Mayo rejoice after fifth successive victory over Galway

Mayo manager Pat Holmes relieved to get off to winning start at Pearse Stadium

Pat Holmes looked a satisfied man between the dressing-rooms in Pearse Stadium. He and Noel Connelly had taken over a Mayo team that has spent four years knocking on the door of All-Ireland success and the only way for the new management to be an unmitigated success is to find a key.

First things first and if Holmes himself mightn't have believed that defeat in Galway would signal a major disaster, you couldn't be sure about the Mayo public. Accordingly, a clear win in a first championship outing was positive.

“It was all about getting the win,” he said. “We came here to put in as good a performance as we could with a view to winning the game and moving on to the next round of the championship. We’ve done that. We didn’t play particularly well in a lot of aspects of the game, but in fairness to the lads they kept plugging away.”

An assured display was underwritten by a blazing start to the second half that yielded 1-3 and incinerated their opponents’ growing hopes.


“Those scores were key. We got a point and then got a goal. Every time you are getting scores on the board they are key moments and we had a few key moments in the first two minutes of the second half.”

Holmes' counterpart Kevin Walsh weighed the disappointing outcome against more encouraging signs.

“A lot of times we got up to the level as well so it isn’t all glass half-empty here; there’s a glass half-full here as well. We’ll reassess what happened here. I don’t think we were out of that game at any stage.

“There were two or three goal chances and if we happened to pop one of them we would have asked the questions.

“Maybe a bit unfortunate with the free count inside our scoring zone and it probably kept Mayo ticking over ahead of us, but that’s life. We have to move on with it.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times