Galway and Sligo are set to face off at 1:45pm on Sunday in the 2023 Connacht football final.
It promises to be an exciting clash between two neighboring counties. As a sports journalist, let’s take a closer look at the upcoming match.
The two teams haven’t met in the championship since 2019 and haven’t faced each other in the Connacht final since 2007, where Sligo emerged victorious by a narrow margin of 1-10 to 0-12. Looking at their last five championship meetings, Galway has dominated, winning four out of five games. However, Sligo will be looking to upset the odds and secure their fourth Connacht title, with their last one coming in 2007 against Galway.
Road to the Final
Sligo has had a successful run to the final, beating London and New York convincingly with top scorers Patrick O’Connor, Niall Murphy, and Sean Carrabine leading the way. Galway, on the other hand, played only one game, edging out Roscommon by a margin of 1-13 to 1-9, with Damien Comer top-scoring for them.
Galway, who are bidding for their 49th Connacht title, are the defending champions and have reached the final for the eighth consecutive year. They have won five out of their last seven finals, with their most recent title coming in 2022. Sligo, on the other hand, are looking to win their fourth title, with their previous three coming in 1928, 1975, and 2007.
Key Players and Managers
Galway manager Padraic Joyce, who played in eleven Connacht finals during his playing days, has been instrumental in Galway’s recent success, winning six out of eleven finals will be looking to Shane Walsh and Damien Comer.
For Sligo, they will be relying on the likes of Patrick O’Connor, Niall Murphy, and Sean Carrabine to step up and deliver the goods.
Galway wary for Sligo challenge
Galway defender Dylan McHugh :
“A lot of lads in our group would have played in a minor final in 2015 and an U21 final in 2017 against Sligo and drew the minor and won after the replay in the U21 final,” says McHugh.
“Pádraic (Joyce) has emphasised the 2007 Connacht final when Sligo beat Galway as well.
“We won’t be overlooking Sligo at all, we’ll be preparing to get a performance on Sunday.”
“They’ll be throwing the kitchen sink at us,” he says. “They have great forwards: [Paddy] O’Connor, [Niall] Murphy, [Seán] Carrabine, they’re all great players that need to be watched.
“I would have played underage with Galway against Sligo a lot, and a lot of those lads will be playing against us.
“I know they’re good footballers, they have loads of momentum as well. They’ve only lost one league game so they’ll be full of confidence. We need to be ready.”
Team News for Galway v Sligo
We will have the confirmed starting teams at 1pm on Friday.
As the two teams get ready to battle it out in the final, the pressure will be on Galway to continue their recent dominance in the province, while Sligo will be hoping to cause an upset and clinch their fourth Connacht title. With both teams possessing talented players and experienced managers, it promises to be an enthralling encounter for the fans. Bookies expect Galway to win by 10pts.