Mayo to renew rivalry with the Tribesmen

GAA: Connacht Minor Football Championship

Letting fly: Diarmuid Duffy lets the ball go against Sligo last Friday night. Photo: Mayo GAA

Letting fly: Diarmuid Duffy lets the ball go against Sligo last Friday night. Photo: Mayo GAA

The Mayo minor footballers will bring the curtain down on the round robin stages of the Connacht Minor Football Championship this evening when they make the trip to Tuam Stadium to take on Galway.

Sean Deane's side have won three from three so far in the championship seeing of Leitrim, Roscommon and most recently Sligo last Friday night in Ballina.

This will be Mayo's last game in the round robin stages of the competition with the other four sides having another round of action the following Friday night - with Mayo sitting out that round. Should Mayo win this evening against Galway they will book their place in the provincial final, if they go down to their hosts they will have to wait and see how results go on the final day to know if they will be in the final or have to play a semi-final on Friday May 27, with the final fixed for the following Friday night June 3.

Mayo manager Sean Deane was pleased with his side's win last weekend, but said afterwards that he knows they will have to up the performance again to take down Galway this evening.

"Look, it is like everything, all you are looking to do is to get the two points and that is the first thing that we look at. The one thing we spoke about last week was the character of this side and you could see that again tonight when Sligo got a goal it didn’t unsettle us we went down and got a score again and every time that they got a big score in the game we came back.

"Let's be very frank about it - there are a couple of things that we have to work on to be better and the performance tonight will not be good enough to go to Tuam next week and we are very much aware of that.

"Galway have been racking up big scores and we have to be defensively a little bit better, but again tonight is all about the two points and puts us in a strong position going to Tuam and that will be a different challenge completely and we are aware of that."

The Mayo forward line has been in impressive form so far in the championship, with Mayo racking up big scores in each of their games - but there is still plenty of room for improvement according to Deane.

"Some of the forward play was excellent, and coming on the back of last week when we started poorly enough with five or six wides in the first 15 minutes it was something that worked on during the week to try and rectify and it was something pleasing that came off.

“Some of the scores were good, we left a few after us to be honest - but nothing is perfect. The movement of the forwards, their ability to win dirty ball is very pleasing."

Deane made a number of changes to the side which started last Friday night from the ones that had started their first two games and he said that he was fully confident in all his players in the squad being able to come in and being able to do the job.

He said: "I think the one thing about this squad, there are 34 in it and everyone is battling very hard to get into the 24, and what is extremely pleasing is that we made changes and it doesn’t weaken the team in any shape or form, the standard is maintained and that is the most pleasing thing.

"In the three games we have played the subs we brought on made a difference, and you can see that again tonight, and to be honest there are another two guys very unfortunate who didn’t come on tonight and could have made a difference too, but it is just the way the game ebbs and flows.

"You wanted to get a bit of game in various levels of the pitch, if you look at the two midfielders they worked their socks off and we had to change it up there."


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