Three things Galway footballers must do on Sunday to stop Mayo

1 - Stop Mayo's half-back line

Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle and Donal Vaughan are the springboard for many of Mayo's attacks. 

Last year in Pearse Stadium, Vaughan scored 1-1 and ran up the park uncontested on far too many occasions. 

Both Keegan and Boyle collected All-Stars last year at five and seven respectively. They are impressive going forward and Galway need to stop them at source, and run at them. They need to be put on the back foot and turned over if they attack.

Micheál Lundy, Shane Walsh and Damien Comer were the three Galway half-forwards against Sligo and, if selected, each of them has a big job to do, both offensively and defensively. All three have limited senior championship experience, and Sunday will be a big test for them. 

If Galway are to have any chance of victory, the Mayo half-backs have to be nailed.

2 - Win midfield well

Both Tom Flynn and Fiontán Ó Curraoin lorded the exchanges in Markievicz Park. However, Seamus O' Shea, Jason Gibbons, and perhaps Aiden O' Shea (the rumour is that he will be selected at centre-forward ) will provide Galway’s former u-21 stars with a big step up in class and power.

If Galway are to get anything from McHale Park, they will need to dominate midfield. Flynn will need to go on a few rampaging runs into the middle of the Mayo rearguard to try to create a few scores.  He is 33/1 to score the first goal, and scoring a goal is not beyond him.

Tearing into the Mayo defence is dangerous work, as the likes of Boyle, Higgins, Cafferkey and company would only love to get a rattle at him. 

If he does go on a run, he needs to keep his head up and avoid leaving himself exposed for a big hit.

Ó Curraoin needs to dominate the aerial exchanges and be a real leader around the middle. It is a big ask, but he has done the job before, especially as captain with the u-21s in 2013.

Galway will look to him despite his age profile for leadership around the middle.

3 - Play with serious intensity

Galway need to hit the ground running on Sunday and tear into things from the "get-go". 

There was no real intensity or hard-hitting in the Sligo clash and apart from the wrong type of slaps, Mayo waltzed though Galway when scoring 4-16 in the championship last year.

If Galway are to have any chance this weekend, they near to play with massive intensity, passion and work-rate all over the field.

Mayo are going for a four-in-a-row of Connacht titles.  Their hunger for provincial titles should be spent. They have their sights set on higher targets. 

Plus, they may be a tad over-confident against a team they hammered last year who now ply their trade a division below them.

It is different for Galway.

Only a few have senior Connacht medals. They need to really up the ante on Sunday and rattle into anything in green and red in a controlled and disciplined way.

The team that usually wants it the most, all other things being even, will usually prevail.

However Mayo are superior to Galway in many ways, hence the Galway players need to want the win and the provincial medal a whole lot more than their Mayo counterparts.


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