring Walsh.
Mayo: D. Clarke, C. Barrett, D. Harrison, K. Higgins, L. Keegan, C. Boyle, S. Coen, M. Ruane (0-1), D. Vaughan (0-1), F. McDonagh, A. O’Shea, D. O’Connor (0-1), J. Durcan, D. Coen (0-1), J. Doherty (0-7, 6f)
Subs used: K. McLoughlin for J. Durcan (ht), A. Moran (0-1 mark) for S. Coen (47), B. Reape for McDonagh (69).
Galway: R. Lavelle, E. Kerin, S.A. O Ceallaigh, D. Wynne, G. O’Donnell, J. Daly, J. Heaney (0-1), T .Flynn, C. Duggan, M. Daly (0-1), D. Cummins (1-2, 1 mark), O. Cooke, B. McHugh, S. Walsh (0-5, 5f) A. O Laoi (0-2).
Subs used: F. O Laoi for Bradshaw (ht), G. Bradshaw for T. Flynn (ht), E. Brannigan for D. Cummins (60), P. Cunningham for A. O Laoi (70).
Referee: M. Deegan (Laois).