Disappointing end to season for Galway footballers

Galway's Cillian McDaid and Mayo's Aidan O'Shea in action from the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 4, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Co. Limerick. Photo:- Michael Gough

Galway's Cillian McDaid and Mayo's Aidan O'Shea in action from the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 4, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Co. Limerick. Photo:- Michael Gough

Two goals down within 10 minutes, individual mistakes, a missed penalty and the 50/50 calls seemingly going the opposition's way ensured Galway lost by three points in the end, 1-13 to 2-13.

Thus Galway headed back up the M18 from Limerick's Gaelic Grounds rueing a season in which they failed to find top form, and Mayo bagged the coveted Super 8 spot. It was an all or nothing game.

"The last year or two we didn’t go out strongly," said a frustrated Galway manager Kevin Walsh. "They fought as hard as they could, and I can’t say anything bad about them."

The view is that losing to a team like Mayo who had come so close to glory over the last number of years is not a disaster.

Former Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke, a man who knows more than his fair share about playing to an effective system, reasoned that Mayo’s second goal would not have been scored if Galway had not tried to be more offensive this year. When Carr received the ball just outside Galway’s ’45, he ran towards the goal with only a single defender to beat. Galway in 2018 would have flooded the defensive area, and he would not have been able to get through.

Injuries to key players during the entire season certainly did not help. Captain Damien Comer, having missed the entire season, showed his threat within seconds of coming on after half-time, almost punching a score. In the full back line Declan Kyne played his first game of football since January and he showed his grit, determination and belief by managing to last the entire 70+ minutes. Peter Cooke also had his finest game in a Galway jersey scoring four from play and would have been the stand out man of the match if Galway had managed to pull off the result.

Kevin Walsh has endured a fair share of criticism, but the team has consolidated its position in division one of the league and are competing with the best teams in the country. Whether or not Kevin Walsh leads this team into 2020 is a decision he is expected to make for himself.

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