I gotta admit I didn’t see this coming. A seven point win over Galway and regrets that we didn’t win by more.
Being honest I was tipping Galway as a decent bet at 11/10 this weekend. Its great to be wrong!
The major caveat from today’s performance is that Galway were dire but we’ll concentrate on the positives first.
Mayo’s attitude was very impressive. There was a real hunger to our play. Guys were flying forward to support play and getting back as quick. When Galway were in possession they got hit and hit hard. Tackling was intense.
We had great pace today and we used it. Gardiner, Vaughan and, to a lesser extent in terms of pace, McLoughlin attacked with intent from defence. McLoughlin, being the best footballer of the three, was the most productive. He will be a fixture in the Mayo team for years to come, including this year.
Our two experiements in attack worked wonderfully well. Seamus O’Shea put in a man of the match display from a starting position of centre-half forward. Dropping back to help out in midfield he won a lot of ball and showed some great physical play, something we’ve been lacking.
In corner forward Enda Varley showed well once he found his feet. Could have ended up with two goals but will be happy with the one he scored and gave a smart, close-range pass to Trevor Mortimer for the second goal. He has the ability and, like O’Shea the elder, will be buoyed from the confidence this display will have given him.
Crucially, for me, our two midfielders, Tom Parsons and Ronan McGarrity, upped their performance and workrate big time. When both are in the zone they have a lot to offer. They weren’t there at various stages in 2009 and nor were they in the FBD. Today showed us what they are capable of and lets hope its the beginning of something. O’Shea, dropping deep, helps their dynamic too.
Defensively we’ve a lot to find out about ourselves yet because Galway just weren’t a testing team due to their inability to get the ball in. But Keith Higgins did look very good in the corner.
Galway look like a team not treating the league too seriously. If they are, then the Sligo game will be the Connacht final. We know they struggle at midfield but Mark Lydon and Joe Bergin were beyond useless today. The only players that leave with any credit are Bradshaw and Armstrong. And Meehan when he came on. That he didn’t start indicates how Galway treated this game
We won’t read too much into this just yet but here’s hoping we can take some decent momentum to Omagh on Sunday. And, crucially, we’ve two points in what is going to be a tough league campaing.