Galway too good for Mayo in minor All-Ireland football final

First minor title since 2007 secured as Galway get revenge for Connacht final defeat

Galway 0-15 Mayo 0-9

Mayo travelled to Dr Hyde Park fearing that beating Galway three times in the one campaign would prove beyond them. So it proved in front of 12,789 in Roscommon, as the Tribesmen took on board the lessons of those two Connacht championship defeats and turned the tables in the contest that mattered most.

In those two provincial meetings, Mayo restricted Galway to tallies of 0-4 and 0-7, but this time Alan Glynn and his selectors had the answers to the questions posed by their oldest rivals.

Kyle Gilmore’s kickouts were central as they retained the vast majority of their own restarts, and combined with their supremacy in the turnover battle, Galway starved Mayo of ball, particularly in the first half when they needed to build up a lead with the aid of the wind.


Galway’s accuracy was far from flawless, with eight wides in total and several missed goal chances, but by controlling the ball, they dictated the game.

By half-time it was 0-8 to 0-6 in favour of the boys in maroon, and the lion’s share of the work was done at that stage, particularly since what had been Mayo’s main strength all year — their inside forward duo of Ronan Clarke and Niall Hurley — were being kept under lock and key by the Galway full back line.

Galway joint-captain Éanna Monaghan was also a key factor, having been shut down in their last two clashes with Mayo. On Friday night he scored four first half points, then in the second half dropped into a deeper role to link up the play and set up crucial final quarter points for Stephen Curley, Charlie Cox and Colm Costello, ensuring Galway had plenty of leeway in the latter stages of the game.

Mayo really only enjoyed two strong spells — between the 10th and 20th minute, when they came from two points down to lead 0-5 to 0-4, with James Maheady kicking three majestic points, and again midway through the second half.

By the time they got back on top in that second half spell, they trailed by 0-11 to 0-6 and were in big trouble. Galway’s best spell was in the run up to half-time, when they went on a run of four points in a row, including one score from Stephen Curley that showed the best of them. An accurate kick out from Kyle Gilmore found Jack Lonergan, the midfielder picked out Curley and a quick step and point completed a clinical and stylish move.

The lead grew to five, 0-11 to 0-6, as Shay McGlinchey and Colm Costello kicked the first points of the second half, before Mayo found their second surge — though it was a spell of dominance, without punishment.

Ronan Clarke kicked two scores to reduce the gap, but the goal chance they needed never came, some bad wides sapped their confidence, and Galway always looked sharp on the break.

A Cillian Trayers score in the 50th minute put the Tribesmen back on the front foot before substitute Charlie Cox then came to the fore, earning a free for Costello and then clipping over a point of his own.

Stephen Curley completed Galway’s scoring and while Mayo’s Ronan Clarke fired over a late free, it was too little and too late for his side, with Galway’s first minor crown since 2007 fully secured.

GALWAY: K Gilmore; V Gill, R Flaherty T Farthing; M Mannion, C Trayers (0-1), R Coen; J Lonergan, S McGlinchey (0-1); O Morgan, É Monaghan (0-4, three frees), S Dunne; S Curley (0-2), F O’Connor (0-1), C Costello (0-5, two frees).

Subs: C Cox (0-1) for F O’Connor (44 mins), O Kelly for S Dunne (52′), P McNeela for M Mannion (56′), L Carr for S Curley (59′), C Dolan for C Costello (61′).

MAYO: D Dolan; C McHale (0-1), J McMonagle, L Silke; L Maloney, R Mortimer, P Gilmore; J Keane, L Feeney; J Mahedy (0-03), D Hurley, D Duffy; C Keaveney (0-1 free), R Clarke (0-04, two frees), N Hurley.

Subs: O Armstrong for D Hurley (40 mins), Z Collins for C Keaveney (53′), O Cronin for J Mahedy (57′), D Gallagher for J Keane (59′), S O’Dowd for L Feeney (64′).

Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).