Preview and live score commentary – The Galway vs Mayo rivalry is set to continue as both sides aim to hit the ground running with the return of the Allianz National League. Last summer, Mayo finally overcame their rivals in the final qualifying round of the Championship. Previously, Galway had defeated the Green and Reds five times in a row.
Last year, Mayo won the Allianz National League by beating Kerry in the final. However, they could not replicate their form in 2020. Currently, they sit seventh in the League and are fighting for survival. Their only victory to date was against bottom of the table Meath. A draw with Donegal was their only other source of points as losses to Dublin, Kerry, and Monaghan have left them under pressure. They need two good results against Galway and Tyrone in their remaining games to ensure Division 1 status for next year.
In contrast, Galway are in control of the League and will be looking to go on and win it. Currently, they have only lost to Kerry. Wins against Monaghan, Donegal, Tyrone, and Meath had them full of momentum. As a result, they would have been left frustrated by the suspension of inter-county action. But, without a League final this year, good results against Mayo and then Dublin could see them reigned Champions.
With that in mind, it is possible that Galway will line out with a full-strength squad for their restart. Padraig Joyce has impressed so far in his stint at the helm. For example, his side’s scintillating display against Tyrone in February was a masterclass in attacking football. Add that to a strong selection from impressive Club performers and Galway are the team to beat. With Corofin finally dethroned within the county, there are new stars for Joyce to choose from. If the League is to be decided in the final round against Dublin, Galway need to pick up from where they left off.
Yet, Mayo haven’t gone away despite their League position. Their win against Galway in the Championship last year would have been a big relief after a series of losses. Recent challenge wins over Donegal and Clare are a promising start for James Horan’s team. It will be interesting to see whether any of the newly-crowned Championship winners from Knockmore will receive a call-up. For instance, Darren McHale and Kieran King were particularly impressive as they defeated Breaffy to win the Moclair Cup.
Mayo face a hectic restart with their first Championship game coming on the 1st of November. They face Leitrim in the preliminary round of the Connacht Championship. On the other hand, Galway have an extra week to prepare before they face Sligo in the semi-final.
Allianz National League: Galway vs Mayo, Sunday October 18, 2pm (TG4).
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 7, 2020