NFL Division 1: Mayo 3-23 Galway 0-17
Galway manager Padraic Joyce didn’t mince his words and described this hammering by old rivals Mayo as the most embarrassing day of his career.
And Joyce, in his first year in a charge of a county that he inspired to two All-Ireland wins, said the responsibility for the biggest league defeat in 68 years to their neighbours lay firmly on his shoulders.
Galway fans, probably grateful that they were watching it on television rather than being in Tuam Stadium, might not be so harsh and point out that it is up to those inside the white lines to produce the goods, not least against their fiercest rivals.
“We were a mile off it. It was like men and boys all day. I will take responsibility for that as the manager of the team. I am not going to throw the lads under the bus. I prepared them, I got them on the pitch and I will take full responsibility.
“It was a disappointing day, probably the most embarrassing day of my career. I am 43 years of age and I have never seen a performance as bad, to tell you the truth.”
Damien Comer lasted just four minutes and Joyce fears the hamstring injury could rule him out of the championship, while Johnny Duane also went off early and join a casualty list which sees captain Shane Walsh out with knee and ankle injuries.
Next up is a clash with Dublin and Joyce feels his men really have to prove a point.
“The only positive news of the day is the only way is up. We can’t go any lower than that. We are training twice this week and we have a nice battle this week against the five-in-a-row champions.
“When you are playing your fiercest rivals, if you need to motivate lads they are in the wrong game. We should not have had to be motivating lads. Mayo were up for the game, I don’t know why we could not be up for it. It is a psychological thing. I don’t know what it is but you are losing a fighting battle when you go so far behind early on.”
Captain Aidan O’Shea was superb at full-forward and centre-forward Mark Moran crowned his debut with 1-2 in a man of the match display.
“We had five U-21s out there and we brought on two more,” said manager James Horan. “A lot of the young players who have come through are really talented. Mark Moran, as he has been for Westport all season, is very comfortable on the ball.
“I think our teamwork was very good today, looking to give the right ball at the right time, good support lines. We dropped it a bit at the start of the second-half but I thought when we were moving the ball we were very good.”
Mayo, with the breeze, led by 1-5 to 0-1 after just 12 minutes with Moran finding the net after good work by Eoghan McLaughlin, O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor.
Two points from Paul Conroy and one from Rob Finnerty cut the gap but a point from Tommy Conroy increased their lead to 1-9 to 0-5 after 21 minutes and they then hit 1-7 without reply to lead by 2-17 to 0-7 at the break, with Paddy Durcan going forward and impressive corner-back Oisin Mullin involved before O’Shea delivered the final pass.
That interval tally was more than Mayo scored in any of their five league games earlier this year and they continued to dominate after the restart with a sloppy Galway defence being punished when Conor Loftus collected a delivery from Moran to hit the net.
Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor 0-10 (8f), M Moran 1-2, C Loftus 1-2 (1m), P Durcan 1-2, A O’Shea 0-3, T Conroy 0-3, S Coen 0-1 (1m) Galway: R Finnerty 0-7 (6f), P Conroy 0-3, L Silke 0-2, G O’Donnell 0-1, C McDaid 0-1, A Varley 0-1, C D’Arcy 0-1, M Barrett 0-1.
MAYO: D Clarke; O Mullin, D McBrien, L Keegan; P Durcan, S Coen, E McLaughlin; M Ruane, C Loftus; F McDonagh, M Moran, D O’Connor; T Conroy, A O’Shea, C O’Connor.
Subs: B Walsh for McDonagh (45), P O’Hora for McBrien (51), R O’Donoghue for D O’Connor (55), D Coen for C O’Connor (55), J Flynn for Ruane (64),
GALWAY: C Gleeson; C Campbell, S A Ó Ceallaigh, J Heaney; L Silke, J Duane, C McDaid; C D’Arcy, J Maher; E Brannigan, D Comer, J Leonard; R Finnerty, P Conroy, I Burke.
Subs: M Daly for Comer (4 mins), G O’Donnell for Duane (10), A Varley for Brannigan (29), T Flynn for Maher (half-time), M Barrett for D’Arcy (57).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)