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25th Apr 2022

“They had less than a 50% return” – Ciaran Whelan and Sean Cavanagh criticise Mayo’s shot accuracy

Lee Costello

“Mayo don’t have a left footed free taker.”

Galway defeat Mayo in the first round of the Connacht championship, in a game that came right down to the wire.

The Tribesmen were definitely the better team, and Shane Walsh, Damien Comer, and Paul Conroy were in sensational form, causing constant problems for James Horan’s men.

One thing that proved to be the difference however, was the shot accuracy, particularly through free kicks.

The only good news from a Mayo point of view was that Cillian O’Connor was back in the mix, and performed very well considering he had been out for so long.

However, his sharpness for the dead ball just wasn’t as accurate as it normally would be, and across the field the whole Mayo team were rather wasteful, kicking 12 wides in total.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, Sean Cavanagh explained what he though this Mayo side were missing.

“It’s a vital point (to have free-takers) for any team, and in the second half when the game was in the mix, we saw Shane Walsh nail three brilliant scores against the breeze from ironically always within a couple of metres from one another.

“That just edged Galway ahead, and sometimes a score like that whenever you’ve been under the cosh for a while is maybe even worth more in terms of lifting the team, than the point you get.

“Flip that on the other side, Mayo don’t have a left footed free taker, we’ve been talking about this for some time, we saw Cillian O’Connor try one off his left, 14 metres out, screw it wide, then a 45 in that second half – screwed it wide – and ordinarily these are a nine out of 10 for Cillian O’Connor.

“It’s not a go at Cillian O’Connor, he had a brilliant game individually, but at the same time, if you want to win those big games, that are going down to those fine margins of a point either road, to have someone who 9/10 he’s going to knock this over from distance is such an advantage.”

Ciaran Whelan accompanied Cavanagh as a pundit on the show, and he was equally as damming in his analysis of Mayo’f accuracy.

“Similar falls from Mayo, they had 31 shots and I think they had less than a 50% return.

“They’re just not going to win big games for that reason.”

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