League: Connacht Championship

We have fixtures for Sligo v Galway, Markievicz Park, and Mayo or Leitrim v London or Roscommon, times and venues to be confirmed for the Quarter Finals

Galway v Mayo – Connacht Football Live score commentary

Throw in for the start of the match is 1:30pm on Sunday, Galway v Mayo – Connacht Football Live score commentary and starting team news.

We have Andy Moran and Finian Hanley previewing the 2020 Connacht Football Final between Mayo and Galway.

They meet for an eighth successive year in the championship. The first six were in the Connacht championship, with Mayo winning in 2013-14-15 and Galway winning in 2016-17-18.  They met in the All-Ireland qualifiers last year when Mayo won. This will be their first clash in the Connacht final since 2014 when Mayo won by seven points.

Match Preview

Look back at previous finals

Team News
1. David Clarke – Ballina Stephenites
2. Oisín Mullin – Kilmaine
3. Chris Barrett – Clontarf
4. Lee Keegan – Westport
5. Patrick Durcan – Castlebar Mitchels
6. Stephen Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
7. Eoghan McLaughlin – Westport
8. Conor Loftus – Crossmolina Deel Rovers
9. Matthew Ruane – Breaffy
10. Kevin McLoughlin – Knockmore
11. Mark Moran – Westport
12. Diarmuid O’Connor – Ballintubber
13. Tommy Conroy – The Neale
14. Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy (C)
15. Cillian O’Connor – Ballintubber

Galway starting XV vs Mayo

(2020 Connacht SFC final)

1. Bernard Power (CorofinGAA)
2. Sean Kelly (Cumann Peile Mhaigh Cuilinn)
3. Seán Ó Maolchiaráin (CLG Oileáin Árann)
4. Johnny Heaney (Killannin Gaa)
5. Liam Silke (CorofinGAA)
6. Johnny Duane (St. James’ GAA – Galway)
7. Cillian McDaid (Monivea Abbey GAA Football Club)
8. Céin D’Arcy (Caherlistrane GAA)
9. Tom Flynn (St. Mary’s GAA Club Athenry)
10. Paul Kelly (Cumann Peile Mhaigh Cuilinn)
11. Paul Conroy (St. James’ GAA – Galway)
12. Michael Daly (Mountbellew Moylough GAA Club)
13. Ian Burke (CorofinGAA)
14. Shane Walsh – Captain (Kilkerrin/Clonberne GAA Club)
15. Dessie Conneely (Cumann Peile Mhaigh Cuilinn)

 

Since then, the 2016 and ’17 All-Ireland runners-up have beaten Leitrim and Roscommon in the Championship to eclipse a league relegation. On the other hand, Sligo’s concession of last weekend’s game against the Galwegians means Joyce’s team enter this game without any Championship minutes under their belts.

This is Mayo’s first visit to a Connacht final since they completed five-in-a-row in 2015. In the seasons between now and then, Roscommon and Galway have always trumped them in Connacht. But, their form to date makes them hot favourites to end that drought.

Mayo Finding Their Stride

James Horan unearthed a few gems in this fixture a few weeks ago. Tommy Conroy has been ever-present in the full-forward line since that day and has justified his inclusion. Likewise, Eoghan McLoughlin has made one of the wing-back spots his own. At centre-forward, Mark Moran burst onto the stage against Galway. However, he is competing with Ryan O’Donoghue for that jersey. It will be interesting to see if Horan recalls Moran to try and repeat the trick this time around.

Mayo’s youthful injection contrasts to the veterans who Horan also has at his disposal. Colm Boyle and Keith Higgins were both on the bench last weekend and despite not playing they are valuable assets that he can trust. On the field, Cillian O’Connor is reminding everyone why he is the top scorer in GAA Championship history. At the other end, Lee Keegan is seemingly Horan’s most trusted man-marker.

The gap between Mayo’s old and new is being nicely bridged by the likes of Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Matthew Ruane, and Diarmuid O’Connor. These four make up a strong core that Horan can build around.

Mayo’s running game returned to its best against Roscommon. Half-backs Durcan and McLoughlin were the primary source of that. McLoughlin emulates a young Colm Boyle with this pace and power as he drives past defenders. A great example of this was his assist for Diarmuid O’Connor’s goal. Likewise, Durcan’s tunnel vision is a joy to watch as he regularly offers as much going forward as a 13 or a 15. He scored two points against Roscommon while simultaneously muzzling Enda Smith.

Galway Ready to Rock

Joyce would have preferred to have played Sligo last weekend than to have a bye straight to the final no matter how convenient it is. Since the restart, his side have lost to Mayo and Dublin to overshadow excellent form in the spring. A win over Sligo would have been very welcome no matter how close it was.

Now, Galway enter the Championship with a lack of match practice. Furthermore, Damien Comer remains sidelined for the 2018 Connacht Champions. Without having played in three weeks, Joyce has tough decisions to make about how best to deploy his troops.

One piece of good news is that Shane Walsh is available and looking forward to the heat of a Connacht rivalry.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Walsh apparently relishes this fixture. “It is a massive thing, the Galway-Mayo rivalry. The game always takes on a life of its own”.

Joyce will need Walsh to return to full form straight off the bat with his other top forward absent. Otherwise, selections in the full-back line remain an interesting one. Aidan O’Shea wreaked havoc in Tuam Stadium with Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh unable to tame the Breaffy beast. Sean Mulkerrin could be drafted into the full-back line. The versatile, young defender could be assigned to Conroy or O’Connor, or even O’Shea if Joyce trusts him enough. He featured against Dublin last time out.

While it may be tough to predict the Galway team, it is certain that it will be different to the one Mayo faced a few weeks ago. Joyce’s team will be out to prove that they’re the strongest team in Connacht but the selections the manager makes will be important. Traditionally, Mayo improve as they play more games. For that reason, five games in five weeks may not hinder them. This could clash nicely with Galway’s freshness and hunger for Championship football.

With Kerry now out of Munster, Mayo and Galway know that a win here means a great chance of reaching an All-Ireland final. It’s a shame fans can’t be in attendance as this is shaping up to be one of the best Galway-Mayo games in recent years.

The game is live on RTÉ.

Mayo are slight favourites with Paddy Power at 10/11. Otherwise, Galway at 11/10 and a draw is 15/2.

Prediction: Mayo. The loss of Damien Comer is a huge one for Galway. Either Lee Keegan or Paddy Durcan will be assigned to Walsh and the other Mayo backs should be good enough to silence the Galway front line. The middle third will be a huge battle ground in this game. Galway need to be on top here to stop the Mayo half-backs launching attacks.

 

LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES 

2019: Mayo 2-13 Galway 1-13 (Qualifier Round 4) 

2018: Galway 1-12 Mayo 0-12 (Connacht quarter-final) 

2017: Galway 0-15 Mayo 1-11 (Connacht semi-final) 

2016: Galway 1-12 Mayo 0-12 (Connacht semi-final) 

2015: Mayo 1-15 Galway 2-8 (Connacht semi-final) 

LAST FIVE CONNACHT FINAL CLASHES 

2014: Mayo 3-14 Galway 0-16 

2009: Mayo 2-12 Galway 1-14 

2008: Galway 2-12 Mayo 1-14 

2005: Galway 0-10 Mayo 0-8 

2006: Mayo 0-12 Galway 1-8 

Facts and Figures

(1) James Horan led Mayo to four championship wins over Galway in 2011-13-14-19. Padraic Joyce is in his first season as Galway manager. 

(2) Mayo beat Galway by 3-23 to 0-17 in their Allianz League clash in Tuam last month. 

(3) Mayo have won two games in the Connacht championship this year, beating Leitrim by 2- 15 to 0-10 and Roscommon by 1-16 to 0-13. Sligo’s withdrawal due to Covid-19 left Galway qualifying for the final without a game. 

(4)Mayo are seeking their first Connacht title since 2015 while Galway last won it in 2018.

(5)The winners will play Cork or Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final. 

Connacht Final: Galway vs Mayo, Sunday, 15th November, 13:30 (Pearse Stadium). 

5 biggest GAA shocks this century

https://www.sportsnewsireland.com/gaa/5-biggest-gaa-shocks-this-century/

https://twitter.com/officialgaa/status/1326169742336356352

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Roscommon vs Mayo: Connacht Football – Live score commentary

Roscommon vs Mayo: Connacht Football – Starting Teams & Live score commentary, start time 1:30pm on Sunday for this epic GAA match.

Last year, Roscommon inflicted Championship defeat on Mayo at this stage of the Championship. While the Mayo men ultimately went further in the competition, they will have revenge on their mind this Sunday. The winner advances to the Connacht Final against Galway the following Sunday.

Mayo are the only side still in the Connacht Championship who have actually played a game so far. Last Sunday, they fought off a spirited Leitrim team to advance.

Terrible conditions in Carrick-on-Shannon saw Leitrim fight to a four-point lead. However, once Mayo got off the mark they battled into the lead. A Tommy Conroy goal on 23 minutes was the difference between the sides at half-time.

Then, Cillian O’Connor found the net on 48 minutes to give Mayo some much-needed breathing room. James Horan allowed his subs to get some valuable Championship minutes in the second half. Mayo ran out 11-point winners by full-time.

James Horan has decisions to make ahead of the Roscommon fixture. While Mayo’s superior fitness was evidence against Leitrim, Roscommon have become a very well-conditioned team. Hence, a war of attrition awaits in Hyde Park on Sunday.

Furthermore, the heavy conditions Mayo played in last weekend will have left the players with tired legs. Horan has to ensure the recovery is right with just a week between games.

Journeymen Colm Boyle and Chris Barrett are available for Horan with the latter seeing ten minutes of action against Leitrim. While Stephen Coen wore number 3 on the day, he may be required further out the field and Barrett could find himself at full-back.

Likewise, the centre-half back position remains up for grabs in the Mayo team with the last three games seeing three different players wear the number 6. Michael Plunkett gave a good account of himself there last weekend. But, Coen or Colm Boyle could offer more solidity against a powerful Roscommon half-forward line.

Diarmuid O’Connor also came off the bench against Leitrim. If fully fit, he could feature from the start on Sunday.

Roscommon on the up

Roscommon have now won two out of the last three Connacht Championships, coming off best against Galway in 2019 and ’17. However, they haven’t made it past the quarter-finals on either occasion. In fact, their win in ’17 saw them come up against Mayo in the quarter-final. It took a replay for the eventual runners-up to see off the Rossies.

In spite of this, Roscommon have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with in the Championship. Recently, they returned to the top Division by winning Division 2. Manager Anthony Cunningham oversaw last year’s Connacht conquest and will be backing his side for a repeat.

Cunningham will have been grateful for the week-long break following their Division 2 finale. It took tough games against Armagh and Cavan to win the title. Now, they return to action full of confidence and refreshed.

Roscommon fans will be excited for the Championship as their players are finding form at the right time. Donie Smith has been excelling in corner-forward while Sean Mullooly has developed into an attacking full-back.

Roscommon’s forwards have the potential to do serious damage to Mayo. Conor Cox showed last year that he was a handful. In addition, Sunday’s game could see Enda Smith moved up to centre-forward where his pace and power will require close attention.

Either way, on paper this is the game of the week as Mayo attempt to return to the crest of Connacht football. But, Roscommon are further along their development line and will know how to win.

Mayo carry the title of favourites with Paddy Power. James Horan’s side are 8/15 while Roscommon are 15/8. Otherwise, a draw is 15/2.

The game is live on RTÉ 2.

Prediction: Roscommon.

Connacht Championship Semi-Final: Roscommon vs Mayo, Sunday, November 8th, 13:30 (Dr Hyde Park). 

LIST OF COUNTY GAA TWITTER PAGES – RANKED BY DIVISION

https://www.sportsnewsireland.com/gaa/county-gaa-twitter-pages-ranked/

 

https://twitter.com/officialgaa/status/1323602631655411712

LiveScores Now Available at VRscores.com

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Mayo vs Leitrim Connacht Football – Starting Teams & Live score commentary

Connacht SFC quarter-final – Leitrim v Mayo Preview, starting teams & live score commentary for the match that starts at 1:15pm on Sunday.

There is no time for Mayo to dwell over their failure to remain in Division 1. They return to action just a week after the defeat to Tyrone and this time there is even more on the line. The 2020 Football Championship has been a long time coming but it’s here now and the knock-out format means no time for settling in. Leitrim vs Mayo takes place in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday.

Leitrim suffered relegation themselves in the League. They had a chance of survival if they beat Tipperary in the final round. However, a two-point loss sealed their fate. Previously, they had to concede the game against Down. This was a result of players waiting on Covid-19 test results and not being able to field a team.

It has been twenty years since Leitrim last made it to a Connacht final. This year, they again drew the short straw as even an upset against Mayo would pit them against Roscommon in the semi-final with Galway on the other side of the draw. The return to action hasn’t exactly given Leitrim fans reason to be hopeful about this game. However, with no qualifiers to fall back on, they may relish the chance to take on some of the best in the game and see how they fare.

Can Mayo master Connacht again?

Mayo have not won a Connacht Championship since 2015 (their fifth in a row). This is surprising considering they made it to the 2016 and ’17 finals and 2019 semi-final. Indeed, it has been Connacht that has proven the hardest for Mayo to conquer in recent years.

When Mayo trounced Galway in the first game back recently, the familiar echoes of ‘Mayo are back’ echoed around the west. But, in typical Mayo fashion, they undid their hard work at home a week later to end their 23-year spell in Division 1.

This could prove to be the best thing to happen to James Horan’s side. In recent seasons, after losing in Connacht, Mayo progressively got stronger during the qualifiers. But, a loss this year does not yield a second chance. Therefore, with defeat already on their backs, Mayo could fall into the familiar pattern of finding form when they are on their last life.

The final two League games made for interesting reading for Mayo fans. The team selections yielded some very exciting prospects (e.g Tommy Conroy, Mark Moran, Eoghan McLoughlin, Oisin Mullin) but it was perhaps Aidan O’Shea’s deployment at full-forward that most caught the eye.

O’Shea was the biggest anarchist against Galway and even if he did not repeat the trick against Tyrone, the tactic is a good option to have. In fact, Leitrim could be the best place to experiment with such a move again.

The likes of O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor have been around for longer than it seems now. Likewise, the Keegans, Vaughans, and Parsons are aging faster than Mayo fans would want. As a result, this could be the greatest chance for Mayo to launch an All-Ireland quest again. It will only require five wins in a row to go all the way (Mayo played 10 games in the 2017 campaign). The new injection of youth could complement the experienced heads nicely.

 

LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES

2012: Mayo 4-20 Leitrim 0-10 (Connacht semi-final)
2006: Mayo 1-10 Leitrim 1-9 Connacht semi-final)
1997: Mayo 0-18 Leitrim 0-11 (Connacht semi-final)
1994: Leitrim 0-12 Mayo 2-4 (Connacht final)
1988: Mayo 1-13 Leitrim 0-4 (Connacht quarter-final)

Things to note

(1) Other than against London and New York, Leitrim haven’t won a Connacht championship games since beating Sligo in the 2011 quarter-final in 2011.
(2) Mayo have lost to Leitrim only three times in the Connacht championship (1994-1976-1959).
(3) Mayo were relegated from Division 1 last weekend after winning two, drawing one and losing four of their seven games.
(4) Leitrim were relegated from Division 3 after winning one, drawing and losing four games. They also conceded a walkover against Down.
(5) Leitrim have scored only one goal against Mayo in their last six championship meetings and haven’t scored two goals against the green-and-red since 1976.
(6) The winners will play Roscommon in the semi-final on Sunday week.

 

Betting

Leitrim are as long 14/1 to cause an upset. Mayo are 1/66 and a draw is 33/1.

The game is being shown on RTÉ News Now.

Prediction: Mayo.

Leitrim Team

1.Brendan Flynn

2.Donal Casey

3. Donal Wrynn

4. Conor Reynolds

5. David Bruen

6.Aidan Flynn

7.Cillian Mc Gloin

8. Mark Plunkett

9. Domnnaill Flynn

10. Conor Dolan

11. Paddy Maguire (Captain)

12. Jack Gilheaney

13. Shane Quinn

14.Evan Sweeney

15. Keith Beirne

Mayo Team

1. David Clarke – Ballina Stephenites
2. Oisín Mullin – Kilmaine
3. Stephen Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
4. Lee Keegan – Westport
5. Patrick Durcan – Castlebar Mitchels
6. Rory Brickenden – Westport
7. Eoghan McLaughlin – Westport
8. Matthew Ruane – Breaffy
9. Conor Loftus – Crossmolina Deel Rovers
10. Bryan Walsh – Ballintubber
11. Ryan O’Donoghue – Belmullet
12. Jordan Flynn – Crossmolina Deel Rovers
13. Tommy Conroy – The Neale
14. Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy (C)
15. Cillian O’Connor – Ballintubber

Connacht Football Championship Quarter-Final: Leitrim vs Mayo, Sunday, November 1st, 13:15 (Carrick-on-Shannon).

Could Mayo’s relegation be a blessing in disguise?

https://www.sportsnewsireland.com/gaa/could-mayos-relegation-be-a-blessing-in-disguise/

https://twitter.com/MayoGAA/status/1321106158480953345

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Cillian O’Connor

Last updated on Nov 12th, 2020 at 12:39

Cillian O’Connor (born 1992) is a Gaelic footballer and captain for the Mayo senior team. He plays his club football for Ballintubber. O’Connor is the leading all-time top scorer in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh

Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh was a member of the Galway U-21 team who reached the 2017 U-21 All-Ireland final. Despite his side’s loss, he was heralded for a heroic performance in which he snuffed out Con O’Callaghan. 

The very next season he was a prominent presence in the senior side. The powerful full-back can put his side on the front foot with his driving runs out of defence.

Patrick Durcan

Last updated on Sep 29th, 2020 at 11:35

Patrick Durcan (Mayo) deserves his place among the top defenders in the country, Durcan has developed into one of the finest half backs in Ireland. 

Since his debut for the Mayo team the Castlebar man has proven to be a man for the big occasion as his performances in Mayo’s run to the semi final in 2019 and the All Ireland final in 2017 highlight.

His attacking instincts coupled with his defensive skills make him a nightmare for opposition forwards when they face Mayo, as he not only has the ability to nullify the attacking player , but also turn them and make them go back towards their own goal trying to stop him.

 

 

Lee Keegan

Lee Keegan

Last updated on Sep 29th, 2020 at 10:41

Lee Keegan (Mayo) The Mayo man would have serious competition for the number 1 slot on this list but for the fact that Dublin stalwart Jack McCaffrey has stepped away from the Dublin panel for this year’s Championship. 

The Westport man, a winner of four All Stars made his name as a rampaging,attacking half back on the Mayo sides that came so close to All Ireland glory under James Horan and Stephen Rochford. 

The 30 year old is equally effective being used as a designated man marker in his team’s defensive structure though, testament to just how good the former Footballer of the Year really is.

Aidan O’Shea

Last updated on Sep 29th, 2020 at 9:54

Aidan O’Shea has been the heartbeat of the Mayo sides under James Horan and Stephen Rochford that came so close to finally ending their county’s long wait for an All Ireland triumph, Aidan O’ Shea is one of the most recognised names in Gaelic football and well worth his spot as one of the top 5 midfielders in gaelic football.

The powerhouse from Breaffy can cause havoc around the field with his strength and skill when he is at his best, and has even done a stint at full back to quell Kieran Donaghy’s influence in the 2017 All Ireland semi final. 

At midfield is where the 30 year old has only a select number of rivals though, especially in the air, where his ability to field a high ball can be challenged by very few in the game today. O’ Shea’s ability to break tackles from midfield, and attract defenders through his sheer physical strength also make him so important to the way Mayo play.  


Entrusted with the captaincy by Horan, O’ Shea will look to be the leader that can take Mayo to the promised land in this fragmented 2020 season.  

 

Keelan Sexton

Last updated on Oct 18th, 2020 at 13:09

Clare County Footballer Keelan Sexton is their free taker and was the top scorer for Clare in 2020.

Connor Gleeson

Last updated on Oct 14th, 2020 at 16:00

Gleeson is a former goalkeeper for Galway United. The Dunmore native made 38 appearances for the club over two spells at Eamonn Deacy Park. After two seasons with Athlone Town, Gleeson returned to United for the 2018 season.

Gleeson made his debut for Galway GAA against Mayo in the FBD League in January 2020. He made two saves in their penalty shoot-out win.