Four former stars have their say

GAA: Connacht SFC Semi-Final

Ray Silke, our man from south of the border, caught up with a few former players who've been through this particular battle before, to get their thoughts on who will win on Sunday.

Maurice Sheridan: Former Mayo player and current manager of Micheál Breathnachs

"While I expect Mayo to win this weekend, Ithinkitwillbealot tighter than the last two years. They could be a bit tired and suffering from a bit of mental fatigue due to the past few tough years. I think there is a bit of fatigue in the side, and Galway are on the rise. Mayo have been up at the top level, and they have been at the top for a long time, and have not reached the Holy Grail. That can be a negative for a team. That said, I do think they will get to another Connacht final and I expect Mayo to win by around three points on Sunday."

Verdict: Mayo

Ja Fallon: Former Galway All-Star and player of the year

"I think that Mayo will have the raw physical edge and power over Galway, that will make the difference. They have bullied Galway the past two years they have met in championship and there is too much of a gaptobemadeupinone season. Mayo are a much more experienced team with some terrific players and they have been one of the top teams in Ireland for the past few years. This is a big year for their new management team of Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly. Often a management team can have their best year in their first year, and there will be pressure on both the players, and joint managers to have a good season. Expectations and standards are high in Mayo and it will be interesting to see how they do later in the year."

Verdict: Mayo

Anthony Finnerty: Former Mayo player and long term Galway resident

“I think the Mayo team weren’t pushed early in the year and through the league they did more than enough to stay in Division One. Only for a late score by Donegal they would have been in the league semi-finals. I don’t think Mayo are a tired team. They have timed their run this year to start in Galway and there is no reason why Mayo can’t come out buzzing this year. I saw them last week training in Pearse Stadium and they look very fresh and strong and some of the older lads looked mad for road. It is quite a short season for Mayo and I think Mayo will win by around five points on Sunday and go on to have a very good season."

Verdict: Mayo

Seán Ó Domhnaill: Former all-Ireland winner with Galway and current Carraroe manager

"To be honest I can't see anything except a Mayo win on Sunday. Galway are playing a very defensive system and they will try to stop Mayo racking up any early scores. However, Mayo are well used to facing that type of system and they have the power in the likes of Aidan O'Shea, Donal Vaughan, Seamus O'Shea, Lee Keegan and Cillian O'Connor to get in through Galway's defence. The reality is that Mayo are one of the top three or four sides in Ireland and Galway are a long way back from that. Mayo are used to playing in Division One and coming up against the likes of Kerry, Dublin, Donegal and Monaghan. Galway are not. Unless the footballers do like the hurlers last weekend and get in for a few early goals - and rattle Mayo they will not win, I am just hoping for a good solid battling display from Galway, but Mayo will come out on top."

Verdict: Mayo


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