Mayo and Galway renew rivalries in provincial decider

Experienced players such as Tracey Leonard will be key in Galway's  bid for the Connacht crown.

Experienced players such as Tracey Leonard will be key in Galway's bid for the Connacht crown.

Galway and Mayo renew their old rivalry on Sunday afternoon in Tuam Stadium (4pm ) in the Connacht LGFA Senior Football Championship final.

Both sides head into the game after a long break from competitive action following the culmination of their league campaigns in which Mayo reached the league semi-final against Meath, while Galway were eliminated in the group stages.

The counties faced off in the league round robin stages this year - Mayo won putting six goals past Galway in a 6-6 to 2-8 win over Galway to qualify for the knock-out stages. Mayo also recorded wins over Donegal, Galway and Westmeath in the league, with Galway's sole victory coming against the midlanders.

As a result Mayo must enter the contest as favourites, while Galway is a team in transition with new manager and the former goalkeeping coach Maghnus Breathnach taking over from Gerry Fahy, who stepped down after a season in charge. New leaders are stepping up on the team with Sarah Lynch of Naomh Anna Leitir Moir captaining the side, and Leann Coen of Corofin selected as vice captain.

Galway also will look to experienced players such as Tracey Leonard, Charlotte Cooney, Ailish Morrisey, and Andrea Trill, while Mayo's Michael Moyles will have to do without the services of a number of key players, such as Niamh Kelly, Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly, who are unable to commit to the championship season due to their involvement in the expanding AFLW in Australia.

As a result Mayo manager Michael Moyles is expecting a tough challenge from Galway on Sunday,. “When you see Tracey Leonard back, the difficulty for Galway is, who they start - they have five or six players who can be in any county team," he says.

"They are fully stacked and fully strong, but as I said that is a great test for us to see where we are and it will give girls, and there are girls there in the Mayo panel who have never played a championship game or a senior game for Mayo - give them a taste of what is expected, but we have full intentions of going there to win the game.

 

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