Galway continue to haunt Mayo as James Horan falls victim to curse
Mayo dogged by indiscipline as Tribesmen prove the sharper and more imposing side
Galway’s Ruairí Lavelle and Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh celebrate after their victory over Mayo in MacHale Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Mayo 0-12 Galway 1-11
The dark shadow of Galway which has hung depressingly over Mayo during Stephen Rochford’s reign as manager seems set to remain – for the time being at least.
James Horan’s impeccable record over the Tribesmen during his four-year terms in charge – which yielded four Connacht titles – was sullied somewhat following this second successive league defeat before a crowd close to 11,000 at a windy MacHale Park in Castlebar on Saturday night.
Mayo can have few complaints over the result, as Galway were the sharper and physically more imposing side, and those attributes came into play particularly in the second half when they withstood a gale and a strong Mayo fightback which saw them pare the lead back to a single point five minutes from time – plus six minutes added on for injury-time.
Mayo’s failure to take advantage of numerical superiority for 10 minutes must come into question
The Mayo manager felt his side’s indiscipline possibly cost them towards the end when they gave away three frees while well in the game.
Said Horan: “We were in a strong position with 15 minutes to go. We had a couple of frees that we missed, we had a lot of momentum with us and Galway were struggling a bit.
“But they broke the momentum, they slowed the game down. They got a couple of frees when our discipline let us down and they ran out winners in the end.”
Trailing by 1-7 to 0-3 at the break, Mayo looked far from out of it it given the strength of the wind, but they did not always take full advantage of the elements, their efforts at long balls into the danger zone bearing little fruit against a very solid Galway defensive unit. Galway hit them hard on the counter-attack, and any indiscretions – and there were quite a few – were punished by the unerring Shane Walsh who finished the night with a tidy haul of five points from frees.
But in a tough match which produced just the one goal, it was Galway’s Danny Cummins who finished a clever move on 26 minutes, the ball threaded through by Antaine Ó Laoi into the path of Johnny Heaney, who sent it across the face of the goalmouth for a slam-dunk finish by Cummins.
Mayo’s failure to take advantage of numerical superiority for 10 minutes must come into question, as the goal came when Galway had both Michael Daly and Barry McHugh in the sin bin following incidents within 30 seconds of each other.
In fairness, Mayo did have a great chance of finding the net themselves, but Colm Boyle’s flick over the advancing Galway goalkeeper was – amazingly – cleared off the line.
Jason Doherty kept Mayo ticking over in that first half with three frees, and when Matthew Ruane kicked an inspirational point at the start of the second half, Mayo were finally up and running
Doherty added a couple of frees and also a point from play, while a massive point from Darren Coen and a point from a mark by Andy Moran had Mayo within touching distance – 1-8 to 0-10. But three frees on the bounce from Walsh – one which yielded a yellow card for Lee Keegan – had Galway up again by four, scores from Diarmuid O’Connor and Donal Vaughan coming very late in injury-time.
GALWAY: R Lavelle, E Kerin, SA Ó Ceallaigh, D Wynne; G O’Donnell, J Daly, J Heaney (0-1), T Flynn, C Duggan; M Daly (0-1), D Cummins (1-2, 0-1 mark), P Cooke; B McHugh, S Walsh (0-5, 5f), A Ó Laoi (0-2).
Subs: F Ó Laoi for Flynn (HT), E Brannigan for Cummins (HT), G Bradshaw for Flynn (60), P Cunningham for A Ó Laoi (70).
MAYO: D Clarke, C Barrett, B 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: K McLoughlin for Durcan (HT), A Moran (0-1, mark) for S Coen (47), B Reape for McDonagh (69).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).