Sunday 29th April 2.30pm
Mayo v Galway
Connacht Minor Football Championship Quarter Final
2.30 pm Elvery’s MacHale Park, Castlebar
This Sunday will see the opening game of the Connacht Minor Championship, with old rivals Mayo and Galway facing off in Castlebar. This years competition will be a historic one, as it is the last year of Minor action in its current format. From 2018 onwards the U21 and minor championships will be abolished and replaced entirely with an U20 and U17 system. This restructuring is with an eye on restricting the overload of activity on young players and hopefully to stopping player burnout. The winners of Sunday’s clash will have to wait a full two months before they face Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final as the competition is on hold until after the Leaving Cert. For the losers it is the end of their season, as there is no back door at this stage of the competition, a fact which should add an extra level of intensity to the game.
Mayo will be managed for the championship by Damian Gavin and Steven Joyce will be the Galway manager. Galway go into the Connacht Championship on the back of a successful Connacht Minor League campaign in the spring, overcoming Sligo in the final in Tuam Stadium 0-13 to 0-7. Galway and Mayo met earlier in the season in the Connacht Minor League and Galway came out on top, 1-11 to 1-7. Galway also contain a number of players in their squad who played in the All Ireland Minor Final against Kerry last season.
In the overall history of the Connacht Minor Football Championship, it is Mayo who top the roll of honour list with 39 titles. Galway are their closest competitors; they have won the competition 27 times. Mayo have also been the runners up most often, 21 times to Galway’s 19. Mayo were the dominant force in the province at this age group in the early years of the competition in particular, winning 6 of the first 7 titles available between 1930 and 1936.
If we look at the head to head between the two counties, as expected Mayo come out on top. They have met a total of 56 times, and Mayo have won 33 times compared to Galway’s 23 victories. However, in recent years it has been the Tribesmen who have held the upper hand over their neighbours, winning the last 3 encounters between the counties in 2016, 2015 and 2014. In their last 14 meetings at minor since 1998, it has been impossible to separate them, each with 7 wins.
In Connacht Minor Finals Galway and Mayo have met 29 times, and interestingly Galway have won 16 times to Mayo’s 13. The biggest winning margin in games between the two counties came in a game in 1965, when Mayo won by an amazing 3-22 to 2-2 in Castlebar. The lowest scoring match ever between them came in the Connacht Final of 1985 in Hyde Park when Mayo won, 0-6 to 1-1. Let’s hope for more excitement in the 2017 instalment!
The teams will be available here closer to the match day, and keep an eye on our twitter @ConnachtGAA for live score updates on Sunday and for all Connacht games if you cannot attend yourself.