Mayo destroy Galway at Pearse Stadium
Tribesmen beaten by record 17-point margin by neighbours in Salthill
Galway’s Paul Conroy (left) and Ger Cafferkey of Mayo at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
The significant damage was done in the first half with the visitors 13 points up at the break. Mayo controlled the kick-outs and their superior physicality and athleticism forced Galway’s defence into a series of costly turnovers.
The goals were well taken but Galway allowed far too much space to opponents.
Cathal Carolan applied the first cut, getting a boot to a long ball ahead of goalkeeper Manus Breathnach. In the four minutes before the break, Tom Flynn lost possession for the ever vigilant McLoughlin to move the ball through Cillian O’Connor to Enda Varley, who scored.
O’Connor set up Donal Vaughan just before the break for a third goal and 3-9 to 0-5 lead.
A largely irrelevant second half saw Galway reduced to 13 men with red cards for captain Gareth Bradshaw and Niall Coleman, both for getting involved in off-the-ball altercations.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Andy Moran’s first appearance in a Mayo jersey since injuring his cruciate last August, and he got into the mood by adding the team’s fourth goal.
Mayo: D Clarke (capt.); K Higgins, T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey; L Keegan (0-1), D Vaughan (1-1), C Boyle; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin, C O’Connor (0-6, four frees), C Carolan (1-0); E Varley (1-3), A Freeman (0-1), A Dillon (0-2).
Subs: S McHale for Cafferkey (half-time), R Feeney (0-1) for Freeman (55 mins), D Coen (0-1) for Dillon (58 mins), J Burke for Keegan (60 mins), A Moran (1-0) for Boyle (62 mins).
Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, C Forde, G Sweeney; G Bradshaw (capt.), K Kelly, G Sice; N Coleman, F O Curraoin; T Flynn, P Conroy (0-1), C Doherty; S Armstrong (0-3, frees), M Meehan (0-5, four frees, 45), D Cummins (0-1).
Subs: S Walsh (0-1, free) for Doherty (23 mins), J Moore for for Sweeney (half-time), G O’Donnell for Armstrong (55 mins), M Martin for Meehan (63 mins), E Concannon for Sice (63 mins).
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo).