Sunday, January 15, 2023

Mayo’s Sam Callinan attempts to block a shot from Galway’s Tomo Culhane. Picture: INPHO/Evan Logan

Connacht FBD Semi-final

Mayo                                  2-18

Galway                               3-12

Kevin Egan at the Connacht GAA Air Dome


Mayo’s dismal run of results in the FBD Connacht League has come to an end, after Kevin McStay’s first competitive contest as Mayo senior football manager ended with the team reaching the competition final for the first time since their last win in 2012.

It was a victory that was thoroughly deserved after Mayo dominated the game for long stretches, leading by 11 points after Bryan Walsh opened the second half scoring, and nine points with less than ten minutes left.

There was to be a late Galway surge however, and in the end it took a close-range block from Rory Byrne to deny Nathan Grainger an injury-time goal from what was the Claregalway man’s first touch, to preserve the win.

After a comparatively even contest in the opening stages, where Johnny Heaney kicked two outstanding points in the first quarter but Mayo still stayed on level terms at 0-4 each, Kevin McStay’s men kicked on from there to lead by 2-9 to 0-5 at half-time, largely on the back of their complete control of the middle third of the field.

Jordan Flynn and Matthew Ruane were imperious at midfield, Fionn McDonagh and Bryan Walsh made very good contributions from the wings, and they had a wonderful balance close to goal where James Carr offered a powerful physical threat, with Aiden Orme and Paul Towey sniping a series of points from the corners.

A wonderful ball from Ruane to Towey set up the opening goal after 22 minutes, while the second came just before half time and was a simple route one score, with Carr reaching up to claim a high delivery before rolling the ball into the corner of the net.

Mayo added the first score of the second half but the introduction of Tomo Culhane changed the game, and he put 1-2 on the board to quickly pull the Tribesmen back into contention.

It looked like Mayo had come through the worst of the storm when four points in a row as the game entered the final quarter, one each from Walsh, Towey, Carr and Orme, but even after their nine-point lead continued into the last six minutes of normal time. Galway found another surge.

A run and finish from Matthew Tierney started their comeback and as Mayo started to tire, with McStay deciding against emptying his bench, the lead was briefly reduced to two points, at which point Byrne had to make his intervention to deny Grainger what would have been a sensational winner.

Scorers for Mayo: Paul Towey 1-4 (0-2f), Aiden Orme 0-5 (0-1f), James Carr 1-2, Bryan Walsh 0-3, Fionn McDonagh 0-1, Matthew Ruane 0-1, Kuba Callaghan 0-1, Bob Tuohy 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Tomo Culhane 2-2, Matthew Tierney 1-0, Johnny Heaney 0-3, Rob Finnerty 0-2, Barry McHugh 0-2 (0-1f), John Maher 0-1, Cathal Sweeney 0-1, Damien Comer 0-1.


A full report, details and reaction from this game will be in next Tuesday’s Western People

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 96 60900

More Connacht Sport

Similar Articles