Search icon


07th Apr 2022

Full back has to keep the ball sitting as west of Ireland winds blow into Mayo-Galway

Niall McIntyre

The posts were shaking and the ball wouldn’t sit still but, inside, the dome was empty.

Funny one that. The Galway and Mayo under-20s have had a fierce rivalry in the last couple of years and, on a wet and windy night in Bekan, Wednesday’s semi-final turned into another slog of an arm-wrestle.

It was a low-scoring affair for a finish but if you’d seen the conditions at the start, through the clogged lens of a brave TG4 camera-person, you’d hardly have been expecting anything else.

The rain eventually blew off but on as open a pitch as you’re going to find, a ground that exposes itself as a prime target for the famed west of Ireland gusts, the wind howled and howled and it howled.

It howled to the extent that the posts were shaking in front of a ball that blew around with the freedom of a kite in the sky. By the second half, it had picked up so much that, at one stage, sick of looking at the ball rolling away from him, the Galway goalkeeper called on his full back to keep a finger on on it as he kicked it out. It’s not too often you see a conversion without a kicking tee on a GAA pitch.

To both teams’ credit, they put on as good a show as you could expect in the conditions. It was Mayo who won the battle this time though with Jack Fallon’s second half goal giving them a lead that they never looked like relinquishing. James McLaughlin scrambled home a late goal for Galway but the bragging rights went the other way this time, and it’s Mayo who have a Connacht final to look forward to.

There were a few people scratching their heads as to why, with Ireland’s only indoor GAA pitch just yards away, this game wasn’t played in there but that was because the game was due to be televised. The cameras were set up outside and, as the Connacht council told us this morning, it couldn’t be changed at such late notice.

Elsewhere, Limerick snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Munster U20 hurling championship, thanks to a late Cathal O’Neill cameo. The powerful forward, a member of the county’s senior panel, scored a late 1-1 to over-turn Clare’s three point injury-time lead.

It was a sickener for the Banner and it’s Limerick who march onto the semi-finals after a 3-7 to 0-15 win.

Credit to TG4 sport for both video clips.