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Galway withstand second-half fightback to claim sixth win in-a-row over Mayo

A first-half goal from Danny Cummins set Galway on their way to victory in this Division 1 meeting.

Ruairi Lavelle and Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh celebrate after the game.
Ruairi Lavelle and Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh celebrate after the game.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Galway 1-11

Mayo 0-12

Colm Gannon reports from MacHale Park

MAYO FAILED TO see off Galway once again in MacHale Park tonight – with Kevin Walsh’s side picking up their sixth straight win in league and championship against their neighbours.

Danny Cummins’ goal on 26 minutes was the deciding factor on the scoreboard, but the resilience shown by Galway when down to 13 men for a ten minute period in the first-half was key.

They kept Mayo scoreless from the 55th minute until injury time when they had closed the gap to a single point – while the Connacht champions showed great composure to stretch their lead to four at the far end.

Galway made four changes to the starting 15 from the team he announced before the game with Shane Walsh, John Daly, Peter Cooke and Danny Cummins all coming into the team.

The Tribesmen had the aid of a gale behind them in the first-half and the raced into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead – hitting four-in-a-row after Jason Doherty had put Mayo into a first-minute lead.

Danny Cummins pointed a mark two minutes in, that was quickly followed by an Antaine Ó’Laoí effort when he cut across the park from right to left.

Galway then hit two long-range skyscraper points from Johnny Heaney and Michael Daly to go 0-4 to 0-1 in front.

Mayo cut the gap back to two points thanks to a Doherty point after James Durcan was fouled and the Burrishoole man should have closed the gap to a single point when he had a short range free – but he undercooked his effort and it dropped short into the arms of Ruairi Lavelle.

Galway worked that ball down the field quickly and Shane Walsh beat Lee Keegan flicking it to Danny Cummins who pointed from a tough angle to go three clear again.

Doherty made amends with a pointed free that saw Michael Daly get a black card for Galway for a foul in the build up – then a minute later Galway were reduced to 13 men when Barry McHugh was also shown a black card.

David Cunnane and Colm Boyle Shane Walsh takes a shot under pressure from Colm Boyle. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Mayo almost made them pay instantly when Darren Coen played a deft ball into the path of Colm Boyle, the Mayo man flicked the ball over Ruairi Lavelle’s head and it looked to be heading to the net only for Tom Flynn to get back and paw the ball off the line and away to safety.

It was Galway who struck next with Walsh hammering over a good score to put Kevin Walsh’s men three clear with 21 minutes gone on the clock.

Four minutes later Danny Cummins palmed the ball to the back of the net getting on the end of a blistering move that saw Johnny Heaney play him in after being picked out by a raking pass from O’Laoí.

Galway’s two men who went off for black cards returned to the action seconds later in the ten minute period they were down to 13 they outscored Mayo 1-1 to 0-1.

O’Laoí kicked a great score from the right corner to just as the half headed for injury time to put have Galway leading 1-7 to 0-3 at the break, with Mayo failing to score from play for the entire first half.

Mayo landed the first blow of the second half when Matthew Ruane kicked their first point from play inside the opening minute, but Mayo were unable to eat into the Galway lead as they would have liked and Shane Walsh kicked the next score from a free to keep the visitors seven clear.

Mayo cut the gap back to five with Doherty pointing two frees and then Darren Coen hitting a booming effort from out the park to leave just four between the teams.

Jason Doherty made it 1-8 to 0-8 with 50 minutes gone finishing off a move started by an interception by Colm Boyle who fed Keith Higgins who broke at pace, the ball was worked to Aidan O’Shea who found Doherty behind the cover.

The same man closed the gap to just two points 19 minutes into the second half after Darren Coen was fouled on the Galway 21 meter line. Mayo cut the gap back to the bare minimum when Andy Moran pointed an attacking mark after being picked out by Aidan O’Shea 30 meters out from goal.

David Cunnane and Colm Boyle Mayo's Aidan O’Shea is tackled by Johnny Heaney and Gary O'Donnell of Galway. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The game was now being played at a breakneck speed with both sides attacking at will, but turning over the ball at vital stages of their attacks. Shane Walsh nudged Galway two clear again on 63 minutes from a close-range free – that being only Galway’s second score of the half up to that point.

Galway almost got in for a second goal when they found a big hole in the Mayo defence with Gary O’Donnell picking out Johnny Heaney on the burst, Heaney tried to play in Michael Daly – but he just overcooked the pass and David Clarke intercepted the ball.

Walsh kicked his third point of the half from a free right at the end of normal time, but the fourth official signalled there were six minutes of injury time to be played – plenty time for Mayo if they could take the chances they created.

But it was Walsh who struck again from a free to put the gap out to four points three minutes into the six minutes.

Diarmuid O’Connor dropped over a point to cut the difference to three points as time ticked away, then Donal Vaughan pointed a few seconds later – but Mayo were needing a goal and the final whistle was blown from the resulting kick-out and Mayo slumped to another defeat to their old enemy.

Scores for Galway: Danny Cummins 1-2 (0-1m), Shane Walsh 0-5 (0-5f), Antaine Ó’Laoi 0-2, Michael Daly 0-1, Johnny Heaney 0-1.

Scores for Mayo: Jason Doherty 0-7 (0-6f), Matthew Ruane 0-1, Andy Moran 0-1  (0-1m), Darren Coen 0-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Donal Vaughan 0-1.

Galway

1. Ruairi Lavelle (Salthill-Knocknacarra)

2. Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown)
3. Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh (Naomh Ann, Leitrim Mór)
4. David Wynne (Maigh Cuillin)

5. Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars)
22. John Daly (An Creagán/ Magh Laocha)
7. Johnny Heaney (Kilannin)

8. Thomas Flynn (Athenry)
9. Ciaran Duggan (Annaghdown)

10. Michael Daly (Mountbellew/Moylough)
20. Danny Cummins (Claregalway)
19. Peter Coke (Maigh Cullin)

13. Barry McHugh (Mountbellew/Moylough)
21. Shane Walsh (KKilkerrin-Clonberne)
15. Antaine O’Laoi. (An Spidéal)

Subs:

26. Finnian Ó’Laoi (An Spidéal) for McHugh
6. Garreth Bradshaw (Maigh Cullinn) for Flynn
12. Eammon Brannigan (St Michaels) for Cummins
14. Padraig Cunningham (Ath Cinn) for Antaine Ó’Laoi.

Mayo

1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
7. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
9. Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels)

10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
14. Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)
15. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

Subs:

23. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Durcan
24. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Stephen Coen
26. Brian Reape (Moy Davitts) for McLoughlin.

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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