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There had not been one shock so far in the first round of the All-Ireland football championship, a few landslide victories that we did not see coming, but no underdog eliminating any overwhelming favourite from their provincial championship. That all changed last Saturday evening in Markevicz Park in Sligo where the home side completely outplayed and outfought a Roscommon side that seemed to believe all their own hype.
Mayo's physical size
Mayo made it five wins in a row in Salthill last Sunday against Galway in the first real test of the Holmes and Connelly era with a bit to spare. While the gap was only four points at full time whistle in reality, Mayo always had the Tribesmen fended off apart from a brief period at the tail end of the first-half that culminated with Gary Sice's thunderbolt of a goal.
Not to be bullied around the middle third
Colm Boyle has become one of the most vital cogs in Mayo's domination of the Connacht champoinship over the past four years, and he has an all-Ireland U21 medal in his back pocket from 2006 when the current Mayo management team of Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes guided Mayo to victory. But the quest for the big one goes on still for the man from the borderline, and his 2015 adventure gets up and running properly on Sunday when they head to Satlhill to take on Galway.
The time is nigh. Mayo will put their Connacht championship on the line when they travel to Salthill in Galway to take on the home side in the Connacht semi-final on Sunday. It has been 10 weeks since we watched the green and red in competitive action, but the time seems to have just dwindled away, such was the anticipation about what may unfold in Salthill.
The Mayo GAA players have become the first county to launch an exciting new players fund lotto ahead of their upcoming clash with Galway in Pearse Stadium. It’s a lotto with a difference, as all funds raised through this lotto are ringfenced for the sole purpose of the training and welfare of the county panels from underage up, across all codes both football and hurling. It is a lotto promoted by the players for the benefit of the players.
I’d always be open to progression and forward thinking in the GAA but I can’t get my head around Galway competing in the Leinster Hurling Championship. It doesn’t sound right. Galway; Leinster hurling champions. It did, of course, happen a number of years ago when the Galway hurlers defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster hurling final. That victory, in my opinion, cost Galway an All-Ireland title as Kilkenny went on to beat Galway in a replay in the All-Ireland final later on that year.